Section 2: Leadership

 

The senior management were keen to point out that this was an extremely well-led and able department with a strong positive ethos.  The word “vibrant” was used more than once.   The senior management discussions confirmed that they had never had to deal with any problems related to history.  The department has a good balance of very experienced staff (including the head of department) as well as teachers at various stages of their careers.  They are all qualified in the subject and, above all, passionate about it and keen to develop themselves and the subject.  There is strong encouragement for members of the department to show initiative and many have willingly undertaken projects and tasks.  Several have other responsibilities in the school but it is testament to their love of the subject that they give a high priority to their teaching and learning.

A range of impressive systems and processes are in place.  There are regular weekly departmental meetings which are thoroughly recorded and actions followed up.  There is an impressive development plan underpinned by a detailed assessment of need.     Even feedback from parents’ evenings is recorded and acted upon.  The department is skilled at bidding for capitation and has been able to fund resources and training that would be the envy of many other schools such as;  Masters qualifications and additional resources,  including ipads for all staff that uses a range of IT applications. 

Whilst focusing strongly on its own success, the department is far from isolated within the school.  It plays an integral part working closely with other subject areas such as science (Mary Rose project), English (World War 1) and psychology (soldiers in War).  Outside the school, it has good links with other schools and is part of various clusters.  There have been projects with some local state primary schools including a Great War one.  An impressive aspect of these meetings is an assessment of how the department can develop as a result.  The same applies with records associated with training such as assessing what they have learnt from the different sessions at the HA Conference.  Departmental members are encouraged to develop their skills and expertise, eg. writing articles, examination marking or running training courses for other organisations.  Overall, through the encouragement and support of the head of department and the senior leadership team, the history teachers have a high level of awareness and skill.  Whilst staff professionalism is recognised there is a clear and reliable system of classroom observation using very clear criteria and an effective system of staff appraisal.


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