PROSPECTUS RAISING ACHIEVEMENT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FAMILIES AND THE COMMUNITY
MESSAGE FROM THE HEADTEACHER Here at South Wirral High School we are proud of the excellent reputation we have in the local community, as a result of a record of success in all aspects of school life. We are ambitious for our students, committed to providing learning experiences which are challenging and exciting. We want our students to be happy, to experience success and become responsible citizens. Our success has been recognised by a number of Quality Standards which demonstrate our commitment to ensuring the quality of school experiences for our students. Mr S. Goodwin, Headteacher
â€œSenior leaders, governors and all staff share an unswerving commitment to supporting and challenging all students to achieve their academic and personal goalsâ€? - Ofsted
TRANSITION AND ‘MOVING ON UP’ EXPERIENCING LIFE AT SOUTH WIRRAL We have regular contact with our local primary schools, reinforcing a close relationship. We organise regular visits from our current students to perform to younger children and inviting primary students into our school to see how things work when you make they move up to Secondary School.
TEAM BUILDING DAY We host a Team Building Day in June which allows year 6 students from the different schools to meet and work together on fun team building activities. It helps students establish new friendships in preparation for starting at a secondary school in September and also allows them to meet students from South Wirral High School.
WELCOME DAY AND NIGHT We also host a ‘Welcome Day’ and ‘Welcome Night’ in July, for all the year 6 children from all the different primary schools. During this day, students are put into their House groups and work with their Head of House and learn about the ethos and culture of South Wirral. Your child will have the opportunity to meet and work with both our staff and students, experiencing a range of different subjects. The ‘Welcome Evening’ provides you with the chance to find out as much information as possible about South Wirral, and you will meet your child’s Head of House before they start in September. Separate ‘Moving on Up’ booklets are issued to you and your child. We work with our partner primary schools to understand prior learning, to ensure we build on this during KS3.
In Years 7, 8 and 9 all students study Art, Drama, Dance, Design Technology, English, French, German, Games, Geography, History, Computing, Mathematics, Music, Life Studies, Physical Education, Religious Education, and Science. Your child will be grouped or placed in a set for some subjects, according to their assessed ability. All Year 10 and 11 students follow courses which lead to GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in English, English Literature, Mathematics, Science, Information Communication Technology or Computing, and Philosophy and Ethics (short course). Your child will have a choice of other examination courses including: A Modern Foreign Language (French and or German); A Humanity (Geography, History, Philosophy and Ethics full course) A Technology subject (DT - Resistant Materials, DT - Graphic Products or Food Technology/ Catering) Art, Dance, Digital Photography, Drama, Music, Physical Education, Psychology, Health and Social Care, Business Studies. All students take Life Studies (otherwise known as PSHE) and covers areas such as Citizenship, Careers Education, and Health Education. Clear, regular target-setting, reporting, and monitoring of your childâ€™s progress ensure they achieve their full potential. If they are not on target, we will support them through targeted intervention.
ATTITUDE TO LEARNING We want to prepare your child for a successful life by encouraging good learning habits that will help them to be successful in future apprenticeships, college, university, and careers. Throughout the year, students will consider their strengths and areas for improvement in these six areas. These are six learning habits that everyone needs to be successful in life. In the future, students can talk about them in job interviews and university admissions interviews.
“Education is for life, not just for school.”
READING FOR PLEASURE All students are encouraged to read. Once a week each house has a dedicated ‘Reading for Pleasure’ session during morning registration. We are building a culture where we believe that every student should be encouraged to read for their own pleasure. Reading is enjoyable, fosters house spirit within school and increases students’ chances of being successful in life. Students engagement with Reading is recognised through gaining achievement points on completion of the ‘Reading Challenges’. The Reading Challenges are designed to motivate students to read across a range of genre throughout their school life. The Reading trophy is awarded for the house which reads the most books throughout the school year.
MATHEMATICS & COMPUTING
We are very fortunate to have two specialisms, Visual & Performing Arts, and Maths & Computing. Together these offer a rich and varied package of additional experiences to our students to help raise achievement across the school.
The Mathematics Curriculum is varied and enables all students to achieve at every level. Where appropriate students are extended in their Mathematical learning and their curriculum is enhanced through the study of addition maths. We also provide support to students who lack in confidence in Maths and have devised a creative programme of delivering Maths in order for students to relate Maths learning to all aspects of everyday life and not see it as a self-contained subject. We are also working with staff from our local primary schools to work on joint projects and share good practice. There is also the opportunity for students to become South Wirral High School Maths Leaders through which they will have the opportunity to participate and support various Mathematical events particularly those involving our partner primary schools
VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS The Arts is an integral part of our broad and balanced curriculum and art encourages a greater understanding of the world in which we live. The teaching of cultural diversity helps stimulate creativity and imagination, allowing for the freedom of expressions through all the art forms. Visual & Performing Arts College status allow us the opportunity to work in close collaboration with our partner primary schools too. Your child will have a chance to perform at a series of community venues throughout the year.
