May '12 Newsletter - Latest news from the Headteacher

Welcome to our May newsletter, keeping you in touch with everything to do with Wapping High School. April and May have been busy months and there is a great deal of exciting news to share.

Main School site on Commercial Road

Work on the site will begin soon. We are currently working with our architects, ECE Architecture and contractors Wilmott Dixon on the design of the building. Everything is on course for the building refurbishment to be complete and fitted out with the best facilities and ICT for the summer of 2013. More details of the design of the building will be given in forthcoming issues of this newsletter and there will be opportunities to visit the site as soon as the building starts to take shape later in the year.

Temporary sites for September 2012

Our main base will be at St George-in-the-East in part of the lower floor, half of which is currently used by Green Gables Nursery. This is already converted for education use and we will move in July to get it fitted out for school use. We will also have a number of additional sites nearby to ensure that students can have a full curriculum. More details of the additional sites will follow in the next issue.

Admissions policy

The few remaining places for September 2012 are now being offering on a 'first come first served' basis. 

In response to the public consultation we are adjusting our admissions policy for the future. The main change is that we will be giving higher priority to siblings of current students. We feel that in our commitment to families and community it is important to try harder to guarantee that brothers and sisters can be at school together where they want to. The new policy will be available on our website shortly.

Staff recruitment

This is proceeding well. Caron Clifford has been appointed as Deputy Head. Caron is already working at that level and is a very experienced English specialist with a proven track record in leading outstanding teaching across the curriculum. Recruitment for other staff is also going well. Our vision for personalised learning is attracting high calibre applicants. Specialist subject teachers will be interviewed next week. All our advertised posts have been attracting substantial numbers of really strong applicants.

Transition Day on Friday 6th July

On Friday 6th July all Year 6 children in Tower Hamlets will spend the day at their new secondary school. We will have a full day of activities and orientation for all our September students on this day. We will use the building and grounds of St George-in-the-East as our base for the day. A registration pack will be sent to all students and their parents with details about the day and all the information you need to prepare for starting at Wapping High School in September.

Visits to Primary School Headteachers

During the past few weeks headteacher Paul Guénault has been visiting headteachers at local Primary Schools to introduce himself and give them all the information they need about our new school. This has been a really positive experience we expect it to lead to strong partnerships for the future years.

Your questions answered

A few points to clarify that have arisen in the last month:

  • We are a community school and will work in partnership with all Tower Hamlets schools and the Local Authority (LA)

  • Our funding is determined in the same way as that of other community schools but is allocated straight to the school instead of the LA

  • We are a mixed, multi-cultural, non-denominational school in which all cultures and beliefs will be shared and respected, and our diversity will be a curriculum strength

  • We will follow all the National Curriculum guidelines for a full and balanced curriculum in KS3 (Years 7 – 9)

  • Students will study a full range of GCSE courses in KS4 with access to some vocational equivalents for those who want to choose that sort of applied pathway

  • Our specialism of Enterprise and Innovation will underpin the whole curriculum, as will ICT, Learning & Thinking Skills and Personal Development

Drop-in sessions

After half term the Headteacher will be running a number of drop-in surgeries for families interested in a place at Wapping High School in September. Keep checking the website for more details.