Dear Parents and Carers, Thank you for your interest in our lovely school, a school of which I am very proud. In the last few years, we have had unprecedented success in every facet of education with: •
an Ofsted judgement that graded us ‘OUTSTANDING’ in June 2010. We were one of only 40 secondary schools given this top grade in 2009/10, out of 500 schools that were inspected; • record year on year GCSE results; • a comprehensive, 3 year, £16 million building programme that has seen invaluable improvements in English, maths and science classrooms together with sporting facilities and the added luxury of exclusive daily use of the new St John’s Sports Centre. This is a different school to the one that existed five years ago. We are a specialist language college that provides numerous opportunities for all students to experience residential trips in England and abroad, as well as having language speakers working with our linguists. In 2009/10, seven trips went abroad with 400 different students visiting places as far away as India, Austria, Italy and Germany. Older students can now also take up the challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh Award and develop skills that are essential for life. An experienced Ofsted team, who had undertaken over 250 school inspections, recognised that we are ‘getting it right’. Their judgements stated that, of the 50 teachers who were observed, 11 lessons were separately deemed to be outstanding and not one lesson was felt to be unsatisfactory. All of the following key areas were considered to be outstanding: • • • • •
curriculum; behaviour of students; care, guidance and support – of all students and all ages; personal development and well being of all students leadership and management – across the whole school;
Crucially, our capacity to make further improvement was also judged to be outstanding. 15 out of 24 key school areas were considered to be outstanding with all students, whatever their background and ability, making exceptional academic and social progress. This is a school where students can thrive, be happy and feel safe. However, please do not believe headteacher hyperbole. Come and judge for yourself. Is this the school for your child? Do you believe in our staff – all subject specific teachers? Please read our Ofsted inspection report at www.ofsted.gov.uk Read this prospectus and our newsletters – all available on our website www.christopherwhitehead.worcs.sch.uk. Go and compare our school to other schools. Appointments to see our school ‘at work’ are always welcomed. I look forward to meeting you. Yours sincerely
First Impressions “ I have made lots of friends. I thought that I would find it too big and get picked on but I feel safe here. The older kids in my Learning Mentor group look out for us. They’ve been showing me where to go if I get lost.” Year 7 student. “ I have enjoyed the variety of lessons and teachers. The day goes really quickly.” Year 7 student. “ If anyone asked me what it was like, I would say that it is better than Primary School and a lot more fun. I like being in a House - ours is the best though!” Year 7 student. “ I really like the Learning Resource Centre because it’s bright and I can do my homework there after school using the computers.” Year 7 student. “ I really like it because there are lots of things to do and trips to go on!” Year 7 student. “ The astro-turfs and the patio area are really good. The school looks really smart and there are plenty of places to sit at lunchtime.” Year 9 student. “ I came at the end of year 10. It was hard to make the change at first but my teachers really helped me with my coursework.” Year 11 student. “ There is a really warm atmosphere here. The staff are very welcoming and helpful and the students are polite and friendly.” New Teacher “ We are glad we made Christopher Whitehead Language College first choice for our own children. The atmosphere is welcoming and vibrant, with enthusiastic, caring and creative staff. I am amazed by the range of activities available for the students, in our excellent, newly upgraded facilities - whether it's a sport, something artistic or performing arts related, or in more traditional academic study. ” Chair of Governors “ This is an outstanding school...Behaviour is outstanding, the students’ attitudes to learning were often a positive feature in lessons...Students from a wide range of backgrounds develop as confident, articulate and tolerant young people as they Ofsted 2010 progress through the school.” ‘The school’s capacity to improve further is outstanding.’ Ofsted
Two of our students getting involved in a community art project with our primary schools.
