Record numbers attend Open Evening: What makes WKGS special...
Tuesday night was our Open Evening for year 5 and 6 pupils. It was an amazing event – but so busy. It was wonderful to see so many people however I felt sorry for those who had to queue to get through the front doors; I hope it didn’t spoil their evening. During the Open Evening, many parents asked me lots of questions – they wanted to delve deeper and really find out about what makes our school so special. I was asked by one parent, “Why, when there are two other grammar schools, private schools and other good local schools, should my daughter come here?” Another parent overheard the conversation and said –“Well, it is clearly visible in every classroom you go into.” She said, “Every teacher has made the time to talk to me. The student guides have been so enthusiastic about the school and all the opportunities they have had. I’m amazed at the activities the girls get involved in, the chances for developing their interests, the vibrant buzz you feel when you walk into the classrooms, the facilities and the fact that the place feels so happy”. She shook my hand, said “Thank you to everyone” and then said she was keeping her fingers crossed that her daughter passed the 11+. Well, with feedback like that, what could I add?
When I walk around the School, I am always proud of the work being undertaken and the way teachers bring their subjects to life. Lessons are adapted to suit the needs of individuals and the latest technology brings lessons to life. Girls feel comfortable in lessons, they behave well and are eager to respond to teachers. Relationships are excellent.
I think that is one of the things that makes this school so special – the team of staff. Teachers, support staff, caretakers, secretaries, technicians, cooks and cleaners – we are all here with the same aim and are proud to belong to our community. The students are at the centre of everything we do and we want them to be excited by learning and happy in their studies. We stretch and challenge them but also support them and give them help and strategies for success.
Teachers here go the extra mile to offer extra-curricular activities and opportunities for enriching learning experiences. Trips to the theatre, galleries, and concerts are organised alongside fieldwork visits for Science and geography. Visits to London, Auschwitz, Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Iceland and China have all opened girls’ eyes and added breadth to their learning. Students in Year 7 learn three modern languages and enjoy a lesson in Classical Civilisation. Sport is another area of excellence where staff freely give up evenings and weekends to transport girls to competitions ranging from Trampolining and Gymnastics to Hockey, Netball and athletics. Duke of Edinburgh to gold is also offered with 42 girls achieving Gold Awards at the palace last year. We hold our clubs at lunchtimes therefore everyone can get involved. Sixth formers organise the many House competitions from debating to music and drama to the House Bake off.
Another thing that is important is that every student is unique and special therefore our curriculum pathways enable tailored timetables to suit individual needs. Where else can you choose from over thirty GCSEs and A levels?
What really stood out on Tuesday night was how proud our girls and sixth form boys were to be guides, helpers and to show off our school. When I was thanking them they all responded by saying they’d had a fantastic time. One year 7 said she was so happy to be part of “such a loving family”. Now that is one of the reasons I became a Head!