Ascot high school - Jamaica Information Service
ASCOT HIGH SCHOOL INSPECTION REPORT Principal: Mr. Cedric Murray Board Chair: Mrs. Pauline McKenzie Report Issued: July 2, 2012 National Education Inspectorate Inspection Date: November 22-24, 2011
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report ii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Introduction ___ 1
Key Questions ___ 1
The Five-point Scale ___ 2
Consistency in terminology ___ 2
Profile ___ 3
School’s Demographics ___ 3
Socio-economic Context ___ 3
Executive Summary ___ 4
Overall effectiveness of the school ___ 4
1) School Leadership and Management ___ 6
2) Teaching Support for Learning ___ 7
3) Students’ Academic Performance ___ 9
4) Students’ Academic Progress ___ 10
5) Students’ Personal and Social Development ___ 11
6) Use of Human and Material Resources ___ 12
7) Curriculum and Enhancement Programmes ___ 14
8) Students’ Safety, Security, Health and Wellbeing ___ 15
Recommendations ___ 16
Further Action ___ 16
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms ___ 17
Appendices ___ 18
Appendix 1 - Record of Inspection Activities ___ 19
Appendix 2 - Inspection Indicators ___ 20
Appendix 3 - National Test Data .
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 1 Introduction The National Education Inspectorate (NEI) is responsible for making an assessment of the standards attained by the students in our primary and secondary schools at key points during their education. It is the aim of the NEI to report on how well students perform or improve, as they progress through their schooling and learning life. The NEI is also charged with the responsibility to make recommendations to support improvement in the quality of the provision and outcomes for all learners.
During school inspections, our trained inspectors observe classroom lessons, interview members of the school’s staff, students individually and in small groups.
Inspectors also look at samples of student work and study various school documents provided before and during the inspection. Additionally, School Inspectors hold meetings with the principal and senior members of the staff to get clarity on their roles and responsibilities at the school. Please see the Inspection Indicators (Appendix 2) used by School Inspectors to assist in forming judgments about a school’s progress.
Key Questions The inspection indicators are structured as a set of eight key questions that inspectors ask about the educational provision and performance of every school. These are: 1. How effectively is the school led and managed by the Board, the principal and senior management team and middle leadership? 2. How effectively does the teaching support the students´ learning? 3. How well do students perform in national and/or regional tests and assessments? (For infants: in relation to age-related expectations) 4. How much progress do students make in relation to their starting points? 5. How good is the students´ personal and social development? 6.
How effectively does the school use the human and material resources at its disposal to help the students achieve as well as they can?
7. How well do the curriculum and any enhancement programmes meet the needs of the students? 8. How well does the school ensure everyone’s security, health, safety and wellbeing?
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 2 The Five-point Scale Inspectors make judgements according to a five-point scale. The five levels on the scale are defined as follows: Level 5 – Exceptionally high quality of performance or provision; Level 4 – Good: the expected level for every school. Achieving this level in all aspects of its performance and provision should be a realistic goal for every school; Level 3 – Satisfactory: the minimum level of acceptability required.
All key aspects of performance and provision in every school should reach or exceed this level; Level 2 – Unsatisfactory: quality not yet at the level acceptable for schools. Schools are expected to take urgent measures to improve the quality of any aspect of their performance or provision that is judged at this level. Action on the inspectors’ recommendations for improvement is mandatory; Level 1 – Needs Immediate Support: quality is very low. Schools are expected to take immediate action to improve the quality of any aspect of their performance or provision that is judged at this level. Action on the inspectors’ recommendations for improvement is mandatory.
Consistency in terminology The following terms are used consistently throughout the indicators with the following definitions: All 100% Almost all 90% to 99% Most 75% to 89% Many 50% to 74% Some 21% to 49% Few 1% to 20% None 0
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 3 Profile School’s Demographics Locale: Urban Parish: St Catherine School Code: 14143 Gender: Co-educational School Organization: Whole Day Size: Class III Attendance Rate : 77 Capacity: 1200 Enrolment: 1303 No. of Teachers: 70 Student-Teacher Ratio: 20:1 Owned by: Government Socio-economic Context Ascot High School opened its doors to 517 students from Grades 7 to 9 on September 1, 1997.
The need for a high school in the relatively new community of Greater Portmore was pressing and so the demand for placement at the school was overwhelming. The school admits students from several communities and socio-economic background; as a result it faces many challenges to ensure that discipline is maintained and that all students are given equal opportunity to excel.
