Questions about how the school will be organised:

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How will you ensure the school is good or outstanding?

By employing excellent staff, delivering a high quality curriculum and focussing unrelentingly on excellent practice so that our students benefit from the very best teaching and learning. RET have the skills, capacity and experience to turn this vision into a reality through the extensive national work of Education London, their sponsor.

RET's Bristol Free School, opened in 2011, was awarded a judgement of Good with Outstanding Features during its second year. Becket Keys, opened in 2012, was judged Outstanding in all categories. The two RET schools which opened in in 2013 mirrored this successful track record; see the reports for King's School and St Andrew the Apostle.

How big will the school and its classes be?

Turing House is smaller than many other local secondaries. While it is located in its Opening Site, there will be capacity for 100 in each year group (125 in 2016), rising to 150 when the school moves to its permanent location.  Each tutor group will have capacity for 25 children.

How/When do I apply for a place at the school for my child?

If you would like to join the waiting list for a place in Turing House's founding 2015/16 cohort, you can do so here. Families applying for the 2016/17 Y7 cohort should follow Richmond's secondary schools admissions process.

How big will the catchment area be?

Our Admissions Information page describes how places will be allocated if our school is oversubscribed.

It is not possible to predict how big the catchment area will be for future years, but Allocation Maps for previous year groups are provided (via the above link) to help parents to understand their chance of getting a place for their child.

What is the school like for its founding cohorts?

The school opened for Year 7 children in 2015. As they move up the school it will grow by another group of Y7 children each year until it is full.

Students joining the school in its early years have the unique opportunity of starting a school at the very beginning of its life. Teachers are getting to know them individually and have extra time and resourcing to ensure that their learning needs are met. Experience in RET's other schools has been that students have made outstanding progress and have exceeded the very challenging academic targets that have been set for them.

Are you planning to create any primary school places?

Our proposal was for a Secondary School, and we have no current plans for a primary. We are aware that the Local Authority are seeking sites and sponsors for new primary schools, so would consider proposing one if we were asked to do so, but only if we had space on our permanent site to accommodate it.

Does your school have a particular faith ethos?

Turing House is non-denominational, and we welcome children from all faiths and none. We teach Religion & Philosphy in line with local and national frameworks.

Will the school have a Sixth Form?

Yes, it will have a sixth form from 2020 when our founding cohort reach Year 12. See here for more details.

Does the school employ qualified teachers?

Yes. In common with other RET sponsored schools and academies, staff are employed under the the School Staffing Regulations that apply to all other maintained schools and academies and the nationally agreed pay and conditions for teachers and school support staff including pension schemes.  There is more information here.

Does the school have different school hours / holidays?

The school's term dates broadly follow the same pattern as other local schools. INSET days are determined annually according to the school's needs.

The schools hours are similar in pattern to other secondary schools with 25 hours a week of taught curriculum in addition to pastoral time, breaks and lunch. Optional after school activities extend the day for many students.

Will you be inspected by Ofsted?

Yes. The school succesfully passed its pre-opening Ofsted inspection, and will be fully inspected during its third year.

There has been a lot of debate in the media about whether or not Ofsted can inspect multi-academy trusts, like RET, in the same way that they can inspect Local Authority Education & Children's Services departments.  Whatever the outcome of the debate, RET considers itself "inspection ready".  In common with other multi-academy trusts it is already subject to detailed scrutiny by the Education Funding Agency.

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 is also an early-morning fitness club one day a week.

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.

 

Why have you chosen Science, Engineering and Music as your specialisms?

All of our local schools have specialisms. You can find out more about ours here.

Specialisms help to give schools a distinctive ethos. We chose science because it is an inspirational specialism that isn't currently available to boys in the Twickenham area (Waldegrave Girls School does have a science specialism). We chose Engineering to complement the science, and to extend it in a practical employment-focussed direction.  We chose Music for balance and contrast, as well as for its interesting connections with science and engineering. This combination of specialisms isn't available in any other local school, so we will be providing something unique.

Will my child need to have a particular interest in the specialisms? What if they prefer other subjects?

Our school 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. However 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 will 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?

In order to ensure full curriculum coverage our early year-groups have a slightly higher teacher-pupil ratio than the final operating level, with the costs for that being covered by the start-up funding model for new schools. 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 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 do you expect the school's gender balance to be?

The very popular Waldegrave Girls' School in Twickenham slightly skews the gender balance of other local secondaries. The 2013 school census data gives the following percentages of boys; Orleans Park 61%, Teddington 61%, Hampton Academy 52%, Twickenham Academy 57%.

Adding a new co-ed school into the mix should dilute the extent to which each individual school is affected.

Although our Admissions Point may attract a proportionally higher number of boys from Waldegrave's catchment area, as we become more established we expect the ratio of girls to boys to become more balanced. 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.

Part of the rationale for our Admissions point is that it will help to balance what is known locally as the 'Waldegrave Effect'.

Does the school have a library?

Yes. Thanks to the generosity of our founding parents, and other benefactors (Penguin Random House and Waterstones), we aready have a large collection of books for the students to borrow.  As the school grows we envisage equipping 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.

 

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