Headteacher of Woldgate School

Woldgate School headteacher Jonathan Britton.
Woldgate School headteacher Jonathan Britton.

In September 1958, Woldgate School opened its doors and provided secondary education for the town of Pocklington. The secondary school was originally established for about 500 boys and girls, under the leadership of the first headmaster, Mr Vaughan.

Since it was first opened, Woldgate has evolved into the local school for the area and now has around 1,100 pupils. In later years, the school would also be awarded special ‘Performing Arts’ status.

This class photo was taken at Woldgate School in 1958.

This class photo was taken at Woldgate School in 1958.

The original school motto celebrated the distinct education the school sought to offer.

With the original wording in Latin, it stated that children’s actions should be worthy, of great merit, character and value.

I remember early in my first year as headteacher meeting one of my predecessors, Mr Brown, who spoke at great length and with passion about the school, its history and how, as only the fourth headteacher in the school’s history, I should understand the school’s founding principles as well as look ahead to the exciting future I had planned for the school.

Mr Brown was, of course, right. Every week, as we continue our journey as a school, I am privileged to be part of a community with wonderful children, parents and to work with colleagues who are absolutely committed to raising expectations and doing their best for our pupils. To walk into a classroom where a well-planned lesson is being delivered, to see each child known as an individual, to see pupils engaged by learning gives me the greatest pleasure as a headteacher.

As we come to the end of this academic year, our school is graded as ‘Good’ by Ofsted in all categories. We are now the second highest performing school in the East Riding and third in York. We have been identified as one of the top thirty highest performing schools in Yorkshire. Selected as one of the ‘Top 100’ schools in the country, we hope to appear as one of ten schools in a national publication celebrating excellence in education.

We must, of course, constantly challenge our pupils to excel, nurture aspiration and strive to cultivate a lifelong love of learning in our young people, while ensuring we provide a creative, safe and caring environment where every child is known and cared for.

In 1958, the school also sought to build a community, to enrich pupils’ education and to broaden their experiences.

When my colleagues last year gave of their time to review our ethos statement for the school, they echoed these key principles and often talked about how, as a school, we must continue to enrich the lives of our young people by providing a holistic education. We are, therefore, as a community, building on our many strengths and successes, and on our original foundation, while at the same time changing.

I look forward to the re-introduction of our House system in September and over the next academic year we will, as a community, continue to recognise, celebrate, and create new opportunities for our children. The incorporation of our traditional motto into our school emblem may look back to those founding principles, but it also charts the course for our work over the years to come.