|A New School Year at.... Brentside|
Will be celebrating 75 years serving the community
The third in a series of articles finding out more about our local schools and asking the Headteachers about their plans for the future.
Brentside High School
Brentside High School opened in September 1937 as a comprehensive which aimed to serve the local community.
Arwel Jones took over as Headmaster in 2003 and has presided over eight straight years of academic improvement, an achievement which this year saw the Ofsted inspectors deem Brentside either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ in every single category.
In 2010 Mr Jones was selected as the Teaching Awards Secondary Headteacher of the Year for London and the South East. He puts this accolade down to the collective hard work of staff and students alike.
1) What are the school’s goals for this year? Are there any reasons why this is a particularly significant year for the school?
Following a visit by an Ofsted inspection team in June the school was recognised as being “a good school with many outstanding features”. This year we will build on the findings of the inspection team and ensure that all aspects rated as ‘outstanding’ remain so, and all aspects of are our work rated as ‘good’ get even better!
2012 is also very special one at Brentside High School. The school opened in 1937 so when the Olympics come to London our school will celebrate its seventy fifth anniversary.
2) Where would you like to see the school in five years time?
This question is very easy. For schools rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, as Brentside was in June, Ofsted inspectors are due to return after five years. Therefore, given the rapid progress the school has made in recent years, we fully expect that when the inspectors return our school will be rated ‘Outstanding’ in all that we do. I was lucky enough to arrive the year before major renovation work on many school buildings which gave us the opportunity to rebrand the school. Seeing the improvements that have been made over the last eight years I truly believe that the only way is up.
3) How much of a role does the school have in the local community?
The school is committed to developing partnerships which will enhance the educational experience of all our students and therefore improve their career prospects. Our philosophy is underpinned by the fact that every child only gets one chance of a high quality education. We work closely with our feeder primary schools to ensure a smooth transition to high school, with partner high schools to develop enrichment opportunities across Ealing and with the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) to support other schools in London (and further afield) that may be having difficult issues at a particular time. We are seen within Ealing, London and nationally as a centre of the educational excellence and one that is prepared to help others get better. However, more than anything, we are committed to the best possible comprehensive education for local young people and their families.
4) How does the school measure success?
This one is getting harder each year. When I joined Brentside in September 2003 I took over a school that was seen by many as in challenging circumstances. Examination outcomes were low and the school buildings were very poor. The move into our new £22 million buildings in 2004 was the start of an amazing journey of school improvement that has seen our examination outcomes at the end of Key Stage 4 (16 year olds) improve each and every year! During this period we have won many awards and accolades including, in 2010, being identified as one of the 5 most improved schools in London over the previous three years.
Success in the sixth form is also very good. In recent years we have had 100% pass rates at A level with these students going on to prestigious universities including Oxford and Cambridge. Of course university is not the right place for everyone but we believe it is a healthy aspiration which teaches students that level of research and study which they need to maximise their potential. I would also like to add one little known fact that, since the introduction of ‘Value Added’ scores for sixth form students three years ago, Brentside has been the highest performing Ealing state school or college for all three years.
We also regularly ask our students and their parents what they think of us. They can often be the harshest critics for any school. The feedback we receive is usually very positive and any constructive criticism is used to make our school even better. To conclude here I will use another quote from our recent Ofsted inspection as I firmly believe it underpins what being a student at Brentside is really all about: “We were particularly impressed with how well you all get on with one another and show great respect for one another's languages, religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds.”
5) If you could sum up the school in three words, what would they be?
Learning, no excuses
05 October 2011