Does the school offer an extended day option?
School is open from 8am, and breakfast is available. We run optional extra-curricular activities after school every day exept Friday, including provision for quiet study/homework. These activities usually last until 4.15pm. There are also early-morning activities on some days.
We eventually aim for our school facilities to be available for community activities and clubs in the evenings and at weekends, though that is something that will be developed over time.
Will my child need to have a particular interest in the school's specialisms? What if they prefer other subjects?
All of our local schools have specialisms. Ours are Science & Engineering and Music.
However Turing House has a broad and balanced curriculum. All interests are catered for, just as they are in other local community secondary schools, which each have their own specialism. Specialisms do add an extra dimension for children who have those interests, though all children benefit from generic "life" skills associated with the chosen subjects, such as critical thinking.
Are classes streamed or set by attainment?
We don't use streaming, which involves separating children into a fixed group for all of their lessons. Instead we use setting to focus the learning in core subjects, including English, maths, science and languages.
Tutor groups, which reflect the full breadth and diversity of the year group, are the basis for non-core subjects such as PE, Art, Drama, Music and Design & Technology.
This mixed use of strategic setting by attainment and tutor groups helps to maintain and develop friendships and cooperative working. It is used in most of our local secondary schools, and some primaries.
How will you be able to help pupils if they are academically underachieving?
The Turing House curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the full range of our students. Students who have made less progress than their peers on transfer from Year 6 are given additional intensive support, including reading recovery, from the start of Year 7 to maximise their subsequent access to the secondary curriculum. We support them to make outstanding progress and anticipate that a high proportion of students entering our school with prior attainment below national expectations will be able to achieve the English Baccalaureate.
For the minority of students where an English Baccalaureate or equivalent pathway is an unrealistic aspiration we will provide an alternative range of courses and options so that all can achieve success at Level 2 (GCSE), either at the end of Year 11 or by the end of Year 12. Our range of qualifications will enable every student to gain a sense of self-worth and achievement.
What is your staffing profile, and how will it evolve?
The selection process looks at the team as a whole and how the expertise of our teachers fits together rather than assuming a fixed staffing model. Teachers' subsidiary subjects are taken into account as part of that process, to create the strongest possible team. This approach has been used very effectively at Turing House and in RET’s other Free Schools.
The staffing profile (teaching and non-teaching) will gradually evolve over the first few years as the school grows. Responsibility posts will be filled from a combination of internal and external appointments to ensure both a continuity of experience and school development, as well as taking advantage of a continued influx of new talent and experience.
What is the school's gender balance?
Turing House currently (as of Nov 2017) has 31% girls and 69% boys.
The very popular Waldegrave Girls' School in Twickenham does have an impact on the gender balance of other nearby secondaries e.g. Orleans Park has 38% girls and Teddington has 43% girls. Part of the rationale for our Admissions Policy is that it will help to balance what is known locally as the 'Waldegrave Effect'.
As we become more established we expect the ratio of girls to boys to become more balanced, because the percentage of girls in Year 7 has increased in each consecutive year since we opened. Given the choice we know that some girls prefer mixed schools, and many families who have both boys and girls prefer them to attend the same school.
Does the school have a library?
Yes. Thanks to the generosity of Turing House parents, and other benefactors (Penguin Random House and Waterstones), we already have a large collection of books and magazines for the students to borrow.
As the school grows we will further equip a Learning Resource Centre with Books, Magazines, Newspapers, and ICT to encourage independent learning. Resources will include curriculum related material, as well as wider reading for interest, and fiction.
This approach has worked well in RET's established schools where students have had input into the books and resources they would like to have access to.