Virtual Open Evening
Welcome to Lode Heath School.
It is our pleasure to welcome you to Lode Heath School.
We know that choosing a secondary school is a difficult decision for parents/ carers and students at the best of times. While we are unable to offer you the chance to visit us in person, we have created this webpage to help you find out more. You can take a tour of our school and hear from members of our community – our Headteacher, staff, students and parents/ carers have a lot to tell you about what they think makes our school special. You will also find other information about our curriculum, admissions, SEND offer and much more through this page and our website in general.
We’ve collated the questions and answers we think you might be most interested in, but should you require any specific help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure the most appropriate person responds.
We continue to build a strong reputation in the local area as a school which does all it can to support students in achieving their full potential in their academic studies and more. Our ethos for the whole school community is based on the school motto ‘Ad Astra’ which means ‘to the stars.’ We expect a lot from ourselves and from your children and we look forward to working with you in the future to help your child achieve this.
We hope you enjoy your virtual visit.
Listen to our Headteacher and other members of the community to hear what they think about Lode Heath School.
What our Staff and Students think.
For 2021 admission into Year 7 information and guidance, please see Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s website: https://www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/Schools-learning/schooladmissions/School-admissions
Please read the Secondary School booklet - it is really useful and will answer most frequently asked questions: https://www.solihull.gov.uk/Portals/0/Schools%20and%20learning/SecondaryBooklet.pdf
You can find out your nearest/catchment school and distance from out of catchment school via the link https://www.solihull.gov.uk/onlinemaps
You must rank the schools in order of preference. The school you name first should be the one you would most like your child to go to.
Include your catchment area school among your preferences, even if it is your lowest preference. If you don't and you do not qualify for any of your preferred schools you will be offered a place at the nearest school with a vacancy after all the offers are made. Your catchment school is likely to be full with applicants who did apply.
Apply BEFORE 31 October 2020 as applying late is likely to affect the offer you can expect to get. You will not get an outcome on offer day. Most secondary schools do not give priority to children attending a particular primary school. Some schools do not give priority to younger siblings. You should check the school's oversubscription criteria.
If you live outside Solihull, you must apply to your home Council, e.g. Birmingham City Council. You can name Solihull Schools on your application.
When was the school’s last Ofsted inspection?
The school was last inspected in March 2019 and was given an overall rating of Good (https://www.lodeheathschool.co.uk/ofsted)
What is the average class size?
The average class size is 30
Are the pupils grouped by ability?
Please see below details of how we arrange students in year groups and bands in different subject areas, and what our class list codes mean to help everyone understand them.
X and Y band are fairly balanced taking into account the following aspects: gender, ethnicity, and ability.
In each year group there are usually 4 classes per band (except rotation subjects where there are 5).
Options subjects cross bands.
Groupings: Student groups are organised broadly by mixed ability in the vast amount of subjects, particularly in years 7, 8 and 9.
Dividing students into classes of different abilities is a popular approach to improving standards, but research suggests that it leaves students a month behind those in mixed groups. Whilst beneficial to provide specific ‘Support and Challenge,’ on the whole it has been proven to be more beneficial to have mixed ability groupings.
Class codes: We use numerical codes to identify different classes. Where classes are mixed ability, these codes are purely for administrative purposes. Where subjects are organised broadly by ability, the class codes do relate to the ability of the group to a certain extent, however, there is always ‘cross-over’ of ability between classes as many children are often on the same or very similar grade and have the same or very similar needs.
Where subjects are organised broadly by mixed ability there are groups specifically targeted to challenge particular learners to meet their needs.
Regardless of whether classes are arranged by ability or mixed ability, schemes of work and lessons are planned to ensure that all students cover the curriculum and are supported and challenged in the ways appropriate to each individual.
Year 7: In the first instance, we use KS2 information to organise students into classes on arrival to Lode Heath School.
How frequent are parents’ evenings and what format do they take?
Parents evenings take place once an academic year, however for Year 10 & 11 there are additional days to supplement parents evening
What is the school’s record in GCSE results?
The overall P8 score for the last academic year was +0.27 (unvalidated) with positive scores in all areas inclusive of English, Maths EBACC subjects (Science, MFL, Geography and History) and the Open group of subjects.
Additionally, 73.1% of students achieved a grade 4 or higher in English and Maths
What can students expect from the school?
Lode Heath School will provide a safe, happy and caring environment within which your child will thrive. Lode Heath offers a broad and inclusive curriculum and aims for the highest standards of academic excellence. This is a caring community where everyone is valued as an individual and we expect students to treat others as they would wish to be treated. Lode Heath has the highest expectations of behaviour and positive attitude. All students are encouraged to take part in the wide range of extra-curricular activities and take a full part in school life. Do something, be involved. We have much of which we are proud, including individual, team and school awards, but we continue to set ever more challenging targets for the future.
What is the school’s approach to student discipline?
Lode Heath School firmly believes that good school discipline is crucial to having an effective learning environment. We are open and transparent about our expectations and effectively use a balance of rewards/recognition and sanctions to allow all learners to be successful, thus understanding the consequences of their choices and making them accountable for their actions. What is crucial is the working relationship between parents/carers and school, both must support each other to ensure standards of behaviour are maintained.
How much homework do students have?
A typical Key Stage 3 student will receive one piece of homework per subject every two to three lessons. The expectations of these tasks increase as students transition through the year groups.
How is technology used to support teaching and learning at this school?
