Thank you for your interest in Aldworth School and I am very pleased to introduce myself as the new headteacher. Aldworth School has had a challenging few years, but I am pleased to be leading the team who are renewing the school and reviving its good standing in the local community.
Alongside Aldworth School, I am also headteacher of Court Moor School in Fleet, ‘considered one of the best schools in Hampshire’ according to the Evening Standard. I was initially seconded to the school in January 2020 to help the school whilst they were between headteachers, but I soon realised that it wasn’t that easy to walk away! When the governors were unable to appoint a suitable candidate, they asked if I would be interested in guiding the school through the next phase of its improvement and I jumped at the chance. By then I had seen the huge potential of Aldworth and believed I could make it a truly great school.
When I first arrived at Aldworth I did what you would normally do, read the Ofsted report, looked at the results and came to some lazy conclusions about students with poor attitudes and weak teaching: I could not have been more wrong. Whilst there were clearly a number of issues around some students – which were rapidly addressed – what I found was a body of great students and strong teachers just in need of clear leadership and belief in what they could achieve. I implemented a number of changes and was overwhelmed with the support from parents and the will in the community to make Aldworth the school it should be.
If we’re honest, the school has had a declining reputation for a few years and the latest Ofsted report designated it requires improvement which I think was a fair judgement of where the school was when I arrived. However, I am confident that the school is moving in a very positive direction and, through the hard work of staff, buy-in from parents and students alongside the developing collaboration with Court Moor, I have no doubt that we will secure a ‘good’ in our next Ofsted. My strapline for the next few years is to put the worth back into Aldworth – we will make it a school to be truly proud of.
Whilst there are numerous aspects of the school where there needs to be some improvement, we also aspire for Aldworth to be County-leading in the area of careers and the world of work (WoW). Whether your child aspires to be a medic or a mechanic, we are working in partnership with local business organisations to make it the best school in the County for creating work-ready students. We are developing work-based programmes for students so, for example, those on our lawyers’ programme will receive talks from people working in the sector, visit universities and join mock court competitions; we aim to provide an ever-expanding list of programmes for a range of sectors. Alongside these specific skills we are establishing the ‘Calibre’ scheme which teaches and recognises the soft skills that are important to all employees. Our aim is to produce students that have not only the grades they need for their chosen career, but the attributes and qualities to make them the stand-out candidates. We are very excited about this strand of our school and will be launching once the COVID situation is over.
To signal the exciting changes ahead, we have updated our logo and our strapline is now ‘Building Bright Futures’. Through our partnership with Court Moor I want to bring the same high expectations and standards that I have at Court Moor to Aldworth, because all children deserve a school where they feel both valued as an individual and embraced as a part of a wider community. All children deserve a school where they are challenged and encouraged to become who they want to be and to discover they can achieve in areas they never thought possible. Every child deserves a school which gives them the aspiration, experience and qualifications to build their own bright future. Aldworth will be that school.