The Billericay School became an academy in 2011. It formed a multi-academy trust with The Bromfords School and Sixth Form College in September 2017. The school is also the lead school for the Billericay Teaching Alliance and the Billericay School Centred Initial Teacher Training. The Billericay School is one of the largest schools in Essex with a roll of almost 1700 students, including over 300 in our oversubscribed Sixth Form. The majority of pupils are from a White British background and the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is below the national average. The proportion of pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities is lower than the national average. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is lower than the national average.
Our vision is to be a Centre of Excellence both locally and nationally, and as such we strive towards delivering this for all students, day in, day out. Our school motto is ‘Caring About Success’ and every one of our team wants to help students to reach their potential.
Our values are based around the principles of curiosity, aspiration and success. We believe that by inspiring students’ curiosity and engagement in their learning they will aspire to the highest standards. To achieve this we have created a broad, diverse and exciting curriculum that will develop future ready citizens. Our committed, experienced and enthusiastic staff deliver high quality teaching. We believe that enrichment both inside and outside of the classroom is important to our student’s journey at The Billericay School. We provide enrichment opportunities for students to extend their education, through our new Shine ‘character and culture’ curriculum and our Billericay Adventure programme, develop as individuals and find enjoyment in their school day.
The school vision and values are embodied by all staff and students. The Billericay School is a community that expects high standards of behaviour, respect, kindness and effort in lessons. Through our commitment to these we foster a harmonious, responsible and aspirational community. Our school has inclusion at the very heart of it and we strive to ensure every child flourishes. We are open facing and always welcome feedback from students, staff, parents and the wider community.
To create a centre of excellence by embedding a curriculum of learning, curiosity and success for all.
Our values are based around the principles of curiosity, aspiration and success. We believe that by inspiring students’ curiosity and engagement in their learning they will aspire to the highest standards. To achieve this we have created a broad, diverse and exciting curriculum that will develop future ready citizens to be:
Curious about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, their character traits, challenging themselves and others by asking the questions they want to ask and challenging the status quo if they need to.
Aspirational for academic success so that grades can open doors and they can equip themselves with all the knowledge they will need and the skills to deploy this. But also be aspirational to develop themselves, their personalities to those truly they would want and not those forced upon them by marketing, brand companies or the media. But rather shaped by the kindness, ambition and big heartedness of those they love, look up to or cherish.
Successful in conquering those challenges whether they be academic or personal, learning new skills or reading a million words in a year, or making that gut wrenching move to join an after school club where ‘you don't know anyone’ or thats sports team where you know ‘you may not win but nonetheless you will love the game’. Devoting time to helping others and raising awareness for causes they care about. Successfully opening doors for themselves for apprenticeships, careers and universities and facing any setbacks along the way with a smile and the resilience to go again.
Our curriculum is designed based upon solid educational research and pedagogy as such we aim to:
- Create and maintain a learning environment where students are encouraged and enabled to excel.
- Enable students to take individual responsibility for their own learning and development.
- Develop a culture in which individuals develop resilience, think critically and learn from any mistakes made; this is a culture where excellence and innovation are encouraged and rewarded.
- Promote the value of a balanced, holistic lifestyle as part of each individual’s overall personal development and well-being.
- Support students to make informed decisions about their own progress at crucial key stages.
- Maximise the efficient deployment of staff and resources to support the delivery of a curriculum that aims to ensure all students reach their potential and beyond.
Each subject area has an individual vision that contributes to their curriculum and the whole school values. The purpose of this is to ensure every curriculum area cultivates learners that are forward thinking, well-rounded and learn the specialist knowledge and skills to be successful. Our committed, experienced and enthusiastic staff deliver high quality teaching. We believe that enrichment both inside and outside of the classroom is important to a student’s journey. We provide enrichment opportunities for students to extend their education, through our new Shine ‘character and culture’ curriculum and our Billericay Adventure programme, develop as individuals and find enjoyment in their school day.