ACHIEVEMENT MONITORING ACADEMIC PROGRESS We aim to raise achievement by making it easy for your child to see how well they are doing, to recognise achievement and to indicate areas for improvement. Also, student progress is monitored closely by Heads of House and Sixth Form and the Senior Leadership Team, so they can intervene when appropriate. You and your student will receive printed reports of assessments; that can also be viewed on our Moodle VLE.
PROGRESS INTERVIEWS Each student has a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) on Moodle which contains ‘details of each progress interview’ and ‘targets for improvement.’ Progress Meetings are held each year between students and Form Tutors, and an agreed list of goals are discussed. As parents/carers, you can see your child’s PLP at any time on Moodle. You can also take advantage of the set times in the year when you are invited in to discuss the progress of your child. We encourage parents/carers to contact your child’s Head of House at any time if you have a concern. We operate an Open Door policy to parents and carers to make a commitment to you, to respond to concerns at any time.
CARE GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT HEADS OF HOUSE The Head of House monitors your child’s whole educational experience, ensuring that the individual needs of students are met. The Head of House morally, spiritually, socially and culturally helps to educate all students in their care, throughout their time at South Wirral. Parents of Year 7 students are invited into school to meet House staff a short time after the start of the school year, and will act in partnership to ensure your child is supported and encouraged at each stage of their development.
ANTI BULLYING Students are entitled to come to school safely, happily and free from any fear of bullying. We encourage students not to “suffer in silence” but to inform someone if they are being bullied - their Heads of House, another teacher, a parent or a friend. Citizenship lessons and assemblies address the issue of bullying and reinforce the fact that bullying will not be tolerated at South Wirral and will be dealt with severely. The School Anti-Bullying Policy is available for inspection on our website, and from the school office. South Wirral High School is committed to equality of opportunity for all of its students, staff, and community members.
“As a result of getting to know my daughter as an individual, the staff gave her the exact care and support she needed.” - Parent
TEN OVER FIVE PLEDGES As a school, we will challenge your child academically, as well as support their pastoral needs. One of our the school’s major strengths is the enrichment and extra-curricular activities (school clubs). These include residential trips, special days, guest speakers, extra-curricular clubs, charity work and educational trips. Our unique enrichment programme is called ‘Pledges.’ A Pledge is ‘a promise to do or give’ and we have identified ten commitments that will help your child develop socially, spiritually and culturally. We will encourage them to take part in at least one activity under each different Pledge. We have called them the ‘Ten over 5 Pledges’ meaning students should aim to complete ten Pledges over five years.
THE PLEDGES 1. Take part in a residential experience 2. Perform or present to an audience in or out of school or represent the school in an activity 3. Attend a ‘professional performance.’ 4. Meet a person/people who can widen your knowledge of the world
“Students have a broad range of opportunities to attend clubs and extra classes and develop leadership skills in the wider community.” - Ofsted
5. Take part in an international experience 6. Visit and engage with a national or local park, gallery, museum, heritage site, library or archive 7. Visit a place of worship or spiritual significance to gain an understanding of the different cultures within society 8. Take part in Work-Related Learning 9. Join a club, society or organisation in or out of school 10. Actively contribute to charity work or community-based project in or out of school
MOODLE OUR VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Moodle is our school Learning Platform (also known as a Virtual Learning Environment). It is a website that will help your child access to learning activities and resources at any time, from anywhere. Every student has a unique username and password. Your child will have their own Home Page, with a list of all the groups that they belong to. This allows students to see what homework tasks they need to do and what the deadlines are. You too can see these deadlines and any feedback from teachers.
“It is this sort of passion for t eaching that will keep our ‘teens’ interested in education” “If a teacher uses Moodle then it has such a positive impact on the partnership at home.” - Parents’ views on Moodle
HOME-SCHOOL COMMUNICATIONS PARENTMAIL Parents can receive emails of all letters that are sent out and regular bulletins about homework and class work by signing up to Parent Mail. To sign up for this, please use the contact form on the main school website.
HOME ACCESS PLUS Students are now able to access their documents stored on the school network from home. Files will be downloaded to your computer to work on locally - they can then be re-uploaded to be able to access the updated versions within school.
