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Self Evaluation & Development Plan

The Academy’s vision drives the highest standards on all areas of the Ofsted Framework and underpins our strategic planning for 2022-23:

Our vision is to provide an outstanding quality of education, dedicated to academic and character excellence and underpinned by the inclusive Christian values of love, hope and trust. We are committed to seeing ‘transformation for all’: we want all young people, of all faiths and none, to be ‘transformed by the renewing of their minds’ (Romans 12:2) through learning, and to live ‘life in all its fulness’ (John 10:10). Above all, students will realise their God-given potential and ensure they have the ambition, confidence, cultural capital and employability skills to be successful in their future university and professional career. They will genuinely celebrate equality and diversity as benchmarks for a just, liberating and thriving society.


Please click each heading below to see a summary of our SEF/SDP against each area of the framework.

Quality of Education

Strengths Areas for Development
  • Outcomes at the Academy are in the top 10% of all schools nationally for progress (+0.59)
  • St Mark’s curriculum is underpinned by the strands of the national curriculum, whilst being tailored to celebrate, speak to and reflect the diverse background of our students 
  • Leaders at SMA have designed a curriculum intent that is ambitious and designed to give all pupils the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
  • The curriculum is broad and balanced and there is a “strong academic core.” The majority of pupils study EBacc  
  • Curriculum documents are commended in external reviews for being coherently planned and sequenced to promote long term memory retention
  • Curriculum reviews and internal deep dives confirm that our whole school intent mirrors subject intent. We use the Big Ideas, empower, promote, and enrich, Medium Term Plans and Knowledge Organisers to drive consistency 
  • CPD is exceptional and supports staff to deliver transformational education and progress professionally. CPD has been awarded a Gold Quality Mark (UCL)
  • An instructional coaching programme drives standards of teaching. St Mark’s is a Steplab Coaching Hub school
  • Teachers use assessment well using our responsive teaching toolkit 
  • Leaders have reshaped the curriculum and designed a CPD offer for staff to ensure reading and oracy is prioritised
  • A comprehensive literacy strategy is in place. In 2022, the average reading age of pupils in Year 7 and 8 increased by 25% more than their chronological age. 
  • Feedback from ECT colleagues shows our bespoke CPD offer supports these colleagues to make rapid progress
  • To systematically use pupil voice to create a you said/we did culture around curriculum
  • To continue to embed a transformational oracy and literacy strategy
  • Ensure that all Middle Leaders are supported to close any final gaps between subjects/groups outlined in our full SEF/SDP

Behaviour & Attitudes 

Strengths Areas for Development
  • Values permeate through the school and guide the behaviour of students both inside and outside of the school. Students make conscious decisions to behave appropriately even when they are unsupervised. 
  • The SSAT climate for learning review 2022 states that the schools ‘values are lived out and consistently applied’ resulting in a shared vision between staff and students which as a result is ‘Highly Sustainable’.
  • Relationships result in a positive and respectful school culture based on love and forgiveness
  • External reviews containing staff and student voice confirms that ‘This practice has transformed the experiences of learners and staff’  (SSAT Climate for Learning Review 2022).
  • Internal safeguarding audits commend St Mark’s on “world class” safeguarding practices.
  • Numerous reviews confirm ‘A culture has been created in the school in which students speak openly about the support they are receiving, there is no shame attached to needing extra help in whatever form and students are very supportive of each other’. SSAT 2022
  • Suspension rates are well below the national average and demonstrate a culture where early help is effective
  • Attendance is well above the national average and something we support other schools to improve.
  • Continue to embed our new punctuality and homework systems to see a demonstrable impact on all groups
  • To ensure suspension rates for key groups remain in line with “all” pupils
  • To systematically use pupil voice to create a you said/we did culture around behaviour and safeguarding.