Our curriculum shows ambition and ensures that it is accessible for all, by offering a choice of 24 subjects for the Options process. All students have the opportunity to follow the EBacc suite of courses and we push an academic offer to all students. We always have EBacc entry rates well above the National average. The curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards accumulating sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment. Some subject disciplines are linear, some are not. Each subject takes a different shape and thus the sequence will be different too. But whatever the sequence, we need to make sure that our curriculum is progressive - in other words, that it builds on prior knowledge and builds towards our ambitious end-points. (Bromley, 2023)
Our curriculum is accessible for all but we also provide adaptations to support learners' individual needs when appropriate. This is evidenced with the adapted curriculum in Year 7-9 where some students follow a programme of additional support in literacy and reading in Year 9 and this includes a bespoke STEM pathways and a Prince’s Trust programme. In KS4 some students are provided with enhanced support to help engage with the demands of examination courses. All students have an opportunity to develop their cultural capital through the Shine ‘character and culture’ programme.
Personal Development is a key component to the experience and journey of students at The Billericay School. We strive to ensure that our students are armed with the skills, attributes and knowledge to not only be successful academically but also be valued, tolerant and caring members of society. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development is the overarching umbrella that encompasses personal development. Personal Development is something which our students experience with every interaction and experience within the broader setting of the school as well as during the curriculum. The curriculum encompasses all aspects of the National Curriculum.
Relationships, sex and health education (RSHE): teaching builds on this and develops pupils’ understanding of health, with an increased focus on risk areas such as drugs and alcohol, as well as developing understanding of healthy platonic relationships and introducing knowledge about intimate relationships and sex, including how to have positive and healthy sexual relationships.
Religious Education (RE): taught as a discrete subject in KS3 and within Personal Development as Ethics and Philosophy at KS4. teaching develops children's understanding of the world's religions. Through religious education, children will learn about different religions and their traditions, practices and beliefs. Religious education also promotes children's tolerance and mutual respect in a diverse society. Through the study of RE, students will gain an understanding as to how beliefs are formed and the distinction between religion and spirituality. RE’s core aims are to help young people learn more about their identity and their place in the world and to enable them to develop their critical thinking skills in doing so.
Citizenship: teaching provides pupils with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. In particular, citizenship education should foster pupils’ keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. Teaching should equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments. It should also prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well and make sound financial decisions. The British values of Democracy, rule of law, Respect, Tolerance and Individual liberty are encompassed in this programme of study.
Computing: All students study Digital Literacy at Key Stage 3 with opportunities to: develop their understanding of e-safety; design and build webpages; use binary; plan and develop their own game; plan, write and follow algorithms; present and analyse data; and use a wide range of software. In Key Stage 4 Computer Science and Creative iMedia are offered as option subjects, with all students given the opportunity to continue their studies in one of these two routes. In addition, students continue to develop their computing skills across the curriculum with opportunities in a wide range of subjects to: use databases; develop word processing skills; develop web-based skills and internet awareness; think critically; plan and manage time; apply the structural or presentational features of specific genres; and create and evaluate products. These transferable skills are all relevant to the further study of computing and careers in this field, and are studied across the curriculum by all students in their Core and Option subjects. Within the personal development and digital literacy curriculum all students are taught how to be safe online.
Future Citizenship: The Future Citizenship curriculum is designed to enable students to have access to relevant and current knowledge which relates to the sixth form experience. Topics and areas covered in Future Citizenship range from: sexual health and relationships; next steps to university and applications, apprenticeships and careers; mental health and wellbeing; and charity and topical themes which enables students to leave year 13 as well rounded and informed citizens. The Future Citizen lessons are then supplemented with a weekly Sixth Form Studies lesson during which students discuss and debate the topic of the week in a smaller seminar style setting. Additionally we have introduced a Sports and Social hour once a week during which students are encouraged to engage in a variety of activities that can have a positive effect on their mental health. During this hour, the students are asked to step away from their academic commitments and indulge in an hour of physics activity or other recreational activities such as reading a fictional book, meditating, playing a board game or anything else that benefits their wellbeing.