The school has implemented a virtual learning environmental programme (VLEP) where students can access homework support on-line at any-time. In order to ensure that students are well rounded, several clubs and societies have been established. The school’s awardwinning performing arts programme stands out as the flagship curricular area. This programme has attracted the attention of other professionals in the area who have benefited from some of the good practices demonstrated therein. The visual arts programme is also another area of significant development.
Currently, there are more than 200 students are on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 4 Executive Summary Overall effectiveness of the school The overall effectiveness of Ascot High School is satisfactory Leadership and management is satisfactory The school has an improvement plan which speaks to self-review and development; however, it lacks the involvement of the junior staff. The school has implemented various programmes to improve students’ performance. Board meetings are held. However, the Principal is team-spirited, committed and dedicated. He has good relations with staff, parents and Board. Middle managers are held accountable through the reports they provide to the Principal.
There are regular meetings with parents. Some parents, particularly those of students in the upper grades, are not involved in their children’s school life. Teaching and learning is satisfactory In most lessons students are learning as most teachers have a good understanding of the subject they teach and they deliver the content with confidence. However, except for the technical and vocational areas, many lessons are not sufficiently student-centred. Many teachers also monitor and provide useful feedback in their lessons. Performance in English and mathematics needs immediate support The school’s averages for CSEC English language and mathematics are well below the national averages for the 2008 to 2010 period.
Progress in English and mathematics is satisfactory Many students who enter the school are not ready to access the secondary school curriculum. So, while they are not attaining the appropriate grade-level progress in English and mathematics, they are making significant progress from their starting points overall. Overall, students’ personal and social development is satisfactory Although many students display unacceptable behaviours and are persistently late, the school has initiatives that are geared towards a change in negative behaviours. Many students demonstrate an adequate understanding of cultural, economic and environmental matters and how they can contribute to their country.
The school’s use of its human and material resources is satisfactory The school has a cadre of suitably qualified academic staff. Almost all teachers have a first degree in their specialised areas and are effectively deployed. Professional development is on-going. The school’s environment is spacious and conducive to learning. There is sufficient ICT instructional material to support the teaching and learning process; however, some teachers do not make full use of what is available to support lesson delivery. The school makes adequate use of its physical infrastructure and the virtual learning environment programme.
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 5 Curriculum and enhancement programmes are satisfactory The newly instituted academic committee was set up to review and ensure that the curriculum is relevant. The implementation of intervention programmes and curriculum changes are made based on the analysis of students’ performance. The school has introduced many enhancement programmes to cater to the students’ academic, personal and social development, but some students do not access this provision. Provisions for safety, security, health and wellbeing are satisfactory The school has a safety and security policy.
The monitoring of safety and security is carried out by a number of persons with the use of technology. School Resource Officers (SROs) are assigned to the school and watchmen are on guard during school as well as after school hours. There is a health policy which is used to guide the management of health. There is a system in place for the management of behavioural issues, in addition, provisions are made for guidance and counselling through the school’s Guidance Counsellors. More than 200 students are PATH beneficiaries.
Inspectors identified the following key strengths in the work of the school: The school has various intervention programmes for students in need of support There is a cadre of suitably qualified teaching staff The school’s Performing Arts Department has had many successes The campus is spacious and conducive to learning Emphasis is placed on the Virtual Learning Environment Programme that supports teaching and learning How effective is the school overall? The overall effectiveness of the school is satisfactory
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 6 Findings of School Inspection 1) School Leadership and Management How effectively is the school led and managed by the Board, the Principal and senior management team and middle leadership? Overall, the school is satisfactorily led and managed School-based leadership and management is satisfactory The leadership is team-oriented, committed and dedicated to school improvement.
The Principal delegates and hold people accountable for carrying out responsibilities. Heads of Department’s (HODs) report to him on programmes implemented. However, the Principal is not as involved in the day to day management aspects of the school which would ensure better efficiency of operations. Team work is approached using a hierarchical, organizational structure to disseminate information. The culture and ethos of the school is generally satisfactory and staff members are often supportive of each other. However, there are some challenges in developing interpersonal relationships among the staff which affect communication; this is partly due to the physical layout of the school.
Staff appraisals show satisfactory performance with pockets of good practices. Feedback is given to help teachers improve on areas of concern. However, the monthly vetting of plans by Heads of Departments (HODs) is inadequate as it gives no evaluative comments which would help to guide the teachers. Document management is done regularly and records are up to date. Self-evaluation and school improvement planning is satisfactory The School Leadership Team is committed to school improvement. The school management team supported by the Board and a dedicated parents’ corps have implemented various programmes to improve students’ behaviour and learning.
