Wyvern College and St Edmund’s School are two happy and successful schools working together across one large, vibrant learning campus. Whilst the two schools remain legally separate, we operate together sharing excellent facilities and a committed, highly skilled and enthusiastic team of staff.
It has been a busy 18 months since the co-location of the two schools, but we are so proud of the successes that both schools have had through the process. We are so appreciative of the ongoing support of the schools and indeed, of the co-location project, we receive from our parents, families, governers, Trust partners and the local community.
Outcomes for students
GCSE results at both schools last year were the best they have ever been and make us the top performing non-selective school in the area! (Based on Provisional DFE data)
Students at Wyvern achieved a Progress 8 score of +0.12. This is a brilliant achievement and is significantly above any score Wyvern students have achieved before and above the national average for all, but way above the national average for boys too!
Students at St Edmund’s achieved a Progress 8 score of +0.5. This is deemed to be ‘significantly above’ the national average and above the average progress scores for girls nationally too. Although St Edmund’s students always achieved well, this is the highest this has ever been at St Edmund’s.
As a whole learning campus, the combined calculation is a Progress 8 score of +0.43 and places us third in the South Wiltshire league tables, just below the two grammar schools (as you would expect, given that they are selective schools) – in other words, we are the top performing mixed comprehensive in Wiltshire!
Attendance at both schools is in line with the national average. This is great news because attendance directly impacts GCSE performance and is one of the reasons we believe students do so well here – because they come to school regularly. Well done to all students for this excellent improvement. The Wyvern College attendance scores over the past few years have risen dramatically and St Edmund’s students’ attendance has also improved further this year.
Behaviour at both schools is very good. Whilst we have a firm behaviour policy in place, this does not mean that behaviour is poor – it means our expectations are high. All schools have some students who need to improve their behaviour in order to learn well but here, lessons are focused on learning and teachers can wholly focus on teaching. When we walk the school, as we do often, we don’t see the kind of behaviour that exists in other schools. It is normal, even in very good schools for teachers to pause teaching because of chatting or a lack of focus, or rudeness. We don’t have that often here, and very poor behaviour like fighting or extreme rudeness to staff is incredibly rare and dealt with very seriously.
Since we introduced the new behaviour policy in September 2018, fixed term exclusions have dropped dramatically, there have been zero permanent exclusions and, since September 2019, we have seen a huge fall in the numbers of students going to isolation compared to last year.
Safety of students
This is our biggest priority. Over the past 18 months we have made some key changes to the site to further improve the safety of students. You will have noticed that we now have fencing running across the front of the site between the buildings, creating a ‘secure line’ for students. We ask students not to be outside of the secure line at any point during the school day. This is because we would otherwise have a very open site with various entrances into the school.
We have added a speed hump, a road crossing and a place away from the road and car park for students to wait for buses – this is all about keeping our students safe. We also now have many more staff on duty at lunchtimes and students are only allowed to be in supervised areas – we are still hoping to be successful in our bid for money to build a larger dining room and will find out in April this year.
We have an excellent pastoral team which supports the safeguarding and pastoral needs of all students (we are in the process of expanding the team and have a job advert out at the moment!). All students now have access to a pastoral staff member for their year group (as well as their tutor and head of year), a trained full time counsellor, The Bridge mentoring and all of our staff at WSE are trained on safeguarding and student wellbeing to a high level.
Teaching and Learning
We know that teaching here is excellent because students do very well – we are very lucky, given the teaching recruitment crisis, to be as well stocked as we are! Whilst schools always have a few staffing issues and changes throughout the year, we are blessed with a team of very dedicated, incredibly hard-working staff who genuinely want the very best for students. We have a set of teaching expectations along with the teaching standards that we use for discussion and performance management of teachers. In particular, we have a strong focus on assessment whereby each assessment is marked thoroughly and followed up with an intensive DIRT session (Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time) which addresses individual and group misconceptions.
Numbers on Roll
Numbers of students applying for places at Wyvern St Edmund’s is at an all-time high. St Edmund’s has been full for a number of years and for the first time, this year; Wyvern took a full cohort of Year 7 students, growing by 70 students in one year. This shows just how far the message that WSE is a great place to be has spread.
The School Vision
At WSE, the vision is that “Every student becomes the very best version of themselves”. This means it is our job as a school to help them achieve their best academically, but arguably more importantly, understand who they are and what their talents and passions are. As church schools, we believe that everyone has a gift and that it is our responsibility to help find it. That is why we are so proud of our ever-increasing Enrichment offer – it allows students to try things that they would maybe never have had the opportunity to otherwise. We want our students to go out and change the world for the better, whether that be the scientist who finds the cure for cancer or leading an England team to World Cup victory, or filling the O2 as a performance artist – we want to help them discover who they are. Please encourage your child to take part in enrichment – we would hope that every child in year 7-9 is doing one a week! If you need to talk to us about transport home, or help with costs, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – we would never want finance or transport worries to get in the way…
Whilst the two schools remain legally separate and will receive two separate Ofsted inspections, we will, next year, begin to consult with all our stakeholders on whether we should legally become one school in the future. This will be a lengthy and full process allowing all students, parents and staff to have a voice on the way forward. For now, we remain as we are, but will develop a new uniform, to ensure equality for all. This will be compulsory only for the new Year 7 intake initially and optional for everyone else.
We welcome all contact and feedback from parents and families– it is the partnership between us that will help your children become the best version of themselves.