To lead an 11-18 secondary school providing opportunities, great experience and academic rigour is a lovely privilege and huge responsibility.  As an 11-16 school we have been hugely successful for every student, whatever their background, ability or attitude to school.  A major part of this success has been our knowledge of each and every student.  This has enabled us, where possible, to tailor the curriculum to meet their learning needs by enrolling them on the right courses.

NM (2) April 2015

This success will undoubtedly continue.

The development of the new sixth form from the original idea, through the consultation period, to a successfully approved bid and now into reality, has been a wonderful development.  It has been an exciting planning and research process for all involved.  As the buildings are adapted and developed from open spaces to become an awesome sixth form centre I know this will be a major success and a wonderful successful development for our school and the St John’s community.  My confidence stems from:

The extensive research we have undertaken to ensure we get this right, so that every student will embark on the course, pathway that is suitable for them in this ever-changing educational world.  Over 40 staff have visited schools around England, from York to London, observing lessons, researching the curriculum, researching which exam board suits which student, reflecting on current and future practice.

Our appointment of new quality staff, all of whom have A level experience and expertise and were successful against high quality interview fields.  All want to be here at the start of this unique project.  There really is a feeling that this could and should be a unique, ‘special’ development.  The staff appointed include some who have relocated early to ensure they are settled into our school.


Mr Reid Maths previously Evesham
Miss Lancaster Maths previously Malvern
Miss White English previously Kidderminster
Mr Hall Politics previously Hull
Miss Lyon MFL previously Preston
Mr Jones Psychology previously Halesowen
Miss Stephens Sociology previously Gloucester
Miss Kelly History previously Skipton
Mrs Johns Student Support previously Malvern
Mr Flanders Geography previously Birmingham

These appointments complement the already fabulous staff, many of whom have extensive A level teaching experience and who know the ‘Christopher Whitehead way’ and my expectations.  There is a real excitement at the prospect of continuing the educational journey with many of the students they have nurtured for the last five years.

Our liaison with Haybridge High School, who have consistently been judged to have an outstanding sixth form and whose support and training has given us great confidence that our decisions are correct, and that what we are doing is right for our students.

Mr Mobberley’s (Head of Sixth Form) collaboration with all the prospective students in our decision-making process.  I believe their involvement in the planning and decision-making on rules, uniform and expectations, simply means it will work and – crucially – that they will see this as their sixth form, their next stage of education.

The excitement of external candidates and parents for this venture.  It has been lovely to ‘show off’ the sixth form centre to prospective candidates from a wide variety of schools: The Chase, Chantry, Blessed Edward Oldcorne, Dyson Perrins – their applications will only further enrich the school and our already lovely student body will be looked at all year round.

Our ability to try something new – whether it be opening the Sixth Form at 9:40am, universally popular with students and local residents, or putting on courses such as Mandarin that will get the students to their correct destinations beyond sixth form.

The benefits of an independent, student focused sixth form, retaining the opportunity to get involved in whole school roles/responsibilities for those who wish to.

I hope you get a flavour of this exciting venture.  This will be successful, and will lead students to where their hard work entitles them to be.

Please do not hesitate to ask for a tour of the sixth form centre.  If you have any queries relating to our sixth form, curriculum or entry requirements, please feel free to contact us and follow us via Twitter and/or our website.

I look forward to meeting you.

Neil S Morris


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