Schools of Ambition - Telling the Story

School of AmbitionPort Glasgow High School and St Stephen’s High School both serve the town of Port Glasgow and neighbouring villages of Kilmacolm and Quarrier’s, in Inverclyde. They entered into partnership in the Schools of Ambition project in June 2007.

Our vision was for Port Glasgow to be a Community of
Learners, equipping the young people of the area with
the knowledge and transferable skills needed in the
21st century economy. The vision would develop:

SoA Aim
• A community of highly motivated learners
• High expectations of success and ambition for continuing achievement
• Learning at the heart of the life and work of the schools
• Pupils’ skills in clearly understanding the skills required to be effective learners
• Pupils’ opportunity to demonstrate their learning and to be leaders of learning.

The vision of the schools is to establish and maintain new standards of excellence in the provision of high quality learning and teaching environments designed to raise confidence and self-esteem. We aim to realise a significant transformation in expectation and ambition within the learning communities including pupils, staff and parents.

Expected Transformation - what were our challenges?
We wanted to raise expectations, motivation, confidence and self esteem of the schools and the wider community, improving attainment and achievement resulting in:

• greater pupil self-belief in their individual abilities resulting in increased motivation to continue to achieve;
• promotion of confident and successful school images ;
• greater ability to compete in the employment market.

We wanted the impact to extend beyond the pupils’ direct involvement within the schools resulting in:

• enabling them to be responsible citizens with greater respect for self and others
• involving them in the leadership of initiatives and developments in the wider community.
We aimed to develop and strengthen the partnerships between schools, parents, other stakeholders and the wider community.

The Drivers of Change

Being part of the Schools of Ambition programme allowed both schools, jointly and individually, to accelerate the timescale for fulfilling their vision. The plan for the programme was based on five key drivers for change:

• Development of Learning capacity
• Development of Leadership capacity
• Enhancement of Learning Environments
• Development of Sport, Music and Arts
• Enhanced Parental Involvement in learning

Participating in the programme and putting into place the initiatives outlined through the collaborative Transformational Plan, provided a superb opportunity for creating a lasting attitude of ‘can do’ and enterprise for everyone both within the schools and within the wider community of Port Glasgow.

During the School of Ambition project, an added dimension for the schools and locality developed. As part of Inverclyde Council’s School Estates Management Plan, the two school will come together on a shared campus in August 2013. The existing joint working as Schools of Ambition contributed significantly to the feasibility of the proposal. The key feature of the project became important for laying the foundations of the social and educational infrastructure which will be required to prepare the two school communities for this move.

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