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Self Evaluation & Development Plan

At St Mark's we are on a journey of transformation for all. In order to ensure our students receive the very highest level of educational and pastoral care, it is necessary to continually evaluate and prioritise the work that we do to ensure that we remain focused on the key activities that have the biggest impact on the progress, attainment and wellbeing of our school community.

Two documents that are key to this process of continual planning and reflection are our Self-Evaluation Form (SEF) and School Development Plan (SDP). A summary of the key content of these documents is outlined below. We hope this will allow our community, who we consider vital partners in our work, to: be aware of our plans; support us in achieving the aims and goals we have set ourselves; and to share and celebrate in our successes.


St Mark’s is a community of transformation based on the inclusive Christian values of Love, Hope and Trust. The Academy’s intake is culturally diverse, serving pupils with high levels of socio-disadvantage. The percentage of SEND and Pupil Premium pupils is well above the national average, so integration and inclusion are high on our priority list – in line with the school’s motto of transformation for all. This resonates in all that we do. 

Our vision for the Quality of Education is ambitious. Our curriculum is sequenced, decolonised and supports students’ levels of literacy to reflect the needs of the community we serve. We understand that achievement is personal and goes beyond the academic. So, alongside our taught curriculum, there is a raft of experiential learning opportunities to support character and academic excellence. This includes our approach to outdoor education and CEIAG which has a significant impact on pupil learning, destination data, health and well-being. Outcomes have been above the national average for over 5 years, demonstrating the impact of our Quality of Education at all levels. 

We truly are an innovative school in the way we develop and support our staff, specifically through the use of cutting-edge research to inform our award-winning CPD programme. Everyone within the Academy is a learner and, together, we never stop striving to develop our pedagogy and practice to promote excellence within our community. 

The values of Love, Hope and Trust permeate through the Academy and guide pupils’ behaviour and attitudes. Safeguarding practices at the Academy are reviewed termly and described in reports as “world class.” The Academy is particularly proud of our whole school approach to sexual harassment, online sexual abuse and sexual violence. An exceptional PSHE offer delivered by specialists, ongoing staff training, appropriate policies and strong partnerships allow all students to feel safe and flourish. 

Our personal development programme is life-changing and includes interventions from a range of partners so we can respond to contextual issues and collaborate across the Trust and with parents.

We have the highest expectations of staff and students and a spirit of service that drives all to excellence. We are mindful of wellbeing and workload and foster an ethos of working together whenever we can (in school and across the Trust). Quality of Education

Our Strengths

Quality of Education

  • The KS4 and KS5 curriculum empowers students with knowledge and skills needed to take advantage of opportunities later in life and challenges disadvantage. This is demonstrated by outcomes that have been above national for 5 years, a PP gap that is diminishing and outcomes for SEND learners that are improving every year 
  • St Mark’s curriculum is underpinned by the strands of the national curriculum, whilst being tailored to celebrate, speak to and reflect the diverse background of our students 
  • Leaders at SMA have designed a curriculum intent that is ambitious and designed to give all pupils, particularly disadvantaged pupils and including pupils with SEND, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. Our three-year KS3 offers a curriculum of breadth and ambition, ensuring students have the chance to explore in depth 
  • The curriculum is broad and balanced and there is a “strong academic core.” Numbers studying EBacc from 2017-2021. 31%-63% (NA 40%). EBACC entry rate is now 84% for more able, 65% for PP and 53% for SEND which is significantly higher than the national average 
  • Staff receive expert CPD to allow them to sequence big ideas and powerful knowledge across a 5-year plan for long term memory retention. The positive impact of this CPD was highlighted in a recent survey which showcased teachers’ and TAs’ growing knowledge of cognitive theory and memory (CTM). It was also showcased in the Trust review on the 12th of July 2021 and two-day deep dive with a rained Ofsted inspector in February 2022—HODs could speak articulately about how CTM had influenced their curriculum design 
  • Subjects’ curriculum documents demonstrate coherently planned and sequenced lessons, HODS and teachers can articulate how their curriculum cumulatively builds in sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment. This means no child is NEET and 80% of students go onto University, with 15%-20% attending RG universities. 
  • Remote education is well integrated within course(s) of study, and is well designed to support the wider implementation of the school’s curriculum. 
  • Curriculum reviews and internal deep dives confirm that our whole school intent is understood and applied consistently  
  • CPD is exceptional and supports staff to implement our ambitious curriculum vision. Instructional coaching is embedded. CPD has been awarded a Gold Quality Mark (UCL) 
  • Teachers use assessment well using our responsive teaching toolkit 
  • Staff subject knowledge is described as a strength in external reviews. Enhancement courses are in place where appropriate
  • Middle attainers in English achieved top 20% for A8 in 2019 at 10.2. Outcomes sustained in unvalidated data 
  • Leaders have actively reshaped the curriculum and designed a CPD offer for staff to ensure reading is prioritised. This allows pupils to access the full curriculum offer 

