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STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2014/2015 1 st July 2014

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    1st July 2014


    2014/2015 The past year has been an exciting one and we look forward to the future and this new Strategic Development Plan with enthusiasm. There have been

    challenges within the marketplace but Blundells as a community in its widest sense has risen to meet those challenges. The school continues to serve the

    best interests of its pupils by adapting in a dynamic way. We adhere strictly to our traditional values that our reputation has been built on and our roots

    and wings are as important today as they have always been. In seeking to uphold these values and achieve our aims, we are proud to set our sights

    high, appreciating the value of a broad curriculum, the opportunity to work and play hard, serving the community and building friendships that last. At

    the outset all are encouraged to take part in the widest possible range of opportunity outside the classroom.

    The central focus for this new strategic plan is simple: To raise the potential for academic achievement for each and every member of our community,

    irrespective of their own ability, and whilst appreciating their own unique interests and enthusiasms. To forge a path to success within the marketplace

    that awaits Blundellians of this generation, they must aspire to be the best they can be to strive, to struggle if that is what it takes, and to be resilient.

    We aim in the coming year to support all to achieve their goals, from the youngest to the oldest, from those who meet significant challenge in the

    academic dimension to those who seek to be the best and brightest jewels in our academic crown. There is no doubt that success in achieving these goals

    will be measured in a number of different ways, not just by simple examination percentages alone, but we shall be focused single-mindedly on this most

    important of aims in everything we do.

  • 1. Aims of School Roots and Wings Our aim continues to be the promotion of wholeness: to provide a rounded education for the whole person of mind, body and spirit, encouraging

    ambition amidst humility and a sense of service for each pupil as our founder, Peter Blundell, would have wished.

    There are two gifts we can give our children, the first is roots and the second is wings.


    To nurture friendship and a respect for the talents of others set within a caring pastoral community, combined with a deep gratitude for those who

    have been a strong influence in our development.

    To develop lasting academic ambition, endeavour, enthusiasm and courage to achieve excellence across all fields.

    To encourage a strong awareness of spiritual richness and Christian values.

    To emphasise personal qualities, particularly tolerance, kindness, service, courtesy and humility.


    To promote self-respect and instil in our pupils the confidence to discover and develop their cultural, physical and intellectual interests and

    strengths and thereby engender a sense of excitement about their future after Blundells.

    To provide our pupils with a national and international perspective balanced by an appreciation of our immediate beautiful surroundings, which

    we all are fortunate to enjoy.

    2. Introduction to the Strategic Development Plan 2014/15 There have been a number of satisfactory achievements from the Strategic Development Plan of the last year and as a result of these, the Senior

    Leadership Team has been able to consolidate and broaden its remit as will be evident from the range of targets set out in this document. In addition

    to the six areas identified last year, we have now included strategic targets within the areas of IT development, which will be overseen by Martin Dyer

    and Staff Development, which is overseen by Georgina Batting. These new sections combine with targets in the spheres of Academic, Pastoral,

    Extra-Curricular, Governance and Management, Marketing and Development and Estates/Catering/Finance.

    a) Sources of information The SLT has drawn on a variety of sources of information as we have put this document together:

    Discussions on future aims at Heads of Department, House Parent and Senior Leadership Team meetings through the year.

    The findings of the ISI inspection of February 2013, both the oral feedback and the final written report.

    The assessment of the recent Good Schools Guide visit 2014 and resulting report.

  • Series of information gathering meetings/visits with feeder Prep School Heads through the academic year.

    Whole staff consultation exercise which was undertaken in September 2013 during the INSET day concerning the strengths and weaknesses of our current daily and weekly structure.

    Development plans formulated by Departments and Houses.

