"Each and every student was engaged and interested in the event, they all asked questions and spoke to us in a respectful and polite manner.

I would appreciate if this email could be passed to the head teacher and the students acknowledged for their behaviour. I can’t praise your students enough."

It is my pleasure to receive emails like this one from new visitors to Walton-le-Dale.  I shared it with all students doing my assemblies during the first week after half-term and pointed out the key words which match our ASPIRE framework for learning (Achieving, Self-Motivated, Positive, Imaginative, Respectful, Having Empathy).

I talked to all our students about the factors which make a great school... 

Everyone is working very hard indeed on brilliant teaching and learning - that is our key focus.  Support for one another is a real strength of the school and a reason why many families choose us for their children.  Consistent hard work is a really important area of focus of us this year.  We know that if a student's attitude to learning is identified on their reports as being "Good" or better then they will achieve good grades at GCSE. If a student's attitude is poor then they will not be successful - it is common sense!  

Attitude to learning involves effort, behaviour, homework, classwork and assessments and I explained to all our students that this is why we have tightened up on completion of homework and why we are so particular about ensuring that everyone is focused in lessons.  As I said to everyone - we have to continue to be a relationship-focused, highly supportive and inclusive school as well as ensuring academic success and acquisition of the wider ASPIRE skills by all our students.

Brilliant teaching, exceptional support and consistent hard work - these are the ingredients of success at Walton-le-Dale.  We are not perfect, but we are very clear about our direction of rapid and sustainable improvement.  Should you wish to discuss any of this with me in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Have a good week.

James Harris

Headteacher