Wheatley Park School
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|Headteacher||Ms Kate Curtis|
|DfE URN||140875 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
Wheatley Park School (WPS) is a co-educational state secondary school of approximately 1,150 pupils situated in Holton, Oxfordshire, England about 8 miles (13 km) east of Oxford. The school has been an academy since May 2014.
A grammar school for east Oxfordshire, Holton Park Girls' Grammar School, was founded on the site in 1949. In 1971 Wheatley Park Comprehensive School was opened at two sites with senior and junior divisions, one of which was situated in Wheatley. These two divisions consolidated in the early 1980s on the present site at Holton Park, although the school retained the name Wheatley Park School. The main complex of modern school buildings are located in the former parkland of a Georgian manor house. The house itself now contains school administrative offices. Recent building projects at the school include a new mathematics block which was opened in 2004, and a building for the John Watson school, with which Wheatley Park School is affiliated, opened in September 2006. The school has recently opened the new John Milton English and Media Centre. The school became an academy in May 2014.
The school consistently achieves art A-level results within the top 5 in the country. In 2010 GCSE results were their highest ever with 59% receiving at least 5 A*-Cs. The school is one of a small number of state schools to offer Latin and politics courses at GCSE and A-level.
WPS provides after-school and extracurricular activities, including rock climbing and sailing. A Sixth form student won the 2005 29er Youth World Championship for sailing in San Francisco. The school produces a musical every year. Other arts activities include holding an annual Sixth Form fashion show in aid of charity, hosting an annual film festival.
The school offers a number of foreign trips, including annual excursions to Italy, Spain, France and Germany. Popular trips also include those to Russia, China, Iceland and the US. Wheatley Park participates in the World Challenge programme. Previous destinations include Vietnam, Morocco, Brazil, Tanzania and Peru, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
History of the site
The school is built in the grounds of a small English country house called Holton Park. Used as a base during the English Civil War of the 1640s, it is believed that one of Oliver Cromwell's daughters was married on the moat, and is local legend holds that a passageway links this site with the nearby village of Wheatley.
The site was used as a military hospital (specialising in brain damage related injuries) during the Second World War for the US and subsequently British military, but the huts housing the hospital were removed from the site in 2006. It was known as Holton Park Hospital or Wheatley Military Hospital. The US 97th General Hospital officially took command of the hospital on 22 April 1944 in preparation to treat casualties from D-Day and after. The first train of casualties arrived 6 days after D-Day. By 2 August 1944, 1,449 battle casualties had been treated at the hospital. The 97th departed Wheatley on 30 June 1945 and to set up a facility in France.
Notable former pupils
Theresa May attended Holton Park Girls' Grammar School, which was formerly located on the site of the present school.
- Chipperfield, Joh (8 June 2009). "Girls were taught in idyllic surroundings at Holton Park". Oxford Mail (Oxford).