Leading the way...
Wellsway School still Good - and getting better!
12/Jul/19

Wellsway School still Good - and getting better!

Wellsway School still Good - and getting better!

Staff, students and parents are celebrating news that Wellsway School has been confirmed as Good in all areas.

A full, two-day Ofsted inspection in June showed that the school deserved the rating it was given in January 2018 and has continued to improve ever since. Wellsway was judged to be “Good” for results; quality of teaching; effective leadership; behaviour and welfare and for its sixth form.

Principal Matthew Woodville said he was delighted at the validation from Ofsted and the report’s many positive comments and he vowed to ensure the school kept on getting better.

The inspectors said that Mr Woodville had been “determined and purposeful in his efforts to drive up the quality of teaching and behaviour”.

Lead inspector, Steve Smith, praised teachers’ strong subject knowledge and the school’s curriculum that met the needs of all. The inspection team agreed that students at all levels made good progress and higher-ability students were challenged.  

“Leadership at different levels in the school is strong. Leaders have raised expectations of staff and pupils,” the report said. 

Mr Smith said Wellsway School felt harmonious to visitors. He highlighted the positive relationships, tolerance and mutual respect in the school and that absence and exclusion rates were found to be reducing.

“Pupils are polite, personable and good humoured. They generally get on well together and are tolerant and accepting of difference,” his report said.

“Leaders are shaping the school’s provision to ensure that pupils have a rounded school experience that promotes pastoral well-being and academic success equally.” The wide range of extra-curricular activities and the high-quality careers advice was highlighted.

The sixth form was also judged to be Good. The inspector noted that in 2018, more than 40 per cent of students achieved places at Russell Group universities.

The inspection team acknowledged that some of the many changes to systems, routines and culture in the school in recent years had not been popular with everyone but said they had been made with good reason to drive up standards. 

Ofsted praised Wellsway Multi Academy Trust for providing leadership expertise, resourcing and financial support, creating opportunities for staff and holding the school to account. The important role played by governors was also recognised.

Mr Woodville commented: “The report and grading reflects the improvements made since 2016 and is the result of everyone’s hard work and collaboration to make the school the best it can be for the young people we serve. I extend my thanks to the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust for the support it provides; to staff for their commitment and hard work, to parents and to students.

“While we want to celebrate this success, we intend to build on it to ensure that Wellsway School provides the best all-round education possible.”

Andrea Arlidge, chief executive of Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, said: “Congratulations to everyone at Wellsway School on a very positive Ofsted report. WMAT is very proud of Wellsway School and appreciates Mr Woodville’s strong leadership and the hard work he and his team of staff have put in to achieve this judgement. 

“We also know how determined everyone is to continue to improve and we look forward to seeing the school go from strength to strength.”

Sam wins BTEC gold award
11/Jul/19

Sam wins BTEC gold award

A student at The Bath Studio School has won a national prize for his TV and film work.

Sam Pope was named BTEC creative media student of the year 2019 and received his gold award at a ceremony at Central Hall in Westminster from financial journalist and television presenter Steph McGovern.

Parents and teachers accompanied award winners at the event, which was organised by Pearson BTEC to highlight vocational talent. Members of Parliament and celebrities, including Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock, were also there to hear the students’ success stories and present awards.

BTECs are recognised qualifications which are heavily in demand from employers and universities. 

Sam, 17, has been at the Bath school, which is part of Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, for three years. He plans to go to university to study film next year.

Sam Pope at the award ceremony with its host Steph McGovern and Shane Mann, one of the judges

It is a future that Sam, from Oldland Common, near Bristol, would not have thought possible when he was younger. “I was bottom of every class I was in and had an awful time at school before I came to The Bath Studio School,” he said.

Head of Sixth Form at The Bath Studio School Max Weedon said: “I am delighted that Sam has exceeded all previous expectations while studying the TV & Film pathway at a Wellsway Multi Academy Trust school. 

 

Sam Pope with headteacher Pete Headeach and teacher Max Weedon

“Sam has overcome many difficulties to thrive in his subject areas and his success is a vindication of our unique curriculum design,  which puts the student at the heart of an experiential and industry-focused learning process. By treating the learner as the creative talent, for example by giving them the autonomy to direct their own movies, we find that students like Sam have been encouraged to unlock their potential,  harnessing their innate enthusiasm and motivation to create valuable intellectual property such as original films. 

