Wellingborough school vows to keep improving after recent successes

Steve Elliott receiving the secondary school of the year award from Kate Dent of Teach Northamptonshire
Steve Elliott receiving the secondary school of the year award from Kate Dent of Teach Northamptonshire

A headteacher has spoken of his pride after a series of succeses including the school’s first ever good rating from Ofsted.

An Ofsted inspection in October 2016 saw Wrenn Academy in Wellingborough labelled inadequate.

Wrenn Academy in Wellingborough

Wrenn Academy in Wellingborough

But less than two years on, the school has been told it is good - its first good from Ofsted in the history of Wrenn - and it recently won secondary school of the year at the county education awards run by the Northants Telegraph.

Headteacher Steve Elliott is incredibly proud of everyone at the school for their achievements and commitment to improve further.

Looking back at the past two years, Mr Elliott said: “It was not where we wanted to be and we still had a lot of work to do.

“But we made sure we drove forward the curriculum and we got the good recognition from Ofsted that was thoroughly deserved.”
And he added: “I was very proud when we got the education award presented by Teach Northamptonshire.”

The school has been under close scrutiny in recent times, with four or five visits from Ofsted during this period.

But Mr Elliott is so proud of the ‘real resilience’ shown by staff and pupils in coming through this, especially given that they have now been judged as good against the most up-to-date framework for Ofsted inspectors.

And while the headteacher is keen to celebrate the school’s successes with staff, pupils and parents, he also wants the wider community to share their good news.

He said: “We want people from all over the UK to say let’s have a look at the school, the one which is the most improved school in the whole of Northamptonshire.

“This is a school that’s on the way up, but it is also a school that’s not going to sit on its laurels.

“In the next three years, we are going to be in the top 10 per cent of schools in the UK.”

Wrenn has two students heading off to Cambridge University and they are seeing more potential applications from students wanting to go to Oxbridge or universities in the Russell Group.

But students’ achievements are not limited to the classroom.

Year 7 pupils entered the RAF Bloodhound ‘Race for Line’ competition earlier this year.

Two of their teams took the top two spots, putting them through to the regional final at RAF Wittering where they went on to secure 18th and 23rd place.

With the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, they have students who will be doing their gold award for the first time.

And more pupils are signing up to experiences offered by the school such as the annual ski trip and the summer school run by the National Citizen Service.

A Masterchef competition held in conjunction with Wellingborough Hatton Rotary Club was well supported with 80 entries and the winner going on to represent the Rotary Club in the regional finals.

The club has also asked the school to redesign its Santa sleigh which they take around the streets of Wellingborough at Christmas.

With the Creative Education Trust set to take over the school from the Education Trust Fellowship, Mr Elliott is looking forward to the future and building on their ethos, which is ‘Proud to be Wrenn’.

He said: “I am proud to be Wrenn more than I have ever been.

“And the pupils are saying they are proud to be Wrenn.

“Parents are committed to the school and they can see their children are going to get a great education here.”

The school’s values include ‘never give up’ and ‘nothing is impossible’, both of which appear to have been proven and recognised recently.

And Mr Elliott concluded: “Wrenn is a true community school that cares about the students.

“The heart of the school is the children, it’s what they achieve outside the classroom as well as in the classroom.”

To read more about the school’s recent Ofsted report, click here