Posted on Friday 20th December 2019
We have reached the end of our longest term of the year and this is the last blog of 2019. It has been a 15 week term packed full of opportunities and we leave at Christmas with a positive Christmassy final week. We have had a week full of festive fun when lessons ceased on Tuesday. Christmas activities were held on Wednesday, and Praise Assemblies on Thursday for each year group where we celebrated excellent achievement, progress and attendance with prizes and recognition for our many excellent students in each year group. I have a list of all of our winners, but it is too long to include here!
Werneth School prides itself on the work we do in partnership with the local community. This week that work was recognised by St Chad’s Church in Romiley who very kindly donated a number of food vouchers and boxes of chocolates to be distributed amongst some of our more vulnerable families. This came as a massive surprise to those families who were incredibly grateful for the additional support at this time of year. We would like to take this opportunity to formally thank all those involved at St Chad’s Church for this very kind donation and their ongoing support to Werneth School.
Our students have also been involved in charity work over recent weeks – young people from all years have been taking part in the Reverse Advent Calendar for Stockport Foodbank during the month of December. We have received hundreds of items which will help many members of the local community through the fantastic work done at St Mark's Church, Bredbury. Thank you to all our parents and families for their support in this great cause
Eight Year 11 students explored life within the NHS at Manchester Metropolitan University on Tuesday. They learnt about the working life of a radiographer, an oncology research nurse, a social worker, a midwife, an operating theatre professional and many more. They were involved in practical workshops, including experiencing the life of a severely disabled person and also constructing the human skeleton under timed conditions! The students were a credit to the school and they were able to see first hand their potential career choices.
Our students have been telling us in Student Voice sessions with senior leaders that Maths lessons have really improved this year, as Mr Brighton has introduced a new way of working. Our Maths department rewarded one hundred and twenty students for either excellent effort or achievement across this term. Students came and enjoyed treats and a film in the main hall. All these students have shown an excellent attitude to their studies in Maths.
Meanwhile Mr Brighton in Science tells me that - as a reward for excellent progress - the Science department took twenty six pupils from across our year groups bowling and for a meal. The students enjoyed their time at the Hollywood Bowl, however our year elevens were beaten by an excellent bowling performance from Miss Wicks. She was unfortunately less than gracious in her victory! All of the students were nominated to attend by their individual teachers and they have consistently illustrated excellence in their Science lessons throughout the term. Mr Brighton commented that “we are committed to rewarding pupils who consistently illustrate our core values and further praise events will take place throughout the academic year.”
Congratulations to the Year 10 Christmas Cake Winners …. Megan Adie; Eloise Edwards; Jordan Hamblet; Oliver Helps; Annelise Fisher; Ellie Chatburn; Christina Likai; Nichole Swindell-Mather; Nile McPherson
It was lovely to attend the Christmas Concert on Wednesday evening and see so many of our students from Year 7 to Year 11 performing musically in a variety of different ensembles, bands and individually. It’s always nice to see so many of our talented young people performing. It was also great to award certificates to so many of our students who have passed their musical external examinations in a range of musical instruments. As a follow up, I invited our “Seventh Octave” Year 7 choir to sing to all of their teachers on Friday morning, and we were also treated to a rendition of Slade’s “Merry Christmas Everybody” from our Year 9 boy band “Silver Lining”.
A small number of students are missing key pieces of uniform as we reach the end of term – shoes and ties being the main areas to work on. We understand the cost of Christmas may prohibit buying new uniform, but we would ask parents to check on uniform ready for our return in January.
As always at the end of term, we have a number of staff leaving us, and I would like to thank them for their service to school.
Miss McSheffrey leaves Werneth School after an incredible 22 years’ service in our school to take up a position at The Kingsway School. She has been a veteran of countless school productions at Werneth, has held a vast array of positions in her time at the school and most recently has overseen excellent results in her teaching of Drama.
Miss Cherrington has been our Year 7 Inclusion Manager, joining the school in 2010. Caroline will be a well-known figure to many parents and students, who have experienced her energy and enthusiasm in the countless activities organised during the transition process from primary to secondary. She leaves for a promotion at East Manchester Academy.
Finally, Mr Jones has been somewhat of a local celebrity recently, with his appointment as football manager with Stockport Town FC and their subsequent signing of Robbie Savage. As Year Inclusion Manager and Reflection Lead, he has worked closely with the mentoring of many students. He leaves us to take up his football management role full time.
Werneth will be fully staffed as ever when we return in January. Replacements have already been appointed and I will introduce them in January. A reminder that we return on Monday 6th January at 8.40am. Have a relaxing Christmas and we wish you every happiness for the new year.