Successful Parent Partnership As parents you want your child to be safe, happy and successful. We genuinely believe with regular communication we can help you and us to achieve these desirable aims by: •
Providing a vibrant twenty first century school:
Please assess for yourself. This is now a twenty-first century school with £3 million spent between 2007 and 2009 and more developments on the way. We have: • •
New sports block with new changing rooms and facilities New science and art classrooms
Re-furbished English and maths classrooms New reading and science gardens
This is an exciting time to be joining a school that is achieving excellence in all we do. •
Safety – why we do believe your child will be safe: • •
Accolades and Awards - independent recognition is lovely and validates what we are doing. 2007-10 saw prestigious awards in the following: • • • • • •
bullying of any kind is taken seriously; permanent exclusion is undertaken Matron – ‘Employee of the Year’ in the Worcester News/Chamber of Commerce competition – is on site to deal with any injuries or weekly medical conditions
International School Award - one of only 100 schools in the country Leading Aspect Awards for: our work with Gifted and Talented students, Citizenship and Innovative Teaching Healthy Schools status - the first secondary school in Worcester Specialist Schools and Academies Trust Consultant Schools Accreditation Investors in People award Ofsted Outstanding Award
A happy child is likely to become a successful child:
93% of students in our July 2010 questionnaire declared they were happy at Christopher Whitehead Language College. This is also measured by: • • •
record attendance - the best in Worcester record KS4 results - top 4 % nationally for value-added We are full, with a waiting list, and have become the school of parental choice with record numbers of parents wishing to send their child to our school – the best recommendation of all…
‘Safeguarding is good and fully meets requirements. A good range of popular and healthy school meals are available, and the proportion of students engaged in sport is high.’ Ofsted
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The School Ours is a co-educational, mixed comprehensive school of over 1100 students with a staff of over 100 teaching and support staff who serve the St. John’s and surrounding community on the west side of Worcester City. We have a committed, friendly and well-qualified staff and benefit from a highly supportive Governing Body. In September 2005, we gained Specialist Language College status and this has seen rapid improvements in facilities and variety of courses offered. In 2007, we won International School status and in 2008, we became a Foundation school with the sense of ownership and purpose that brings. Our school occupies a large site on the west bank of the River Severn with views of the Malvern Hills and of Worcester City and its Cathedral. The school was formed in 1983, by the amalgamation of two schools and its buildings vary in age and architecture. It has been substantially modernised and re-equipped and now boasts a range of excellent facilities. Amongst these are: • • • • • • • •
A large Learning Resources Centre with multi-media facilities and fast broadband internet access, which is open at 8:00 am before school and after school until 5pm to support homework and extended study; Six fully-linked networked computer suites always available for classes with up to date hardware supporting industry standard software Over 370 computers across the school site, Specialist and well equipped rooms for all subjects that require it; Two large assembly halls and a large gymnasium; A full black out performing arts studio with a sprung floor; A cafeteria open to all students for breakfast and during morning and lunchtime breaks selling a healthy, balanced range of meals and snacks; Newly-refurbished and fully equipped English, art, modern language, maths and science teaching rooms.
School Aims Christopher Whitehead Language College’s prime purpose is to encourage the pursuit of excellence, providing the best possible learning opportunities for all its students and to maximise each individual’s development and achievement during their time with us. In the pursuit of excellence, we aim to: Provide high quality education across the national and broader curriculum for children of all abilities. Encourage students to recognise and realise their full potential Maintain a stimulating, positive environment in which all members of the school are valued and individual excellence is recognised Promote a positive attitude of self-worth, rewarding and encouraging progress and success from either individual or collective achievement Demand high standards of appearance and behaviour Be the first choice school for children who live in St John’s or attend primary school there Promote strong local community ties and identity Review continually all aspects of the school’s work, maximising the best that new technology and practices have to offer Ensure that each student is introduced to, and experiences, countries outside Great Britain, and leaves school prepared to take his/her place as a European citizen, aware of global issues and Britain’s role as a world partner.
“ The GCSE results in modern foreign languages, the school’s specialist area, are outstanding…” Ofsted
As a Language College and International School, our school has a unique ethos
Working Together The School Day - Mondays 08:30am Bell to come in 08:35 - 09:25 Values and Ethics 09:25 - 10:25 Lesson 1 10:25 - 10:45 Break 10:45 - 11:45 Lesson 2 11:50 - 12:50 Lesson 3 12:50 - 13:20 Lunch 13:20 - 13:25 Registration 13:25 - 14:25 Lesson 4 14:30 - 15:30 Lesson 5
Tuesdays - Fridays 08:30am Bell to come in 08:55 Registration/Guidance Time 08:55 - 09:55 Lesson 1 10:00 - 11:00 Lesson 2 11:00 - 11:20 Break 11:20 - 12:20 Lesson 3 13:25 - 14:05 Lunch 14:05 - 14:10 p.m. Registration 14:10 - 15:10 Lesson 5
In the Classroom The main business of the school takes place in the classroom in the work that is done by students and their teachers.
