WE ARE WILLINGDON
We are a united, vibrant community which demonstrates personal excellence in all that we do. Learning at Willingdon transforms lives by igniting curiosity and expecting the very best from staff and students alike. We value opportunities, aiming for success today to prepare for challenges and opportunities tomorrow. We are respectful, honest and courteous to empower each other on our unique learning journeys. We look after ourselves and each other, and show empathy, respect and compassion to all people and our environment along the way. We encourage tolerance, resilience and reflection, which in turn allows everyone to make progress every lesson. We work together as a harmonious community to be the very best versions of ourselves.
This makes us Willingdon
We are looking forward to our Transition events including our Open Evening and Open Mornings.
We are Willingdon.
Written by, produced and performed by our wonderful community. We look forward to welcoming Year 6 and their Parent/Carers at our Open Events. We are Incredibly proud of our Year 7’s already demonstrating Personal Excellence values performing this to for their old friends from Primary school… We are Willingdon 2023
Click here to see our current school vacancies
Values and Ethos
At Willingdon Community School, we aim to develop, in all our students, key values which we consider contribute to the achievement of what we refer to as, Personal Excellence.
To strive to do your best on all occasions. Take on new challenges and challenge yourself to reach the highest possible standards and be personally successful.
To respect and value all members of our community, recognising and celebrating our differences. Respect ourselves, valuing what we can each bring to our community.
Understand the needs of others and support those who sometimes need our help. Contribute to charitable work which supports those less well-off in the world.
Be well mannered in all situations, displaying the basic courtesies that we all value. Greet those you work with regularly; be particularly welcoming and polite to visitors and show appreciation for those who support and work closely with you.
Always be honest, even when it may appear difficult. Be honest to yourself - know your strengths and your weaknesses.
Our Senior Leadership Team
I am now in my eighth year of Headship at Willingdon Community School and am still loving the opportunities and challenges the school affords me each and every day. I was fortunate to know at a young age that teaching was my calling. I secured a 2:1 History Degree from Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey and completed my PGCE in History at Christchurch University, Kent. I worked in a number of Kent and London schools from a top performing, outstanding grammar school to schools that faced rural, suburban and coastal challenges and were often schools in ‘special measures’ or ‘requiring improvement.’ I enjoyed being an outstanding History teacher securing the opportunity to take on a Head of History middle management role. I then progressed my career to lead a sixth form as Director of KS5 followed by becoming a Deputy Headteacher. I have always put the needs of the children I teach first. At one stage, this meant learning Sociology and Politics A Level where I learnt the subject, taught it and sat the exams with my students achieving two A Grades. I am currently studying for my National Qualification in Executive Leadership with Best Practice.
I believe that we are all life-long learners and I embrace continual professional development at all levels to ensure that we are providing the very best teaching for each and every child. We want to guarantee for you that any room you walk into, the teaching will be as great as the room next door. There should always be that clarity, consistency and excellence within every classroom in the school.
This year I have had the opportunity to teach Year 9 History in Term 1. I now am teaching Paper 1 to the Year 11 History group alongside Mr Ellwood, teaching Paper 2. I never want to forgo my passion for History or teaching hence why I always try to take a class each year.
Finally, I believe in talent managing my staff to provide them with similar opportunities that I was afforded throughout my career by fantastic colleagues who invested in my personal development. I am immensely proud of the journey many of our support and teaching staff have been on at Willingdon. I hope I can continue to inspire and drive excellence in all that we do within our school.
Ali Walters, Deputy Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead. Responsibilities include; whole school safeguarding, curriculum and timetabling. I also line manage the English, Geography and RSHE departments across the school.
After completing my degree in Geography at the University of Hull, I realised that I could combine my love of my subject with an exciting and dynamic career working with young people. I came to Willingdon in September 2002 after 5 years teaching in Norfolk and after completing my Masters in Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Brighton. I came as Head of Geography and I am still passionate about my subject and thrive on working with the amazing young people we serve. I have been fortunate to do a range of roles whilst at Willingdon and have been Deputy Headteacher here for 2 years.
Deputy Headteacher for Pastoral Leadership and Inclusion. This role includes; responsibility for whole school behaviour and attendance strategy, admissions and transition, pastoral leadership of all 5 year groups and Inclusion, including Special Educational Needs. Furthermore, I line manage the staff responsible for managing cover, organising the school calendar and overseeing trips and activities.
I have worked at Willingdon for 20 years and initially came here as a full time science teacher. I enjoyed the role of tutoring for 5 years which led to me becoming a Director of Students Progress for Year 7 and Transition. I was appointed to join the senior leadership team 4 years ago.
Teaching is my second career having spent enjoyable years in Forest Management, Conservation and Recreation; this was a natural progression from studying for a Batchelor of Science (Hons) degree at Trinity College. I was privileged to work as a ranger in the beautiful South Wales Valleys Forest and South East England Forest District. I enjoyed working and developing Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest before leaving to pursue my teaching career, studying for a PGCE, Science at Sussex University as an adult student.
