HINCHINGBROOKE School will not reach its target of becoming an “outstanding” school unless it improves the consistency of its teaching and learning, its principal has said.
Andrew Goulding, who took charge of the Brampton Road school in September, said there was currently “too much in-school variation” for the secondary and sixth-form to be rated as one of the best by Ofsted.
In a bid to take Hinchingbrooke to the top, he has unveiled a restructure of the school due to come into place in September 2013, where departments will be divided into four “directorates” to “put teaching and learning at the very heart of the school”.
At the same time Hinchingbrooke, which is currently rated as “good” by Ofsted, will be split into three “mini schools”, each with a support officer who will be a non-teacher so that they are “always available” to help pupils.
The curriculum will be revamped to include a greater variety of subjects including engineering, sports leadership and hospitality, as well as BTECH courses in partnership with Huntingdonshire Regional College to give students a vocational option.
“If you try to get all students through GCSEs, you are going to get some that will be unhappy and unsuccessful at school,” Mr Goulding said.
“All children are different and we are trying to personalise the curriculum. We are trying to broaden their experiences and we’ve been quite creative about doing that.”
Latin will even be offered to the most able students, he added.
The reorganisation came about after Mr Goulding undertook two major reviews in his first term as principal.
The first was into the leadership and management of the school, so the needs of individual students could be better met, while the second was a curriculum review.
The changes mean Year 7 and 8 pupils will be paired in form groups, with older pupils mentoring the younger starters. Years 9, 10 and 11 will form another mini school, with the sixth form making up the final unit.
Subjects such as English, modern foreign languages and film and media will form part of a new “Directorate of Global Communications”, whereas “Directorate of Global Society” will be made up of subjects like social sciences, history and geography.
The other directorates will be “Enterprise and Enquiry” and “Creativity and Performance”, with each being led by a director of learning (vice principal) who will “challenge and support the heads of department” and help ensure there is quality teaching and a quality curriculum on offer.
In a letter to parents, Mr Goulding said: “As you can see, these are significant changes in the structure which are aimed at securing further improvements in standards.
“Recruitment to some of these posts will take place over the coming months so that we are ready for the new start next September.”