Formal Assessment Windows
Twice annually, students are formally assessed. These assessments fall within a calendared window. (See assessment policy for more information on these.) One of these takes place around Christmas, the second of these towards the end of the academic year. The assessments tell us about student learning across the taught curriculum and progress over time. The results of these assessments will be reported home.
Monitoring and Reporting of Summative Assessment
Year 7, 8 and 9
Year 7, 8 and 9 will receive a percentage (%) score from the Ebacc subject assessments, this % should be understood as the cumulative % of the curriculum that the student knows, understands, can apply in exam conditions and has therefore committed to longer term memory. These percentages are accompanied by a median for the cohort for an objective and more ‘real’ comparison for parent/carers. At KS3, we believe this is the best way to report academic progress as it measures against the curriculum. Students will be set clear and actionable areas for improvement as a result of these assessments. These will be recorded in planners.
In non-Ebacc subjects, students will have an ‘Aptitude Level’ for the subject they are studying, this comes from an accumulation of formative assessment and teacher judgment. This will guide students and parents/carers as to whether a student is on track to be successful in further study of this subject area at KS4. Alongside these assessment scores, students will have their Behaviour for Learning reported home in all subjects.
Reward letters are sent home based on progress and attainment. Students recognised as having made progress within the top 10% of their year group, or landing in the top 10% for attainment will receive these after each formal assessment window.
Year 10 and 11
Year 10 and 11 students will receive a report containing the subject GCSE or Vocational grade they achieved in the formal assessment window. Alongside these, students will have their Behaviour for Learning reported home in all subjects. Similarly to Key Stage 3, Progress and Attainment letters are sent home to the top 10% for Progress and Attainment in each cohort.
Each subject will report an assessment grade and a Behaviour for Learning grade in December of Year 12 following a key assessment task carried out in classrooms. All students within a subject sit the same assessment under the same conditions. A second Behaviour for Learning grade is reported in April, and students sit formal PPE exams in a window towards the end of the academic year. In year 13 students receive a Behaviour for Learning grade in the Autumn term before they complete a formal PPE window after the Christmas break which is reported home in February. Letters of achievement are sent home after each report to recognise those who have shown progress in line with or exceeding their potential grades or exemplary Behaviour for Learning.
Promoting a love of reading is at the heart of Billericay School. Reading is essential for students to achieve the best outcomes, supports their future career opportunities and enriches their education and knowledge of the world. We encourage all students to read widely and become confident readers with strong literacy and oracy skills.
Our aim to promote a love of reading is supported in both lessons and the wider school. Reading underpins our curriculum; all subjects develop subject specific vocabulary alongside regular opportunities to investigate different genres of writing. Students are exposed to academic literature that develops their subject knowledge.
Dedicated reading lessons support all students in Key Stage 3. Students in Years 7 and 8 take part in the Accelerated Reader Programme, with dedicated reading lessons where students can become word millionaires.
We will further support our younger readers with our 6th form reading scheme from September. Year 12 students will read with small groups of students during their reading lessons to develop fluency and engage with different vocabulary.
Beyond the classroom we have weekly form time reading programme students are encouraged to read widely from a broad range of text and genres. A range of competitions and events ensures reading remains a central focus. Additionally we are privileged to have a wonderful library where students can study independently, prepare for future lessons, complete homework or read for pleasure.
At The Billericay School, we aim to help every student develop high aspirations towards their working life. We will challenge stereotypes and consider a broad and ambitious range of career options and aim to empower and enable all students to make informed choices about their career options. We do this by use of the Gatsby Benchmarks.
Careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) will be delivered to all students through a variety of methods including:
- Specific Careers Education units within the Personal Development curriculum
- Collapsed timetable events and days, including an Interview Skills Programme for Year 11 students
- Assemblies, academic monitoring and learning conversations with form tutors
- The opportunity for a face-to-face interview with a qualified independent and impartial careers professional
- Interviews with senior members of staff at key transition points (ages 14, 16, 18)
- The embedding of the Key Competencies of problem solving, working with others, discussion, research and presentation in the wider curriculum
- The provision and upkeep of a staffed and resourced Careers library within the RBLC
- Access to events such as the Careers Convention, Year 9 Options events, Higher Education Fair, Apprenticeship Roadshow
- Continued and developing links with employers and employer organisations including current STEM projects for smaller, specific cohorts
- The continued embedding of ‘every teacher is a teacher of careers’ and the provision of relevant continued professional development for members of staff
Monitoring, evaluation and review
- CEIAG is currently led by Mr A Wilson, assisted by Mrs K Mapp.
