Principal’s Welcome

I am delighted to welcome you to Whitburn Church of England Academy, where it is my very great privilege and honour to be Principal. I feel very proud to be given the opportunity to lead such an outstanding school. Our ethos statement of providing “Excellence for all” is rooted in St Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians to “excel in everything.” This confirms our determination to provide an inclusive education for the local community in which the rights of all are respected, irrespective of personal beliefs. We believe that each pupil should be recognised as being unique, gifted, created and loved by God. We are proud to be a school at the heart of the Whitburn community and its surrounding villages.

Our students enjoy fantastic facilities, supporting our high aspirations for them. The academy has a strong academic tradition and students achieve very well in their GCSEs, where our results are consistently amongst the highest performing North East state schools. Our A level results demonstrate that we can also produce fantastic results with our Sixth Form students, with an increasing number of students gaining places at Oxford and Cambridge.

In December 2017, we received the World Class Schools Quality Mark, one of only 60 schools in England to receive this accreditation. We were proud to receive this award, as it is unique because it is the students who are assessed, not the staff. This is based on the idea that if the school is truly World Class, then its students should be able to demonstrate this in whatever context they find themselves. Students are assessed against a skills and competency framework unique to World Class, because it measures young people’s readiness for the world of work and life in 21st century society.

“The calibre of the students this year was extra-ordinary. Their skills of collaboration, diplomacy, resilience and tenacity were second to none; these are incredible young people, to whom I would trust our future.”

Miranda Perry, Director of World Class Schools Quality Mark.

In November 2019, we had our first full OFSTED inspection under the new OFSTED framework. The inspection on 12th and 13th November, confirmed that the overall effectiveness of the school is Good”, with Personal development being rated as Outstanding.

OFSTED commented on how our students, “behave impeccably and conduct themselves with great maturity across the day” with the inspectors concluding, “Pupils are very proud to attend Whitburn Church of England Academy, they feel safe and secure.

We are very proud of our results, accolades and inspection judgments but we achieve success by working tirelessly to ensure that we get the best out of all of our students. We are a forward thinking school and I am delighted that we continue to offer Mandarin to study as a foreign language as we now enter our third year of delivering this course. We strive to make our motto of “Excellence for All” a reality. Exam results are only ever part of the picture in regard to the outstanding education we wish for all our students. We take great pride in the rich and diverse extra-curricular life on offer, with a wide range of sporting, musical and other activities. Perhaps the comments we can be most proud of in the OFSTED report are, Pupils enjoy learning. They feel that the school supports them well academically. Most pupils are ambitious and keen to be successful. Teachers know their subjects well. Many bring real expertise to the classroom. They teach with enthusiasm and bring topics to life.”

We celebrate the success of our students in all aspects of school life and it matters just as much to us that our ‘graduates’ are confident, articulate and thoughtful, as well as achieving academic success. As a Church of England School we support the development of moral values and of a rich and fulfilling spiritual life for the entire academy community. We look to develop key Christian values such as kindness, fairness, respect, helpfulness and being a learner. However, we are a fully inclusive school and we do not have faith criteria within our admission policy, welcoming students of other faiths and no faith.

Partnership work with parents and carers is a strength of the academy and something we value highly. Links with the local community are well developed and there is a strong parental representation on the Governing Body and a very committed Friends of Whitburn Academy Fundraising group.

We take a very professional approach to all aspects of our work and there is no complacency; we don’t always get it right first time but we learn from our mistakes. Our focus is always on teaching and learning; lessons provide all students with challenge, support, rigour and pace in proper measure. We recognise that there are no shortcuts to quality in education; the way to success lies in high expectations, thorough planning, regular monitoring and review and sheer hard work. Our continued success is a well-deserved testimony to the dedication and efforts of our students, staff, parents, carers and governors.

John Crowe