numbers were taking maths at A Level. They had recently attended a conference arranged by

the Princeís Teaching Institute, where they had met colleagues who also had a passion for

raising the standards of education.

Robert Allen (RA) then explained that the conference had been held in the crypt of St Martinís in

the Field church in London. The main thrust had been the examination of what they were all

about; what could be created in the classroom to ensure that the learning experience was as

good as it could possibly be, ie quality teaching and learning, trying to make sure all children

were given the best opportunity and that a wide range of needs were covered.

RA stated that he had taught in various parts of the country, and felt that TTC was quite an

outstanding College with regard to drive and determination which was not necessarily the case

in all schools. He had come across some schools where mood and feeling were not conducive

to such a high level of learning, but at TTC all staff were committed to getting the best from

every student.

He reported that in Thorpe a living and breathing history experience had been created by a

teacher in the History Department via a display encompassing a historic garden and a WWI

trench - this was a special learning experience and that teacher has been invited to a Teaching

Award Ceremony as he believes that it is important to share the excitement of learning.

CH then added that they aimed to make sure that young people left not only with the best exam

result, but that they were also decent human beings. Consideration had been given to what

values they wanted the school to be run by. However, she explained that it was difficult to

impose your personal values on others so we involved the students. The students got together

with staff and spent a long time discussing what sort of place and what sort of values, and how

we were going to make sure everyone understood. She said that having a cross-section of

society at school and where values are already embedded from home life, could prove difficult,

but being punitive was not what it was all about - we needed to understand what it was all about

for the students. Therefore, we designed the TTC3:

1. Respect - we wanted to reclaim its real meaning

2. Honesty - tell the whole truth and stand up for the truth

3. Responsibility - apologise when wrong.

Children need to believe that if they have rights they have massive responsibility, and they need

to recognise the uniqueness of others.

She added - We have a strict policy on two issues: if students bring knives or illegal drugs into

school, they are permanently excluded.

She then went on to explain that OFSTED reports were clinical. However, during verbal

feedback from the Inspectors, they had said that the relationship between staff and students at

TTC was superb. Students were polite and everybody was so welcoming. HMI said, "We have

really enjoyed being here." She wished that could go in the report.

In answer to the question on why did they apply for Academy Status, she said that she thought

they were good, but we wanted to be even better. We wanted to join with a unit where they had

high quality supportive staff. Academy Enterprise Trust means that if she looked at a particular

area and was feeling that they needed to do better, they could provide the capacity and

expertise. The main issue was access to high quality staff who could work with our staff, and the

idea that it was all about money was not correct. After a few years the financial advantage

would disappear.

Q: How do you discipline children?

A: (CH) You have raised an interesting issue. We might sit down and discuss concerns.

Thuggery means exclusion, but pupils can be educated off site, ie we send them to a centre to

be educated. This removes further concerns, but they continue with their education. In other

FRA/JP 04 November 2011 Page 2 of 9
First Previous Next Last