Posted on Friday 13th December 2019
I’d like to start this week with a very positive press release about our school, and the excellent work undertaken to ensure that we are inclusive as we possibly can be:
Werneth School has been awarded a GOLD Young Carers Award: this recognises their work in ensuring that students don’t miss out on an education because they are young carers. The Young Carers in Schools programme helps primary and secondary schools improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through the Young Carers in Schools Award. Mr Conroy, headteacher, said of the award: “I am really proud of all the staff and students at Werneth School. Everyone has worked hard to develop a range of supporting strategies for our Young Carers. These ensure that our Young Carers have the best opportunity to excel at school. It is an incredible achievement to have received this very prestigious award” Young carers are responsible for emotional, practical or physical care for a parent, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, mental health issue or substance misuse issue. Research reveals that there are around 700,000 young carers in England, equivalent to one in 12 school children. Many of these young people are unrecognised and unsupported. Research carried out by Carers Trust and The Children's Society shows that, on average, young carers miss or cut short 48 school days a year and often have lower levels of self-confidence, mental wellbeing and significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level, because of their caring role. Ofsted's Common Inspection Framework states that inspectors will look at how well schools support Young Carers. While some schools are doing this really well, others struggle and this causes real problems for Young Carers. Our feedback states that “To achieve their Gold Award Werneth School has demonstrated that it is actively working with young carers and their families to reduce the caring roles of these young people. Young carers are included in school improvement plans, and are considered at every level of the school.” One of the current Young Carers at Werneth said “HART is a really kind and supportive place for us to go in school. I especially enjoy the monthly meetings and activities as they have all helped me focus on my lessons.” The programme is open to all schools in England and you can find our more information by visiting www.youngcarersinschools.com
In other news:
• On Thursday 5th December students from across all year groups performed a showcase of festive dance numbers to a jam packed audience in the school hall. Our Winter Wonderland certainly kicked off the festive season and the audience were amazed by some spectacular performances. Well done to all those students who were involved with Winter Wonderland 2019.
• The Art Department were pleased to inform me today that two of Werneth's year 11 students - Macie and Katie - attended Clarendon College for an interview for the Photography Level 3 BTEC course earlier this week. This course only has 15 places and is at the highest level. When the interview panel looked at the coursework sketchbooks they told both girls there was no need for an interview, their work was of such a high standard that they were guaranteed a place on the spot. The college said this is the best work they had seen ever at GCSE level. Well done Macie and Katie!
• Year 10 and our Fast Track Year 9 (completing the GCSE in Photography in one year) took part in the big portraits photoshoot on 2 & 3rd December. They were fortunate to work with two Manchester photographers Paul Wolfgang and Ash Cox who created some incredible portraits in the style of artists and photographers for the students. Our thanks go to both the photographers and the Make-up artists from Manchester College - a very busy, productive and enjoyable experience for all and the results are amazing.
• • The Manchester United Foundation held its annual Year 7 Christmas Party at Old Trafford on Tuesday. 5 Year 7 students who have demonstrated excellence this term were drawn to represent Werneth School. The event included a football freestyler, music, party food buffet, goodie bag each, special appearances from Fred the Red, and Michael Carrick, who generously provided each of the students with a pair of football boots. The students represented Werneth exceptionally and all had a great time.
It is our final week in school next week and it is a full week in school uniform every day. Students will be working for much of the week, and then finishing with some Christmas activities and Reward Assemblies. Friday will finish at 12pm, and buses have been booked.
Can I take this opportunity to thank all families for your support of Werneth School this term, and wish everyone an enjoyable Christmas break. School returns at 8.40am on Monday 6th January 2020.
Enjoy the weekend!
Posted on Friday 29th November 2019
Sometimes, I don’t know how we manage to fit in the range of experiences that we offer within Werneth School every week. Here’s a flavour of this week’s news ….
I’d like to start by commending the work of our pastoral team, as the school has been awarded with another reward that shows our commitment to being an inclusive school …. It’s very, very unusual for a school to receive the Gold Young Carers in Schools Award and we are rightly proud of our achievement. We have over 50 students at Werneth who care for a member of their family and therefore benefit from some additional support in school: this is primarily through our HART facility. Congratulations to all of the staff and students who helped us to achieve this excellent recognition for the great work that goes on this area of school life.