“We are so proud and happy for Sam that his hard work and talent has been recognised by both the professional film industry and by the awarding body at BTEC.”

To Post 16 and beyond...
10/Jul/19

To Post 16 and beyond...

To Post 16 and beyond...

More than 200 students who will be joining the three sixth forms in Wellsway Multi Academy Trust had an awayday at the main UWE Bristol campus.

It was the first time the post-16 teams from Wellsway School, Sir Bernard Lovell Academy and IKB Academy had held a joint induction event and it was a great success.

Students took part in a range of activities to develop team building and study skills and they had the chance to visit the university’s state-of-the-art business school.

Debbie Gibbs, principal of IKB and one of the organisers, said: “We were really grateful to UWE, who hosted the event for us, as this not only allowed all the students to get together but also gave students the experience of a day on a university campus. The student ambassadors were also able to talk to students about their own journeys through post-16 education on to higher education.”

The induction day gave students an insight into what to expect; they were able to experience the wider opportunities of being in a small sixth form that is part of a wider Trust. They get the best of both worlds – being in a setting where they are treated as an individual taught and tutored by staff who really know them well, but also gaining the wider opportunities of being part of a large sixth-form body across the Trust.

By enrolling into a WMAT sixth form, they know they are part of a group of schools with a strong track record of academic and Level 3 vocational success.

More information
Details about our sixth form provision.

10/Jul/19

Could you be a governor?

We are seeking committed individuals who would like to be part of the ongoing journey to support and improve the schools within our Trust.

This is a hugely rewarding voluntary position; it is a chance to have a positive impact on the lives of children and young people in our communities. Focusing on education, governors look at attendance, achievement and attainment to provide support and robust challenge to the Headteacher/Principal.

Malcolm Broad, a former chair and current trustee, said: “Being a governor brings opportunities for personal and professional development especially as chair, which is an important leadership role. It is very satisfying to help a school grow, and being part of a growing academy trust is exciting. Training and coaching is provided.

Please email enquiries@wellswaymat.com with any questions or for more information. We welcome enquiries from those within our family of schools as well as members of the wider community.

Sprinter Zakoor is flying high
06/Jun/19

Sprinter Zakoor is flying high

A student at Bedminster Down School has been making the headlines in more ways than one.

Fourteen-year-old Zakoor, a refugee who fled Afghanistan at the age of ten, is a great sportsman and has broken school records for sprinting and shot putt.  

His success was featured on local TV and caught the attention of retired RAF engineer Chris Reynolds, who attended Bedminster Down School more than 50 years ago.

Chris heard that Zakoor, who lives with a foster family, had ambitions to be a pilot, so he offered the teenager a flight in his light aircraft.

Zakoor’s first time in the air - he came to the UK in the back of a lorry - was also captured by BBC Points West, as was Chris’s first return visit to the school he left in 1967.

Dan Goater, PE teacher, said Zakoor was a brilliant sportsman who showed great resilience. “He is an inspiration and a pleasure to teach,” he said. 

Pictures: BBC West

Zakoor in the pilot's seat flying high above the countryside

Zakoor showing retired RAF engineer Chris Reynolds around Bedminster Down School.

Official Announcement: Closure of The Bath Studio School
14/Feb/19

Official Announcement: Closure of The Bath Studio School

Official Announcement: Closure of The Bath Studio School

Having considered the views of parents and other interested parties, following a listening period that ran for 5 weeks from 23 October to 27 November 2018, Ministers have now made a final decision to close The Bath Studio School at the end of the summer term 2020.

Thursday 14th February 2019

Grease is the word!
13/Feb/19

Grease is the word!

Grease is the word!

Wellsway School’s production of Grease took place last week, with four nights selling out within four hours of going on sale! It was a huge success with 120 students taking part either acting, in the band, backstage, technical support and costumes. Each main part was double cast, playing two nights each, in order to showcase as many students as possible.

Hannah Davies, Director and Subject Lead for Drama and Ingrid McLean, Musical Director and Assistant Team Leader for PE and Performing Arts said: “We’re extremely proud of the hard work and commitment shown by every member of the cast and production team. The rehearsal process has been highly enjoyable for all and the reaction from the audience has been fantastic.”