The process of self-evaluation is done through periodic meetings at the various levels. However, many members of the junior staff are not involved in the decision-making process. There is a School Improvement Plan (SIP) in place which is in its second year of implementation with the focus on technology and methodology. Teachers are also required to self-evaluate and set targets. Governance is satisfactory The newly constituted school Board ensures that policies are maintained. The Principal is held accountable through reports given at meetings. The Board participates in various school activities; this in part enables them to gain a better understanding of the school.
They are aware of the students’ performance and intervention programmes are instituted. However, only one meeting has been held since the start of the 2011-2012 school year and some members were not in attendance.
Relationship with parents and local community is satisfactory The school generally communicates with parents through Grade and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) meetings. PTA meetings are held once per month on Sundays but they are not well attended. As such, the school has experimented with a Thursday morning meeting as a means of increasing the number of parents who participate in those meetings. Parents’ consultations are held to give feedback on students’ performance. However, some parents, particularly those of students in the upper grades, are not involved in their children’s
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 7 school life.
Links to the community are mainly through local agencies, such as the police, that support the school’s programmes. How effectively is the school led and managed by the Board, the principal and senior management team? Grades 7-11 School-based leadership and management Satisfactory Self-evaluation and improvement planning Satisfactory Governance Satisfactory Relations with parents and community Satisfactory 2) Teaching Support for Learning How effectively does the teaching support the students’ learning? Overall, teaching in support of learning is satisfactory The teachers’ knowledge of the subjects they teach is satisfactory Most teachers have a solid understanding of the subject they teach.
They deliver accurate content with confidence evidenced through introductory activities, use of jingles and probing questions to encourage higher order thinking skills. However, a few teachers demonstrate that they lack a clear understanding of how best to teach their subjects. Some do not reflect on lessons taught and use the information from class work, homework and tests to inform their planning.
Teaching methods are unsatisfactory In some lessons, teachers have clearly written lesson plans which outline the objectives, procedures and expected outcomes for students. However, there are some instances where plans are poorly written or not available. Lesson planning is not sufficiently structured so that students can benefit maximally from their learning experiences. In some lessons, more so for mathematics, the actual teaching time was not effectively used to cater to the varied needs of the students, especially the least able. Teachers have access to computers and a multimedia projector but many teachers use these in a limited way.
They mainly rely on the use of chalkboard and teacher made charts, which do not appeal to some learners. Some students interact well with teachers, freely posing questions to them as well as sharing their concerns and experiences. Outside of the practical areas, some lessons are teacher-centred and students are not given enough opportunity to discover concepts for themselves. Students’ assessment is satisfactory Most teachers use questioning during lessons to ascertain students’ grasp of what is being taught. In a few instances, a variety of questions, including open-ended one, are used to assess the students’ understanding.
In a few lessons as well are students allowed to selfassess. For instance, in a Grade 10 social studies lesson, the teacher used questioning to
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 8 develop the lesson beyond the definition of ‘the parent’ and ‘parenthood’ to an evaluation of the importance of communication in relationships. Students are closely monitored in the technical and vocational subjects and most feedback is immediate and meaningful to allow them to know what to do. In some lessons in the other subject areas, there is inadequate feedback so that students know how to improve their work. In a few cases, noisy classes prevent effective assessment of students’ learning. Some teachers evaluate their teaching and use the information to plan for students’ learning.
And, although all teachers conform to the minimum requirement for sessional grades, there are no additional assessment data in the mark books of some teachers. Nonetheless, students have access to tests through the Virtual Learning Environment Programme.
Student learning is satisfactory Most students are interested in their lessons and are motivated to learn. For example, most students in a Grade 9 English lesson were anxious to express their views and articulate their goals and ambition. In a Grade 11 mathematics lesson, most students willingly tried to answer and solve problems at the chalkboard. In addition, there is good interaction and collaboration among students in many lessons. Many students work well in groups assisting each other to complete the learning tasks. In a Grade 10 auto mechanics lesson, the students conversed as they wrote the report on reassembling the car engine.
Where students are provided with opportunities to apply their learning to real life experience, many are able to make connections between the concepts being learnt and situations in their communities and in the country. Some students are also able to make connections between previously learnt concepts and the new concept being learnt. For instance, in a Grade 11 drama lesson, some students were able to link the themes in Trevor Rhone’s Old time Story to what is happening in their lives today. In the technical and vocational areas, students are involved in practicals that enable them to enact their learning.
