At Coloma our vision is to prepare every child so they may prosper in the constantly changing and demanding world in which we live. We recognise this requires us to have in place a curriculum that empowers them to achieve their maximum potential not just academically. It must also provide them with the necessary spiritual, moral, social and cultural skills and understanding they will need – our SMSC approach.
We seek therefore to ensure our curriculum is broad based and includes a rich variety of opportunity in both academic, creative and vocational areas, aiming to make rounded young women who can engage socially, are mature, responsible, moral, compassionate and can think beyond the 'now'.
Delivering The Vision
At Coloma we recognise that delivering our vision of Teaching & Learning excellence relies on a complex interaction of many different strands or pillars of activity and provision. These encompass: Leadership & Management at all levels to embed and realise the vision
- Resource Provision
- Broad based rich curriculum with excellent extracurricular provision
- Excellent teaching and staff development programme
- Safe & supporting Learning Environment which encourages growth in knowledge and growth in Christ
- Evaluation and Review – A consistent approach to monitoring pupil outcomes and teaching practice
- Reward & Recognition
- Pastoral Support - A key element which supports and binds all other aspects
Details of the Key Elements – How do we achieve Teaching and Learning Excellence?
Monitoring Pupil Achievement
Pupil outcomes in terms of the qualifications they eventually leave school with are of course a key measure of the success of our approach at Coloma. Both at GCSE and A Level, the results overall of Coloma pupils are consistently amongst the highest in the country.
Monitoring pupil achievement however does not simply rely on this narrow measure. At Coloma we endeavour through regular monitoring and analysis to:
- Check pupil progress throughout their school career and to use this data to inform our own provision and to identify opportunities where we can improve our approach and practice
- Check pupils individual progress against their starting point when arriving at Coloma
- Check how well pupils progress in each subject they take with special focus on English and Mathematics
- Check progress for different groups of pupils within the school to see how their achievements compare to other groups within Coloma and against groups nationally
- Systematically recruit feedback from students on their learning progress & experience
In each of the above cases we seek to understand where achievement gaps exist for:
- Individual pupils
- Identified groups of pupils
- Individual subject areas
We analyse whether such gaps are Coloma specific or nationally based and if the gaps are narrowing over time. Where gaps are identified we intervene and agree practical steps to target improvement. These steps are then included in our school action plan.
You will find examples of our monitoring data on the pop out menu to the right of this page.
Ensuring Excellent Teaching
A key element for professional and personal development with which we will all be familiar is that of reflection. We all from time to time reflect on our experiences and gain insight into how we may have done things differently, what went well and what could have been better. It is no different in the classroom, where mature reflection on practice is an invaluable tool to ensure lessons are delivered to the highest possible standard. At Coloma this is achieved through:
- Lesson Observations and Feedback - Led regularly by the Senior Leadership Team
- Sharing Best Practice - Teachers voluntarily sharing best practice with colleagues
- CPD- Continuing Professional Development - 3 full days and 5 twilight sessions a year where training is delivered to all teachers to keep practice and policy up to date
We recognise that one of the best resources for professional development is the expertise of our own staff and Coloma is therefore keen to ensure it fully embraces new technological developments and resources which enable the sharing of that expertise within the school. Our aim is to develop a community of best practice at Coloma. To this end we are currently focused on:
- The introduction of IRIS, a system of video collaboration between teachers aimed at building a community of best practice at Coloma
- Developing the use of FRONTER within school, a virtual learning environment where teachers and pupils can share resources used in school and provide access to additional resources to extend pupil learning outside of the classroom
- CLIPBANK, a Channel 4 educational programme providing a wealth of relevant and constantly updated video resources covering all subject areas. Aligned to our school wide online network in every classroom this enables us to bring these resources directly into the learning environment.
You can see an example of IRIS in use in a real lesson at Coloma on the pop out menu to the right of this page.
Creating The Right Learning Environment
For pupils to benefit fully from excellent teaching and resource provision it is vital that the school provides a safe environment not just in terms of health and safety best practice but also by providing an equal and fair chance to thrive and learn in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. We are committed to ensuring zero tolerance of bullying, harassment or prejudice of any kind in line with government regulations and with our ethos as a Catholic school.
All girls are encouraged to take risks in their learning and be creative. We pride ourselves that every classroom is a thriving environment for enjoyment and achievement. Guided by the teachings of the Gospels, we promote a community of love, service and prayer where each person’s worth is recognised, each person’s contribution is valued. We encourage an environment where independence is celebrated and individuals can flourish. On a day to day basis the Coloma code of conduct is at the heart of our work and relationships.
In order to provide a clear framework of behaviour and expectations, we have detailed policies on a range of related issues which you will find on our School Policies page.