As a school Wallace is proud of its reputation for creativity, innovation and effective use of technology so it seemed very natural to transfer our ease with all things IT to the administration of our Open Morning. We launched our Open Morning resources on the school social media in advance of the Saturday extravaganza to enable early downloads and visitors to school were also greeted with QR codes, familiar to us all from the days of the Covid-19 pandemic, which enabled them to access a map, a Year 8 guide and our 2023 Prospectus. Whilst we did have paper resources in some classrooms for the many inter-active activities on offer, we aspire to “go greener” with every passing year!
Several thousand visitors attended the event over the course of the morning with the vast majority opting to attend the presentations in the Assembly Hall at 9.45 or 10.45. The audiences were treated to live performances by our Jazz Band and choirs designed to showcase the range of music performed in school. In acknowledgement of the fact that our most important guests are the prospective pupils themselves Mr Falconer (Head of Music) included that toe-tapping, dance-move inducing Disney treat The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Mrs O’Hare, Principal of Wallace, gave a concise and stimulating address which focused on our familiar phrase “The Wallace Way” and five key areas:
- Ethos and intake trends
- Wallace’s distinctive pastoral care
- Academic success and range of available opportunities
- Positive health- physical and mental well-being
- Our focus on developing aspiration, character, innovation and leadership
Our platform party included our Head Boy Josh, Deputy Head Girl Tanisha and two Year 8 students Lucie and Nathan, rightly described by the Principal as “endearing.” In a Q & A session the quartet discussed transitioning from primary school, the value of extra-curricular activities, the fun to be had in participating in charitable activities (Tanisha and Josh waxed lyrical about the joys of having powder paint thrown at you and stumbling through mud!) the fun of Adventure Day and the sheer scale of opportunities offered in school.
A particular focus from the senior students was the work of our pupil-led, pupil focused Wellness Committee. Josh, Tanisha and other senior students are fully involved with the group which offers drop-in sessions, craft and mindfulness activities, access to carefully selected online resources and a fun day in the summer term.
Departmental activities vary according to the subject area and the science departments had their usual dynamic, exciting and spectacular displays. The lure of dissection (which had been vividly described by Nathan) remains a “marmite” issue as more than one adult was heard to squeal “That’s gross!”; others were patiently waiting their turn! Our innovative IT was demonstrated by the use of VR headsets in a number of departments although some claimed motion-sickness was generated by some of the available simulations of roller coasters and mountain climbing! Our green screen provided fun in the MIA department and gruesome looking wounds were skilfully created with stage make up. The English Department paid homage to Shakespeare’s iconic Macbeth with WHS CSI inviting guests to solve the crime. Aspects of the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, JK Rowling, Seamus Heaney and Shakespeare were brought to life and the department also hosted a display highlighting the work of the school’s legacy charity, the Cancer Fund for Children. We had themed icing of cupcakes in RE, Norman regalia in History, delicious delicacies in Home Economics and so much more.
Ultimately, Open Morning is all about pupils, both prospective and current. Hundreds of current pupils gave up a Saturday morning to act as demonstrators and guides and they are the best recommendation for the school. “Articulate”,“confident”, “friendly” and “helpful” were the adjectives repeated endlessly by parents as they left the school offering their warm thanks for the pupil led tour which provided an insight not just into bricks and mortar but into the collective beating heart of Wallace High School.
We are proud to say #MadeinWallace
“I am very proud to be Principal of Wallace, I believe in the capacity of our combined effort as a school community to make a real difference in the lives of our young people. As a school, I know that we are exceptional at developing aspiration, driving innovation and we are future-focused.”
(Mrs Deborah O’Hare)
Last modified: January 10, 2023