Open Evening 2021

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This is an edited version of the speech Mr Brown delivered to our Year 5 and 6 Open Evening on Tuesday 5th October 2021.

I’m delighted to welcome you to The Urswick School. Why are we all here tonight? Because the education and future success of your children is important to us all. Covid is a current reality and we have done everything possible to reduce risk this evening. We are here because the decision you are about to make has a life long impact and is about the next seven years of schooling. I want to tell you about the values and ambitions of our school. If you share these then I hope you will select Urswick as your first choice and your child will join us in September 2022.

Our mission statement is ‘Believe and Achieve’. We aim high and want to help your children reach their dreams and ambitions. We believe your child can achieve and will be successful whatever their starting point. This school and the children in it can still do better. That is why after 14 years of Headship I still retain my commitment and enthusiasm for leading this school. For the last three years our GCSE results have increased. Last year nearly half of all our students achieved GCSE success in every EBACC subject – English, Maths, Combined Sciences, a Modern Foreign Language and History. 99% of students have achieved five or more GCSEs for the last four years. Nobody leaves this school without achieving success.

Our children work hard and attend well. Attendance over the last four years has been over 95% across the school. Urswick’s Sixth Form Academy is now over 100 students. Last year’s cohort have all gone to a University of their choice – including Oxford and Cambridge. 30% of our Year 13 are now at Russell Group Universities or Oxbridge.

OFSTED described the behaviour of our children as ‘exemplary’ and reported that any bullying is dealt with swiftly and effectively. In successive OFSTED Inspections, The Urswick School has been graded ‘Outstanding’ for Leadership and Management, and, Behaviour and Safety. We are not a ‘boot camp’ and we promote self-discipline amongst young people including by rewarding students who do the right thing. We DO NOT allow mobile phones in school in years 7 to 11. If you want your child to carry a mobile phone in school then you need to choose a different school. We expect the support of parents and carers to ensure our school continues to be a calm, learning environment based around mutual respect. There is no middle ground when it comes to behaviour – children are expected to do as adults tell them.

Christopher Urswick founded free education in Hackney 500 years ago by creating a school to teach ’12 poor boys to read’. Urswick was Rector of Hackney and our school is founded on Christian principles and is a Church of England School. We are a Christian school, not just a school for Christians. The school has a diverse student intake and staff group. We have nearly 300 students of the Muslim faith and students of many different faiths and no faith. All are equally welcome here.

As part of the school’s commitment to the community, every child receives a free school lunch each day whether they are eligible to Free School Meals or not. This saves a working family £330 per year. Every child can receive a hot and healthy lunch each day.

We allocate 50% of places by distance and to siblings and 50% according to the Faith Criteria. If you attend any place of worship recognised by The World Council of Churches, please fill in the Supplementary Form online or in the back of our Prospectus. You also need to apply using the Pan London process via your London Borough (i.e. Hackney Council) which will have been explained by your child’s Primary school. If you are applying on the basis of distance or siblings just complete the online Pan London process and return it to the London Borough you live in. 

I hope you like what I have outlined about the school, in which case please make Urswick your first choice or, at the very least, one of your six choices.

Believe and Achieve

Richard Brown 
Executive Headteacher