The Ridings School came into national prominence in November 1996 when it was subject to an emergency Ofsted inspection. Since then we have undergone a remarkable transformation.
The Staffing Situation
Of the teachers currently working in the school a large proportion have joined us since November 1996. A significant number of new appointments have been to senior posts within the school. We also have an excellent team of 30 Teaching Assistants who work with our special needs students.
Vacancies arise at The Ridings School due to the rapid promotion of staff to leadership posts in other schools. This situation creates a superb opportunity for committed and enthusiastic teachers to come and work in an exciting and challenging environment. As a staff we are aware of the need for continuing development and are working together to achieve the goals identified in our School Improvement Plan.
Special Needs Provision
As 42% of our students are on the Special Needs Register we have worked hard to develop excellent Learning Support provision.
We have four-specialist in-school centres designed to meet the needs of students in KS3 and KS4. These centres are timetabled as normal lessons and are each staffed by a teacher and two Teaching Assistants. Three of these centres are run by Primary trained teachers. Each Faculty also has a minimum of two full-time Teaching Assistants who support lessons.
Form Tutors are highly valued as central to the pastoral organisation of the school and are the first point of contact and referral for concerns and praise. We have six Heads of Year who, together with a PSHCE Co-ordinator, have oversight of student welfare.
The LEA is aware of the need to finance the school outside the constraints of formula funding and is committed to continuing to support us for the coming year. The current number on roll is 740 and is estimated to rise. I am pleased to note that our first choice figure continues to rise.
Our Sixth Form is also expected to continue to grow and a wider range of courses will be offered. Plans include further GNVQ courses to add to the Health and Social Care, Business Studies and Information Technology courses already offered as well as broadening our range of AS and A2 courses.
The school site has been developed through a £6.5m building programme. A new Sports Hall and 5-a-side floodlit court opened in 1997; our new Science Block of four laboratories and Expressive Arts Block opened in October 1998. New art, textiles and food technology rooms opened in July 2000 and our Administration block was handed over in January 2001. The final phase of building work included a new library and multi-media centre, a Sixth Form Centre, a suite of English classrooms and state of the art resistant materials, graphics and electronics rooms.
The School is one of only eight in the country involved in a DfES pilot project looking at the impact of enhanced funding on student attainment. This involvement has not only brought considerable financial resources into school, but also given us greater autonomy over the curriculum we provide.
Due to the significant number of visitors who ask to come to our school we are asking that each organisation makes a donation to the School Fund of £30.
This donation will be used to directly support the continued work of the In-School Learning Centres and the Healthy School Award