New year staffing boost for schoolPosted: 12th December 2018
A school on a journey of transformation started the new year by strengthening its teaching team with extra high-quality teachers.
Royal Docks Academy converted to the BMAT group of schools in January in a mission to improve standards and outcomes for young people.
A wealth of improvements have been brought in since, including introducing an extra-curricular programme to 5pm each day and revision sessions on Saturdays for Year 11 students.
The new school year started with a huge boost to staffing – with an extra 25 new teachers joining the team, each judged to be at least “good” or “outstanding”.
Executive headteacher John Blaney said: “One of the issues here previously has been recruitment. We have brought in teachers from within the Trust, but have also recruited from outside via recruitment events and from visits abroad. We have held out to get the right quality people on board. Being part of a bigger Trust is attractive and means we have been able to offer opportunities to those joining us that were not possible previously.”
Among the recruits are new heads of English, year groups and history.
Mr Blaney said: “Now, the subjects which have been traditionally hard to recruit to, such as English, maths and modern foreign languages, are fully staffed with good, experienced teachers or good newly qualified teachers. That is brilliant.”
The school has also adopted the bespoke BMAT curriculum and students in Year 9, 10 and 11 study 100-minute lessons to enable deeper understanding of subjects.
The Trust gave staff an extra three days away from lessons to develop an understanding of the change in timetabling before starting the new regime in September.
Mr Blaney said: “We have seen this work first-hand at Burnt Mill Academy in Harlow and we cannot argue with the results they are getting from it there. That notion of giving children time to embed their knowledge in lesson is something that cannot be achieved in the traditional 60-minute lessons.”
A career strategy runs alongside the new curriculum, with six opportunities per year for students to focus on careers and gain additional skills in citizenship, philosophy and ethics to boost their knowledge and awareness of people around them and get them thinking about life beyond school.
Mr Blaney is confident these changes will help the school to achieve its mission of being Outstanding by 2020.
He said: “We have already turned a corner and are starting to see the shift. Next year and the year after, we will see results continue to rise. When Ofsted are due to visit in 2020, we will have had outstanding results year on year.
“We are very excited and can see so much potential here. The foundations are there; two more years and we will have this school in a really strong place.”