Where technology enhances the learning opportunities for students teachers seek to embrace this in a variety of forms. This includes IT suites, the use of interactive whiteboards and bespoke software to support the curriculum. At home and in light of any potential school closures we have successfully delivered a broad and balanced curriculum through the use of the Microsoft Teams platform which has incorporated live and pre-recorded lessons, with a variety of lesson resources designed to meet the needs of individual students. This platform is also used to support homework so that additional resources can support students, work can be submitted and marked with online feedback. This allows students to be independent learners and achieve their full potential.
What extracurricular opportunities (sports, clubs, community service, competitions) are available for students?
The school usually runs lots of extracurricular clubs and activities. There are a number of sporting clubs which students are able to be a part of if that is an area of interest - football, netball, rugby, table tennis etc. There is also after school clubs in cookery, drama, music, art as examples. Regular clubs and activities are also supplemented by a wide range of activities both integral and extra to the curriculum from more local visits to sites of historical interest, the Botanical Gardens, the Eden Project... right through to opportunities for international travel. Most recently students have visited Italy, France, and the USA
Is bullying a problem at the school? Does the school have an anti-bullying policy?
We would like to say that there is no bullying at Lode Heath School, but that would not be accurate. OFSTED stated in 2019 that “Pupils say that they feel safe around school. Bullying is rare, but when it happens, it is dealt with promptly and effectively. Monitoring records indicate that the school’s anti-bullying programme is leading to a reduction in the number of bullying incidents this year.”
The school does have an anti-bullying policy which can be found on the policies section of the school website (https://www.lodeheathschool.co.uk/policies). We work hard to ensure all students feel safe at Lode Heath School and deal with issues quickly and effectively.
How does the school support students who have social or emotional difficulties?
Lode Heath School has very strong pastoral care OFSTED stated “The pastoral staff are very committed to the pupils. They provide them with a lot of support when required. Pupils say that they benefit from the support they are given and there are clearly very positive relationships between staff and pupils.” We utilise many avenues of support to ensure all students at Lode Heath feel safe and are able to make effective progress.
What strategies are used to teach students who are not fluent in English?
Students who join us but are not in fluent in English will be provided with additional support via the Local Authority EAL service. This will involve a referral process. We are able to provide resources in order to support, with the aim to reduce the challenges of a language barrier
Which year do you select GCSE options here?
Students will make their Option choices in the Spring term of Year 9.
What kind of work does the school do on preparing students for further education?
Lode Heath School co-created the design of the Life Ready Programme (Solihull) which provides a framework designed to develop independent, life ready young adults. The programme is based on evidence from the Gatsby Foundation, Career Development Institute, the DfE Careers Strategy, and the Confederation of British Industry.
The shared vision of the Life Ready Solihull Programme is that ‘students leaving Lode Heath will have the skills, knowledge and dynamism to reach their full career potential, to meet the needs of employers and to contribute to the economic growth of the borough and GBS LEP’. We achieve this through a programme of assemblies, careers events in school (talks, timetabled days, and a showcase), trips to careers fairs, work experience and 1:1 independent career advice interview.
How do the school staff set high expectations for all students? How does the school challenge high ability students?
High expectations are upheld consistently in all classrooms with subject specific tasks that challenge students to encourage them to think independently, work collaboratively and engage with the information provided. Home learning again provides both challenge and support to students, allowing them to work remotely at a level that meets each and every student’s needs.
How do children travel to school? Is there a bus service?
There is no dedicated bus service. The majority of our students travel to school by walking or cycling. Where students do need to catch a bus they are able to access West Midlands travel services.
How does the school keep parents informed of news and information regarding the school?
We mainly communicate with parents/ carers through email however, lots of useful information can also be found on the Lode Heath School website (https://www.lodeheathschool.co.uk). Information about your child including attendance, punctuality, behaviour points, reports etc can be found using our Insight system which all parents are able to view online. The fact that the information via our Insight portal is live is extremely beneficial for parents to be able to keep an eye on the progress of their child.
How does the school support students during transition?
The school will arrange consultations with all feeder primary schools. This involves a meeting with Heads of Year, SENCOs and relevant staff in order to discuss every student. This transfer of information is crucial in ensuring we have the necessary information in order to support all learners. Students with additional needs will be invited in for additional transition days/afternoons in order to help alleviate any stresses and anxieties. These students are typically identified by the primary school SENCOs. All students will then be invited for a full and comprehensive Induction Day where they will follow a bespoke programme. In additional the school also give students an opportunity
Do the new Year 7s have a buddy system or mentor?
Yes, typically the prefects at Key Stage 4 are allocated to Year 7 form groups and they are on hand to offer peer to peer support and answer any questions that students have but from their perspective. A mentoring system is in place for the more vulnerable students.
What support is available for students with SEND?
Lode Heath is a mainstream school and so our SEND provision is based around making reasonable adjustments to our mainstream provision. We do not have a specialist unit like some other schools and so there is no discrete ‘school within a school’ offer from Lode Heath. The vast majority of the support that we provide is within the classroom through Quality First Teaching as teachers work to ensure there is differentiation within lessons in order to support and challenge students. All students follow the same curriculum, with options choices in years 10 and 11. However, we obviously do have students who span the ability spectrum and who have a varying range of differing needs; learning and otherwise. To accommodate those needs, teachers make adjustments accordingly. We ensure our staff are fully informed about the needs of students and they are expected to take these needs into account when preparing lessons.