St. Joseph's Catholic College

Raising Standards



Raising Standards is the process whereby all students are given very specific guidance to ensure that they remain on track to attain their targets in their subjects. It is something every student will experience and it takes place in a number of ways.

The first way is through precisely tailored advice given by teachers about classwork, homework, controlled assessments and coursework. This is seen in the 'How to Improve' (HTI) comments that teachers give for written work, where students are told what they must do to move to the next Key Stage 3 Level, or the next Key Stage 4 or 5 grade. It is expected that students will act upon this advice, improve and so be given a further target next time. It can also be seen in the 'How to Progress' comments made on the review sheets that are issued three times during the academic year.

The second way is through special group/class interventions. These take place within the classroom and help groups of students with the same issue to address aspects of learning that will help them to improve. For example, in English some students may have to address how to use apostrophes, whilst others will look at how to use semi-colons. As we move towards examinations, Flexible Fridays are often used to revisit different areas for examination.

Departments also offer revision sessions for different subjects as examinations approach, some taking place during term times and others taking place during holidays. For the latter, parents will be notified of these by letter and will need to return a reply slip if a student is to attend.

To help parents, we deliver a number of events each year that give guidance about examinations and study expectations. There is a 'Focus on the Future' evening for Sixth Form parents in September of every academic year, where there are sessions on what to expect in Sixth Form study and the options that are available post-18. There is also a GCSE Support Evening in Term 2, where the aim is to give advice to parents of Year 9, 10 and 11 students who are taking public examinations in those academic years. There are presentations and advice sessions from the different subject areas about how to best help your children prepare for these important events in their lives.

If you have any concerns about your child's progress, please do not hesitate to contact either your child's tutor, subject teachers or Student Manager.

Support for English as Additional Language Speakers (EAL)

We have a designated team of Teaching Assistants who support EAL students with their studies across all subjects. We also run Coaching and Mentoring sessions for students who need extra time to discuss their learning issues with staff. We assess all EAL students to see if they would benefit from extra English lessons in Years 7 and 8, and run small group sessions to improve confidence, learn vocabulary and grammar, as well as to help with their work in other subjects.

In Years 9,10, 11 and the Sixth Form we teach the International GCSE in English as a Second Language from the Cambridge International Exams Board. This course currently has a 63%A*-C pass rate, and focuses on the key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students have a formal oral assessment and sit two final examinations.