16/07/2010 Career aspirations of Harris Federation Post 16 In March 2010 almost 400 visitors attended the Federation Post 16
Next Steps evening held at Harris Academy South Norwood.
The event was aimed at Year 11, 12 and 13 students and their parents/carers from our four Academies in Croydon and Merton, giving them the chance to link up with a wide range of Next Steps organisations. Exhibitors at the careers fair included employers such as Channel 4; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Mansell;
Her Majesty’s armed forces and 25 Universities from around the country including Oxford and Cambridge;
Queen Mary; Birmingham and St George’s. Careers advice and support was provided by the Connexions Service.
Throughout the evening a programme of career development sessions and talks took place, providing visitors with the chance to explore career opportunities and the various elements of graduate study in more detail. Talks included ‘writing a personal statement’, ‘student finance’, ‘what to do on a gap year’, insights into ‘careers at EDF Energy’, ‘careers within the Ministry of Justice’, ‘a day in the life of a management consultant’, ‘apprentice and training opportunities’ and so on.
A parent who expressed her satisfaction commented on the evening: “I just wanted to thank you for inviting us.
My daughter came away with a great deal of information and said she was totally inspired by her one to one discussions with firms and Universities”.
At Harris we are constantly encouraging students to be thoughtful and proactive about planning their future career and events like the Next Steps evening help them to start thinking carefully about their skills and interests and how they can build on these for a successful future. This is the first year we have done something quite so ambitious, but based on the success of the event; we look forward to next year being even bigger and better.
Harris Federation Post 16
16/07/2010 Diary of a Student Commissioner in New York Nine Student Commissioners and six teachers were chosen to travel to New York. The aim of the visit was to see how we can enhance teaching and learning across Harris Federation.
We left early on Saturday 6th February. We were on a very long 7 hour Virgin Atlantic flight to JFK airport in New York. We got there in the afternoon and it was cold! But, we were all too excited to care about our numbing hands and red noses and we soon got in a familiar looking New York yellow cab to make our way to the Holiday Inn Hotel, Manhattan. After settling down, it was time for dinner and we made our way to Lombardi’s Pizza, which was America’s first pizzeria, and is still regarded as one of the best.
Since it was the weekend, we had a lot of free time on our hands before we visited schools, so on Sunday we went sight-seeing.
From visiting the Statue of Liberty, to Ground Zero and up to the top of The Empire State Building. Now that the weekend was over, it was time to learn more about learning as we went to the New York City – Department of Education office. We left early Monday morning to head to the Tweed Building where the Department of Education offices are based – there are even two schools there! We had a meeting with five members of the DOE, including the Deputy Chancellor who gave us an insight into what education is like in New York; which is different from every school!
Everything they told us raised more questions than answers because it was so innovative! I bet you've never heard of a school called the 'Quest to Learn' where everything you need to know is taught through adventure games on the computer. Or the Cinema School, in which everything is taught through film making!
On Tuesday, we visited the iSchool, which is based on using technology for everything. I shadowed two students during my time there and saw a range of lessons. I remember being in an ICT lesson, in which each student worked on their personalised virtual learning environment called ‘moodle’. The school day soon came to an end, but the work didn’t stop there, as back at the hotel we had to write a blog.
Wednesday was a snow day, so all schools were closed. When it snows in New York, it really snows. This affected our timetable because we were not able to visit the Global Learning Collaborative School, which is a school that focuses on real life learning and tries to combat global issues. One thing that I really wanted to see was the solar panels the students built on their school’s roof to combat global warming. But it did give us extra time to prepare for our presentation on Friday. We also got to go to visit the Guggenheim Museum and Times Square.
Thursday was a very long day for us as we had to visit the first two schools – the first, Harlem’s Children Zone, and the second, KIPP: Infinity (Knowledge Is Power Programme). What I liked and what was common about both schools is that they celebrated achievement a lot. For example, at KIPP: Infinity, you could not see a blank space on the wall because it was filled up with the work and pictures of so many different students. And at Harlem’s Children Zone, some students were rewarded with trips to Paris, the Galapagos Islands, and get this, the Bahamas.
Back at the hotel it was a very rigorous session of rehearsing for our presentation for the Department of Education. Money was up for grabs for the team that did the best presentation. Friday morning came in a flash, and the nerves that started at the hotel followed us all the way to the Department of Education Building. But the nerves did not get the better of us as everybody resented very well on the ‘Learning About Learning – The 12 Ideas Of Learning’ publication by the Commission. The resentation was about what we saw in America that linked to the 12 ideas of learning. All of a sudden it was over. What we came over to America to achieve had been done. And we were back in boring old London on the morning of Saturday 13th February after a week in New York.