However, the research and problem-solving skills of many students are not being adequately developed in the other subject areas. And, A few classes are noisy and the students are disengaged from their learning.
How effectively does the teaching support the students´ learning? Grades 7–11 Teachers´ subject knowledge and how best to teach the subject Satisfactory Teaching methods Unsatisfactory Assessment Satisfactory Students´ learning Satisfactory
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 9 3) Students’ Academic Performance How well do the students perform in national and/or regional tests and assessments? Overall, students’ performance in national tests is needs immediate support Students’ performance in English is unsatisfactory The school’s averages for CSEC English language fluctuated and remained significantly below the national averages throughout the 2008 to 2010 period.
In 2008, the school’s average was 8.4 per cent which decreased in 2009 to 6.5 per cent and increased in 2010 to 20 per cent. These were significantly below the national averages of 55 per cent, 63 per cent and 51 per cent respectively. Less than 3 per cent of the candidates who sat the examination passed five or more subjects between 2008 and 2010. However, the 2011 results in CSEC English language show that of the ninety students who sat the exam, 54 students passed. The 2015 target set for secondary schools set by Ministry of Education is that 54 per cent of students sitting CSEC should attain five or more passes.
Students’ performance in mathematics is needs immediate support In 2008, the school’s average in mathematics was 7.4 per cent. The average decreased in the following year to 5.6 per cent while the national was 41 per cent. There was a gradual increase to 7 per cent in 2010. This was 38 percentage points below the national average which was 44.7 per cent. In 2008, 2.8 per cent of students at the school passed five or more subjects including mathematics. In 2011, 9 of the 41 students who sat CSEC mathematics received a passing grade. The 2015 target set for secondary schools set by Ministry of Education is 54 per cent of successful students sitting CSEC attaining five or more passes.
Ascot is therefore performing well below the set target.
How well do the students perform in national and/or regional tests and assessments? Grades 11 How well do the students perform in National or regional tests and examinations in English?e Unsatisfactory How well do the students perform in National or regional tests and examinations in mathematics?l Needs Immediate Support
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 10 4) Students’ Academic Progress How much progress do the students make in relation to their starting points? Overall, students make satisfactory progress in relation to their starting points Students’ progress in English is satisfactory Overall, the school is making progress in English, evident in an increase in the number of students attaining passes in the CSEC examination.
Additionally, some students make adequate grade-level progress while many make good ability-level progress during lessons. Only some students make adequate grade-appropriate progress from their starting point to Grade 11. For instance, the baseline average of students who entered the school in 2005 was 52 per cent in language arts and 38 per cent in communication task. Over 220 students were placed through the GSAT. Only some of these students had the readiness to access the secondary curriculum. By 2010, only about 43 per cent of the Grade 11 cohort of 189 students was deemed ready to sit the CSEC English language examinations.
Twenty per cent of the cohort achieved a passing grade. Over 80 per cent of the cohort had not attained the expected ageand grade-level development in their language skills. Nonetheless, many make good ability-level during lessons. For example, some Grade 7 students are able to construct sentences to align subject/verb agreement. Some Grade 9 students use context clues to arrive at the meaning of words; some demonstrated the correct structure in writing a friendly letter. Some Grade 10 students show satisfactory progress at the discourse level as in one class some students were able to write a business letter.
Students’ progress in mathematics is satisfactory Overall, the school is not making sufficient progress in mathematics: there is a decrease in the number of students attaining passes in the CSEC examination. Additionally, only a few students make sufficient progress from their starting points.
Only a few students make moderate progress from their starting point to Grade 11. For instance, the baseline average of students who entered the school in 2005 was 59 per cent in mathematics. Some of these students had the readiness in the key mathematical competencies to access the secondary curriculum. In 2010, only about 18 per cent of the Grade 11 cohort of 189 students sat the CSEC mathematics examinations. The pass rate was 7 per cent. Most of the cohort had not attained the expected ageand grade-level development in the mathematical competencies.
However, many students make sufficient progress in lessons according to their abilities.
For example, in a Grade 7 mathematics lesson some students were able to multiply decimal numbers and use the answer to solve the puzzle given, but many still had not attained an appropriate level for their grade. Some Grade 10 students showed that they were able to find the square root using their calculators and some could apply the Pythagoras theorem to solve given questions.