    Individual meetings between the Head, staff members via appraisal, and parents, both prospective and current.

    b) Background to the market place and challenges ahead There is no doubt that there are still a number of schools in the area competing to provide a strong all round co-educational, boarding and day school

    education. There have been casualties of the crowded marketplace in the form of various prep and senior schools over the last few years including St

    Margarets Girls School in Exeter. Most recently Mount House Preparatory School and Kelly College merged through financial necessity creating

    the Mount Kelly Foundation. The marketplace for scholarships remains highly competitive amongst schools and pupils, and there are an increasing

    number of requests for bursary support from both new and current parents, all of which are means-tested. One of the major changes too is the variety

    of pupils we are seeing now. The traditional Prep School Year 9 intake has reduced, and whilst that has been replaced to a certain extent with those

    who join in Year 10 (and sometimes even Year 11), they often require individually tailored programmes of study and pastoral support to do that. As a

    result we are now regularly creating individual packages of subjects for individual pupils, which may include a one year restricted GCSE course,

    offering retakes at various times, individual lessons in academic subjects as well as in TESOL, Learning Support, Languages, LAMDA and Music.

    Our cost base is higher than some of our competitors it would seem, as we can offer a great range of flexibility especially in boarding. I am hopeful

    that the refurbishments planned for Gorton House and North Close will bring a much needed lift to what we can offer in girls boarding, but still

    neither our boarding houses nor our front of house catering facilities are state of the art and in comparison with newly built versions, they are not

    always viewed positively, warm and friendly though they are. However the flexibility of our boarding provision is attractive, our extra-curricular

    provision is the envy of our competitors, as is the local day fee rate, our staff are excellent and our academic and support staff are viewed extremely

    positively by parents, pupils and visitors as evidenced by the relatively recent ISI inspection report and the Good Schools Guide. There is a good

    opportunity for us to make more of what we do well within the local area through careful but active marketing and through an attention to detail by

    each and every one of us from the top down.

    The major challenges to the School are to consolidate the leadership and management at all levels around a common goal. We shall work to improve

    academic standards and individual monitoring support of pupils, to prove that Blundells is as ambitious as it is traditional and nurturing, with pupils

    performance in the classroom equalling their performance on the sports field. We are confidently making in-roads into this, but there is still more to


  • One key strength to maintain is our provision of excellent extra-curricular opportunities. We aim for excellence in sport, music, drama and the

    creative arts in order to maintain steady pupil recruitment without extending further into the overseas market or significantly reducing the entry qualifications. With new and ambitious Directors of Music, Art and a new Acting Director of Drama in 2014 we are looking forward to changes in

    the Creative arts, they will, I am sure, join me in looking for ways to improve the image and presentation of School events, marketing and parental

    communication. Longer term goals will also extend into looking at further possibilities for revenue generation, building cultural links overseas with

    our new link charity school in Laos, and concentrating on developing the School as a centre of teaching excellence in the region as a hub for training.

    There is no doubt that the close working relationship between the Bursary and the Academic Leadership of the School has enabled us to put ourselves

    on a sounder financial and recruitment footing this coming year and I hope we have further still to go in that regard.

    c) Monitoring and review of targets Each House and academic department puts together their own Development Plan, which is discussed with the Head, Second Master and Deputy Head

    Academic (respectively) and reviewed formally by the department three times in the year. Together with regular HoD and House Parent meetings,

    SLT meetings, Blundells Strategy Group ( BSG) meetings between the Senior School and Prep School and parent/teacher, consultation the progress

    towards achievement of targets is regularly monitored. The School Strategic Development Plan is updated each year, formally reviewed three times

    during the year by the Senior Leadership Team and progress will be measured and communicated to Governors. The new version of the plan will be

    written during the summer each year and presented to Governors each summer term, with amendments made in the light of unexpected events over

    the summer in the autumn.

    3. Achievements in relation to Core SDP Targets during 2013/14

    1. To re-launch the tutor system with horizontal tutor groups and a protected tutor period to enable tutors to provide closer monitoring and support for pupils individual academic and extra-curricular targets.

    Restructured tutor system agreed and launched across the School.

    Tutor groups of 8 per member of staff.

    Staff with specific age group expertise allocated correctly.

