Whitchurch High School
|Motto||Learning for Life (Welsh: Dysgu Gydol Oes)|
Community secondary school
|Headteacher||Mr Huw Jones-Williams|
|Location||Penlline Road and Glan-y-Nant Terrace
|DfE URN||401880 Tables|
|Colours||Blue (Lower school) & Maroon (Upper school)|
|Predecessor schools||Whitchurch Grammar School
Whitchurch County Secondary School
Whitchurch High School (Welsh: Ysgol Uwchradd yr Eglwys Newydd) is a large, co-educational, comprehensive secondary school in the suburb of Whitchurch in Cardiff, Wales. It is considered to be one of the better secondary schools in Cardiff, and was described in its 2009 Estyn report as a "good school ... moving forward from strength to strength". Despite these accolades, Whitchurch's policies towards its male students were brought into question in July 2013 when a group of 17 Year 10 students were barred from wearing any alternative to trousers during an extreme heat wave.
Organisation & Structure
The school is currently the largest in Wales (according to the school's last Estyn report) with 2400 pupils. In accordance with the three-tier system, it is divided between two sites, known as Upper and Lower. The Lower School site houses Years 7 to 9, with the Upper School providing facilities for years 10 and 11. The Upper School site also includes the Sixth Form Centre.
The school's Leadership Team is composed of the headteacher, two deputy headteachers and nine assistant headteachers. The current headteacher is Mr Huw Jones-Williams, who took over from Gareth Mathewson OBE in September 2008. He was Head of Fitzalan High School and a former Deputy Head at Whitchurch.
There has been a new change to the school uniform including, grey blazers for both sites but just a blue tie for lower and maroon tie for upper. Which is officially supplied by YC Sports.
Whitchurch High School came into being in 1968, following the government circular of 1965, which replaced the existing tripartite system with comprehensive education. The new comprehensive school was created through a merger of the well established Whitchurch Grammar School, and Whitchurch County Secondary School, a secondary modern school. The former, based on Penlline Road, became the Upper School site, and the latter, on Glan-y-Nant Terrace, the lower school. Like its predecessors, the school was co-educational and catered for a broad catchment area centred on the suburbs of Whitchurch, Rhiwbina and Tongwynlais in the northern part of Cardiff. The comprehensive school was initially run by Cardiff County Borough until the local government reform of 1974, which included Whitchurch in the new county of South Glamorgan. In 1996, the school reverted to Cardiff County Council, which became a unitary authority. As of September 2011, the school has been granted foundation status by the Welsh Assembly, following controversy over the local authority's proposals to reduce the school's intake.
The school's Sixth Form school offers AS/A2 levels, a few stages of the Welsh Baccalaureate, and some vocational courses. Up until 2012, it was one of the only secondary instititutions in Wales to offer the International Baccalaureate.
The school has a tradition in sport, music, drama and politics, with facilities such as:
- A large, floodlit astroturf pitch on the lower school site used mainly for hockey and football (1997)
- A sports recreational hall, located on the lower school site, opened by HRH The Duke of York, Prince Andrew. (2004)
- A sports recreational hall with a fitness suite, changing rooms and classrooms located on the upper school site. (2006)
- The school has 10 floodlit, five a side football pitches with clubhouse and parking located on the lower school site. The facility is run by the private company Powerleague, and is available for community use outside of school hours. (2007)
- Extensive, well drained playing fields on both the upper and lower school sites which are used for home matches by the schools rugby and football teams.
- Traditional school gyms with climbing equipment, ropes, gymnastic apparatus and crash mats on both the upper and lower school sites.
- The Dutch Barn, formerly a derelict gym on the lower school site, has been converted into a hall used for school assemblies, art exhibitions and the annual Matthew Pasley and Richard Fice Memorial Concerts. (2002)
- A purpose built music block on the lower school site (2009)
- A dedicated drama studio.
- A large vertical climbing wall and horizontal bouldering wall (2011)
Notable former pupils of Whitchurch High School
- Gareth Bale, football player for Wales and Real Madrid
- Matt Elias, Former Athlete who represented Wales and Great Britain at 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay.
- Elliot Kear, rugby league player and Wales international
- Tom Maynard, Wales cricketer
- Ben Slade, former BBC Children's television presenter and (in 2007) the youngest secondary school Headteacher in the UK
- Geraint Thomas, cyclist, 2008 Olympic gold medallist
- Sam Warburton, rugby union player and Wales international
Whitchurch Gramar School
- John Bridgeman CBE, Director-General from 1995-2000 of the Office of Fair Trading
- Andrew Davies (writer), renowned TV scriptwriter, known for most of the BBC's best costume dramas
- Elizabeth Horrocks, author; winner of the BBC Mastermind Programme in 1974
- Gwilym Jones, Conservative MP from 1983-97 for Cardiff North
- Howard Jones, musician
- Maggie Jones, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, politician and life peer
- Prof Rhys Jones, archaeologist
- Rhodri Morgan, First Minister for Wales from 2001-09; Labour MP from 1987-2001 for Cardiff West
- Dale Owen, architect
- Judge Sir Malcolm Pill, jurist
- Prof Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the Institute of Education, University of London
- Prof John Rees, Professor of Medical Education from 2006 at King's College London School of Medicine and Dentistry
- Warrant Officer Lyndsay Morgan, Chief of the Air Staff's Warrant Officer from 2006 to 2009
- Controversy over trousers
- Profile of Whitchurch High School at BBC Wales
- "From Gareth Bale to Sam Warburton and Gerraint Thomas - Prime Minister heaps praise on Cardiff school's sporting heroes". South Wales Echo. 3 November 2011.
- "A school for sporting idols". South Wales Echo. 6 November 2011.
- Whitchurch High School wins Sports State School of the Year Award
- "School Sport Matters awards: stars come out in force to hail heroic sporting efforts of British schools". The Daily Telegraph. 4 November 2011.
- "Lions captain Sam Warburton revels in special 48 hours for himself and Tottenham forward Gareth Bale". The Independent. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Stars are on opposite sides of school fence". South Wales Echo. 24 April 2012.
- "Pride at Cardiff school that developed Sam Warburton and Gareth Bale". guardian.co.uk. 13 October 2011.
- "Rugby World Cup 2011: Cardiff-born Gareth Bale and Sam Warburton were stars from the start, reflects coach". The Daily Telegraph. 14 October 2011.
- "OFT chief to move on". BBC News. 25 February 2000.
- Powell, Kenneth (28 November 1997). "Obituary: Dale Owen". London: The Independent.
- Woods, Lesley (2009). "Welsh Warrant Officer steps down from top job". RAF.MOD.UK. Retrieved 3 November 2010.