One of the last things I did at Wellington Academy was to commission Shadric Toop of Sphere Design to produce large scale graphics with embedded QR codes for walls in the new academy building. The impact was stunning.
Walls to Inspire – a short film about this project.
The idea was to give each department in the school its own visual identity. Some of the graphics act as beacons, to draw people across the large central atrium to specific departments that were previously hard to find. Others line the corridors and are rich in subject specific information upon closer inspection. All the walls contain QR codes which link to pages on the school website that give more background information on the content of each wall. The links for the QR codes can be up-dated with different content or tasks as often as you like.
The project was commissioned in 2013, and was designed and illustrated by Shadric Toop, director of Sphere Design Associates in Brighton.
Latest local news from Andover Advertiser, October 4th
Tidworth councillor Mark Connolly (formerly the chair of governors of the predecessor school to Wellington Academy, as well as an Academy governor until last summer – and most recently the advocate of football manager syndrome, see Advertiser 6th Sept) told town councillors that he has held a meeting with Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, to discuss the situation at Wellington Academy following the departure of principal Andy Schofield.
Cllr Connolly, who represents Tidworth at County Hall, said: “It was a candid meeting. We (sic) were heartened by the things we heard about discipline which may have been a bit lacking in recent times. There are not going to be any quick changes at the top – Mike Milner will continue in post until a new principal is appointed.”
He added that the governors may take some time to make the right choice. (All very odd, given the recent advertisement for the post in the TES and Guardian.)
Plans for the academy to expand have also emerged, with a new sixth form block open on the nearby Castledown Business Park – freeing up around 300 additional places in the main academy building. Meanwhile in Tidworth work on a new primary school is expected to begin in November on the North East Quadrant housing site. (Due to open September 2014, sponsored by Wellington College).
Principal must be reinstated (letter Andover Advertiser, Sept 20)
I felt I had to write to add my voice to last week’s correspondence concerning Andy Schofield and the Wellington Academy.
The front page story of 6 September gave the impression that Mr Schofield left the Academy following poor GCSE results. Yet in your paper of 13 September (under the headline “Ensuring all pupils strive to succeed”) was a very different view of the results. It seems that 93 per cent of Wellington students achieved five or more A* -C grades in GCSE and 77 per cent achieved eight ormore A* -C.
These results seem extremely good for a non-selective state school and would accord with your previous correspondent’s view that the students of WellingtonAcademy get enough exam passes to move on in life.
They may not all be in the GCSE subjects valued by Dr Seldon and Wellington College but, for some kids, they are more than enough to begin to break the cycle of social deprivation.
If I were still an Academy parent I would be petitioning the governors to bring back Andy Schofield, as I feel he has been unjustly forced out for reasons that, in light of the above, are now unclear.
I know anecdotes aren’t evidence, but I would like to share the following with your readers. My son was given a place in the Wellington Academy sixth form when no other post-16 educational opportunity was available. He enjoyed his year there. made valuable progress in core subjects and took the Applied Learning Construction course. This enabled him to get a place on a training scheme with a major house-builder and he is learning valuable skills for today’s job market.
There has to be some room in state education for children like my son, and I fail to see how the master of rarefied Wellington College (Tatler Magazine’s Top Private School 2013; famous old boys Rory Bremner, Will Young, Sebastian Faulks and James Hunt) can offer more than an experienced state school head like Andy Schofield. If there is justice, he will be reinstated soon.
Ms Miriam Moreton, Kings Chase, Andover
Conflicting figures of Wellington results (letter Andover Advertiser Sept 20)
Following on from the excellent letter in last week’s Advertiser it would appear the regime in charge have had the spin doctor’s working overtime.
As parents we were issued an email on August 30 that stated ‘following this year’s GCSE results Andy Schofield has left the Academy today.’ The reports in the national and local press merely detailed the slump from 47% to 37% in 5 GCSE A*-C including maths and English. There was no reference to the excellent A level results two weeks before and the fact 28 students were offered university places.