‘KEY STAGE’ THREE (Years 7-9) In year 7, students spend the first half term in mixed-ability classes following a skills-based competency curriculum. After assessment, they are placed in teaching sets according to ability. This setting continues throughout years 8 and 9 with termly opportunities to change sets. They study: English, maths, science, technology (including resistant materials, food technology, textiles and graphics) history, geography, religious education, information technology, art, music, performing arts, French, German or Spanish, physical education and values and ethics. In year 9, students begin a very thorough careers and education guidance programme which continues through to year 11.
‘KEY STAGE’ FOUR (Years 10-11) In year 10, GCSE courses begin. Students have choices to make here and, as well as teaching the subjects mentioned above, we also offer: business studies, dance and the youth award scheme. We offer a wide range of demanding work-related learning courses which are worth two GCSE grades each. These vocational courses are: art & design; business; ICT; children’s care, learning and development; performing arts, sport and public services. Some students have the opportunity to undertake these and other work-related courses in conjunction with Worcester College of Technology. There are also opportunities for work placements. If appropriate, students can also access specialised diploma courses run by the Aspire Consortium. If you require further details, please ask for our ‘Key Stage Four Choices’ booklet.
Supporting Students’ Learning We have a strong support system, the main task of which is to enable all our students to get the best from all the learning opportunities of the school. The school is divided into six houses each with its own director of studies. All students have a learning mentor who will be a central figure in encouraging their learning and development throughout their school lives. See the next page for further details
‘The care, welfare and guidance provided are outstanding; parents, carers and students spoke positively about the nature of individual support available and students spoke of “staff going out of their way to help you” .’ Ofsted
Working together in our Learning Resource Centre. Itâ€™s open from 8am to 5pm.
Home-Learning Homework plays a fundamental part in a student’s learning and development at Christopher Whitehead Language College. It extends and supports the work done in class but also, importantly, it teaches the students to work independently and to organise their own time. All students are issued with a student planner to record their homework and other important information and both learning mentors and parents sign this each week. In years 7 and 8, students have a structured supported programme of extended learning projects (ELPs) across the year to encourage and practise the skills they will need further up the school.
The School’s House System September 2007 saw the introduction of a new, exciting system of pastoral and academic care in six, carefully constructed vertical houses rather than the year-based system that is run by many schools. This was developed for the following reasons: • The increase in our popularity - 67 students joined our school after September 2006 and this influx of new students was welcomed but put pressure on tutor groups, creating tutor groups of 32+. • A desire to develop healthy competition - sporting, performing arts, artistic, academic and debating house competitions take place and the start of the year sees a lovely atmosphere with older students ‘buddying up’ younger ones and new staff - giving a much-needed sense of responsibility. Therefore, the new House System sees: • Students join a House of no more than 180 students with one director of studies (as opposed to 240+ with a head of year). • Family members join the same house for ease of communication but siblings are not placed in the same group to foster independence. • 48 forms known as learning mentor groups meet each morning 8:35 - 8:55am for a focussed guidance time - mentoring and learning time. • No more than 25 students are in any one group. This will be split into equal groups of 5 from each year group in the school. The aim is for students to look after each other and understand the changing roles as they progress up the school. Younger students will therefore, from day one, recognise and work with older students in the school in a structured environment - they will have trained and carefully chosen buddies from their Learning Mentor group helping them settle in. The older students will also have plenty of opportunities to widen their CV in preparation for leaving school by working with younger ones. • Students will continue to be taught in year groups and sets. • On Fridays, two year groups will have assemblies which will mean that Learning Mentors will have only twelve to fifteen students left which creates the opportunity for really focussed mentoring, revision and advice. The six houses are all named after famous creative and successful people from history whose stories we hope will inspire our students. The houses are: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Marie Curie, Leonardo Da Vinci, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mary Seacole and William Shakespeare.
