Standards and Quality Report 2017/18

Introduction from the Headteacher and Senior Management Team

Mr Colin Bruce Headteacher

It has been a very successful and productive year in Alloa Academy. Since starting in August 2017, I have been very impressed with the efforts and achievements of our young people and staff.

This report provides a snapshot of what has taken place over the course session 2017/18. Many of the results and stats within the report are from 2016/17 and don't reflect the attainment over this past year (these results and stats come out from the SQA in August 2018).

This Standards and Quality Report aims to highlight some of the key strengths within Alloa Academy along with areas that we plan to develop in the future session.

Throughout 2017/18 our curriculum continues to grow and we have made many significant changes to provide our pupils with the opportunities to develop skills that are required for Learning, Life & Work.

Miss Nicky Guiliani (Depute Headteacher)

"We are raising the profile of pupil leadership and pupil voice within Alloa Academy with roles and responsibilities for not only our senior pupil leadership team but across the school from S1 - S6. It has been fantastic seeing pupils’ confidence grow with their involvement in various initiatives such as the Year of Young People, Pupil Led Enquiry and Rights Respecting Schools, which saw the pupil-led steering group achieving Rights Respecting Schools Bronze award for the school. In addition, this session we became an accredited Duke of Edinburgh award centre. This has allowed us to build and add to the portfolio of leadership qualifications which begun so successfully with sports leadership awards. Our young people never fail to amaze us with their passion, motivation and creative ideas when given the opportunity to articulate their views and take responsibility in a leadership position."

Mr Iain McGhee (Depute Headteacher)

"Pupil Equity Funding has allowed us to create greater opportunities to support our learners and help remove barriers to learning. It has been inspiring to see our staff take ownership of a range of initiatives to engage our parents, work more closely with our learning partners and develop a greater understanding and focus on the Mental and Physical wellbeing of our pupils. Our aim continues to be to reduce disadvantage through developing a holistic network of support for our young people on their learning journey."

Mr John Bryce (Depute Headteacher)

"The physical re-assignment of the Pupil Support area to incorporate a central location for our external support staff (Community Police, Skills Development Scotland, Well being Scotland, Attendance Support) and the creation of the Support Hub has been a major step.

The creation and appointment of key staff (PEF Funded) to the Support Hub has allowed our school to work intensely with a significant number of young people and families from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure that they are able to get the most out of school."

Mr Gordon Barnes (Depute Headteacher)

“I see the revamp of the S3 Curriculum as an exciting new addition to the learner’s experience in Alloa Academy. Leading the working group to design this pathway was both an enjoyable and profitable experience. This new curriculum model will mean much deeper learning for pupils in preparation for the transition to the Senior Phase and on to their National Courses.”

School Improvement Plan 2017/18

After a Authority School Review (Oct 2017) and consultation with pupils, staff, parents and partners we have developed the following School Improvement Plan from November 2017 which is linked to the National Improvement Framework (NIF) and the Local Authority Plans.

Note - This plan (Nov 2017) will be developed further following self- evaluation from August 2018.

We feel these tie in with the Clackmannanshire Vision and Priorities below

Context of Alloa Academy

Alloa Academy is a modern six year comprehensive school serving the town of Alloa in Clackmannanshire and built through the PPP programme.

We are part of a a thriving Learning Community and work very closely with our cluster partners — Park Primary, Sunnyside Primary, Redwell Primary, Lochies School (Extended Additional Support Needs), St Mungo's RC Primary, ABC Nursery and the Secondary School Support Service.

In session 2017/18 we have 720 students, 55 teaching staff and 34 support staff including our team of Learning Assistants and our Business Support staff. Our school is truly comprehensive and reflects the picture of Scotland as a whole.

The Extended Additional Support Needs (EASN) faculty in Alloa Academy supports 27 young people with complex additional support needs. EASN is supported by three teachers, a Principal Teacher and intensive support team around each child.

The school roll in Alloa Academy has decreased over the last few years simply because of pupil numbers falling throughout our education system. Pleasingly, the roll is starting to rise again from 2018/19 .

Alloa Academy has a committed team of Teaching Staff and Support Staff who work in partnership to 'Get It Right For Every Child'. Our Support Staff includes a School Based Police Officer, a Wellbeing Worker (Wellbeing Scotland), Attendance Support Worker, Skills Development Scotland Staff and we work in partnership with Sport Development Scotland Staff to ensure we can support the full range of needs.

As well as our continued focus on raising attainment, our school offers a wide choice of activities which enrich our students' growth. Last session these included an Interact Club (Rotary), football teams (year groups), Science Club, Dance, Dodge ball, Badminton, Gymnastics and a Drama Group which has put on a successful Panto ("Princess Penelope, the Pea and the Frog Prince").

