We are a loving school, committed to the nurturing and safeguarding of everyone. Our values of Growth, Ownership, Achievement, Leadership and Success underpin the decency, honesty and empathy consistent with the flourishing of humanity.
Students at Fitzharrys thrive and achieve because of the school’s strong ethos of community and individuality. They enjoy learning because of the climate of high expectation and high ambition. Each student is well known by staff and relationships are positive, creating a culture where progress and success are nurtured by care and support. Fitzharrys works with every student to develop their abilities and skills, creating achievement and success for all.
In Year 7, Fitzharrys gets the best from each child through differentiation and challenge. Students at all entry points make strong progress. Our enrichment programme of Wider Learning Days and emphasis on participation builds confident, articulate and resilient learners.
Years 8 and 9 continue the effective emphasis on literacy, communication and aspiration so that students exceed expected levels of progress in Key Stage 3. The school has focussed on ensuring that each student has the confidence and skills to demonstrate their many strengths and develop new attributes. The Fitz Focus + programme supports students in broadening their social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding and empathy, contributing to the productive climate in our school.
At Key Stage 4 Fitzharrys aims to provide a strong curriculum offer, with each student enabled to succeed. Collaboration with the local college and links with industry, technology and business mean students learn in real life contexts, with resources and experiences far beyond those of most schools. Students achieve at levels in line with the top 10% of schools nationally.
Fitzharrys acts as an important hub of the wider Abingdon Partnership Post-16 offer. Sixth form students at Fitzharrys are entrusted as partners in their education, and their results show how well they respond to these high expectations. Excellent pastoral care, close monitoring and support from the start of Year 12 ensures that their achievement is consistently rated at ALPS 1-4. The school’s Sixth Form offer features popular study facilities and resources to encourage students to work hard to achieve the next goals in their life, confident of the strong springboard for success their school has established with them.
The quality of teaching and learning in lessons and over time is good and outstanding in each and every lesson, each and every day. The school’s high expectations and shared ethos of planning, delivery and reflection means teachers are confident and adept at using the best strategies to get the best from each child. There is a strong culture of peer coaching and support, assisted by teachers’ open classroom policy for visitors. Marking, feedback and assessment are of a universally high quality.
Student engagement in all aspects of their school life is a clear strength of Fitzharrys. Through a well-focussed and meaningful school council, students recognise that they have a voice and a positive influence on their day to day experience at school. The annual charity event provides a strong focus for the whole community.
Fitzharrys’ SEN provision is a clear strength for those students and for its impact on the whole school community. Our ethos of no limits and personalisation means we have a richly deserved reputation for supporting students with learning differences.
Fitzharrys has excellent sporting opportunities and improved facilities for the school and wider community. Students enjoy and excel across a range of activities through the ethos of active participation for all staff and students. Links with a wide range of local clubs and the partnerships with independent schools provide quality coaching and access to a rich range of sports.
The school’s celebration assemblies promote the values of the community, spotlighting talent and endeavour in all aspects of students’ lives. This ethos is seen in the Fitzharrys Awards Evening, where outside speakers provide inspiration and are in turn inspired by the achievements of Fitzharrys students.
Partnerships with other schools are a real strength, with Fitzharrys playing a leading role in collaboration and sharing good practice. The school hosts a range of networks of Primary and Secondary practitioners and regular events for Primary students, sharing its facilities and ingenuity with the wider community.
Professional development is at the heart of the success of our school. The Faculty model creates effective networks of support and challenge. The focus on Middle Leader development has seen Fitzharrys recognised as a school that grows leaders. Collaboration cross phase and across the town is demonstrably beneficial to all staff, driving progress at all levels. Fitzharrys staff are a cohesive group of colleagues, clear on the contribution they make to the success of their school. Leadership and management are strong at all levels because each member of staff is encouraged to develop their skills and make an impact.
Governors play an active role in the life of the school, providing clearly effective support and challenge. They hold the school to account through a well-established and rigorous model of evaluation. As a result the school continues to make great progress.