Head's Blog

west park schoolIt has been a long and tiring term and staff and pupils alike are ready for a well-earned rest. This term has been punctuated with a number of positive events and experiences that continue to make West Park such a special place. The term started with the opening of our new build which is imaginatively named ‘P Block’! We are really happy with the shiny new reception and excellent classrooms that the new block provides and it has proved to be an ideal building to host evening events. Although this gives us some additional capacity, space will continue to be at a premium with so many families keen to send their children to our wonderful school. No school is perfect and we have always got things to work on, but I am incredibly proud of how the school operates on a daily basis. This year, I have conducted more tours than ever and parents and carers are always amazed by the school environment and the strong relationships between pupils and staff.

Our new year 7 cohort, all 306 of them, continue to excel and we are really proud of them and their achievements in their first term at West Park. Our year 11 have also matured significantly this year and they are completing a very successful set of mock exams this afternoon (Santa may pop in to finish off their final maths exam!) I have no doubt that the cohort will secure a positive set of results and will continue to improve into their final exams in May and June. Please ensure that these pupils get the rest that they deserve over the festive period.

This year, we have developed a number of partnerships with local schools and groups. We are determined to be an integral part of the local community and to provide our pupils with a range of opportunities outside of the classroom. Our pupils have represented us brilliantly at remembrance services, primary school visits, community Christmas dinners and music concerts at local care homes. The vast array of music and dramatic talent was emphasised at our Christmas Showcase event on Tuesday evening. Thank you to everyone who attended and enjoyed the full range of hits from Oasis to Mariah Carey. I can confidently say that this talent was not as evident amongst the staff in our surprise Christmas karaoke event this morning!

I could write for hours, detailing all the accomplishments of our wonderful pupils but for now I would like to sign off with a thank you. Every great school is underpinned by relationships. Meaningful, positive relationships between staff, parents, carers and pupils which are built upon respect, trust and integrity. We have this throughout our school and our local community and it is this that makes West Park such a special place. Thank you for working in partnership with us and allowing your child/children to flourish in our care.

Have a wonderful Christmas. Relax and take time to enjoy the company of those who mean most to you. All the best for 2020 and the future.

Scott McGregor and all of us at West Park.

west park schoolIt has been an incredibly positive start to the new academic year at West Park. Our 305 new, Year 7 pupils have settled in exceptionally well and their enthusiasm and politeness has contributed to the positive ethos across the school. Our Year 11 cohort have also settled positively into the new term and are demonstrating a mature and determined attitude to their final year with us. I have conducted numerous tours around the school site this year and families always comment on the calm, purposeful environment and how polite and responsive our pupils are. I see this on a daily basis and I could not be prouder to be the Headteacher of this amazing school.

As usual, our school is a hive of activity and we have had a number of events going on to kick off the school year. Our Year 9s have all visited Blists Hill to experience a Victorian village in action and our Year 11s have had the opportunity to engage with a range of potential sixth form providers, colleges and employers through our Post 16 evening. Our sporting superstars, also continue to excel in a wide range of sporting fixtures and in the City Cross Country league. Thank you to all of the parents and carers who have come to West Park to support these events and to encourage our pupils in their different ventures.

On Thursday 10th October we had a visit from our local MP and this is followed up by us hosting a ‘Spectrum Of Hate’ day which is being coordinated by Derbyshire police. We have been selected as the focus school for the whole county and all of our Year 8s will get the opportunity to engage with a range of external speakers in a workshop format. The day will focus on the impact of hate crime and how we all play a role in ensuring that we live in a cohesive society. The first half-term will round off with our annual school musical. This year we have the pleasure of hosting 5 performances of ‘Legally Blonde’. Our huge cast and Performing Arts team have been rehearsing since March to pull this performance together and I have no doubt that it will be another fantastic show.

Our most recent new build is now complete and ‘P block’ sits proudly at the West Road side of the school site. The new build houses our main school reception as well as 6 custom built classrooms. This provides us with another set of modern teaching facilities and a welcoming entrance for our numerous visitors. Please do make us aware if you would like to pay West Park a visit to see how the school runs during the working day.

On 24th October we are holding our Prize Presentation evening. Again, we are holding this prestigious event at the Derby County Football Stadium. This year we will be slightly changing how we allocate prizes with an equal number of awards going for outstanding attainment and outstanding progress. This should truly reflect the hard work that a vast array of pupils put in across the school year. As a further way of recognising and rewarding the exceptional efforts of our pupils we will be introducing an addition to our rewards systems, ‘Feel Good Friday’. This will involve staff and visitors to West Park nominating pupils for their exceptional efforts in and outside of the classroom. Feel Good Friday will also link to our development of Fundamental British Values across the school; Democracy, Tolerance, The Rule of Law, Respect and Individual Liberty. Nominated pupils will attend a meeting with the school Leadership Group where they will receive a certificate and a range of weekly rewards. A text will also be sent home informing parents and carers of their excellence. We look forward to launching this system and to celebrating with a vast number of our amazing pupils over the weeks to come.

Finally, I will finish with a thank you to you all for working with us to make West Park such a special place.

Scott McGregor

It is hard to believe that we are almost at the end of another academic year and what a year it has been. Coming in as the new Headteacher of West Park has been an amazing experience. The school is quite unique in the way that it cares for staff and pupils alike and we are blessed to have such excellent relationships with our parent/carer body. There are so many highlights that I could mention and they continue right up until Tuesday 23rd July, the final day of this school year. Securing positive outcomes for our pupils is crucial, as is supporting them to find appropriate destinations when they leave West Park but a school experience should be about so much more.
Allowing pupils to grow, explore and benefit from a wide range of trips, visits and experiences permeates everything that we do at West Park and we will continue to develop this model into next academic year. Seeing the whole school celebrate at end of term events such as Sports Day and West Fest has given me a huge sense of pride and just emphasises how fantastic all of our West Park pupils are. I have no doubt that you are equally proud as parents and carers.

Finally I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved with the school. I have never met such a personable, friendly and supportive group of people. I wish you all a fantastic Summer, take time to enjoy each other’s company, celebrate the small things in life and rest up to take on the new and exciting challenges that we have ahead of us.

Scott McGregor

west park schoolConstruction work on the new block is progressing according to the programme. The new block is situated right at the front entrance to the school and when completed will make a positive visual statement about West Park. Unfortunately, during the construction phase, the location is causing us a few issues with deliveries and parking, especially for visitors. We believe though, that in the long term, it will be worth it.

The new block which is scheduled for completion for the new academic year in September, will house six classrooms, a new reception area, medical room, pupil toilets, faculty room and a meeting room. Each classroom will be equipped with the latest interactive promethean smart tvs. The block will become the headquarters for the English Department.

It is an exciting time for West Park as we can see the construction work taking place right at the heart of the school and we look forward to the completion date.