Ensuring Teaching and Learning Excellence
At Coloma our vision is to prepare every child so they may prosper in the constantly changing and demanding world in which we live. We recognise this requires us to have in place a curriculum that empowers them to achieve their maximum potential not just academically. It must also provide them with the necessary spiritual, moral, social and cultural skills and understanding they will need - our SMSC approach.
We seek therefore to ensure our curriculum is broad based and includes a rich variety of opportunity in both academic, creative and vocational areas, aiming to make rounded young women who can engage socially, are mature, responsible, moral, compassionate and can think beyond the 'now'.
Delivering the Vision
At Coloma we recognise that delivering our vision of Teaching & Learning excellence relies on a complex interaction of many different strands or pillars of activity and provision. These encompass:
- Leadership & Management at all levels to embed and realise the vision
- Resource Provision
- Broad based rich curriculum with excellent extracurricular provision
- Excellent teaching and staff development programme
- Safe & supporting Learning Environment which encourages growth in knowledge and growth in Christ
- Evaluation and Review - A consistent approach to monitoring pupil outcomes and teaching practice
- Reward & Recognition
- Pastoral Support - A key element which supports and binds all other aspects
Details of the Key Elements - How do we achieve Teaching and Learning Excellence?
Monitoring Pupil Achievement
Pupil outcomes in terms of the qualifications they eventually leave school with are of course a key measure of the success of our approach at Coloma. Both at GCSE and A Level, the results overall of Coloma pupils are consistently amongst the highest in the country.
Monitoring pupil achievement however does not simply rely on this narrow measure. At Coloma we endeavour through regular monitoring and analysis to:
- Check pupil progress throughout their school career and to use this data to inform our own provision and to identify opportunities where we can improve our approach and practice
- Check pupils individual progress against their starting point when arriving at Coloma
- Check how well pupils progress in each subject they take with special focus on English and Mathematics
- Check progress for different groups of pupils within the school to see how their achievements compare to other groups within Coloma and against groups nationally
- Systematically recruit feedback from students on their learning progress & experience
In each of the above cases we seek to understand where achievement gaps exist for:
- Individual pupils
- Identified groups of pupils
- Individual subject areas
We analyse whether such gaps are Coloma specific or nationally based and if the gaps are narrowing over time. Where gaps are identified we intervene and agree practical steps to target improvement. These steps are then included in our school action plan.
You will find examples of our monitoring data on the pop out menu to the right of this page.
Ensuring Excellent Teaching
A key element for professional and personal development with which we will all be familiar is that of reflection. We all from time to time reflect on our experiences and gain insight into how we may have done things differently, what went well and what could have been better. It is no different in the classroom, where mature reflection on practice is an invaluable tool to ensure lessons are delivered to the highest possible standard. At Coloma this is achieved through:
- Lesson Observations and Feedback - Led regularly by the Senior Leadership Team
- Sharing Best Practice - Teachers voluntarily sharing best practice with colleagues
- CPD - Continuing Professional Development - 3 full days and 5 twilight sessions a year where training is delivered to all teachers to keep practice and policy up to date
We recognise that one of the best resources for professional development is the expertise of our own staff and Coloma is therefore keen to ensure it fully embraces new technological developments and resources which enable the sharing of that expertise within the school. Our aim is to develop a community of best practice at Coloma. To this end we are currently focused on:
- The introduction of IRIS, a system of video collaboration between teachers aimed at building a community of best practice at Coloma
- Developing the use of FRONTER within school, a virtual learning environment where teachers and pupils can share resources used in school and provide access to additional resources to extend pupil learning outside of the classroom
- CLIPBANK, a Channel 4 educational programme providing a wealth of relevant and constantly updated video resources covering all subject areas. Aligned to our school wide online network in every classroom this enables us to bring these resources directly into the learning environment.
You can see an example of IRIS in use in a real lesson at Coloma in our Forms and Downloads section of this site.
Creating The Right Learning Environment
For pupils to benefit fully from excellent teaching and resource provision it is vital that the school provides a safe environment not just in terms of health and safety best practice but also by providing an equal and fair chance to thrive and learn in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. We are committed to ensuring zero tolerance of bullying, harassment or prejudice of any kind in line with government regulations and with our ethos as a Catholic school.
All girls are encouraged to take risks in their learning and be creative. We pride ourselves that every classroom is a thriving environment for enjoyment and achievement. Guided by the teachings of the Gospels, we promote a community of love, service and prayer where each person’s worth is recognised, each person’s contribution is valued. We encourage an environment where independence is celebrated and individuals can flourish. On a day to day basis the Coloma code of conduct is at the heart of our work and relationships.
In order to provide a clear framework of behaviour and expectations, we have detailed policies on a range of related issues which you will find on our School Policies page.
