Bedford High School
Wigan, United Kingdom
About Bedford High School
Bedford High School is a co-educational Comprehensive High School maintained by Wigan Local Education Department. The number on roll is approximately 969 increasing to 1140+ in September 2011 with 63 teaching staff and 50 support staff. The school’s admission number is 242.
The school is based on an extensive campus to the east of Leigh town centre and draws students from a very wide catchment area, both geographically and socially, taking pupils from Leigh and Tyldesley; from the Salford boundary to the east and extending to the west of Leigh town centre.
The pastoral care organisation is based on a year system with two years having their registration base in the Lower School building, two years being based in the Upper School building and one year being based in the new Science block.
From September 2003 the school was designated a Specialist College of Business and Enterprise and received additional finances in order to further improve resources and opportunities in a school that was already ICT-rich.
The school is organised on academic lines via large faculties (English, Maths, Science and ICT/Business), and smaller departments, so as to be able to offer the full National Curriculum.
The pupils are placed in mixed ability forms on entry following close liaison with Primary schools. Setting occurs at different times in different subjects throughout Year 7. At KS3 pupils will be taught either French or Spanish.
At K.S.4 a flexible curriculum is offered which meets the needs of all students. Both academic and vocational GCSE’s are offered enabling students to develop a range of skills. The curriculum is personalised and a strong WRL programme is in place. Our extensive ‘Gifted and Talented’ programme enables students to proceed at an accelerated rate and our strong SEN Department provides support for pupils with special needs.
Examination results have shown a steady, pleasing improvement and most recently a best-ever 82% reached 5 A*-Cs. Key Stage 3 results were also the best ever. Pupils in the current Years 10 and 11 are on track to achieve these record scores.
Communications in a large school are most important, particularly where there is the complication of two main buildings. There is a daily bulletin and a weekly briefing session. Regular monthly meetings are held at Head of Faculty and Learning Manager level with a follow-up meeting for members of each Faculty a week after each H.O.F. meeting. Full staff meetings are held at regular intervals between these other meetings. Working-parties meet as necessary. The school’s Learning Forum meetings consist of middle-management linking with the school’s Leadership Team who, in turn, meet daily.
Primary school liaison is a high priority and we have close links with all our main feeder primary schools. The school has also created a Transition Unit for more vulnerable children. Each year group has a Learning Manager (former Head of Year), and a Pupil Guidance Officer. We also have a small team of Learning Mentors who are assigned to pupils with behavioural or emotional problems.
The school is a key player in a Leigh Cluster of schools and links with other organisations at a number of levels including all the major colleges.
Pupils and community now benefit from a centralised resource and conference centre and the school has made a major investment in a 450 station Pentium 4 networked system of P.C.’s, allied to over 47 inter-active whiteboards.
The school is very well served by extra-curricular activities, particularly in music, drama, languages and sport. In sporting activities both boys and girls sports teams are very successful locally and the boys also have national and international success in Rugby League as a team and as individuals. Each year a number of students go on to play sports professionally. The school’s two mini buses are in regular usage and will be supplemented by 2 new vehicles in order to give a fleet of 4 buses.
There are school holidays organised to Spain and Italy, a ski-ing holiday in January and an activity holiday to Central France at Whit. There are annual trips to Barcelona and a French Exchange programme operates with College Jean Jacques Rousseau which is in Thomon-les-bains. The school also has links with schools in South Africa, Sweden and Boston.
We take special pride in our Expressive Arts which has a prominent role in school life. Our annual productions are acclaimed in Leigh, and are of the highest standard, productions have included Grease, Blood Brothers, Annie and, most recently, Bugsy Malone.
The school aims to provide a caring atmosphere in which all pupils can achieve to their full potential, thus ensuring ‘excellence for all’. The school has recently had its ‘Investors in People’ status re-confirmed and, additionally, gained the Artsmark Gold, Sportsmark and Platinum Work-Related Learning award, one of the first in the North West so to do.
The most recent Ofsted – March 2011 – was ‘Good’. We are now embarking on the journey from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ and we want inspirational staff to join us.