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 11 How much progress do the students make, in relation to their starting points? Grades 7-11 How much progress do the students make in relationship to their starting points in English?e Satisfactory How much progress do the students make in relationship to their starting points in mathematics? Satisfactory 5) Students’ Personal and Social Development How good is the students’ personal and social development? Overall students’ personal and social development is satisfactory The students’ behaviour and attitudes are unsatisfactory While some students respond well to their teachers’ instructions, there are many who do not observe the school rules and are disrespectful.
Throughout the day many students are observed loitering around the school. Some are oftentimes disrespectful to student leaders. In some Grade 7and Grade 9 classes, students are noisy. Nonetheless, some are diligent, and respond well to teachers’ instructions. The school has implemented a behaviour modification initiative and this along with the graduation criteria and initiatives from the Dean of Discipline is helping to improve students’ behaviour.
Punctuality and attendance is unsatisfactory Attendance is satisfactory with an average attendance rate of 86 per cent. However, punctuality to school and classes is poor. Many students are persistently late. For example, in most classes, more than 50 per cent of students are absent for the first two sessions and often offer no explanation for their tardiness to classes. The civic understanding and spiritual awareness of the students are satisfactory There are prominent displays of national symbols on walls and the National Anthem is played at the end of the school day. These help to support the students’ understanding of national identity.
Students are proud of Jamaica’s prominence in sports and music. However, their understanding and appreciation of traditions and culture does not extend beyond the national border except for the love for carnival originating in Trinidad. The school makes provision for students’ spiritual development and understanding through devotional exercises and religious education taught in the curriculum.
Students’ economic awareness is satisfactory Some students believe Jamaicans should import less and eat more local produce to save foreign exchange and they are able to identify the main industries which are income earners for the country. During student interviews, some students shared ideas on how to improve the economy through producing solar energy instead of importing fuel. They are able to suggest ways to increase employment and economic opportunities through the recycling of
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 12 plastic bottles.
However, only some upper grade students have basic knowledge of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and trade in the region. The students’ knowledge and understanding of their environment is satisfactory Some students are environmentally aware and are able to speak about various ways to care for the environment. For example, they stated that some ways to protect the environment include: recycling plastic bottles, properly disposing of our garbage, cutting down less trees and the non-pollution of waterways and gullies. Some students show interest in keeping their own environment clean and this is supported by the general cleanliness of the school.
How good is the students´ personal and social development? Grades 7 -11 Students´ behavior and attitudes Unsatisfactory Punctuality and attendance Unsatisfactory Civic understanding and spiritual awareness Satisfactory Economic awareness and understanding Satisfactory Environmental awareness and understanding Satisfactory 6) Use of Human and Material Resources How effectively does the school use the human and material resources at its disposal to help the students achieve as well as they can? Overall, the use of human and material resources is satisfactory The quality of human resources is satisfactory The school has a cadre of suitably qualified academic staff to deliver the curriculum.
Almost all faculty members are trained at the first degree level. The school also has a complement of support staff including a computer laboratory technician and National Youth Service (NYS) workers. Teachers are offered training via the E-learning programme and seminars, however, this is not done on a regular basis.
The use of human resources is satisfactory The school effectively deploys teachers according to their specialized areas. Primary trained teachers are assigned to the Grade 7 transitional intervention classes and those in vocational areas have qualifications from the HEART Trust/NTA. However, there is a shortage of staff in some areas. For example, the science department and library do not have the services of a lab technician and a trained library assistant. Almost all teachers
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 13 attend school regularly but there are no systems in place to track absences.
Professional development takes place, including a seminar on the implementation of the academic committee. The quality and quantity of material are satisfactory The school is equipped with some spacious classrooms and laboratories, which positively contribute to the teaching and learning process. For example, there is a spacious library which is adequately equipped with fiction and non-fiction books. However, some classrooms in Grade 11 are dark and lack proper ventilation. There is sufficient ICT instructional material for utilization in teaching. In some classes, there is a shortage of furniture which often causes disruption during class time.
Some technical areas including the auto mechanics department lack some equipment to support the demonstration of required skills. Two laboratories are in a less than acceptable state and the preparation room in the science laboratory is inadequate.
The use of material resources is satisfactory The school makes adequate use of its physical infrastructure. For example, the external walls are used to display national symbols. Technology is used efficiently for school management purposes and students enrolled in electronics and computer repairs courses are able to do practical work on site. Most teachers are trained through the e-learning programme to use the ICT equipment available. However, some teachers do not integrate what is gained in the delivery of lessons. Many teachers frequently use textbooks for the execution of lessons. On the other hand, most teachers do not use ICT and other resources to creatively deliver lessons.
