Wednesday, October 5, 2016

An open invitation to future parents and students following our Open Evening

Thank you to all the parents, carers and children who came to our Y5-6 Open evening and joined in the events with such gusto!

It was a true pleasure to meet you and I hope that you got a flavour of what Sir Thomas Wharton Academy – a Co-operative Academy is all about.

As always with these events, time runs away with us, so if you would like to come back and experience what it is like here during the working day then please do contact us. We will arrange for you to visit and get a true feel for the warm, positive, disciplined and purposeful atmosphere that pervades our academy.

I became Headteacher two years ago and I still have that same feeling today, as I did then, of being extremely privileged to lead our Academy. The GCSE results the summer I took over had taken a fall with an Ofsted inspection imminent. With the emphasis on exam outcomes I was fully aware of the challenges ahead. When Ofsted came, with their success criteria rooted in exam performance, they inevitably found ‘serious weaknesses’. They also reported confidently of the changes happening under the new leadership. Since then we have increased rigour and accountability, made many changes and continue to do so. Our subsequent monitoring visit reports bear testament to the progress we are making.

Our achievements are rising and compare favourably to other local schools. This summer we had a 10% record increase in A*/A grades. 27 students attained at least 5 or more A*/A grades each.

Spending most of my time in and around lessons in these first few weeks, it is heartening to see both students and staff responding to higher expectations of both standards and work.

However, whatever the politics and organisational structures, the most important priority is the education, progress and care of your children. As headteacher that is my first and only priority. Children come first. We promise to take care of your children, keep them safe and make learning fun.

Politics will come and go but throughout it all my aim, along with our staff, is to help lead our academy and community to be regarded as an ‘outstanding’ school – a school that not only provides the very best education for all its students – but one at the heart of the community it serves, leading regeneration and providing pride and self-esteem for all.

For our academy to be recognised as ‘outstanding’ is a personal mission. I have had two period of employment at this school totalling fourteen years. I live in the community, it’s my community and I am determined, with your help - to see it happen.

In many respects this is already an ‘outstanding’ academy.

Your children will have an array of opportunities at STWCC. Our staff, business and community partners provide a wide range of activities. To our future students we promise that whatever your current talents, or talents you have yet to discover, you can do them here. You can be part of our many sports and fitness clubs or successful teams. If you are musical or can sing, have aspirations to perform – you can join our school band or the most requested school choir in South Yorkshire. You can be part of our hugely successful drama and musical productions – rehearsals for our latest show Chicago are already under way. If you can dance or want to dance - you can do it here – many of our students have progressed to the top dance schools and gone on to be professional dancers. If you have ambition to be the best, we will support you. This summer our Olympic achievements amazed us all. We have 3 students in our academy right now who have a great opportunity to be Olympians – one in gymnastics, one an athlete and one in ice dancing – already champions and on the path to reaching the pinnacle in their sports.

Our Art gallery is a pleasure to view. Sir Thomas Wharton’s talented artists produce results second to none in Doncaster. Collectively our Arts provision has been recognised through the prestigious Arts Mark Gold Award.

School trips are wide and varied. Y7 have been signing up for their outdoor activities residential to Kingswood in March. Our young footballers and netballers are getting excited about their sports tour to Barcelona next year. But in addition to this in the last 2 years we have had, and will continue to have, trips to London, Germany, France, Disneyland Paris, New York, Venice, theatre trips and more.

You may be aware that South Yorkshire police offer free football coaching here on Tuesday nights, promoted by one of our more famous ambassadors – Howard Webb – the recently retired world cup final referee.

Our staff also offer many subject specific enrichment activities and go out of their way to provide extra help in passing exams.

We also specialise in Business and Enterprise, which means not only do we get exceptional results in these subjects, but also provide a variety of opportunities to engage in enterprising activities and business and work placements.

When you choose our academy for your children we expect you to choose us for 7 years. With compulsory education now to 18 we want your children with us right through into the sixth form. Most of our students want to stay with us. That’s hardly surprising because they love it here. They know that in addition to the nurturing, leadership opportunities and careers support provided, students have attained amazing individual performances in the last two years with the progress of both Y12 and Y13 last in the top 20% of all schools nationally.

We have a strong belief in the importance of smart appearance and the togetherness it creates. We and the students are proud of their appearance. We are strict on our rules and expect adherence to the uniform policy. I am sure you will respect this too.

To you the parents I say - there are few decisions you will make for your children as important as which school to send them to. I actively encourage you to look at other schools, so when you choose here, you know you have compared and chosen us for the right reasons. I am confident we will be your school of choice.

At Sir Thomas Wharton we have high expectations and traditional values.

We promise:
  • We will provide a safe, secure environment for your children
  • We will work them hard
  • We will teach them well and furnish them with the skills, knowledge and qualifications to compete in a rapidly changing world.

With you as parents:
  • We will create a culture of true partnership
  • We will keep you informed
  • We will listen to you

I trust that you enjoyed the Open Evening and will join us as a proud member of the Sir Thomas Wharton community - your school of choice!

We look forward to welcoming you!