Quality Mark Case Study: Moat Community College

In the summer of 2017 Moat Community College were awarded silver Quality Mark in recognition of the journey they had embarked upon towards developing the provision and status of history in the school.

They are still very much on that journey; however, their assessor was impressed by the dedication of the staff and the commitment they have for engaging pupils from a wide variety of backgrounds with the study of history.

While the school operates a 2-year Key Stage 3 – something that the Historical Association does not advocate for the study of history  we do recognise the constraints within which schools work and it is testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff that well over half of the current year 9 cohort opted for history at GCSE.

Here we feature a small selection of items from the QM portfolio that Moat School submitted.

About the school

Moat Community College is a large 11-16 school situated in the centre of Leicester City serving a community of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds with almost all speaking English as an additional language. The proportion of students eligible for the pupil premium is above average.
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1. Teaching and Learning

Pupils join the school with a very wide range of prior attainment from some who are newly arrived in the country to those who will achieve grade 9 at GCSE. There are a significant number of pupils who have poor literacy skills, which provides the department with a challenge in making the historical content accessible to them. There is a strong emphasis on developing literacy levels throughout both key stages and it is testimony to the department that outcomes at GCSE are as good as they currently are.
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2. Leadership

The department is very well led by a conscientious, hard-working and visionary leader who is highly valued by the headteacher, her subject colleagues and also by the pupils. Currently the subject leader is completing a doctorate, with a focus on improving the academic performance of Somali pupils who are a cohort of concern within the school and is also working with Historic England to achieve Heritage School status. In the recent past she has also participated in National Archives programmes and produced resources that are now used by them.
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3. Curriculum

The history team has put considerable thought into its curriculum provision which is very much tailored to an understanding of the specific needs of the school population. For example, the department is currently looking to develop more materials on Eastern Europe to reflect an increasing number of pupils joining the school from that region.
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4. Achievement

The department is focused on a ‘can do’ mentality and there is considerable effort put in to celebrating pupil achievement from displays of pupils’ work in classrooms, through a prize in each year group for a worker of the term to a history prize at the annual awards evening.

Results at GCSE have fluctuated between 53 and 75% A*-C over the last 5 years and continue on an upward trajectory. This is particularly impressive when compared against starting points of students and some other subjects within the school.

5. Enrichment

This is a real strength at the school and students have benefitted from a wide range of opportunities.
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