Leiston: ‘Overwhelming’ support for Alde Valley School
PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 October 2011
AROUND 300 people turned out in force to hear first hand about a school’s future changes.
Leiston High School is rebranding itself to coincide with a shake up of Suffolk’s education system.
From next September it will be renamed Alde Valley School and for the first time in its history take on pupils as young as 11. The changes, which also include a new uniform and school logo, have been timed to coincide with Suffolk County Council’s move from a three to a two tier education system and the closure of middle schools in Leiston and Saxmundham.
On Wednesday night the high school held an open evening for anyone interested in finding out more. It was well attended by parents, children and teachers from Leiston and Saxmundham middle schools, as well as primary schools from both inside and outside its catchment area, which stretches as far south as Tunstall, near Woodbridge, and as far north as Blythburgh, near Southwold,
Visitors were able to tour the Seaward Avenue site, meet teachers and experience activities. Staff were also on hand to answer questions about the future plans, such as the curriculum, length of day, uniform and how the school will manage the children’s transition from primary and middle school.
Students also talked about the school, while there were also representatives from the North Suffolk Skills Centre, with which the high school has strong links for vocational learning.
Headteacher Ian Flintoff said: “It was a very successful evening and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The key message we wanted people to take away was that we treat every student as an individual - creating a curriculum and learning provision that caters for every ability. We go that extra mile to support students, providing a learning environment for those who want to go to university, as well as those who want to explore more vocational options.
“The strong pastoral support will continue, and we will build on the success of our Ofsted report, which described us as a ‘good school, with good teaching, where students of all abilities make good progress’. We have a real community.”
He said preparing young people for the world of work was a unique feature of the school, which was keen to make the most of upcoming opportunities such as the prospect of Sizewell C and the growth of offshore windfarms.
Feedback was also positive in a questionnaire filled out on the night by parents.
They praised the helpfulness of students and staff, who talked enthusiastically about the new set up, and were impressed with the school’s facilities.