A message from our Headteacher – Patsy Weighill
Having held our ‘formal’ Open Evening in June, I wanted to share with potential parents/carers and the whole community what Bilton School is about and what we can offer. Firstly, I want potential parents/carers to know that we are always open; we are open in the sense that we are very happy to show parents/carers and prospective students around during the school day so that you can see what we are about and what our school is like on a normal day – Mandy Jesson, our Parent/Carer Liaison Officer hosts guided tours with individual families or groups at all times of the year. We are also ‘open’ in the sense that we are enormously proud of our school and give clear and honest information to help parents/carers and their child(ren) make what is a very important decision about which secondary school to choose. One of the things that makes me really proud of Bilton is that we are constantly reviewing what we do and looking at ways to improve even further.
We are proud of our school because we provide opportunities for all of the students who attend Bilton to achieve excellent outcomes; from the students who achieved 14 A/A* grades at GCSE level this year and who have achieved straight A grades in the first year of having our own Sixth Form, to the students who have made enormous progress despite personal or learning difficulties. We are a truly inclusive school, welcoming all of the students and families who commit to our vision and their learning. We are also proud of our students’ achievements that cannot always be ‘measured’ in league tables but impact on the ethos and culture of the school. Many of these can be seen elsewhere on the website; sporting successes, musical and artistic talents, community spirit, charity work and most of all kindness to and care for others.
‘in all year groups, students are making good progress. They are given challenging targets and the majority meet or exceed them because the academy checks regularly and thoroughly that to student is slipping behind’. (Ofsted)
We are positive about our future because we have high expectations of our students and insist on only the highest standards in their learning and behaviour. We have made enormous progress as a school by working with staff, parents/carers and our students to reward achievement and support students who may be finding it difficult to meet our high standards. The school is a warm, friendly place where as Ofsted commented:
‘lessons are hardly ever disturbed by poor behaviour. Good behaviour regularly makes a positive contribution to the atmosphere and progress in lessons’.
We are confident in our potential because we know our students and our staff and know just how brilliant they are and can be. Our students demonstrate every day how much they are prepared to invest in their future and how committed they are to the school. Our teachers are at the forefront of research and development of learning and teaching, with many beginning Masters Degrees or engaging in Action Research. Ofsted identified this as a strength of the school:
‘An increasing proportion (of teaching) is outstanding. As a result, standards are rising rapidly’.
We Believe in Bilton because we know we are making a difference to the life-chances of our young people. Our first Year 13 cohort left this year, with many moving on to University and becoming the first in their family to do so; the gap between what our students who are Pupil Premium and other students has reduced by a further 10% this year (Nationally there is a 27% gap, at Bilton this is 19%); our most able students exceed their expected progress levels by a considerable margin and the gap between boys’ and girls’ achievement is much lower than National and has reduced by over 10% in the last few years.
A sample of the comments from students in the Sixth Form, which were submitted anonymously as part of our yearly questionnaire shows the commitment and belief of our students. I think it is only right to leave the last words to them:
‘I have really enjoyed my time at Bilton School. It has both a supportive and diligent atmosphere and continues to go from strength to strength’
‘The Sixth Form is great and I am personally enjoying it’.
‘I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of such a good school. I will never hesitate in telling parents to send their children here. THANK YOU!’
Learning and Teaching are at the center of what we do. We value our students and staff, support and develop them and create opportunities for creativity and taking risks. We are determined to continue to exceed our very high expectations.
Our purpose is reflected in our Aims Statement created by students, staff, parents and governors of the school: