We were grateful to Pater Matthews OBE who wrote the foreword for this year’s case studies:
I am honoured be invited to contribute a foreword to this second volume of case studies. I recently met some year 11 students at Torquay Academy. They are terrific advocates for the school. They told me that the best thing about the school is ‘its teachers’. They extolled the consistently high quality of their teaching and personal support and counted themselves very fortunate to be students here. The students also recognised and respected the time and effort invested in the ongoing professional development of staff so as to refine teaching and learning. Uniquely, in my experience of talking to teenage students, they could think of no ‘even better if…’suggestions for the school.
The Principal’s avowed belief that every student could go to university is symptomatic of a school that is passionately committed to ‘success for all’. Stunning examination results, exceptional value added scores, better attendance, greatly reduced incidence of exclusions and – not least – the evidence that every student in key stage 3 is reading at least five times a week, are among the indicators of a hard-working, high-achieving and well-led school. These informative and inspiring case studies show some of the well-conceived strategies that underlie the school’s success. They are written by expert leaders who clearly work as a cohesive team in a culture of high expectations and mutual trust. The case studies give some clues as to why the school has taken off in the last two or three years and is flying high. Per ardua ad astra applies as much to Torquay Academy as to the Royal Air Force. I commend the case studies to a wide readership.
Peter Matthews OBE, PhD, FRSA
Visiting Professor, University College London – Institute of Education