‘The students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding with notable strengths in their moral and social progress.’ Ofsted
Home-Learning: working on an E.L.P. (Extended Learning Project)
Helping Students Know How to Improve Our school targets for learning system (TFL) provides for individual help and personalised support for each student four times a year. After a TFL report showing target levels, current level of work and judgements about attitude to learning in each subject, students have a one-to-one meeting with their learning mentor to go through their work and the advice each subject teacher has given and set 3-4 ‘next step’ overall advice targets to be reviewed at the next TFL meeting. Parents are invited to help set these targets and discuss them with the learning mentor at a parents’ evening the following week. In all, the learning mentor and student will meet four times - twice informally and twice when a report will go home. It really helps to pick up on concerns early on and to encourage students to stay focussed on their learning and aim high.
Citizenship: Working Together Involving Students in their School It is very important that students feel involved in their school. In conjunction with the curriculum for citizenship there are many opportunities for students to be actively involved in and contribute to the life of their school. Some of these opportunities are: • Student Voice: elected and appointed representatives from each House meet regularly to discuss issues and influence school life. • Students can be mentors for new Year 7 students. • Students can train and become school librarians. • Students are chosen to become house captains and vice house captains. They help with the safe and smooth running of the houses, representing the school on public occasions and assisting with the organisation of house competitions. • ‘Question Time’ for the headteacher and leadership team where students have the opportunity to put their views to the headteacher and staff.
Working with the Community We are very committed to our links with the local community. • Local companies and organisations support our curriculum • Vocational GCSE students are taught some lessons at Worcester College of Technology • Local Fire Brigade take workshops within the framework of citizenship days working with students so they understand the dangers of hoax calling. • Local Police Force take workshops for citizenship days and work with the students on their rights and responsibilities • Students support several community groups and local and international charities • Local companies support work experience for all year 10 students • The local community are a vital resource on our citizenship days • Environmental groups come in to take workshops with the students • Advisors from Worcester Health Authority come in and take workshops with the students on various health issues. • ‘Question Time’ involving various people within our local community e.g. Local City and County Councillors, the Police Youth Service, School Governors etc. • In conjunction with the ‘School Partnership Programme’, the PE department offer activities run by expert outside coaches such as: Tai Kwan Do, gymnastics, dance workshops, yoga, karate and basketball with Worcester Wolves - to name but a few!
‘The students make an outstanding contribution to the school and the wider community, for example through the efforts of the school council’s charitable work.’ Ofsted
Planting the seeds: helping our community to create a memorial peace garden
Code of Conduct Our aim is for all students to aim for excellence and work to the best of their ability. In order for this to occur, we have a clear set of expectations for classroom behaviour. We expect students to: Be on time and be prepared to work Follow instructions and be safe Put up their hand if they wish to contribute Not disturb others If, having been reminded of the rules, students choose not to comply with these rules, then they will be held accountable for their actions. This might involve removal from the class, referral to the head of department or an after school detention. Parents will be informed of these sanctions. We also aim for our school to be a safe and happy environment for everyone. To this end, while moving around the school, we expect students to: Behave safely Behave responsibly Wear the correct uniform Be civilised and friendly Help us care for the environment Be a credit to the school and to their parents in the way they travel to and from school If students do not follow this code they will lose some of their social time, parents will be informed and they may be sent home. Further details of the code are in every student planner and are available on request. Serious or persistent misbehaviour will result in students being isolated and/or excluded from school.
Promoting Positive Behaviour We believe in rewarding excellence and recognising achievement wherever it occurs. Students learn best if they are treated in ways that build mutual respect. As well as the Ofsted endorsement that the behaviour of the students is outstanding, a recent Local Authority inspection recognised the good behaviour of our students. They commented that ‘students behave well, are mature in their outlook…. and have a positive attitude towards their school’. In our end of year anonymous survey, 93% of students across the age range said that they were happy at school. Our Rewards and Sanctions’ Policy “Working for Success” is based on the principle that students choose their own behaviour. We are allowed to detain any student at the end of a school session, although we must, of course, give you at least 24 hours notice if the detention is for longer than 10 minutes. No student will be detained for more than an hour and, most usually, 45 minutes after the end of afternoon school. Any student whom we detain will have made a series of choices beforehand. If we plan to detain a student, they will bring a form home for you to sign and return indicating that you are aware of the detention. Failure to return the form does not excuse the student from the detention. Working for Success also ensures a range of rewards to encourage your child to achieve his/her very best in learning. We recognise the value of this and ask you to regularly review your child’s planner and the three reports you will receive a year and encourage him/her to work towards more credits and awards. A well-placed word of encouragement can go a long way. There is an annual Awards Evening as well which is always a wonderful evening. We have a strong and effective Anti-Bullying Policy which is always enforced. Please ask if you require any further details.
