It was with great excitement that I started my role as principal of Whitelands Academy on Monday 6th January. The prospect of building a brand-new school in state-of-the-art facilities is a fantastic challenge for any member of the educational community.
As part of the build up to the opening of Whitelands, I will be writing a weekly blog to update future families and staff about our progress and any exciting developments. I will also be discussing finer points of our educational planning in order to share our key Whitelands’ philosophy. In this blog, I would like to share with you my key educational principles and how we are shaping the future of Whitelands.
I have been in education for 17 years and have enjoyed every minute. As a parent and a teacher, I fundamentally believe that academic achievement should be a basic standard of any school. After all, the shared objective of any parent and teacher is the success of their child. For this, though, to be truly successful, a school must focus holistically on their students. Our role as teachers is to nurture our students’ talents and develop the knowledge and skills they require to flourish in the modern world. For this, a school must provide the best academic values, whilst creating a strong moral purpose focused on the whole student.
In practice at Whitelands, this will be brought to life by the following principles:
- Outstanding learning happens when there are outstanding relationships.
- We will offer a broad and challenging curriculum that focuses on the knowledge, skills, and values that will shape futures.
- Our academic subjects will be supplemented by an exciting enrichment timetable, giving our students the chance to experience life beyond the classroom.
- Excellent pastoral care and wellbeing will equip our students with the mental fortitude to thrive.
- Our key values of teamwork, community, respect, courage, opportunity, and integrity will be developed in and out of lessons, creating adults who have the ability to achieve anything.
Our unique situation of building a school from scratch means that these principles can be planned for, monitored, and delivered across the five years. Our world-class facilities will also be designed around delivering these core principles. Therefore, by joining us at Whitelands, you are truly joining a school where expectations are high, aspirations are cultivated, and the whole child is developed.
We are now beginning our first phase of recruitment. We will start this by appointing our leadership team, heads of core subjects, and our SENCO. Interest is already high, and we will be looking for exceptional staff who share our Whitelands philosophy.
I will be contacting the community soon about chances to meet me at a ‘Meet the Principal’ evening and also a drop-in clinic to meet me one to one.
The Whitelands building continues to grow daily and is now looking truly impressive. This photo shows the development just before Christmas. The sports hall has now been externally cladded and the other blocks will follow.
In the meantime, I hope you are as excited about Whitelands as I and The White Horse Federation are. If you have any questions regarding Whitelands, please use the contact section of the website.