SEN (Special Educational Needs)
The School SEN Information Report
- We aim to develop and support the children in our care in every way possible so that they can fulfil their educational potential.
- We work closely with parents to ensure that each child reaches her full potential to develop into a responsible and respectful member of the community and live her life according to Christian values.
|Mrs S Richardson||Head of SENCO|
|Miss M Barrett||Learning Support Assistant|
|Mr J Dandy||Learning Support Assistant|
|Mrs C Morrison||Learning Support Assistant|
|Miss R Payne||Learning Support Assistant|
|Mrs Y Powell||Learning Support Assistant|
|Mrs S Rose||Learning Support Assistant|
|Miss B Whitehead||Learning Support Assistant|
Information and Guidance
Who should I contact to discuss the concerns or learning needs of my child?
In the first instance contact your child's form tutor or subject teacher. They are responsible for:
- Adapting and refining the curriculum to respond to strengths and needs of all pupils.
- Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivery of any additional support required to support progress
- Contributing to devising individual differentiation plans to prioritise and focus on the next steps required for your child to improve learning
- Applying the school’s SEN policy.
You then may be directed towards to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).
The role of the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator)
The SENCO is responsible for coordinating provision for children with SEN and developing the school’s SEN policy, ensuring that parents are:
- Involved in supporting their child’s learning and access
- Kept informed about the range and level of support offered to their child
- Included in reviewing how their child is doing
- Consulted about planning successful movement (transition) to a new class or school
- Liaising with a range of agencies outside of school who can offer advice and support to help pupils overcome any difficulties
- Providing specialist advice and facilitating training to ensure that all staff are skilled and confident about meeting a range of needs.
Responsibilities of Head Teacher and Governors
The Head Teacher is responsible for the day to day management of all aspects of the school, including the provision made for pupils with SEN.
The SEN Governor is responsible for supporting school to evaluate and develop quality and impact of provision for pupils with SEN across the school.
Assessment, Planning and Review
How can I find out about how well my child is doing?
- All parents and carers are routinely invited to a Parents’ Evening and given the opportunity to discuss their daughter’s progress with her subject teachers and are also provided with written reports.
- Additionally ongoing monitoring takes place throughout your daughter’s education administered by form tutors/ subject teachers and SENCO to identify those pupils who have difficulty or are not making adequate progress.
- Following further assessments and after discussions with key staff and parents, additional support may be put into place to help overcome any difficulties and your daughter may be identified as requiring SEN Support.
- This additional support is documented by the school. In consultation with the class teacher/form tutor, SENCO and parents, short term targets are agreed which prioritise key areas of learning. Where external agencies are involved, their advice and recommendations are included in this planning. Actions agreed take into account each pupil’s strengths as well as their difficulties.
- In some cases and for pupils who already have Statements of Needs or EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plans), learning support assistance may be allocated. The level of support will be considered in respect of complexity and severity of needs. There will be an expectation that pupils should develop independent learning skills as far as possible and not become reliant on adult supervision.
- Formal review meetings are held as required. Those with statements or EHCP Parents, relevant external agencies and when appropriate, pupils are invited to this review. The impact of support offered is considered along with the progress towards targets set. Support arrangements will be updated and revised accordingly. If not involved already, this might include referral to external agencies. The outcomes of these meetings will be formally recorded.
- If your child continues to make little or no progress, an Education Health Care Plan may be requested. Further details about this process will be explained by the SENCO and information published in the LA Local Offer.
Tests and Examinations: Access Arrangements
For some pupils additional arrangements and adjustments can be made to enable them to fully access a range of tests. This might include additional time, rest breaks, use of a reader or scribe. The SENCO will inform you about eligibility and applications for these arrangements.
How will teaching be adapted to meet the needs of my daughter?
- Teachers are experienced professionals adept at adapting teaching to meet the diverse range of needs in each class.
- Daily planning takes into account individual pupil need and requirements.
- Differentiation is approached in a range of ways to support access and ensure that all pupils can experience success and challenge in their learning.
In addition to planned differentiation in the classroom, the following range of interventions may be put in place to help overcome learning difficulties. This includes:
- One to one/ small group tuition in both English (Literacy) and Maths
- Smaller classes for students working at lower levels
- Catch-up sessions
- Reading intervention programme
- Reading and Spelling groups
- In-class support
- Both mixed-ability and set teaching groups
- Provision of learning equipment
- Multiple pathways for students at KS4
- Pastoral monitoring
- Academic mentoring
- Progress monitoring
- Regular assessment
What arrangements are made to enable my child to benefit and take advantage of the full school curriculum and extra curriculum activities?
We have reasonable access in place to ensure that pupils with SEN and Disability can take part in all aspects of school life. However, wheelchair access is limited to the 6th Form block, DT block, ground floor administration block, and new Performing Arts Block. No access to uppers floors in main building where library, some IT and Science department is located. Some classrooms have the Sound Field System to enhance the acoustic field for those pupils with hearing impairment.
