Message from the Headteacher, Mr C Richards:
Welcome back! It has been an absolutely glorious week in all senses: we have finally received the Summer weather that never was; we welcomed our new year 7 and 12 cohorts on Monday and then welcomed all other students back on Tuesday.
Over the Summer, you may have been aware that we continued to be very busy: our hall refurbishment moved on apace, our reception area is on its way to becoming completely accessible to all and we modified the Headteacher’s office to make more usable meeting space. We replaced a huge amount of end of lease IT equipment, improved wifi internet access and worked on improving and maintaining the grounds. Not to mention our teachers and support staff busily preparing for the start of term. The best if yet to come, however, with our brand new ecological building set to start this Autumn. We have an exciting term ahead and will keep you up to date with all of our news weekly in our family bulletins. I will share a little about my vision for the school’s future below but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. I will be arranging a parent forum in the near future, but please do also attend any information evenings for your child’s year group which you can find on our school website.
Headteacher’s vision and the school values
When I was appointed by the Governors back in March of this year, I explained to them that I wanted the school to be a ‘World class inclusive school at the beating heart of the community’ and they strongly agreed that this was the next stage of the school’s journey. Essentially this means that everything we do, we will try to do at a world-class level. We will engage with the best international research, we will expose our pupils to the best experiences world-wide, we will broaden our horizons to look beyond where we are comfortable. Ultimately, I want to provide our pupils with an education they can be proud of around the world; they should feel confident that, wherever they end up, they can contribute meaningfully and are proud of where they’ve come from. We are an inclusive school as we are open to all, celebrate our differences, do not discriminate and treat everyone equitably.
Being the beating heart of the community is about how we interact with and support our local community and go beyond just providing all the children who come to us with a good education. You’ll know that schools these days are no longer a place where a student just comes to learn something they get examined on and then leave; we are social workers, food banks, family support workers and so on. Given we are right in the heart of Southall and we serve the families of this community, we need to help the children of this community imagine a bright future for themselves and give them the tools to be able to succeed. We would also like to help the adults in the community and are looking into providing adult education classes and other forms of support. Please do write in if there’s something you think we could help with.
I do not intend to change the school’s values at this stage. Honesty, equity, aspiration, respect and tenacity are strong values for a secular local authority school which I and many of the former Senior Leaders worked on with the governors five years back and can drive excellence in personal and academic standards. I do, however, expect that these should play a fuller part in school life and that we use them to structure conversations with students, for example: “Thank you for being honest in your conversation with me about your behaviour. Honesty is the foundation of trust and if we can trust each other, we can make things better together.”
Our motto, “For life, not school, we learn” will not change. When we were first discussing this, the aim was that we were not an ‘exam factory’ and instead teaching children that which would support them in being successful in life, not just to pass an exam. All the while, we acknowledged that exams were important to them being successful in life so needed to make this the baseline of our offer. “Of COURSE you’re going to pass your exams and do well, but it’s all the other things that this school will do for you which will help enrich your future.” I want to move away from end-loaded intervention in year 11 and 13 and to intervene early and intelligently to make sure we take the right action at the right time for each student and make sure we get it right in the classroom the first time.
As such, the five school priorities over the next three years will be:
1. High-quality, responsive teaching and support. All learning everywhere will be planned carefully to challenge all learners. Learning support will be planned carefully to allow all pupils to achieve their very best.
2. Excellent behaviour for learning: All learners need to understand our expectations and meet them consistently. Where learners go beyond expectations they are rewarded, where they do not, they are challenged and supported to improve.
3. Inspirational enrichment: All clubs, trips and other enrichment are planned strategically to enhance the taught curriculum and give pupils world-class, inspiring experiences.
4. A strong, supportive learning community: The school will be a place where students, staff, parents, and other stakeholders feel a sense of belonging and community. This means working together to create a positive and supportive learning environment for all.
5. Globally sustainable practice: We will work sustainably in all our practice and seek to make processes and systems even more sustainable.
Catering at Villiers
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day supporting good concentration and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
We provide a free breakfast for all students to help them have the best start to the day. Our menu options contain porridge, brown toast, flapjacks, scrambled eggs, beans, hot chocolate, juice and water.
We are open from 7:45am until 8:25am every day.
