School in the spolight: Royds Hall
Jan 20 2009 by Hazel Ettienne, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Behind the scenes at a specialist science college
Education reporter HAZEL ETTIENNE takes a look behind the scenes at Royds Hall Specialist Science College in Paddock
CITIZENSHIP and community are important words at Royds Hall Specialist Science College.
Its new mission statement is for students to ASPIRE to good and great things, LEARN about life and education and ACHIEVE the very best results they can.
And the strong relationships between students, staff, families and the wider community ensure all can attain this aim.
Melanie Williams, who has been head teacher of the Paddock school for 18 months, is delighted that when Ofsted inspectors visited they reported on the strength of the school community.
They said: “All students are highly valued as individuals. The pastoral care provided for them is a strength of the school and has some outstanding features.
“There is a warm and inclusive atmosphere within the school. Mutual respect is evident, resulting in mature and constructive relationships. The school is a cohesive community.”
One parent added to this by saying “There’s a great atmosphere and real energy within the school. My child loves it and is flourishing.”
Inspectors graded the school as good overall with outstanding features. After achieving its best ever GCSE results this summer – 59.4% grade A* to C – Ms Williams is determined to move the school even further forward.
She said: “The report is a testament to the commitment of all the teaching staff and students.
“The students are fantastic, but the staff are the most committed and positive in their approach to the job which I have ever worked with.
“We are determined to achieve ‘outstanding’ at our next inspection,” she said.
Ms Williams is always striving to move the school forward and is continuously stressing the citizenship and community feel in the school with several new initiatives which aim to create harmony among this diverse school community.
This is no mean feat when students represent 26 countries around the globe and speak 20 languages in addition to English.
A new “vertical tutoring system” has created mixed-age form groups of about 18 students.
This successfully creates friendship groups across the whole age range of the school, peer mentoring and more effective academic monitoring.
Older students also help with extra support for younger students such as the “reading leaders scheme.”