Leadership & Management 

Strengths Areas for Development
  • The Principal and SLT have an ambitious vision based on transformation for all. External reviews conducted throughout 2020-present day confirm that this has been realised despite challenges during the pandemic
  • Our values driven staff wellbeing action plan includes multiple forums to gather staff voice.
  • Internal safeguarding audits commend St Mark’s on “world class” safeguarding practices shared beyond school
  • External reviews comment St Mark’s exceptional CPD offer centred around CTMM and instructional coaching 
  • A 5-year trend of outcomes between +0.37 and +0.59 demonstrates that leaders focus their attention on the curriculum and education provided for all. No child leaves NEET 
  • Staff voice is positive with numbers reporting good or better wellbeing 12% higher than national
  • The Principal and Business Manager completed Mental Health Lead training and follow the DFE Wellbeing Charter
  • Governance is highly effective. Link LGB members carry out termly reviews and challenge as critical friends.
  • Continue to use innovative ways to engage with the community and embed a you said/we did approach
  • More systematic use of pupil voice across the Academy, particularly from Middle Leaders when evaluating the curriculum
  • Ensure that all Middle Leaders are supported to close any final gaps between subjects/groups outlined in our full SEF/SDP.

Personal Development 

Strengths Areas for Development
  • St Mark’s work to develop pupils’ character is exemplary and shared with other schools/SSAT as best practice
  • Our weekly standalone PSHE lesson for every year group develops pupils for life in modern Britain, CIAG, British values. Our curriculum has been used as best practice Trust wide
  • SMSC and knowledge of online bullying, SRHE, sexual harassment and bullying is developed extremely well through our exceptional PSHE (Lifeology) curriculum taught by specialists
  • Quality assurance and SIAMS inspections commend the way pupils demonstrate a respect for diversity
  • “The school’s provision for the personal development and welfare of pupils is outstanding. It is highly enriching and supportive and focuses on ‘values in action’” (Ofsted).
  • St Mark’s Coaching Time and assembly programme develops SMSC and character and promotes tolerance
  • RE is exceptionally well sequenced, supports character excellence and celebrates P8 outcomes of +1
  • The curriculum extends beyond the academic with three enrichment days and the DofE programme
  • We offer a transformational enrichment and CEIAG programme which is analysed half termly to ensure all students have access to activities that enhance cultural capital/curriculum.
  • Systematically track enrichment take up to ensure all groups access a high quality provision
  • Build a pupil voice framework to systematically review provision 
  • Develop a more systematic approach to evaluate spiritual development.

Sixth Form 

Strengths Areas for Development
  • Leaders have designed a broad and balanced curriculum which supports the success of disadvantaged group and learners with SEND who progress to university along with 80% of their peers each year
  • 25% of all learners who apply to university secured a place at a Russell Group
  • Outcomes at KS5 are in the top 10% of all schools in the country and pupils resitting GCSE maths and English perform exceptionally well
  • A comprehensive PSHE curriculum allows all students to receive RSHE education, delivered by a specialist
  • Students are exposed to an essential RE curriculum through the delivery of PSHE lessons 
  • An exceptional enrichment programme develops wellbeing and prepares students for future employment
  • Teachers and leaders use assessment to help students embed and use knowledge fluently and flexibly, to evaluate the application of skills, or to check understanding and inform teaching
  • Leaders and staff create an environment within the Sixth Form in which students feel safe.
  • To improve outcomes for key groups in selected A Level subjects
  • Adapt the CEIAG offer to increase students’ awareness of apprenticeships and build in pupil voice to evaluate the impact of this
  • To continue to embed the approach to improve literacy and oracy at KS

Key Priorities

  1. To empower leaders at all levels to work collaboratively to drive the quality of education vision and ensure transformation for all.
  2. To develop a consistent approach to close gaps between SEND and high attaining pupils and other studentsto ensure they are all able to dance at the party.
  3. To systematically gather stakeholder voice (including students and parents) to implement change that can be sustained and meets the needs of the community we serve.
  4. Implement an inclusive and transformational enrichment and careers offer, to enhance cultural capital, encourage courageous advocacy and develop employability skills.
  5. To launch a comprehensive oracy strategy and continue to embed literacy strategies such as accelerated reader and DVI.