This is my first message as Headteacher of Wallingford School and I would like to begin by saying that it is both an honour and a privilege to have been given the opportunity to lead this fantastic school. I am very fortunate in succeeding a great Headteacher who has lead the school with distinction for 13 years. Over the past few months Mr Willis has helped me to get to know the school with dignity and grace and I would like to thank him for this as it has been very much appreciated. He is leaving for a well-deserved retirement but is still based in the local community and will continue to maintain connections with the school.
“Community” is the word which so many people associate with Wallingford School. It is a school which serves its community, which is a reflection of its community and which celebrates everything which is special about the town and its surrounding villages. This will continue and I look forward to meeting all members of our community – students, parents and carers; friends of the school, former students, local residents and many others - as time progresses.
As I join the school I am also very mindful of the strength of the “Wallingford Culture”. In this sense, “culture” is about “how we do things” and there is so much which is distinctive and special about this school. It may be the wonderful range and variety of trips and visits on offer; the breadth and depth of extra-curricular activities; the rewards, awards and many celebration events; or so much more which goes on and is part of the life of this school. It is all special and to be cherished.
It is also a great time to join the school following the Summer’s excellent examination results at both A Level and GCSE. At A Level 65% of entries were graded at either A*, A or B making Wallingford Sixth Form the highest attaining state school Sixth Form in Oxfordshire – a brilliant achievement. Equally pleasingly, value-added measures indicate that once again the Sixth Form is within the top 10% nationally for achievement meaning that Wallingford Sixth Form students make outstanding progress during their Sixth Form studies. At GCSE 59% of students achieved or exceeded challenging target grades which are in line with the top 20% of student progress nationally. As with the A Level results, this means that students attain highly but also that so many make excellent progress during their time at the school. These are great achievements and reflect the high quality teaching and learning and strong pastoral support which characterise Wallingford School.