An interview with Headteacher, Mrs Douglas BA (Hons) QTS
What does the role of Head Teacher at Windrush Valley Private School Oxfordshire entail?
My role at Windrush Valley Private School Oxfordshire is to provide leadership, direction, and to put in place the foundations for success. This means creating a culture that is inspiring, nurturing, and positive. It also means delivering the highest standards of academic excellence and behavioural conduct. My aim is to give every pupil the best possible start.
To achieve this consistently, there are some fundamental tenets that we adhere to. These include an emphasis on small class sizes so that every pupil receives one-to-one attention. We also have a policy of employing the best teaching staff available to deliver a varied and stimulating curriculum.
Windrush Valley Private School Oxfordshire is a high achieving school, but what aspects of the school’s success are you most proud of?
We are a small school, but we use that to our advantage and consistently punch well above our weight. I am incredibly proud of all our achievements. The obvious one to highlight would be the school’s ranking in the Sunday Times Top 100 Schools league table. Being ranked twenty sixth best school in England is an incredible achievement. But there is so much more to be proud of including our track record at competitive sports, our accolades for our performing arts and music activities, and our award for Excellence by the Independent School Association.
However, if I was to choose what I am most proud of, it would be that over the last 21 years all pupils have passed their senior school entry examination and attended their first-choice secondary school. For me, this corroborates our ambition of giving every pupil the best possible start.
What facilities does the school offer, both in and outside of the classroom?
As well as traditional teacher and pupil facilities, our classrooms have the latest in Smartboard technology installed in them. These interactive flat panel displays enable our teachers to provide a more immersive and engaging learning experience. In addition, the use of Chromebooks and Interactive whiteboards in all classrooms support our STEM curriculum. We also have thriving performing arts and music facilities which mean children regularly play in the school band, perform in musicals on stage, and compete in public speaking competitions.
Outside of the classroom, we have a school playground and make use of a large sports field which is a short stroll from the school. For swimming, we have an arrangement with a local school to share their pool. Our sporting pedigree has resulted in children competing at the highest level in swimming, athletics, and cross country. For the last 10 years, our pupils have competed at a national level at the Independent Schools Association championship.
We are also blessed by our location – the school is surrounded by some of the most idyllic Cotswold countryside.
What would you say to parents that are looking for a new school for their children?
Firstly, I would say welcome. We are always keen and excited to welcome new pupils. Therefore, the first step is to contact us and arrange a time to come and tour the school. During the tour parents can chat with staff and pupils. For younger children in Nursery and Reception, we provide a free trial day, so they get a taste of what to expect.