Policies & Practice Guides

Hard copies of all documents are available, free, on request, from our Main Office - please e-mail or telephone us (contact details at the bottom of this page).

The following documents provide a helpful insight into areas central to the running of the Academy. The associated policies can be found below:


At LCA we recognise that the purpose of assessment is to improve standards, not merely to measure them. As such we know quality assessment has a significant impact on attitudes to learning and on attainment. By stimulating and challenging students to work hard and by encouraging teachers to focus on how to improve the learning of individual students, we ultimately achieve our core purpose as educators and move students on in their learning.

A variety of assessment formats are used to inform progress and attainment. ‘School targets’ (4 lvls) are available for all students in either National Curriculum levels, GCSE grades or the new 9 – 1 number grade system and are displayed on student books/folders. A 6 weekly assessment cycle sees student progress measured against targets. ‘Go 4 Schools’ software is used to generate individual reports which are then shared with students and parents. This data is then used to inform the ‘ARC Report’ (6 times per year).

Teachers mark in RED pen and students respond in GREEN pen. Student work is marked using consistent terminology across the school, excellent, secure, developing and basic, at least once for every 4 taught lessons and in full using the marking sticker/grid. Data input week is always week 5 of an assessment cycle and is informed by a set of current, accurate assessments. The consistent terminology is about clearly articulating subject specific advice which will achieve maximum improvement. Opportunities to set ‘Support/’Challenge tasks’ are seized upon in order to differentiate teaching and address needs. All staff include literacy (SPAG) in their marking and follow the literacy policy guidelines which are reinforced through CPD.

Attainment targets are currently set using the prior attainment of each pupil (KS2 SATs results) with 4 levels of progress (School Target) as the ultimate target. CATs results allow staff an awareness of the all-round ability of a student and are used to inform the picture if no data is available for the student upon arrival. At KS5, targets are set using ALPS which arrives at a target based on students’ average point score at GCSE.

We report in a variety of formats: interim summative reports for all students (every 6 weeks); a full formative report once per year; a Parents’ Consultation Evening once per year; the publication of teacher assessments for all subjects; the publication of GCSE / Post-16 results; LCA Annual Awards evenings. In addition, all parents and students have individual logins for ‘Go4schools’, our assessment tracking software and ‘Show my homework’, both of which provide a clear insight into students’ performance.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • ARC Reports (6 times per year)
  • Department meetings & ARC Line Management Meetings
  • Book scrutiny centrally co-ordinated by CRM on termly basis (see Book Scrutiny Forms)
  • Walkround diary
  • ‘Go 4 Schools’ Data
  • Red List / Really Red List (produced each ARC report)

Linked documents

  • Homework Policy (adopted September 2014, to be reviewed September 2015)
  • Assessment Recording and Reporting Policy (adopted August 2014, to be reviewed August 2015)
  • Literacy Policy
  • Exemplar: Student Report – full written report
  • Exemplar: Student Report – progress data only
Child Protection

The academy maintains an environment where students are protected from abuse or neglect by ensuring teaching and non-teaching staff are skilled at recognising the signs of abuse and taking appropriate action when it is suspected. Training is conducted bi-annually and includes all staff in the academy. This is in line with the guidance set out by the Lincolnshire Safeguarding and Children’s Board and the government’s latest guidelines as set out in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (April 2014). Our PCC programme serves to reinforce parental responsibilities and actively addressed a range of human inter-personal relationships. The ‘Child Protection Team’ is listed in every pupil’s planner so that they know who to contact if they have any concerns about themselves or one of their peers.

During the staff induction/training process the CPO highlights the procedures that staff within the Academy will follow. If a student begins to disclose possible abuse or neglect, staff know to immediately find time and a suitable place to listen to the pupil. Emergency lesson cover is put in place as necessary. Although staff know to reassure the pupil at this stage and to listen carefully to their disclosure, they also know they cannot promise confidentiality in any circumstance.

The policy states clearly that staff will not cross-examine, interview, probe or ask to see any injury that is not visible (without adjustment of clothing). If staff are in doubt they will seek support (Part five of the policy).

Staff record alleged incidents of child abuse as soon as the disclosure has been made to the CPO, Deputy CPO or Inclusion officer. At this point the staff member may be provided with guidance, remembering that the information may well be shared with parents so it is important to be factual.

The CPO, Deputy CPO or Inclusion officer will then decide on the next course of action which could include a referral to Children’s Services, a referral to the police, a referral to a medical professional, contact with the parents or a combination of the above. The CPO will/may then inform other staff if a child has special needs relating to the disclosure, raise awareness of the situation that may cause a child difficulty, liaise with direct members of staff regarding further concerns/problems, liaise with other members of staff regarding concerns/problems. At every stage the academy ensures that records are kept of significant events regarding a child, and referral or liaison with other agencies. In the first instance, academy ‘Welfare’ emails detail actions and ensure the key ‘Welfare Group’ are informed. Where necessary, staff attend child protection conferences/supply a report to the conference and represent the academy as a member of a core group.

