Simon balle prospectus autumn 2014 pv

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  • PROSPECTUS

    2014/2015

    Creating tomorrows citizens today

    Headteacher: Alison Saunders B.A. (Hons)

    Mangrove Road, Hertford, SG13 8AJTelephone: 01992 410400 Fax:01992 410401

    Website: www.simonballe.herts.sch.ukEmail: admin@simonballe.herts.sch.uk

  • In order to achieve the highest possible grades our students are set challengingacademic and personal targets and given the inspiration to succeed. Academic resultsare incredibly important indeed they form part of the passport for future success. Ourstudents benefit from a traditional curriculum coupled with numerous enrichmentopportunities. Hard work, mutual respect and honesty underpin our vision and ourstudents learn to embrace the objectives displayed above. We are known as a forwardlooking and innovative school while still striving for traditional excellence.

    Relationships at Simon Balle are outstanding, newcomers feel welcomed and deep,lasting friendships are developed within our nurturing community. Guiding andsupporting both students and parents are key aspects of our work.

    Our values and sense of moral purpose drive all we do. We are a responsible andresponsive school. We hope that you will become part of our distinctive community.

    Alison Saunders

    Headteacher

  • We thought you might like to know howmuch our children are enjoying their lifeat Simon Balle and how good we, as afamily, thought the transition processfrom primary to senior school was.Y7 Parent

    What makes Simon Balle such a special place tolearn?

    Our school is driven by values and principles; it is about each and everystudent. They are valued for who they are and what they bring. It is ourjob whilst they are at Simon Balle to ensure that they grow intoresponsible young men and women, who have the skills, aptitudes andknowledge to be able to flourish in our ever changing world. We talkabout the Simon Balle Student; someone who has had a fantasticeducational experience and who has achieved the highest possibleexamination grades. Our students will, because of the opportunities onoffer coupled with our expectations, be highly motivated, resourcefuland resilient, respectful and responsible in their actions.

    At Simon Balle, our students meet daily with others (staff and students)who are passionate about their learning and this rubs off. Simon Ballestudents leave us as confident young people; however they do not onlyunderstand themselves. Because of the ethos at the heart of ourcommunity, they understand others and accept them for who they are.

    Our school is a special place for it is a fusion of academic excellence,a focus upon individual development and yet forward looking andinnovative.

    Our students love their school and yet quite rightly, they are excited toachieve further. Whilst they do not want to leave good friends, staff whohave helped them or a place they have loved, they are eager to moveon. Our job is to ensure that they have achieved their potential in ourall round school. This is what sets us apart and makes us special.

    There is a distinct ethos that is rooted in a strong belief in personalvalues and social justice for both its students and staff.

  • What facilities and resources can the school offer?

    The school provides so much for our students and youcontinue to demonstrate why Simon Balle was the perfectchoice of school for our son. Y9 ParentOur students, staff andparents recognise thesuperb range of facilities atSimon Balle. The school isset in beautiful park andwoodland which is used formany sporting activities,including the school funrun. In addition to ourgymnasium, we have ahighly specialised fitnesssuite, drama studio and anindoor swimming pool. TheAstroturf is regularly used by students both within lessons and in their enrichment.

    Our library was awarded runner-up status in a national library design competition as itcombines the traditional collection of books with hi tech digital tools which connect to theworlds knowledge. The space and lighting have been designed to reflect students learningneeds and to create an area in which to think, research and share experiences.

    The food technology room is the envy of many schools and our students and parents lovemaking and creating dishes in this twenty first century designed specialist area. It is light andairy, equipped with modern resources including professional equipment.

    All subjects are taught in specialist classrooms. Our Science labs provide a stimulatingenvironment in which to learn. Our Music Centre has the best resources of any schoolnationally with many individual rehearsal spaces, practice rooms and a recording studio.Digital and musical resources abound!

    We have a number of dedicated ICT suites; however you will find digital resources in everyclassroom, office and teaching area, as well as Wi-Fi covering the whole site.

