Welcome and thank you for your interest in our school. We want to help every pupil choose the right mix of elements that will send them into the world able and qualified to play their full part. Those of us who work at Wallingford know we are very lucky to serve a community of young people who are typically very well-brought up, conscientious and ambitious. This is a cheerful and welcoming place. Pupils have fun, work hard and are thoughtful.
We believe there is much to be said for a long, happy childhood in the hands of caring adults. Young people here are so positive and confident partly because they are both respected and respectful. Excellent behaviour attracts a high calibre of teacher.
The curriculum at Wallingford is a reflection of our belief that the best preparation for adult life is to have as much fun and variety within lessons as possible, while succeeding in a traditional range of subjects that people recognise and value. There is a very strong focus on Teaching and Learning at Wallingford, with an emphasis upon variety.
Students are no longer passive receivers of chalk and talk from the front of the classroom. Visitors will find young people investigating, exploring, discussing, debating, recording, filming, planning, drafting and presenting. Teachers use the good behaviour at the school as a basis for challenging all students to learn for themselves and from each other.
Everyone benefits from having some exercise in their life. There is also a great deal to be learned about oneself from team games and individual physical challenges. While sport is not a great love for everyone we aim to ensure each student is involved to a degree that is healthy for their development. Those for whom it is a central passion have a chance to explore their talent as far as possible.
Our history as a Sports Specialist College enabled us to establish a Junior Sports Leaders Programme that enables young people to develop their skills as leaders within the context of sport, whatever their level of prowess.
There are real advantages to a good 11-18 school. The Sixth Form get to develop in an environment they know and feel part of and younger students benefit from having the senior students around school. It is also easier to attract teachers keen to teach their subject to the highest level.
It is our aim to send students out into the world not only equipped with excellent academic credentials, but also with the interpersonal, social and intellectual skills to contribute as positive members of society. Our Sixth Form is a happy place that combines great fun with impressive results.
We aim to help everyone reach their potential, regardless of any extra challenges they might face. The vast majority of students are able to access the curriculum from the outset and find it easy to cope with learning without support. The teachers and teaching assistants in our SEN department are highly experienced at directing their expertise and resources to help individual students. Some students are supported in class while others are withdrawn for extra help with elements of learning.
This can be for a short period to help someone catch up. The team has an excellent record of diagnosing and supporting young people who struggle with literacy. The aim is to ensure they are able to meet the challenges of GCSE courses by year 10.
The vigour and variety of life outside the classroom are both a cause and a symptom of a happy and thriving community at Wallingford. The school is very active after lessons with a number of clubs and teacher-led sessions. Staff here are happy to support visits run by their colleagues, which makes an extensive extra-curricular programme possible.
Some subjects require field work studies, some foreign trips and some trips are just for fun. We are involved in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme. The school also runs expeditions; to date to Borneo and Nicaragua with plans for the next one to be in India.
Those of us who work at Wallingford feel lucky to have such a healthy cross-section of the community to teach. Part of this good fortune is the privilege of working with many academically gifted children. They often challenge us but love learning and so enhance the joy of our vocation.
At times, though, it is easy to take for granted the interests of youngsters who progress relatively easily without attracting attention. This strikes us as wrong and we are keen to avoid it at our school. The programme has had time, money and expertise directed towards it.