Wensleydale Newsletter – March 2012

The School Performance Tables for the 2011 results were published in January and The Wensleydale School was recognised as the fifth most improved school in the country for 5A*-C with English and Maths out of approximately 6000 secondary schools – a truly remarkable achievement.

In terms of North Yorkshire schools, our results are amongst the best in the county. This success is being recognised by those beyond our traditional catchment area as the number of students applying to join us in both Year 7 and Year 12 continues to grow.

A further example of our improvement across the board has been the recent results of the parental and student surveys conducted by Kirkland Rowell. Nearly 60% of parents and 40% of students responded and the executive summary from both surveys states that, “the school has reason to be happy with most of its activities.”

Going by OfSTED criteria, the parental survey judges the school to be ‘good’ overall, whereas the students grade us as ‘outstanding’. The survey judged that communications with parents was good and improving.

Shortly, we will be launching our new school website. Part of that website will contain a form where parents will be able to share any comments, concerns or even complaints they have about what we do.

A round-up of sporting news now:

Multi-skills festival
We hosted a Year 3 and 4 multi skills festival on Friday 20th January. 56 children from Leyburn Primary School attended the session. 12 young leaders from Year 10 helped to set up and lead the various activities which were designed to challenge the children’s agility, balance and coordination. The leaders provided support and encouragement to the primary school children creating activities that were both fun and challenging. It was a lively and enjoyable session providing a great opportunity for students from our school to practise their leadership skills. There was very positive feedback from both the children and accompanying staff from the Primary School.

Netball
Our School Games Organiser has set up a very successful Netball Club for juniors, seniors and adults based in Richmond. Through the club, she has purchased netball posts and bibs to enable us to start our own coaching which will take place on Thursday lunchtimes on the netball courts.

Pilates
Post 16 students are to be offered Pilates sessions on Tuesday lunchtimes in the Drama studio. This is a great opportunity to experience an alternative exercise discipline. Pilates exercises improve posture, muscle tone, core strength, flexibility and help to relieve tension.

Sporting Achievements

One of our students began lifesaving activities through the Rookie Lifeguard programme at Bedale Leisure Centre at the end of 2009. During 2011 she competed in a number of lifesaving competitions, including the National Lifesaving Championships (partnered with Esther Everitt). This year she is part of a group of three who areattending two national competitions – the Welsh National Lifesaving Championships (Swansea) in February, and the British Stillwater Championships (Cardiff) in April. The skill level required to take part in these is considerable and she, along with the other two, is attending additional training in Blyth every Sunday eve-
ning.

Area X Country
Well done to three students who ran for the Area in county trials earlier this month in very testing conditions – a special pat on the back must go to [name redacted] who came 9th in North Yorkshire which should hopefully ensure he gets to represent his county in the near future.

Swimming
Our swimmers had their annual outing to the area swimming gala at Catterick Leisure Centre in February. For some, it was their first experience of competitive swimming. However, our students took that in their stride and all performed to the best of their abilities and did themselves and the school proud.