Message from the Headteacher - Ms Jo Howell
Explore an Innovative School with a Rich Historic Heritage where Learning is Irresistible for children and adults alike
I am delighted to welcome you to The Willows Primary School, a creative inspirational environment founded by the most visited church in England, Holy Trinity. We are extremely proud of our heritage as the oldest primary school in Stratford with our privileged links to the church where Shakespeare was baptised and buried.
This pride can be seen in every area of school life; the outstanding behaviour of the children, the stunning classroom environments and the enthusiasm and passion for learning shared by everyone in the building. There is buzz and enthusiasm in our school which is achieved through rich, broad, cross curricular opportunities, inspiring (and sometimes innovative) teaching and a culture of aspiration where our vision for the school is limitless. Our offering for your child is a holistic. We strive to meet the needs of every individual child by creating bespoke small group learning programmes that are carefully crafted depending on the unique needs of every class.
You can see from my photograph (taken at The Tate Modern, London) that I spend my weekends going to interesting learning places so I can bring back ideas to school. Even the weekends are an opportunity for learning! On that particular Saturday I met a Doctor of Education who is going to work with our school on exploring the impact of performing spaces in the school environment.
We see Stratford upon Avon as our campus
Not just as an historic site, but also as an environment where we can tap into incredible expertise, within and close to the area. work with the local universities such as Coventry University and the University of Warwick. We have made important links with scientists, arts organisations (everything from opera to contemporary music), scientists, actors, sports people and engineers. Our children have performed on one of the most famous stages in England, the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. We have forged close links and are planning learning programmes with the local secondary and grammar schools. For example, we are planning a very specific working plan with Shottery Grammar school, which is just a short walk from our school. As well as our own very high quality sports facilities (including our own swimming pool, one of the children’s favourite features!), we can also tap into the top notch facilities of Stratford Upon Avon School, which is just next door. This includes facilities such as their sports hall and gym.
I am not just passionate about making learning irresistible for children, I think it is crucial for the adults who teach them to also share in this culture.
Therefore our staff go and visit some of the best schools in the country to look for good practice and then come back with the aim of doing it even better! For example, recent visits have included St Josephs in Brent, Mere Green Primary School, Sutton Coldfield, High Meadow Infant School, Coleshill. We have even used some of our personal holidays to explore great schools in other countries such as Marymount School New York City, Avenues School New York City and are currently forming close links with a number of international schools in Europe and Latin America. Teachers’ PPA time is sometimes spent visiting art galleries or museums to inspire further planning ideas, or visiting book shops where the aim is to read new children’s books so fresh ideas can be brought to the classroom. After school staff meetings are an exciting time for learning, sharing and improving ideas. Everyone is excited about the ascending trajectory of this wonderful school.
I have been in the school just over a year and am proud to say that we are in a position to predict that this year’s results will be significantly above national standards.
In the last year, through innovations in the curriculum and teaching methods, standards have significantly risen and will continue to do so year on year.
The school is privileged in having a very active parent community.
The Willows Friends raise thousands of pounds every year, which has a significant impact on the resources we can offer your child. There is also a parent voice group run by the governors.
This is the time to be at The Willows!
This school has the potential to be outstanding and will certainly provide an excellent education for your child. Please come and see us. We love sharing and showing off our school as it continues to grow and thrive. Most of all, you need to meet our incredible pupils.