Our core belief at Gordano is that learning should be an enjoyable, exciting and worthwhile experience for all students; enabling learners to develop socially and emotionally as well as preparing them for the world of work and further or higher education. The ‘Gordano Experience’ for students centres on the principle that ‘teaching should enthuse pupils and engage their interest and enthusiasm for learning’ in a nurturing and positive environment.
Our innovative approach to learning has been nationally recognised as at the forefront of educational practice, with staff often being asked to speak at conferences or to support other schools. We believe that learning should be active and constantly develop new ways to bring learning alive for students. This drive for outstanding learning is reflected not only in students’ impressive academic success but also by the high number of teachers who have completed the Outstanding Teacher Programme, which we run as part of our Training School work. We were pleased that this was recognised in our last Ofsted inspection, which praised the “many lessons [that] are characterised by stimulating pace and challenge, and high expectations”.
Learners follow a broad and balanced curriculum and work at a pace and level that suits their abilities, whether this means attending Boost in Year 7 to improve their literacy and numeracy skills or taking part in extra projects and programmes such as completing Extended Project Qualifications Post 16.. All students follow the Development Stage in Years 7-8 before progressing to the Personalised Stage in Year 9, when they are offered three year GCSE courses and a range of vocational qualifications. 6th Form students have a wide range of A Levels to study in addition to BTEC courses at Level 2 or 3.
Support for students’ learning is also provided through a range of projects that enrich the curriculum offer; ranging from subject specific challenges and competitions for more able students to groups supporting students’ social, emotional and behavioural needs. The personalised offer to students has been acknowledged and praised through a Leading Edge award for innovation and Gordano being awarded Lead School Status for Gifted and Talented by the SSAT (The Schools Network).
Leading Edge status has also supported our development of thinking skills across the curriculum, in order for students to develop Personal Learning and Thinking Skills alongside knowledge. Whether it’s through the Wednesday afternoon MyPM sessions in the Development Stage or MyLife sessions during the Personalised Stage, students are constantly provided with opportunities for developing essential skills and reflecting on how they learn. Developing independent learners is crucial to students’ success and we are committed to developing this independence at all stages, from the innovative programme of Extended Learning in Years 7-8 to the Electives Programme for sixth form students.
The quality of teaching and learning is continually being enhanced, with staff regularly sharing and disseminating best practice, evidenced by our nationally recognised work as a Teaching School working alongside the North Somerset Teaching Alliance. This is fully supported by an innovative personalised training programme for staff that ensures outstanding provision for all learners.
'The Gordano Experience’ outlines Gordano’s values and beliefs and the expectations for teaching and learning within the school.