Message from Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body
The Christmas period is now fully over and we have completed another successful Autumn Term where 91% of the groups achieved at least a good behaviour judgement and 91% of pupils are working at least at expected progress in English, 89% in Maths and 95% in Science. This secures a judgement of OUTSTANDING progress (from their starting points). The school has continued to grow with 72 pupils now on roll and a growing reputation with other Local Authorities – being their choice for placing pupils with SEMH needs.
We have provided staff, pupils, parents/carers significant time to digest the recommendations from the Section 5 Ofsted Inspection, November 2018. I appreciate that the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but there were many positives within the report and it highlighted the school’s positives around pupil progress and attainment within English and Maths; that pupils feel safe and that the school is a calm and purposeful environment. The pastoral care for both parents / carers and pupils is a high priority and this all culminates in all of our year 11 pupils (2018 leavers) still being within education, training and employment (which is in line with Queen Mary’s Grammar School).
The Leadership Team at the school alongside the Governing Body are working hard to secure a robust Post Ofsted Action Plan and look forward to implementing these changes.
What does this mean to parents/carers and pupils of Elmwood?
- Pupils receive a high quality curriculum that prepares them for the future.
- A committed and dedicated team who are passionate about improving life opportunities for pupils.
- Pupils are achieving at least expected progress from baseline entry into school, which is regularly celebrated.
What we will do in the future?
- Create more opportunities for staff to demonstrate their leadership abilities.
- Greater scrutiny of pupil work.
- More focus on pupils showing they have acted on feedback from staff.
- Greater curriculum opportunities for those who are more able, gifted or talented within English, Maths and Science.
- Stretch and challenge for all pupils within lessons.
We look forward to working with staff, pupils, parents/carers and external agencies, to achieve our goals and an improved Ofsted judgement in the future.
Callum, one of our Year 11 pupils, has now completed his 75 mile bike ride challenge in aid of Embrace (Child Victims of Crime https://embracecvoc.org.uk) . Callum has been busy peddling away during morning activity time, social time and during his ASDAN Wider Key Skills lessons to help complete the challenge. We are pleased to confirm that Callum completed the ride on Monday 7th January 2019 and he is now busy collecting donation money from parents, pupils, staff and other local special schools who have supported him. Once the final amount is known we will let you know. Calum would like to thank everyone who did sponsor him and stated that he found it easier than he thought as he was able to pace himself. Well done Callum, we are very proud of what you have achieved.
We warmly welcomed Ofsted on Wednesday 14th November 2018 when they visited Elmwood School as part of their inspection process. Chris Field, was the Lead Inspector, accompanied by Sarah Ashley. We hope you enjoyed your visit and look forward to receiving our report in due course.
On Thursday 8th November 2018 Mr P Hinsley and Mr A Bullock enjoyed a day with their family and loved ones at Worcester Cathedral to receive their PGCE and QTS. This was an extremely special day for both concerned but specifically Mr P Hinsley who joined Elmwood School as a Teaching Assistant 5 years ago and hasn’t looked back and continued to work hard to achieve his qualification to teach. Mr A Bullock made such an impact as a trainee teacher back in April-May 2018 that we couldn’t see his passion and talent go elsewhere so we were pleased to include him as part of Elmwood’s every growing team of dedicated staff. We hope you enjoyed the day and we are all extremely proud of your achievements over the last year. Well done from your Elmwood Family.
A big thank you to everyone who came along and supported the annual Macmillan world’s largest coffee morning on Friday 28th September. Parents/Carers, staff, pupils and governors all helped to raise £145.76 for this worthwhile cause whilst enjoying delicious cakes and refreshments. Well done to all pupils and staff who helped to make the morning a great success. Congratulations to Bev Bailey, Family Welfare Officer and Habib, Year 11 pupil, who were the lucky winners of the cake competitions.
A huge congratulations to all Year 11’s who received their GCSE’s on 23rd August 2018. The work that you have completed during your time with us will have prepared you for the next stage of your educational journey. This is the year of “firsts” :-
· First pupil to achieve 9 GCSE’s at a good pass (or above).
· First time pupils have sat the OCR higher maths paper.
· First time pupils have attempted the GCSE Combined Science in 1 year.
· First time pupils have completed a portfolio in GCSE Environmental Land Based Studies to the best of their ability.
· First time a pupil has been accepted into a local 6th form centre.
How these results don’t define you they do prove to yourself that you do have the ability, desire and determination to overcome barriers to achieve your potential. For many of you, you have achieved above expected progress from your baseline assessment into the school which is testament to you listening and acting on advice from the hard working and dedicated staff at Elmwood.