‘Behaviour is outstanding, the students attitudes to learning were often a positive feature in lessons...’ Ofsted
Bicycle maintenance on citizenship day
In and Beyond the Classroom Learning and growth as individuals is best where young people feel part of a school that is both lively and stimulating, in and out of the classroom. We provide many opportunities and a lot of encouragement for students to have a very active and full school life. Among the activities which currently enrich the curriculum are: athletics, basketball, chess club, choir, climbing club, cricket, cross country, digital media club, drama and musical productions, hockey, fencing, film club, football, foreign exchanges, geography fieldwork, gifted and talented groups, homework clubs, Llanrug trip—outdoor education trip, mini-enterprise, music lessons, netball, orchestra, recorder group, rock orchestra, rounders, rugby, ski trip, table tennis, tennis, trampoline club, trips to France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy, India and China, work experience, working with industry days and the youth action group. Our citizenship, enterprise and international days include: •
World on Your Doorstep Day :selling ‘international’ products and experiences created by students
Multicultural Day: learning about the food, music, martial arts and customs of other cultures
Community Cohesion Day: finding out about our local community, working in teams and supporting local projects and charities.
De-Stress Day for year 11 before the GCSEs: boxercise, diet, meditation, positive mental attitude and yoga.
Citizenship and Health Education As an award-winning ‘Healthy School’, We try to ensure that: • Values and ethics lessons provide the students with the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes to make informed decisions about their lives. • Students have the confidence and understanding to make healthy food choices. • Students are provided with a range of opportunities to be more physically active. They understand how physical activity can help them to be more healthy, and how it can improve and be a part of their everyday lives. • We promote positive emotional health and well-being to help students to understand and express their feelings, and build their emotional resilience—and therefore their capacity to learn. The programme, which forms part of every child’s curriculum from Years 7-11, includes sex and drugs education. The programme is supported at different stages by advisers from the Worcestershire District Health Authority, the school nurse and by West Mercia Police. Sex and drugs education, taught within a moral framework that promotes healthy patterns of behaviour, whilst including information about sexual development, relationships and contraception, various drugs and consequences of their use, is just as much about developing skills of critical thinking and decision-making. The school’s full Health Education Policy is available to parents on request. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from any or all parts of a school’s programme of sex education other than those elements that are required by the national curriculum science order. Parents who wish to exercise their right should make a written request to the headteacher.
‘The wide range of enrichment activities is especially good and student engagement is high.’ Ofsted
Learning to fence on citizenship day. We now have a fencing club
Physical Education The PE department aims to give all students, irrespective of their academic or physical ability, the opportunities to discover and develop their physical potential through a balanced, progressive, programme of activities and extra-curricular sport. In Key Stage 3, all pupils have two hours of PE per week. They follow the national curriculum for PE - dance, gymnastics, athletics, invasion games, net games, striking and fielding games, trampolining and outdoor education. In Key Stage 4, all pupils have one hour and 30 minutes of PE per week, and students can have the option to take GCSE PE or BTEC First in Sport. • •
In Year 10, students follow a programme of the above plus fitness/aerobics, with some element of choice. In Year 11, students follow a PE option programme, which includes taking the national qualification: the Sports Leaders Award.
There are numerous extra-curricular opportunities available after school. Interform matches, clubs and inter-school matches are available in, for example in: badminton, basketball, gymnastics, football, hockey, rugby, cricket, netball and rounders. Inside the Sports Centre, students have exclusive access to a fitness studio, all weather pitch and sports hall. There are extensive playing fields. On-site facilities include dance studio, gymnasium, astro-turfs and considerable hard court areas. These facilities are used not only by the school but also by the community, outside of school hours.
