GOVERNOR LINK VISITS
This academic year I have visited the three departments for which I am the Link Governor – Science, Design and Technology, and Food and Health & Social Care.
When I met with Mrs Fisher, Head of Science, we reviewed the annual departmental evaluation report. The strength of this department shines through with its impressive results at both GCSE and A level, where our pupils continue to outperform the national and examination board averages. Whilst the move to the new 9-1 curriculum has presented its challenges, in particular not having the wealth of past papers to learn from, the standards of achievement have been maintained at an exceptional level. The progress of our Pupil Premium students in the department continue to be a focus, and the results of this group are improving. The team continue to look for innovative ways to encourage and motivate, and this year have introduced an intervention programme for Y11 delivered during form time. Feedback is another key area of focus, and I saw examples of the new test review sheets which are helping students identify their own areas of strength and weakness in a particular topic.
Both Food and Health & Social Care have had some significant changes in terms of curriculum in the last few years, with A Levels being removed by the examining boards, and being replaced by Level 3 Cambridge Technicals qualifications. The GCSE content has also undergone an overhaul, with the scientific knowledge content in particular being increased. Whilst this presents its challenges, Mrs Cox and her team have adapted their teaching accordingly, and the GCSE results in 2018 were once again significantly above national averages.
Similar to Food and Health & Social Care, the new GCSE syllabus for Resistant Materials & Graphics has been overhauled in recent years, with a stronger focus on maths knowledge and a higher weighting on final examinations compared to coursework. This has required a change in approach and in particular the department is developing the use of PHHS Live. Results continue to be above the national average.
I have observed several lessons across the year, from Y9 up to Y13. I continue to be impressed with the attitude to learning of our students, in particular in these practical subjects where there is more movement around the classrooms and more opportunity for potential disruption. Our students are also fortunate to have a team of such dedicated and motivated teaching staff, who continue to make sure every moment of lesson time is productive and moving them towards the highest levels of achievement.
I would like to thank the heads of department for the warm welcome I received, and also my thanks to the class teachers whose lessons I observed. And I still have my favourite part of this role to look forward to – Masterchef judge!
Mrs Ginny Getting
13th March 2019