Celebrate these results with friends and family and don’t forget to thank those who have made this a reality.
Enjoy the rest of the holidays and if you need anything don’t hesitate to get in touch with either Mr Cross or Mrs Bailey.
Our examination overview is within the Attainment and Progress tab.
Our big event took place on Thursday 19th July and was a fantastic success. The PE department organised a programme of events that surpassed all previous years and was hugely supported by parents and carers. With superb weather, strawberries and cream and coffee/hot chocolate supplied by Starbucks in Walsall and finally a free ice cream for everyone courtesy of Bugsy’s Super Whippy, who could ask for more. Pupils were presented with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals on our new podium with the house cup being won by team Murray; congratulations to all members on this achievement.
On Wednesday 27th June Elmwood School organised an event based on food from around the World which included the preparation and cooking of USA chocolate brownies, British Eton mess, Italian brushetta, Polish canapes, Indian samosas, Thai chicken skewers plus many more Asian foods.
It gave our Year 10 BTEC pupils the opportunity to prepare and cook onion bhajis with a local restaurant owner and his chefs Jay Shireen and Labz from Royal Shireens in Aldridge. The BTEC students also mentored some of our younger Year 7 pupils passing on valuable skills on how to cook and stay safe.
Special guests were the Mayor and Mayoress of Walsall, the taxi drivers and escorts who bring our pupils into school safely every day and many training providers that have links with our school including our Careers Adviser and recently Co-opted Governor, Rita Martin.
Feedback from guests include comments of “It was amazing”, “Brilliant especially Tyrone and Callum who were very polite”, “It was perfect”, Really good atmosphere, pupils are a credit to the school” and “Amazing set up couldn’t have ask for more”.
A big thank you to Ms Shaw, Food Technology Teacher and everyone else who made the event such a fantastic success.
Staff wellbeing has always been a significant component to our School’s ethos and we have always invested in staff development as the staff are our greatest asset. This year staff wellbeing has been a whole school priority and this year’s staff training has contributed towards the work around the Wellbeing Award for Schools – promoting wellbeing and mental health and acknowledgement within our re-accreditation of Gold status for Investors In People. We also welcomed Tracy Brandwood, new Chair of Governors, to join in the fun and who was able to witness for herself how important staff wellbeing is taken into consideration at Elmwood.
In addition to this we wanted to celebrate the work of some inspirational women and organisations as part of recognition of International Women’s Month (March 2018). So we welcomed Sara Morris (Barlaston Women’s Institute, http://barlastonheronswi.webs.com/ ) and Margaret Thompson (Birmingham Back to Backs, National Trust, https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/birmingham-back-to-backs ) ably assisted by her colleague to deliver some age old techniques and applications using a variety of natural materials to produce some fantastic pieces of work that staff will feel able to support our own pupils during out and about lessons in the coming years (and keep for themselves as mementoes of the fantastic day).
Sara’s enthusiasm and creative flair enabled staff to experience different colours and textures in their very own A4 masterpiece of wet felting (which will be carefully created into wall banners to enhance the School’s environment; so keep your eyes open you never know when or where they will appear!) and Margaret took us through the history and application of rag rugging by making Christmas tree decorations – which will further enhance fund raising at our school fetes.This was delivered authentically both from the materials used and her dress code, staff felt they were in the terraced houses in the heart of Birmingham. Some staff even dressed especially for the occasion.
Our very own Mr Whittaker (SLE for Outdoor Learning) treated us to some nail art, using different coloured threads to create some truly spectacular pieces of work that will create “awe” for the pupils when they see them. The awe and fear for staff was generated by Mr Holmes when he demonstrated and enabled staff to safely and effectively participate in axe throwing, using angel stars and single blade tomahawks – some even progressed to the double bladed axe!
This was all delivered at Blymhill and Weston Village hall https://www.blymhill-westonvillagehall.co.uk/ with a picturesque landscape of local farms and village tranquillity, which really enabled staff to focus on the learning at hand and do so in a truly mindful and “Elmwood way”. The facilities enabled all facilitators to deliver outstanding sessions and the kitchen was well equipped to enable Mr Cross and special invited quest to cook up a storm of pulled pork and slow cooked beef baps with accompaniments and a special salmon, okra and rice dish for Leon and a nice vegan burger for Jenna.
I am sure you can see from the gallery that a lot of fun was had by all and initial feedback is very positive about the experience and all are looking forward to supporting the pupils next year.