Head Girl’s Welcome
Hello, my name is Haifa Bhatti and I’d like to warmly welcome you to our Sixth Form here at Woodford County High School.
Having joined the school in Year 7, I proudly assumed the title of a “Woodford Girl” and embraced our school’s unique sense of community. I believe this sense of belonging underpins the success of our students. Commending each other’s strengths and supporting one another in overcoming our weaknesses has proven to be rooted in our values. The wealth of tradition at Woodford only strengthens this social bond, with events such as School Birthday and House Drama embodying our unity and bringing us together to celebrate the achievements of our community, whilst showcasing the talents of individuals. This spirit of togetherness, instilled through our powerful ethos, has nurtured a confidence and resilience in me that is reflected in the character of girls across the school.
Complementing this tradition, the school has always been at the forefront of adapting to contemporary innovations and challenges. There has been no better demonstration of this than Woodford’s swift adoption of remote teaching methods due to school closures, in response to the spread of COVID-19. Technologies such as Microsoft Teams, Snap Revise and Satchel One have been utilised efficiently in order to deliver remote, interactive lessons without disruption or compromise. In parallel, the independence and resilience that Woodford has instilled in students has allowed us to navigate these novel circumstances with confidence.
Woodford’s focus on producing academically-strong and well-rounded young women, equipped to fulfil leadership roles in our future society, distinguishes us as truly remarkable. Expert teaching coupled with outstanding pastoral care ensures that every student is able to reach her full potential, overcome hurdles and work ambitiously towards pursuing the career of her choice.
Here at the Sixth Form, we aim to combat the underrepresentation of women in male-dominated sectors of employment such as STEM. Numerous programmes to raise awareness of this, and other imbalances in society, are run throughout the school. These aim to empower us, impact our confidence and nurture our aspirations as equals when we eventually enter the workforce and wider society. Surmounting these challenges, whilst building on our strengths, is facilitated by a number of leadership opportunities offered within the Sixth Form. These include taking on roles as Form Prefects, members of the ‘Silver Badge’ team, Subject Mentors, Sports Captains and House Captains.
A balanced curriculum develops varying student interests with expert teaching also available in more niche subjects, for instance, Latin. The opportunity to complete an EPQ alongside A-level subjects encourages students to actively pursue interests and increase independence. This process also enables the development of key skills including academic research and efficient time management, which have certainly benefited me whilst studying from home during the pandemic. Frequent career-focused events such as talks from external speakers and alumni as well as the annual Career Fair inspire students to independently manage their own career paths and widen their view of the multitude of options available into and beyond higher education. Woodford’s commendable reputation in this area, illustrated by the successes of former students, is one of many factors which adds to the appeal of our Sixth Form.
Sixth Formers are encouraged to extend their support to the wider community through the Year 12 Voluntary Service Programme, whereby they commit to benefiting local causes, simultaneously gaining invaluable personal experience. Students can also take the lead in organising charity and fundraising events to increase awareness of both local and global causes. For example, events this year have seen our school helping our neighbours at Haven House Children’s Hospice and running events in aid of Sport Relief.
As students, we flourish due to Woodford’s strong academic emphasis always ensuring that we take care of our mental and physical health. The Peer Support team and School Counsellors provide emotional support to students who may struggle under various pressures. Regular assemblies and tutorials teach us the importance of remaining self-motivated and resilient when faced with adversity. The Year 12 Enrichment programme also offers a wide range of sporting and creative opportunities to supplement our academic skill sets. This high standard of pastoral care has continued to be proactively delivered throughout the global pandemic, for example, with support provided through regular one-to-one tutorials, live meditation events on Microsoft Teams and wellbeing resources.
Following this year’s centenary celebrations, we look forward to continue honouring the legacies left by previous Head Girls and students. With an unwavering resolve and heightened resilience, we begin our school’s second century under unprecedented circumstances, endeavouring to imprint countless new legacies for future generations of Woodford girls. Our school is exceptional and it is no surprise that Woodford produces happy, self-assured and resilient women, ready for life beyond our community.