[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Particular strengths of the school
- The warm, welcoming and caring ethos based on a strong community of faith.
- The drive and commitment of governors, staff, families and the wider community in ensuring that the school is delivering positive and relevant learning experiences for young people.
- Articulate and respectful young people who are keen to learn and to help their school flourish and grow.
- Systematic and well-judged approaches to establishing clear policies and procedures for ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the school.
- The vision and direction demonstrated by school leaders for the further development of the school community.
Summarised Inspection Findings
Management of resources to promote equity: Theme 2 – Management of resources and environment for learning
Al Khalil College is a well-organised school. The accommodation provides a secure, safe, modern and increasingly well-equipped learning environment for young people. The school have raised a significant amount of funds through their community of faith and through business sponsors, to completely refurbish the interior of the building to a good standard, including the installation of a new fire alarm system and a many other improvements to fully meet the requirements of the fire officers’ action plan. Staff carry out checks of the fire system on a regular basis and maintain the associated paperwork for this.
The fixtures and fittings across the school are of a good quality. There is also very good access to high quality information and communications technology throughout the building. The school has installed two IT labs (one on each floor), with 16 computers in each. There are whiteboards in all teaching areas and two interactive smart boards have also been purchased. The digital technology hardware is modern and used well. There are regular opportunities for young people to research information using computers. An appropriate and secure information management system ensures that all young people and staff can access the internet in a secure and well-managed way. There are very clear policies in place for the safe and effective use of digital technology within the school. The issue of cyber-bullying is covered in the PSHE programme and staff have plans to extend this theme further with young people.
The ground floor of the school is accessible to disabled users. There is a ramp at the entrance to the school and a disabled toilet has been installed. Staff pay great attention to the security and safety of the building. A secure camera door entry system covers all access points; CCTV cameras and up-lighting have been installed to the exterior of the building; all electrical equipment has been tested. A well-appointed medical room has been created, with a high-specification first aid kit and specialised fridge for storing medication. A trained first-aider is always on duty. Records are kept of any incidents or accidents that require medical attention.
Classrooms and teaching areas are appropriate places to learn. Young people have space to relax and have lockers for their personal belongings. There are some displays of young people’s work in classrooms and open areas which showcases their talents and achievements. The school has plans to develop the display of pupils’ work in order to enhance the learning environment further.
Learning, teaching and assessment
Young people are well-behaved and attentive in class. They are motivated to learn and enjoy their learning at Al Khalil College. They are respectful and supportive of each other and appreciate the positive relationships they have with staff. Young people feel well-supported by staff and know who they can talk to if they need advice or help with anything. Classes are small and learners have appropriate opportunities to work individually, in pairs, in small groups or as a class. The school demonstrates a clear commitment to the rights of the child and to meeting their curricular entitlements. There is a clear emphasis on equality of opportunity and provision for all young people in the school.
Learners have a good variety of learning experiences across the curriculum and they make appropriate use of digital technology to support learning. In accordance with school policy, teachers ensure that young people have a good awareness of internet safety. They increasingly have opportunities to develop skills for independent learning. The school should continue to provide them with regular opportunities to lead learning in order to progressively develop their confidence and skills in independent learning.
Teachers are well prepared and learning is planned effectively to take account of prior learning and meet the needs of individual learners. Learning experiences are varied and interesting and are, in most subjects, set at an appropriate level of challenge. The school should ensure that all learners consistently experience an appropriate level of challenge which is progressive across all their learning.
Teachers are developing an approach which uses the questions of young people to drive their learning and support motivation and engagement. Teachers give clear explanations and make good use of questions to support young people to explain their thinking and develop their learning.
Teachers plan learning using the experiences and outcomes and taking account of the four contexts for learning and principles of curriculum design. They also take appropriate account of where young people are individually in their learning in order to effectively plan their next steps. The school is developing the use of digital classroom management software to support ongoing interaction between teachers and learners and closer monitoring of learning. This also enables learners to be more regularly consulted on their views and can enable them to participate more fully in planning their learning.
In consultation with parents and young people the school has developed a homework policy which is supported by the use of a homework diary. This is helping parents to ensure that homework is completed and returned. Homework clubs held each week provide young people with opportunities to seek extra help or support with their learning.
Interim reports have been made to parents, based on homework, effort and behaviour. Termly newsletters include updates for parents on learning across curriculum areas and also have examples of learning from individual students.
The school submitted self-evaluation information related to child protection and safeguarding. Inspectors discussed this information with relevant staff and where appropriate, children and young people. In addition, inspectors examined a sample of safeguarding documentation. At the time of the inspection, there were no identified areas for development.
Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion
The size and nature of the school is a key factor in ensuring the health and wellbeing needs of learners are met well. The small class groupings provide ample opportunities for staff to get to know all young people well as individuals. Al Khalil College has a welcoming, positive and caring ethos. As a result, young people told inspectors that they feel safe and well cared for at school. They particularly like participating in Islamic Studies within school time, as this allows them to pursue a wider range of interests and hobbies in their own time. Young people appreciate the system of ‘merits’ which they feel rewards their efforts and good behaviour and motivates them to do well. Parents are very happy with the work of the school. They appreciate the approachable nature of staff and feel that their children are being supported well and encouraged to do their best.
Young people benefit from a programme of Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons that are based on the experiences and outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence. Topics they have covered include aspects of personal safety, for example travelling to and from school; substance misuse; healthy eating. The school has a zero-tolerance approach to bullying. Young people have discussed bullying in PSHE lessons and have used drama techniques to explore bullying issues further. Young people feel confident that the school would take action to address any instances of bullying, should this ever occur. As the programme for PSHE develops from year to year, staff should seek the views of young people re the content and themes that they would like to see included.
Staff are aware of any potential barriers to learning that young people may face. They are sensitive in their approaches to planning learning and teaching, particularly in choosing themes and contexts that are both relevant to young people, but that will also broaden their horizons.
During this initial year in school, staff have asked young people for their ideas and views on a range of themes. Young people really appreciate this and talk enthusiastically about their voice in deciding on school trips and excursions, for example to the museum and a theme park. The school has appropriate plans to strengthen learner voice further by establishing a pupil council. In doing so, they should consider a role for this pupil group in helping to evaluate the overall quality of learning and teaching and curriculum experience.
The school’s vision for future development includes the appropriate aim to ensure young people are outward-looking and responsible members of the wider local community. The school can demonstrate that they are already working towards this commendable aim by ensuring young people engage in worthwhile learning experiences out with school, such as swimming lessons, trips to the Glasgow Science Centre and to the local library. In addition, the school has raised funds for a local hospice by holding their own “Bake Off” competition.
The school leadership team has worked with governors and the parent forum to develop a clear vision for the school. This is a very clear vision which explicitly aims to foster good character and a love of learning in all young people. It is based firmly on Islamic values while seeking to develop the four capacities of curriculum for excellence in young people to prepare them to be well-rounded citizens. The school vision provides an effective rationale for the curriculum and is providing a useful reference point against which the school is beginning to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum. The school should proceed with plans to involve parents, partners and young people to evaluate the curriculum and plan its development.
Commendably the school has developed its vision prior to developing the curriculum. In turn the curriculum is being developed with the emphasis on providing learners with appropriate breadth of experience across all curriculum areas. Staffing is then considered as a requirement to meet the needs of the young people through the curriculum offer. While the school is moving towards a full complement of appropriately qualified staff it is ensuring that all learners experience the full breadth of curricular experiences.
The curriculum takes account of the national advice around curriculum for excellence and, in particular, the seven principles of curriculum design. There is appropriate provision for study in each of the curriculum areas in addition to Islamic Studies [which includes study of the Qur’an, Hadith (the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad – May the peace and blessings of Allah ta’ala be upon him),Tajweed (the correct pronunciation and recitation of the Qur’an) and Seerah (Prophetic biography)]. It provides an effective blend of traditional Islamic study with a thoroughly modern outlook which is forward-looking and celebrates the multi-cultural city of Glasgow. The balance of the curriculum has been discussed and agreed in consultation with parents.
The school seeks the views of parents and young people on a regular basis and acts on these views when developing learning contexts and experiences. Plans are currently being developed for senior phase pathways for the young people in the school (who are currently at stages S1 and S2 only). Consideration is being given to appropriate personalisation and choice and to meeting the needs and aspirations of young people. As such the school is planning flexible pathways for learners which are suited to their needs and aspirations.
The school is ensuring that equality, fairness and respect are promoted throughout the curriculum. This is evident, for example, in the broad approach taken to Religious and Moral Education. The school is taking good account of the social, cultural, economic and historical context of the area and is proud to celebrate its Glaswegian and Scottish identity.
Teachers demonstrate a good awareness of employability skills and are keen to ensure that learners have appropriate experiences to develop these. This will support them to develop the skills they need to become effective citizens and contributors to society. Employability skills are clearly identified and embedded in coursework in some areas, for example in Business Management
Leadership and management of staff
The headteacher and school leaders have a very clear vision for the future direction and growth of the school. They are rightly very proud of all they have achieved within their first year as a new school. They have established very clear policies and procedures for key aspects of school life. Together with the wider staff team, and with the strong support of families and the wider community, they are ensuring that young people are benefiting from relevant and up-to-date learning experiences within a broad and balanced curriculum.
Safe and effective recruitment practices are in place. Well-judged policies in relation to staffing matters have been devised and shared with all staff, ensuring that the school’s high expectations of staff as positive role models for young people are well understood. School leaders have plans to develop ways to ensure that staff wellbeing is given appropriately high priority.
You can find more information on the report on the Education Scotland website: