Woodchurch High School in the Wirral has achieved IQM Flagship School status.
Woodchurch High School is an impressive highly successful larger than average and inclusive 11-16 Comprehensive School serving the local community, with 1415 students on roll. It is a Church of England Academy where Christian values are deeply embedded in all areas of life at the school that support their superbly inclusive ethos. The school is consistently oversubscribed, being the 8th most oversubscribed school in Merseyside in 2018 and the most oversubscribed on the Wirral. As the Headteacher states in her welcome to the school; ‘Woodchurch High School is an extremely popular school, attributable to its ‘Established Excellence’ in every aspect; including leadership and management, pupil progress and attainment. This excellence has been nationally recognised, as evidenced through our numerous external awards. In addition, there is an ordered, disciplined environment, and extremely positive relationships within the school, and with parents/carers and the local community’. During the review I was able to reflect on this statement and I was able to see that students are truly at the centre of everything that the school and its staff do they have the highest standards where everyone is challenged and supported to flourish and is encouraged to work hard to fulfil their aspirations, with an expectation that every member of the school be the best they can be. Woodchurch High School is a truly inclusive and extremely caring, vibrant school where all staff are justifiably proud of the high-quality education they provide to all students. This is a school that has a very real and positive impact on students’ ability to access appropriate learning or timely interventions, allied with an unwavering and uncompromising ambition for all they serve including disadvantaged and vulnerable students. This is a fact I can attest to from the evidence of the review and through discussions with staff and students. Everyone connected to the school should be proud of that they provide an inclusive environment that in my opinion from the evidence of this review is superb.
Inclusion is Natural and Intuitive
The school’s excellent work in all areas has been rewarded by their achievement of numerous awards that recognises the high-quality work that they engage in on a daily basis to promote the best possible outcomes and life chances for their students, their families and also the staff who are employed at the school. Woodchurch High School is clearly at the heart of its community where inclusion is a natural and intuitive part of what happens on a daily basis, where students are encouraged to achieve their full potential, where everyone involved is committed to the inclusion of all whatever it takes. A school that is constantly looking at ways to develop for the benefit of the everyone that it serves.
Students are Valued as Individuals
Students are valued as individuals and this is was clearly seen on a tour of the school and through interactions during the review with staff and students, where inclusion is a natural part of the very fabric of the school and a place where superb care, nurture and support naturally occur, within a happy, stimulating and vibrant learning environment and through a focus on helping students to develop the skills, they need to be effective independent learners and positive members of their community and society. Everyone I met was helpful and spoke very positively about their experiences at the school. With a tight focus on improving the attainment and wider outcomes for all and not just promoting the learning of the lowest or highest achievers it is clear to see that the schools’ actions to care for students in my judgement is superb.
Staff I spoke to in meetings or around the school are justifiably proud of what they achieve both professionally and in terms of support for the students and for themselves. They work exceptionally hard to ensure that needs of are met and it is very clear to see walking around the school that there is mutual respect and care that is evident across the staff body; and a fantastic rapport between the staff, the students in the school and between the staff at all levels. A mutual regard and respect that shines through.
The Woodchurch Family
Staff led by the Headteacher and her Senior Team have a clear vision for the school, ‘their’ students, families and the local community. They see themselves as part of ‘the ‘Woodchurch Family’ with a relentless determination and drive for all to succeed, this came across very clearly in meetings and discussions with staff and with the students I met and talked to and is a very real strength of this outstanding and superbly inclusive school. Students have a clear enjoyment of learning about themselves and the world around them, this is apparent walking around the school and is highly visible in classrooms, on corridors and at social times as well, it is a real strength of the school and the staff should be commended for ensuring the students have this attitude to learning instilled in them. It was very humbling to listen to students who were grateful for and excited by the opportunities given to them as a matter of course at the school showing from their comments that this is a lively, yet calm place to come and learn highlighting its values and vision, delivering quality teaching and learning experiences for students and demonstrating their superb inclusive culture that is a natural part of the everyday experience shared by staff and students.
Behaviour and Safety is Exemplary
The behaviour and safety of students seen during this review was exemplary. The students, their parents and the school should be immensely proud of the way they conduct themselves. There, is a very clear and strong student voice at Woodchurch. Parents are well informed of their children’s progress and what they can do to support the school and their child’s development. This partnership is a very clear key strength of the school, parents and governors are actively involved in shaping and developing the vision of the school and communicating extremely effectively through its excellent website, letters, texts and through social media.
Superb Inclusive Ethos
In summary, it is very clear to see that the superb inclusive ethos of this school is very much a living, breathing and continuously developing entity. At the heart of Woodchurch High School inclusion is the inspiration of and the aspirations of a highly cohesive group of Senior Leaders with shared values led by the headteacher, and the ‘can do’ attitude they inspire in their carefully chosen staff, who continue to go from strength to strength. Staff morale is extremely high, and they feel empowered to try out new ideas and to take calculated risks in the interests of the students in their care. They feel valued and subsequently are very loyal and proud to work at the school. Life never stands still here as the school continues to move forward at a fast pace; always looking to the future to see what is over the horizon and what opportunities or threats might be heading their way. This means they are prepared and can make the right decisions and develop plans for the future. However, this does not mean they neglect the present. Students always come first, and their needs are the priority. Extremely positive relationships are at the heart of everything that happens at Woodchurch and is at the very heart of their superb inclusive policy and practice.
Find out more about the IQM Inclusive School Award
If your school is interested in obtaining the IQM Inclusive School Award or you wish to talk to a member of the IQM team please telephone:
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