But now it is our responsibility, both students and staff, to make sure what was successful in the schools that improved teaching and learning is carried here at Harris Academy Bermondsey, and of course, across the Harris Federation.
Harris Academy Bermondsey
24/05/2010 Whole Education Launch event 24th May 2010 Student Commission
May 24th: Rebecca Hickey
The Student Commission at Harris continues to flourish and their role in a high profile event in May demonstrated their increasingly inspiring and confident approach to learning about learning.
The event was held at the Royal Society of Arts on May 24th. We were invited to attend the Whole Education Launch event, a collaboration which works alongside innovators in the world of education. The group aim to promote educational practices which fully prepare students to develop the skills and knowledge most effective and adaptable for the demands of the 21st century workplace. The partnership includes Futurelab, Innovation Unit and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, all of whom have a reputation for transformational and progressive educational projects.
Representatives from seven of the nine Academies attended the event, each of them describing their personal experience of being a Student Commissioner as well as delivering an overview of the vision of the commissioners. The experiences and opportunities the students have been involved in were presented and a brief overview of what the current research projects are revealing about learning. As ever, our commissioners were confident, engaging and inspiring, despite film crews, photographers and a room full of VIPs!
The organiser of the event described the student’s presentation as a ‘stellar input’ and the students themselves as the ‘stars of the show’, and this was evidenced by the very positive feedback the students received from the audience. In addition, the students have been invited to deliver an extended presentation at the Education Expo in July, a clear acknowledgement of the impressive impact they made! Our congratulations and thanks to the very wonderful: Maria Chipingo, Farhia Darhir , Robyn McClean , Paul Murphy, Matthew Gavin, Taariq Al Hassan, and Sumon Miah.
7/10/2009 Ofsted 2009 - Amongst the best in the country! Amongst the best in the country!
Harris City Academy Crystal Palace was the first secondary school in the country to achieve a ‘perfect’ outstanding inspection under the new, tougher, inspection framework introduced in September 2009. The Academy was inspected under this new framework on 7th and 8th October 2009 and was judged to be outstanding in each of the 30 measures.
Here are some of the highlights from the report:
‘Harris City Academy Crystal Palace is an outstanding school that not only helps its students to achieve exceptionally high standards but also to be well prepared for the next stage of their life.’
‘Outstanding teaching overall and exemplary use of assessment data, when combined with the creative and exciting curriculum, ensures that all students make rapid progress.’
‘Students’ achievement is outstanding.’
‘The intense scrutiny of students’ performance across subjects ensures that any ‘failure’ is dealt with ‘ruthlessly’ and efficiently.’
‘The attitudes and behaviour of students are exemplary’.
‘The Academy’s outstanding provision and ethos are used very well to develop mature and articulate young people for the 21st Century.’
‘All teachers are committed to their students, have high expectations and provide the support necessary to help them achieve their aspirational targets.’
‘Teachers excellent management of lessons ensures that pace is fast and resources such as information and communication technology are used as highly effective learning tools.’
‘The increasing personalisation of the curriculum means that students have high quality and memorable learning which they enjoy.’
‘Exemplary care, guidance and support pervade all aspects of the academy’s provision.’
‘One of the academy’s outstanding strengths lies in the cohesive community which leads to all staff, students, parents and governors working together as a team.’
‘Sixth Form students make outstanding progress, in both academic and vocational courses, to achieve standards above the national average in most areas.’
‘Leadership and management of the Sixth form are outstanding, committed and responsive.’
‘Care guidance and support are a truly outstanding feature of the provision for the Sixth Form.’
‘Students say that, ‘teachers are always there for you if you need help with anything.’
‘Students impressive levels of self-confidence, personal development and exemplary behaviour coupled to the guidance they receive prepares them exceptionally well for future challenges.’
‘Harris City Academy Crystal Palace is outstanding in all areas of provision.’
‘The quality of leadership and management is exemplary.’
‘At all times, expectations are high.’
Principal of the Academy Steve Kenning said, ‘We are absolutely delighted with this report as it more than confirms our own view that this is an outstanding school with outstanding students and outstanding teachers. We were particularly pleased with the Ofsted inspectors awareness that although we are outstanding we still believe we can get even better. To get a ‘perfect’ inspection score under the new Ofsted framework is something everyone connected to the Academy should be immensely proud of.’
> Ofsted 2009 Report