The academy operates safer recruitment procedures.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Welfare emails
  • Central Student Registry
  • SIT (Student Intervention Team) meeting minutes
  • Referrals to social care & outcomes
  • Student voice
  • Attendance records
  • Minutes of TAC meetings/CIN meetings/CP meetings

Linked documents

  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Student Discipline and Behaviour Policy
  • Attendance Policy
Closing the Gap

Our school ethos ensures all students are valued and encouraged to achieve. On entry students are placed in sets for core subjects, with ‘Accelerate’ our nurture group in Y7 supporting those with significant learning and/or behavioural needs. The Catch-up premium supports additional intervention and extraction work in the core subjects. Our academy SENCO, Head of Learning Interventions, Head of Engagement and Education Welfare Officer meet to address issues. Their work is supplemented by our: Inclusion Co-ordinator, School Counsellor, 1:1 Support Mentor and several outside agencies who all work to ensure students and parents are supported to overcome barriers to learning and re-engage. Each cycle, Middle Leaders report on improvements and issues for concern relating to progress, attitude to learning, attendance and welfare. Students who pose significant concern are identified on the ‘Red List’, thus prioritised for rescue. PP funds close the gap in numerous ways: over-staffing in English and Maths allows for 2 qualified Y6 teachers to intervene with individuals and small groups. 3 ‘Advancement’ sessions per week provide all students below NC level 4b on entry to receive targeted literacy and numeracy support, including: reading for pleasure, Lexia Phonics Support, Mathletics and small group basic skills work with subject specialists. CIPs (Curriculum Intervention Plans) and varied interventions ensure students who under-perform are quickly supported to improve; those who need additional interventions to re-engage receive tailored support. LCA Study Club takes place every Monday and Thursday evening, providing specialist teaching support for all students. These sessions are mandatory for PP students who are not achieving their potential: Heads of Year, mentors and subject teachers refer students. Those who are performing well or have made significant improvements are rewarded through the academy’s rewards system. Assemblies and speakers help to enhance a culture of high aspirations. The ARC Report (6 times per year), includes data on sub-groups which include ‘PP vs non-PP’ and ‘SEND vs non-SEND’, ‘Gifted vs non’, ‘EAL vs non’, as well as ability groups, e.g. low ability, middle ability, high ability. Staff are expected to ‘go the extra mile’ for PP students with our LCA lesson plan identifying this group. Students are identified for ‘rescue’ or ‘reward’ and their progress tracked. Heads of Year utilise ‘RAG’ boards to visibly track performance and ‘ARC Meetings’ ensure Middle Leaders identify issues and triangulate the information through lesson observations, book scrutiny and student voice. A clear hierarchy of accountability, coupled with a highly effective data tracking system has seen student progress improve considerably. Transition is supported through a number of strategies, including extensive collaboration with our partner primary and main feeder school within our multi-academy trust. CPD, cross-phase curriculum planning in core subjects, a Y6 transition week and highly successful summer school complement an extensive programme of transition activities which ensure disadvantaged students are well supported.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Bi-annual gains report
  • PP Report (website)

Linked documents

  • ARC Report Card
  • Red List
  • ARC Dept Capture Sheets and Summary
  • Pupil Premium Policy
  • Literacy across the Curriculum Policy

The Academy’s Collaborative Professional Learning programme is designed to meet LCA’s strategic priorities. It focuses on developing a shared learning environment where staff work collaboratively in a spirit of research and enquiry. CPL will be sustained and relevant to pupil’s needs in order to improve outcomes for students. CPL will be organised at a whole school level through timetabled LCA Essentials sessions, through our Collaborative Action Groups and through effective networking both on a national and local level. In order to facilitate this process, we are an NTEN school and are part of the PiXL organisation. We also participate in the LTSA and the LLP. Details of our programmes can be found on the CPL guide and on the CPL map. Courses offered by SSAT, CfBT and the examination boards are also logged here. Staff are responsible for logging their CPL activities through BlueSky and Collaborative Action Groups are able to communicate and publish their findings through the BlueSky project areas. This approach to Collaborative Professional Learning is designed to enable staff to take responsibility for their own learning and to develop learning networks at all levels. LCA priorities are closely addressed and the findings of Collaborative Action Research groups are communicated to all staff through briefing sessions and through timetabled whole school staff sessions which can be found on the CPL map.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • CPL Map
  • Briefing folder
  • LCA CPL Guide
  • CPL Records are logged on the CPL Map
  • BlueSky
  • School QA Policy

Linked documents

  • Quality of Teaching Profile Spreadsheet 2013-14
  • Quality of Teaching Profile Spreadsheet 2014-15
  • Whole School Strategic Plan
  • Academy SEF
  • Departmental Strategic Plan
  • Departmental SEF
  • ARC Report

The curriculum at Lincoln Castle Academy is designed to ensure students enjoy their learning, meet their potential and are able to make a meaningful contribution to society. Curriculum design is underpinned by 4 essential strands:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Skills
  3. Enrichment
  4. Contribution.

We provide inspiration to ensure students aim high, and teach knowledge and skills relevant to adult life and a world of rapid and continuous technological change. Students are supported to ensure they have secure numeracy and literacy skills and economic understanding. We develop personal and moral values: respect for the rule of law, tolerance of other cultures, religions and ways of life and explore the importance of the freedom to hold beliefs and faiths. Our curriculum is designed to teach an understanding of the world in which we live and encourage students to take their place in society as informed, confident and responsible citizens.

