Whickham School and Sports College
Gateshead, United Kingdom
About Whickham School and Sports College
Whickham School is a large and successful school in Gateshead with over 1500 students including approximately 250 in the sixth form, which is one of the most successful in the region with over 62% of grades being A*-B grade in the 2018 exams.
Our March 2018 Ofsted inspection reflects that we are a good school who 'recognise the importance of examination results as well as the development of pupils' characters.'
'Relationships between staff and pupils are positive and founded on mutual respect.'
'The Headteacher leads by example. He is uncompromising in his desire for all pupils to succeed.'
'Pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness is developed very effectively.'
'When asked by an inspector to describe the best thing about coming to this school, one pupil responded by saying that 'you can be who you want to be and you do not get judged by others.''
Demand for student places is strong and the school is regularly oversubscribed. Students are organised into year groups whilst eight faculties deliver the school curriculum. The Sixth Form, which has its own dedicated facilities, is an increasingly popular choice of students from all over the region.
The school achieved Academy status in September 2011 and has been identified for a substantial building programme under PSBP2.
The Leadership Team meet weekly and share responsibility for policy generation, decision making, planning and the general wellbeing of the school. The relevant governing body committee is involved in strategic planning and policies from the onset. Faculty and Year groups meet every two weeks to discuss strategic issues.
Vision and Values
Whickham School; a school that ensures all pupils are the very best they
Our four keys to success:
– Everyone is a leader who demonstrates the school values.
– Everyone always ensures a culture of learning that engages, excites
– Everyone always works effectively to achieve beyond expectations.
– Everyone always ensures that all barriers to learning are addressed.
CPDL & Well Being
At Whickham School we understand that schools are about people and that staff who are happy and enjoy their work are more productive. Therefore, we are committed to ensuring we provide outstanding CPDL and an environment that enables exceptional staff well-being. We will support you in your personal and professional development, enabling you to contribute fully to the creative and dedicated teams of dynamic and ambitious staff you will be joining.
In addition to our School Improvement hour every other week, we have a series of working groups dedicated to Teaching and Learning as well as other opportunities to become involved in driving forward best practice. All of our teachers benefit from dedicated collaborative planning time, and we run a very successful NQT programme which offers comprehensive support and guidance from dedicated mentors.
We are accredited with the Bronze level of the Better Health at Work award and we are committed to supporting staff not only through the dedicated campaigns that we have run, but also in proactively encouraging healthy practice in a range of meaningful ways.
At Whickham School, we aim to provide a broad and engaging curriculum that enables students to fulfil their talents and interests, whilst gaining the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in your further studies, training and employment. High quality information and guidance is provided to help students navigate their pathways through the courses on offer.
A strong foundation is provided at key stage 3 where students follow a broad and balanced curriculum comprising the following subjects: Science, Mathematics, English, Modern Languages, Geography, History, RE, Technology, ICT, Art and Design, Music, religious Studies and Citizenship.
Pupils are allocated to mixed ability tutor groups. Much of the teaching takes place in ability settings with mixed – ability in some areas. Ability sets operate upon entry for English and Mathematics; Modern Foreign Language and Science sets are introduced in year 8.
At KS4, students follow a three-year programme to provide more time to study key GCSE and Btec subjects in more creative and supportive ways, accelerating progress and achievement.
The curriculum at Key Stage 4 is more varied with students choosing programmes of study from a wide range of curriculum areas. Our new curriculum enables the vast majority of students to follow an academic pathway that enables them to achieve a set of qualifications that would contribute towards the EBAC. In addition, we have an extensive range of creative and vocational courses delivered on and off-site that enable all our students to follow courses that ensure high levels of engagement and success. We continue to collaborate with external partners to ensure that learning in areas such as engineering takes place in real – work contexts.
The school has strong AEN department that provides additional support to encourage academic progress at all key stages.
The breadth of choice continues into the Sixth Form, with large numbers of students selecting from over 35 different A Level and BTEC National courses.
Whickham School is alive with activities that offer students the opportunity to broaden their interests and experience.
Physical education and Sport are highly prominent with a wide range of interests catered for. Music and Drama are also strengths in the school. The school puts on a number of productions each year including an annual musical which plays to packed houses for a week. The school band and drama groups perform at various prestige events. Educational visits and exchanges are organised for students of all ages. Sports Leadership is particularly strong.
The Governing Body
The governing body is enthusiastic and active and they bring a wide range of experiences and skills derived from their diverse employment in commerce, industry and education.
The relationship between the senior management team and the governing body has evolved into one which enables open and frank discussion to take place on school issues. The introduction of more linked governors to specific school subject areas has improved governor involvement and awareness of issues and priorities. Strengths and weaknesses are discussed freely.
The relationship between the governing body and staff is one of mutual trust and openness. The governing body endeavours to provide support as well as challenge and to become actively involved in all school matters. We consider the governing body to be part of the school management team and to support the school in its quest to maximise all student achievements in a happy interesting and safe environment.
The transition from trainee to Teacher is a massive one. This task was made a lot easier with an excellent NQT programme offered by the school, which offered support and expert training throughout my NQT year. The CPD programme offered by the school is co-ordinated by outstanding teachers and Senior Leaders who always have an open door, whether it be advice you need or ideas for your teaching practice. Senior Leaders are dedicated to helping the school become outstanding. They're very supportive and put everything in place for you to become outstanding.- Anthony Lee, Teacher of ICT (NQT2015/16)
Whickham School is a fantastic place to begin your teaching career; ongoing support through regular NQT meetings, CPD and School Improvement Hour mean that there is always help at hand through what can be a tiring year! One of the great things about Whickham School is that, no matter what stage you are at in your career, your aspirations are recognised and you are fully supported on your journey to achieve them- Sian Robinson, Programme Leader for Media (NQT 2015/16)
The NQT program was supportive, thorough and useful to develop my teaching practice. I felt like the staff involved, particularly my mentor and the teaching and learning team, helped me to build on my learning from university but allowed me to actively participate in my observation feedback, without feeling afraid of criticism. I thoroughly enjoyed the CPD offered on a fortnightly basis.- Sarah Cairns, Teacher of English (NQT 2015/16)