County schools impress

Two Shropshire schools have gone top of the class after they were given full marks by the prestigious Good Schools Guide. Wrekin College and the Old Hall School, which share adjacent sites in Wellington, both won high praise for academic achievement, impressive leadership teams, commitment to the care of pupils, and drive to see each one reach their full potential.

Wrekin was described by the guide as ‘wonderfully nurturing’, a school which is academically on the up but also offers ‘the chance for pupils, in this tough old world, to hone their employability factor’.

The review added that head Tim Firth was a ‘dynamo who is very energising’ and ‘brings solid leadership’ with plans for an enlightened evolution of the school. He was also praised for his efforts to harness Wrekin’s excellent pastoral care to drive up academic standards with the guide adding ‘so far so good’ as the school recently celebrated its best GCSE results on record.

Pupils also impressed judges with their ‘impeccable manners’ and natural confidence after meetings where the youngsters had no idea who they were – ‘they didn’t seem formulaic, just natural consideration, true courtesy’; ‘children smile, are polite and confident. Frankly they all had a sparky look about them.’

Mr Firth said he was thrilled with the review which was a tribute to the entire Wrekin College community including staff, pupils and parents: “I’m pleased they recognised Wrekin’s determination to build on its strengths to continually improve in all areas which reflects our growth mindset ethos.”

The Old Hall School was said to be a “delightful, vibrant and forward-thinking” prep which nurtures intellectual curiosity, and was praised for providing the right level of support to allow all children to reach their academic potential in the national guide.

Head Martin Stott said he was also extremely proud of the work of staff and the commitment from pupils and families which all impressed the Good Schools Guide team.

The guide highlights a number of positives at the school including its various confidence building initiatives, its modern, open and ‘uplifting’ building and huge grounds with imaginative adventure playgrounds.

Parents, said the report, recognised one of the strengths of the school was that it encouraged a ‘have-a-go’ mentality through nurturing while head Mr Stott was described as someone who really listens and refines his thinking in line with the evolving needs of the school.

The Guide reports on educational establishments across the country describing itself as offering unbiased and candid reviews.

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