Welcome from the Headteacher
Estyn Inspection, February 2017 (Excellent/Excellent).
Curricular provision is a significant strength of the school. The school provides an extensive range of learning experiences that meets the needs of all pupils exceptionally well. This has a substantial impact on pupil standards and wellbeing.
The school is a highly inclusive and caring community. It provides outstanding support for pupils’ wellbeing, which contributes considerably to pupils’ high standards and strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Raising achievement: Raising achievement of all pupils at Fitzalan is a top priority. We aim to be one of the top achieving schools in Wales. Our KS4 Level 2 threshold target for 2018 is 80%, level 2+ target is 65% and our A* - A grade target is 25%. We expect all KS3 and 4 indicators and subjects to be in the first quartile for academic performance. The Sixth Form is large and successful and our target is 100% A* - E and 70% A* - C.
Data analysis plays a vital part in monitoring attainment with an emphasis on pupil progress within and between each Key Stage. Through effective self-evaluation and improvement planning we set a small number of key objectives related to pupil outcomes and improvement in teaching, learning, Restorative Approaches, and, bilingualism.
Teaching and Learning: Outstanding and good teaching and learning is our priority. We have a robust system of departmental review, and individual departments use regular peer observations to share best practice and develop consistently high quality teaching and learning across all lessons.
By improving the involvement of pupils in the planning and delivery of learning we aim to ensure that lesson plans are adapted to fit the needs of pupils and ensure that learning progresses in every lesson. All departments are also improving differentiation within lessons so that every pupil has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
High quality CPD is a feature of our school and Fitzalan is one of a small number of schools selected to be a HUB School for teaching and learning in the Central South Consortium. Fitzalan is also an NQT base school for the region.
Curriculum: In Fitzalan, curriculum provision is designed to be flexible, challenging and individual. Pupils are grouped by ability and a literacy focus is embedded into the timetable structure. In Key Stage 3, the express sets study Latin, other groups have literacy lessons, the special needs and buffer groups have additional basic reading lessons and the timetable for new to English pupils delivers the national curriculum around English acquisition.
In Key Stages 4 and 5 a wide variety of options are available, which include partnership options with other institutions. Early entry in core subjects is available for the most able pupils.
Culture and Ethos: Strong behaviour management processes are integral to success for pupils at Fitzalan and we adopt a restorative approach across the school to embed positive relationships between pupils and between pupils and staff. Our discipline system is based on a clear process of rewards and sanctions.
Bilingualism: We embrace the bilingualism agenda in Fitzalan and departments are endeavouring to improve their use of incidental Welsh and the Welsh language skills of the pupils they teach.