The academy is organised so that it can deliver the vision and provide the context within which all students will be successful. This statement describes the structure, leadership and management and the use of time.
The academy has a roll of 730, 11-16 year old students. Each year group is organised into 5 mixed ability tutor groups of 30 students. This ratio ensures that the tutor has the opportunity to know each student well, and take responsibility for his or her personal development and academic progress. Each student is made very aware of their targets and our expectations of them and these are discussed during Tutor Time and with parents at Consultation Evenings.
To support these arrangements, the staff are members of the achievement teams for each year group, which is developed in the section below with reference to achievement team leaders. The organisation of the curriculum is detailed in the curriculum statement and the organisation of the staff is below.
As from 2012, the academy has admitted 150 Year 7 students, enabling the academy to reach a capacity of 750 students in 2017.
Leadership and Management
The leadership and management of the academy is the decisive factor in ensuring that every student is successful. Leadership is distributed throughout the academy and enables students and staff to contribute and benefit from the high expectations expressed by the sponsors in the vision and ethos. From the outset, leaders ensure that the academy community have absolute clarity about these expectations, and pursue them relentlessly through the systems and processes that are put in place.
To ensure that the academy immediately establishes a strong strategic direction, the Principal takes responsibility for the most important systems and processes. These are used to establish the ethos and culture of high expectations which drives standards forward. The main activities are:
- leader of the leadership team
- strategic planning
- academy development plan
- school self review and evaluation
- continuing professional development
- Every Child Matters agenda
Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
The Senior Leadership Team, led by the Principal, consists of:
- Director of Finance & Resources
- Assistant Principal for Learning & Progress
- Assistant Principal for Inclusion & Achievement
- Senior Leadership for Learning & Progress (2 Posts)
- Senior Leader for Employability & Leadership
All the Senior Leadership Team have line management responsibilities as well as responsibility for one of the elements of the Every Child Matters agenda. The Director of Finance & Resources line manages the Associate Staff and also has a curricular responsibility for Economic Well-Being.
The Senior Leadership Team have reduced teaching timetables and have administrative support to ensure they have sufficient time to carry out their strategic roles and provide strong leadership to students and staff. The Principal ensures that they have clear direction, high expectations and are accountable for their performance. They model the ethos and vision for the academy as well as coaching and developing the staff and students for which they are accountable.
Achievement Team Leaders (ATLs)
The Achievement Team Leaders are responsible for the personal development and academic progress of each student. They lead the team of tutors and a mentor, and will lead meetings of the teachers of each year group. The purpose of these meetings is to monitor and evaluate the progress of students, and develop classroom strategies that can be implemented by teaching staff to address underachievement. They complement the work of the curriculum teams because they bring together the evidence from all subjects. Teachers that are successful with a group of students are able to share good practice with their colleagues.
Cross-curricula initiatives such as numeracy and literacy are able to be successfully coordinated and strategies implemented coherently. Where possible, tutors also teach within the year group so that they have a better understanding of their students and can contribute more to these meetings. In an academy the size of St Lawrence, it is not possible to gather all of the teachers together for each year group, and through careful organisation it is possible to gather the majority so that strategies can have an impact on progress. This enables the academy to make a step change in personalising the experience of each student because the teaching teams have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each student, and are capable of collectively meeting their needs. Achievement Team Leaders model the ethos and vision, and coach and develop the staff and students for which they are responsible. They have administrative support to enable them to fulfil their roles effectively.
Student Progress Leaders (SPLs)
Each Achievement Team Leader is supported by a Student Progress Leader who works with the year group to ensure that any barriers to learning are addressed and overcome. They will liaise with staff and families to ensure there is clarity in relation to consistent expectations. The SPL will provide support academically, socially and emotionally for all their students based on need and their focus will be to ensure better than expected progress is made.
The student voice has an important role in the leadership and management of the school. This is recognised through the appointment of a Senior Middle Leader (SML), who is responsible for developing leadership opportunities for students. This includes the Student Council which is both year based and whole academy based. The year based councils mirror the achievement teams in that it has a responsibility to evaluate the progress of the year group, and comment on learning strategies that students find most effective.
Learning and Teaching Assistant (LTA)
Each year group will have at least one dedicated LTA to work with the students to access the curriculum. Where extra input is needed, they will work within the classroom and outside to support all the learners in their year group across the curriculum.