Woodford County High School is an 11 – 18 community grammar school for girls. It is the only one in the London Borough of Redbridge. It is housed in a building of great character, the former manor of Highams built in 1768, and has extensive and beautiful grounds designed by Humphrey Repton. The school opened in 1919.
ADMISSION TO THE SCHOOL
In September 2016 our Y7 intake increased from 4 forms of 30 students to 6 forms of 30 students. All girls below Year 11 are admitted through the Local Authority’s selection procedure. You will need to register your daughter for the test by the end of June when she is in Year 5. See Year 7 Application Procedure and the Redbridge website for more details.
STARTING AT WOODFORD
New Year 7 girls spend a day with us in the summer term. On this occasion they meet their form tutor and other members of their form. Girls remain in these groupings until Year 11. This gives them stability and a sense of identity. The form tutor takes a keen interest in each girl and liaises with home and other staff.
In addition every girl is a member of one of the School’s Houses which include girls from Year 7 to 13. This helps to foster a sense of community. The House system provides opportunities for leadership and for girls to express their individual talents.
We believe in close co-operation between home and school. Reports are sent home each term. We arrange a parents’ meeting annually for each year group, with an appointments system for individual teachers and parents. General meetings are held in addition for Year 7 New Intake Parents and for Year 11 Parents on Sixth Form Courses. Contact by telephone or letter with the form tutor is welcomed by the school; similarly, if we think there is a problem, we will contact you. Concerns will usually be resolved by the form tutor or subject teacher. More serious matters may be raised with the Head of Department, Head of Year, Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or the Headteacher.
Six parents serve as School Governors; their names and telephone numbers are available to all other parents. The Governing Body takes a strategic role, with the Headteacher, in the running of the school.
We have a Parents’ and Friends’ Association to which all parents belong. The Association’s activities are mainly fund-raising, and the school owes a great deal to the successful efforts of the parents who organise social events which are both enjoyable and highly lucrative! We welcome the support and involvement of all parents.
The curriculum is broad and well balanced and meets statutory requirements. We believe that every girl should have the opportunity to develop her creative and intellectual powers to the full. We do not encourage early specialisation.
KEY STAGE 3
In the first three years, all girls study English, Mathematics, Science, Art, French, a second language (German or Latin), Geography, History, Computing, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education and Technology. All subjects are taught in form groups except for Design Technology which is taught in smaller groups for reasons of health and safety.
KEY STAGE 4
In Years 10 and 11, all pupils study GCSE Courses in: English, English Literature, Mathematics, Science (Chemistry / Biology / Physics), a modern foreign language, a Humanity (History or Geography) and two other options. Options are offered from subjects studied in Years 7 – 9 and girls may start Classical Civilisation. All pupils have lessons in Physical Education and Religious Studies.
Our core curriculum makes every GCSE student eligible for the new English Baccalaureate qualification. (Students gaining A* to C grades in English, Maths, at least two sciences, a Language and a Humanity are deemed to have achieved this “badged” qualification.)
All girls currently undertake work experience during KS4.
Homework is an opportunity for girls to investigate subjects further and take increasing responsibility for their own studies. We expect homework to be carefully and regularly done. The time spent will vary from about an hour per night in Year 7 to upwards of two hours in Year 11. We regard parental support as essential in establishing good working habits.
Woodford has a Special Needs policy which is in line with the Code of Practice. The school believes that all girls should be given opportunities which will enable each individual to reach her full potential and to make the best use of all her talents. In a school of our size it is possible to give each girl the individual attention she needs.
We believe that courtesy, common sense and consideration for others are the basis of a happy community life. Our Home – School agreement, which girls and parents are invited to sign, is designed to reflect this. Discipline is firm but reasonable. We encourage the girls to take a pride in their appearance and expect them to wear full school uniform except in the Sixth Form. Where a girl persistently misbehaves, she may be required to stay for a school detention.
Pupils follow a Personal, Social and Health and Citizenship Education programme which at various stages includes careers, personal development and study skills and is designed to be relevant to the stage of maturity the girls have reached. All girls are made aware of the school’s Anti-Bullying policy which is available on our website.
Girls are encouraged to talk to staff about issues which concern them, whether academic or pastoral. A number of Sixth Form pupils are trained as Peer Supporters to provide additional support to girls who would find it helpful to talk to a senior pupil. The school is visited regularly by an Education Welfare Officer and an Educational Psychologist among other professionals. Matters relating to Child Protection are dealt with according to the Borough’s procedures.
Matters relating to Sex Education are taught within a moral framework and issues may arise in a variety of subject areas. The RSHE Policy is available on our website.
