Heathside School Walton on Thames
Heathside School Walton on Thames
Revised opening date of Heathside Walton school
The Department for Education has revised the realistic opening date for the new Heathside Walton-on-Thames School (“Heathside Walton”) to September 2021, subject to planning permission being obtained.
While ElmWey Learning Trust, who will operate the new school, had initially hoped that Heathside Walton would open in 2020, opening in September 2021 corresponds with the latest pupil number data from Surrey County Council, on when a new secondary school is required in Elmbridge. Additionally, there has been a delay in accessing the site which has resulted in the planning application being submitted later than initially anticipated.
ElmWey Learning Trust and the team behind Heathside Walton will continue to work closely with the local community, Elmbridge Borough Council, Surrey County Council and other stakeholders to bring about the opening of the school in time for the first Year 7 pupils to start in 2021.
About Heathside Walton
Heathside Walton is a proposed new Free School to be run by ElmWey Learning Trust who currently operate Heathside School in Weybridge. Heathside School in Weybridge was rated “Good” by OFSTED at its last inspection in March 2018. ElmWey Learning Trust is seeking to replicate its educational ethos, standards and achievements at the new school in Walton-on-Thames.
Heathside Walton will have a mixed intake of children aged 11 to 16 and will be a non-faith, non-selective school. The school will ultimately have a pupil roll of 900 pupils with the school admitting 150 Year 7 pupils in its first year, rising to a total of 180 new pupils for each Year 7 intake thereafter.
Heathside Walton – The School
The school will be run by the ElmWey Learning Trust, which also operates the highly successful Heathside School Weybridge, a mixed 11-18 secondary school.
Free Schools are independent, state funded schools. The first Free School opened in 2011. As of January 2018 there are 475 Free Schools operating across England. Of the Free Schools inspected by Ofsted by the end of October 2017, 84% are rated either ‘Good’ or Outstanding’, with 30% rated ‘Outstanding’.
The proposal is being brought forward by the Department for Education (DfE), alongside its appointed professional team and with support from Surrey County Council (SCC).
ElmWey’s bid to open a Free School was submitted in the spring of 2016 and the Government announced the approval of the bid in summer 2016. The free school will help meet the severe basic need for additional secondary places in Walton-on-Thames and Molesey.
- 900 pupils across 6 academic year groups
- 150 pupils per year in the school’s first year of operation, then rising to 180 pupils per year
- No faith denomination
- Replicating the successful ethos at Heathside School Weybridge, which was rated as “Good”
in its recent Ofsted Inspection (March 2018)
- Will assist in meeting the areas severe basic need for secondary school places
ElmWey Learning Trust seeks to replicate the educational standards and ethos of Heathside School Weybridge at the new Free School and it is proposed there will be close and supportive links between both schools.
Naming the new school Heathside Walton-on-Thames encapsulates both our aims and ongoing support for the new school.
Establishing exemplary standards and positive ‘behaviour for learning’ are seen as key factors in the success of the new school.
The curriculum at Heathside Walton-on-Thames will be tailored to meet the needs of all the students. While the core subjects will offer academic rigour, the curriculum will remain broad and balanced allowing students to also take creative and vocational pathways.
For core subjects there will be a standard class size of between 28 and 30 pupils. For design and technology this will be no more than 24 pupils. Some optional subjects at Key Stage 4 will be between 15 and 25 pupils.
There will be one teacher per lesson, with a teaching assistant in approximately 30% of lessons.
The common timetable for year groups is based around:
- 08:30 – 15:00 core day
- 15:00 – 16:00 extended day activities for 25% of cohort
- 6 x 50-minute periods per day, five days per week
- Common morning breaks for all students: 30 minutes
- Common lunch break for all students: 50 minutes
Pupils will be given the opportunity to opt for 2 out of 4 one hour after school extra-curricular sessions offered Monday to Thursday.
There will be a choice from:
- Academic Study and Support
- Exercise, Sport and Healthy Living
- Creative and Performing Arts
- Life and Community Skills
The Proposed Site
The proposed site for the new school is located on Waterside Drive, just off Terrace Road A3050.
