Praise for students as improved school looks to the future

jpco-10-7-13 Oakwood School receives award (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-10-7-13 Oakwood School receives award (Pic by Jon Rigby)

A headteacher has heaped praise on students, staff and parents after her school was recognised for its vastly improved exam results.

One year after coming out of special measures, Oakwood School, in Horley, has been placed in the top 20 per cent of most improved schools in the country when it comes to GCSE results.

The recognition came from SSAT (The Schools Network), an independent organisation that works with almost 2,000 schools across the country.

Sue Child, headteacher at Oakwood, said that work to improve the school had been going on for several years, leading to a 26 per cent increase in students earning five A*-C grades.

She also described the methods used to address criticism aimed at the school by Ofsted, including student behaviour.

Mrs Child added: “Student leadership has been central to improvements as they have been more involved in having a say in how we run our school.

“Students are proud to wear their Oakwood uniform and care for each other.

“We are a Restorative Approach school, which values relationships and we strive to ensure harmony. Students volunteer to be trained as mediators in order that they are able to support others. Our values are all centred around ‘respect’ and the behaviour of students as a result has greatly improved.”

The quality of teaching was another area which the school had worked hard to imrpove.

Mrs Child said: “Our teachers are highly skilled and the curriculum is exciting.

“High expectations are now the norm.”

Following a very successful year - and with this year’s exam result due in a few weeks - Mrs Child was keen to look to the future.

Describing Oakwood as “a happy school” which celebrated success, she pointed out that more than 600 students were to be rewarded this week at five awards ceremonies.

She added: “Our vision is ‘Achieving Excellence Together’ which represents our high expectations with the emphasis on partnerships.

“We are looking forward to the future with excitement.