Thank you for requesting information for the post of Head of Year 7 at Walton-le-Dale High School from as soon as possible. I hope that our website www.waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk will give you a good overall “flavour” of the school.
Walton-le-Dale is a relatively small school which gives us a distinctive atmosphere. Many visitors comment on the warmth and friendliness of the school. It is a school where the students and staff know each other well (helped by a vertical pastoral system in Y8-Y11). Our smaller size allows us to see each child as an individual and to cater for them individually. We are proud to be one of only a few secondary schools in Lancashire with the Inclusion Mark, achieved in 2008 and renewed several times since. We currently have Flagship status for the Inclusion Mark and this reflects the importance of this to our ethos.
This is, and will continue to be, a student-centred school. Everything we do must have the interests of our students at the heart of it. The strengths of Walton-le-Dale lie in the relationships within the school. Our challenge is to ensure that we make use of these strong relationships to get the best out of our students in terms of achievement. However, a great education is more than exam results and I believe our success is also reflected in the way our students turn out after 5 years at Walton-le-Dale. Everyone in the school works hard to make this happen.
Our students come from a wide catchment area. Around a third of the students come from the Blackburn area, whilst the rest are local or from the Preston area. We have a large number of feeder schools. We are truly a comprehensive school, with a relatively higher proportion of students from the more deprived areas of the region. The ability intake is mixed, although historically we have had relatively few students at the top end. In recent years the ability profile has tended to improve. It is noticeable that we have a significant number of students who join the school late. These are often vulnerable students with a wide range of educational, social and emotional needs. We believe they are attracted to us because of the quality of care we offer. We also have an excellent reputation for the quality of our learning support.
We place a strong emphasis on trying to deliver a curriculum which is relevant and appropriate to our students. In KS3 we have created our own ‘Opening Minds’ curriculum which uses ‘integrated humanities’ content to develop core learning skills. The school offers Key Stage 4 students a wide variety of options for a relatively small school. These curriculum developments are matched by a strong focus on teaching and learning with a great deal of work going on to develop brilliant teaching in an inclusive school – a key focus for our current school improvement plan.
There is a strong team of staff across the school – all staff, not just teachers. They are incredibly supportive of each other, both in a personal and professional sense. Lesson planning is often shared and cross – faculty sharing of expertise is also common. Our team of pastoral and learning support staff is exceptionally strong, with Progress Co-ordinators responsible for the vertical “Sections” of the school from years 8 to 11 and a separate Progress Co-ordinator for Year 7, who also handles transition. We have a team of 14 teaching assistants at various levels and we are extremely proud of the work that we do to support our students based on need. Attendance is a priority for us – we have an attendance officer supported by members of the pastoral and learning support teams.
The school was 60 years old in 2017 but has good modernised facilities including the recent addition of a full sized astroturf pitch. The school historically had a Children’s Centre on site which is now leased by a commercial nursery.
You will receive high quality support and encouragement from Governors, myself, the senior leadership team and the middle leadership. If you feel you are up to this challenge and believe you have the same educational philosophy as us we would welcome an application. If not, I wish you good luck in your future career.
Closing date for applications is at 12noon on 11th January 2019.
Salary: Grade 7 points 26 – 31 (£23866 - £28221 FTE), Actual Salary £20620 - £24382
Closing Date: 11 January 2019, 12.00pm
37hrs per week, term time + 5 days, 8.00am – 4.00pm