Holywell School is a caring, distinctively Christian, community-focussed Church of England School in the Diocese of St Albans. We aim to continue the historic tradition of Church of England Schools by providing a Christian Values-inspired education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. As a school, we are a loving, supportive community with high aspirations for all. We promote inclusion, we are proud to belong and we value each individual. We look after each other, believe in second chances and aim to be the best we can be so we can serve and support the common good.
Our students are polite, industrious, aspirational young people who constantly surprise and delight us with their ideas, creativity and achievements. The staff are superb professionals who create exciting, challenging and inspiring learning experiences to enable students to achieve high standards. This is all delivered within a framework of clear and high expectations. We are consistent, insistent and persistent in our endeavour to secure outstanding standards of behaviour, service, care, appearance and courtesy for all. We also have lots of fun! We are a happy school where everyone has the right to feel safe at all times. We deal with disagreements and issues in a solution-focussed, systematic, supportive and peaceful way, treating others as we wish to be treated. We aspire to being the best we can possibly be and to make a positive difference to our community and beyond.
“Pupils are well behaved and have very positive attitudes to learning. They are proud of their school and they are excellent ambassadors both in and out of the classroom. They value the high quality of teaching, from which they benefit, and they welcome the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities available to them. Pupils’ positive views of the school are shared both by their parents and your staff. An overwhelming majority of staff who completed the Ofsted questionnaire state that they are proud to work at the school, while a very high proportion of parents say that the school is well led and that they would recommend it to others.” (Ofsted, March, 2018)
As a result of this, we are a popular and oversubscribed middle school of 620 students. We expanded from 540 students in September 2015. We will further expand in September 2018 with PAN rising from 150 to 180. We became an Academy in October 2012. Students are largely drawn from the two villages of Cranfield and Wootton and there are an increasing number of ‘out-of-catchment’ students who are applying to the school because of its good reputation.
The Holywell Values (The important things which drive our vision and which underpin our ethos)
Our curriculum is underpinned by our Values-based education. The fundamental guiding values for Holywell stem from our character as a Church of England school.
“Which commandment is the most important of all?”
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself’.” Mark 28-31. Simply put; we aim to treat others as we would like to be treated.
‘Values-based Education’ moves away from a presumption that we simply catch and acquire our values somewhere in our lives. Instead, Values-based education takes a systematic approach to developing a deep understanding of a core set of values. At Holywell we have identified 33 key Christian values which are explored on a regular cycle. Each month we have a whole-school focus on a particular value. We encourage all members of our school community – including parents and staff – to explore the real meaning of each value and to shine a spotlight on each one in turn through our ‘Value of the Month’. Research shows that when a school seriously develops the moral and spiritual aspects of the curriculum (that is, those that positively contribute to the inner world of thoughts, feelings and emotions of the teacher and the student), the school community become more reflective and harmonious. The effect on individual students, of developing Values
Education, is that students take greater personal responsibility for their learning and behaviour. This has certainly been our experience at Holywell School and we are proud to be a Values-based School. Our recent Ofsted inspection commented:
“You are rightly proud of the impact of your school’s values-driven philosophy. Your values, including tolerance, forgiveness and kindness, are displayed prominently around the school site and they permeate the school’s ethos through assemblies, charity work and roles such as values ambassador. Pupils speak very proudly of the impact of these values on both themselves and the school. They say that the school’s values make them think and act more thoughtfully and positively as well as making the school a better place.” (Ofsted, March 2018)
The Holywell Vision (The way forward; the goal; the aim)
Our vision is to be an outstanding Christian learning community where everyone is valued as a unique individual and where everyone feels safe. We will aim to be the best we can possibly be, to treat others as we wish to be treated and to make a positive difference to our community and beyond. We strive to be peaceful problem-solvers with open minds and hearts, living God’s love and being kind.
The school also benefits from close relations with the internationally renowned Cranfield University. (The school has a good number of students from around the world whose parents are following courses at the university. This allows us a great deal more diversity of pupil population than might otherwise be the case in Central Bedfordshire.)
The school is a popular centre for Initial Teacher Training – both University of Bedfordshire and the local SCITT. This reflects well established practice in professional development in the school, a welcoming staff and engaging pupil population. (In the last few years the school has had extended placement students in English, Maths, Science, RE, History, Geography, Art, Technology and PE).
Standards are strong and students make good progress. Holywell was a leading school in the Bedfordshire family of Middle Schools, promoting the national GL testing regime. We use this externally set and marked regime to monitor and evaluate the quality of provision and the level of attainment and progress of students from entry in year 5 through to exit in year 8. These tests are confirming our judgement regarding the excellent outcomes for Holywell students. (See report on our website under ‘Pupil Progress’.)
We are a caring school and safeguarding is a real strength.
“Pupils are unanimous about the fact that they are safe at school, as are all of the staff and parents who responded to the Ofsted surveys. Pupils say that, on the rare occasions it happens, bullying is dealt with swiftly and effectively. They state that they attend a caring school and that there is always someone to help them if needed.” (Ofsted, March 2018)
We look after our staff too! We have a rigorous appraisal system and we commit very seriously to support staff CPD. We also provide CPD for other local schools.
We have a wide range of extra-curricular provision. Sports teams, music provision, curriculum-based clubs all form part of the ‘additional offers’ available for our students.
We are proud of our school and aim to “live life in all its fullness”.
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Let us know you are interested in working with us by joining our Talent Pool.
Are you looking for a different role at Holywell School? Let us know you are interested in working with us by joining our Talent Pool.