Working at Furze Platt Senior School
'Pupils achieve highly at this school' - Ofsted 2016
Furze Platt is an extremely rewarding school in which to work. As our values and vision statement notes, ‘our successful school is a happy, safe and caring learning community where achievement is promoted, potential realised and young people flourish.’ We have nearly 170 caring, committed and good humoured teaching and non-teaching staff, together with a diverse student body of over 1200 students, who come to school ready to learn and who are supportive of the school’s policies and procedures. This is a school where staff and students work together to achieve high standards and excellent outcomes.
'The quality of teaching and learning is strong. Teachers’ strong subject knowledge and good behaviour management skills help pupils to learn effectively' - Ofsted 2016
Our student body is taken from the town of Maidenhead, less than 30 miles west of London, and from other parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. Whilst overall the area is affluent, ours is a true comprehensive school, with students from all social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. The school is popular and well regarded in the local community. The achievement of most students is good or better and has been significantly above national averages for 4 years running. Both girls and boys make significantly better progress than children nationally.
‘The behaviour of pupils is good in lessons and around school. Pupils are smart, polite and mature [and] are supportive of each other’ - Ofsted 2016
We are also a very inclusive school, and our vertical tutor group system, with six tutor groups in each of eight houses, emphasises the sense of community. We have a specialist unit for students with autistic spectrum disorder, and provide excellent support for those with academic or emotional difficulties.
Our curriculum is broad and balanced, and aims to meet the differing needs of students. Students follow the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3. Some subjects, such as Science, complete the National Curriculum by the end of Year 8. Many other subjects use Year 9 as a transition or bridging year to Key Stage 4, while other subjects continue with Key Stage 3 throughout Year 9 and start Key Stage 4 at the beginning of Year 10. We teach discrete subjects throughout, except in Year 7, where PSHE, Citizenship and Philosophy and Religion are blended with a learning skills curriculum, with a more generous time allocation.
‘Teaching in the Sixth Form is consistently good... students made very strong progress in both academic and vocational subjects [and] are excellent role models for younger pupils... the proportion of A* and A grades has also increased’ - Ofsted 2016
Our Key Stage 4 curriculum provides an appropriate mix of academic GCSE subjects including English Language and English Literature, Maths, and both Single Sciences and Combined Science. Students can also opt for more vocational subjects such as the OCR Nationals in ICT and the BTEC Extended Certificate in Applied Science. Standards are very high; students make good progress and results are significantly above the national average.
The Sixth Form is an undoubted strength of Furze Platt. The broad curriculum offer and high standard of teaching has led to excellent examination results, with the school ranked amongst the top 15% nationally for teaching according to ALPS. A very large number of sixth formers progress to university, including Russell Group universities and Oxbridge. Sixth Form students are also expected to undertake community work in or out of school, including paired reading and maths schemes, and acting as subject prefects or mentors. They make a significant contribution to the school. The Sixth Form block has been upgraded and now boasts state of the art teaching rooms, study facilities and a common room.
'Teachers use a wide range of techniques to help students expand and challenge their thinking' - Ofsted 2016
We have excellent ICT facilities, with all departments having either a separate ICT suite or large numbers of laptops for student use. Our VLE (‘FP Online’) is first class, and enables staff and students to collaborate simultaneously over the Google ‘cloud.’ All teaching staff have their own school laptop.
We also believe passionately in music, drama, the arts and sport, and have some excellent facilities to support these. In particular, over the past five years a new Dance studio has been constructed; two state of the art Drama studios, including a small theatre, have been built; while our Music department has been completely redesigned, and now houses a professional recording studio, practice rooms and classrooms. As would be expected, there are a large number of music and drama productions, both on a large and small scale. In 2015, our new Leisure Centre was built with a range of facilities available to students and staff.
'Teachers and pastoral leaders have created a happy community where pupils are respectful of each other’s views and opinions' - Ofsted 2016
We have a strong team of teaching staff and are committed to developing our teaching still further, and thus to ensure that even more students reach their full potential. To this end, we invest heavily in teachers’ professional development. In addition to twilight staff development time and teaching and learning-focused INSET days, staff are encouraged to join working parties focusing on aspects of pedagogy and benefit from staff coaching. Where appropriate, staff attend external courses, and we encourage staff to visit other schools to see examples of best practice.
Our most recent Ofsted report (September 2016) highlighted many strengths of our school and rated us 'Good' in all areas.
'Good behaviour in lessons contributes to good learning' - Ofsted 2016
Furze Platt is an exciting school to work in, and this is an exciting time to join us on our journey. I hope that the information in this pack inspires you to apply to work with us. Should you require any further information, then please visit our website (www.furzeplatt.com) or contact me via my P.A. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With best wishes
Ms T White