Information for Inspectors

We Are an Outstanding School

We strive for Woolwich Poly to be a beacon of progress for our community in terms of achievement, behaviour and ambition. We celebrate our students' and staff's diversity and, while we recognise that some of our students' parents' own experience of education may have been difficult, we support our families to raise their expectations to make our area of London culturally and economically progressive.

Woolwich Polytechnic is an outstanding school as nearly all our students make outstanding progress in nearly all of their GCSEs from their starting points at key stage 2. Students from different groups, including disabled students and those with special educational needs, those who speak English as an additional language, and those eligible for additional funding, make excellent progress because they benefit from well-targeted and skilful additional support. Teaching is at least consistently good and frequently outstanding. In almost all lessons, teachers have high expectations and challenge students to excel in their learning, regardless of their ability.

The school's curriculum is outstanding. It offers students a wide range of appropriate and varied courses that meet the needs and interests of students of all abilities across all key stages. At KS3, we have a long-standing ACE (Accelerated Core Experience) programme for students who enter the school with specific needs in literacy and numeracy, taught by primary specialists. This programme has been highly successful with students entering the mainstream curriculum at KS4 and achieving outstanding outcomes. Similarly, for extra challenge, our GSI (Grammar School Intake) students complete a more challenging and rigorous curriculum in the core subjects at KS3, enhanced by varied enrichment opportunities. At KS4, our curriculum is diversifying so all students have an opportunity to excel in their options, whilst maintaining the highest achievement in English and maths to ensure their progress beyond, into 6th Form, apprenticeships and the world of work, further enhanced by two weeks of work experience. Our SEND students are supported from key stage 3 to 5 through 'Quality First Teaching' to ensure that their progress is at least commensurate with whole school and national averages: our teachers and learning support assistants ensure that SEND students access the curriculum and excel.

Students' social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is well supported through a rich curriculum and a variety of extra-curricular activities and educational visits. Students' behaviour across the school is outstanding: they are proud of their multicultural community, celebrate being 'Poly and Proud' and are respectful and courteous to each other and their teachers. This contributes to the purposeful, calm and harmonious atmosphere in lessons and around the school.

Our sixth form is outstanding and we are determined to make our offer even better. Teaching is very strong and students are given excellent guidance and support to help them successfully move on to higher education, training or employment. Our headteachers, senior leadership team, governors and staff know our school and students exceptionally well and are all determined to build on our success in improving teaching and students' achievement and wellbeing so that they continue to have great success after they leave Woolwich Polytechnic.

We are an outward-looking school, keen to draw on experiences from other schools and organisations to ensure that we offer our students the best school experience we can; but we are also an inward-looking school, always striving to overcome the next challenge in our development.

Our Ambitious Targets Are:
  • To secure Attainment 8 B- in summer 2017
  • For our year 11 students to achieve 80% 9-4 in English and maths
  • For our 6th form students to achieve 60% B+ grades at A Level in summer 2017
Our Key Actions Are:
  • To monitor students' progress closely, with particular focus upon years 11, 12 and 13, through observation, progress data analysis, student voice and leadership accountability to intervene in quality of teaching, focused student intervention
  • To incorporate impactful solutions from outside agencies, working with exam boards, PiXL (Partners in Excellence), other schools and the SSAT (Specialist Schools and Academies Trust), ensuring that our teaching, pastoral and leadership practices are the best they can be
  • To maintain a "Success for Everyone" ethos and students' pride in being a valued members of Woolwich Polytechnic

Special Practice That Makes us Proud

First and foremost, we are proud of our students who work hard and with mostly good humour to achieve better outcomes than their peers nationally.

We are also proud of our prefects who set such mature examples to their peers and grateful for their assistance in running as busy school, as we are our award winning school council that grapples with issues within the school and the local community.

We are proud of our staff who stop at nothing to help our students reach their aspirational goals, who demonstrate care for their students and forge the excellent relationships, supported by each tutor group having two tutors so that students can always have timely support when needed: these relationships are the backbone and special hallmark of our school.

We are proud of RAP (Raining Attainment Programme) meetings where staff discuss students' progress in detail, once every week for each year group, sharing their knowledge about their pastoral and learning needs so that we can ensure their learning is maximised. We have Raising Standards Leaders for every year group who work alongside the outstanding Heads of Year to ensure that our pastoral care is combined with a razor-sharp focus on progress.

We are also proud of our student peer-mentors who devote time and patience to assist their peers in getting over boundaries to their understanding in maths and English. We also think that our data analysis and tracking for individual students is exceptional, ensuring that no stone is left unturned if our pursuit of every child achieving their very best.