How skilled are staff in meeting the needs of my child?
An ongoing programme of training is in place to ensure that all teachers and support staff have appropriate skills and knowledge to support provision for children with SEN. Our SENCO actively engages in a range of opportunities to share best practice and keep abreast of current local and national initiatives and policy to support pupils with SEN. The school also seeks advice and guidance from local services such as the Visual and Hearing Impairment services, to review, evaluate and develop provision for pupils who have the most complex needs. We have staff with specialised expertise and qualifications including:
- Dyslexia Action accreditation
- Special Needs Learning Difficulties Diploma
- Masters Degree in Education
- Assessor accreditation for examination access arrangements
- Specialist SEN Teacher status
What support from outside does the school use to help my daughter?
The school works with a number of external agencies to seek advice and support to ensure that the needs of all children are fully understood and met. These include:
- Educational Psychology Service
- Our attached Educational Psychologist is: Karina Ng
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Visual Impairment Service
- Hearing Impairment Service
- CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
- Virtual School for Looked After Children
Additionally, parents may wish to seek support from Family Lives Parent Partnership Service
Tel: 020 3131 3150
The Parent Partnership Service provides independent information and advice and guidance for parents and carers of children and young people with SEN.
Transition: How will the school help my daughter changing schools?
Year 6 / 7 Transition
The SENCO and/or Head of Year 7 will attend the Primary to Secondary Transition day meeting to discuss specific need of your child and the nature and level of support which has had the most impact.
On some cases additional multi-agency meetings may be arranged, or the SENCO may attend the pupil’s termly review, in order to create a more detailed ‘transition’ plan which may include more visits to the new school and/or additional visits from the new school.
Sixth Form Transfer
Children and young people with SEN can become particularly anxious about ‘moving on’, for example, to other Sixth Form provision, so we seek to support successful transition by:
- Preparing the student with advice from a career advisor and/or teacher.
- Liaising with the Learning Support department at the new provision and sharing information about any special arrangements that have been in place at Coloma.
The Local Offer
Further information about support and services for pupils and their families can be found here
Music At Coloma
Music is an integral part of life at Coloma. We aim to encourage as many girls as possible to join in with musical life at the school , be that through singing in one of our many excellent Choirs, learning to play an instrument or getting stuck in with the technical and staging support teams - There is room for everyone!
We believe music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps pupils understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world, all the time developing a sense of group identity, togetherness, self-discipline and creativity.
With over 500 girls alone singing in the Main School Choir at our larger concerts it soon becomes obvious to our new Year 7 Girls that this is a busy department with a hectic schedule, performing over 40 musical events, concerts and shows each year. The quality and strength of our musical provision at Coloma has been recognised at the highest level, with regular invites to perform at the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, and being awarded Specialist Music College.
We continually strive to broaden and develop our Music curriculum and have an exciting extracurricular programme which sees our students regularly travelling through Europe to fulfil invitations to sing at such prestigious venues as Chiesa de Santa Maria De’Ricci Via del Corso, in Italy. More recently we have been delighted to be able to use the new Winton House Performing Arts Centre, a fully equipped theatre venue opened at Coloma in 2011.
Choral Music is at the heart of musical life at Coloma. Our main school choir numbers over 500 girls and from this strength we are able to explore many other styles of singing in numerous choirs which the girls seek to join and develop. The St Cecilia Singers have now covered virtually every musical genre from 16th century polyphony to the blues and the St Anthony’s Choir has sung in Welsh, Bulgarian and Swahili! Our Gospel Choir continues to be a very popular choice for the girls and is always invited to sing at a range of venues during the year including the Croydon Performing Arts’ Festival.
Coloma’s choirs cover every age range in the school and it delights us to see all of them at some point during the year being invited to sing in the local and wider community. We continue to seek new opportunities for them and as part of our 140th Anniversary Celebrations commissioned our very own work from Howard Goodall entitled “The Pearl” which received its acclaimed debut at the Festival Hall on the South Bank.
Instrumental Tuition and Orchestras
A team of over 25 peripatetic music staff undertake instrumental tuition for more than 200 students. Girls may elect to learn the piano, flute, saxophone, percussion, trumpet, trombone, oboe, clarinet, violin, cello, double bass, viola, French horn, bassoon, harp or guitar. Associated Board Examinations are conducted regularly at school.
The instrumental extra-curricular activities on offer include: two school orchestras, a variety of Chamber Ensembles including highly regarded string and wind groups, Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble, Senior Strings, the ‘King Drummers’ percussion ensemble and Breakfast Orchestra for our beginners.
