The World Class Schools Quality Mark (WCSQM) is only awarded to non-selective schools offering the highest standard of education to young people and Principal of Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, Stuart Anderson, said the accreditation standards were appropriately high. “We decided to take up this challenge as it was the logical progression for the school after our ‘outstanding’ Ofsted and a chance to really push beyond that and not simply stand still as a school.
“Whilst we were hopeful of being successful, the students and the staff are rightly ecstatic about what we have managed to achieve. Collecting the award at the University of Cambridge was a real honour and really sets out the school’s ambition to help enrich the lives of our students and of others.”
Year 11 student, Reuben Hallsworth-Woods, was a member of the student team who worked on the challenge and said staff input was kept minimal to let the students lead. “There were two parts to the process, one involved a team spending a week filming a 15-minute video of what a day in the life of a student at Bluecoat Wollaton Academy is like. This also acted as a self-audit of a complex criteria that we needed to fulfil to take part, and to hopefully show that we were working at a world class standard.”
Fellow participant Jack Magner (Year 10), said the team worked diligently to show the many aspects of their school life. “We did the work during a week in July, and it took a lot of effort! The video process and filming, interviewing of Teachers about the school, -all followed by a lengthy process of producing a twenty-page document demonstrating the different aspects of what we believed made our school world class.
“We also completed an assessment day where we met like-minded, passionate young people who also care about their own schools, -and like us, wanted to achieve world class status in recognition of that.”
Reuben said that he was really pleased when the news came through that they had achieved their objective. “I think Bluecoat Wollaton is well deserving of the accreditation! Personally, I feel it as been a really good thing to have helped in the effort to achieve the award.
“It was hard at some points admittedly! It wasn’t designed to be an easy process; but to test beyond the Ofsted outstanding mark and so there was a level of difficulty involved. But I am pleased we showed that we have the type of students who make up a world class school.”
Jack agreed, “I think a key aspect of ‘world class’ status is setting young people up to succeed in their future, creating a global outlook and a well-rounded citizen. In fact, I think you can see that process working from students arriving in here in year 7, right up to when they eventually leave. This school creates well rounded individuals and I think it was great to take young people from Nottingham onto a worldwide stage and let them show what they can do.”
Following the award Bluecoat Wollaton Academy become part of the alumni for the World Class Schools Quality Mark and will help to assess other schools applying for the coveted standard.
Principal Stuart Anderson said the news was received with joy by the academy, and the wider Archway Learning Trust, of which it is a member school. “This is another milestone and pleasing accolade for the school. It demonstrates that the small family atmosphere we have been able to create allows our students to really develop themselves from a safe network, through to a national setting in wider symposiums and events with the charity’s alumni.
“When I arrived at Bluecoat Wollaton 5 years ago our vision was clear. We were rightly insistent on high standards, but the dream was always for children to be shaping their own lives and this is genuinely a realisation of that. This was 100% student led and a credit to what children can do when given the tools and opportunities to succeed. It builds upon our exceptional academic achievements and helps students to showcase their talents on a national platform and with external audiences in the ‘real world’; opportunities that many would not otherwise have the opportunity to take part in.
“I personally couldn’t be happier about receiving the award as it is everything I had imagined for the school. This reminds me why you go into teaching and the real value that you can bring to transform lives.”
Miranda Perry is Director of World Class Schools Quality Mark and said, “WCSQM is a charity created for and driven by World Class students. Our assessment process is very much student led and student centric, and this year we were once again amazed by the tenacity, drive and work-readiness exhibited by the students of these applicant schools.
“They were a credit to their schools and a testament to the truly World Class education provision they offer.”