Download our FREE smartphone app today!

Get the app



Transition Evening is from 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday 24th April 2019) and will end around 8pm. Please let us know in advance if you would like to drop younger children off in the crèche while the talks are going on:


Year 7 students have been taking part in a STEM challenge with Mr Dauban in Design & Technology today!


Letters for our End of Term and Start of Term arrangements are now on the website:


Purley, South Norwood, Palace and Beckenham Y11 Media students are attending a special workshop at to prepare them for their upcoming exams!


A group of our students were invited to Accenture's 'Decoded' workshop to improve their teamwork and communication skills. Accenture work with some well-known companies including Google and New Look, fixing their technical issues. The students had a great time!


The issues with our Virgin line have now been resolved. Email and telephones are working once again. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused!


Unfortunately our network issue are continuing this morning. Staff emails are currently affected. Reception have a temporary telephone installed for urgent calls using the main academy number. This line may be busy!


Eco Club, led by Miss Buckley, continues to do great work in recycling the plastic bottles our students get through each week. All of this would have ended up in landfill if these students didn't do such a great job!


We are currently suffering from a network outage, which is affecting our telephone system and email. You can still use our address for urgent messages. We hope to have this issue resolved soon.


Our Jack Petchey Speak Out finalists delivered six amazing speeches to their peers this afternoon. Topics ranged from hidden disabilities to battling depression. After careful deliberation, Freya was crowned the winner and will go on to the next stage of the competition!


Thank you to all the students, parents and carers who attended our very busy Year 8 into Year 9 Options Evening!


Retweetd From Harris Careers

Premises Manager required .Apply now


A reminder that it is our Year 8 into 9 Options Evening this evening for students and parents/carers. We look forward to seeing you from 17:30!


conducted an impromptu search of all of our students using metal detecting ‘knife arches’ this morning. The search was in response to recent headlines concerning knife crime, but was not prompted by anything specific to our Academy. No illicit items were discovered!


Retweetd From Harris Careers

Harris Academy Purley are looking for a Lead Practitioner/Aspiring Lead Practitioner: MFL. Apply now


Never happened 😉


Retweetd From sufiya ahmed

Brilliant day Met ys 7,8,9 & 10 with Secrets of the Henna Girl. Bright confident pupils eager to learn and ready to question about Thank you for inviting me 🙂


Our next Parent Voice meeting will take place tomorrow (5th March) from 18:30 until 19:30. All parents and carers of our students are welcome to attend the meetings. They are an ideal opportunity to provide feedback to our Leadership Team and Principal


A huge thank you to distinguished author Sufiya Ahmed for coming in and talking to our students today!


Wishing Harris Academy Purley and South Norwood students a safe and pleasant trip to Austria today! If you'd like to keep up with the action on and off the slopes, follow: (also on Instagram)

Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Central Office














Teaching & Learning

Aims and Ethos

At Harris Academy Purley we aim to provide outstanding teaching that meet the needs and aspirations of all students, promoting a view of learning as a shared responsibility and resulting in both rapid progress and high attainment.

It is the goal of the academy to move from being an outstanding school to an exceptional one, recognised in London for its consistent and significant performance and to be the first choice for local parents.  



The HAPU 10 represent best practice in learning and teaching at Harris Academy Purley.  Each element represents a standard we strive towards in every lesson.  These form the focus of feedback in lesson observations.


Click to enlarge

Excellent classroom practice takes many forms but outstanding teaching typically produces learning that comes under the following:


Exhibits understanding of both the curriculum and subject

Excellent teaching ensures that learners have a deep understanding of their subjects, with the ability to understand underlying issues and connections – it is not mechanical, or performative. Moreover, students have an overview of the curriculum and how the different topics and skills integrate. 

It is especially important that externally examined year groups have a clear understanding of examination structure and rubrics to enable them to deploy their learning effectively, but this understanding should be built into KS3 teaching, where appropriate, under the new 1-9 structure. 


Balances and integrates skills and knowledge

A strong distinction between skills and knowledge misunderstands how student learn; whilst clearly there is variation between subjects and individual lessons, students at the concrete operational stage require a clear context in which to apply their practical and examination skills and knowledge is retained more effectively when it is applied. 


Is characterised by high expectations

Outstanding learning means that students should surpass the progress and attainment suggested by national targets. Excellent teaching therefore requires challenging expectations, with objectives that 'teach to the top'.


Scaffolds independence

In combination with high expectations excellent teaching differentiates so that all types of learner can access and succeed. It is important that support retains challenge, so that learners are guided but that their learning activities are still meaningful. Teachers should work closely with support staff to ensure that students with SEND have their needs met whilst ensuring that the student is fully engaged. The outcome is the learning, not the activity.


Builds through sequences of lessons 

Excellent learning and teaching is sequential, building throughout the academic year and courses. Pace, challenge and engagement are essential ingredients to outstanding lessons, but should not be at the expense of deeper understanding and long-term retainment of knowledge. The current OFSTED inspection framework correctly identifies that learning is not episodic and that the occasional 'fire-work lesson' for an observation rarely best serves the needs of students. 

It is critical that teachers, especially curriculum managers, ensure that schemes of work, learning materials, literacy, assessment and feedback documents are of good quality and, where possible, standardised to maximise accessibility to students and consistently high standards across subjects and faculties. 


Makes effective use of assessment & feedback

Appropriate assessment and feedback will vary across age and subject, but outstanding assessment will have high levels and accuracy and reliability with outstanding feedback enabling students to make rapid progress. Excellent assessment & feedback is never performative – it should inform the planning of teaching and be a learning experience for the student. 

Formal marking is time-consuming and inevitably results in trade-offs:

Excellence practice in your teaching depends on getting the correct mix for your subject and student age group e.g.: 

Younger students will benefit from higher frequency and lower quantities of feedback as retention of the skills and knowledge is our priority and they struggle to assimilate large quantities of written feedback – it may in fact be demotivating. 

Where pieces of work are extended, such as a Year 13 Humanities essay, the quality of the insight in the feedback is more often key to them cracking the problem. Skills activities benefit from regular practice, whereas recall of knowledge is more indicative of the quality of learning and revision.   

Clarity of the instruction, practice of the assessment skills and modelling of high quality answers, in combination with effective structuring of revision, can all reduce wasteful assessment where the teacher uses valuable planning time correcting avoidable errors. 

Screen Shot 2018 10 29 at 14.46.45

Better to ensure students give their best effort first time than endlessly correct.


Is shared throughout the Academy

Some of the most effective learning occurs when students collaborate together – whether this be through group work, buddying relationships, or other peer to peer learning opportunities. This builds the value of scholarship and establishes the Academy as a community of learning. 

Similarly, as a learning organisation it is essential that we spread the excellent practice of our teaching and support staff. It is all out shared responsibility to develop and challenge our colleagues, and all benefit when skills and insights are shared democratically, not hoarded. We will unashamedly celebrate the success of our outstanding learning and teaching and those who actively contribute to sharing best practice.


Annual Harris Federation Conference

Over 4,000 staff attend the annual Harris Federation conference at ExCel London. Over 65 training sessions are offered to our staff, ranging from topics such as 'Thriving Classrooms' to 'Staff Leadership'.


Back to Key Information