11th September 2017

New Academic Year

Ms C Tasker, Headteacher

Everyone at High Storrs is still giddy about the success of our students in August. The percentage of students achieving grade 5 + in the new Maths and English GCSEs was the highest in the city. Indeed, the fantastic Y11s also surpassed expectations achieving numbers of top grades (new grade 9s) well above the national average. The number of Y11s at High Storrs achieving the Ebacc (a good pass in Maths, English, Science, a language and a humanity) was also the highest in the city! There were many fabulous performances at A Level too.

When we sat down and looked at all the information it confirmed something we have discussed many times this year; students with great learning behaviours do well. In fact we know when we see a student with a certain attitude to their learning, a student doing the right things week in and week out, that they will succeed. It is the knowledge gained from watching what successful students do in the classroom and beyond that has informed our new Attitude to Learning grades. There is a set for Y7 and Y8 students (‘Building Great Learning Habits’) that outline what great learning looks like in those key early years in school, a set for Y9-11 students (‘Learning Habits to Achieve’) that describe the behaviours that enable exam success and a set for sixth formers (‘Learning Habits to Excel’) that will help Y12s make the transition to A Levels and Y13s achieve all they can at 18 and beyond.

All the new Attitude to Learning (A2L) level descriptors are to be found on our website and we will send copies out with trackers. There is, of course, reference to punctuality, attendance, organisation and meeting deadlines but the new A2L descriptors also include using feedback to improve, contributions to group discussions and the ability to concentrate on the task in hand for sustained periods. Moreover, we have included resilience and metacognition. We want to encourage students to have a go, make mistakes and view the mistakes simply as learning. This is often termed a 'growth mindset' and can be so important in helping students meet the challenge of GCSE and A Level exams. Equally, getting into good habits as early as possible is so important and can combat the anxiety that can come with preparing for exams.

The new A2L will provide a road map for our students to develop as learners in school and beyond. In every tracker every child will be given an A2L grade for each subject so both they and you will be clear on strengths and areas to develop. We will celebrate those who demonstrate great learning behaviours and support those who need to improve. This is a key part of our drive to help our students succeed and receive, in their time with us at High Storrs, a broad education.