Harrogate High School
North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
About Harrogate High School
NORTHERN STAR ACADEMIES TRUST
HARROGATE HIGH SCHOOL
“Harrogate High School is a good school with outstanding leadership”- Ofsted 2013
Our vision: Learning First …
• We will work together to raise the achievement of all students, thereby improving their life chances.
• We believe that high quality teaching, learning and leadership are fundamental to our success.
• By ‘embedding ambition’ in our students we will enable our young people to lead a balanced life as adults, capable of contributing positively to their community.
We are a smaller than average state funded academy situated in the spa town of Harrogate. There are currently just under 600 students on roll. Between 2011-2016 our expected progress pass rate at GCSE English has increased by 5% and by 12% in maths. In both English and maths, the number of students making expected progress from KS2 continues to exceed the national average. Our PS is in line with national average.
The school became an academy in June 2012. In April 2015, we formed the Northern Star Academies Trust with Skipton Girls High School. Since then, New Park and Hookstone Chase primary schools have joined the MAT. Our partnership is evolving with interest from other schools wishing to join. The intention is to share outstanding practice, support school improvement and consolidate central services providing efficient use of resources.
We are fortunate in having moved into a new school in February 2017. As part of the Priority Schools’ Building Programme, the state of the art facilities have a 5 court sports hall, dance studio and fitness suite, teaching kitchen and bistro as well as spacious learning environments in all subject areas. The school will have a capacity of 780 students.
“Learning First” drives our ambition to ensure all students are well prepared in skills and qualities they will need in adulthood. The size of the school means that education can be personalised for any students should they need this. Our intention is that academic qualifications are part of a “whole person” provision including extensive enrichment opportunities, Personal Development Programme which includes Stop the Clock learning, character building, critical thinking and intervention when needed.
In order to ensure personalisation can be effective, our Achievement Team work alongside teachers to monitor progress. Our Learning Managers are full time supporters of learning but also ensure any concerns can be acted upon quickly and efficiently. Our students benefit from a full time Careers Co-ordinator who works with students advising on courses, vocational opportunities and further and higher education pathways.
Teaching and Learning
Central to all our planning is quality learning for all students. Teaching and learning improvement is threaded through our weekly 2-hour professional development sessions with all staff, through Student Voice feedback and a robust appraisal system. All teaching staff follow a 5-part lesson plan and deliver active learning opportunities to engage all students. Staff professional development is tailored; all are expected to focus on literacy as well as providing opportunities for social and emotional development. Currently, some students are taught vertically in Years 9 and 10 to extend the courses available and we value academic, vocational and creative approaches in all teaching.
Vertical Mentor Groups
All students enjoy the benefits of learning with students of all ages on our VMG sessions, every day, for 15 minutes. The Personal Development and Wellbeing programme covers all aspects of health, positive decision making, British Values, e-safety and the Prevent strategy. Some sessions can be age and gender specific as needed. This system is very popular with students, reduces anxiety upon joining school and is central to positive relationships between students.
Parents and student receive 6 reports a year indicating progress and effort across all subject areas. Each Raising Stars cycle is an opportunity for the Senior Leadership Team and Learning Managers to scrutinise data and plan intervention and praise. Students are awarded Star Points when progress is consistently improving and we celebrate achievement through assemblies, Academy Head commendations and letter to parents. Our Year 8 students graduate into Key Stage 4 after meeting targets set at the beginning of KS3.
We aim to improve the confidence and resilience of every student through the opportunities at Harrogate High School. Student Voice represents one of these. Students apply, are interviewed and can take up a number of roles. All of these are vital in students sharing their skills and gaining real life experiences. Tour guides, interviewers for staff recruitment, departmental and primary ambassadors and focus members are just a few of these roles.
There are many and varied enrichment opportunities offered between 2.30-3.30pm. An independent learning session takes place every afternoon in the Learning Resource Centre with supporting staff. We offer sports, performing arts, art, music, robot, coding, technology clubs as well as intervention for students. Students are encouraged to try clubs they may not have previously considered and all Year 7 are set a challenge of attending at least 2 clubs and partake in a Student Voice role.
We present live music performances during lunchtime, have musical theatre events, music performances in our community as well as many visits to theatres, sports venues and even Parliament!
As some themes need more time, Stop the Clock sessions are calendared to enrich the formal curriculum. As we start our academic year 4 weeks early, at the end of June, we also have a Healthy Living for Life package for all students before they move up a year.
Students choose our charities every year and we have 6 non uniform days to raise money for worthy causes often linked to our community.