    Tutor period protected in the timetable.

    Year group assemblies in place for the delivery of academic support and a coherent message of priorities.

    Opportunity for Heads of Years to discuss specific year group support with tutors.

  • 2. To encourage greater academic ambition at all levels of performance, bringing further stretch and challenge to Years 7 and 8, further academic enrichment and monitoring in Years 9-11 and clearer targeted careers and study skill support for Years 9-13.

    New Oxbridge support programme in place, plus Oxbridge graduate in residence in place. 3 new Oxbridge graduates will arrive in September as members of staff in Chemistry, Classics and History/Music. This led to four successful candidates this year.

    Scholar programme restructured around a rotation to allow pupils to experience a wide range of academic challenge from a variety of staff.

    Bespoke online progress tracker launched to enable HPs, tutors and Heads of Department to track progress of individual and classes of students against their baseline data and predicted grades easily and over time.

    Large range of National competitions entered, including National Olympiads in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, National Mathematics Competition finalists, EES South West winners, etc.

    Continued emphasis on enrichment for years 7 and 8 including Go4set, for the whole year group, further Crest awards, BBC reporter day.

    Study support in place for years 9-13 through centrally planned tutor programme and better study advice sessions from Elevate Education.

    Creation of a new academic and pastoral programme for School House The School House Diploma, worked through newly created SH academic committee. Full presentation will be ready to launch to parents of Year 7 and Year 6 in September.

    New Year 6 boarding taster sessions advertised with a view to the introduction of Year 5 and 6 boarding in the next academic year.

    3. To continue to support the widest range of sporting and extra-curricular opportunity for all pupils, fostering excellence at every level of ability and interest as well as providing greater opportunities for leadership, service and challenge for all ages.

    Agreement made with Exeter Chiefs to allow shared training.

    Exeter Chiefs presence at training sessions through the year.

    International partnership charity link established with Community Learning International in Laos.

    On site physiotherapist for quick and effective treatment of sporting injuries.

    New internationally trained hockey coach recruited to improve standard of hockey across the school.

    National champions at Under14 in Fives, Devon Champions in Hockey at Under13,14,16,18 girls and Under 16 boys.

    Winners of Bryanston Sevens rugby tournament.

    National Champions in Equestrian Jumping with Style.

    Top golfer selected for UK schoolboys tour to USA.

    Top girl skiers selected for the British School girl ski races in Flaine.

    Successful Cricket tour to Barbados.

    Revised Monitor training and clear allocation of roles.

  • Formal process of feedback for next years candidates from current Monitors and SLT.

    Programme of Field Day events include Lower 6 leadership day.

    4. To ensure the leadership of the School effectively supports the enthusiasm and professionalism of the staff and creates opportunities to contribute to the future strategic direction of the School.

    Working party of middle managers set up to discuss new structure for the day/week.

    Head of Physics undertaken HMC ISQAM qualification successfully.

    Head of PE ran Exeter University Research Programme with Year 9 alongside Exeter University PHD student.

    Plans now in place for introduction of PE PGCE students as part of arrangement with Exeter University in Sept 2014.

    CPD budget revised upwards in light of available funds.

    Two teachers completing Schools Direct (GTP) next year.

    CVS successfully selected as ISI Inspector and took part in first inspection.

    Whole staff appraised within one academic year by line managers and Head.

    Several successful internal applications for middle management level positions (HoDs and HPs).

    Governors Open Day held at both Senior and Prep schools.

    180 appraisal for Heads of Prep and Senior School completed.

    All SLT appraisals carried out.

    SDP reviewed by SLT each term.

    5. To ensure clear and frequent parental communication of both academic progress, pastoral development, educational developments and events within the community as a whole

    Successful Parents Fair run in September 2013 and attended by 120 parents, outside speakers on educational and development topics.

    Parents Fair planned for September 2014.

    Guest Mornings for prospective parents run twice each term in addition to annual Open Morning in September.

    End of term letter to parents, staff and Governors produced regularly. Invitations issued to key events.

