Teaching & Learning
Teaching and learning is at the heart of everything we do at OHA. We pride ourselves in providing opportunities for all our staff to grow and develop their skills and knowledge inside and outside the classroom. Staff meet regularly to discuss new pedagogical initiatives and departments have dedicated time to implement and review new strategies.
A monthly learning and teaching bulletin is shared with all staff that highlights innovative practice and shares ideas and resources to improve your classroom culture.
A strong, supportive Success Centre team work with students and staff to promote a positive and inclusive learning environment for all students in our care.
Our staff training programme takes into account the needs of staff to ensure key priorities are covered. Each member of staff chooses an area they would like to focus on from a comprehensive CPD Menu, with twilight sessions in place which are designed to meet the needs of the individual and the wider academy development plan. These sessions include: Creativity, Challenge, Pace and Questioning.
Aspiring Middle and Senior Leadership training is a key part of OHA training programme. We pride ourselves in talent spotting and ensure there are a range of opportunities in place for staff, at whatever level, to take on additional responsibility. This allows for staff to work outside their subject area in order to develop a greater knowledge of whole academy life.
We have a strong NQT Induction Programme; focussed weekly training ensures that staff receive the right support to become an outstanding practitioner. We also make sure that RQTs are given the correct support and guidance and build on their practice from their induction year.
OHA’s ‘Outstanding Teacher’ and ‘Getting to Good’ programmes play a big part in developing our staff and ensure that teachers are fully supported in their educational journey. Through these programmes, highly skilled staff with a variety of teaching experience share their knowledge and experiences in a supportive environment.
In our drive to nurture talent, we provide a range of opportunities for staff, at whatever level, to take on additional responsibility of a whole school nature. As a result of this, many members of staff have been internally promoted.
Wellbeing weeks take place throughout the year and offer staff a range of engaging opportunities from the use of spa facilities, gym membership to cooking challenges. We regularly consult with staff to support our focus on work-life balance.
Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available to staff throughout the day.
Staff have also access to our superbly equipped fitness suite. Many staff use the facilities before work or at the end of a busy day.
At OHA we make no apologies for having high expectations of our students. We spend time training our students and constantly reinforce our expectations.
We work with our students to ensure that they have the right skill set to be successful in all walks of life. We believe in a traditional and respectful approach to education – staff and students use please, thank you and excuse me when speaking to each other. We fully believe in our three core values of:
‘Students behave well. They are proud of their new building, their teachers and themselves.’ (Ofsted)
‘Pastoral care and support for students is outstanding.’ (Ofsted)
We have a high profile and supportive Senior Leadership Team who believe in the importance of being highly visible throughout the day, operating an open door policy to ensure they are accessible for staff and students. Our state of the art building allows for a calm and productive working environment. We take pride in the achievements of our students and this is highly visible when you walk through the academy.
We provide a range of opportunities to stretch and challenge our students, ensuring they have excellent support in making the right choices about their futures. We regularly provide opportunities for them to visit universities and ensure they have the highest aspirations possible.
We are a member of the Ormiston Academies Trust, a medium sized Multi Academy Trust with a cross-phase family of schools with the common aim of ‘being the trust that makes the biggest difference, both inside and outside the classroom’ through challenge, collaboration and support.
We are full and oversubscribed in Y7-10 from September 2018.
What Our Staff Say
The CPD that I’ve received since joining OHA has been outstanding; I’ve attended many various courses which have developed my knowledge of pedagogy. Learning and Teaching are always high on the agenda and we receive regular training to develop this area.
There is an active wellbeing programme at the academy which promotes staff unity. Staff at the academy are always willing to share resources and to support each other. The students are willing to learn and regularly attend additional classes to develop their learning. Being a teacher at OHA is both demanding and rewarding – it’s what I joined the profession to do.
Having taught in the Technology department at OHA now for a number years, I can honestly say that each day I come to work with the same passion that I had when I first started here all that time ago. I enjoy teaching the students on a daily basis and hopefully I will inspire the next generation of Chefs, Product or Fashion designers. Every day is a new challenge and working in a supportive department where we have a good relationship with each other certainly helps.
Having begun my teaching career as an NQT at the predecessor school, over 12 years ago, I have enjoyed being on the journey with the academy, striving for excellence and raising the aspirations of our students. I enjoy teaching here, there is a feeling of being part of a family, a belonging and a sense of pride between both students and staff. Our students are welcoming and work hard; every day they remind me of what teaching means to me: the passing on of knowledge and nurturing of self-belief so that each student can shine their brightest. Teaching at OHA you are seen as an individual and are encouraged to develop professionally. I have been able to pursue opportunities both within the academy and externally, which have not only helped me to grow as a teacher and leader but have widened my understanding of education as a whole.
I am part of a very supportive department where learning and teaching development is a constant topic for us during department meetings. New ideas and ways of teaching to enhance student experience and staff efficiency are the main goal.
I can honestly say it’s the most I’ve ever been challenged in my life and I love it! I have become totally and utterly devoted to the staff and students at OHA and I know that I’m a better person for it.
Since joining Ormiston Horizon Academy as an NQT the support I have been given by both my department and mentor have been brilliant. I have been offered an extensive NQT training programme in addition to personalised whole school CPD. These programmes have provided tailored teaching advice, as well as holistic professional development throughout areas such as pastoral care, SEN/more able and creativity. Regularly meeting with fellow NQTs and staff from different departments has provided a valuable opportunity for collaborative networking and sharing good practice. In addition, OHA runs a wellbeing programme which has been thoroughly enjoyable and a great way of meeting all the staff.
The academy atmosphere is positive and students are polite and respectful. It is a delight to see so many young people showing curiosity and an enthusiasm for learning. There are many opportunities at OHA and it is evident that caring for the students as individuals as well as learners is at the heart of the school. I appreciate working in an environment that provides so much for its students, with the values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship embedded in everything that we do. Promoting our academy values ensures that OHA students develop into well rounded and good natured members of the community.
I was recently selected for the Outstanding Teacher Programme at OHA which has enabled me to improve my teaching in areas specific to me. Since being on the OTP I have improved the way I question the students and the way students question each other, so not only developing my own teaching practice but the way students interact with each other too! The OTP has made me feel more valued and more confident to try out new ideas in the classroom.
At OHA we are lucky to have staff who genuinely care about the students and feel passionate about the subjects they teach. Teachers are happy to help each other, even in different departments, allowing us to share good practice and ideas.
Being a teacher always comes with a busy timetable and I can often find myself racing through the days without much interaction with staff in my own department let alone other curriculum areas. However, with help from the wellbeing programme I have been able to go out bowling on staff social nights and enjoy some mindfulness activities with colleagues from across the academy helping to form some fantastic friendships. OHA makes a big effort to promote staff wellbeing and because of this I have found myself feeling increasingly comfortable around the academy, as I become more familiar with staff in other curriculum areas and have more than just my department to support me.
Honestly, I feel that being a teacher is less of a career and more of a life choice that I certainly wouldn’t change. I feel privileged every day to be surrounded by students at OHA who may not have the world but are certainly willing to give it through their generosity, enthusiasm and motivation to learn.