We are oversubscribed for September 2024

5th March 2024

The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form is currently oversubscribed for September and is working hard to arrange additional transport for new students out of the catchment area.

The school has also taken in 20 new students since the start of the academic year which is a reflection of its impact within the community.

The journey to this point has been steady and gradual, under Headteacher Julia Polley, who has been at the school for eight years. Changes have been made to foster a culture of good behaviour and safety.  Plus some adaptations made during covid have become a permanent feature to facilitate a calm and safe environment.  These include a ban of phones and split breaks and lunches so students can have more space with their peers during these times.  The uniform has also been relaxed, yet maintains a clean and professional finish to reflect the down-to-earth ethos of the school.

With no supply teachers having taught at the school in the past four years, the teaching is strong and the dedicated staff provide a stable and familiar environment for students.  The school is fully inclusive and takes children of all abilities and social and emotional needs, with all staff highly trained to meet SEND needs.  Headteacher Julia Polley, who is a teaching head and therefore knows students well, is a big believer that whatever is good for children with SEND needs, is good for all.

As a result of such changes, poor behaviour in the school is low and academic achievements are on the incline.

The most recent Ofsted report states: “Leaders have constructed a carefully planned and appropriately sequenced curriculum. Where this curriculum is strongest, lessons are exciting and engaging for all pupils”.  Plus: “Leaders have strong ambitions for pupils at the school. There are high expectations for behaviour and conduct. Staff share this vision and ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to flourish. Pupils speak with pride about the inclusive nature of the school, telling inspectors ‘We are a tight-knit community’.”

Alongside five academic lessons each day, students can choose from a vast range of extra-curricular activities through the school’s enrichment programme which is a fundamental part of the school day.  Activities include climbing, chess, Mandarin, cooking, darts, various sports, the school newspaper, drama club, calligraphy and much more.  Additionally, the school has a fully staffed Combined Cadets Force (CCF) with 40 students who parade twice a week. The school is immensely proud to be the only state school in North Yorkshire to have a CCF.

Mental health support is also embedded into the heart of the school culture, with onsite counsellors and support from NHS’ Wellbeing in Mind team. The school uses restorative practice and restorative justice and parents and students are encouraged to talk openly with school staff.

Headteacher, Julia Polley, says: “We believe that by investing in our staff, creating consistency and setting clear expectations, children have the security and support they need to truly engage with the curriculum and reach their potential.  A famous quote says, ‘a little progress every day adds up to big results’.  This perfectly sums up the last eight years of my time at the school. I am extremely proud of all we have achieved at the school and we welcome children from all backgrounds and of all abilities to join us.”

To find out more about The Wensleydale school please email or call: admin@wensleydaleschool.net, 01969 622244.