St George's Church of England High School
'believe and achieve'
   


 School profile

Introduction
The school is situated in the Southeast corner of Blackpool in the district of Marton. It is within one mile of the M55 motorway and is well served by other routes. Staff commute to the area from Fleetwood and Lancaster in the North, Preston and Blackburn in the East, Chorley and Southport to the South. Manchester and Liverpool are within an hour’s drive of Blackpool, as are the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Trough of Bowland.
The school serves the area of South Blackpool and Marton. In the past the pupils lived relatively close to the school, but many now travel from further afield. The school is expanding rapidly, the admission number has changed from 127 to 190, and is oversubscribed for September 2004. Standards have risen consistently. All categories of GCSE performance have shown improvement and two are above Blackpool and National averages. Since January 1998 the appointment of a new Headteacher, and subsequently two new Deputy Headteachers, (all external appointments) has provided significant impetus to change and improvement.


The school has expanded to 7-form entry, and is set to expand further. St George’s became a Voluntary Aided Church of England School in 2002 and a £6 million building programme will be finished shortly. The new school buildings have completely changed the focus for the school and represent the most prestigious development in Secondary Education in Blackpool for 30 years. New accommodation includes a new entrance, administration and reception, ICT facility, lecture theatre, café, classrooms (ten), refectory and Art and Design block. A new Sports Hall will open in November 2004. These building projects signal the ambition of the school and the confidence of the L.E.A., and the Diocese in the school’s future. It is anticipated that Anglican status will further extend the school’s capacity to attract pupils from the Fylde Coast and to become the natural choice of secondary education for the borough’s four Church of England primary schools. The school serves a wide number of wards and 33% of pupils are entitled to free school meals. Although high, this percentage represents a substantial decrease from the highest figure in the 1990’s of 43%.

Accommodation
The school occupies a large site (28 acres) and was opened in 1957, originally as a Secondary Modern School. It is now one of eight comprehensive schools within the Blackpool LEA. The 1950s building was upgraded to provide a Music suite, Art and Design Studio and refurbished accommodation for Design Technology, Food and Textiles. Although £177,000 was invested in these developments, a new half million pound plan
is being developed to remodel and refurbish. A new security system and refurbished changing rooms were projects completed in Spring 1999 and all four Science Laboratories were completely refurbished. A new Independent Learning Centre housing a new Library, ICT & BIS Suite was completed Easter 2000. In general, staff enjoy a high quality of environment and of facilities and new staff can anticipate sympathetic consideration of ideas and plans to enhance curriculum and infrastructure. Nowhere has benefited more than ICT and the school is committed to embedding e-learning in all areas. Ten interactive whiteboards have just been fitted.
In 2004 three Science demonstration rooms have been created to augment laboratory provision and the old dining room has been remodelled to provide two additional Maths rooms.

The L.E.A. & the Diocese
Blackpool became a unitary authority in 1998 and the LEA has 44 schools (8 Secondary, 33 Primary & 3 Special.) The LEA has excellent working relationships with its schools noted by the Audit Commission and Ofsted. St George’s is highly regarded and the Headteacher is Chair of the Blackpool Headteacher’s Association and sits on the Joint Steering Committee, the group of Officers and Heads which has responsibility for Strategic Development of Education. The school has been involved in DfES projects and regularly welcomes visitors to the LEA from the DfES (e.g. the North of England KS3 Strategy Manager.) The Authority has Excellence in Cities status, a federation of High Schools and Colleges and a reputation for innovation. As a result, there are excellent opportunities to gain experience of local and national initiatives.


St George’s is the newest Church High School in Blackburn, a diocese with the largest number of Voluntary Aided Church Schools in England. The Diocesan Director is a regular visitor to the school and relationships with other Anglican High Schools are developing. The School’s Admissions Criteria signal St George’s continuing commitment to children of all faiths and none who live within the local parishes. Thus, the ethos of the school remains sensitive to the needs of all youngsters who would naturally look to St George’s as their secondary school, as well as providing a faith school option for parents in Blackpool and the Fylde.


The school was inspected in the first tranche of Inspections under the new framework in November 2003 whilst the building programme was still having a major impact! The judgements were very pleasing with 3 out of 4 lessons judged to be good, with a substantial amount better than good. Teaching,


learning and achievement were all good across the school and lesson planning was deemed a strength. Care, guidance and support were judged to be very good. The Section 23 Report which took place concurrently was equally positive. Visits and extra-curricular activities are encouraged and the school fields a number of sports teams. The Arts are an area of excellence within the school and St George’s was the only state school to secure a team trophy at the Blackpool Town Sports in June 2004.

 

Pupils leaving St George’s can continue their education at the local 6th Form College, tertiary college or at one of the school based sixth forms in nearby St Annes, Kirkham or Poulton-Le-Fylde.

School Structure and Organisation
Year Heads support tutor teams in each year and in September 2003 the school appointed three Assistant Year Co-ordinators to aid them. The school operates an Assertive Discipline System which has recently been reviewed and has a number of support strategies/personnel including Learning Mentors, an Attendance & Welfare Officer, a Social Inclusion Pupil Support Facility (SIPs) and an LSU. We are committed to using staff and strategies imaginatively.
General


The school is at an exciting stage in its development: there is genuine commitment to school improvement which resulted in a high profile visit to the school by Prime Minister Tony Blair, David Blunkett and Jack Straw in October 1998, and the DfEE Achievement Award in 2001. The Headteacher was invited by the Secretary of State to sit on the Working Group at Westminster advising the Minister on the implementation of the new National Curriculum Orders for Citizenship. Recruiting high quality, energetic staff is a top priority and every support and encouragement is given to the successful candidates. St George’s Church of England High School has invested heavily in staffing and staff development in the last two to three years as the school has grown and developed. Staff recruitment has been very successful and a cohort of new, enthusiastic and ambitious staff has been blended with a core of experienced, committed and highly skilled teachers. Five new teaching staff joined the school in September 2004 (in English, Maths, Science & ICT). In addition the staff association is a vibrant group organising a number of social events throughout the year.
Associate Staffing has been expanded to support teachers and to provide appropriate structures, services and advice. A Network Manager was appointed in 2003. A School Manager took up post in September 2002 and a Technology/Art Technician augmented the Technician Support. The Administrative Staff has been strengthened with the appointment of a Pastoral Support Assistant and a Library Technician. The school has an Admissions and Attendance Officer and five Learning Mentors and pupils are supported by a number of SSA’s. We are also enthusiastic in encouraging the Gifted and Talented both through the curriculum and visits to Universities (Cambridge 2002, Oxford 2003) and other extension activities.




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