Deputy Headteacher for Curriculum and Teaching & Learning. This role includes; responsibility for the teaching across the school as well as whole school timetabling, staffing, GCSE Options process, homework, student grouping, and ensuring a high quality curriculum can be accessed by all. Furthermore, I line manage the staff responsible for leading Science, PE, and Modern Foreign Languages. I also teach Latin across the school and am delighted that Willingdon Community School now has 4 GCSE Latin groups.
I have worked at Willingdon Community School since April of 2022. I was previously an Assistant Headteacher at Priory School Lewes, for 4 years. Before that I had enjoyed my role as a middle leader within the school.
Other roles I have undertaken include the PGCE lead for Classics at Pimlico Future Academies London, as well as being a Peer Reviewer and Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) for the South East. I grew up locally in Hove and then Saltdean so studied locally in Brighton. I gained a first class Honours degree in Humanities and Critical Studies, then achieved a PGCE in History the year afterwards. My Masters in Education was focused on making Classics accessible in state schools. More recently I have achieved The National Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) as well as The National Qualification for Headship (NPQH).
In addition to teaching, my interests include following Brighton and Hove Albion as well as Celtic, and walking my Labrador across the glorious South Downs.
I joined Willingdon in the summer as Assistant Headteacher responsible for teaching and learning. Willingdon is a lovely school! I have been impressed by the Personal Excellence shown by our students’ in their courtesy and their ambition for their learning and I’m delighted to join the Willingdon community.
My role includes leading our work on literacy. Communication is essential for our students success: at school, in their future careers and for their wellbeing. We believe that developing students’ reading, talk and writing is the responsibility of every member of staff at Willingdon.
Last year we launched our focus on Oracy to train Willingdon students to become confident speakers. We have debate clubs for KS3 and KS4 and every student is encouraged to share their ideas in lessons. Oracy also helps to demonstrate Personal Excellence and students are encouraged to greet staff, visitors and each other confidently and politely in the corridors.
I am the Deputy Head of Science at Willingdon. I am originally from Yorkshire but have moved South to Sussex to be closer to my wife’s family. We have lived here for 8 years and I enjoy being so close to the sea, taking advantage of trying new water sports and fishing from the beach. I studied Physics, Maths and Graphics at A-level before doing my degree at the University of Leeds.
Before becoming a teacher, I enjoyed a spell playing Rugby League, and represented Italy at international level. I continue to enjoy playing rugby for my local team in Seaford, although I do find the switch to Rugby Union a little frustrating at times.
Andy is our Business Manager, and has been at the School since September 2000.
As well as being responsible for all finance matters Andy is also the schools Health and Safety Officer, Data Protection Lead and oversees all the Support Staff in school. Andy came to the School having worked at East Sussex County Council having been part of the contracts management team who outsourced the IT and Payroll services on behalf of its stakeholders, including those in Education, so already had experience of working with schools prior to joining us.
Sam has been at Willingdon for the last 6 years as the Headteacher’s PA and has been the Clerk to Governors for 5 years.
She moved from London to Eastbourne with her 4 children 6 years ago and has worked previously in a large London primary school and with the NHS.
What People Are Saying
"Please can I just let you and the rest of the SLT know what E said today, whilst listening to the forum audio? "I love that our teachers are so human...I mean, some are just so (pulled face of looking down nose), but ours talk about what it's really like, and share what it's like for them as people." I think that's pretty high praise."
"Thank you so much for the extremely well organised, and smooth running of covid testing in school. You have prepared for everything, including putting anxious minds at rest with information and videos. My son was really quite anxious about it, but came home relieved, and just glad he had actually been to school! Your staff are a credit to the school, and really have given fantastic support to all pupils and parents."
"I would like to take this opportunity to say how very impressed I have been with Willingdon Community School, not just with the testing, which is clearly extremely well organised, but throughout the last year. Live lessons have worked brilliantly and the ongoing communication and support is outstanding."
"Thank you and the Willingdon staff so much for arranging such a professionally delivered parents evening. What has been such a difficult year I am so entirely grateful that I can be kept up to date with A’s progress. At a time when we are all dealing with so much to know my son is getting the best care, education and compassion from all at Willingdon really does mean so much. Thank you again."
"Firstly thank you for a lovely parents evening. It was a real moment for F to shine and l am so impressed with him. He made the choice to come into school over Easter to complete art which is just so mature and l am blown away by how each teacher had the same positive message. None of this that I see in him would happen if he had not been supported and nurtured by staff. Thank you."
"Thank you to all the staff at Willingdon – you are all marvellous! Not only through all this madness when your support has been fantastic but also before this. We thank god every day that we chose Willingdon for J. It could easily have gone either way with – he wasn’t the brightest student at primary school but from the minute he joined Willingdon he has been pushed, challenged and encouraged."
"I would also like to say thank you for your continued support at Willingdon. My Son is in his last year with you and you’ve been a great Head Teacher throughout his journey within the school and especially keeping us informed during the COVID pandemic. So a big thank you from me and the family."