Our core belief at Gordano is that learning should be an enjoyable, exciting and worthwhile experience for all students; enabling learners to develop socially and emotionally as well as preparing them for the world of work and further or higher education.
Our innovative approach to learning has been nationally recognised as at the forefront of educational practice, with staff often being asked to speak at conferences to support other schools. We believe that learning should be active and constantly develop new ways to bring learning alive for students. This drive for outstanding learning is reflected not only in students’ impressive academic success but also by the high number of teachers who have completed the Outstanding Teacher Programme. We were pleased that this was recognised in our Outstanding grading from Ofsted, who praised the “many lessons [that] are characterised by stimulating pace and challenge, and high expectations”.
Learners follow a curriculum that is personalised and work at a pace that suits their abilities, whether this means attending Boost in Year 7 to improve their literacy and numeracy skills or beginning A level courses in Year 11. All students follow the Development Stage in Years 7-8 before progressing to the Personalised Stage in Year 9, when they are offered two year or 3 year GCSE courses and diplomas. For less academic learners we offer a wide range of vocational courses as well as differentiated learning in Maths, English and Science.
Developing personalised schemes of learning that are differentiated ensures that all students are challenged and work at a pace matched to their individual needs. Support for students’ learning is also provided through a range of projects that enrich the curriculum offer; ranging from subject specific projects for more able students to groups supporting students’ social, emotional and behavioural needs. The personalised offer to students has been acknowledged and praised through a Leading Edge award for innovation and through Gordano being awarded Lead School Status for Gifted and Talented.
Leading Edge status has also supported our development of thinking skills across the curriculum, in order for students to develop Personal Learning and Thinking Skills as well as acquire knowledge. Whether it’s through the Wednesday afternoon MyPM sessions in the Development Stage or MyLife sessions during the Personalised Stage, students are constantly provided with opportunities for developing essential skills and reflecting on how they learn. Developing independent learners is crucial to students’ success and we are committed to developing this independence at all stages, from the innovative programme of Extended Learning in Years 7-9 to Extended Projects for sixth form students.
The quality of teaching and learning is continually being enhanced, with staff regularly sharing and disseminating best practice, evidenced by our nationally recognised work as a Training School. This is fully supported by an innovative personalised training programme for staff that ensures outstanding provision for all learners.