The DNA of Mullion School

The DNA of Mullion School is based on our 4 pillars and developed into our own unique ‘feel’ generated by a genuine buy-in to these core values. Our values are also underpinned by our habits and ‘the way we do things around here’. We believe that all pupils deserve access to a broad and balanced curriculum that challenges and inspires them, and that in Mullion School the following principles are tangible and central to achieving our mission across both Key Stages and all 5 year groups.

High Expectations

Pupils at Mullion School will develop the characteristics that support their academic achievement and will become thoughtful citizens who make good choices in their lives. We set very high expectations for all our pupils, whatever their starting point. We believe every child can realise their potential with the right teaching and support. Progress, from every starting point matters to us. We want every child at Mullion to do well enough by the age of 16 to pursue a career or academic pathway of their choice and we ensure that our pupils understand the wide variety of opportunities and pathways that are available to them.

Nothing is as important as the work we do to impact on the learning and lives of our pupils. Pupils understand the opportunities Mullion School offers them and that we will do whatever it takes to help pupils achieve their goals. High expectations and the drive for strong outcomes permeate the school and we take every opportunity through our extended curriculum to ensure that our pupils grow and develop as well rounded, passionate and curious citizens. We know that children need to think deeply and more broadly about the world around them and we commit to ensuring every child enjoys a range of experiences that develops their social capital, their knowledge and their journey to being citizens in a democratic society. We ensure this through a variety of opportunities and programmes including our RSHE, Careers and enrichment. In addition to this we develop the learning habits that underpin academic success. Our pupils learn to think independently and creatively, read analytically, organise themselves, work together and present themselves with confidence.

Excellent Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning is our main thing. Based on our commitment to forming strong, positive relationships with pupils the promotion of high quality learning is at the heart of all we strive to do. We aim to inspire a future of passionate, lifelong learners, by delivering challenging and engaging lessons. Our teachers have excellent subject knowledge and are passionate about challenging each child to engage, stretch themselves and develop a love of learning. We use assessment and data intelligently to support our planning and ensure teaching is meeting the needs of pupils and enabling progress.

Excellent teaching is underpinned by a clear view of pedagogy which promotes expert teaching. Through our lessons we build pupil understanding and work to ensure that knowledge is committed to the long-term memory. Our teachers have a clear understanding of how the learning fits into the broader curriculum. We achieve this through curriculum planning which focuses on progression through the age-related curriculum. The concepts, knowledge and skills necessary to be successful are embedded at each stage so that students can successively access the curriculum as it becomes progressively more challenging.

We ensure consistency of provision and access to learning through our whole school commitment to co-planning. All lessons within a topic are delivered across the whole cohort. All teachers then adapt their plans to meet the learning needs of the class they are teaching but the key learning remains the same.We know this approach engages pupils and helps them see the links between concepts and knowledge.

Depth for Breadth

We are ambitious for all our pupils and prioritise depth for breadth. All pupils will secure firm foundations in English and Mathematics and this underpins excellence in the other subjects. Our curriculum is rigorous and knowledge based, which is reinforced by regular assessments, with positive and purposeful feedback that cumulatively build pupils’ knowledge. We strive to imbue a love of reading through our KS3 Accelerated Reader scheme and by encouraging staff to plan for and seize opportunities for reading to take place.

We offer a broad range of subjects throughout KS3. At KS4 we strive to offer a comprehensive range of practical and creative subjects. All pathways and progression through the school are based on high quality careers and pathway support.

Our curriculum is carefully planned in each subject with big ideas underpinning each area of academic study and building year on year ensuring progressively harder concepts are mastered. More time for English and Maths is identified where it is most needed to help pupils catch up. Our key assessment points, three times a year, cumulatively test pupils’ learning over the year. This enables us to re-teach key aspects and correct areas of misconception. This is a key component of our feedback strategy which provides dedicated time for pupils to improve their work and understanding. All departments implement a variety of formative assessment and quizzes to test and reinforce their learning and feedback into teaching.

Feedback Informed Teaching

At Mullion School we recognise that feedback happens in a variety of ways, and that the forms and regularity of feedback should vary between subjects. Each of our departments know the best form of feedback to give to pupils to enable them to move forward with their learning in their own subjects. As a result, each department has developed their own marking and feedback policy. 

