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Crawley College impress Ofsted inspectors with ‘significant progress’

Ofsted say that Crawley College has made significant progress in all areas over the past 12 months.

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Inspectors visited the college on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 February 2019 to review the progress made since its last full inspection in 2016.

Since then the college has become part of the Chichester College Group, with a focus on improving teaching and learning and the student experience at Crawley College.

The inspectors were impressed with the work that has been carried out, rating the college as showing ‘significant progress’ in all aspects of the Ofsted report, including leadership & management, teaching & learning and cultural change.

The findings from this latest report particularly highlighted improvements in student achievement since the merger in August 2017, attributing this to the more active support given to students.

The report said:

‘Leaders, managers and teachers are focused on improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. They consider the needs of students in every aspect of their work.

‘Communication across the college has greatly improved and teachers feel valued, and this is in turn having a positive effect on students.

‘Students are more engaged in all aspects of their studies because good support is readily available.’

The report concluded that ‘Students value the caring and supportive learning environment created by staff at the college. As a result, they express a strong sense of belonging to the college community.’

Vicki Illingworth, Principal at Crawley College, said:

“We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of our latest monitoring visit, which show an amazing amount of progress over a short period of time.

“It is a direct reflection of all the hard work, passion, determination and dedication that the staff have displayed in ensuring we are making great strides in raising progress and performance across the board.

“We endeavour to put the students at the heart of everything we do, and it is rewarding to see this has been recognised in the feedback we have received from Ofsted.

“I am very proud of our staff and students for all they have achieved, and inspired by their determination to keep improving.”

Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive Officer of the Chichester College Group, added: “It is very rare for colleges to receive four ‘significant progress’ grades in monitoring visit, so I think everyone at the Group should be very proud of this achievement.

“A lot has been achieved in the 18 months or so since we merged, and we know there is still work to do but it is important to see that we are moving in the right direction.

“We will continue to invest our attention and effort into ensuring our students – at all of our colleges across the whole Group – receive the very best education that we can deliver, to ensure they are given the tools they need for a bright future.”

The report of the February 2019 monitoring visit can be viewed at: www.ofsted.gov.uk

Education

Crawley pupils reduce local CO2 by Three Tonnes

In just two weeks Crawley school children reduced local air pollution by six kilogrammes of dangerous nitrogen oxide (NOx) and almost three tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) by walking, biking and scootering to school, instead of travelling by car.

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Pupils at Waterfield Primary School with Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability and Patrick Alexander, Bike It Officer at Sustrans.

As part of cycling and walking charity Sustrans’ annual Big Pedal challenge, children from eight Crawley schools used human power for an astonishing 18,284 journeys. 

This comes hard on the heels of two important new pieces of research:

  • Sustrans published YouGov data in March which showed that almost two-thirds (63%) of teachers would support a school gate vehicle ban during drop-off and pick-up times and that more than half (59%) want urgent Government action to improve air quality near schools
  • Public Health England called on local authorities in March to limit transport emissions urgently, banning idling car engines around schools and investing in foot and cycle paths.

NOx can cause breathing problems, reduced lung function and damage teeth. CO2 is a major contributor to climate change. In Crawley children travelled 12,655 miles actively during the challenge, which equates to travelling almost half way around the world. The reduction in CO2 and NOx was calculated by comparing this to the amount generated if all these journeys had been taken by car.

Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said:

“It is fantastic to see an increasing number of schools in Crawley taking part in the Sustrans Big Pedal, whilst promoting sustainable travel to young people.”

Children at Waterfield Primary have won special recognition from Sustrans for their Big Pedal achievements, receiving a certificate in a presentation attended by Cllr Geraint Thomas. The Bike It Crew at Waterfield Primary are notoriously competitive. They held a Bike It Breakfast, Bling your Bike and daily assemblies to mass up a total of 4,386 journeys and a total score of 76.91%. 

Justin Moss, the Deputy Head of Waterfield Primary said,

“Our pupils are so motivated when it comes to travelling sustainably; they’re also very competitive. They walk, scoot and cycle regularly so the Big Pedal has been amazing for us over the past few years. We regularly talk about the benefits of exercise with the children in whole school assemblies and because of this the children understand the differences it can make to their moods and their ability to engage in their learning.

“At Waterfield we have an elected Bike It Crew and the Big Pedal is their biggest job during the year. They have worked tirelessly to encourage teachers and children to continue to travel sustainably as well as organising events and judging the Bling your Bike competition. I am extremely proud of them and all of their achievements this year.”

Hot on their heels was Seymour Primary, who organised Bike Days for all children from years three to six. These days provided an opportunity for children to progress their bike skills and have a go on the bike obstacle course. On these days the school was flooded with bicycles, scooters and active children.

Across Crawley eight schools took part, from a potential 35. While we can’t say what the impact would be if it was replicated across Crawley even just for two school terms these findings raise interesting questions.

Sustrans’ Regional Director for the South, James Cleeton, said,

“The children, families and schools of Crawley have shown how individuals can dramatically improve the world around them, by replacing cars with human power for just part of the daily routine.

“These children haven’t just prevented the emission of dangerous, invisible pollutants around their schools, but they’ve improved their mental and physical health, giving all of them a better start to the school day.

“At Sustrans, we’re so grateful to every local authority, school, teacher, parent and child who has helped make this possible. What a great start to summer – and a glimpse of what school mornings in Crawley could be like in future.”

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