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We witnessed some great performances at yesterday's Harris Federation Sports Day, including 4 medal finishes for Purley! Well done to all of our athletes, spectators and staff who represented our academy at the event!


Yesterday, the academy held its first-ever Day of Sports. All year groups competed in numerous sporting tournaments throughout the day, ranging from badminton and basketball to table tennis and athletics!


are here at Harris Academy Purley helping our students get a step ahead in our day! Workshops and mock interviews have been taking place throughout the day


Students have been busy in Food Technology preparing some edibles for this evening's exhibition at the Croydon Arts Store in the Whitgift Centre. Please come along to the private viewing between 5pm and 8pm!


Staff and students had a wonderful time at the Year 11 Prom yesterday. Photos can be viewed on our Facebook page:


Please come along and celebrate our Art, Photography, Textiles and Graphics students' achievements this year in our first public exhibition! The private viewing is from 5pm at the LOFT gallery in the Croydon Arts Store in the Whitgift Shopping Centre from 5pm - 8pm.


Wishing all of our Year 11s a restful break, having finished their GCSE examinations! Information about GCSE Results Day can be found on our website:


Year 9 Art students have worked hard this week on their self-portraits; learning how to use tone to create depth within the face. Marita, Grace and Maya have definitely caught a likeness! What a talented group of artists - Miss Forsdyke


The library team have made some fantastic D-Day displays, celebrating the 75th anniversary. Students using the library at break and after school have access to newspaper articles and books about the event


This week students have been on trips to Goodwood Farm to see where their food comes from. They had the opportunity to meet some of the animals and see some super cars on the nearby race track. One student even had the opportunity to operate a £140,000 tractor!


Year 9 Mock Exam Timetable is now on out website:


Mr Sarson had the privilege of presenting our prefects with bespoke prefect ties this afternoon. Well done to the whole team!


On 3rd July, Year 9 students will be taking part in an employability skills day and we need your help! Here are the details: If you would like to take part, please email - Thank you!


From the 7th to the 9th May, 12 lucky Year 10 & 12 students took part in an Architecture workshop lead by the 3.09 Collective; a group of young architects aiming to open doors for students from diverse backgrounds into the world of Architecture and Urban Planning.


Maya attended an awards ceremony at City Hall this week for being a Runner Up in her age category in the Mayor of London's Fourth Plinth competition. Maya's artwork 'Women's Journey' will remain on display to the public at City Hall. Well done Maya!


Retweetd From 3pointohnine

We had an amazing 1st day starting our programme , facilitating young people in the built environment who are underrepresented in the industry


Congratulations to Charlie for coming 3rd in the Murrayfield ice skating compeition this weekend! Charlie is also competeting in Aberdeen on the 20th-21st May... Best of luck!


We now have some wonderful new seating and picnic tables in our quad area!


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!

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.

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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.


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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. 

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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'.


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