I am to delighted introduce myself as the new Principal of Westlands School and to share my approach and priorities.
I have the highest possible expectations. I believe that schools have three main responsibilities.
- To ensure that students make the best possible academic progress
- To provide the enrichment opportunities to allow them to grow into responsible, confident and considerate young adults
- To give the pastoral support and care that allows children to feel safe and valued.
To ensure students make outstanding academic progress, we will focus very much on teaching and learning. This will include sharing all the good practice that already exists in the school, as well as drawing on expertise from other schools and colleges nationally to ensure that there is high quality teaching in every classroom. Your children will be offered a rich experience here, with a curriculum designed to stimulate and inspire their love of learning in order to make excellent academic progress. This is something we will work hard to instil in all of our students as I believe that enjoying learning is an essential first step in making good progress at school. All of our students, regardless of prior attainment or past educational experience, will be provided with a curriculum that is designed to engage and challenge them at an appropriate level so that every student can fulfil their true potential.
Education should not stop at the classroom door. Learning outside the classroom can develop our students’ characters as well as their minds and also encourages that all important love of learning. I therefore believe that educational trips and visits and extra-curricular clubs and activities are a vital part of school life and will support these as much as possible.
Westlands School has always taken its pastoral responsibilities very seriously and this will not change. The role of the form tutor cannot be underestimated and your child’s tutor will often be your first point of contact with the school. There will be an opportunity for all parents to come in and meet their child’s tutor in the first term to look at the progress made so far and to ask any questions you may have. Each student will also have a Head of Year who will oversee his or her pastoral care, effort, behaviour and academic progress. Where possible, tutors and Heads of Year will stay with their tutor groups each year to ensure continuity and to ensure that each student is known and valued as an individual.
I am joining the school from Ivybridge Community College, an Outstanding school for over 20 years (Ofsted), in South Devon. Westlands and Ivybridge have been working closely over the past year and this partnership will be further established in the autumn term, when Ivybridge Community College is due to become our sponsoring academy. This means that Westlands School will become part of the Ivybridge Academy Trust. The impact of this will be positive for our students as it means that the very best practice can be shared across the two schools. Westlands School has developed significantly over the past year and we have just celebrated record exam results. There is, however, more to be done in striving for the very best for our students. The most successful schools are those which constantly seek to improve and we – the staff, students, parents and governors will work together to make Westlands one of the very best schools. I am looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible at future events and to supporting your children through these important years of their lives.