As Headteacher of Whitworth Community High School, I am delighted to write the introduction to our new prospectus. I want to share with you what’s important to us as a school community - our vision and values; to focus on where we are heading; and to show what we can offer yourselves and your child – and indeed to outline our high expectations of all students who choose to apply for a place here.
Whitworth Community High School was designated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted in December 2014 and in December 2015 an Ofsted HMI team determined our leadership and management, policies and practices relating to all aspects of Safeguarding to be ‘exemplary’: an accolade of which we are also exceptionally proud.
Our vision is simple: to become an outstanding school. Our focus is on ‘Climbing Higher’ reflecting our continuing commitment to raising achievement, raising levels of progress and thus raising results – and we know that raising aspirations is key to this. Following on from our successful Ofsted and Safeguarding visit we have well-founded confidence in our capacity to achieve even greater heights. We have wonderful, well-motivated students; inspirational and committed specialist staff who want to work in an improving school; and supportive families who celebrate our successes so far and know that we have set ourselves and our young people a clear and ambitious pathway to the summit.
We are popular and oversubscribed, despite increasing our admissions number, and this reflects our enhanced reputation within the local and wider community. Many families choose to go onto our waiting list or to Appeal for places in Y7, wanting their child to belong to a school with a vibrant future and a clear vision, where ‘Students talk excitedly about the improvements seen in the school over recent years.’ (Ofsted 2014) Yet we remain a relatively small school, and this has its advantages. Every student knows they are valued. As Ofsted (December 2015) found: ‘This is a school that values individuals, recognising that everyone is different but equal’ and ‘Robust protocols and practice exist within a very caring ethos that has the safety and welfare of each individual pupil at its heart.’
Whitworth Community High School is both at the heart and in the hearts of its community, and our achievements and improvements are shared and celebrated not only by students, staff, governors and families but by those around us.
Ofsted (December 2014) recognised the journey the school is on: ‘Students achieve well across the school … the progress of all groups of students is good…. teaching over time is good ….students demonstrate good attitudes to learning’ and also the school’s values in action: ‘They (students) demonstrate a real care for one another and their teachers ….they demonstrate excellent British values, particularly in tolerance of and respect for each other …. They feel safe and behaviour is good.’
Visitors comment on the friendly and respectful atmosphere; the focused approach in lessons; the positive relationships between and among staff and students and on how everyone knows and supports one another. Students know their aspirational targets and their steps to achieving success; parents support our high expectations of behaviour, progress and effort; staff and governors work together to provide the best possible learning environment and opportunities for our young people.
‘There is a holistic approach to developing confident, respectful young people who are ready to take their place in adult society’ (Ofsted 2015) and students are ‘immensely proud of their school’ - as indeed we all are.
I look forward to meeting you, to showing you round and introducing you to students and staff, so that you can see for yourself how Whitworth Community High School is ‘Climbing Higher.’
Mrs G Middlemas