New head teacher vows to make school 'outstanding'

3:30pm Monday 25th February 2013

By Bethan Phillips

We are going to be outstanding.

That is the message from the new head teacher of Upper Shirley High School, who has vowed to drive up standards, introduce new subjects and transform the school’s image. Stuart Woods is also determined that the school’s next Ofsted result will be outstanding – building on the “good” rating it was given in 2011.

Since he took the reins, Mr Woods has already promised a new uniform, website and signs for the school.

On Wednesday he will meet parents to unveil his “blueprint” for the next three years.

He says he wants to rebrand the school to mark the changes that he is making.

He added: “We need to make this a new era for the school – we will be outstanding and everything that’s connected to the school has to send that message.

“Students and parents are going to see that teaching and learning will be getting better, behaviour will improve even more and we’re going to get a better uniform.”

Mr Woods has come to Upper Shirley High in Bellemoor Road from being vice-principal at the Petersfield School – an academy that has been rated as “outstanding” by inspectors from Ofsted. He took over at the 706-pupil school from former head teacher Cassie Ellins, who has moved to a new job in Kent. Under his leadership, staff at the school are planning to introduce new subjects – including Italian, Latin and classics. Mr Woods says he wants to build on the school’s existing values.

He said: “I’m dedicated, as a head, to setting up a culture where everyone that works here and that comes here is challenged to do their best.

“My staff are going to be developed more than they have been before – I want to tap into their passions.

“We’re hoping to have a competitive curriculum in terms of what we offer kids.

“We want a broader curriculum that’s unique to us and is a bit different.”

The meeting about Mr Wood’s plans takes place at the school at 6pm on Wednesday.

Places are limited and parents should email clare.challis@ushschool.org to book a seat.

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