Our aim is to ensure that all aspects of food and nutrition in the canteen promote healthy choices for the school community. We achieve this by:
1. Providing a welcoming environment.
2. Providing great value.
3. Providing a variety of food options.
4. Providing mealtime supervision.
5. Providing a cashless service to remove any stigma from free school meal users.
6. Promoting social responsibility by encouraging all dining hall users to use recycling and food waste bins.
7. We hold a 5* rating from the Environmental Health Agency for food safety, and all catering staff are fully trained in food preparation, food safety, safety at work and allergy awareness.
8. We have a Catering School Council to provide valuable feedback so we can keep improving and innovating.
9. And because VHS Catering is wholly operated by VHS, our primary focus is always the health and wellbeing of our young people.
The dining hall and commercial kitchen were rebuilt in 2015/2016 costing approximately £1 million. Approximately 300 people can be seated in our dining hall and all meals are prepared in the kitchen on a daily basis. We buy the majority of our food produce from the local Southall community ensuring optimal freshness.
Lunches at Villiers High School exceed ‘The School Food Trust’ national standards.
Lunch is served daily from 12:30pm (for the first term only, Year 7s are allowed in for lunch from 12:20pm).
We are the only secondary school in Ealing that operates an ‘in house’ service meaning we do not contract out the catering services to third parties and are allowed to be more bespoke for our school community and its needs.
We offer Vegan, Vegetarian, Halal and Non-Halal options, with both hot and cold choices. We have excellent self-service salad, fruit and vegetable options. We have removed the use of single-use plastic bottles where possible and encourage students to bring a reusable water bottle. All year 7s are provided with one free reusable bottle upon admission.
All our menus are labelled with allergen information. Menus are changed once per term to ensure the school community is catered to a variety of foods from all cultures.
The service is cashless completely, which means we do not accept cash; students (year 7 to 11) are encouraged to create a ParentPay account.
Further information on ParentPay is detailed below.
The free school meal allowance £2.90 per day.
Our menu and price information
We have included video guidance for parents to view which gives details on how to set up a ParentPay account. You can find further information on the ParentPay help page. For further queries or if you are unable to set up your account, please contact the school office via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
CoCo is a coffee shop designed and built in 2020 for all sixth formers and adults. This is a cashless facility and only accepts debit or credit cards. We have two vending machines which can only be used by sixth formers and adults which only accepts debit or credit cards.
Mobile phones and headphones: “Not seen, not taken”
Thank you to all families for your support with this initiative so far. As I mentioned in the lead up to the Summer holidays, as of September 2023 smart phones and headphones (including in-ear and AirPods) will not be allowed to be used on the school site by students from Year 7 – 11. Sixth formers will be allowed to use these items only in their dedicated areas (6D1 and 6D2) if given permission by the staff in there and not elsewhere on the school site. This is to support students with concentration, increasing opportunities to develop social skills, high quality play and oracy, as a method of avoiding cyber-bullying and to prevent loss or theft. If you wish your child to have a mobile phone with them on the way to or from school, this is fine. Non smart phones are often cheaper and more durable e.g. this example from Tesco. These phones should be switched off during the day and kept in bags. AirPods or headphones may be used on the way to and from school, but need to be put away before reaching the school gate. Should these items be seen (NB not necessarily in use) within the school gates, they will be confiscated and parents (not pupils) are welcome to collect them at the end of the week from 3.45pm. If the incident happens on a Friday, then the items may be collected the following Friday. If you wish to discuss this or have any further feedback, please get in touch.
Uniform and equipment expectations
Again, a big thank you to all families who have sent your children in correct uniform and with the correct equipment. I wrote to parents before the Summer holidays about this and am reminding again:
We would strongly encourage you to check our school website’s “Key parental information” section and visit uniform to make sure that items you are purchasing are in line with our uniform policy. For example, we do not allow pupils to wear trainers, only black, polishable shoes. The school jumper is optional but the blazer is compulsory (NB you are able to buy a plain navy blue blazer and purchase a logo to sew or iron on). Long-sleeved t-shirts under short-sleeved shirts are also not acceptable. There is information on acceptable haircuts, jewellery and make-up on the link above too. We have sourced our providers to make sure that prices are affordable, competitive and give details on our website.
It is expected that pupils will bring with them the following items of stationery on a daily basis:
Planners (provided on the first day); a reading book (which may be borrowed from the school library); a pencil case with stationery inside including: a blue/ black pen, a green pen, a pencil, a ruler, highlighters, a rubber, a sharpener, a compass, a protractor, a calculator, a glue stick and a water bottle (all pupils have received one with Villiers branding, but you may bring your own if you wish).
