Helsby High School
Cheshire West and Chester, United Kingdom
About Helsby High School
Helsby High School is an established 11-18 mixed comprehensive with 1352 pupils on roll, including 266 in the Sixth Form. The school is situated on an open site on the outskirts of the village. The buildings of the original boys' and girls' grammar schools have been adapted and major building work has been undertaken which has provided accommodation appropriate to the needs of a modern comprehensive school. In September 2009 the school absorbed around 140 pupils from a neighbouring school which was designated to close leaving Helsby High School as the only secondary school serving the community of Frodsham and Helsby and the surrounding villages. There are fourteen primary schools in the catchment area and the school has proved popular over the years and attracts pupils from primary schools over a wide area. The primary partner schools and Helsby High form an Educational Improvement Partnership which meets regularly to support pupils’ learning from 5 to 18.
Curriculum and Organisation
The organisation and curriculum of the school are designed to provide a secure basis for the development of each individual pupil and the maintenance of high levels of achievement in all aspects of the life of the school. On entry to the school, pupils are placed in mixed ability tutor groups and allocated to sets appropriate to their needs in Science, Mathematics, English, Geography, History, Religious Education, Technology and French. Careful observation and close liaison between subject and form teachers and flexibility of the curriculum allow for ease of transfer between sets if placements prove unsuitable in individual cases. In the first three years, all pupils follow a common, broadly-based curriculum. Particular care is taken to make appropriate provision for pupils with individual learning difficulties who are supported by a team of Learning Support Assistants
Helsby High School has a tradition of outstanding academic achievement at all levels. The school has been regularly recognised as one of the top performing schools in the region. Pupils follow courses leading to examinations at Advanced Level and the consistently high success rate in these examinations has been maintained. The majority of students continue in higher education. The last Ofsted inspection in 2014 described the school as “good”.
Extra Curricular Activities
The school has a long-established commitment to extra-curricular activities supported by the staff. Traditional team games are a major feature of this and the school enjoys significant success at District, County and National level. The musical life of the school is also outstanding in the involvement of the pupils and the quality of performance at all levels. The school also supports an ambitious programme of trips and residential visits.
Science College Status
Helsby High School was designated as a Specialist Science College in 2003 and as a Leading Edge School in April 2008. The last Ofsted report found that ‘The school’s specialist status has a strong and increasing influence on standards, the curriculum and the local community’ and ‘designation as a Leading Edge school has resulted in more teachers leading curriculum initiatives include strengthening partnerships with other providers and developing teaching and learning in the school.’