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School Profile

 

Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy is a popular, over-subscribed 11 – 19 school in Handsworth, with an annual intake of 160 girls.  The academy’s motto is “Aspiring for Excellence.” Our priority is to provide a high-class education where each child is able to develop her intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual skills to prepare her for a successful adult life. Visual and Performing Arts are a very strong feature of the academy, providing the girls with many opportunities to enrich their education through the wide range of arts programmes available. Currently there are 860 students on roll. The academy has high expectations of both its staff and students. Its achievements and aspirations are:

  • The academy was designated by Ofsted in May 2014 as “Outstanding.”
  • Summer 2013 66% of students gained 5+ A* - C grades at GCSE including English and Maths and 98% of students achieved 5+ A* - C grades at GCSE.
  • At A Level, the pass rate was 96% with 100% of the students who made UCAS applications gaining a place at the university of their choice. University entrance has grown considerably in the last two years, with over 40 students now going on into higher education in each year.
  • Our student attendance rate is over 95%.
  • The school has a well-established teacher training programme with the Titan SCITT partnership.
  • CEIAG Quality Mark for excellent practice in careers advice and guidance.
  • All faculties have good access to ICT facilities including interactive whiteboards in the majority of classrooms.
  • We have excellent teachers and support staff who know their students well.
  • Our enthusiastic and well-behaved students aspire to achieve their best.
  • We have very supportive parents and Governors.
  • We are fully staffed with specialist teachers in all subject areas.
  • We are all insistent, consistent and persistent in our drive to improve our standards!

Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy “provides an exceptionally high quality of education, which results in students making outstanding progress.” (Ofsted May 2014)

In KS3, the students are setted for English, Maths, Science and Technology. They are taught in bands according to their ability for History, Geography, ICT, French, Drama, R.E., Art, P.E., Music and PSHE.

In KS4, all students are entered for GCSE examinations in English, Maths and Science. There is a range of other GCSE and BTEC subjects available to choose from in the option blocks.

We have a very comprehensive careers education programme which provides advice and guidance to all year groups. Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy was the first school in Birmingham to achieve the CEIAG Quality Mark in January 2014.

The Sixth Form now has over 180 students currently in years 12, 13 and 14. The Sixth Form curriculum provides courses with pathways to further and higher education. The academy works in collaboration with local schools and colleges thus providing a wider range of opportunities Post-16.

“The Sixth Form is outstanding and the 16 t0 19 study programmes meet students’ needs and aspirations well.” (Ofsted May 2014)

There is a very strong focus on teaching and learning, homework, marking and assessment. Support is offered to students with Special Educational Needs including those with English as an additional language, by using intensive one-to-one support and teaching assistants in the classroom.

 “All groups of students make the same fast progress irrespective of their staring points or backgrounds.” (Ofsted May 2014)

The academy’s Student Welfare structure is based on a year system with a Head of Year and team of tutors looking after the students in each year group. A Head of Key Stage oversees progress that the students are making as well as dealing with some behaviour issues. There is also an allocated Student Support Manager for each key stage. Form groups are mixed ability. Great emphasis is placed upon the role of form tutors in caring for students’ general welfare. Discipline within the school is firm but fair with many visitors commenting on the purposeful working environment and positive demeanour of the students.

 “Students thrive because the academy is a very caring, inclusive community with excellent support systems. Students say they feel safe.” (Ofsted May 2014)

 We offer a wide range of strategies to support students and therefore have a very low exclusion rate.

 “Students are very proud of their academy. They display exemplary attitudes to learning and their behaviour is outstanding.” (Ofsted May 2014)

We place great emphasis on enrichment activities to support the curriculum and the social and intellectual development of our students. A wide range of opportunities are available throughout the year, including trips within the UK and abroad, residential visits and external visitors working with the students. Visual and Performing Arts provide an extensive range of experiences in the arts and is a real strength of the academy.

The academy places great emphasis on its staff development programme. As part of the Titan Partnership, the school regularly trains teachers on the SCITT and PGCE programmes, as well as providing other professional development opportunities for all staff.

“Weekly two-hour sessions enable teachers and managers to develop their expertise through workshops and other training that are linked to their targets for improvement.” (Ofsted May 2014)

We are not complacent at Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy.  Gaining an Outstanding judgement in our latest Ofsted inspection gives much cause for celebration, but improvement is always possible and we seek to be exceptional in our practice.  We have one clear aim in mind: to “Aspire for Excellence” so that every student achieves success in her education and in her examinations, thus preparing herself for a happy adult life with choice about her future.

“The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the students is promoted extremely effectively.” (Ofsted May 2014)

June 2014