Welcome to the Westbury Academy website.
My motto for this year is ‘forever moving forward’ as this is a key aspect of the school in so many ways. Each year the staff assess the success of the strategies and techniques used, to ensure the best outcomes for our pupils both educationally and socially, so that they can ultimately be a positive contributor in the community. So what does that mean and how does it translate to actions?
This year we have introduced new BTECs, to ensure that our pupils can study subjects that are of greater interest to them and will be more relevant to their future employment interests. Results have demonstrated that this has been successful both in pupil engagement and outcomes.
In Science a group of Year 10 pupils took their GCSE Chemistry a year early, with all of them achieving a grade. This has consequently enabled them to access GCSE Physics for the first time. In Motor Engineering the pupils have been working on renovating a collection of motorbikes and have been trusted in performing practical tasks on staff cars. In GCSE Art we continue to get some excellent outcomes for our pupils, whilst the pupils working on CAD (computer aided design) in both Keystages 3 and 4 are now producing some outstanding work ranging from photo frames to a number of board games.
In Keystage 4 we introduced the Duke of Edinburgh award and all of the pupils who attempted the final expedition, completed it successfully, thus they were successful in achieving a Bronze Award. This year we will develop from this, with the Bronze Award pupils taking on the challenge of the Silver Award in the Lake District, which I am really looking forward to going on!
In Keystage 2 the pupils continue to amaze me with their progress and level of engagement compared to their previous schools, this is evident from their SAT’s results, but more importantly from just walking around and seeing them working in school. The Keystage 2 camp, yet again, has been a glorious success (apart from the mosquitoes this year!).
A significant change this year has been the removal of the reward system of Lesson 6 in Keystage 3, an increase in the ‘quiet reading tutor time’ and the introduction of a Friday afternoon award programme. Due to the increase in pupil numbers, some rooms have also changed in their function and the dining room has been extended. These facts, combined with the new roof on the old building will result in an even more useful, stimulating and accessible environment for the pupils.
So it is no real surprise that pupils continue to make good progress whilst at Westbury. This year the commitment in the exams from the Year 11 pupils was super, with all of them working for as long as they possibly could for each and every paper. A sterling effort despite the new changes to the exam system.
The pressures of actual exams continue to be a significant issue for our pupils and this is an issue that we intend to focus on and improve from the success of last year with even greater intensity this year in the hope that our pupils are fully prepared.
Slowly but surely we are increasing our numbers, with now having just over a 100 pupils. This has meant more staff have been employed and new classes created. This led to the creation of a new class in Keystage 2 last year. Whilst this year will be the first time that we have had a two-form entry for all of Key stage 3 and 4. This has enabled us to stream the pupils, for the first time, in individual core subjects so that each pupil’s learning can be maximised to an even greater extent than previously.
Nothing reminds me more of how important we are as a school for our pupils than when an ex pupil ‘drops in’ and thanks us for what we have done in supporting them both academically and emotionally so that they can now function as a positive member of society who actively contributes to it. Sometimes it takes a while for our pupils to mature and ‘sort’ themselves out – but until that point in time the education we have given them, both in its widest sense and the qualifications that they have earned, gives them the basic foundations that they need in life to succeed. Even more pleasing in a different way is the amount of parent support both for events in schools and in their recognition of the staff workforce effort and the positive impact they have had and continue to have. So, Thank You.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the school if you have any questions about Westbury or the Raleigh Learning Trust.