How effectively does the school use the human and material resources at its disposal to help the students achieve as well as they can? Grades 7–11 Human resources Satisfactory Use of human resources Satisfactory Material resources – quality and quantity Satisfactory Use of material resources Satisfactory
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 14 7) Curriculum and Enhancement Programmes How well do the curriculum and any enhancement programmes meet the needs of the students? Overall, the curriculum and enhancement programmes are satisfactory Provisions for curriculum are satisfactory The school uses the Ministry of Education’s Reform of Secondary Education (ROSE) curriculum for Grades 7 to 9 and the CSEC syllabi and NCTVET curricula for Grades 10 and 11.
Each department provides an outline which is made available to students and parents to review. The review of curriculum is done at the department level every six weeks and weekly planning sessions are done at the senior management level. An Academic Committee uses the analysis of performance to inform the implementation of intervention programmes and curriculum changes thus ensuring its relevance for students. Continuity, progression and coverage of the curriculum are also monitored by this group. However, because it is a new initiative, there is not sufficient evidence to adequately speak to its effectiveness.
Enhancement programmes are good The school has introduced many enhancement programmes that cater to the students’ academic, personal and social development. Students who enter the school at Grade 7 are tested and where necessary provided with the necessary support through the Grade 7 Transitional Programme. Further support is provided for students who read below their grade level through the Reading Clinic and Literacy Programme. The school has also implemented a Mathematics Enrichment Programme that provides help for struggling students to attain mastery in numeracy skills. Furthermore, there is a Mathematics Accelerated Programme (MAP) which prepares Grade 10 students to sit the CSEC examination.
Additionally, the school has the Virtual Learning Environment, a cyber-based platform, through which students can access homework and/or notes to reinforce their learning. There is a community service programme for Grade 11 students to help build character and responsibility. The school demonstrates outstanding performance in the performing arts and sporting activities which is evident from the number of trophies, medals and certificates on display. There are numerous clubs and societies, but attendance to these clubs is not mandatory. Clubs are not time-tabled within the regular school day but are held on various days after school.
This has resulted in many students not being a member of a club. How well do the curriculum and any enhancement programmes meet the needs of the students?
Grades 7-11 How well does the curriculum meet the needs of the students? Satisfactory How well do the enhancement programmes meet the needs of the students? Good
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 15 8) Students’ Safety, Security, Health and Wellbeing How well does the school ensure everyone’s safety, security, health and wellbeing? Overall students’ safety, security, health and wellbeing is satisfactory Provisions for safety and security are satisfactory There is a documented policy on safety and security which is familiar to all stakeholders.
The school is housed in a modern and secure building which is enclosed by a perimeter fence. However, the fence is compromised in a number of areas. This makes it possible for unauthorised persons to enter the school. The quality of monitoring is good as the assigned School Resource Officers (SROs) are visible most days and security personnel monitor entry and exit points during the day. The premises are guarded by watchmen during after school hours and security cameras are strategically placed around the compound. The gates between the upper and lower school are locked during the break period for safety purposes.
Monitoring is also done by the Principal, Vice Principal and the Dean of Discipline. Provisions for students’ health and wellbeing are good There is a health policy that is monitored by two nurses. Members of staff interact positively with students on a daily basis. Behavioural issues that do not endanger others are dealt with by form teachers and grade supervisors. More serious offences are referred to the Dean of Discipline and Guidance Counsellors. Reports on students with behavioural problems are submitted to the Community Safety and Security Department (CSS) at the police station. Students are offered support and advice from the Guidance Counsellors who keep a profile on each student and maintain logs of daily activities.
The nurse and Guidance Counsellors also track students’ well being when there are medical problems. Many students are late for school and there are no clear systems of how this is managed. There has been no expulsion in the last two years, but, between February and July 2011 94 students were suspended. Parents of students who are problematic are asked to remove them. There have been no drop-outs recently.
