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Wren Academy Finchley

Wren Academy Finchley

About the school

Wren Academy opened in September 2008 as a new school sponsored by the London Diocese of the Church of England and Berkhamsted School. We have come a long way since the school opened to its first Year 7 in 2008 and are now an all through school with over 1400 students aged between four and 18. The school has continued to grow as we opened our Sixth form in 2013 and have taken on new primary cohorts since 2015. The Academy is proud of its successes; we have been given three ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted judgements and achieved exceptional GCSE and A Level results. We have also established a national reputation for excellence in teaching and learning, developing an approach that focuses consistently on enabling young people to be effective learners.

Our Sixth Form has grown in popularity since opening to our first Year 12 students in 2013. It has rapidly established a reputation for academic excellence, great study support and a rich and varied extra-curricular programme. Furthermore, we have proved our ability to help students achieve their ambitions by gaining access to the best university courses and employment opportunities.

We are on track to opening a second Academy in the London Borough of Enfield. Plans are well advanced to open Wren Academy Enfield on the Chase Farm Hospital site. The new school will open in September 2020 with the first cohort of Year 7 students. The Academy will then grow each year to become a six form entry 11-18 school. The development of a second Academy will lead to further collaboration and innovation. It is also expected that the further growth of the Trust will result in opportunities for continued Professional Development and career progression.

The Academy has high academic standards coupled with a strong emphasis on developing students’ social and learning skills. Our learning culture embraces all aspects of life at Wren, not just the lessons. Students make exceptional progress at the Academy. In 2019, our excellent GCSE results were maintained:

  • Progress 8              +0.91
  • Attainment 8            61.88
  • Grade 5 or above including English and Maths         77%
  • Grade 9-8 (A*)           28%
  • Grade 9-5 (A*- B)      78%

Wren Academy Sixth Form students have achieved excellent A Level results this summer with the A* grades being the highest percentage ever:

  • Grade A*- A               25%
  • Grade A*- C               83%

We are also delighted with the university and employment destinations our students are achieving. Most Wren sixth form students move on to the university of their choice with increasingly high numbers going to Russell Group institutions and with Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Imperial and the LSE amongst our destinations. Three students went to Oxbridge this academic year. Wren students regularly win places on the most competitive courses, including medicine, dentistry and law. Students also gained places at highly sought after creative arts institutions such as Central St Martins and Mountview Academy.

Wren is a comprehensive school, which welcomes students of all academic abilities and maximises their potential. We are also a vibrant and culturally diverse community.

Our curriculum is innovative, challenging and engaging. There is an extended school day with lessons of varying lengths, single sex teaching in core subjects and an extensive timetable of enrichment activities. Each half term we have a focus day on which the usual timetable gives way to in depth study of a range of issues. To further support learning and social development, we have a house system and there are vertical tutor groups for students Years 7-10.

Inspired by Sir Christopher’s Wren our specialism is Design and the Built Environment. Key skills associated with our specialism, like planning and creativity, impact across all subjects. We work closely with a range of public and private sector partners in delivering the specialism and in ensuring it enhances but never dominates our curriculum.

We have developed students’ learning skills and attitudes through our immersion in the philosophy of Building Learning Power (BLP). We have developed a reputation for excellence in this area and now provide BLP training to other schools. Year on year we have recruited a talented and committed staff who share the ambition of creating a uniquely successful school. Colleagues are encouraged to innovate and to develop new ways of learning and working together. We now have over 96 teaching staff and 65 student services colleagues.

We have a campus, which is architecturally innovative and visually impressive with a high emphasis being placed on environmental sustainability. The buildings provide for a wide range of teaching and learning approaches with larger, flexible learning areas and smaller group rooms alongside more traditional classrooms. The working environment for all staff is of a high quality.

All teachers joining Wren receive a high quality professional development experience. We hope that simply by working at the Academy, teachers will become better practitioners and that much of the best professional development will be found in working with Wren colleagues. We are looking to recruit teachers who are currently good or outstanding and who have the desire to develop further. We want to appoint colleagues who possess real curiosity about the ways in which children learn most effectively and who are always seeking to extend their practice into new areas and learning activities. It is important that Wren teachers are ambitious both for themselves and for their students. Many of our teachers have achieved career advancement within the Academy whilst others have moved on to promotion elsewhere.

At Wren you will be given time to plan and evaluate your lessons. You will be part of a learning dialogue with colleagues for which time is set aside. Most importantly of all, you will be working with young people who are talented and enthusiastic about their learning. We believe that observing other teachers at work and having them observe you is a professional entitlement. It is an expectation that all Wren teachers will be confident and open in seeing lesson observation as a key element of how we learn as professionals.

Other benefits of teaching at Wren:

  • Children of colleagues working at Wren for over two years are given priority for a place in Reception or Year 7
  • An exceptionally talented and mutually supportive staff team
  • Talented, courteous and ambitious students
  • Excellent professional development opportunities including support for programmes of further study and planned career development
  • A pleasant and attractive working environment
  • Free refreshments and lunchtime allowance
  • A lower student contact ratio than the norm
  • Timetabled professional development time during the school day
  • Planning and evaluation time during the school day
  • Financial allowance for leading enrichment activities

Further details on the curriculum, structure and ethos of the Academy are available on our website, www.wrenacademy.org.

Wren Academy is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

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