Sports College Status
The beginning of our journey as a specialist college began back in July 2007 when Ofsted acknolowledged that we are an Outstanding school. This judgement led us to confidently apply for Specialist Sports College Status, which was awarded early in 2008. The detail the application required resulted in a substantial three year plan being devised following an extensive examination of our practice, attainment, community cohesion and our overall culture. The implementation of this plan began in September 2008 and to mark this significant change Amwell View re-branded with a new logo, school moto and on reflection the start of a significant shift in culture which at the time was supported by the introduction of our dance/drama studio which was part funded by the specialism capital grant.
In the past we have and will continue to strive to improve our delivery of the curriculum and are committed to ensuring that staff and resources are best matched to the needs of the pupils. The decision to use PE and sport as the lead subject was a result of us identifying that the majority of our pupils learn in a physical kinaesthetic way. Through using PE and science as the second specialist subject we hoped to develop an ethos across the school that delivering the curriculum in a physical, creative way would support pupil progression. This journey would also provide an effective model for other potential specialist subjects to follow and in September 2011 music did just that with Music teacher, Rachel Shipp making the transition to a full time specialist teacher at Amwell View.
The application process also required us to analyse and synthesise our attainment data further which resulted in attainment levels being broken down further to show progression. The introduction of booster sessions further supported this through the identification of pupils and specific targets to be taught by a teacher in 1:1 or small groups in the new booster room which has had a significant impact on the rate of progression.
Our specialism resulted in the greater involvement of our local and wider community and has opened the doors for people in society to begin to be more accepting of the differences that the pupils present. We are moving towards a more transparent service which acknowledges the strengths and capacity of those who support the education and experience of children with Severe Learning Difficulties. For the young people concerned their enriched education prepares them better for the future and as more inclusive members of society. This was confirmed in 2010 when Ofsted once again acknowledged that are an Outstanding school.
We now have very strong links with local primary, secondary and special schools and work together across various curriculum subjects, professional development and strategic initiatives. We also witnessed a significant rise in visitors to our school from universities and local schools on placements, volunteers, local organisations and through hiring our facilities to local business’s and charities. Also specialism provided the capacity to establish community provision for young people and adults with learning difficulties away from the school and supported the introduction of Special Olympics East Herts which continues to grow. www.specialolympicseastherts.org
Specialist Sports College Status has demanded a greater examination of the work at Amwell View and enabled us to focus on the achievement of young people across the whole curriculum and have a clear vision for whole school development. There are many more initiatives that we could mention but we feel that after the initial transition to becoming and Specialist College and implementing the plan, today we have an ethos to continuously strive to improve which exists among pupils and staff to strive and is clearly evident when you visit the school. Amwell View School and Specialist Sports College has a culture where progress is celebrated, achievement is applauded and every step along the way is recognised as a step closer to success.
Amwell View School and Specialist Sports College
Mrs J. S. Liversage B. ED., Dip., B. Phil. (MSI)