This is an above-average-sized secondary school that takes students from a wide geographical area. There is a very small junior section that consists of Southwell Minister choristers and students selected because of their musical talent. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is well below average. The percentage of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those with a statement of special educational needs, is also well below average. In addition, the proportion of students from minority ethnic backgrounds is well below average. The school has a well established specialism in the humanities and music. The school has been based in a new building on a single site since 2007.

The Award submission video (see points to note below)

  • The school has clear ‘cornerstones’ of learning, dynamic learning, thinking skills, assessment for learning and celebrating students’ achievements, and technology.
  • Expectations are modelled, for instance by using visualisers to show examples of good work and by using multi-function devices to support the professional production of work.
  • Approaches such as the use of interactive response (voting) devices provide a ‘safe’ environment in which pupils can risk answers and fail anonymously while providing the teacher with the data to know what misunderstandings pupils have.
  • In teaching the technology is being used to aid continuity in learning, to stimulate engagement of pupils and to help them see visually how to apply techniques such as annotation to help their learning, as explained in the section on use of the interactive whiteboards.
  • Care is being taken to personalise the learning for pupils, so that they can choose tasks and learn at the rate that suits and challenges them best.
  • Time and space for learning has been extended through use of the online platform, where resources are available to scaffold their learning, even if they are ahead of where the teacher is with the majority of the class.
  • The whole school is clearly aware of the transferable skills pupils need to develop – the Minster 7 – which are strongly promoted to pupils; independent learning, self-managing, working collaboratively as teams, being respectful to one another and respectful to the technology to use it safely, motivation and exploration through research, to see learning as a life-long journey.
  • The curriculum is being made more relevant through ‘themed days’ for topics such as enterprise or humanities, with students off-timetable in order to make the most of the opportunities the school can present for them.