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Mr Woolf's Blog

Here is a round up of our blog posts, keeping you informed about the life and times of Pinner High School.


November 2019

  • Attention!

    Published 29/11/19, by Chris Woolf

    "The most outstanding school we have visited" was the feedback from some of our visiting speakers this week who contributed to our Deep Learning Day on Tuesday. The speakers were from 'Healthy Choices' and spent the day talking to students in sessions and around the school. They based their feedback on the quality of the interactions between students and staff, which is certainly lovely to hear. The rest of the Deep Learning Day was also very positive, with topics as diverse as Esafety, CV writing, and Hate speech and prejudice covered between Years 7-10. Year 7 had a Road Safety theatre session this afternoon as well- a topic that always needs to be fresh in students' minds as they become more independent.

    Our CCF (Combined Cadet Force) Army contingent launch date is getting closer, and students in Years 9 and 10 had assemblies about that this week. Flt Lt Mann from John Lyon, our partner school, will be answering questions about this for students on Wednesday at lunch time.  There is more information about the types of activities the CCF get up to here:

    Year 10 exams begin next week for our Trailblazers, which will be a useful indicator of how the students are progressing towards their GCSE target grades. They have a full range of exams which will be really helpful for us to see where they are doing well, and where further development is still needed.

    Basketball took centre stage this week, with hard fought victories on consecutive nights for the Year 9 and Year 10 boys teams, the latter by a single point against Rooks Heath. Dramatic stuff!

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  • Self Esteem Team

    Published 21/11/19, by Chris Woolf

    The Mandarin Excellence programme is new to us this year, and I spent a very interesting afternoon at the China Exchange this week meeting with the Headteachers of other schools who have also successfully applied to be part of this programme. There are just 76 schools across the whole country accepted onto this programme, with the support of the Institute of Education and the British Council. We have 30 students in Year 7 enrolled, with a view to making accelerated progress in this language. There is an article below from 'My Pinner News' with more information about the programme.

    Ths week we had a visit from the 'Self Esteem Team' to work with our older students about exam stress and positive mental health. They led an excellent session on practical tips to help manage the pressures that can mount up on young people. Students described the sessions as 'really helpful' and were timed to help Year 10 with the preparation for their week of exams starting in December.

    Good news from the borough Gymnastics competition, where the teams came in first and second, with some fine individual performances too. The football and badminton teams were also in action.

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  • 56 applications

    Published 15/11/19, by Chris Woolf

    A delighted group of students were at Wembley Stadium last night to watch England’s 7-0 victory over Montenegro in the Euro 2020 qualifier. Our own sports teams had a successful week too, with great performances from the boys and girls football teams as well as the netball and badminton teams in local tournaments. Congratulations to all involved.

    I have spent the last couple of days reading the 56 applications from potential colleagues who want to be our Founding Head of Sixth Form. It is brilliant to have such a level of interest, but time consuming to read them all! Undoubtedly a happy problem to have.


    We are pleased to be part of the Jack Petchey Award programme, which runs across London. Our first winners in the current Year 7 will be announced this week. They have the responsibility of deciding how to spend £250 from the Jack Petchey Foundation on a school project. Previous winners have supported Head’s Challenge Clubs, outdoor seating and other similar projects. It is an excellent programme, and we are delighted to be a part of it.


    Our end of term performances are fast approaching, with our concert on 10th December. Tickets will be available shortly. I hope to see you there.

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  • Remembrance

    Published 08/11/19, by Chris Woolf

    The Founding Head of Sixth Form post currently being advertised is drawing an extraordinary amount of interest. I have enjoyed showing prospective candidates around the school, who are all very excited at the prospect of the opportunities the role presents. Interviews are towards the end of the month. I am starting this process so early so that our Trailblazers have the benefit of a brand new Sixth Form set up with the same traditional values but innovative approach that is characterised by the rest of the school.


    Our basketball team made their debut this week in a new league. They are competing against students a full year older (and taller!) than they are, which will give them great opportunities as they gain in experience.


    The students and staff returned from the Battlefields of the First World War this week, where they had a very memorable experience. As well as the very moving monuments in the area, they also saw a production of ‘Journey’s End’ by RC Sherriff. As a literature teacher, I am always keen that students see such performances in context, none more so than this. A powerful experience. Poppies have been on sale this week supporting the British Legion, organised by students during their free time, and we will have representatives at Remembrance Day services in Pinner and Eastcote this weekend.


    Black History month drew to a close following a very engaging series of activities designed to challenge stereotypes and promote positive role models. My thanks to all those who engaged in this, and all aspects of school life, so well.

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  • Welcome back

    Published 01/11/19, by Chris Woolf

    It is brilliant to start the half term so positively: 1,169 applications have been received for entry into Year 7 for September 2020, our highest total ever. I really enjoyed sharing this with our fabulous staff, as it is such an endorsement of everything they do with our students every day to ensure the school motto of ‘Inspiring Learning’ comes to life with such vibrancy. My only reservation is that with 6.5 applications for every place, our catchment area will shrink further. Similarly, I have been overwhelmed with interest in the role of Founding Head of Sixth Form. The deadline does not close for a couple of weeks, but the quality and quantity of candidates who are putting themselves forward for the role tells me that this is a post that has excited colleagues as much as it excites me. Our new school film on our school YouTube channel shows this too:

    Black History Month celebrations have run all week, with a range of form time activities celebrating this important event. The history department have done a great job, and in the same week that students take part in the English literature led First World War Battlefields trip it is a timely moment to reflect.

    Years 8 and 9 today have enjoyed their financial maths sessions with MyBnk. They have spent time with us before in previous years and with different year groups, applying mathematical skills to the practical tasks of personal finance and household budgeting. This has been eye opening for many students! Many thanks to the Maths team for putting the day together. It makes a real impact.

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