- The school holds the Recognition of Quality Assurance Award, a nationally recognised award mapped against industry standards. This ensures a rigorous cyclical programme of self-evaluation and review. The school has been successfully re-accredited in every 3 year cycle and previous inspection reports have mentioned careers provision favourably
- Employers and exhibitors provide evaluation forms and student views are obtained by survey after Year 9 options events and Year 11 Interview Skills Programme. CEIAG is also an area commented on in the Kirkland Rowell survey undertaken periodically by the school.
- CEIAG policy and practice is compliant with all other school policies, including and especially its commitment to equal opportunities
- Destination data is collected as both intended destinations and actual sustained destinations and this is used to both provide accountability and to review provision
Shine: Our Culture and Character Curriculum
It is without contention that our students are dealing with a life and a world that holds very different challenges to those even their parents would have faced. Some of them are unprecedented as technology and fast pace change ever develops. Our school's values of curiosity, aspiration and success have been newly created by our school community and we want to embrace these amongst a shared mission to equip our students to be incredibly successful in life. By supporting students to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. To then be able to embrace the opportunities and choices before them both now and and in the future. Developing students equipped to take on all the challenges that their 4000 or so weeks on earth will bring, thinking critically and being able to reflect on their own morals and ethical viewpoints to craft the life they wish.
To that end this year (2023) we are launching a new initiative that we are calling Shine. Named because that's exactly what we want every student to do both at school with us and when they leave us. We want them to be able to navigate the pressures of living within a world that social media falsely shapes and where they feel those daily pressures to be, have and do what ‘everyone else has and is doing’. A world that can be lonely, where communities have shrunk into themselves somewhat, where friendships sometimes are harder to find and keep and where the idea of a ‘job for life’ is an idea for most of the past. We want them to be able to figure out what they really want, the person they want to be, the challenges they want to face and conquer and the life they ultimately want to build for themselves, on their own terms. This is a ambitious goal and initiative, only together we can build these future citizens that truly will be the prime ministers, the charity workers, the doctors, surgeons and nurses, the entrepreneurs and the changemakers, the architects, teachers, astrophysicists, mums, dads and homemakers of the future. Capable of thriving and in turn building the generations that will follow them. Education is forever changing and together we are here to make those changes.To develop the Shine initiative we have looked holistically at our school offer and looked to start to shape this towards a cohesive offer that enables us to accomplish our shared mission of delivering these Shine opportunities to every student. Shine encompasses 6 areas supported by the following provisions.
- Our ‘We are a reading school’ programme.
- Cultural capital is woven throughout our curriculums
- Our No Passengers teaching and learning focus.
- Our cross curricular initiatives
- Our Student Leadership programs (Prefects, Sports and Ambassadors)
- Our Careers Programme
- Our Tutor programme
- Our academic curriculum specialist advice
- School competitions and challenges
- Our Rewards and recognition Programme
- Our Shine Scholar Sessions
- Our Honours Assemblies
- Accelerated Reader and Sparx Maths recognitions
- Sports Colours
Being Big Hearted
- Our Personal Development Programme which includes:
+ British Values
- Inclusion Initiative: we are #strongertogether
- Student Forums (Pride/life/Islamic forum/RED)
- Our academic curriculums including RE and History
- Our Personal Development Programme which includes:
+ Our wider SMSC education (spiritual, moral, social and cultural)
+ Our PSHE programme (personal, social, health and economics)
+ Our academic curriculum supports Science, PE (lIFE) and Food (D&T).
- The Billericay Adventure Programme
- Enrichment: After school, breakfast and lunchtime clubs
- I've joined school trips and visits
- Sporting Colours.
- Student council, student leadership and student voice.