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A WELCOMING SCHOOL
All members of the community feel welcomed, safe in the school and valued and respected by the people there.
The reputation of the school is far reaching. Visitors communicate how welcoming the school is. There is an underlying feeling of friendliness with positive feedback from all areas. It is a well managed friendly environment. There is a good reception area and entrance with benches, trees, sculptures and bird boxes and feeders. Respect for nature – respect for each other.
SCHOOL ETHOS IS COMMUNICATED
The school uses a number of different methods to communicate its vision of inclusion and equality to its members and its local community. It demonstrates publicly, through its official publications and through its activities, that, within its remit, it sets out to cater for the full range of groups in its community.
There are numerous ways the school communicates. Through ‘Newlines’, website, Internet and Intranet, local press, Presentation evenings, Art exhibition, DASP and links with other schools. Inclusion of Education Extra and SEN, AFL, Community Lectures, Science Fun days, Student/College voice and College links with the Community.
ALL FEEL THEY CAN CONTRIBUTE
All members of the school community know that their views can help to shape the development of the school and that there are ways in which they can share these views with others and make them known. Special efforts are made to include hard to reach groups (e.g. looked after children, learners new to English language and new members of the local community).
Students can confide in at least one teacher, there is always someone to talk to. Tutors have 1:1 academic tutorials with their tutor group. Guidance Leaders work. Staff share views within Curriculum area, Curriculum group, Link managers and Performance management meetings.
Where there are different languages spoken in the school’s communities, skills in heritage languages are given appropriate recognition and respect alongside the school’s systematic support for the acquisition of English. The school is aware of which languages are spoken locally and how many parents have difficulty with English.
Ethnic minorities in the Dorchester area are minimal so students have little experience of different languages spoken. We have signs in MFL in three different languages should they be elsewhere. There are opportunities for students to do GCSE in 1st language, and to take GCSE’s early. We have MFL exchanges and an MFL awareness day where all tutors register in a different language. The Colleges link with an international school. Miss Hunter has a responsibility for linking to international Schools.
The school is involved in strategic planning to enhance the community facilities for the locality, including active promotion to make them available to all sectors of the community.
More opportunities are available for the facilities within the community through the Nursery, Adult education, Dual use leisure centre and the new Swimming pool rebuild. The opportunity for the community to attend the community lectures, concerts, uses of the theatre and delivery of hampers and Old peoples Christmas party.
The school creates opportunities for different groups (for example mixed age, genders or backgrounds) to share facilities and work together; mentoring projects, reading schemes, young people offering ICT support, community placement schemes, young volunteers leading out of hours activities.
There are opportunities for students to work together on different projects across subjects with curriculum based trips, sporting fixtures, Peer mentoring scheme, use of the Dorset V with the and the AQA Bacc elements encouraging volunteering.
* We could enrich students’ experiences by having more work experience or volunteer work for all students in the 6th form.
Inclusion of key Stakeholders: Parents, LA, local Police, Voluntary sector, Faith groups, Elders etc. in arriving at priorities for development and advising on engagement with external organisations or speakers.
The school has an ‘Open House’ policy – there is a constant ‘flow’ of visitors coming in to school from all walks of life e.g. Police, Youth workers, Parents, and various local organisations. There are really good pockets of this happening across the school e.g. Multi agency meeting.
* We could have more teacher consultation through a ‘Teacher Voice’.
The school has identified the areas of professional development needed by the workforce to improve community engagement for the promotion of community cohesion and has plans in place to provide it.
The CPD for the staff in the school is regarded highly, and Performance management meetings are timetabled on the school calendar. Staff are given time for their CPD and encouraged to do this. The PM has taken on a more collaborative approach with the work of Mr Dean and the PLC work.
* Staff need individualised CPD outside of Thomas Hardye with external agencies.
Students develop the skills to contribute to the evaluation and improvement of the school’s community dimension. Their contributions are welcomed and acted upon.
The Student voice is highly valued and listened to. The students are invited to interview new staff, they show visitors round the school, and are involved in charity work and improving the environment of the school. E.g. new toilet block. This has been extended through the work of the College voice to enable more students to be involved.
There is a strong link between the DASP Student voice/Pupil voice(s).
* We need to improve the links of the 6th form Student Voice and that of the lower school.