Ofsted Declares West Thames College a Good College with Outstanding Features

April 23rd, 2014

West Thames College is celebrating this week, following a very successful Ofsted visit from 10th to 14th March 2014, as it is now officially one of the highest achieving colleges in London.  The Ofsted Report, officially published on 18th April 2014, awarded the college an overall grade 2 ‘Good’ with several areas graded as ‘Outstanding’ (grade 1), including Leadership and Management of the college. The inspection report highlights the significant improvements that have been made since the last inspection in 2010 when the college achieved a ‘Satisfactory’ grade 3.

Achieving an overall ‘Good’ grade with outstanding features is a significant achievement which very few London colleges have achieved this year. This, along with the college’s improving success rate, firmly places West Thames College as one of the top 5 (of 30) London colleges.

West Thames College Principal, Marjorie Semple said, We are so proud that the talent and skills of our staff and students have been recognised by Ofsted.  We work hard to make sure that our students realise their dreams and ambitions and leave us ready to make a positive and valuable contribution to a more prosperous community.  So we were pleased that Ofsted saw how our partnerships with employers were benefitting our students, and that our 16-18 year old students are developing English, Maths and employability skills to the level required by business.”

“What Inspectors saw is what we see every day of the week: a vibrant, friendly college which provides an ‘oasis of calm’; where the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is good and, in some cases, outstanding – one Inspector said, ‘it was the best childcare class I’ve ever had the privilege to observe’.” 

“We are looking forward to building on this good report and, with success rates rising year-on-year for the last 5 years, we are well on the way to becoming outstanding in all areas.”

Saint Paul’s Choir Sing with Gary Barlow

April 22nd, 2014

It’s not every day you get to perform with a music legend, but that’s exactly what happened for the pupils from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe when they were invited to sing with pop icon Gary Barlow on his recent tour.

The school choir delighted a capacity audience with their vocal talents when they were selected to sing with Gary at the sell out concert at Manchester Phones4U Arena.

Under the musical direction of Gary Barlow and Saint Paul’s Music teacher, Mr Daniel Hodsdon, the choir performed “Sing” the Official Diamond Jubilee song co-written by Gary Barlow and renowned musical theatre composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber. The song was originally performed by artists across The Commonwealth to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Choir had been busy in rehearsal for their big moment on the stage and they were rewarded with the incredible opportunity to sing alongside Gary Barlow and received a fabulous standing ovation after their performance. They certainly made Wythenshawe proud and gave the audience a night to remember!

One pupil said: “I can’t put into words how amazing it was, it was one of best experiences I’ve ever been involved in. Singing in front of an arena full of people with Gary Barlow was mind blowing!”

Daniel Hodson explained: “We aim to provide a varied musical education at Saint Paul’s, introducing children to the joy of music and the value in performing with others. To be given the opportunity of a lifetime to perform with Gary Barlow was fantastic. I felt so proud when the choir’s performance concluded with thunderous applause echoing throughout the arena.”

“To Sing ‘Sing” alongside Gary Barlow was an incredible triumph for our school choir,” said Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “It was an amazing opportunity to showcase their remarkable talent and energy.”