I was delighted to congratulate some of our high-flying lower school students today for an outstanding academic achievement. Recently a large number of our students completed the Bebras Challenge. The Bebras challenges are made up of a set of short problems called Bebras tasks and are delivered online. Organised by Oxford University, the tasks are fun, engaging and based on problems that Computer Scientists often meet and enjoy solving. I am very pleased to report that Werneth School made up 11% of Cheshire's participants and we also had many of our students completing the challenge with exceptional results, gaining Distinctions. In fact, a total of 10 students from Werneth scored in the Top 10% in the country. Mrs Birds was delighted to tell me of their achievements, and I met them today to congratulate them. These students have now been invited to complete the second challenge in March. We hope that these pupils will do well and be able to attend the final at Oxford University. I am sure you will all agree that we already have achieved impressive results with this being our first year taking part.
This week, students across year 7 - 10 began a brand new programme of study at Werneth School called LORIC. This is made up of the 5 attributes that employers have said they want to see young people develop as future employees alongside their qualifications. They are Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative, Communication. Students will spend a half term looking at each different attribute during form time activities, and have kick starters this week with Leadership. Miss Hibbert will be looking out for some LORIC superstars who will also have the opportunity to gain a national accreditation in LORIC.
On Saturday 23rd November a group of year 7 & 8 dance students represented Werneth School at the Christmas light switch on in Romiley. The girls performed 3 festive numbers to a cheerful audience from the local community. Romiley traders were very grateful for our support in their event and wanted to pass on their thanks to the students and the school for continuing to support their community event. Well done to all the girls involved! If anyone missed out on the festivities and wants a chance to catch some Christmas fun, then come along to our 'Winter Wonderland' dance showcase in the school hall on Thursday 5th December at 6pm.
There will be a “Big Photoshoot” in school on Monday and Tuesday for the year 10 Photography GCSE students and the Fast Track Year 9 Photography GCSE students. Two days working with make-up artists and the famous photographer Paul Wolfgang who has his portraits in the National Portrait Gallery in London. This year we have another accomplished Photographer Ash who took the main charity photographs for the overflowing dam disaster in Whaley Bridge this summer.
22 Year 10 students went on a trip to a Theatre in North Manchester based on the novel 'A Christmas Carol'. They enjoyed 'escaping' from 8 mini rooms in which they had to solve puzzles using a variety of different skills. All students were an absolute asset to the school and the Theatre manager crediting our students on their 'exemplary attitude and enthusiasm'.
Well done to our Year 11 students for displaying exemplary focus on their GCSE Mock Examinations this week: it’s a tough time for them but they are working hard. Mrs Oakes also asked me to congratulate the Year 11 Catering groups for performing so well in their GCSE Practical Examinations last week.
Well done to Fabio Kibonda in Year 10 who has just signed a contract at Preston North End Football Club. A superstar now and in the future!
Finally, a reminder that students are not in school next Friday, 6 th December for staff training.
Enjoy the weekend!
Posted on Friday 22nd November 2019
As ever, school life continued at a hectic pace this week with so many positive events in and around school. It’s not over yet, as I know many of our students are participating in tomorrow’s switch on of the Christmas lights in Romiley.
20 year 7 students took part this week in an Art and Dance workshop to celebrate the recent Hindu festival of lights 'Diwali'. The students got to design their very own tea light holder using vibrant paint and gemstones before heading down to a dance workshop where they learnt the basic steps of Bollywood and put them into a routine. They then shared their experiences with a small audience from year 8. It was a fabulous day and the students loved to learn about the festival. Well done to all those involved from Miss Hibbert and Miss Meaburn.
Mrs Aspinall’s Year 10 Food Technology group did their pastry work assessment this week and did not disappoint ! They demonstrated some beautiful, creative and highly skilled finished pies that showed how far they have come since their first pastry lesson in their skill practicals in year 9. Congratulations to all! - I hope they tasted as fabulous as they looked!
Massive congratulations to Reid Whitelaw in Year 10 who has been selected for the Great Britain American Football Team. He was selected for the Under 17s squad after his impressive trials last month. Reid is also currently playing for Manchester Titans. This is a great accolade for Reid. We look forward to hearing about his progress with his new squad.
It's been a busy week for the Life Learning Department with two events taking place. On Wednesday Mrs Smith-O'Connell had the pleasure of taking 60 Year 9 pupils to visit Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to take part in a "Choices" day. The day encouraged learners to think about the decisions they may make during their education and to consider how their GCSE choices could affect their future. Students took part in a workshop - “campus quest” - and had the opportunity to speak with current university students from a variety of degree courses including Law, Medicine, Graphic Design, Game Design and Photography.