The curriculum has the following characteristics: breadth, balance, relevance, variety, differentiation; progression and continuity; coherence. It provides equality of access for all pupils. We deliver the current and future statutory requirements that we are bound by as an Academy, taking into account the ‘The Master Funding Agreement’. We go beyond the national minimum of 25 contact hours per week.

KS3 – Y7, Y8 and Y9 students are placed into one of two halves of the year group, A or B, an even split in terms of gender and ability. Within core subjects students are set in each half year group, normally three sets per half year group. In most other subjects students are taught within mixed ability classes.

KS4 – In Years 10 and 11 students all study a core curriculum and then are able to pick up to a maximum of 4 choices from a range of GCSE and applied learning subjects. A great emphasis is placed on guiding students to make appropriate option subject decisions including access to the EBAC range of subjects for all. Pupils are placed into one of two halves of the year group, A or B. This is an even split between the two halves of the year in terms of gender and ability. Within core subjects students are set in each half year group, normally three sets per half year group. In most other subjects in the option blocks students are taught within mixed ability classes.

Sixth Form – In the sixth form there are two pathways pupils can follow: the Preparatory Level 2 Pathway or the Level 3 Pathway. The most able pupils (B+ at KS4) are guided onto the Level 3 Pathway which contains traditional A-Level courses and BTEC Level 3 courses. Clear 1:1 guidance is given on and following GCSE results day to ensure that the subjects chosen and assessment methods employed within that course are appropriate for the student. Pupils who do not achieve grade C or above in their GCSEs or Merits in their vocational qualifications are guided onto the Preparatory Level 2 Pathway where they can take a year to improve their results. Resits of English and Mathematics GCSEs/L2 are always separately timetabled. Successful completion of this year enables these pupils to access the Level 3 courses in Year 13. In addition to the timetabled lessons two “club night” slots are available on a Monday and Thursday after school. These slots have study sessions scheduled within them to support and stretch students.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Curriculum Model on Nova-T and within this pack
  • LCA Website details all curriculum information KS3,4 and 5
  • P8/A8 developments in headline measures have been fully planned for
  • KS5 changes to de-coupling A levels are being implemented where appropriate and planned for
  • GCSE /L2 Maths/English entitlement at post-16 are secure
  • Destination data KS4 and KS5 and Neet

Linked documents

  • Curriculum Policy (Policy adopted September 2015, Next Review due September 2016)
  • KS4 Options Book and Process
  • Sixth Form Options Book and Process

At Lincoln Castle Academy enrichment activities play an essential part in enhancing the whole educational experience of all of our pupils. They broaden social, cultural, creative, charitable and the physical education of each pupil, raising personal aspirations and developing self-esteem. Our vast programme of enrichment opportunities run alongside the academic curriculum.

As the lead secondary school for Lincolnshire’s Children’s University, we promote of a wealth of different activities for children, in particular, those who may be disadvantaged. We ensure the gap is closed by targeted PP students for enrichment activities and funding or part-funding involvement.

After school enrichment programmes are part of our commitment to offering a broad and balanced education that develops the whole child in terms of character, skills and experiences. We have enhanced our offer with greater structure, more varied opportunities and incorporating techniques proven to accelerate the progress of students we can maximise the potential that an outstanding after school programme has for each student. We are running 2 bespoke enrichment club nights, Monday and Thursday, where staff and KS5 students will be running or assisting with all manner of activities ranging from academic support to those that aren’t within the curriculum.

Curriculum design includes a fourth strand of ‘enrichment’, ensuring departments plan for learning beyond the classroom to extend understanding and to inspire students. The assembly rota and visiting speakers promote an awareness of other cultures, an understanding of different experiences and explore roles within society.

The advent of our vertical House system offers opportunities for pupils to work with different peers of all ages, both competitively and collectively. For senior pupils in the school, it is crucial that enrichment activities build in opportunities for Sixth Form Ambassadors, both departmentally and whole school, to take their learning beyond their subject areas and allow a degree of non-qualification activity. Rewards assemblies and Rewards Week see an ever developing range of opportunities for pupils to take part in activities they have earned through successes within the curriculum.

All Enrichment activities aim to reinforce our core values and enhance the positive ethos of the school.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Enrichment File inc. images from reward week activities
  • Children’s University Passports showing evidence of activities
  • School website & gallery of events
  • HoY records of rewards
  • Dept record of enrichment & trips/visits (strategic plans)

Linked documents

  • Reward Policy (reviewed September 2014)
  • Pupil Premium Report 2014
  • Staff out calendar ( Trips and Visits)
  • Trips and Visits Policy ( Reviewed September 2014)
  • Student voice Term 1

Homework at Lincoln Castle Academy is central to our drive to tirelessly promote character and excellent attitudes to learning. It is designed to promote skills of independence, resilience, research and time management.

In line with their taught hours,

Key Stage 3 core subjects typically set one piece of homework per week (30 minutes – 1 hour) with non-core KS3 courses setting one piece of homework per fortnight. (except Citizenship & PE).