However, as a school we recognise that the following principles underpin effective feedback in all subjects, and therefore provide the foundations for feedback in all subjects.

Feedback should:

  • Be linked to clear success criteria
  • Include praise and areas for improvement/development
  • Be regular and timely
  • Allow pupils the opportunity to work on feedback
  • Can take many forms – verbal, peer, response to questions in lessons, challenging misconceptions
  • Inform teaching
  • Have an impact on learning

In addition we will use green pen for marking work, and pupils will use purple pen for written improvements. 

We also acknowledge that everyone has a responsibility for literacy, and we support its development relative to individual needs.

Exemplary Behaviour & Strong Ethos based on Commitment, Contribution, Community

There is a compelling and inclusive moral purpose which drives the school forward and is represented by and reflected throughout the school by our motto and core values. All members of our community recognise the meaning and spirit of Commitment, Contribution, Community, and that we strive to reflect it in our daily lives. We want all our pupils to enjoy school and develop enthusiasm for learning alongside an understanding of their future role in society. Effective management and clear consistent routines ensure that we maximise the time for learning and pupils are taught to be self-disciplined and self-regulating.

Mullion is a purposeful place of learning characterised by a respectful, orderly environment where teachers can focus on teaching and pupils on learning. We support one another, and our students, by the use of consistent routines. We are compassionately thorough in ensuring that all pupils know and understand what is expected of them. Simple consistency is king. We know that routines are a team game and we share and implement practices and routines across the school, working as a team to give our pupils a consistent experience and create an excellent climate for learning. As a result, our pupils will know that routines help create an excellent school and respect for others.

All our pupils and staff know that Commitment, Contribution, Community is about being a better human being and developing young community leaders with a passion for social actions. These permeate our school life and support our vibrant House System which supports team spirit, relationships and a positive school culture. We expect our students to develop as role models for those who follow them. We support this ethos in a variety of ways but significantly through praise and rewards and the relationships we forge with our young people.

Knowing Every Child

Mullion School values the inclusivity of our school.We know it is important that every pupil knows they are well known by their teachers, so that every individual can flourish. In Mullion, we explicitly develop through our core values the character and habits which support pupils’ academic and personal development. Our pastoral system ensures that every child has an adult who will listen to them. Positive relationships between pupils and adults reinforce a culture where children are safe and maintain excellent behaviour and commitment to learning.

Our pastoral team and experienced support staff ensure that our pupils are known, understood and cared for. Our pastoral team are in regular contact with parents and ensure they are aware of the progress and development of their child, giving them the holistic view of their child’s school life. We teach character education through our tutor and RSHE programme, reinforced by our assemblies, supported by the way we greet each other, talk to each other and take on responsibilities. Our positive approach in Mullion is supported by our rewards system based on our core values, our tutor system and the house system.

As a founding member of the YST Well School programme and a Trauma Informed School our teachers understand the most impactful intervention happens in the classroom: knowing the class in front of you and ensuring their need is being met is our key commitment.

Always Learning in Mullion School

We put professional development at the heart of what we do in Mullion School. We are always learning. We are committed to identifying talent and nurturing individuals to create a community of exceptional teachers, highly skilled support staff, thoughtful managers and strategic leaders. Excellent teaching is underpinned by high quality professional development and reflective practitioners. We are a community of learners. It is in our DNA to talk, observe, plan and reflect together.

Teaching is a craft we can always improve. We invest heavily in our provision of professional development as we know that this is the key to the development of our pupils and to us as educators. We also recognise that all teachers need their subject knowledge refreshing and developing. We develop our knowledge and skills in Mullion School in a variety of ways that link together to provide a wide range of opportunities to learn both on the job and from experts. Our teaching practice is developed through regular coaching, the bespoke inhouse training programme, planning meetings, through observation and feedback and, where possible, through co-teaching working alongside more experienced professionals. Through our talk, training and observation we have a shared understanding and a common language that ensures the consistency of delivery we expect of ourselves.

At Mullion we believe that everyone is on a learning journey and as a school we build in staff time for collective enquiry, reviewing evidence and continually striving for improvement. We evaluate our learning and support our staff to engage in reflective and strategic thinking related to their role. As a member of both our region and Cooperative Multi Academy Trust we have regular opportunities to share practice and train together, attend joint monitoring visits or collaborate within our subject area.