Welcome from the Headteacher

Hillman E2

I am delighted that you have shown an interest in the school and the website whether you are a current parent or carer or prospective ones. We hope that you find the information that you need and, if you cannot, please contact the school and ask us. You can email me directly on ehillman@heathcote.waltham.sch.uk if you cannot find the answers elsewhere or just want to get in touch. We are reviewing the quality of information on the website in 2021-22 and hope that by the end of the year, it will be even more informative.

I have been Headteacher of this ‘good’ school for almost 5 years and every day has been a privilege and a pleasure, despite the challenges of the last few years. We have changed beyond recognition in that time - our admissions figures are testament to that and we are now oversubscribed for the first time. This is due to an increased confidence in the local community that we provide the best all-round education and unparalleled opportunities for our pupils, with a commitment to improving the life chances of our most vulnerable pupils.

Despite the Covid pandemic and the impact of this on all areas of life, we have much to celebrate during 2020-21. Our Year 11s and 13s were working incredibly hard supported by our highly skilled teachers and they were aiming for an outstanding set of ‘real’ results. Despite the fact that they couldn’t take their exams for a second year, we conducted the process of submitting grades fairly and equitably and pupils achieved well-deserved and outstanding results – see here. We are delighted that 4 of our pupils have started their education at Oxford or Cambridge this year. This year, all Year 11 and 13 pupils will take 3 full sets of mocks future-proof against any further lockdowns.

We have had a very successful start to the school year and pupils have responded very well to the challenges of Covid. We are very proud that, due to hard work and planning over the summer holidays, pupils are still experiencing the full range of subjects outside of the core curriculum including PE and DT – all of our Key Stage 3 pupils will have access to Food Technology for example in the carousel of DT subjects. We continue to run extensive extra-curricula trips and activities all following detailed risk assessments to ensure our pupils do not miss out.  This year in summer 2022, we have 3 trips abroad planned. Please do read our weekly newsletters to get a feel for the exciting activities that make us so special and why pupils feedback that this is a unique and special place to be. Our wonderful film also encapsulates the spirit of Heathcote.

Our approach to learning and teaching based on Rosenshine’s principles - see here – and in the curriculum sections of the website so you can see the details of the broad, balance and varied curriculum and subjects we offer which are a key strength of the school. Pupils are challenged in and out of the classroom in all areas. The school excels at sport and this department embodies all that is great about the school.

Another key strength of the school are the relationships between staff and pupils and between pupils themselves and staff themselves. We are very proud of this feature of the school and believe that happy pupils make the best learners and happy staff make the best educators.

Behaviour is very good here and bullying rare – our new Behaviour Policy sets out the standards for ready, respectful and responsible pupils.

Pupils are safe at Heathcote and extremely well cared for. A safeguarding review in July concluded that

‘‘Students felt safe within the school and were confident they knew who to approach if they had worries or concerns’ and that policies were ‘robust’."

We live our core values of encourage, challenge and succeed and this applies to all staff as well as pupils.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or feedback - ehillman@heathcote.waltham.sch.uk. You are welcome to visit anytime and would be delighted to welcome you to look around.


EHN tsp

Emma Hillman