Key Stage 4 courses are set weekly/fortnightly tasks (1 hour – 1½ hours) in the following curriculum subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Business Studies, ICT, Option choice subjects. In addition subjects set termly tasks/projects when appropriate to the course and it is typical to set lengthy research/reading tasks during holiday time.

Key Stage 5 students are expected to devote approximately 4 hours per week outside lessons to each subject. Students are encouraged in addition, to read as widely as possible around their chosen subjects to broaden their knowledge. ‘Free’ time (to spend in the neighbouring gym) is earned by students who are on track to achieve their targets and are displaying good ATL (attitude to learning) as evidenced 6 times per year in the ‘ARC Report’. Types of homework that are set include: Written assignments/ tasks, Projects, including use of media (e.g. blogging, podcast, powerpoint), Oral Presentations, Preparatory/ follow-up reading, Preparatory/ follow-up research, Group Challenges.

All students have a Student Passport/Planner which they carry with them at all times to record their homework. They also each have their own log in to ‘Show My Homework’ to see their individual homework schedule. In addition, parents have their own log in allowing them to monitor their child’s homework diet and completion rate. Tutors and parents/carers check SMHW and sign the student passport on a weekly basis.

Subject teachers are responsible for setting appropriate homework which must be uploaded and saved on the ‘Show my homework’ site. In line with the ‘Assessment, recording and reporting’ policy, teachers are expected to mark homework regularly (once per 4 taught lesson) according to the policy. Staff check that students are recording details of homework set in their planners and staff monitor completion of homework and issue extension work or issue sanctions when homework is not completed as necessary. The quality, quantity and completion rates of homework are monitored through the academy’s QA procedures with SLT, Heads of Year and Form Mentors undertaking fortnightly ‘passport checks’. Termly student voice monitors student perception, with the ARC Report (6 times per year), reflecting student commitment through the ‘ATL (attitude to learning grade). The Deputy Head (Curriculum) oversees and monitors the amount of homework set by individual staff and departments through a weekly report and shares this information regularly with middle and senior leaders.

Every day the Resource Centre is available for students to study during lunch and after school. Sixth Form students benefit from their quiet Study Room and The Hub café study environment. Every Thursday ‘Study Club’ runs as an open session for Y7-13 students to benefit from additional support/ stretch from subject specialists. When under-performance is significant, attendance at this session becomes mandatory.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • ARC Reports (6 times per year)
  • Department meetings & ARC Line Management Meetings
  • Book scrutiny centrally co-ordinated by CRM on termly basis (see Book Scrutiny Forms)
  • Walkround diary
  • SMHW spreadsheet of homework set
  • Whole School Assembly – used to reinforce messages & importance of ‘going the extra mile’

Linked documents

  • Homework Policy (adopted September 2014, to be reviewed September 2015)
  • Assessment Recording and Reporting Policy (adopted August 2014, to be reviewed August 2015)
Literacy Across the Curriculum

Literacy is the key to accessing the curriculum. It is therefore the responsibility of every member of the academy. Literacy underpins the school curriculum by developing students’ abilities to speak, listen, and to read and write for a wide range of purposes, using language to learn and communicate, to think, explore and organise. Speaking and listening is seen as a rehearsal for writing and opportunities for extended writing are frequent. All staff promote reading and look for every opportunity to develop reading skills including the ability to read aloud. Every opportunity is taken to promote the idea of reading for pleasure. Marking has a SPAG focus and this is reinforced through CPD. The assessment, reporting and recording policy ensures that SPAG is standardised across the academy. Opportunities to develop literacy are clearly detailed in schemes of work. Reading initiatives include paired reading with sixth form students, timetabled independent reading sessions for year 7 and 8 students and numerous opportunities for reading within mentor time. Enrichment opportunities also promote and develop literacy through trips and visits and through clubs and societies such as Scribble, Debate Club, IGGY and the Literacy Society. It is essential for our students to see the value of literacy in the world and to understand that it is an essential ingredient of a successful life and a sense of fulfilment.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Accelerate – transition from KS2 to KS3. Students in Year 7 are selected on the basis of low ability or SEND
  • Phonics are explicitly taught in Accelerate and Advancement
  • Advancement-3 timetabled lessons for Y 7 and 8 students. (Maths / reading / Lexia and literacy) Reading Strategies:
  • Paired reading (Y12 /13 with Yr7 /8)
  • Reading period during mentorship
  • Guided reading with EKD
  • Chill Out Club
  • Ipad e reader texts
  • Reading strategy book marks
  • World Book Day
  • Author Visits (Pete Johnson, Ray Earl, Michael Blackmore)
  • Scribble
  • Trip to The Guardian
  • Iggy membership
  • The Literacy Society ( Children’s University validated activity), Debating Society & Politics Society
  • All students have a literacy top tip card

Linked documents

  • Whole School Literacy Policy
  • Closing the Gap Policy
  • Moving English Forward 2011
  • Moving English Forward (10 problems)
Performance Management