Students with Additional Needs The special educational needs policy in the school continues to provide a framework to support the particular individual needs of our students. The aim of the department is to ensure that all students have full access to a broad and balanced curriculum. A whole school approach to special educational needs and a close partnership between the school, the student and the home is encouraged. The school aims to provide learning experiences that enable students to reach their full potential and to create a positive atmosphere, wherein students can develop confidence, self-respect and the ability to form positive relationships. Its objectives are: • To liaise with primary schools to ensure effective cross-phase transition. • To identify students with special educational needs. • To inform staff of students’ needs and suggest ways of meeting those needs. • To monitor and review progress of students on the Code of Practice register. • To liaise with parents and encourage their full involvement and support. • To involve outside agencies to provide the necessary support for students. • To advise on strategies to develop competency in basic skills. The Learning Support Centre, resourced with expert and dedicated staff, enables us to achieve our aim, which is to deliver a relevant and exciting curriculum to all students. Our team of 28 experienced and well qualified learning support assistants (LSAs) enhances the learning and experience of a wide range of students. LSAs are linked to specific departments to ensure accurate and effective support for individual students and groups. Highly skilled teaching staff work within the department to address the specific learning difficulties of students across the age and ability range.
‘Those students with special educational needs and/or disabilities make good and many make outstanding progress.’ Ofsted
Our under 13s girlsâ€™ cricket team at Worcester County Cricket ground
Gifted and Talented Students We have a Leading Aspect award for our Gifted and Talented provision. Students are registered as gifted according to their CAT scores when they enter the school and/or teachers’ recommendations with regard to academic, creative and practical skills, their thinking and problem-solving skills, research and evaluation skills and social and communication skills. Specific talents such as in art, drama, design technology or PE are recognised. All departments provide differentiated tasks that stretch and motivate their most able students to help them strive for excellence. This might mean particularly challenging tasks, independent learning tasks or specific teacher support. Many of our students take up the offer to register with the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth.
Students with English as an Additional Language Students with EAL are supported by a full-time specialist teacher and a team of highly experienced LSAs. Students undergo assessment on entry and are integrated gradually into the mainstream environment. Those with significant difficulty with the English language access specialist tuition. The EAL team works closely with parents and specialist external agencies so that the students are integrated as fully as possible in to the school’s culture and ethos. A strong team of dedicated LSAs and a dedicated teacher of students with EAL have developed a whole school approach to teaching students with English as an Additional Language and exploring communication networks. Our population continues to diversify and grow, with students from Portugal, Thailand, China, Japan, Lithuania and Poland having successfully joined us recently.
Careers Education Careers information, advice and guidance is an important part of the curriculum for all year groups, though especially for year 9 students prior to them making KS4 subject choices and for year 11 students before their transition to further education or training. Lessons are delivered by learning mentors and also via a rolling program of lessons that students attend at different times of the year. We work closely with the Worcester Connexions Service and have two careers advisors allocated to our school who provide invaluable guidance and support sessions, particularly for years 10 and 11. These may take the form of individual interviews or group discussions. Students may also request an interview or drop into the careers office in school at break or lunch time. Local further education colleges, training agencies and employers attend our careers convention in December which all year 11 students attend. They also provide appropriate talks, displays, workshops and “taster days” for year 10 and 11 at different times of the year. Year 10 students may undertake one week’s Work Experience during the summer, reports of which are included in their progress file documents. Some year 10 and 11 students also undertake work experience and training towards vocational qualifications, including the BTEC in Children’s Care, Learning and Development and the Diverse Curriculum courses.
‘The school’s option system and in-house careers guidance provide excellent advice...Students say they have high levels of confidence in the school’s advice and support and parents are positive about the quality and accessibility of information’ Ofsted
Just practising: a trip to the Guildhall for gifted and talented students
Equal Opportunities Our school policy is to ensure that all students are given an equal chance to develop their sense of self-worth and to achieve as much as they are able, regardless of ability, ethnic background, gender or religious belief. Our policies and practice take account of all relevant legislation on sex discrimination, race relations and disability, together with all the relevant regulations and advice in the Code of Practice on admissions (DfES 2003). See also the school policies available on the school’s website and the School Access Plan at the back of this prospectus.
