At GTS our ethos is to ensure that all pupils are able to make outstanding progress in their learning and personal development in their 5 years with us. We will look at each cohort as they join GTS and evaluate the best learning pathway for all the pupils.

All the staff at GTS want our pupils to: Have their Dreams, Believe in themselves and Achieve.

We have actively developed our curriculum over a number of years. Changes have been driven by our determination to deliver courses according to our pupils’ learning needs, both now and in the future. We do not necessarily follow what appears to be in fashion or run courses to boost our exam statistics. We do what is best for our pupils’ future.

Sport and Applied Learning specialisms have made a significant contribution to the success of the school. Pupils have the opportunity to experience a wide range of sporting activities from traditional team games to exciting and demanding outdoor pursuits such as climbing and surfing. Vocational courses focus on equipping our young people with life skills for the world of work. The Employers Forum meet termly so that what is learnt in the classroom is experienced by the pupils in local businesses through visits and work placements.

At GTS we are not just about exam results. We offer our pupils opportunities and experiences from which they gain the very best qualifications, skills, personal qualities, a passion for learning and a belief in themselves. Pupils visit our partner school in Azezo, Ethiopia and more are planning to embark on an expedition to Morocco; we really do want our pupils to be ready for the wider world.

Pupils at GTS are inspired to follow their dreams whether it is on the sports field, on the moors or in the classroom and we are always proud to hear what so many of them go on to do having started them on their journey. In the past few years we have seen: County champions within the sporting arena; a National Athletics champion; a pupil who went on to be selected as one of the seven British Colleges Sport ambassadors that travelled to India to build on the legacy of the recent Commonwealth Games. The GTS “Streetz Dance Crew” was ranked in the top 12 in recent World championships with a duo coming second!

Every year large numbers of pupils start out on the Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) programme with a significant proportion going on to complete the Gold Award. Inspired by the challenges of the Ten Tors and D of E pupils have travelled far and wide, with pupils involved in the Tall Ships Race, teaching in China, climbing Mount Blanc. Many return to lead the D of E programme to ensure a legacy of adventure and opportunity.

We start offering these opportunities long before they actually join us through our excellent range of clubs and activities available throughout the year and during the holidays. Our Transition Week – for Year 6 - in July consists of time spent in GTS along with two-and-a-half days spent with their primary school teachers and GTS staff, surfing, dangling off ropes and camping in the summer rain. It’s the start of building those relationships that will be key for the next five years.

School Values

The core purpose of Great Torrington School is to create an inclusive community of successful learners. This is achieved through the following values:

  • Resilience - To give meaning and enjoyment to the pupils’ present learning experience and to encourage self-motivation, resilience and a passion for learning.

  • Health - We encourage all pupils to adopt a healthy lifestyle through the many activities offered at GTS.

  • Opportunity - To provide equal opportunities for development for all members of the school community that will develop their skills and personal qualities.

  • Responsibility - To prepare pupils to be responsible citizens within the community and to give them the flexibility and skills to meet the demands of a rapidly changing society.

  • Respect - To enable pupils to establish social and personal relationships based on respect, understanding and co-operation.

  • Relationships - It is important our pupils learn how to show tolerance and care towards others and develop the ability to create and sustain healthy relationships throughout their lives.

Working for Us

At Great Torrington School we believe that it is our staff who make our school such a wonderful place for our pupils to be. We offer all teachers a unique and extensive programme of continual professional development that is integrated into their timetable so that we have the best people working with our pupils. All teachers have individual strengths so we encourage them to develop in a variety of ways rather than imposing a 'one size fits all' model.

Great Torrington School Work for us eteach (17950)

  • 10 Teaching & Learning Assessment for Learning training of one hour with a half hour coaching trio session afterwards.  Teachers and learning support assistants in Teaching and Learning groups of 9 staff complete a course based on Dylan William's book 'Embedded Formative Assessment'.  There have also been collapsed sessions on; Learning Objectives and implementing the school's Marking and Feedback Protocols and Literacy Codes, Mindset training, and Show My Homework training.
  • 12 one hour Enrichment CPD training sessions on pedagogy: Year 1: Literacy Across the Curriculum; Carol Dweck: Mindset; John Hattie: Visible learning; Triptico: ICT resources; Ewan McIntosh: Design Thinking; Sugata Mitra: SOLE Learning; Tait Coles: Punk Learning; Susan Cain: Quite, The Power of Introverts; SOLO Taxonomy; Twitter for teachers.  Year 2: Mindset; ICT: EdModo, blogging, Brainrush, MintClass, ShowMyHomework; The Pit of Learning; Marginal Gains; Teacher Wellbeing so far...
  • Inset days/ Staff meetings: e.g. training on the brain and how it works with emphasis on the child and teenage brain from John Stanier; Brain Theory with paediatric neurologist Dt. Andrew Curran (Independent Thinking); whole staff workshop on What is Learning: what it is and what it looks like, the outcome being a whole school definition of learning; Follow up session: more 'brain' training and workshop on what teaching methods can lead us to the learning we want to happen, as per our definition of learning - outcome being a whole school definition of teaching; Growth Mindset training.
  • Teacher library of pedagogical texts.
  • 5 1/2 hours per annum peer observation time: in coaching trios and as per staff needs.
  • Teach Meet 25.03.14 and 05.03.15 North Devon's first Teach Meets, both held at GTS.
  • Departmental Reviews: Middle Team Leaders conduct departmental reviews to develop their own practice and that of colleagues.
  • Learning Walks: Seconds in department and main scale teachers have a day off timetable to take part in a Learning Walk to observe peer practice across a year group recording their findings on the Looking for Learning proforma, thus developing their own practice.
  • GTS Induction programme: all staff new to the school take part in a GTS Induction programme to familiarise themselves with the school, its information and procedures.
  • Use of IRIS Connect: in-class tool to film lessons for self and peer observation.

If you're searching for your next teaching post, why not contact us now? You'll be working at a great school and be part of a friendly, helpful team. We're always interested to hear from enthusiastic, committed teachers - send us your CV now via our School Talent Pool and say what sort of role you're looking for.

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