PM is annually reviewed, with an interim review twice a year. Targets are centrally generated and informed by the Strategic Plan and academy SEF with upper pay range teachers given whole school responsibilities. The 2 day INSET at the start of the academic year provides an opportunity to review the previous year’s targets using performance data. The ‘Quality of Teaching Profile’ includes exam results, 3 and 4 level progress data and the previous year’s QA findings including 3 formal lesson observation judgements. A Personal Reflection Review document informs the review meeting during which training needs, career aspirations and an opportunity to reflect on the year and the role are discussed. Pay progression decisions are made in Term 1 via a 3 stage process with a Senior Panel, Senior Panel QA meeting followed by the final recommendations to the Pay Review Panel (inc. Chair & Vice-Chair of Governors). Staff are notified of decisions by letter and, as appropriate, through 1:1 meetings with the Headteacher. Written appeals can be made by letter to the Headteacher and are taken to the Review Panel where necessary. Where issues of under-performance are evident, support strategies are put in place including CPD. These are documented using the PIP process (Performance Improvement Plans). If no improvements are evident within 6 weeks, capability procedures begin. Where departmental under-performance is apparent, the Senior Leader Line Manager identifies the reason, e.g. a) Curriculum b) Guidance c) Teaching through meetings with the key staff, including the ‘Targeted ARC Meetings.’ Actions and strategies are evidenced on the ‘ARC Department Capture Sheet’ (every 6 weeks) and reviewed at the next ARC cycle. When departmental under-performance is sustained or significant, the department and improvement priorities feature on the final section of the whole school strategic plan: performance priorities. These departments are more frequently scrutinised and accountable to secure improvements.

Evidence/key information/ developments

PM Target Setting

  • 2012-13 PM Targets
  • 2013-14 PM Targets

Pay Progression Sept ‘14

  • Pay progression agreed: 21 (34%)
  • Pay progression declined: 4 (7%)
  • Pay progression deferred: 4 (7%)
  • Not eligible for pay progression: 32 (52%)

Linked documents

  • Pay Policy (September 2013)
  • Exemplar letters: Pay Progression Awarded/declined/ deferred/ UP3
  • Exemplar Performance Management documents – 2013-14 & 2014-15
  • Staff Performance Profile
  • Quality of Teaching Profile 2013-14 & 2014-15
  • Exemplar formal lesson observations
  • CPD Records
  • Exemplar PIP (Personal improvement plans)
  • Case Study: Under-performing member of staff
  • Exemplar ARC Department Capture Sheet
  • Exemplar Short term management plan
Quality Assurance

The extensive Quality Assurance programme commences in Term 1 with each subject area completing a review of their strategic plan informed by summer results. New strategic plans are written during the 2 whole school INSET days during which the Headteacher shares the Academy Strategic Plan (following its ratification by governors in August). Departmental objectives are partially determined by the overall Academy aims and populated centrally. The Department SEF sees each department (including Heads of Year & SIT Team) judged against inspection criteria, these judgements are then compared to those given by the SLT to gauge the accuracy of self-assessment. A set agenda for 6 Whole school staff meetings ensures the Academy Strategic Plan and Department Strategic Plans are regularly reviewed and where appropriate, revised. Year team plans are reviewed in the SIT ARC meetings.

Book scrutiny is undertaken by departments and year leaders throughout each term in line with that detailed on the school Banner. Findings are shared at ARC meetings. SLT QA provides a holistic picture of the quality of marking with random selection as well as targeted groups identified for scrutiny. Line management through the ‘ARC Meetings’ is used to both feed back on the findings of QA and identify QA tasks, such as in the triangulation of under-performance.

Formal lesson observations take place on a two termly cycle, planned by Heads of Department. SLT ensure rigour and support staff induction by undertaking paired observations on new members of staff, or in areas that feature on the whole school strategic plan and for those that are performance priorities. On a weekly basis, members of the SLT carry out walkabouts, as evidenced in the ‘Walkabout Diary’ where the engagement of pupils is the priority. Where engagement issues arise, the member of SLT decides on subsequent action and, as necessary, sees the member of staff 1:1. Feedback from these walkabouts is given to the teaching staff twice per term during morning briefings.

The ARC Report (6 times per year), allows us to report to Governors on the effectiveness of teaching. In the first term this is informed by the walkrounds, however Term 2 provides quantifiable evidence based on formal lesson observations. By combining a mixture of hard and soft evidence, we are able to arrive at a holistic judgement about the Quality of Teaching that places value on student voice as well as lesson judgements. This approach has been well received by staff in 2014-2015 (as evidenced in staff voice) and serves to inform the Quality of Teaching Profile for performance management. Where off-site provision is used (e.g. Acorn Free School or The Pilgrim School), we seek reliable & robust QA from independent sources, e.g. Ofsted, Local Authority Reports, SIP Reports.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • The Banner (details when each of the rounds of QA will occur. Dates for meetings/ QA tasks for the entire academic year are published in August)
  • All strategic plans are centrally moderated by CRM to ensure aims are suitably ambitious and priorities reflect the Academy’s strategic aims. These are reviewed in Whole Staff Meetings + INSET days (6 times per year)
  • ARC Reports (6 times per year)
  • Department meetings & ARC Line Management Meetings
  • Book scrutiny centrally co-ordinated by CRM on termly basis (see Book Scrutiny Forms)
  • Walkround book

Linked documents

  • Teaching and Learning Policy (adopted September 2012, reviewed November 2014)
  • Performance Management Policy (adopted September 2012, reviewed September 2013)
  • Pay Policy (adopted September 2012, reviewed September 2013)
  • Quality of Teaching Profile spread sheet 2013-2014 & 2014-2015
  • Quality Assurance Policy 2014
  • Student Discipline and Behaviour Policy 2014
  • SEND Policy 2014

Our rewards policy aims to provide experiences and opportunities for students who have excelled in:

  • Classwork/ homework
  • ATL (attitude to learning) across their subjects
  • Contribution to the school
  • Through exceeding individual target grades.

