The Wallingford School Sixth Form Open Evening took place on Wednesday. It was my first as Headteacher and I was very impressed by it all.
I spoke during the evening about the many strengths of our Sixth Form. The obvious highlight is that last year’s Year 13 cohort achieved 66% A*-B grades – a remarkable achievement and the highest of any state school Sixth Form in Oxfordshire. The staff at the school are really proud of this figure – and rightly so as it is the highest the school has ever achieved and suggest that it is an academic Sixth Form in which a great many students get the very top grades. But what they are perhaps even more proud of is that 100% of grades in the summer were at A*-E; in short, no one studied a course for two years and did not achieve a grade at the end of it. Equally, the value-added score – the progress which students make during their time in the Sixth Form – is again within the top 10% nationally for the fourth successive year.
I like the fact that the A*-E and value-added figures are so important to our staff. Its indicates something about our Sixth Form: that it is inclusive, that students fulfil their potential and that everyone leaves with grades and qualifications which will have currency and be useful to them in their future lives.
I also like the fact that Wallingford Sixth Form is open access. If you want to come and are prepared to work and contribute to being part of something then there is a place here for you. This message reflects the values which run throughout our school.
What I perhaps like most about our Sixth Form is also about our values. As I was about to speak in the Hall on Wednesday there was a slideshow consisting of a series of photographs displayed behind the stage. These photographs did not mention results once. They were images of all the things which our Sixth Form students participate in, the experiences that they have and the opportunities which they grasp. A great Sixth Form is, of course, about excellent results but it is also about a vibrant, tangible ethos and students developing into responsible, informed adults, ready to make a contribution to society – Wallingford School Sixth Form does a pretty good job of that.