If you have any questions, or if you are concerned you will not be able to afford items of uniform or equipment, please contact your child’s Head of Year.
Parent Governor Vacancy
There is currently one vacancy for a parent governor to join the Governing Board at Villiers High School. Our parent governors are valuable members of the Governing Board which supports the school and also holds school leaders to account. Parent governors provide a vital link between the school and the wider community and help us to decide what is best for all our pupils. Governors play a key role in continuing to drive improvement.
Further details can be found in the letter above, for your information.
How to apply
Below is a link to download the nomination form. You can nominate yourself or another parent using this form. If you require further forms, these can be collected from the school office. Please return the nomination form by Friday 29 September, 2023 to email@example.com with “Parent Governor Vacancy” as the subject title.
Important Information for Y8 and Y9 parents regarding a project running at the School run by University College London
We are delighted to be taking part in an exciting new project being run by a team at University College London to help young people aged 12-14 to manage their emotions, improve social relationships and promote good mental health.
ReSET will be running in school over the next academic year with students in Years 8 & 9. ReSET workshops use group discussions and app-based tasks to help young people to develop skills and strategies to improve social communication skills, recognise and process their own emotions and the emotions of others & improve overall wellbeing. To find out more, you can visit the project website https://resetproject.co.uk/ .
In September, all Year 8 & 9 students will be asked to answer a short questionnaire about their wellbeing so that the ReSET team can identify students who might benefit the most from their programme. If you are the parent or guardian of a child who will enter Year 8 or 9 in Sept’23 and DO NOT wish for your child to be considered for the project, please complete our opt-out form.
Further information for parents is linked below.
We have compiled a helpful guidebook for parents and students at Villiers, containing valuable information about external organisations that offer support and guidance.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out:
Mr. Silva or
Mr. M Abdulrahman (Parent Ambassadors )
Telephone: 020 8813 8001, ext. 1016.
Autumn Term extra curricular clubs timetable (lunchtime)
We are pleased to share the extra curricular timetable with families for this term. A sign up event will take place on Friday 15th September at lunch time. Clubs will officially begin from Monday 18th September.
More information will follow during student tutor time next week. Please encourage your child to join!
Year 7 first week at Villiers High School
What a great start! It was a pleasure to welcome our new Year 7s to Villiers for their first week of learning. They have been energetic and confident throughout the whole week. They have made an excellent start from day one and already impressed many teachers with their hard work, dedication and determination. Some teachers described the Year 7s as brilliant, respectful and intelligent. The pupils also enjoyed their first week and particularly the free breakfast and the delicious lunches.
What did everyone get up to this week?
The Year 7s spent the morning in their very first official High school assembly. This was led by their Head of Year 7, Mr Virdi, and the Headteacher, Mr. Richards who welcomed Year 7 to the Villiers family.
During the first assembly, Mr Richards spoke about the values of our school: Honesty, Equity, Aspiration, Respect, and Tenacity and how these are important to consider in all of our work and interactions.
We look forward to helping our Year 7s always demonstrate and uphold these values, both in school and in the community.
Students met their form tutors who will be looking after them for the next five years of their Villiers’ journey. They carried out activities in various departments to enable them to develop team building and communication skills. Each student has started to get to know their subject specialist teachers too. Over the course of the first two days of their form activities, they worked as a group and built periscopes.
What’s coming up?
The residential trip to ‘The Tower’ is a great bonding experience for our Year 7s between 18th and 20th October 2023. On the first day of school at Villiers, pupils received a letter with further details about the trip. We have 72 spaces available so do take advantage of the opportunity when it comes up!
Key Forthcoming Dates
For our major events, please check here.
|11/09/23||Year 11 Graphics trip to the Design Museum|
|12/09/23||Year 11 Art trip to the National Portrait Gallery|
|13/09/23||Year 11 History trip to the Tower of London|
|14/09/23||NB School finishes at 1420 on a Thursday each week.Year 10 Welcome to KS4 Evening (1700 – 1745)|
Year 9 Option Evening (Virtual) (1815 – 1900)
Year 11 English trip to Macbeth
|15/09/23||Enrichment Fair (Lunchtime)|
|20/09/23||Year 13 Science and Engineering research trip to Imperial College|
|21/09/23||NB School finishes at 1420 on a Thursday each week.School Photo DayOpen Evening for incoming year 6s (1700 – 1930)|
|22/09/23||Late start for all: 0920 in tutor rooms|
Get in Touch
If you have any suggestions on how to improve the school further or any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org