Siobhan Hearne: Out-of-class learning also essential

Siobhan Hearne with pupils at Latimer Arts College
Siobhan Hearne with pupils at Latimer Arts College

Latimer Arts College head teacher Siobhan Hearne writes about the league tables

For the third year running, I am delighted that The Latimer Arts College has secured results in the latest Government secondary school league tables which are significantly above the national average, showing at least 63 per cent of our students gaining five A*-C, including English and maths.

Although we are immensely proud of the quality of education at The Latimer Arts College, league tables only tell part of our story.

What about judging our values and ethos? How do you successfully measure how well a school puts young people at the heart of everything it does?

Statistics certainly play a role, but there is a question as to whether they offer enough about a school’s quality for parents to make an informed choice? Top marks to those who can fully navigate their way around the Government’s website and make sense of all of the information available. But how do you accurately measure the impacts of the wider curriculum?

The progress our students secure in maths, for example, places us in the top 10 schools in the county and has been strengthened through activities like our recent Enigma Machine workshop with Bletchley Park Trust.

This type of out-of-class learning experience is something we encourage based on a belief that it develops students into well-rounded individuals with valuable employability skills helping them learn to communicate, work as a team and solve problems.

In the often confusing world of parental choice my advice is yes, look at how well we are performing in the league tables, but remember this is only a starting point.

Always visit a school you are interested in because the very best measure is to see and experience quality in action, then trust your instincts.