Westhoughton High School
Bolton, United Kingdom
About Westhoughton High School
Westhoughton High School is an 11-16, mixed community comprehensive school situated close to the centre of the growing town of Westhoughton within Bolton Council’s boundaries.
We are proud to be the only secondary school in the town, serving our community by providing exciting educational opportunities and preparing the next generation for their various futures. The student population is largely made up of young people from Westhoughton itself, but students also attend from the neighbouring communities of Blackrod, Bolton, Atherton and Hindley.
The school has been at the heart of the community for many years but has undergone many positive changes over the last five years with significant investment in the fabric of the buildings and the facilities available to our students, as well as year on year improvements in examination results, and we are always keen to show off our school and our students to our many visitors. So whether you think you know the school or whether you’re just discovering us for the first time, you will see a school that is ambitious for its students, proud of its past and confident about its future.
Investing in Our Staff
Wellbeing is a central drive to many of our initiatives here at Westhoughton. You have an SLT that truly believe in developing and investing in our staff and the wellbeing of all who come through our doors. We have multiple activities that develop our staff wellbeing including a Wednesday wellbeing-focused briefing whereby we celebrate our staff, best practice and recognise staff who have supported other colleagues. We have staff activities such as a staff choir, staff yoga and workout sessions and a secret buddy system of supportive comments and gifts that our staff sign up to. We believe in continually reviewing our systems and protocols to ensure that we reduce workload in as many aspects as we can.
As of September 2020, our school week altered in order to have all students leave our school site at 2:10pm every Wednesday. We deliver our personalised CPD programme from 2:30pm each week which ties together our whole school priorities, personalised CPD opportunities and talent development programmes alongside our pastoral CPD programmes to ensure we build this into our school day and value the time together.
Westhoughton’s Guide to Staff Wellbeing: LEARN
Look after each other
At the heart of Westhoughton’s community is a TEAM of individuals working to make our local and school community the best it can be. Our TEAM means Together Everyone Achieves More with all members of our school community valued for the part they play in making us the best in Bolton. Some ways that
we encourage staff to look after each other are:
-Weekly staff Shout Outs to appreciate the support colleagues offer
-Half-termly gifts for highest Shout Out nominees and nominators
-Secret Buddy Association: optional participation
-Staff wellbeing sessions such as: after school yoga and/or circuits, weekend walks and pamper sessions
-Staff Wellbeing Leads who meet half-termly to ensure wellbeing remains a priority for all
-Daily tea and coffee in the staff room and before parents’ evenings
-Free voucher for flu jabs in Autumn
-Extra commuted inset day
-On-site Occupational Health & Wellbeing self-referral appointments.
Enjoy our school
We are always looking to expand on opportunities for staff to enjoy our school more. Our current initiatives are:
-Our weekly staff choir (all staff welcome and speak to Carol Holmes for more details)
-Opportunities to be coached through areas of practice that we lack confidence in (through our 2-2-2 and/or use of our classroom labs) *Post Covid
-Regular staff voice to ensure maximised opportunities to grow and respond to staff feedback
-Two weekly briefings for clear messages and to celebrate staff practice
-100% attendance half-termly attendance draw.
We want to support all staff to strive for excellence and value the roles all staff play at Westhoughton. Notably we:
-Have a dedicated Wednesday CPD cycle built into the school day to ensure our staff’s learning journey is prioritised
-Personalised CPD opportunities within our talent management programme
-Three-year plan within our appraisal system to ensure personalised CPD and external opportunities to champion our staff and develop opportunities to learn
-External CPD requests encouraged when tied to growth and development within personalised appraisal
-Group attendance to conferences such as ResearchEd
-Leadership residential opportunities
-Support of cover requests when observing other members of staff or receiving support.
Respect ourselves, each other and our school community
-Staff Appreciation Days with student nominations each half-term alongside national celebration days
-Return to work meetings through line management within 24hours to ensure care and support is a priority
-We honour leave of absence requests *Where strong attendance is evident, see overleaf
-Five childcare days honoured within staff absence
Never stop learning
-CPD programmes every Wednesday with students off site from 2:10pm (3:10 finish every third week for staff) with celebration of staff learning, wellbeing and achievement in briefings
-An appraisal system that prioritises learning, research and growth for all staff
-WHS CPD diaries that can be used to evidence learning journeys in appraisal
-Department Hubs attending in our local authority for department/nominated leads
-NQT and RQT additional CPD support.