DEMAND FOR PLACES SOARING AS AMBITIOUS SCHOOL LOOKS FORWARD TO A BRIGHT FUTURE AFTER A PERIOD OF SUSTAINED GROWTH AND A HOST OF SUCCESSES
Shropshire’s Wrekin College marked the end of this academic year celebrating a string of county and national successes while also looking forward to the opening of its new design school. The period of sustained growth and success has seen interest in joining the school increase for Year 7 and 8 with waiting lists now in place thanks to demand being at an all-time high.
The school, which launched an ambitious programme of development seven years ago in a bid to not only provide more specialist facilities across a variety of disciplines, but to improve employability skills, is now reaping the rewards with more families keen to take up a place.
Mr Firth said during his last term at the school this was testament to parents willing to take an innovative, but also realistic approach to education while still working towards top exam results.
“We have seen a growing awareness with employers and parents (many being employers) that the drive towards good exam results alone is not preparing youngsters for the real world outside the classroom. In fact it was doing little more than coaching them to know a series of facts rather than honing the skills needed for continual and independent learning,” he added.
“At Wrekin we looked at what the school was good at to help launch new initiatives to find a solution to that problem. We realised we already had a school culture where many pupils were willing to take a chance on more opportunities and push themselves to do better, to do their best, and we have taken this further and compelled all pupils to take part, judging Wrekin College them not by how good they are at things, but simply whether they will give them a go: this is a fair contract that even the most self-conscious adolescent can see is fair and non-judgemental.”
One of the key introductions was the Challenge Grade Review which saw pupils encouraged to take a critical look at their own academic work and set challenges where they aim for their own personal bests.
Success was rooted in the learning process rather than just the end result. It worked on improving learning skills transferable beyond just exams, but such an approach is best for the taking of exams.
The school also invested in a new Business School, Music School, Dance Studio and additional artificial playing surface in recent years as part of the understanding success in education involves participating in wide-ranging activities in good places of learning.
That investment has seen national accolades for Wrekin College in music and sport with GCSE and A-level
performances also benefitting. It has also seen teenagers look at all kinds of options for their future and choose the path best suited to them with places at top universities and top apprenticeships secured.
The school is also very proud of its House system which includes a designated House for Lower School pupils in years seven and eight which hosts its own events and runs its own programme of special activities. Lancaster House allows a smooth transition from junior to senior school and provides a way for staff to really get to know pupils before they are assigned to senior houses in Year 9. Having senior prefects for Lancaster as well as volunteers, who take on roles such as directing school plays for those in the younger year groups, also ensures there is a connection to older pupils. Mentoring schemes and places on school councils and the pupil safeguarding board also supports the Lancaster pupils as they get to know their new senior school.
For further details on joining Wrekin College and to meet new Head Toby Spency visit www.wrekinoldhall.com or register for the open day on October 7th