Headteacher promises a new era for Great Wyrley Academy
A new era is dawning at a school which has spent two years turning around its fortunes after being placed in special measures.
Headteacher Ian Moreton has taken over the reins of Great Wyrley Academy, which has formally became part of the Windsor Academy Trust (WAT).
In 2016, the school, formerly Great Wyrley High School, was rated as inadequate by Ofsted but since then inspectors have continued to praise the progress and improvements being made by staff.
Now Mr Moreton, who has nearly 20 years’ teaching experience, is promising to transform it into one of the best performing secondary schools in the area
He used the start of the academic year to outline ambitious plans to make sure that all 600 of its pupils achieve their potential, both academically and personally.
The former deputy headteacher at Windsor High School and Sixth Form has already spent nearly £100,000 on a comprehensive internal refurbishment project to create better learning spaces and introduced a brand new curriculum designed to improve GCSE and A-Level results.
As part of the new approach, a new twelve-point pledge has been made so that every student will have the opportunity to raise money for charity, visit the sea, present to 30 or more people and sleep under the stars.
They will also become a first aider, take part in a musical or sporting event and experience what a higher education establishment looks like.
“School has to be about more than just getting grades. We need to give our young people real life skills and experiences that will benefit them as they start work and get older,” said Mr Moreton, who leads a senior leadership team comprising four experienced assistant headteachers.
“That is what our pledge is all about. We want our pupils to be motivated, gain practical experience and have an outstanding education – that’s why the decision was made to join Windsor Academy Trust.
“This gives us access to fantastic resources, the experience of high performing schools and the ability to bring in experts from inside WAT to mentor our own staff and introduce new ideas and systems that will transform our performance.
“This is more than just a name change for Great Wyrley Academy; this is a new school and a great place for young people to study and gain valuable life skills. We’ve got a three-year plan to be among the best performing schools in Staffordshire. It is ambitious, but I’m confident we can achieve it.”
Great Wyrley Academy currently has 600 pupils, including 75 in its Sixth Form which partners with Cheslyn Hay High School.
It also boasts an indoor theatre, its own swimming pool, gymnasium, fitness suite and outdoor football pitches.
In addition to the twelve-point pledge and the enhanced curriculum, the school has also introduced a new behaviour policy that students will adhere to and personal development plans for all of its teachers.
“We are the eighth school to join Windsor Academy Trust and this represents a massive opportunity for us. They have a fantastic educational blueprint in place that delivers results, but also allows the individual schools and students to carve their own identity,” added Mr Moreton.
“One of the big things we want to do this year is play a much more active role in the local community, building relationships with local employers and opening up our facilities. This will also help us give students the opportunity to support more community groups and charities.”
“This has already started with ‘Wyrley in the Park’, where we invited lots of primary schools down to sing, enjoy games, food and local bands. It was a great success and we want this to be the start of a more sustained campaign," he added.
Great Wyrley Academy is hosting its annual open evening on October 3, between 6pmand 8pm), which includes a headteacher’s address, school tours and live science, music and PE displays.
There will also be two ‘drop-in’ mornings on October 8 and 9, where parents can enjoy a tour of the school.
For further information see www.greatwyrley.windsoracademytrust.org.uk.