Every girl has a Religious Studies lesson, based on the Redbridge agreed syllabus, on which wide consultation took place. It was written by representatives drawn from sixteen faith communities within the Borough. The principal aim is to help the girls to achieve a knowledge and understanding of religious and human experiences, insights, beliefs and practices, so that they are able to continue in, or come to, their own beliefs and respect the right of other people to hold beliefs different from their own.
The pattern of assemblies includes full school assemblies of a non-denominational nature, as well as presentations by form groups.
We acknowledge the right of parents to withdraw their daughters from Religious Education lessons, RSHE lessons and school assemblies. However, we hope that no one will feel the need to do so. In all cases, requests should be made in writing to the Headteacher.
SPORT – MUSIC – ARTS
The school has a well equipped Sports Hall and dance studio and extensive grounds including rounders pitches, netball courts and a grass running track – where sport can be enjoyed by all. Girls take part in fitness, athletics, badminton, dance, gymnastics, netball, outdoor adventurous activities, rounders and volleyball. The inter-house Drama Competition is an annual highlight. There are also inter-house netball and rounders competitions.
Our trophy cabinet reflects our success in Borough competitions. We provide county and, occasionally, England players.
The school has a strong musical tradition and many talented pupils. Large numbers are involved in individual lessons for cello, clarinet, flute, guitar, drums, piano, trumpet, violin and singing. There are two orchestras – senior and junior – choirs, small instrumental groups and a jazz band. There are regular concerts and recitals at which the girls are encouraged to perform both in groups as ensembles and as soloists. Girls provide music for numerous events and many participate in the Redbridge Symphony orchestra and related ensembles. All students in Year 8 learn how to play a brass instrument, in our widening Participation Project.
The dramatic life of the school is very rich. In addition to the annual Summer Production, we hold a House Drama Festival and a Pantomime.
Visual stimulus helps girls to think about and develop their ideas. Personal expression is valued and the growth of creativity encouraged. Departments provide displays throughout the school and the artwork is always spectacular.
Woodford was the first school in Redbridge to gain the “Investor in Careers” Award, recognising the high quality of careers education and guidance (CEG) provided here. The aim is to prepare students for their future working lives, by helping them with decision making, making them aware of all the opportunities available to them, and developing their abilities, skills and aptitudes through a planned Careers Education Programme.
Students are introduced to careers education and guidance (CEG) from Year 7. In Year 9 guidance is offered regarding GCSE option choices through individual consultation with subject staff and a programme of units within PSHE lessons. Students receive individual guidance regarding post – 16 options in Year 11 and also participate in work experience.
In Year 12, girls consider the options open to them following their Advanced Level studies. Most girls go on to higher education at University whilst some take up employment and further training. All girls are encouraged to set their sights on challenging and fulfilling careers and are given excellent support throughout from the school’s Careers Co-ordinator, local advisers and from tutors and subject teachers. Girls have access to a wide range of resources specialised computer software and internet sites.
BEYOND THE CURRICULUM
Not all learning takes place in the classroom. We believe in the value of relating studies to the outside world. Field work and visits out of school feature regularly in the school calendar. There are many visits to places in London including Rochester, Greenwich and the Royal Albert Hall.
Visits abroad are a regular feature of school life. Recent destinations have included Washington, Iceland, Greece and Italy.
It is the school’s policy to ask for voluntary contributions for activities relating to the curriculum and those which occur in school time. Staff also offer trips to a wide variety of venues outside the school day when the relevant costs for non-curricular activities must be borne by the parents. If the parent/guardian of a pupil is in receipt of income support or similar, charges in respect of board and lodging, material and activities for curriculum activities outside school hours may be subsidised.
There are many lunch time and after school clubs and societies. No girl need ever be bored! There is plenty to do, whether it be Cookery, Dance, Drama, Sport, Music or Science.
The school is a caring one and pupils support charities which they select themselves. The charity work is co-ordinated through the House system. Fund raising events organised by the Houses and individual forms occur regularly.
THE SIXTH FORM
The Sixth Form is a transitional stage between school and higher education or employment. It is the gateway to the outside world. The girls learn to take more responsibility for themselves and others.
All students are allocated a tutor and receive a regular tutorial in which their progress is discussed, careers advice is given and university applications are considered.
At Advanced Level, girls study either 4 A Levels or 3 A Levels and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).
Girls receive careful advice on their choice of subjects. Many combinations of Arts, Humanities and Science subjects are possible. The timetable is arranged differently each year to accommodate these.
In addition to Advanced Level studies there is a programme of enrichment activities. Visiting speakers bring an added dimension to Year 12 and girls also take part in Community Service.
Sixth Formers are fully involved in the life of the school and there are many opportunities for them to develop leadership and management skills.
Online details, together with application forms, are available for girls wishing to enter the school at this level.