Stamford deserves an outstanding secondary school for its children.
Stamford Free School will be a four-form entry 11-19 secondary school that sets the highest standards for inclusion, accessibility, education and achievement. Learning will be challenging, exciting and innovative, equipping children with levels of knowledge, skills and understanding fit for the 21st century.
We aim to open the school in September 2015 with 120 pupils.
The children who attend the school can expect to enjoy an outstanding education focused on producing confident, capable, highly literate, numerate and optimistic students with advanced ICT and communications skills.
Consistently inspirational teaching, set against a background of state-of-the-art facilities and co-ordinated systems and structures, will lead to a very high level of pupil aspiration and achievement. Our ethos will centre on policies and practices that have inclusion, learning and respect embedded within them.
Stamford Free School has a clear vision for success. It is a school with high expectations of staff, parents and students. We will strive to enable our children to be happy, confident and successful, secure in the knowledge that each one is a valuable member of society and has the ability to make the world a better place for themselves, their families and others.
Our key aims (Click to expand):
Our school will be a welcoming, safe and stimulating learning environment, fostering links between school, home and the wider community, in which students achieve more than they and their parents thought possible. We will achieve this through high quality educational experiences that lead to high level student outcomes, realised through a personalised approach where each student will benefit from outstanding teaching and innovative tailored ICT provision.
We recognise that all children are individuals and that some may have special educational needs during their time at the school. We will make special educational provision available to ensure high levels of achievement, effective learning and personal development for all students.
Children share an overwhelming affinity for the world around them and their curiosity increases as their focus and determination grow. The use of outside spaces for all curriculum subjects will be a key ingredient for curriculum planning and delivery, particularly at KS3, reflected for example in finding shapes in plants and animal shells for use in maths (geometry, sequences), using spiders’ webs as a stimulus for thoughts about engineering, examining the parts of a flower in science, and understanding nature as a source of metaphor in literacy including poems.
We will also make use of metacognitive approaches so that students learn about learning and appreciate the techniques that work best for them in order to maximise progress while acquiring the skills and attitudes needed to benefit from lifelong learning.
The importance of literacy, numeracy and ICT skills in accessing the full curriculum cannot be stressed too much and our education plan will include both discrete and cross-curricular elements so that students are able to develop essential skill sets and understand their relevance to the range of subjects offered as well as to the world of work and higher level study for those with the aptitude to succeed at the best universities.
We will support students in working towards the English Baccalaureate and the Technical Baccalaureate depending on interests and aptitudes. In a 2-year KS3, students will study a wide range of subjects including English, Maths, Science, PE, History, Geography, Art, Music, Design Technology, and Modern Foreign Languages (French/Mandarin).
At sixth form, we will offer the International Baccalaureate (IB), an internationally-recognised qualification which combines academic rigour with breadth of study, helping to prepare students for the challenges of the global market.
In PSHE students will also receive careers and advice relating to choice of subjects at university. We will encourage all students to consider a university education.
The well-being, welfare and development of every student will remain critically important throughout the time a student is with us. At every stage of each student’s learning journey, the school will use the skills of its staff and its resources to ensure that every student feels safe, secure, valued, and that they are making progress. Our new school will foster the highest aspirations of pastoral care in order that every student will give of their best and have the confidence to take the risks necessary for effective learning. Governors will ensure that effective policies are enacted in school life.
As part of our approach we will immediately work towards achieving Healthy School status. The Healthy Schools initiative is designed to help schools to promote health and well-being improvements for students and to help identify and select activities and interventions effectively. This approach will ensure we implement the most appropriate strategies and meet the needs of our learning community.
Relations between tutor and student will be fostered via an approach where tutors remain with their group moving through a Key Stage, and where tutor groups are assumed to remain together barring exceptional reasons for change.
We will liaise closely with local primary schools to ensure a smooth primary-secondary transition and the continuation of valued peer-group relationships.
Stamford Free School will adopt a confident outward-facing stance in which we pro-actively seek mutually beneficial collaboration with the local family of schools, HE, businesses and the voluntary sector. Stamford offers rich opportunities for cultural and environmental education and we will ensure that students experiences benefit from this. We will organise arts activities set in the community and make use of motivating community visitors such as a historian, musician or artist in residence as well as speakers for events.
As part of their PSHE work, students will undertake community activities both in-school and off-site. Use of school facilities will take place, always mindful of safeguarding aspects, and one of the aims of our work with wider community groups will be to help reduce the digital divide.
We want the new school to become a learning hub at the core of its community, in such a manner that the school is a key part of the community and the community is a key part of the school. Parental interest will be fostered and encouraged including via helping with listening to children reading, participating in productions and also in terms of real-time reporting and an area of the school website dedicated to parents and carers.
In all community engagement activities, we will recognise and act according to our duties under the Equality Act 2010. We will do this by:
- maintaining regular and effective communications, on paper and electronically
- seeking feedback from the community in terms of perceptions as well as quality related surveys
- striving to establish and maintain good relationships with wider groups in the community from the school’s neighbours to voluntary groups, police, youth groups, and U3A community education facilities including out-of-hours use of school resources
- adopting an engagement approach which lifts the gaze and raises aspirations in the community thus adding to social capital and promoting local enterprise
- liaising closely with children’s agencies and other relevant agencies
- promoting community cohesion using the national standards and guidance to frame our approach
Our new school will also take its place as a responsible member of the international education community through activities that will include links to schools abroad and fundraising for those in need around the world.
The new school will ensure that the Governing Body has an appropriate mix of experience and expertise, including local stakeholder representation in addition to parent and teacher governors once the school is operational. Governors will draw up a Conflicts of Interest policy at the earliest opportunity and through this and other measures we will ensure that governance is of the highest quality and works well as a constructively critical friend, holding the school to account.
Current members of the proposer group are aware of the transition that needs to take place between pre-opening and post-opening in this regard. Self-review will include Governance and Governors will be able to access training in identified areas in order to improve performance and sustain high levels of effectiveness.
We will recruit an outstanding headteacher with a strong track record in creating inspiring learning environments and enabling high levels of student attainment.
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