Behaviour & Attitudes

  • Inclusive Christian values permeate through the school and guide the behaviour of students. Students and staff relationships result in a positive and respectful school culture 
  • The Academy behaviour policy is consistently used in the classroom to reduce PDB (IDSR 34/62 FTE in 2019). Data shows an improving three-year trend in behaviour incidents for all pupil groups

  • Internal safeguarding audits commend St Mark’s on “world class” safeguarding practices  
  • Strong monitoring of Alternative Education providers and fortnightly meetings with the Principal and safeguarding team to review B/D codes 
  • New leadership of attendance which has resulted in attendance well above the national average during the pandemic.

Personal Development

  • The way the school goes about developing pupils’ character is exemplary and is worthy of being shared with others across the Trust and Diocese 
  • Our weekly standalone PSHE lesson for every year group develops pupils for life in modern Britain, CIAG, British values 
  • SMSC and knowledge of online bullying, SRHE, sexual harassment and bullying is developed extremely well through our exceptional PSHE curriculum taught by specialists 
  • QA from collective worship and SIAMs inspections commend the way pupils demonstrate a respect for diversity 
  • “The school’s provision for the personal development and welfare of pupils is outstanding. It is highly enriching and supportive and focuses on ‘values in action’. Pupils are confident, thoughtful and articulate” (Ofsted 2017)  
  • RE is exceptionally well sequenced, supports character excellence and celebrates P8 outcomes of +1.5 
  • The Academy’s curriculum extends beyond the academic with enrichment days a year linked to our curriculum
  • Students take part in the Duke of Edenborough Award annually.

Leadership & Management

  • The Principal and SLT have an ambitious vision based on transformation for all. External reviews conducted confirm that this has been maintained throughout the pandemic. 
  • Internal safeguarding audits commend St Mark’s on “world class” safeguarding practices and exemplary record keeping.  
  • A 5-year trend of outcomes between +0.37 and +0.8 demonstrate leaders focus their attention on the curriculum and education provided for all. This results in impressive destination data

  • Staff voice this year has been overwhelmingly positive. St Mark’s has managed staff workload proactively in response to COVID-19 and beyond. 
  • Governance is highly effective when advising and challenging. Link LGB members carry out termly reviews into key areas like remote learning and hold SLT to account for the QofEd 

Sixth Form

  • Leaders have designed a broad and balanced curriculum which supports the success of PP/SEND students who progress to university. Students study re-take English and Maths 
  • Students develop an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationship and sex education within their PSHE lesson delivered by a specialist 
  • Outcomes well above national for applied general subjects for five years (+0.55) and in line with national for A Level 
  • Pupils are prepared for the next stage of education with CEIAG, enrichment and PSHE 
  • Destination data is excellent with 75%-80% of students going to university (15%-20% RG) and 5-10% on apprenticeships.
  • Teachers and leaders use assessment to help students embed and use knowledge fluently and flexibly, to evaluate the application of  to check understanding and inform teaching or to understand different starting points and gaps as a result of the pandemic. 

Key Priorities & Progress

Key Priority Progress To Celebrate

To consistently embed our ambitious vision for the Quality of Education so that students, groups and subjects can dance at the party.

  • Trust CEO review highlighted excellent practice
  • February deep dive in maths and English described aweinspiring lessons
  • CTMM Session 2 today and Instructional Coaching driving consistency
  • HOD CPD sessions running to empower our engine room of the school

To launch and evaluate a new transformational enrichment and careers offer for all years.

  • Launched our new offer to all years and parents with new sign up website page
  • Our work with Education Development Trust starts this half term

To sustain recent improvements in attendance and punctuality across the Academy.

  • 94.4% highest in Anthem and Merton. CIN and CP attendance well above NA
  • PA rate in line with the national average

To develop students’ levels of literacy across all key stages.

  • Accelerated Reader increased reading age at KS3 by 6 months over 4 months
  • Literacy marking expectations relaunched and purple pen stretch
  • Reading for life at KS4 launched and DVI training for all staff

To further develop our engagement with the local community and parents and carers.

  • 47 to 97 first choice applications and on track to hit our PAN of 180
  • Multiple celebration and open events with exceptional feedback