How well does the school ensure everyone´s safety, security, health and wellbeing? Grades 7 - 11 Provisions for safety and security Satisfactory Provision for health and wellbeing Good
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 16 Recommendations We recommend that the school takes the following actions to make further improvement: 1. The Principal, supported by the middle managers, should: a. Become more involved in the day-to-day operations of the school’s management to ensure that responsibilities and duties delegated are being fulfilled and relevant persons held accountable.
b. Intensify instructional leadership to increase the focus on visits to classes and improve the quality of written feedback given to teachers to better monitor the coverage and progression of the curriculum.
c. Leadership of the school should provide professional development for staff in the following areas: i. The full integration of the available ICT to make the teaching and learning process more interesting and creative ii. Differentiated instructional approaches which will help to meet the needs of all students. 2. Teachers should: a. Submit lesson plans in a timely manner and heads of departments should vet the plans more frequently. b. Evaluate their lessons and by doing so reflect on their practice and use the information to inform their planning Further Action The school has been asked to prepare an action plan indicating how it will address the recommendations of this report.
The action plan will be sent to the National Educational Inspectorate and the Regional Education Authority within two months of the school’s receiving the written report. The next inspection will report on the progress made by the school.
Maureen Dwyer Chief Inspector of Education National Educational Inspectorate
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 17 List of Abbreviations and Acronyms CAPE Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination CCSLC Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence CSEC Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate GNAT Grade Nine Achievement Test GSAT Grade Six Achievement Test HEART Human Employment and Resource Training ICT Information and Communication Technology IT Information Technology ISSA Inter Secondary Schools’ Association JSAS Jamaica Schools Administration System JTA Jamaica Teachers Association MOE Ministry of Education NEI National Education Inspectorate PATH Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education PTA Parent Teacher Association SIP School Improvement Plan SJE Standard Jamaican English SMT School Management Team
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 18 Appendices Appendix 1 - Record of Inspection Activities Appendix 2 - Inspection Indicators Appendix 3 – National Test Data
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 19 Appendix 1 - Record of Inspection Activities Evidence for this report was based on the following: Total number of lessons or part lessons observed 100 English Maths Other Number of lessons or part lessons observed [Primary - Number of lessons or part lessons observed [Secondary, either grades 7 – 11 or 7 – 9 in an all-age school] 34 32 34 Number of scheduled interviews completed with members of staff, governing body and parents 9 Number of scheduled interviews completed with students 2 Parents Students Teachers Number of questionnaires returned and analysed
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 20 Appendix 2 - Inspection Indicators Inspection indicators serve a number of purposes: They establish the vocabulary for a conversation with, and between, schools about the purposes of schooling and the key determinants of educational success They provide schools with a picture of educational excellence to which they can aspire They provide schools with a clear understanding of levels of provision and performance that are considered unacceptable and must be improved Schools can use the indicators to evaluate their own provision and performance, and to help them to make improvements The use of indicators ensures that inspectors concentrate on weighing evidence to make consistent judgements in all schools The publication of indicators helps to make inspection a transparent process for schools and the wider public.
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 21 Inspection Indicators 1. How effectively is the school led and managed by the Board, the Principal and SMT and middle leadership? 1.1 School-based leadership and management Key features: Leadership qualities Vision, direction and guidance Culture and ethos Instructional leadership Impact on standards and progress Development of relationships with staff Accountability School information and document management system Short descriptions to illustrate the five-point scale: Level 1 Needs Immediate Support Level 2 Unsatisfactory Level 3 Satisfactory Level 4 Good Level 5 Exceptionally high The school’s leadership lacks drive and authority.
There is widespread lack of confidence in the leadership among the staff. The leadership holds the staff accountable for their performance in a very limited way. Most students are under-achieving and make very little progress Staff members in leadership positions are insufficiently rigorous in focussing on improvement. The leadership holds the staff accountable in a limited way for their performance. Many students in one or more age groups do not make enough progress in their work and personal development. The school has a strong sense of direction, which focuses on improving students’ achievements and wellbeing.
The staff share a common purpose. The leadership consistently holds the staff accountable for their performance. Most students make satisfactory progress and all groups are supported well Leadership is firm and decisive. The staff work well together, with clear lines of responsibility. The staff respond positively to initiatives. Staff accountability systems are rigorously applied. The needs of most students are well catered for and most students make good progress Leadership is dynamic and often inspirational. A clear vision for the future directs and guides staff and students. The leadership holds the staff highly accountable for their performance.
The school is successful with all groups of students, including those who do not respond well to school or have difficulties with learning
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 22 1.2 Self-evaluation and improvement planning Key features: Process and activities for school self-evaluation Monitoring and analysis of the school’s performance, including views of parents and students Process for staff appraisal and development Process for school improvement planning, implementation and monitoring Short descriptions to illustrate the five-point scale: Level 1 Needs Immediate Support Level 2 Unsatisfactory Level 3 Satisfactory Level 4 Good Level 5 Exceptionally high Self-evaluation is poorly developed.
