Holly Lodge High School was formed in 1992 as the result of the amalgamation of three local 11-16 schools in West Smethwick. The school has some outstanding facilities including a purpose built library, excellent laboratories, workshops and Information Technology resources following substantial investment by the Local Education Authority and subsequently by the school. It is well supported by its local community and has become a very popular school with a rising roll. A previous eight form entry became nine in September 2001 and twelve in September 2002.
The school is situated in an inner city area but enjoys extremely pleasant and attractive surroundings. Currently around 36% of pupils are entitled to free school meals and 65% have English as an additional language. The number of pupils on the SEN Register stands at about 36%. Since the school's formation, staff have been firmly committed to improving standards which have risen dramatically as a result. In 2001 a record 44% of pupils gained five or more A*-C grades at GCSE (compared with 16% in 1993) and there was a record average points score per pupil. In 2002 there were record SATs results in English, Mathematics and Science. Although GCSE results dipped to 33% five or more A*-C grades in 2002, targets for 2003 and beyond indicate that we are expecting new record levels of attainment. Boys outperformed girls in 2001 and 2002. In terms of value added, we perform very well indeed compared with schools of a similar profile nationally – with an A* in 2001.
The school is a diverse multi-cultural community with about 65% of Asian origin (principally of Sikh and Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslim background), 23% white and 8% African-Caribbean. This means we have a wealth of cultural tradition which is consciously reflected in the curriculum and extra-curricular activities.
There is a well-established and successful system of open collaborative management with a firm emphasis on teamwork, review and evaluation. Planning is thorough and detailed involving a very hard working and committed teaching staff. We have a programme of governor involvement in the school. School dress is worn by all pupils and there are high standards of behaviour in the classroom and around the school site. Parents are highly supportive of the school; turn-out at Consultation Evenings is usually very high.
We have a strong commitment to equal opportunities for teaching and learning, pupils, staff and community. The intention is to achieve a balance of men and women and a variety of ethnic groups at each level of responsibility, but there is a need for further progress in this area. A long-term Strategic Plan drives annual development plans. The School Development Plan for 2002/3 covers a wide range of important issues including Key Stage 3 Strategy, Excellence in Cities strands (learning mentors and gifted and talented pupils), study support, 16-19 curriculum, ICT, cross-phase (primary), citizenship, Creative Partnerships, inclusion, race equality, catering and learning environment. Immediate plans for ICT include further additions to the network and the introduction of whiteboard technology in many areas of the school. A project that will eventually see all staff equipped with lap tops is well under way. Integrated Learning Systems are established as part of the Smethwick Learning Network involving English, Mathematics, Special Needs and Modern Foreign Languages. The school is excellently placed to develop extensive community links in music, dance and drama. We are the lead Creative Partnerships school in Smethwick. We also achieved Investor In People Status in January 2001.
The mission of Holly Lodge Science College is to provide each student a diverse education in a safe, supportive environment that promotes self-discipline, motivation, and excellence in learning. The Holly Lodge Science College team joins the parents and community to assist the students in developing skills to become independent and self-sufficient adults who will succeed and contribute responsibly in a global community.
Holly Lodge offers students a secure and purposeful environment in which every individual is valued and provides them with a wealth of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities. Students enjoy school, feel safe and are well prepared for the next stages of their education or employment.