Y9 also saw a drama performance from 2Engage Theatre Company. ‘Choices’ is a play that explores the different choices available to pupils when choosing their GCSE Options. The production aimed to raise awareness of choices available to year 9 students at key stage 4, encourage individuals to make well informed, realistic decisions about their next steps. It allows students to progress to the most suitable further education pathway when they leave school. Here's what some of the students had to say about the trip: "I learnt a lot about higher education in a fun and engaging way." "It was really inspirational to talk to students studying at university about the choices they made at school."
Year 9 represented the school excellently and their conduct was outstanding.
The second event was "Maths Club" with 30 Year 9 pupils. We had visitors from MMU to deliver a half-day session designed to improve students’ confidence, motivation and attainment in Maths, and help them to prepare for their GCSE assessments. They used a challenge-based, practical and very interactive format, giving students the opportunity to explore difficult topics in a new and interesting way. All students thoroughly enjoyed the event.
It’s Year 11 mock examination fortnight starting next week. This means our young people in Year 11 will have heightened states of anxiety, and we thank parents and carers in advance for helping them with the stress this inevitably brings.
Finally, we are currently working to produce a brand new website for our school, and are hopeful that this will go “live” in January. We look forward to that.
Enjoy the weekend!Posted on Friday 15th November 2019
This week started with Mr Barnett and our school musicians proudly providing the music for the Bredbury Remembrance Day Service at the War Memorial on Sunday. Students also laid a wreath on behalf of Werneth School. Mr Barnett commented “Thank you to all the musicians who took part and students both current and past who were involved, especially Joe Eckersley (year 11) who did a great job on the cornet playing the Last Post.”
In school, we created a display in the library of armed forces members of our families, and the school observed a 2 minute silence on Monday at 11am to recognise the 100 th Armistice Day.
This half term is the longest and darkest half term of the year, but it has been very encouraging to see the number of our Year 11 students who have been attending revision sessions after school in preparation for their mock examinations. The mock exams start week commencing 25 th November, and are the first step in checking progress towards those vital examinations in the summer.
We celebrated the achievements of our ex-Year 11s on Thursday evening, and it was lovely to see them again in our Main Hall as well as hear how well they are doing in the pathways that they have chosen. Mr Bennett compered the event with gusto, and was very proud of his students as they were rewarded with their certificates and a number of awards. I was delighted to present the Headteacher’s Award to Rose Warburton for an outstanding effort across all aspects of her school life.
I was pleased to look at some of our attendance figures this week and see that the number of students with regular absence is reducing week on week. This is as a result of the increased communication between our attendance team and parents … it’s good to hear comments that parents are valuing the quick response to attendance matters and – where necessary – the support you need to get young people into school. It’s also encouraging to see the number of students late to school reducing as well over the term. Remember, attendance and punctuality really matter! No-one can afford to miss lesson time. There will be ongoing regular awards in assembly for those students with excellent attendance.
From Sunday 5 January 2020 we are changing the way child dayrider tickets are sold on the bus. Instead of issuing a paper ticket, the ticket will now be loaded on to a Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Igo card.
Which child tickets are affected?
• Manchester child dayrider
What does this mean?
To continue to buy a dayrider ticket, children will need an igo card.
• Children aged 5-10 may not hold an igo card, but will need to apply for a igo card to continue to buy this ticket from the bus driver.
• Children aged 11-16 will already hold an igo card to buy child tickets on the bus.
How can you apply for an igo card?
Visit tfgm.com/igo to download an application form or get a copy of the form from a TfGM Travelshop. To make sure children have an igo card in time for January 2020, it is suggested to apply for an igo card by the end of November. For more information about this change visit our website Stagecoachbus.com
Enjoy the weekend!
Posted on Friday 1st November 2019
I hope everyone enjoyed their half term break, and that you managed to catch the item on “Match of the Day” about Werneth’s community football programme with Manchester United. It has been a very busy first week back after half term!
This half term is one of the longest and darkest in the school year, and attending every day can be a personal challenge for some students. We are in the process of sorting out some attendance reward vouchers for students in each year group who are doing particularly well with their attendance. Attendance continues to be a major focus for us in school and we now have a team of 4 attendance officers to chase up individual issues with attendance. Remember, every day matters. Being here, on time, means you can maximise your chances of success, and your learning.
Wednesday was a focus day for Year 11 on strategies to revise. An external team of specialists came into school to deliver “how to revise” sessions for all of our students, and then a session for our teachers at the end of the day. We then followed this with a session for Year 11 parents. We received positive feedback from everyone on the day, and teachers will be working to embed these successful strategies in their lessons. A reminder that Year 11 already have scheduled revision sessions every week after school. Contact Mrs Lewis or Mr Mujagic in school if you need more details about when these take place.