The proposed site extends to 12.93 acres and is located 0.8 miles north-east of Walton-on-Thames Town centre. The entirety of the site sits within the Borough of Elmbridge and SCC have a freehold interest in the land.
The site is currently in pastoral farming use.
The Main School Building
The new campus is designed to respond to the site constraints, generate strong school identity and provide community facilities of which everyone can be proud of.
The main school building is positioned to optimise the outdoor amenity space whilst minimising the buildings impact on the surrounding area. There is a separate entrance plaza area for staff/visitor/public use, and student entry is positioned to the west to respond to the major direction of approach along Waterside Drive.
The whole school is contained within a single building and set across three floors.
The internal entrance points in the building are located to create focal points or ‘knuckles’ from which everyone can intuitively circulate around the building.
On the ground floor the building is principally split into two sections, with facilities to the north which will be used by pupils and the community, and to the south, teaching and learning space accessed only by pupils. The main pupil entrance has a ‘hub’ of key facilities which is repeated on all floors to include pastoral support, SEN areas and WCs.
The design promotes permeability, with routes and views through the building to the spaces beyond.
Community use is a strong design consideration with significant areas available for community activities and third-party hire. The external Multi Use Games-Use Areas (MUGA), sports hall, dining area, main hall and the library are designed to be available for community access.
Walking and Cycling
The school, although not located in a dense residential area, has excellent walking and cycling routes and it is estimated that the majority of pupils will arrive by these modes of transport. Heathside Weybridge has an excellent record of facilitating and encouraging pupils to cycle with over 13% doing so.
The new school will provide covered cycle parking above the Surrey County Council and Transport for London standards with 160 spaces for pupils, staff and visitors. Within the building there will be changing and shower areas and storage for cycle equipment.
There are existing off-road cycle routes along both sides of Waterside Drive and along the River Thames and Terrace Road. The footways on Waterside Drive are wide and a new formal pedestrian crossing near the school entrance is proposed as part of the application.
A new double length bus stop is proposed adjacent to the school frontage. At present there is one bus service (Route 564) that serves Waterside Drive. This route is local and while discussions are in place regarding changes to its timetable and frequency, pupils living on the bus route would be more likely to walk or cycle.
There is a further bus route stop at Cottimore Lane which is less than 15 minutes’ walk from the proposed school. These routes capture the expected pupil catchment within Molesey and Walton.
Discussions with SCC Public Transport and local bus operators are taking place to establish if improvements to bus frequencies and routes are possible.
Roads and Parking
Waterside Drive will be designed with road features to create a safe street frontage for the school. Parking and stopping restrictions are planned near the entrances and a new, formal pedestrian crossing will be included.
Away from the school frontage and new pedestrian crossing, unrestricted on-street parking will remain, but the focus is on enhancing Waterside Drive to be a safe place for pupils to walk, cycle and travel by bus.
The timings of the school day have been planned to be at least 15 minutes apart from the nearby Grovelands Primary School.
Who are the ‘ElmWay Learning Trust’?
And do they have any local schools in operation?
ElmWey Learning Trust was incorporated in June 2015 as a MultiAcademy Trust and runs Heathside School Weybridge.
The Trust’s vision is ‘To create a family of local schools committed to
excellence, continuous improvement and innovation in all we do’.
Heathside School – Weybridge
Heathside School Weybridge converted to an Academy in 2015 and its academic results rank it with top-performing comprehensives nationally.
In 2017, from a non-selective intake, 87% of students got 4-9 in both Maths and English, with 39% of all GCSEs at A*-A grade (7-9).
At A-level, 56% of the grades were A*-B and 24% A*-A. These results placed the school in the top 25% nationally at both GCSE and A level.
The governance practices of the Trust have been designated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and these practices will be utilised in the
The Trust’s ambition is to replicate the success of the Weybridge school, in Walton-on-Thames.
For further information, please contact Duncan Flynn at Cratus Communications by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 020 8629 7208.
Further information on Heathside Walton is available at https://www.heathsidewalton.org/
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