    Reporting structure revised with removal of Tutor letters (not seen as effective) and replacement with more extensive mark order comments from tutors.

    Tutors required to contact parents of tutees at the start of the academic year and thereafter.

    Heads presentation of current progress through SDP targets and analysis of the marketplace delivered to whole staff February 2014.

  • Successful INSET sharing internal good practice in February 2014, and new INSET dates agreed for the start of every term from September 2014.

    Plans in place for new Friends of Blundells Social Committee, with year group house to be set up and chaired by AHO

    6. To improve the quality of catering and the homeliness of the boarding houses whilst developing plans to finance refurbishments

    Each House allocated a sum of money to be spent on homely touches in the common areas. Interior designer has advised where requested.

    All ISI recommendations implemented.

    Finance raised to fully refurbish Gorton House and partly refurbish North Close. Plans drawn up to finish refurbishment of NC in Summer 2015.

    Head Chef has been appointed (2nd June 2014) and is working well.

    Largest surplus in past 10 years generated.

    Concessions overall reduced by 1.8%.

    4. Core aim for each area

    a. Academic Monitored by CVS

    To promote and encourage the highest academic achievement for each individual pupil.

    To promote and encourage collaboration amongst teaching staff to enable sharing of the best practice of teaching and learning.

    To widen the range of academic enrichment opportunities pupils in the school.

    To develop the School House Diploma to encourage academic challenge and ambition in Years 7 and 8 pupils.

    To further develop and improve the careers and Higher Education opportunities for all pupils.

    b. Pastoral Monitored by BWi

    To build on the successful launch of the horizontal tutoring system.

    To promote moral and spiritual values by maintaining high standards appearance and conduct at all times.

    To enhance leadership opportunities at all levels of the School.

    To ensure effective monitoring and promotion of all safeguarding matters.

    To encourage a wider boarding ethos.

  • To foster a spirit of reflection and learning in the community.

    To develop a more coordinated and coherent programme of pastoral care across the houses and within the support staff.

    c. Extra-Curricular Monitored by EKGS

    To support and encourage individual and team success in Blundells sport

    To ensure activity programme is varied and productive

    d. Creative Arts Monitored by AJRB

    To support new leadership in the areas of Art, Music and support existing leadership in Drama.

    To encourage further interest in extra-curricular Music, Arts and Drama within the Blundells community.

    e. Governance and Management Monitored by NAH

    To ensure Governors are kept clearly informed and able to govern effectively.

    To communicate the common vision of the SLT to the staff and wider community.

    To support effective management by middle managers.

    To encourage consultation and sharing of ideas and good practice amongst all staff.

    f. Staff Development Monitored by GMLB

    To ensure staff are able to develop professionally through CPD, sharing good practice and monitoring support needed and provided.

    To ensure the appraisal system is monitored closely, staff feel effective dialogue, clear targets and opportunities for development.

    To ensure the best practice of teaching and learning is promoted across the School.

    To attract and retain the highest calibre staff.

    g. IT Services Monitored by MPD

    To improve Communications with Parents.

    To embed the use of IT in the curriculum.

    To reduce reliance on printing.

  • To enhance teaching facilities with new and innovative technology.

    To improve network resilience.

    h. Marketing Monitored by NAH/AHO

    To continue to develop a clear communication strategy for Blundells as a whole.

    To raise the profile of Blundells in the local and national sphere.

    To continue to build a wider reputation and relationship with 11+ and 13+ Prep Heads.

    To improve experience for prospective parents visiting School and communications to current parents, targeting prospective OB parents.

    i. Development Monitored by AHO

    To extend the level of engagement and support of the Blundellian community and raise 1m towards bursaries over next five years.

