COMMUNITY really matters at Almondbury High School and Language College.
This is a school which is continually forging links with the community which it serves.
And Ofsted inspectors who visited recently praised and commended students and staff for their outstanding contribution to life outside school and the strength of community cohesion.
Several projects are notable and positive examples of this all accurately fit with the school’s motto of “Together We Achieve.”
The development of a new wildlife and pond area has been made possible after head of geography Liz Hattersley gained a £10,000 grant as the school, which has already gained a bronze award, works towards Eco School Green Flag status.
Liz and her 20-strong team of Eco Warriors from year eight and 11 are working hard to create a haven for wildlife which will be used by the whole community.
A stagnant pond has already been cleared and pathways created which form the foundations for the site which provides habitats for rabbits, foxes, frogs, newts and dragonflies.
Planting will begin soon creating an area for students, staff and the community to enjoy together.
The school’s Youth Action Project has turned movie makers over the past few months with year 10 and 11 media studies GCSE students creating films with Andrew Gledhill of OpenArt.
Funding from the National Lottery’s Awards for All fund has led to the creation of a variety of sophisticated films being made.
The community will be able to view students work tomorrow at the school when their work will preview the blockbuster The Dark Knight and more than 200 guests are expected. Future showings will be screened in April at St Michael’s and St Helen’s Church in the village.
Links between youth and the elderly in the village are strengthened through the school’s long-running Bridge the Gap project.
Most recently the Two Minute Silence project has involved students getting first hand accounts of the war years from senior citizens.
Each Tuesday, elderly community members visit the school for a coffee afternoon and they also join forces for shopping trips and visits to local places of interests or just a chat.
Headteacher Janet Tolley said: “It’s all about breaking down barriers and getting younger and older people to get to know each other to help dispel myths and create positive images.”
Mrs Tolley, who has been headteacher at the school for the past five years, is delighted with Ofsted’s comments. She said: “I am proud to be headteacher here. During that time I have seen sustained hard work and commitment from staff, pupils and parents. It is by working together and supporting each other that we have moved the school from satisfactory to good with outstanding features.”
What the inspectors said: There is an excellent range of opportunities for pupils to take on responsibilities and they make an outstanding contribution to the community inside and outside school.
Relationships between teachers and pupils is good.
The school provides high quality pastoral care for pupils.
Pupils mature well and develop good attitudes towards learning. They enjoy school life and are keen to make the most of their learning opportunities.