A Nottinghamshire secondary school has welcomed a new principal who comes from a school which was ranked one of the country's most improved last year. George Coles is the new principal at the 690-pupil Wells Academy, Nottingham,
Mr Coles previously worked in the senior leadership team at Nottinghamshire’s Sutton Community Academy, which went from being one of the UK's worst schools to achieving a Good Ofsted report in a single inspection. Speaking of his vision for The Wells Academy, in Ransom Drive, Mapperley Park, he explained he wants to “support the academy to reach new heights”.
He said: “I’ve been interested in the journey of The Wells Academy since it opened two and a half years ago. This academy is on a mission, and my role is to help it continue on that mission. There’s a real, palpable energy in the building.
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"It’s exciting! We have some excellent people here: both students and staff, and it’s impossible not to be invigorated by their enthusiasm." George explained that his number one priority is to ensure that every pupil at The Wells Academy is supported in reaching their full potential.
He added: “My intentions at The Wells Academy are very much to build on what's already taken place here. Pupils at this school know that they've been on a journey of transformation.
"It’s about picking up the baton and continuing that journey. We have a culture of high expectations. It’s about everyone recognising that in order to be successful, we've got to hold ourselves to the highest standards. We’re exacting in our expectations of students, and we don't apologise for that.
"We expect our pupils to be on time, wearing the correct uniform and to be polite and kind. And we insist on that and will support our pupils to achieve their very best.”
Mr Coles was originally a drama teacher, and began his teaching career at Wilsthorpe School in Long Eaton. He was also an education consultant for BBC Bitesize, and wrote the GCSE drama content for the prestigious site.
He is also an advisor for government exams and qualifications regulator Ofqual. He said: "For any changes to drama GCSE or A-level specifications, I’m called upon to provide a subject perspective. That’s my geeky drama side!”
He explained that he is pleased that the academy is currently funding free musical instrument lessons for pupils, which has seen significant take-up with many pupils keen to learn. He said: “We have an incredible culture of the arts both in this country and the wider world. Every young person deserves to know about their cultural history.
"Music and art are on the national curriculum, but drama is not, so a lot of schools don’t promote it as a subject. That’s a shame because it’s a vital art form and pupils should have access to that.
“Drama is an entitlement for children and, as a drama teacher, it’s an absolute non-negotiable on the curriculum for me. If you look at schools like Harrow and Eton and they have the most incredible theatres and the most amazing opportunities to be involved in theatre. That should be a right for every student in the country.”
No Ofsted report is available for the Wells Academy yet, due to it being a relatively new school.
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