There is almost no monitoring or evaluation of the school’s provision and performance, including teaching and learning. As a result, the school has no clear agenda for improvement Self-evaluation is inadequately developed, so managers do not have a realistic view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses, including teaching and learning. Planning for improvement is not based on realistic priorities The school’s priorities are based on sound analysis of its performance. The work of the school is monitored effectively, including the performance of staff and students, and appropriate actions are taken Through effective selfevaluation, which takes into account the views of parents, managers know their school well.
They use the outcomes of self-evaluation to plan and take action promptly to make necessary improvements. Staff appraisal procedures are effective. Systematic and rigorous selfevaluation is embedded in the school’s practice at all levels. Staff appraisal is rigorous and staff development is well-planned and highly effective. Strategic thinking is clear. Ambitious improvement planning results in the achievement of identified goals.
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 23 1.3 Governance Key features: Strategic and advisory role of the Board Operational support for the management of the school Accountability Short descriptions to illustrate the five-point scale: Level 1 Needs Immediate Support Level 2 Unsatisfactory Level 3 Satisfactory Level 4 Good Level 5 Exceptionally high The Board has almost no influence on the work of the school. It does almost nothing to support the efficient and effective management of the school. The Board holds the school leadership accountable for its performance in a very limited way.
The Board has little influence on the work of the school. It does little to support the efficient and effective management of the school. The Board holds the school leadership accountable in a limited way for its performance. The Board meets all its responsibilities . It gives clear support and advice to the school leadership. The Board consistently holds the school leadership accountable for their performance. The Board has a positive influence on the work of the school. It plays a significant strategic and advisory role in leading the school’s development. . The school leadership is rigorously held to account for its performance.
The Board makes a significant contribution to the leadership of the school and its successes. It works most effectively in support of the school’s educational leaders. The Board holds the school leadership highly accountable for its performance.
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 24 1.4 Relations with parents and the local community Key features: Communications with parents Parents’ involvement in their children’s learning and the life of the school Links with the local community and agencies Short descriptions to illustrate the five-point scale: Level 1 Needs Immediate Support Level 2 Unsatisfactory Level 3 Satisfactory Level 4 Good Level 5 Exceptionally high Communications with parents are infrequent and of poor quality.
Many parents know too little about the work their children are doing to be able to help them effectively. The school has very little to do with its local community. Opportunities are missed to enrich the curriculum through the use of community resources The school gives parents insufficient information about their children’s progress and wellbeing. Community involvement is limited and the school does not actively seek relationships with outside agencies to support the wellbeing and progress of students Parents receive regular, detailed reports about their children’s progress.
There are regular opportunities to talk to teachers and some parents are actively involved in school life. The school works with outside agencies to enhance the wellbeing and progress of students Methods for communicating between home and school are well established. Many parents are involved in school activities. The school has productive links with the local community and uses them to enrich the curriculum and strengthen teaching and learning The school has a strong educational partnership with parents, who are actively involved in many aspects of school life and play an important role in decisionmaking.
The school capitalises on the expertise and resources in the community to improve its performance and benefit students
National Education Inspectorate © May 2013 School Inspection Report 25 2. How effectively does the teaching support the students´ learning? 2.1 Teachers’ knowledge of the subjects they teach and how best to teach them Key features: Teachers’ knowledge of their subjects Teachers’ knowledge of how best to teach their subjects Teachers’ understanding of how students learn best in their subjects Teacher reflect on their teaching Short descriptions to illustrate the five-point scale: Level 1 Needs Immediate Support Level 2 Unsatisfactory Level 3 Satisfactory Level 4 Good Level 5 Exceptionally high Many teachers have insufficient knowledge of the subjects and the curriculum they teach.
This seriously limits the progress that many students make and the standards they reach Some teachers have insufficient knowledge of the subjects and the curriculum and of how to teach effectively. This results in ineffective and inaccurate teaching and incomplete curriculum coverage Most teachers have a secure understanding of the subjects they teach. There is evidence that teachers reflect on the impact of their practice. Curriculum coverage is secure All teachers have good subject knowledge and reflect regularly on the impact of their teaching. Coverage of curriculum is complete.
Teaching of a consistently high quality stems from the teachers’ expert knowledge of their subjects and how to teach them. They reflect regularly and rigorously on the impact of their teaching