Part of my role in school is to visit lessons and look at the teaching and learning in every subject area. All senior leaders do this every day at Werneth, but I am also doing this in a focused way this year by conducting in-depth surveys of every subject area, working with other members of the leadership team and subject leaders. Last half term, I conducted this in Mathematics, and this week I have been focusing on English lessons. It was a real pleasure to listen to a large group of our students from Year 8 and Year 10 talk about their learning in English, and I was very impressed with their clear explanations of English lessons: where they were doing well, and how teachers could help them to do even better. Understanding and talking about the process of learning is so important. We also looked in students’ books and talked about the work that they were completing.
Miss Johnson in Science has told me this week about an exciting new Year 7 and 8 Science Club starting next week. It will be every Red Thursday lunch in C64, with the first week being Bonfire Night themed! More information to follow, so keep an eye open for the posters around science.
A reminder of some key upcoming dates this half term:
- Thursday 14th November Class of 2018 Presentation Evening, in school
- Thursday 21st November Year 11 Parent Masterclass 6 – 7pm
- Friday 6th December Students not in school ( Staff training )
- Wednesday 18th December Christmas Concert
- Friday 20th December Break up for Christmas
If you are taking part in bonfire celebrations this weekend, please be careful.
Posted on Friday 11th October 2019
Where does the time go? Six weeks in, and only one week to go until half term. A reminder that we break up next Thursday, 17th October, at 3.10pm. Staff have a training day on Friday. Where possible I like to inform parents about the content of staff training… next week, we will be focusing on developing our curricular plans in every subject area, we will have a training session on improving students’ ownership of their own learning and we will be completing some annual safeguarding training.
We return to school at 8.40am on Monday 28th October 2019, after the half term break. A reminder that punctuality really matters too and students should aim to be arriving by 8.30am at the latest, to ensure they are on time.
It’s been really great this week to see our senior students leading a key event in school, as we have focused on improving young people’s mental health and wellbeing. From bake sales to mindfulness sessions and from photo booths to walls of kindness it’s been a show of support for health and wellbeing. Something we always do so well at Werneth. Students and staff raised hundreds of pounds for mental health charities on Friday as part of our non-uniform “#HelloYellow” day. Well done to everyone involved!
Hannah Beswick, Student Leader for Teaching and Learning commented that she “ coordinated multiple activities and two fund-raising events with the assistance of Jess Hulme and Izzie Johnson. I collaborated with Jess to organise an 'advice drop-in' during 2 lunchtimes. On top of this, I arranged a mural design competition and photo-booth alongside Izzie. My personal goal was to raise as much money for the 'Young Minds' charity. They're an organisation who work to improve mental health among young people. For this, I planned a charity bake sale. In addition to this I scheduled a 'Mellow Yellow' non-uniform day. This was structured for students to wear their cosiest clothing with an accent of yellow for £1. All the money raised will be donated to young minds to support and raise awareness. I am beyond pleased with how successful the week has been and I'm very thankful for the platform I have to do good things and help make a difference.”
Miss Hibbert, staff leader for Student Leadership added “Thank you to all the staff and students on making it such a successful event and well done to the Senior student, student council and student ambassadors for making all the events fantastic!”
Similarly, well done to our Year 10 Tracks group, who – along with Mrs Craven – led our annual MacMillan Coffee morning on Thursday. So many staff and students enjoyed the occasion, and the lovely cakes! Congratulations to our students for hosting such an important event, and a cheque for £182 will be forwarded to MacMillan. Mrs Craven tells me that “teachers came out in force to support our young people, and the students were really proud of themselves.
60 parents of our Year 7 students came into school on Thursday evening for our “Launch to Success” transition event, in order to receive “lessons” from our English, Maths and Science teachers in how to support their children through secondary education. Mr Norman demonstrated the “Show my Homework” package, and Mrs Kennedy presented on how parents can support their child’s progress. Again, we received some pleasing feedback from parents.
This week saw 8 Year 10 students take part in a RAF residential at their training base in Leeming, through the partnership with the MU Foundation. The residential was a 3 day trip, with a host of activities mainly around team work challenges. On Day 1, the students participated in team games, mixing in with students from other schools. They then finished the day off by playing ten pin bowling, again mixing with other MU Foundation students. On Day 2 the students were set a task of building their own glider/aircraft. This included doing some research around different designs, and the benefits of certain designs. Day 3 saw the students looking at different units at the training base, and asking any questions they wanted. The students were lucky enough to see some black fighter Hawk jets. Finally the students presented their glider/aircraft portfolios that they had been putting together to members of the RAF. The students represented themselves excellently over the 3 days, and were a credit to Werneth School.