Welcome to The Swan School – a new secondary school for Oxford that is set to open in September 2019. As founding headteacher, my vision is to work with the local community and exceptional establishments in Oxford and around the world to build a truly outstanding school where every single child can achieve his or her potential. We believe that students should leave The Swan School having achieved more than they ever believed possible, and with the qualifications, skills, and confidence to achieve even more in the future. We also believe they should leave with happy memories, plenty of friends and a sense of responsibility for their community. We plan to send every student out into the world with an understanding of the way it works and the empathy and drive to make it better, in whatever way they can.

Kay Wood, Swan School Headteacher

Values
Our values will be at the heart of everything we do at The Swan School:

  • Students will be taught to respect themselves, others, and the world around them. They will value diversity and seek out opportunities to give back to their local community.
  • Through their lessons and enrichment activities students will work together and will learn the importance of hard work in achieving goals. They will be set challenging tasks and given opportunities to fail, learning from their mistakes, and demonstrating their resilience to keep going in the face of difficulties.
  • We will have unapologetically high standards of behaviour at The Swan School; no student should have their learning disturbed by the actions of others. Yet our strict behaviour policy will also focus on building students’ integrity by helping them to understand the impact of their choices and to restore relationships. Students at The Swan School will do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not because they are worried about being caught or punished.
  • Independence is a vital element for success both in education and later life. Students at The Swan will have opportunities to work independently right from the start of their time with us, and these will increase as students get older. Daily homework (prep) will ensure that they consolidate the day’s learning and prepare for the next.
  • We will set the highest expectations of what students will learn and will encourage them to learn quickly and securely, while being sympathetic to all abilities. We will encourage students to challenge themselves, and always push themselves to be even better. Students who need additional support will be quickly identified and provided with timely and effective intervention to help them make rapid progress. Success (both academic and personal) will be rewarded and celebrated publicly.
  • At The Swan School, kindness will be our most important value. Our students will be kind to themselves and one another. We will have strong pastoral teams of both teaching and non-teaching staff who will promote a culture of kindness throughout the school. All staff will ensure that students feel supported and any unkind behaviour such as bullying is swiftly and effectively dealt with.

WE BELIEVE THAT STUDENTS SHOULD LEAVE THE SWAN SCHOOL HAVING ACHIEVED MORE THAN THEY EVER BELIEVED POSSIBLE

Curriculum
The curriculum at The Swan School will be tailored to provide a rigorous academic education. We will set the highest expectations of what students will learn and will encourage them to learn quickly and securely, while being sympathetic to all abilities. Students who need additional support will be quickly identified and provided with timely and effective intervention to help them make rapid progress. Creative and cultural education will be seen as just as important as traditional academic subjects. Art, design and technology, and music will be taught to both appreciate the achievements of others, discover their own creative abilities, and develop their transferrable skills such as teamwork and resilience. Compulsory enrichment activities will ensure that all students participate in the arts and high-quality performances will showcase our students’ hard work and talent.

Teaching and Learning
High-quality teaching is the most important factor in helping children learn to the best of their ability. At The Swan School, teachers will keep up to date with the latest developments in research to ensure that lessons are planned expertly and that no time is wasted on tasks that do not move students on. We will recruit dedicated members of teaching and support staff and invest heavily in professional development to enable them to continually improve their craft and give students the best possible experience.

Behaviour and Engagement
The Swan School will have unapologetically high expectations of behaviour; no student should have their learning disturbed by the behaviour of others. We will therefore have a strict behaviour policy, yet one whose focus is on ensuring that young people learn from their mistakes. We will use a restorative approach to explain to students why their behaviour is unacceptable and build their integrity so that they make better choices for themselves in future. Positive attitudes, behaviour and progress will be publicly celebrated.

At The Swan School, personal development will be valued just as highly as academic achievement. We will have dedicated pastoral teams of both teaching and non-teaching staff who will promote a culture of kindness throughout the school. All staff will ensure that students feel supported and any unkind behaviour such as bullying is swiftly and effectively dealt with.

Kay Wood Short Biography

Kay is 32 and has taught in London state schools for more than a decade.
Since last September she has been Vice Principal (Teaching and Learning) at The City Academy, Hackney.
Before that she was Assistant Headteacher at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School.
She studied geography at Oxford’s Christ Church college.
Before that she went to Bancroft’s School in Essex.
Her mother is Chinese and Kay’s full name is Kay Cheng Hua Wood.