Rough Notes – January 2024

Welcome to the first edition of Rough Notes for 2024, thank you for reading our monthly publication.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a ‘Happy New Year’ and hope that you join us for the many activities and events planned for the remainder of the school year.

This month, the following students were awarded a Headteacher’s Commendation, they should be very proud of their efforts and achievements. They have been rightly recognised for their contributions to learning and the school and enjoyed hot chocolate and cakes whilst collecting their certificates.

Niall Flynn, Ashaz Umayer Hasan, Lucy Baldwin, Stanley Brum, Lily Shannon, Caitlin Mitson, Jerobi Kabia

It is with great sadness that I must inform you of the sudden passing of our librarian, Mr Waters. Over the Christmas break, Mr Waters passed away following a short but serious illness.

Our students will have seen Mr Waters regularly during their time in school, many may have had the opportunity to work directly with him.

Mr Waters was instrumental in the moving and setting up of our new library. He had enormous passion for reading, books and supporting young people to read and develop their own passion for literature.

There is a book of condolence in the library, and we would encourage students to write their own message to mark their experiences of the time spent with Mr Waters in school and in the library.

At the end of term, we said farewell to Mrs Aldridge who has left the school for pastures new. We wish her all the best in her new venture.
On the 6th and 7th of December 2023, The Woodroffe School was inspected by Ofsted. This was the first time the school had been inspected in full since September 2011.

We all made it through the process in one piece. There have been many positive comments shared about our school which demonstrates the breadth of opportunity, aspirations and success of our students, things we are rightly proud of and add to a rich, fulfilling education. Inspectors said…

  • The school is committed to developing ‘the whole child’.
  • The curriculum is ambitious. Pupils learn a broad range of subjects beyond the national curriculum.
  • Pupils achieve well and thrive.
  • Pupils work hard and show positive attitudes to their learning.
  • Sixth-form students are well prepared for life once they leave school.
  • Warm, respectful relationships between pupils and staff underpin the positive culture at the school.
  • Behaviour in lessons and around school is calm and orderly. Pupils are typically mature and respectful of one another.
  • There is a rich array of extra-curricular clubs.
  • Leaders work closely with other agencies to design bespoke support for pupils with the highest needs.
  • Governors have a clear vision for the school reflected in the decisions they make.

As ever, there are some things we need to continue to develop, and this is normal in any continuous improvement cycle. We will review the feedback provided in the report carefully and make the appropriate adjustments where required, with a particular focus on the single improvement point identified in the report.

The full report can be accessed on our school website.

Celeste and Maja, two of our Student Council members from the 6th Form, delivered an assembly they had planned to over 1000 students across the week. The assembly focussed on the school, its ethos and how students have a part to play in its ongoing development. The Student Council play an important role in school life and contribute across a wide range of activities from interviews to fund raising, meeting governors to representing the views of the student body. All representatives are elected members of the Student Council and meet regularly to discuss items relevant to the student body. As a school, we are grateful for the work they do and the support they give our students.

Helena in year 7 recently competed in an open swimming meet hoping to achieve strong qualifying times for the upcoming regionals. Not only did Helena record some great times, but she also picked up a bag full of medals along the way. In total, Helena won 3 gold medals and a silver, what an achievement.

Tom participated in his first ILCA U19 World Championships at Mar del Plata, Argentina, 2024. Overall, he was 63rd, achieving 13th in the silver fleet. Tom was also 12th overall U17 in this highly competitive event. Congratulations Tom, what a great achievement.

A group of Student Council members met local MP Chris Loder at the end of January to discuss the targeting of young people by e-cigarette companies. The students presented their thoughts and concerns brilliantly and suggested ways this situation could be improved for the benefit of all young people. It was good to see the government taking action less than a week later after they announced the planned ban of disposable vapes. Whilst the planned ban will have taken into account of the contributions of many, it was great that our students had a voice too.

The academic year 2023 – 2024 marks one hundred years of secondary education within Lyme Regis, following the major reorganisation of Education within the town in 1922.

Alban Woodroffe was instrumental in the setting up of the Lyme Regis County Secondary School which opened its doors to the first students in September 1923. Originally aiming to establish a Grammar school in the town, Alban Woodroffe did not see the name of the school change until 1927 when it became the Lyme Regis Grammar School following, Dorset changing the status of secondary schools within the authority. The location of this school was on the site of the now Woodmead Hall and carpark.

The Grammar School moved to the present Woodroffe site in 1932 and became a comprehensive secondary school in 1964 when it was renamed, The Woodroffe School.

Whilst these changes make no one entity or location one hundred years of age alone, collaboratively, we can celebrate the one hundred years of secondary schooling within our community.

Later this year, in conjunction with the Woodroffe School Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA), we will be holding a small number of events and activities to mark this occasion.

There’s plenty of time for us to share more information over the coming months, we want to enjoy the celebrations with fabulous weather and our wonderful location, but for now, here are some of the activities being planned:

  • School time capsule – with contributions from our student and staff body.
  • School Open Day – this will be held on a Saturday, allowing students past and present the opportunity to visit the site, refreshments will be available.
  • Celebration Night – inviting adults to the Marine Theatre to celebrate their time at the school and within the community.

We hope that you will be able to join us for some of the events/activities as we recognise and celebrate the 100th anniversary of secondary schooling within Lyme Regis.

I hope you enjoy the latest edition of ‘Rough Notes’. Should you wish to find out more about our school, news, or events, please visit the school website which I am sure you will find useful. In addition, for regular updates, why not look at our social media outlets:

The Woodroffe School Headteacher can be found on Twitter - @HeadteacherTws
The Woodroffe School can be found on Twitter - @WoodroffeSchool
The Woodroffe School on Instagram – woodroffeschooldorset

Dan Watts
Headteacher