Evidence is collated through the ‘ARC’ process, and supplemented by the number of ‘Castle CAPs’ awarded for instances of outstanding contribution, attitude or performance. Every 6 weeks the academy is awash with positivity as we celebrate ‘Rewards week’, with the Student Success Team (SST) awarding bronze, silver or gold certificates in special rewards assemblies. The presentations take place on the LCA ‘Praise Podium’ with 200 photographs displayed on Year group Award Boards and the school website. During each week the SST organise a programme of rewards to suit their year group, with a different emphasis each cycle. For example, Rewards Week 1 may involve active ‘sporty’ experiences, followed in Rewards Week 2 with cultural opportunities, like theatre, retro-cinema and gallery visits. Rewards week is followed up with a letter to parents of students who have being awarded to ensure they are aware of the rewards, and to congratulate them for the part they have played.

As well as weekly year group assemblies, 6 whole school assemblies serve to reinforce the culture of success with students receiving public recognition through the Whole School Attendance Award with 2 bikes issued to the winners. Afternoon tea vouchers are issued to individuals with exemplary performance and they are encouraged to treat their mum or dad to this experience as a personal thank you. Students receive ‘Head’s Commendations’ throughout the year in recognition of their commitment to whole school events and special Head teacher Awards in the final assembly for exemplary character and commitment to academy values.

In addition individual departments reward students following each assessment cycle throughout the year, including through enrichment opportunities and trips and visits. Whole school events like the Sixth form Formal dinner, Y11 Prom and Y9 Festival are used to reward students and, as appropriate, act as an incentive for improvements to be made. Formal events include the KS3, 4 and School (Y13 leavers) Graduation events.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Termly Survey Monkey Student Voice – summary document
  • Rewards week records & images

Linked documents

  • Whole School Strategic Plan
  • ARC Report
  • CAPs point records

This policy applies to all staff, governors and volunteers working at Lincoln Castle Academy and works in conjunction with our existing Child Protection, Restraint, Anti-Bullying, Behaviour, Confidentiality, Whistle-blowing and Work Experience Policies.

There are six main elements to our policy:

  1. RECRUITMENT AND INDUCTION – We apply safer recruitment processes in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children and provide appropriate induction. The induction programme is designed to include appropriate levels of training for staff. Staff are clear and confident about what is expected of them in their day-to-day work in order to safeguard students and are trained to identify signs of abuse, how to manage a disclosure from a child, when and how to record a concern about the welfare of a child. This training takes place on day one of employment. All staff will be subject to annual training on safeguarding. We will train staff on rotation where in year one staff will be trained on all aspects of safeguarding including key staff, legislation, types of abuse and how to spot them, disclosures and finally subsequent follow up. In year two staff will be trained in accordance with the Prevent Strategy 2015 (First training September 2015). ‘Staff’ includes teaching staff, support staff, admin staff, site staff, cleaning staff and catering staff.
  2. CHILD PROTECTION – Our practice ensures we raise awareness of child protection issues and equip children with the skills needed to keep them safe. We recognise that children who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self-worth. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of blame. The academy may be the only stable, secure and predictable element in the lives of children at risk. Staff understand that victims’ behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. The academy is committed to fully supporting these students as stated in the policy.
  3. INFORMATION SHARING AND REFERRALS – Staff are clear about their safeguarding duties and responsibilities and recognise the need to intervene quickly to provide support and assessment. If a child discloses something that could be considered to be abuse whether physical, emotional or sexual or neglect directly to a member of staff, then a clear sequence of events is laid out in the policy. The academy supplements the policy with ‘Welfare’ emails which serve as a ‘red flag’ to the 8 members of staff in the group and allow sensitive information and issues that may only surface as a ‘niggle’ or ‘instinct’ from a member of staff to never get lost or ignored. A central student registry is located within the school office to ensure information is shared, stored and updated. A referral register is also kept which logs referral to Children’s Services, outcomes and necessary follow up.
  4. PUPIL SUPPORT – By supporting pupils who have been abused in accordance with the Academy’s child protection policy, we recognise the significant part staff play in the prevention of harm to our pupils. We provide clear lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection.
  5. SAFETY – We provide a safe environment in which children can learn and develop. We work to ensure E-safety and Cyber bullying are prevented with CEOP training delivered to Year 7 (& Year 8/9 who may have been absent) by the local police. This includes advice regarding the use of social media and sexting. Cyber bullying is also in the anti-bullying policy and it is covered in PCC as stated in the policy. The local police also deliver sessions to our year 8 and 9 pupils on radicalisation and extremism as part of the Prevent Strategy.
  6. SAFEGUARDING STAFF – We recognise that staff working in the Academy who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm, may find the situation stressful and upsetting. We support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the CPO and to seek further support as appropriate.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Welfare emails
  • Central Student Registry
  • SIT (Student Intervention Team) meeting minutes
  • Referrals to social care & outcomes
  • Student voice
  • Attendance records
  • Minutes of TAC meetings/CIN meetings/CP meetings

Linked documents

  • Child Protection,
  • Restraint,
  • Anti-Bullying,
  • Behaviour,
  • Confidentiality,
  • Whistle-blowing and
  • Work Experience Policies.

