There are currently 263 learners aged 14 to 16, of whom 157 are in year 10 and 106 in year 11. Learners study at TAG.
Since the opening of TAG, leaders have pursued excellence and have made rapid progress in establishing high quality provision with outstanding outcomes for 14- to 16-year-old learners. TAG offers a broad and inclusive curriculum that meets the statutory key stage 4 requirements. Learners follow a highly individualised programme that prepares them exceptionally well for progression to further education or training. The effective allocation of pupil premium funding ensures that disadvantaged learners make outstanding progress.
Learners’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is exceptional. The head teacher uses assembly very well as a communication forum for passing on important information to the whole cohort, and for celebrating and rewarding progress and achievement. In a personal, social, health and economic session on the topic of extremism, well-planned and thought-provoking examples captured the attention of learners and challenged them to reflect on complex issues. Teachers’ effective reinforcement of the benefits of a safe and stable society enables learners to make seamless links to the principles of British values.
Lessons are engaging, briskly paced and highly relevant to vocational and work contexts. As a result, learners are inspired and motivated to produce work of a high standard and make exceptional progress. For example, learners in engineering enjoy their learning and are keen to progress to college or apprenticeships. In workshops, they display responsible and sensible behaviour; they wear correct personal protective equipment and adhere to safe procedures. Learners take pride in creating products to very high standards, which are displayed proudly in the reception area. Citizenship lessons are challenging and current, and are very well-planned and resourced to meet a range of needs in the class. As a result, learners make very good progress and achievement is very high.
Learners benefit from excellent support and guidance including taster days and visits that enable them to make informed choices about their programme of study. Parents are very well-involved and informed, and perceive TAG as a community.
Behaviour is consistently exemplary in class and in all areas. Attendance and punctuality are very high. Learners are polite, helpful and display impressive maturity. Teachers and learners value the emphasis on positive reward and high expectations, and see this a strong contributory factor to exemplary behaviour. The head teacher and staff have ‘expectations not rules’. Parents describe their children becoming more mature, noting that they now ‘have a group around them that want to achieve’ and that each learner is ‘seen as a person with aspirations’.
Safeguarding is highly effective. TAG has its own dedicated and secure site for learners aged 14 to 16. Learners feel very safe and valued, and confident in approaching all staff including the head teacher if they have any issues. Learners describe their experience at TAG in glowing terms, and they grow in confidence. For example, learners have recently been elected as members of the regional Youth Parliament, citing the confidence gained from attending TAG as a factor in their success.
Learners know how well they are doing, what their personal targets are and what they need to work on to improve. Marking and feedback are thorough and constructive, meaning learners know what they have done well and how to improve. Teachers track learners’ progress very well, and have an accurate view of how well their learners are progressing and achieving.