Turing House

Questions about how the school will be organised:

Back to main questions page....

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, experience and track record to turn this vision into a reality.

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 secondary schools, with an eventual capacity of 150 in each year group once it re-locates to its permanent site.  In the meantime, its capacity has been restricted to just 100 or 125 in each year group. 

Each tutor group has capacity for 25 children.

How big is the catchment area?

Our Admissions Information page describes how places are allocated when we are oversubscribed (as we have been in all year groups to date).  It also provides Admissions Maps showing where students in each Year 7 cohort have come from.

It is not possible to predict how big the admissions area will be for future years, but these maps should help parents to understand their chance of getting a place for their child.

Please bear in mind that so far our Year 7 cohort has been restricted to just 100 (or 125 in 2016 and 2018), and that the admissions area should widen when this eventually increases to 150.

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 is growing by another group of Y7 children each year, so the school will not reach its full size until 2021 when our founding cohort reach Year 13 (upper 6th form).

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 had 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?

No. Our proposal was for a Secondary School, and we have no current plans for a primary.

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 in 2015, has received DfE advisor visits in the meantime, and will be fully inspected during its third year (2017/18).

There has been some 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 & Skills 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 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.


Turing House Badge