As you may know our school was inspected under the previous Ofsted framework in January 2019 and although many areas of good practice were identified by a strong and supportive Ofsted team, our school overall was deemed to Require Improvement. Since that inspection, the school has made significant progress and major changes, including the appointment of a new Principal in September 2019. We are delighted that since our previous inspection we are one of the most improved schools in Croydon, improving our Progress 8 score by +0.48 and our performance is now in line with national expectations; and exceeding in many areas such as Art, Physical Education and Science. For the first time in our history, one of our students has been offered a place at an Oxbridge university and many more are applying for Russell Group institutions. There is still work to be done but we are making progress towards the ambitions we have for our school, students, staff, families and local community.
We have continued to build on the strengths outlined in the previous Ofsted report while systematically challenging and improving on the key areas that have been identified in our report. We remain focused and determined to be an inclusive comprehensive school that serves our local community. We recognise that success doesn’t come overnight and all within our school are working tirelessly to give all our students the belief that they can be the best in the world at whatever they put their heart and mind to. Students are told daily that this can only be achieved through relentless drive, resilience and a creative outlook.
We are proud that the inspection team recognised our strong practices regarding behaviour, personal development and our successful, striving and character building Sixth Form. In the same way we have tracked the areas for development, we have looked at our existing areas of strength and put into place revised policies and strategies to improve them even further. Our new vision and values for our school underpin everything we do and represent the expectations that we have of all our community, students, staff and families. Our daily diet of learning takes these into account and the introduction of our Shirley Learning Journey and our Shirley Learner have begun to create an environment of consistent teaching and learning, challenge and high aspirations for all learners within our diverse and multi-cultural school.
We are proud to be a stand-alone academy that has served our local community since 1954. Although the demographic of our school has changed over the years, our historic values and moral purpose has made our school integral to the community that we serve and we are determined to restore our place as one of the best schools in the borough and beyond. One of the benefits of our single academy status, strong financial position and supportive governing body is that we are able to invest quickly in school improvement; and since September this is what we have done. Significant investment has been made in teaching and learning, with new technology and software to engage and challenge all learners alongside increased intervention and additional support, including a Saturday school programme for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. The stable nature and family ethos of our school has helped to recruit and retain the best teachers available and we have increased investment into all departments. Our Performing Arts status is at the heart of all we do and we have already designed a community programme to enhance, recognise and support the arts beyond our school gates as well as providing these subjects with additional curriculum time and resources that match our new expectations. We make no apologies for the high expectations that we have for all areas of our school and for all within our school community.
Details of our most recent Ofsted inspection can be found on the report below and we sincerely look forward to welcoming Ofsted back into school to show them the hard work that we have put in since their previous visit. We will continue to strive for a school that all within our community can be proud of. Should you wish to see for yourself our school in action and any of the changes mentioned, please join us any Thursday morning for a tour of the school and a chat with the Principal.
Mr T Myton (Principal) and Mr M West (Chair of Governors)