Out of this world!
17/Jan/19

Out of this world!

Out of this world!

The first masterclass at IKB Academy gave invitied Year 11 students from other schools the chance to investigate the world of particle physics. 

IKB’s principal Debbie Gibbs, a passionate physics teacher, led the day, which included a series of activities and presentations, culminating in the group making their own cloud chamber to see the tracks made by cosmic rays from space. 

Mrs Gibbs said: “Even though the tracks were quite elusive, the students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see how inspiring A-level physics can be.”

Participants’ comments included: “It was lots of fun and I enjoyed the dry ice”; “It was relaxed and fun and I also learnt interesting stuff”; “It was very informative and interactive”.

IKB, which has a science and engineering specialism, is planning a series of masterclasses to showcase its range of A-level and Btec Post-16 options, in which students are achieving great success. These include product design, maths, engineering and biochemistry. 

If you are in Year 11 at any school and would like to attend a masterclass, please contact IKB Academy for an invitation.

Talking heads
15/Jan/19

Talking heads

Great article by our very own Joy Mounter, headteacher at The Meadows Primary School, in this week’s Talking Heads Education column in the Bristol Post.

Talking Heads article in the Bristol Post by Joy Mounter, head at The Meadows Primary School

Decision in principle to close The Bath Studio School
23/Oct/18

Decision in principle to close The Bath Studio School

Decision in principle to close The Bath Studio School

For more information please see the letter outlining the decision in principle to close The Bath Studio School (Pdf, 64kb)

Primaries notch up strong results
27/Jul/18

Primaries notch up strong results

Primaries notch up strong results

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust primary schools are celebrating some excellent results for children of all ages in 2017-18.

The provisional figures received from the Department for Education show strong outcomes in the tests taken by pupils at the age of 11, known as Key Stage 2 SATs.

All four schools saw an overall performance above the national average, with many improvements on 2017. A number of individuals made exceptional progress.

Saltford Primary School maintained its very high standard, with 84 per cent of children reaching or exceeding the expected standard for their age in reading, writing and maths combined. Its figures for the separate subjects were reading 93, writing 96 and maths 93.

St John’s Primary achieved 73 per cent combined and Chandag Juniors and The Meadows both hit 62 per cent. Chandag Juniors improved outcomes in all areas except reading while St John’s and The Meadows saw substantial improvements. At The Meadows, the writing result rose from 57 to 83 and maths from 69 to 85.

Younger children also performed well against national benchmarks, with Saltford and Chandag Infants again leading the way at reception level, where 82 and 85 per cent of children respectively achieved a Good Level of Development. 

Phonics screening and Key Stage 1 Sats outcomes were strong at all the schools too.

Final results will be released in December when they have been validated by the DfE.

Director of Primary Dr Matthew Cottrell congratulated school leaders, staff, parents and most of all the children on their success, which he said was a reward for hard work throughout the year. “We are seeing the benefits of working closely together as a group of schools, sharing best practice and utilising the skills of our subject-specialist leading teachers,” he said. “I look forward to this close collaboration and the development of our Trust’s Teaching School leading to even more success in the years to come.”

Movie makes an impact in more ways that one
13/Jul/18

Movie makes an impact in more ways that one

Movie makes an impact in more ways that one

TV and film students from Bath Studio School have recorded an introduction to an acclaimed film about pollution in our oceans. Michael Pitts, who was director of photography on A Plastic Ocean, visited the digital media and film academy ahead of a showing of the film at Babington House in Somerset. He told the students about his work with the BBC and Blue Planet and the effect that plastic was having on the wildlife across the planet. Michael’s talk was recorded to help promote the movie. It gave the students information about careers in TV and film - but also informed them about environmental damage and inspired them to action. Camera operator Harmony Leask said: "The presentation was extremely motivating and encourages you to think about where plastic comes from and difficulties in breaking down the components."

BSS creative director Sam Dare said:  "Michael is truly inspirational and an extremely skilled cinematographer. The students were so enthused by his presentation that they were left wanting to do more to limit their use and the school’s use of plastic. They have started to get together a committee to start tackling the problem. They are encouraging students to use refillable drinks containers and identifying areas that we can improve around the school site such as plastic cups and cutlery."

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