Bay House School & Sixth Form is a high performing 11-18 School with excellent facilities and a superb location overlooking the Solent. The 11-16 School is heavily over-subscribed and about half the pupils live in the urban area of Gosport to the north and east of the School. The remainder are drawn from the more economically favoured suburban areas of Alverstoke and Lee-on-the-Solent.
The School was a Specialist School for Maths and Computing which we believe has had a positive impact throughout the curriculum. However, this specialism has evolved into a whole school focus on the National STEM agenda (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) which we believe will have an equally important impact. We have achieved the Artsmark Award, International Schools Award, Healthy School Award and Geography Quality Mark Our latest Ofsted Report described us as an ‘outstanding school that has the highest expectations of its students and a determination that they will achieve their best’.
Departments are generally located in suited rooms and our specialist status has allowed us to develop the use of ICT in teaching and learning across all areas of the curriculum. High quality Technology, Maths and Drama blocks have been added in recent years and plans are progressing for a major development in our sporting facilities.
Our Sixth Form
Bay House Sixth Form, established in 1996, has grown rapidly in recent years due to the outstanding examination results: the A Level A*-C pass rate was 87% last year, compared to a national figure of 75%. The value-added performance places us in the top 5% of all schools and colleges nationally. In 2011, for the eleventh year running, the average A/AS Level points score was one of the highest in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. It has around 420 sixth form students, almost half of whom join Bay House from other schools. Approximately 90% typically secure university places. We remain in The Times' Top Comprehensives for A Level, feature in The Times' Top Schools (including independent and selective schools) and have been identified as in the top 2% of Further Education providers nationally for the value-added progress made by our sixth form students.
Learning and Teaching
At Bay House we pride ourselves on constantly learning and experimenting with advancing pedagogies to keep pace with our shifting world. Our school’s philosophy is learning-centred and we involve all members of the community in the learning process as we believe that “everyone can lead learning”.
Over the last two years Bay House School has undertaken some ground-breaking work in enhancing the learning-to-learn culture that takes place in our classrooms. Teachers plan lessons which teach subject content and which also develop our learners’ life-long learning capacities. This has included the creation of a bespoke language-for-learning and a Teachers’ Palette. We are also spreading this work to parents through the series of @bayhousehome technologies.
At Bay House we also believe in “Growth Mindsets”. This is the conviction that learning is “learnable” and that achievements are a result of effort rather than of innate ability. Deeper learning involves taking on challenges and risks, being determined in the face of set-backs, and learning from mistakes. All of these areas are developed through our school’s learning community. Bay House staff are life-long learners and this is exemplified in numerous ways.
For example the school’s MA Hub is linked to the University of Winchester where around eighteen staff are modelling life-long learning by undertaking formal research about the school’s changing approach to pedagogy. Nearly every member of staff participates in one of forty “Professional Learning Communities”. Each PLC consists of people with a certain “research” interest that they have chosen. The PLCs then collaborate on learning together. Our research philosophy has been highly acclaimed amongst academics from the University of Winchester and the Institute of Education (University of London); one who described it as “inspiring”.
Teaching at Bay House is organised through subject departments and the Pastoral system is year-based. Pupils keep the same tutor and head of year throughout Year 7-11, so far as staffing stability allows. There are approximately 148 (full-time equivalent) teaching staff and 87 (fte) support staff currently in post.
Upon entering the School pupils are placed in classes of mixed levels of attainment and follow a common curriculum. Year 7 pupils are taught in sets for English, Science and Mathematics. Other subjects are setted at the beginning of Year 8 when three broad bands are established on the basis of pupils' attainment. All pupils follow an information technology foundation course at Key Stage 3 and more than a third have the opportunity to take a second language from the beginning of Year 8. A recent development is an extra-curricular opportunity to learn Mandarin – a feature of a growing link with schools in China.
The progress of each pupil is carefully monitored and movement between attainment sets is not unusual. Pupils with special educational needs are the responsibility of us all under the guidance of the Learning Support Department and pastoral staff. Bay House is proud of its record in helping pupils with a wide range of special needs, including learning difficulties, sensory impairment, Down's syndrome and autistic spectrum disorder. It is also well known for meeting the needs of the most able.
GCSE examination performance of Bay House pupils has consistently been above national averages. In 2010, 71% gained 5 or more A*-C passes, 61% achieved 5 or more A*-C including English and Mathematics. These indicators put the school in a very commendable position in the performance tables, justifying our belief in keeping a broad and balanced curriculum entitlement for all with a degree of diversification to support those learners less well suited to GCSE examination. Hence the introduction of Vocational and BTEC courses into our KS4 provision and 14-19 diplomas.
We have also established an Enterprise Academy. This is an off-site provision for Key Stage 4 pupils who are struggling to engage with mainstream provision. They benefit from a significantly different curriculum and context that personalises the learning more in line with their needs, allowing them to achieve five or more GCSE or equivalent qualifications, including English and Maths, alongside developing Enterprise and other life skills.
High standards of pupil cooperation and discipline are maintained by communicating clear expectations whilst formally acknowledging effort and achievement. However, when disruptive or anti-social behaviour occurs, it is dealt with firmly and by applying sanctions on a consistent basis. Key to this is the strong partnership with parents and carers; parent confidence and support for the School are high. We pride ourselves on maintaining a climate in which teachers can teach and learners feel safe enough to take the risks and challenges that deeper learning requires.
Foreign trips, field study excursions and educational visits are regular features of school life. There are also many clubs and societies and strong representative teams in the main sports. The School is exceptionally strong in the Arts. Musical and Dramatic productions take place at regular intervals; there is an Arts Festival each July.
How do you join our community?
If you like the 'feel' of our school and, from what you have read, believe that you have a similar mindset and are interested in joining our community, then we would welcome an application from you.
What did Ofsted have to say...
Students' outstanding progress is a result of good teaching, together with their own determination, high quality pastoral care and the high expectations that are enshrined in the school's ethos.
The outstanding curriculum is adapted flexibly by the school to meet students’ needs and is a vital component of the outstanding care and support the school provides.
Outstanding leadership and management at all levels, including the governing body, ensure that educational provision is responsive and flexible to the changing needs of the school population and strongly promotes equal opportunities for all.
All aspects of the sixth form are outstanding and meet the needs of the students, providing a secure foundation for further study and higher education.
Students are very generous in their support for each other and collaborative learning is particularly successful
The strong student voice means that many students are involved in the school community and their contribution is significant both in school and the wider community. In particular students have a growing interest in ethical issues such as those raised through the school’s international status
Good quality teaching maintains high levels of challenge in lessons and a good pace that keeps students ‘on their toes’ and focused on their learning.
Parents and carers are very supportive of the school and communication and partnerships are excellent
Bay House is committed to safeguarding children and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
Links to visit
The Deeper Learning Journey - Podcasts and extra information at Bay House
http://www.bayhousehome.co.uk/ or find us on twitter: @bayhousehome
Growth Mindsets - A summary of Dweck’s research can be found at