“Teachers make very innovative use of new technology to enthuse students and enhance their learning.” - Ofsted
“Teachers make very innovative use of new technology to enthuse students and enhance their learning.” - Ofsted 2013
SCHOOL INFORMATION SCHOOL DAY
SCHOOL MEALS Our on-site meals service provides a broad and nutritious daily menu of hot food and sandwiches. Also, a dining hall is set aside for Students who wish to bring packed lunches. We operate a cafeteria system, and students pay only for those items which they select. There is a solid choice of dishes. Year 7 â€“ 11 students who stay for lunch must remain on school premises for the whole of the lunch period. We require your written consent and an application for a lunchtime pass if you would like your child to go home to eat.
BREAKS AND LUNCHTIMES The school canteen sells a host of healthy goodies at break time as well as lunch. There are lots of hot options as well as dishes for the day, pizza, sandwiches and salad, cakes and biscuits, etc., so lots to choose from. Students can bring in packed lunch and eat it in the hall. All students are required to remain in school during all breaks.
DAY TO DAY PROCEDURES If you need to make contact with your child during the school day, please do so via the school office only. If you know your child is not going to be in school for medical reasons, please contact the school office. The school will keep you up to date on a host of issues, and you will find all the information you need on Moodle - our interactive learning site allowing you to access your childâ€™s timetable, homework, progress, and attendance.
UNIFORM Uniform for girls is a black skirt, tunic or trousers, white shirt, black school blazer and a House tie (available from School Reception). Boys will wear black trousers, white shirt, blazers, a House tie and black school shoes The LEA offers assistance over the cost of uniform, school meals and maintenance in the Sixth Form. Costs are consistent and full details may be obtained from Schools Division, Education Offices, Conway Street, Birkenhead (Tel: 0151 666 2121).
We host a formal Presentation Evening for both Upper School and Lower School students, to recognise the hard work, achievement, and effort of our students. The evening provides an excellent opportunity for you to join your child and school staff, during an evening of celebration.
CAROL CONCERT South Wirral High School’s Music Department “As part of organises a magical Carol Concert, every Music BTEC, I have taken year. An array of student and staff part in many extra-curricular singers, guitar players, drummers, and activities including school choirs. sing-sign students entertain the Being part of the Music department audience, of parents, carers, staff and has allowed me to take part in many members of the local community. musical performances and has built up my self-confidence massively.” We will encourage your child to participate in the winter event, which is such an enjoyable occasion. Tommy (Sixth Form Student)
South Wirral’s Christmas Dance Drama show, is legendary! Students have the opportunity to get involved, all years and disciplines within dance and drama are welcome. We usually have over twenty acts, including beautifully impressive choreographed dance pieces, and hilarious drama acts, that entertain a packed audience. It’s always a night to remember! If your child would prefer to work ‘behind the scenes,’ they are welcome to apply to become a ‘Digital Leader’ - work alongside staff in lighting and sound engineer positions.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
We have high expectations of your child, whatever their ability. From the beginning of their time with us, careful attention is given to identifying and assessing special educational needs by the Code of Practice. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator works closely with primary schools to ensure continuity of support for children who have particular learning difficulties which have already been identified at Key Stage 1 & 2. Programmes are set up for students with Special Needs targeting their individual problems. The department has a team of Teaching Support Assistants. This enables us to put support in place for students identified as having Special Educational Needs. Identified students will be assisted both in class and in small workshops to achieve their full potential.
“The school’s collaboration, through regular case conferences, with a wide range of external experts, to play support for its most vulnerable students, including those who have disabilities or complex special educational needs, is a strength.” - Ofsted
South Wirral has held an annual year 10 “Hillsborough Day” for over four years. The day includes four key lessons: the truth, the fight for justice, the role of the media and the legacy of football. We want every child to learn the truth about the events that day so that we are reminding students the value of critical thinking skills and analysing information from the media. With this in mind, Mr. Jones (Head of Geography & Citizenship) has set up a petition for the disaster to be included in the National curriculum – and it’s caught the attention of local media. Mr. Jones has become somewhat of a celebrity in school having been interviewed about the petition by Capital FM, Heart and a TV interview on BBC’s North West Tonight. The lessons are backed by the Hillsborough families including Margaret Aspinall who personally attended the lessons. Margaret lost her son, James Aspinall, at Hillsborough. We incorporate lessons on the Hillsborough disaster into existing PSHE lessons. It’s about the students becoming independent learners.
South Wirral High School Plymyard Avenue Eastham Wirral CH62 8EH Tel: 0151 327 3213 Fax: 0151 327 7798 /SouthWirralHS