Success and Achievements

The following image gives a visual representation of a child's progression through the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). Each learner is unique and this image only gives an estimate of a child's level within CfE. It does not take into account an individual young person's need(s).

Broad General Education

Throughout the S1 curriculum we aim to build upon 'Pupil and School Identity'. This involves learning about local, national and international issues. This focus is celebrated in a Learning Festival, a Scottish Day, an Eco Day, and a D-Day Active Learning Experience.

The S2 curriculum aims to build upon the S1 curriculum and challenge learners. Interdisciplinary learning is a key feature and aims to ensure that all young people can make links in their learning across all subjects.

A key measure in S3 is Teacher Professional Judgements. These are important measures that teachers make on their pupils' progress within the Curriculum for Excellence Framework.

The tables below show the percentage of S3 pupils who have achieved a Curriculum for Excellence Level in Literacy (Reading, Writing, Listening & Talking) and Numeracy.



Listening and Talking


Senior Phase

The Senior Phase attainment is measured nationally via the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA). The feedback benchmark measures (Insight) are divided into the headings of Literacy and Numeracy, Attainment vs Deprivation, Improving Attainment for All, Curriculum Areas, Breadth and Depth. Alloa Academy's headlines within these areas are below.

Literacy and Numeracy

S4 Literacy and Numeracy

Level 4 Numeracy - 74.67% achieved (69% in 2016).

Level 5 Literacy – 54% achieved (40.74% in 2016).

Significant improvement in the percentage of pupils achieving Level 5 Literacy .

S5 Literacy and Numeracy

S5 Level 4 Numeracy – 80.31% better than previous year.

Level 4 Literacy – 90.55% achieved better than previous year.

Level 5 Literacy – 77.17% achieved better than VC (76.85%).

Increasing trends over last 3 years with Level 4 Literacy in S5.

Increase in Level 5 within S5 in 2017.

S6 Literacy and Numeracy

Level 5 Literacy - 89.29% achieved better than VC (87.86%).

Attainment vs Deprivation

S4 Attainment vs Deprivation

Pupils performing better within SIMD 3,4 and 5. However, areas for improvement within S4 are required to show sustained evidence of closing the gap.

Subjects with success: Modern Studies, Art, Music, Design and Manufacture

S5 Attainment vs Deprivation

An improving picture in S5. SIMD 2 is showing signs of ‘closing the gap’. However, SIMD 1, 3, 5 and 8 are our focus for improvement. There is still a need to close overall measures.

S6 Attainment vs Deprivation

Pupils performed better than Virtual Comparator in 7 /10 deciles. There is evidence of 'closing the gap' for the 84% of pupils who stay on for S6.

Best S6 performance in overall measures in past 5 years.

Improving Attainment for All

S4 Improving Attainment for All

Main area for development is within the lowest 20% and highest 20%.

S5 Improving Attainment for All

Slightly improved picture from S4, however, still behind comparators.

S6 Improving Attainment for All

Pupils within highest 80% (middle 60% & highest 20%) are performing better than the Clackmannanshire measures.

Extended Additional Support Needs Attainment

EASN pupils had the most amount and widest range of National Qualifications (NQs) achieved by pupils within EASN in Alloa.

25 x National Qualifications at level 1 – 3.

Curricular Areas

The graph below shows the percentage of S4-S6 pupils who attained qualifications at a National Level 3/4/5/6 level vs National Comparators.

In English, Health and Well-being, Social Subjects and Technologies Alloa Academy gains more attained entries vs comparative measures.

S4 Outcomes

Modern Studies has better than national measures at N5.

Design and Manufacture has better outcomes than national measures at N5.

Biology has improved results in 2017 compared to previous years.

S5 Outcomes

Increased A level passes in N5 Maths vs previous years.

Aspects of Higher Maths results better than national measures.

S6 Outcomes

Administration and IT better than national at Higher.

Biology better than national at Higher.

Chemistry better than national at Higher.

Breadth and Depth

When we compare S4 N5 passes vs S5 National N5 passes we find that S4s had 26% 5 x N5 passes v 36 % 5 x N5 passes.

S5 are better prepared for the N5 academic demands than S4. This has led to a change in the curriculum model for 2018/19 whereby more challenge in the BGE is required and S3 pupils will are now making curricular choice.

The following graph shows National 5 S4 attainment vs National 5 S5 attainment.

The following graph also shows S5 Higher Attainment vs S6 Higher Attainment.

Positive Destinations

We have a mixture of Targeted and Universal Supports in Alloa Academy that aim to support every young person into Positive Destinations. The table below demonstrates this for each year group.

It was pleasing to see the amount of work based learning take place in Alloa Academy throughout 2016/17. Our senior pupils completed over 3000 hours of voluntary work and gained many Saltire Awards.