Expert and professional organisations provide up-to-date guidance and practical support on specific safeguarding issues. The Designated Safeguarding Officer ensures academy policies and practice remain current to ensure Lincoln Castle Academy students are safeguarded and the following key issues are addressed:

  • child sexual exploitation (CSE) – see also below
  • bullying including cyber bullying
  • domestic violence
  • drugs
  • fabricated or induced illness
  • faith abuse
  • female genital mutilation (FGM) – see also below
  • forced marriage
  • gangs and youth violence
  • gender-based violence/violence against women and girls (VAWG)
  • mental health
  • private fostering
  • radicalisation
  • sexting
  • teenage relationship abuse
  • trafficking
Strategic Planning

The Strategic Planning cycle commences in June with an SLT planning day to review the year and set priorities. These are shared with Governors in July. The strategic planning process finishes on GCSE and A level results day. An analysis by the senior team of the progress of all pupils compared to minimum, school target grades and ALPS target grades informs the holistic picture of over and underperforming departmental areas and feeds into the ‘Quality of Teaching Profile’ , enabling a complete judgement of the quality of Teaching and Learning of the staff in the school to be made and the SEF to be updated. This information also feeds into the Performance Management Reviews in Term 1.

In the final term the team work on the set of key priorities, as defined by the Headteacher, and revise the School Strategic Plan. Following on from this a clear vision of the academy’s priorities is formed, and a path through the two Inset days planned where this strategic plan is formalised and shared with the whole staff. The governing body act as ‘critical friends’ whilst the review of the previous year’s strategic plan is shared and priorities reviewed and evaluated. The new strategic plan is shared and governors are able to inform the process.

Over the course of the two whole staff INSET days, each department scrutinises their results (to create the ‘Departmental Results Analysis’ document) alongside the priorities that come directly from the whole school Strategic Plan. They update their department SEF and write their Department Strategic Plan. All department SEF and Strategic Plans are reviewed and amendments are suggested by CRM in order to ensure the judgements are accurate and the strategic plans are suitably ambitious.

The Whole School Strategic Plan is shared by LL and the senior team at the first full board meeting of the Governing body in September, along with a breakdown of the summer examination results in the ARC report.

Opportunities to review, evaluate and revise Strategic Plans are as follows:

  • SLT Meeting – agenda item – every 4 weeks
  • Governors (Full Board) – December, April, July
  • Full Staff Meetings (+Department Strategic Plans) September, November, January, March, April & June
  • Targeted ARC meetings take place one every cycle for any departmental area or indeed team throughout the school where underperformance has been highlighted as a result of performance data
  • Department INSET (1 day) in January is used to drive department priorities as outlined in the strategic plan

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Review of Governors Committees – Jan 2014 resulted in a re-structure
  • Governor Training – Frank Knowles 25/2/14
  • QA Reports, including 2 day review: 1st & 2nd May 2014

Linked documents

  • ‘LCA Evaluation, Review & Strategic Planning Schedule’ document
  • Whole School Strategic Plan & SEF
  • Department Results Analysis, SEF & Strategic plans
  • Year/SIT/SSC team plans
  • ARC Report
  • ARC Department Capture Sheets
  • Banner
Student Discipline and Behaviour

This academy is committed to maintaining the highest standards of behaviour and discipline among its students at all times. The school believes that the best way to manage behaviour is to take a positive approach through a structured approach to praise and rewards. Nonetheless, sanctions are seen as a necessary aspect in maintaining high behaviour standards. The Academy believes that to be effective, sanctions must be seen as fair, consistently applied throughout each year group, and must be understood and accepted by pupils, staff and parents. Unacceptable behaviour will have consequences. These vary according to the behaviour type, the age of the students and their past history. Students will always be given a chance to consider their behaviour. They will be encouraged and helped to make apologies to other students or staff they may have offended; show they can keep to the school rules; or make suitable reparation. Classroom based incidents are dealt with consistently across the Academy. Teachers give warnings to individual pupils, utilise the “separation room timetable” and finally to send pupils to their Head of Department or another nominated teacher with the department or faculty. As a last resort the Head of Department or Faculty can ask for assistance from the Student Intervention Team in the form of the Green (isolation) room.

When a student’s behaviour falls below accepted standards consequences may include detentions, community service, meetings with parents, internal isolation (Green Room), fixed term exclusions and permanent exclusions.

All behaviour incidents are recorded on our central Students Information and Management System. The system is set to alert key staff of incidents that have happened. The key staff involved could be the form tutor of the pupil , the class teacher, Head of Department, the Student Intervention Team, Head of Engagement and SLT. Reports will be generated daily which shows the incident and the appropriate sanction given. Pupils who are a cause for concern in terms of ATL or behaviour points amassed on SIMs will be subject to the reporting system that operates within the Academy. Pupils are placed on report to the Form Tutor, the Student Intervention Team or a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The Senior Leadership Team ensures that appropriate high quality training on all aspects of behaviour management is provided to support the implementation of the policy.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • ATL grades are stated on each ARC report
  • Behaviour incidents are logged on SIMs behaviour management monitor
  • Formal lesson observations on Bluesky reports the behaviour of pupils within classes
  • ‘Walkrounds’ from SLT focus on pupil engagement
  • Isolation room logs
  • Since September 2012 the Academy has used ACORN free school to support pupils with significant behaviour issues. This has included onsite and offsite support.
  • In September 2014 we created our Student Intervention Team. The priority here is to intervene with students who are underperforming academically and behaviourally

Linked documents

  • Attendance policy
  • Rewards Policy
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Restraint Policy
  • Quality Assurance Policy
Student Voice

The academy ‘Student Voice Questionnaire’ (SVQ) is completed 3 times per year and covers a variety of areas that provide essential information and feedback to help measure our success. We value the importance of students’ views and use these to review, shape and evaluate our effectiveness in terms of:

  • Teaching and learning
  • Behaviour, safety and welfare
  • Rewards and enrichment

In addition to the questions about the quality of teaching and learning, the questionnaire provides vital information about students’ perception of their safety and well-being. Some questions are deliberately written in a format that allows us to directly compare the data between year groups and from one ‘cycle’ to the next, whilst others enable a more human element through students being encouraged to make further comment. All questions are on a ‘must answer’ basis. It is expected that all students have a chance to complete the SVQ in order that every child has a voice, in turn ensuring that they all have the opportunity to better their school, and to speak out on any safety issues.

The academy Prefect System includes:

  • Head Girl & Head Boy (Year 13) and Deputy Head Girl & Boy (Year 12)
  • Senior Prefects x 30 (Year 12 & 13)

These students meet with the Senior Team on a weekly basis and lead whole school assemblies, formal events and undertake duties throughout the school week. These students are expected to act as ambassadors for the academy and provide a vital student voice link, communicating issues and seeking student voice as appropriate. During their weekly meeting, the Head Girl and Boy bring issues and requests to the attention of the Head teacher.

Our School Council Co-ordinator ensures fortnightly meetings are organised for all year groups and that minutes are circulated and issues addressed by the relevant staff. September 2015 also sees the launch of our Junior Leadership Team.

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Exemplar: Student Voice Questionnaire Survey Monkey
  • Term 1 ‘Whole School’ analysis and action points
  • HOY analysis, action and impact records
  • Extra-curricular clubs offered

Linked documents

  • Whole School Strategic Plan
  • ARC Report
  • Rewards policy
  • Safeguarding policy
  • Student Discipline and behaviour policy
Teaching and Learning

We expect that the quality of teaching and learning across the Academy will be exclusively good and increasingly outstanding and we ensure this through robust performance management and quality assurance procedures. Standards are driven through high expectations for staff and pupils, with 4 levels of progress set as the ‘school target.’ Lessons are planned to inspire, motivate and challenge pupils by promoting high order thinking skills and independent working in lessons. The CPL programme is underpinned by the strategic priorities as outlined in the Academy Strategic Plan and informed by the CPL/development needs of individual teachers as identified through performance management and QA, including lesson observations. Bespoke CPD includes the sharing of best practice and coaching and mentoring.

The academy’s teaching & learning priorities are driven through centrally set PM objectives for all staff which, in addition to 4 levels’/ ALP target outcomes include:

  • Promote a love of learning & children’s intellectual curiosity through involvement in enrichment activities, trips and visits
  • Set homework and plan other out-of-class activities to consolidate and extend knowledge and understanding pupils have acquired
  • Differentiate appropriately, giving pupils regular feedback both orally and through accurate marking in order to promote good progress and outcomes.

The Teaching and Learning Strategy is divided into six distinct areas of priority with an accompanying toolkit where resources are centrally stored to support training and development needs:

  1. Plan, Teach and Assess. (The Learning File)
  2. Assessment for Learning
  3. Best practice
  4. CPL including new staff/NQT induction
  5. Coaching and mentoring
  6. Quality Assurance

Evidence/key information/ developments

  • Formal lesson observations
  • Walkabout Diary
  • Termly Student Voice
  • ARC reports to identify progress & ATL
  • CPD programme based upon T&L needs
  • CPD programme lesson planning.
  • Lesson planning documentation
  • Go4schools assessment website
  • QA Reviews

Linked documents

  • Quality Assurance Policy, Marking and Assessment Policy, Performance Management Policy, Rewards Policy and CPD Policy 2014.
  • Teaching and Learning Profile Spread sheet 2013/14
  • Teaching and Learning Profile Spread sheet 2014/15

Our Ethos and Values

At Lincoln Castle Academy, we value:

Hard work, perseverance and academic excellence

The development of character, compassion and responsible citizenship

Ourselves, each other and boundless ambition