New year rings in new chapter for village college in Ely
- Credit: Witchford Village College
The start of a new year always brings with it a set of fresh beginnings.
Although on-site teaching and learning is off the cards for most following the recent school closures, we’re excited to get stuck back into teaching and learning, allowing all of our students to realise their potential.
Furthermore, there were some exciting developments for our school last term which we plan to continue to build on in 2021.
Eastern Learning Alliance
A milestone development for our community at the start of the academic year was becoming part of Eastern Learning Alliance (ELA).
ELA is a small, purposeful family of schools, each with its own distinct identity which, combined, offer more choice than any other group of schools, empowering every student to pursue their dreams and passions.
For Witchford Village College, being part of ELA allows us to connect with a strong coalition of schools, opening up a greater resource and enabling our college to thrive through improvements and future successes.
Our community has also grown through the fantastic network of teachers and staff across the Trust who we have collaborated with and learnt from about best practice, schemes of learning and much more.
By improving teaching and learning standards throughout the college, we are working hard to enthuse students, engage them in their learning and encourage intellectual challenge.
Commitment to students
Part of this promise to challenge our students intellectually and to make sure that they are pushing themselves within lessons, is our commitment to ensuring that each student is known, recognised and supported as an individual throughout the school.
This not only means in the academic sense but also in their personal pastoral requirements as well.
We cater for individual needs at Witchford Village College – whether it is a specific academic interest, a passion for a musical instrument or sport, special educational needs or positive progress for our pupil premium students.
Giving our students the opportunity to study a broad range of subjects is something that we are extremely passionate about.
Last term, for the first time, we increased Key Stage 3 to three years, offering more variety of subjects for our students, building their confidence in their own abilities and knowledge, propelling them to a future that they deserve.
We want students to be intellectually curious and demonstrate a thirst for knowledge. By allowing them to truly get into the depths of the subjects that they feel passionate about, we can do just that.
Adapting to Covid-19 challenges
Alongside the online learning and ‘new normal’ style of education that we are currently facing, I understand that things for everyone are not back to what we are most comfortable with.
With this in mind, and as we enter another national lockdown, our main priority remains to ensure that our staff and students feel safe and that they are provided with the highest quality education.
I remain extremely impressed by how our entire school community has dealt with the challenges that were thrown at them over the past nine months; they have remained resilient and persevered in the face of adversity, and I have no doubt that it will be the same this term.
I am also proud of how the site team has adapted to ensure that the school is the safest possible place for everyone when students are on site.
Last term, Witchford Village College was one of 1,000 schools that was selected to have an inspection from HM Inspector of Health and Safety to look at how we were managing Health and Safety in relation to COVID-19 at that time.
For the inspection, we met with the inspector to talk through our day-to-day processes and risk assessment, followed by a site walk so that he could see how this looks in practice.
I was delighted to learn that the visit went really well and that the inspector didn’t have a single recommendation or area for improvement for us here at the school; a credit to everybody for their hard work.
The new term
Of course, this new term will be a challenge and rather different than usual.
Regardless of circumstances, we want to offer all of our students a meaningful educational experience, ensuring that they are ready for life in the modern world.
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