In fact the A level report has been deleted from the Academy website.
Parents then received an email / letter on September 6, three days after school started reassuring that although the headline figure of 37 per cent was indeed disappointing and well below expectations at the same time we would point out that some of the results the school received were very good indeed. For example, 93 per cent of students achieved 5 or more A*-C in GCSEs, well above the 2012 National average of 81.1 per cent, and 85 per cent of students achieved 8 or more A*-C GCSEs. We made notable progress with the top grades, nearly double the 2012 figures.
The A level results were also excellent overall. Facts that were not referred to in the information released following Andy Schofield’s departure.
Over the past four years Wellington Academy has grown under the excellent guidance and leadership of Andy Schofield, the rapport between him, the SLT and the students was exceptional, him and his team stuck to their strap line and ‘Changing Lives’. It would appear there has been a lack of clarity in the information issued to parents. How can any trust be forged when information changes in seven days?
30 August 2013 was a sad day for Wellington Academy, but will ultimately prove to be another education establishments gain.
M Collins, Spray Leaze, Ludgershall
Principal led his ‘team’ with style
Thursday 12th September 2013 in letters, Andover Advertiser
I am writing to offer another perspective to the story on your front page of 6 September about Wellington Academy. One commentator said “education is a business, like football” – presumably to justify Andy Schofield being treated like a football manager whose chairman had run out of patience. It would be easy if education was, indeed, a business like Premiership football. The heads would select and buy students, train and coach them to do one thing, ie play football and then, if they failed to score enough goals for the club to get up the league table, send them off on a free transfer.
What Andy Schofield said at Wellington Academy was that anyone who turns up will get a game. His players were just sent to his club, he couldn’t and wouldn’t pick and choose. Andy Schofield never sent any of his footballers away on a free transfer. He kept them all at the club, even when they turned up with no kit or were too exhausted to play because they had had nothing to eat since training the day before. He kept them when they had never seen a ball before or weren’t sure of the offside rule. He even took the occasional player who had been thrown out of someone else’s club. Some of his players came from overseas and, when they arrived, couldn’t understand what the coaches were saying.
And more and more players chose to come to the club because they liked Andy Schofield’s style of football and they loved the club. Did he make the club Premier League in five (sic) years? Of course not. Did all his players become Rodney Marsh? Of course not. But they ended up much better footballers than they would have been at other clubs and had skills that enabled them to move on and enjoy productive lives as good citizens. Sadly, the sponsor on the shirts was Wellington College and this year Andy’s fabulous, raggle taggle footballers became too much of an embarrassment for those in the directors’ box.
The word education comes from the Latin e-ducere, meaning to lead out. Andy Schofield’s style of education does just that – it leads out of the children the best of their potential. He, too, is a skilled educationalist, and his wide experience comes from state school education. I hope that when next year’s results are published there is an acknowledgement that 80 per cent of those students’ education will have been under the headship of Andy Schofield.
He did great things at Wellington Academy. He deserved much more and there should be sorrow for what has been lost.
Name and address supplied, Andover
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group
Andover Advertiser 6th Sept: Academy Head in Sudden Exit (see below for content)
David Cowley, Chair of GB, explains it all at 1.05.40 to 1.11.10 on the podcast
“..you keep referring to Mr Schofield being sacked, that has not happened. Mr Schofield has left the academy.”
‘Well can I ask, if he wasn’t sacked, what happened?’
“The results were, as I’ve said, and it’s not just the results, it’s the lead up to the results, I, er, we, er, in discussion, and we’re still in discussion, but technically speaking, ehm, the form of those discussions has to remain confidential to me, Mr Schofield and the Academy.”
@RealGeoffBarton comments at 2.09.01 to 2.14.00
See Wellington Academy page on this blog for a slightly more balanced view on our results for 2013