In 2016/17 Alloa Academy also targeted pupils through Career Ready. Career Ready is a UK wide charity linking employers with schools and colleges to open up the world of work to young people. in 2016/17 we had five successful pupils who graduated through Career Ready.

In 2016/17, 85% of leavers in Alloa Academy went on to a Positive Destination.


The data below shows the attendance for 2016/17.

A main area for attendance improvement from 2016/17 was S3. The Pupil Support Team and Attendance Support Worker have targeted support to individuals and families. Additionally, curriculum changes in S3 (Pupil Choice) have seen pupils more engaged, attending and happy in class.

Attendance has been a major focus in Clackmannanshire schools throughout 2017/18 and I'm pleased to report there are improvements in attendance in session 2017/18. Currently the school has an overall 92% attendance (May 2018).

National Recognition

Alloa Academy pupils have performed and excelled nationally in a number of areas. Many of our seniors have taken part in national debates (above our Senior Leaders meeting with John Swinney at a Young Scot Event).

Our Pupil STEM Team called Presto has succeeded in winning the 'F1 in Schools Car Design' competition for Scotland and raced their top design at an event at Silverstone in England.

Alloa Academy's fantastic Science Team has competed and won at the prestigious 'Top of The Bench' Science competition. Having excelled against many Scottish schools the team got through to the national event held in England.

Alloa Academy is delighted to have been awarded the Gold Sport Scotland Award in 2017. This award reflects the massive amount of work from pupils and staff. Thanks to the Physical Education Team in Alloa Academy and the Clackmannanshire Sports Development Team.

In 2017/18, Alloa Academy celebrated being the first school in Scotland to be named an accredited centre for Duke of Edinburgh. We look forward to building on our Duke of Edinburgh offer and have young people engaged from S3-S6 in 2018/19.

In 2017/18 Alloa Academy was awarded the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Bronze Award. We will be working towards the Silver Award from 2018/19. This award demonstrates that our young people have learned about and promoted Human Rights.

Local Success

James Twist won the Clackmannanshire Robert Burns Competition by singing "Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes". You can listen to this on the link below.

We are delighted that a number of our teaching staff have been recognised at the 'Clackmannanshire Towards Excellence Awards'. We had nominations for Developing the Young Workforce, Parental Engagement, Teacher Professionalism and Support

Well done to Charlie Leppard (Pupil Support) and Gillian Freeland (DYW) for winning the Developing the Young Workforce category


From Primary 6 we aim to give regular opportunities for the cluster primary pupils to attend Alloa Academy and/or Alloa Academy staff to visit the primary schools.

This aims to build pupil confidence and ensure that Alloa Academy has the correct level of support in place when pupils enroll in S1.

Transition events are varied to ensure there are formal and informal opportunities.

  • Targeted Support Meetings (Guidance, EASN and ASN)
  • 2 x Transition Days
  • 1 x Health and Wellbeing Days
  • Transition after school clubs
  • CSI Alloa
  • Faculty visits
  • Weekly Numeracy (Alloa Academy Maths staff visit each primary)
  • Panto Auditions
  • Visit to each primary from Headteacher and Depute
  • Enhanced transitions (supported by Primary and Secondary Support Staff)

Work and Life of Alloa Academy

In Alloa Academy we aim to offer ever child the chance to thrive. Over the past three years we have developed a real interest in our annual school panto. It is something that is embraced by the local community with many parents and carers supporting the stage and costume design. In session 2017/18 "Princess Penelope, the Pea and the Frog Prince" was a real success.


We have maintained and established many new partnerships throughout 2017/18. 'Looking Outwards' to find best practice helps our school to ensure we are consistently improving. We have also shared our practice nationally with a school from Iceland - Arskoli visiting us in June 2018. We shared some of our practice on Literacy - Reading where we identified similar challenges.

We hope this is a partnership that will grow in coming years.

Skills Framework

Throughtout 2017/18 Alloa Academy has developed a Skills Framework (below) which ensures that the learning that takes place throughout the Broad General Education and Senior Phase is directly linked to building upon young people's skills. We see these skills being key qualities for future employment and/or Further Education.

Each lesson in Alloa aims to start with a link to the Skills Framework.


Pupil Equity Fund

More than 2,300 schools across Scotland received additional support worth thousands of pounds, to be spent at the discretion of teachers and school leaders to close the poverty related attainment gap in their schools.

Allocations are based on the number of pupils from P1 to S3 who are eligible and registered for free school meals, with schools receiving around £1,200 per pupil.

Details of the Alloa Academy PEF Spend from 2017/18 can be accessed using the link below.



I hope you found the information in this Standards and Quality Report helpful.

If there is any further information about the school you wish to find out about, please get in contact.

Kind regards

Mr Colin Bruce


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Colin Bruce

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