Religious Education The teaching of religious education is statutory, non-denominational in character and follows an agreed county syllabus. (Details available in school). All students must, by law, study RE throughout their school career. In our school, we ensure that they gain a GCSE in recognition of their work.
Assemblies Assemblies are a valued part of school life. They provide an important opportunity for reflection and the sharing of information. Two assemblies take place in school each week for all students. On occasions when assembly is not taking place for a given year group or house, students from that group may choose to attend the assembly of another year group or house, if they so wish. Arrangements should be made via the director of studies. *Parents are reminded that they have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the religious education and assembly arrangements. Again, parents who wish to exercise this right should make a written request to the headteacher.
Charging for School Activities The school wishes to provide for all students the best possible educational opportunities available within the funds allocated by the education authority. The law states very clearly that education during normal school hours is to be free of any compulsory charge to parents and the school warmly endorses that principle and is committed to upholding the legal requirements. It is recognised, however, that many educationally valuable activities have been, and will continue to be, dependent on financial contributions in whole or in part from parents. Without that financial support, the school would find it quite impossible to maintain the quality and breadth of the educational programme provided for students. The school’s concern is to keep financial contributions to a reasonable minimum and to ensure as far as possible that all children are able to take part, irrespective of their circumstances. The law recognises that charges may be made to parents in certain defined circumstances - provided that each school has identified the activities for which charges will be made and has explained the basis on which charges may be reduced or waived for certain students. Further information is provided on the next pages.
‘Equality of opportunity is good; the small numbers of students from a variety of minority ethnic backgrounds do as well or better than their peers. Higher achieving students do well at GCSE.’ Ofsted
An assembly on the power of tolerance and non-violence.
Classroom Materials No charge will be made for materials or equipment. However, for certain practical activities [design technology etc.] parents may be invited to provide materials or ingredients on a voluntary basis. Where parents would like to possess the finished product, the school reserves the right to charge the cost or require the supply of the necessary materials.
Examination Fees [a]
The school will pay the entry fee for all prescribed examinations except: i) Where the governors consider that there are educational reasons why the students should not be entered or if the parents have so requested in writing; ii) Where the school has not prepared the pupil for the particular examination;
If a student [with parental agreement] is entered for a non-prescribed examination, then parents may be charged for the entry fee together with any associated charges. All those students who fail to complete the required coursework or sit the final examinations may be charged the entry fee. The school will consider waiving the requirement to pay any examination entry fees where there is clear evidence of severe family hardship.
Instrumental Music: Individual Lessons Students can learn to play a variety of instruments including: French horn, flute, recorder, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, violin, cello, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drum, piano and keyboard, oboe and bass guitar. There is a charge for these lessons and they take place weekly during the school day. It is very important that any schoolwork missed as a result of an instrumental lesson is made up and homework set is handed in on time. Teachers aim to deliver a minimum of 30 lessons per year. These tend to be taught in 20-30 minute sessions, and students can opt for them to be shared or individual. Where there are sufficient students, the teacher will rotate the lessons so that the same time is not affected each week. Many students go on to take graded exams with the Associated Board as well as taking part in musical events such as the carol service, school production, instrumental concert and cabaret evening. Not only do these opportunities create lasting memories, they also provide the skills and performing experiences necessary to excel in GCSE Music or BTEC Music.
â€˜The effectiveness of leaders and managers at all levels in embedding ambition and driving improvement has been outstanding; they have collectively created a vibrant learning community.â€™ Ofsted
Rehearsals for the African drumming set in the Instrumental Concert
Policy on Charging for School Activities During School Time The school will invite voluntary contributions from parents to meet costs other than children’s board and lodgings. Parents will be charged for the full cost of children’s board and lodgings. No charge for board and lodgings will be made for children receiving Income Support or Family credit. Charges may be waived or reduced for other children whose parents make application to the Headteacher. Arrangements for any visit required because of recognised public examinations, the National Curriculum or the law on Religious Education fall into this category.
Outside School Time Parents will be charged for the full cost of the visit, including all allowable costs* and board and lodging. Charges may be waived or reduced for children whose parents make application to the headteacher. *Allowable costs include: [a] The child’s travel and subsistence costs. [b] Materials, books, instruments and other equipment. [c] Non-teaching staff. [d] Costs of teaching staff where separately engaged under a contract for services for the visit or activity. [e] Entrance fees to museums, castles, theatres, etc. [f] Insurance costs.
