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.”
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.”
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.
Details about our sixth form provision.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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