Q. How much progress do students make at Garratt Park School?
A. Ofsted told us that our students make outstanding progress. Most of our students are in the top 20% of students nationally when we compare their exam results with their starting points in Year 7.
Q. How do you measure progress?
A. We have devised an assessment system which suits our students far better than the old National Curriculum levels. We have worked on this with three other similar special schools in the south-east. Assessment is broken down into easier steps, so that our students can see that they are making progress. We have also included practical life skills (such as using a bus timetable, working with money and reading instructions) in English, ICT, Maths and Personal, Citizenship, Health and Social Education.
Q. Do you test reading, spelling and number?
A. Yes, we do. We use on-line tests yearly to get reading, spelling and number ages for each student. This also shows outstanding progress.
Q. How much homework is set at Garratt Park School?
A. The school does not have a formal homework timetable. Our students work hard at school, and need to rest when they get home. However, teachers may set homework during project work, or when a test or exam is coming up. And if you and your child would like more homework, please ask.
Q. What books do students read for their GCSE English course?
A. Prose texts include Of Mice and Men or Animal Farm. Drama texts include An Inspector Calls or Our Day Out. A selection of poems is also included and these can be found in the AQA Anthology called Moon on the Tides.
Q. What online revision guides can I use to prepare for the exams?
A. A useful website to use is http://www.bbc.co.uk/education
Q. How can I help with my child’s spelling?
A. Students can receive differentiated spelling practise to do at home. If you wish, speak to your child’s English teacher and we can arrange for more extensive homework to be set.
Q. What does ICT stand for?
A. Information Communication Technology
Q. Are there any ICT clubs?
A. There are two ICT clubs that are run during lunch periods each day.
Q. How many lessons of ICT do students receive a week?
A. Students receive two 1 hour lessons of ICT a week.
Q. What sort of things do students learn about in ICT lessons?
A. Lessons in ICT cover a wide range of aspects including Spreadsheets, Databases, Presentation, Desktop Publishing, Animation, Video Production, producing websites, Computer Programming, Hardware, Software and Legal, Social and Ethical implications of Computing.
Q. Are there any good ICT resources that my children can use at home?
A. http://www.teach-ict.com has a vast array of resources that students can use to enhance their knowledge and understanding of ICT and Computing at home.
Q. What qualifications can students get in ICT?
A. Currently we offer students opportunities to achieve 4 qualifications in ICT those being: OCR Entry Level Certificate ICT R441, OCR Entry Level Certificate Computing R353, Edexcel Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA) equivalent to one GCSE and Edexcel Diploma in Digital Applications (DiDA) equivalent to two GCSEs.
Q. Are there any exams in ICT?
A. For students that undertake the Entry Level Certificate Computing qualification, there are 3 short tests on Hardware, Software and Logic. For students that undertake the Certificate in Digital Applications, there is a 2.5 hour exam in which they have to produce a website on a computer from a set brief presented at the beginning of the exam.
Q. What support is there for students who are finding difficulty with Maths?
A. Students are supported in lessons by teachers and teaching assistants. Tasks that are differentiated at different levels to meet the needs of each student. They are assessed regularly and anyone who needs more targeted support have personalised learning sessions with a subject specialist teaching assistant.
Q. What support is in place for students taking GCSEs or other exams in Maths?
A. Thoughout Key Stage 4 students identified as having the potential to sit a GCSE in Maths will be given practise and learning materials which will prepare then for the examinations at the end of Year 11, including mock examinations. In the run up to the exams, revision guides will be available to purchase from the school at a reduced price and after-school revision sessions will be running from the February half-term break.
Q. What Maths accreditations are offered to students at Garratt Park?
A. All students will be following suitable accredited courses throughout KS4 and KS5. In KS4 all students complete the AQA Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics and will gain an accreditation from Entry Level 1 to Entry Level 3. In addition to this, those student who are ready to do so will sit the AQA GCSE in the subject at the end of Year 11. In KS5 pupils continue to work on improving whichever accreditation they achieved at the end of KS4 and in addition to this will be working on gaining Functional Skills accreditations.
Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form
Q: Do the students still study the core subjects?
A: English, Maths and ICT remain a priority for students in Key Stage 5.
Q: How are the students helped to prepare for the next step of leaving school?
A: Students have the opportunity to attend college one day a week with the support of familiar school staff. They also undertake a course on Work Skills in school which will lead to a BTEC qualification. As part of this course they learn how to complete a CV, conduct an interview, fill out application forms and how to conduct themselves in the workplace. Extended work placements are also available to students who wish to dedicate some of their time to learning new work-related skills. All students will be expected to complete a two week work placement. Continued support from the Connexions service is also available.
Q. Which colleges do students attend when they leave Garratt Park School?
A. The most popular college for our students is South Thames College. This is divided over a number of sites with the most popular being the Merton Campus closely followed by the Wandsworth Campus. The choice of campus is generally determined by the choice of course. For example Sport is only available at the Wandsworth Campus while Mechanics is available at the Merton Campus. The Aurora Centre is also based at the Merton Campus and this has been a popular destination for some of our students with more nurturing needs, as has Orchard Hill. Other popular colleges for our students are Lambeth College, Nescott College and Carshalton College. Kingston College is popular for students with an interest in art , while for those with an interest in animal welfare there is Capel Manor College.
Key Stage Coordinators Information
Q. Who can I speak with if my child's tutor is not available?
A. You can speak with the Key Stage Coordinator who oversees your child's year group
Q. Can parents go on school trips?
A. Only in very special circumstances can parents go on trips. However, parents are invited to attend coffee mornings, parent courses and whole school events. This includes our annual Christmas and Easter Markets.
Q. How many Parents’ Evenings are there in the school year?
A. There is one Parents’ Evening each term