Woodlands Academy, Coventry

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Woodlands Academy
Woodlands school in Coventry 26a07.JPG
Established 1954
Type Academy
Headteacher Gina O’Connor
Location Broad Lane
West Midlands
Coordinates: 52°24′46″N 1°35′29″W / 52.41279°N 1.59125°W / 52.41279; -1.59125
Local authority Coventry City Council
DfE number 331/4027
DfE URN 137165 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 799 as of March 2016
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Houses 5
Website Official website

Woodlands Academy (formerly The Woodlands School and Sports College) was a boys secondary school situated in west Coventry in the West Midlands, England.


The school was purpose-built in 1954 as one of the first comprehensive schools in the country, by the collaboration of two local educational establishments, Templars School and Coventry Technical College. It opened on the morning of 21 September 1954.[1] Historic links to these two can be seen in The Woodlands School coat of arms. Pupils are aged between 11 and 18. It has remained a boys school; girls go to the nearby Tile Hill Wood School.

In 2003, the school was awarded specialist status as a Sports College.[1]

In the main building there is a copy of the Guernica painting, which illustrates a stylised view of the 1937 Bombing of Guernica in Basque Spain by German and Italian bombers in the Spanish Civil War, in which the artist Pablo Picasso clearly expressed his abhorrence to the military suppression of the Spanish people.[2]

In 2003, Woodlands School adopted a new system where all the pupils take their SATs and GCSEs a year early compared to most other secondary schools in England. The percentage of pupils gaining five grade A*-C GCSEs rose from 36% in 2007 to 61.7% in 2008. This has led to them now being ranked the fifth most successful comprehensive in the city.[3]

In August 2011 Woodlands School converted to academy status and was renamed Woodlands Academy.


The school makes use of the house system and every pupil being registered into one of them. They have assemblies and eat lunch in the house rooms, along with all of the other year groups in the house.[4] Initially a total of eight houses were established with another two following in 1956. They were named after famous citizens of Coventry. The school now has five houses. Out of the original ten houses, five of the houses were closed in the 1980s, and Thompson and West are additions named after two former head teachers of the school. In 2015, original house McLachlan was closed. [1]

School crest.

Sixth form[edit]

The schools shares its sixth form facilities with Tile Hill Wood Girls School and The Westwood Academy, forming West Coventry Sixth Form, which was founded in September 2001 after the sixth forms of the two schools were merged. The original sixth form building was in the new drama studio but is now in the building where the house, cresswell was.[5]

Proposed merger[edit]

The Governing bodies of Woodlands Academy and Tile Hill Wood School are currently leading a consultation on the possible merger of both schools. Reasons cited for the merger include a decrease in pupil numbers in West Coventry, and less parents and pupils choosing single-sex education. If the merger is approved, pupils in Year 7 and 9 will transfer to the current Tile Hill Wood site in September 2016, with the full merger for all pupils commencing on the Tile Hill Wood site in September 2017. The newly merged mixed school will be called West Coventry Academy.[6]

Notable former pupils[edit]

  • Tony Clarke (1941-2010), one of music’s pioneering producers of the late sixties and seventies and known as ‘the sixth Moody Blue’ Perhaps his most famous creation was "Nights in White Satin".
  • Neil Back (born 1969), rugby union player who has played for the English national team.
  • John Gray, English cricketer, and rugby union, and rugby league footballer of the 1960s, '70s and '80s, playing for Warwickshire (cricket), and Marylebone Cricket Club, England 7s (RU), Coventry R.F.C., Great Britain (RL), England, Wigan, North Sydney Bears, and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
  • Danny Grewcock (born 1972), rugby union player who has played for the English national team.
  • David Moorcroft (born 1953), athlete .
  • Tom Wood (born 1986), rugby union player, currently playing for Northampton Saints and the English national team.
  • Cyrus Christie (born 1992), professional footballer, currently playing for Derby County in the English Football Championship.
  • Gordon Wardell (born 1953), convicted murderer, who went on to kill his wife at their home in nearby Nuneaton in 1994. In 1970, he was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm intent after stabbing the wife of a teacher at the school.


  • September 1954 – July 1962: Mr F. West
  • September 1962 – December 1980: Mr Donald Thompson
  • January 1981 – May 1996: Mr Walter Hogarth
  • June 1996 – December 1996: Mr Donald Wright (interim)
  • January 1997 – July 1999: Mr Graham Legg
  • September 1999 – December 1999: Mr Andrew Kerley (interim)
  • January 2000 – 2004: Mr David Hebden
  • September 2004 – January 2015 : Mr Neil Charlton
  • January 2015 – September 2016 : Dr Roger Harris
  • September 2016 – present: Mrs Gina O'Connor


  1. ^ a b c "The History of The Woodlands School ~ 1954-2004". The Woodlands School. Archived from the original on 5 September 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Tóibín, Colm (29 April 2006). "The Art of War". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2007. 
  3. ^ Lynch, Lucy (12 March 2009). "Woodlands' exam improvements 'staggering' say Ofsted inspectors". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "Introduction". The Woodlands School. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "Tile Hill Wood School". Tile Hill Wood School. 
  6. ^ "Athlete David Moorcroft backs Coventry pupils' protest over school closure plans". BBC News. 

External links[edit]