Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
About Goffs Academy
Welcome to Goffs and the Generations Multi Academy Trust
We are a mixed 11-18 comprehensive Academy with approximately 1300 students on roll, including a thriving and successful Sixth Form. Our Academy is extremely popular in the local area, with an average of over 800 applications annually for the 240 places available, and significant waiting lists for places across the year groups. On intake our students are of an ability level (KS2 APS) significantly above that of the national average. We are, though, a true comprehensive school and admit a good mix of students of all ability levels.
The school has been awarded the International Schools Award twice, Investors in People status three times, and has Sportsmark Gold and Artsmark Silver. We also hold the Secondary Geography Quality Mark as well as having the Healthy Schools Award, is a specialist Language College, a designated Leading Edge School, and chairs the national Leadership Partner School network.
Professional Working and Learning Environment
Our school was among those named as part of a £2billion Government scheme, the Priority Schools Building Programme. As a result, Goffs received a completely new build and facilities, and moved into them in January 2017. This significant investment of funds by the Department for Education is a further recognition of the outstanding work being undertaken by the school, and represents another fantastic opportunity for our community. Our new building provides a light, modern, professional and fit for purpose working environment for all.
The Generations Multi Academy Trust
In early 2016, Goffs Academy received a direct approach from the DfE asking that they consider establishing a Multi Academy Trust and work in partnership with other schools. As a result, the Generations MAT was established from 1st September 2016, with Goffs as the lead school within the Trust. Goffs-Churchgate was born from that vision. The two schools are within walking distance of each other and already share many activities, including CPD for staff. One of the Trust’s fundamental principles is that no one school is in any way more important or successful than the other. As such, CPD and other events are rotated through all schools in the Trust, with everyone learning from and sharing with each other. This collegiate and collaborative approach permeates our Trust.
Our future plans include establishing a nursery provision with subsidised staff places, and looking at the opportunity to establish or join with a primary school, thus effectively creating an all through education structure. The MAT offers extremely exciting opportunities for staff, students and the local area and we are all very much looking forward to its growth.
Our strategy for continuous school improvement has had huge success and we are actively committed to ensuring that our very popular and successful school, plus the wider MAT, continues as a centre of excellence in the community. Exam results in 2017 were another year of huge success for Goffs. GCSE highlights include:
- Progress 8: +0.34 (significantly above national average)
- 75% of students achieved grade 4 or more in English and Maths and 55% achieved 5 or more in both
- English grade 4/5 or more: 85%/73%
- Maths grade 4/5 or more: 79%/59%
- Percentage of students achieving the EBacc qualification (English (5+), Mathematics (5+), 2 Science GCSEs, 1 Humanity and 1 Language): 46%
- Pass rate for EBacc Science: 72% (national average: 64%)
At A Level, continuing the upward trend of recent years, students achieved another excellent set of exam results. Once again, outcomes tracked up from last year's excellent results in key areas including grades at A*/A, A*- B, A* - C, and the average grade achieved by each student. The overall pass rate was 99%. Approximately three quarters of the year group progressed to university or further education courses including Criminology, Environmental Engineering, Journalism, Construction, Law and Politics, Mathematics, Economics, Music, Zoology, Psychology, Philosophy and Biomedical Sciences, whilst the other students progressed directly into employment or apprenticeships. Our Sixth Form has an excellent reputation in the local area, over the past three years the numbers of students applying to join our Sixth Form has increased and is now around 150 per year. This growth in popularity is supported by a continued upward trend in outcomes; 81% of students achieved A*-C at A level in 2017.
We are, of course, very proud of these outcomes. Equally, we are clear that they reflect the start of our journey, not the end. As such, we target set in the top 10% of all schools nationally and strive at all times to meet ambitious targets. We are committed to a cycle of continuous improvement and aspiration and are keen to appoint a colleague who shares that vision, determination and a restless quest for even higher outcomes. All of these factors combine to make Goffs a very exciting and rewarding community to be a part of.
Goffs prides itself on its sense of community – both within the school itself, and in the wider locality. Visitors to our school unfailingly comment on a very real sense of community, coupled with warmth and pride. We are members of Cheshunt Extended Services (ChExS), offering a variety of extended school and community based activities for both students and parents. Our students actively support local charity work such as the Isabel Hospice, and maintain strong links with our local primary schools particularly through our MFL Specialism. In addition, our young Sports Leaders regularly work in primary schools. Goffs runs a G-Involved Volunteering programme, where every student including the Sixth Form aims to complete 20 hours volunteering during the course of the academic year. Students are rewarded through our annual Pride of Goffs Awards evening.
We firmly believe in every student feeling a strong sense of community and on entering the school, each student is placed in one of four Houses: Eagle, Falcon, Hawk and Phoenix. Each House is led by a team of student House Captains and has a clear sense of identity. Regular competitions and assemblies strengthen this sense of community. Each year the House Captains decide on a possible group of charities to support; students in every year then vote on their chosen school charity. Students within each House then arrange a variety of fund raising events throughout the school year. The House which raises the most money in the year for our school charity is awarded the Charity House Shield. Such work is indicative of Goffs students’ ability to empathise with the needs of others, and further develops their capacity to work successfully in a variety of social settings.