Music technology plays a key role in music across the world. Students at Coloma, including those who do not play a traditional instrument, are encouraged to explore their musicality and create original materials using technology. The teaching of Music Technology at Coloma focuses on practical work and encourages the cultivation of a wide range of skills such as sequencing, multi-track recording, and composing using music technology. Students have opportunities to build understanding of the technical processes and principles which underpin the effective use of music technology, as well as written work.
No special equipment is required for Music Technology. The school is fully equipped with the necessary hardware and software, including an iMac suite, a state-of-the-art music studio and the latest sequencing software Logic Pro X.
Competitions, Tours and Concerts
We firmly believe that taking our music outside of school is a key requirement for developing not only the girl’s interest and enthusiasm but also in sharing our gifts and talents with the wider community. During the year girls sing and play at a number of events. Here are just a few recent highlights
- Christmas Concert - Fairfield Halls
- St Marks - Venice
- St Anthony’s - Padua
- Music of Youth Schools Prom
- Royal Festival Hall - South Bank
- Barnardos Choir of the Year - Royal Festival Hall
- H.C.P.T - Westminster Cathedral
- Annie - Winton House Performing Arts Centre
- Wicked - Winton House Performing Arts Centre
- Chamber Evening - St Paul's Church, Covent Garden
Sport at Coloma
At Coloma we greatly value the participation of our pupils in a broad range of sporting activity under the expert guidance and care of our PE department staff. The School makes good use of its sporting facilities including 2 gyms, all weather floodlit sports pitches and extensive grounds in which field and track events are catered for.
We firmly believe it is our responsibility to promote a positive attitude to exercise and aim to encourage our pupils and students to build a lifetime habit of healthy activity. We promote the understanding that exercise is vital in relation to the well-being of the individual and is a key part of a balanced, complete and effective education.
Aims & Objectives
At Coloma we aim through our sporting programme to:
- Promote positive attitudes towards physical activities
- Help pupils & students develop a healthy attitude to involvement in exercise in later life
- Develop an understanding and appreciation of health, fitness and the effects and benefits of a healthy active life-style.
- Give all students (irrespective of gender, ethnic origin or academic ability) the opportunity to discover and develop their physical potential through a balanced programme of activities.
- Develop a range of motor skills and aid the development of co-ordination and self-confidence in movement.
In addition to the physical aspects and benefits of exercise through sport we also aim through our sporting programme to:
- Motivate pupils to aim for personal excellence
- Encourage pupils to plan, perform and evaluate both independently and in group situations
- Encourage participation and enjoyment
- Develop interpersonal skills
- Develop an appreciation of individual differences and capabilities
- Emphasise the importance of safe practice and encourage responsible attitudes towards safety
- Promote self-esteem through the development of physical confidence
- Raise awareness of personal health and hygiene
- Emphasise the importance of codes of conduct, rules, fair play and good sporting behaviour
- Develop a range of desirable personal qualities such as politeness, initiative, perseverance and independence
- Develop literacy, numeracy and verbal skills
Do take some time to look through our sports pages and catch up with our latest sporting news and details of the sports curriculum at each key stage.
You will find all the school calendars including the Sports Calendar on the pop out menu to the right of this page.
For full details of our PE kit, prices and school supplier, please click here.
At Coloma we actively encourage our pupils and students to become involved in school life outside of their normal academic studies. For those who have a desire to input to the running of the school itself and ensure that the ‘pupil voice’ is heard and gains respect, the School Council provides an excellent opportunity. The Councils’ views and suggestions are welcomed and respected by the School Leadership Team. This is clearly demonstrated by the significant influence it has on school life. From input to the requirements and value for money for the new School Catering contract (Picnic bag lunches for £1) to drinking fountain provision and the proposal and setting up of the Annual whole school House Art competition, the School Council allows Coloma to actively listen to its learners. The Council makes a positive difference to school life as well as helping members to develop the self-confidence, self-respect and self-belief so actively encouraged at Coloma.
The Council meets every term and is chaired jointly by the Headteacher and the Head Girl. All students and pupils can stand for election as a representative of their own Tutor Group. Collectively the elected members represent the views of all pupils, making the commitment to regularly attend meetings, give voice to Tutor group suggestions and issues, participate in discussion and give feedback to those they represent.
Copies of the Council minutes are displayed on the Head Girls Board.
Extra Curricular Activities
An important part of life at Coloma is our focus on the provision of extracurricular activities which the Girls are encouraged to take part in. As with any school these activities provide an important background and balance to academic studies, enabling students to gain life experiences which enrich and enable personal growth and development. Whether it’s getting involved with our charitable work through taking a role in our Charities week fundraising , travelling to Europe on our regular sport and music tours, attending camps as part of the CCF contingent, or simply going to Chess Club once a week, there is opportunity for everyone to seek out and find an activity which they enjoy. You’ll find more details on all our activities from the main menu to the left of this page.