    Extend the partnership working of the Development Office with other School organisations and raise the profile of the Development Office.

    j. Estates/Catering/Finance Monitored by DC

    To develop the catering provision

    To continue to represent the Schools interests regarding the EUE development and our inclusion within a Conservation area

    To improve security on site

    To look at revenue generation

    To refurbish Boarding Houses

    To enhance the learning environment of pupils in all departments

    To reduce concession rate


    Academic Pastoral Extra/Co-curricular Governance and Management Marketing and Development Estates, Catering, Finance


    To re-launch the tutor system To encourage greater academic ambition at all levels of performance, with specific focus on years 7 and 8 To continue to support the widest range of sporting, extra-curricular and leadership opportunities for all pupils To ensure the leadership of the School effectively supports the enthusiasm and professionalism of the staff and creates opportunities to contribute

    to the future strategic direction of the School

    To ensure clear, consistent and frequent parental communication To improve the quality of catering and the homeliness of the boarding houses whilst developing plans to finance refurbishments and improve

    environmental impact


    To raise the academic aspiration of each and every pupil and in doing so, raise the academic achievement of the School To launch and successfully implement the new School House Diploma To focus on improving leadership skills and offering leadership opportunities across the School including pupils of all ages, teaching staff, middle

    managers and SLT.

    To further engage with parents, encouraging more frequent and effective communication between the School and parental body To widen the horizons of all pupils, personally, socially, culturally and academically To improve the boarding environment in terms of the fabric of houses, catering and security


    Tutor time moved to period 1 Monday More effective use of data and mark order meetings Introduction of Critical Thinking GCSE (for those on restricted programme) Presentation to staff on curriculum changes 2015 Teaching and Learning committee established Training on peer observation Curriculum review of new subjects HoD forums Development of EPQ School House Committee review of SH Schemes of Work in line with SH Diploma Study skill training Year 11 Oxbridge programme Morrisby testing tutor training


    Introduction of School House Diploma tutor focus on character education Training in coaching as a tutoring tool for all School Proctor to raise standards of appearance and basic courtesies Use of note function to share pastoral detail on 3Sys Pupil Survey School House Leadership Programme Greater visibility of School Monitors Training in Safer Working Practices Review of boarding provision Introduction of Year 5 and 6 boarding in School House New Leadership structure of Sanatorium


    New International Hockey Coach Enhanced relationship with Exeter Chiefs More in-house sport coaching training Changes in minibus fleet to enable more staff to self-drive Upgrade Astro surface Bring the management of outdoor pursuits together towards a common goal Review of Activity provision


    Improve music staging Successful integration of new Director of Music and Organist in Residence More opportunities for pupils own compositions to be performed Greater links in the Arts with feeder schools Upgrade art displays around school Discuss opportunities for external companies to present Drama in school Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of Ondaatje Hall


    Hold second annual Governors open day Phase two of Governors long term strategy planning (started June 2014) Preparation for ISI inspection in early 2016 Clarity of SLT roles Development of structure of SLT Annual staff consultation put in place


    New CPD process online Effective whole staff inset each term Support of management of new PGCE students in several departments One year appraisal for all staff Change of management of NQT processes


    Investigate alternatives for a Parent Portal Introduction of a weekly Bulletin to parents to replace ad hoc emails Enhance staff training opportunities Promote pupils BBYOD Move towards making all parental communication electronic Upgrade projection via white walls technology


    Continue individual Prep Head meetings and Visits Continue to gain national publicity through articles and publicity of new initiatives New annual academic Prep School Day (Forensic Science Day September 2014) Make every parental event a positive experience Parents Fair 13th September Continued Guest Mornings each term Initiate Gorton Lecture programme of high profile speakers one per term parents/pupils/staff/local community Parents Social committee established to run specific parental events per year group


    Full refurbishment of Gorton House (Summer 2014) Partial refurbishment of North Close (Summer 2014) Final refurbishment NC (Summer 2015) Refurbish surface of old Astro (Summer 2014) Development of catering under new Head Chef Appointment of new caretaker with additional security manager role Upgrade of CCTV planned Develop plans for enhancement to House entrances Develop rolling programme of departmental enhancement Human Resources management of recruitment process to enhance efficiency