Day Visits (non-residential) For visits occurring during school time, the school will invite voluntary contributions from parents to meet costs. For visits outside school time parents will be charged for all allowable costs. Charges may be waived or reduced for children whose parents make application to the headteacher.
‘The range of workplace and other skills the students develop towards their future economic well-being is good; the students computer and self-evaluation skills are above average. The proportion of students who leave to take up places in employment, education or training is well above the local and national averages.’ Ofsted
Renowned Worcester artist, David Birtwhistle, visits our new Art rooms.
Headlines 2010 Independent Parent Survey (Published by Kirkland Rowell January 2010) Summary Control of bullying, careers advice, computer access, availability of resources, developing potential, teaching quality, school discipline, school communication, developing moral values and truancy control are the areas of our school with which parents are most happy. The parents’ top priority for improvement remains the school site. We are proud of the huge site and environmental improvements made since this survey—as part of our ongoing planned improvements. Please look around and judge for yourself. Key Findings Other than the headline figures above, other key findings were parents rating the school ‘good or very good’ for: • • • • •
happiness of child/ren choice of subjects school facilities school security exam results
83% 80% 73% 73% 81%
Pleasingly, all the academic subjects received very favourable parental comment - in particular: English, French, Spanish, RE , biology, food technology, design technology, science, history, geography and physics.
School Leavers’ Survey These views were substantiated further by those who know the school best—the Year 11 Leavers in their anonymous survey July 2010 (180 completed questionnaires). • • • • • • • •
83% 82% 81% 95% 93% 91% 49% 53%
viewed teachers’ attitude as very approachable and caring felt their confidence/self esteem had improved rated teaching as good or very good, 75% satisfactory or better rated the school as improving during their time at CWLC said they had enjoyed their time at school said that this was a good or very good school had played in a school team had been abroad with the school
‘‘All of the staff responses to the inspection questionnaire noted they felt proud to be a member of staff.’ Ofsted
The Valedictory Ball We think they turned out rather well.
Contacting the school Christopher Whitehead Language College, Bromwich Road, Worcester. WR2 4AF Tel. 01905 423906 Fax. 01905 420788 Email. firstname.lastname@example.org Headteacher: Mr Neil Morris B.Ed., M.A. Chair of Governors: Mrs Kathryn Bentley
The school is a foundation school. Details about the school, including school achievement and attainment tables, inspection reports and open days are to be found on our website www.christopherwhitehead.worcs.sch.uk or by contacting the school directly (see above). The school is under the direct responsibility of the Governing Body, who can be via the Chair of Governors, using the school’s normal address above.
How to find us:
County Cricket Ground Bromwich Road
Christopher Whitehead Language College
Worcester City Centre
To Motorway M5 Junction 7
‘Governance is good with a clear focus on school improvement and effective management of limited resources.’ Ofsted
The gardens beside the new Astroturfâ€”designed by our eco team
Current Provision The school comprises seven teaching blocks and we list each block with DDA related comments.
• • •
Eight entrance doors to block are accessible via ramp or level access; Seven fire doors are available from main hall and dining room area; Seven refurbished classrooms (Summer 2005 and 2006) have incorporated external doors complying with DDA and fire evacuation requirements; Two disabled toilets are provided at ground level (one via radar key); Direct disabled access to gym; One refurbished food tech room provides rise and fall oven, hob and food prep area (Summer 2005).
One entrance door to block accessible via ramp.
Music Block •
One entrance door to block accessible via ramp.
Ireland Block • •
One entrance door to block via ramp; One disabled toilet at ground level.
Four entrance doors to block are accessible via ramps, three of which also act as fire doors; Two disabled toilets are provided at ground level (via radar keys).
One entrance door to block accessible via ramp.
We are currently proposing the following DDA related improvements:
Science Block Construct ramps and rails to three more fire door escape routes from corridor off science block hall.
Three entrance doors to block are
PE Block The newly planned PE block (Arts Block Area) will incorporate a platform lift for disabled access to the first floor. (Project commences November 2008 with completion August 2009.)
All blocks are accessible for wheelchairs directly from hard level surface (hard play areas or car parking spaces).