    Staff create a stimulating physical environment which is key to effective learning. We placegreat importance upon our displays which challenge students as well as recording the life ofthe school.

    Major refurbishments have taken place this year which have seen the transformation of ourthree-storey block, improvements to both our swimming pool and hall. New ceilings, roofs andlights have been installed in large areas throughout the school.

    It is important that we maintain and improve our learning environment as it has a direct impacton our student learning. It is also important that we all work in a safe and stimulatingenvironment.

  • What subjects will my child be taught and whatare the different teaching styles?

    We just wanted to congratulate you all on afantastic Ofsted report. All the positivecomments just reflect what we already knowabout Simon Balle. Yr8/Yr11 Parent

    Whilst our curriculum is traditional and academic, lessons are deliveredin creative and innovative ways, making full use of our excellentfacilities and resources. We teach 5 one hour lessons a day; teachersuse a range of teaching and learning styles. In addition, all studentsspend 25 minutes each day working together to develop life skills.Expectations are high to ensure that every student reaches their fullpotential. In Year 7 most lessons are taught in form groups andstudents learn French or Spanish.

    There is excellent teaching within the visual and performing arts. Bothour Art, Music and Drama departments have incredible reputations forthe outstanding quality of their work. They frequently attract studentsfrom other schools to join them in the Sixth Form. The specialistfacilities and equipment are remarkable a music centre, darkroom,drama studio and ceramics area.

    Sport is equally strong. The list of our achievements is truly impressiveand last year we outperformed many local schools as our athletes,sportsmen and women excelled in all sporting areas. All students have2 hours of PE each week and countless other sporting opportunities inwhich to take part.

    Whilst we rightly concentrate on preparing students for exams, wemust ensure that they can work independently. We want our studentsto be inquisitive and curious, eager to carry out their own research andto solve problems. In Year 9 students work upon an independent study,whilst many of our sixth formers submit research for the prestigiousExtended Project Qualification.

  • What support is there for those students whoare either gifted or have additional learningneeds?We have many students who are gifted in various areas of thecurriculum. A large range of clubs and activities are aimed at thesestudents as well as challenging work set by class teachers. Inaddition we do organise gifted workshops in a range of subjects andactivities. These have included experiences for artists, musicians andscientists as well as in sports and humanities areas. Careers adviceis equally targeted to meet each students needs.

    We want every student to achieve their absolute personal best andwe set stretch targets for all students in every Key Stage. Studentsprogress is continuously monitored and tracked. Intervention isdirected when necessary and motivation is high.

    Our monitoring and evaluation shows thatstudents with additional educational needs(AEN) make good progress. Ourexpectations for them are high. They arewell supported by both staff and peers. Ourholistic approach alongside a commitmentto a personalised curriculum and closecommunication with parents enables themto achieve their very best. Teachers plan todifferentiate; students may be offered apersonalised and appropriate curriculumand are supported by learning mentors, theInclusion Department and pastoral staff.

    All our students achieve very highly, theyenjoy being at our school and want to stayhere as long as possible.

    How will my child use IT to improvetheir learning?The creative use of ICT and digital technologies is a core

    part of how we all work at Simon Balle School. Collaborative workand dialogue about learning are encouraged in lessons and outsideof the classroom. All staff and students make extensive use of oursmart cloud site that gives access to email, calendars and otherapps. The use of cloud based digital technologies means that allstudents can access systems anytime, anywhere.

    While we are ahead of the game in many respects, a recent visit froman educational consultant put us in the top 10% of schools withregard to our vision for digital technologies. We recognise that this isa rapidly changing area and is constantly developing.

    Whether it is the use of mobile devices or tablets, collaborative workusing cloud based applications or engaging with parents via the web,we will seek to exploit all the benefits of digital technologies.

    We justwanted to

    thank you forall the supportand excellentteaching you

    have given oursonyou haveinspired him.