We regularly bring visitors from the community into school to work with students, and maintain strong links with our local secondary schools as a partner school in the South Broxbourne Partnership. The school building is used for evening, weekend and holiday classes through the Broxbourne partnership, providing opportunities for a diverse range of users including the Greek School, and local dance and sports groups.
The Goffs Student Leadership Academy actively encourages leadership development through a series of student led groups. We currently have students enrolled in the Leadership Academy from Year 7 to Year 13, with groups including:
- Student Parliament
- Digital Leaders
- Community and Charity Leaders
- House Leaders
- Sports Leaders
- Learning Leaders
The student groups each have a member of Student Parliament who is responsible for coordinating the group and their projects. Students regularly report back on their work and the impact that it is having both in and outside our school community.
A variety of annual school trips give students the opportunities to sample different cultures, whilst an extensive programme of off-site visits provides opportunities for students to experience the diversity that exists within the UK including theatre, galleries and museum visits. Our overseas trips have included Germany, Spain, USA, Czech Republic, Paris, Berlin and Reykjavik, in addition to a visit to our partner school in Ghana, and annual ski trips to countries such as Italy, Andorra or Austria. In addition, we regularly host students from Spain as part of our specialism work.
Goffs is proud to be a truly comprehensive school, with students and staff from different religions and a number of languages spoken in the school. We recognise and celebrate what makes us unique and different, and acknowledge that we are also part of one community. Our aim is for everybody to feel valued and respected and we strive hard to ensure we create a positive culture within the school to enable this to happen.
Our School Dog: Maximus Aurelius
Max joined our school in January 2017, and is a black Labrador, known for their very affable temperament. He is owned by Caroline Legg, Vice Principal, and her husband, but spends his days in school. He goes on regular walks around school and spends time in Learning Plus and the LRC where our more reluctant readers can read to him, as one example. He also has his own Twitter feed. In short, Max is a full member of our community and has been warmly welcomed by students, staff and parents. The student Digital Leaders are also enjoying running Max’s Twitter account and blog! Follow him @GoffsSchoolDog
We have a policy and risk assessment, both of which have been through our lawyers. It goes without saying that anyone not wanting any contact with Max, for personal or health reasons, will not have any. However, potential SLT should be aware that Max’s base is in the Principal’s office which is directly connected to the conference room.
Care, Guidance and Support
Successful learning takes place when students feel safe, confident, respected and valued, and are engaged. Goffs believes in supporting and nurturing all students in their quest to become successful learners. As such, we place a high value on pastoral care as an integral part of the life of the school.
We promote positive attitudes towards learning and provide a caring and supportive environment within our community. We were delighted to see Ofsted’s recent comments that “students’ behaviour and attitudes are outstanding” and that “students feel very safe, because bullying is extremely rare and they are very confident that any incidents that concern them will be dealt with swiftly and effectively.” Continuously nurturing, supporting and developing our students is hugely important to us and significant investment is made in the school’s pastoral structures, including our investing in dedicated Youth Workers for the school.
Goffs has an extremely strong reputation for staff development both teaching and support staff. Developing the next generation of school leaders, both middle and senior, and future Headteachers for those who wish to pursue this, is a responsibility that we take very seriously.
We have a full suite of staff leadership development which staff can join be they an NQT or highly experienced colleague, whilst I chair the national Leadership Partner School network, a group that brings together schools dedicated to developing outstanding leadership skills throughout their communities, and which allows us to visit other network schools, to attend national conferences and to share best practice.
During our most recent inspection, the team described our whole staff CPD programme as “outstanding” and “the best they had seen”. In addition to innovative whole staff training days, we disaggregate a number of hours for training every year. This allows staff development to be highly personalised as staff can opt for the training which best meets their needs, including the opportunity to do a research project in partnership with Cambridge University. All staff complete peer observations to observe best practice, and use our Iris camera technology as part of evaluating and improving their own teaching. Many use their disaggregated time to coach others or to receive coaching. Moreover, there are specific training sessions for NQTs and other interested staff which run every Wednesday after school.
We also place a lot of emphasis on ‘on the job’ training and support. A thorough induction scheme is available to all new staff, and mentors/buddies are assigned to guide you through those new routines. Finally, external courses can of course be booked if, on very rare occasions, we cannot cater for a particular training need in house.
Goffs Leadership Academy encompasses both staff and student leadership development through a series of student led groups and staff leadership pathways. The staff programme specifically provides opportunities for:
- Aspiring Middle Leaders
- Aspiring Senior Leaders
All pathways are personalised for the individual and staff receive one to one support from a mentor alongside working on a whole school project. Both support staff and teaching staff are welcome to join the Leadership Academy at any point in their career.
A full suite of leadership training is offered with a range of sessions including:
- Communicating vision and values
- Developing your leadership approach
- Building a high performing team
- Supporting your team
- Leading your team day-to-day
- Quality assuring effective teaching
- Observation fo improvement
- Using data for impact
- Fostering positive behaviour for learning
- Leading and managing innovation for change
Attendance to all training sessions leads to certification by the SSAT. In addition, we encourage aspirant Senior Leaders to take part in the SSAT ‘Stepping Up to Senior Leadership’ training programme, which includes four external sessions throughout the year. As part of the school’s commitment to developing future leaders, a number of the existing Senior Leadership Team across both schools gained experience through an ‘Associate’ SLT position before gaining substantive leadership posts.