Memorial Tree Planted to Remember Loyal WHS Cleaner

Family, staff and students have gathered to pay their respects to Wales High School cleaner Carol Banks who passed away a year ago.

Carol worked at the school for 23 years and was loved throughout the community.

Her husband and family helped with the planting of a tree in the school grounds alongside a new memorial bench.  

School Chaplin Dave Taylor read a eulogy:

“Carol had two loves in her life, her family and school. She’d arrive at school for an early morning shift at around 5.45 in the morning and did the school proud, all she did she did well. I suppose she had two families. One at home that she loved and cherished and secondly her school family. The tree we’ve planted is a cherry blossom. In the spring it will provide beautiful colour, those flowers and leaves also provide food for insects, the cherries provide food for animals, the cherry tree is a provider – much like Carol. She provided for her family and gave 23 years loyal service to Wales High School. So when we sit on the seat and look at the cherry tree we’ll remember the role Carol played providing for both school and her family.”

Head teacher Pepe Di’Iasio also paid tribute:

“Carol worked at the school for 23 years and was a well respected and much loved member of the school and our local community. We wanted to pay our respects and remember the work Carol carried out here for over two decades. It seemed fitting to keep a permanent tribute to her within the school grounds so family, friends and colleagues could pay their respects and remember the times they spent with her.”

Money for the memorial has been raised by Carol’s former colleagues through donations and fundraising.

Posted in School News

Wales Flying High

The Sunday Times has revealed the best performing schools in the country and Wales High School is on the list. The newspaper’s Parent Power Schools Guide has identified the 2000 highest achieving schools in the UK and ranked them according to their recent exam results.

Wales High School was ranked as the best performing secondary school in Rotherham at 468th on the national list.

Head Teacher Pepe Di’Iasio said;

“This is fantastic news and shows that the hard work of students and staff at Wales High School pays dividends. It was a turbulent year for GCSE results across the country, given the number of changes to assessment and grading, but we were delighted to exceed the national averages for the new grade 5 benchmark in both English and Maths and it was pleasing to see so many students achieve top grades. The number of A* grades achieved by students at A level was also impressive and we saw an increase in the overall points achieved per entry in academic and vocational qualifications”

Wales High School was also ranked 18th in Sheffield and South Yorkshire on the Times Parent Power list.

Secondary School rankings were determined by the percentage of exam entries receiving A* to B grades at A-Level and the percentage of entries gaining A* and A grades at GCSE this summer.

They are published a number of weeks before the official Government tables for secondary school performance are revealed.

Posted in School News

Wales Welcomes Colegio Alva Viva

From South America to South Yorkshire – Wales Welcomes Colegio Alva Viva
It’s a partnership that’s been 13 years in the making and this month youngsters from Paraguay’s Colegio Aula Viva touched down in the UK for a visit to Wales High School. Pupils from the school, in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion, have been staying with students and their families here in South Yorkshire.

The two schools have been in partnership since 2004 and have shared exchange visits and curriculum projects for over a decade.

In the past Wales High School has supported Paraguayan charities by raising funds for a primary school that was destroyed by flooding and for an orphanage supporting abandoned babies.

This week-long cultural exchange has seen Colegio Aula Viva staff and students learn about the urban regeneration of South Yorkshire, the history of Sheffield and included a trip to Rother Valley Country Park.

Assistant Head Teacher Danielle Taylor has helped organize the visit. She said,

“Wales High School has a long standing tradition of working with schools internationally and exchange visits like this support the work of various departments as well as helping young people to develop socially. It’s great to see how the relationship between the two schools has developed and blossomed over the past 13 years. Our guests were handed gifts, to remember their time here in South Yorkshire, at a leaving assembly and will head back to South America with friendships and experiences that both sets of students will keep with them for the rest of their lives”

Wales High School is the only school in England to have a partnership with a school in Paraguay and the exchange follows a visit from Paraguayan Ambassador Bernardo Prieto in December last year. The Ambassador wanted to visit the School and thank staff and students for all the work they have done in promoting educational links with the South American country.

Posted in School News

Hundreds Turn Out for Wales High Open Evening

There wasn’t a spare seat in the house as potential students and their families turned out for Wales High School’s Y6 Open Evening.

The community was out in force to speak with staff and current students about the school, take in the surroundings and see why our students are so successful.

Everyone at the school worked hard to create different experiences for all subjects and departments.

Geography encouraged visitors to take part in a number of different subject themed quizzes, the English department dressed up as Gods and Goddesses, Technology offered up a selection of pizzas to try whilst Science hosted a showcase of various experiments.

Open Evening 2017

Head of Lower School, Richard Harrison said,

“I don’t remember seeing the Sports Hall so full with over 750 seats taken and still families standing at the back of the hall. Y6 Open Evening is such a special event and the school looked fantastic. I was inundated with positive comments from families as they walked around school and it speaks volumes for the commitment, dedication and professionalism of all staff and students to be able to put on such a fantastic evening”

It wasn’t just about experiencing lessons, visitors also had the chance to sample the food on offer to pupils in the dining hall.

Other areas that impressed were History where staff recreated a trench, victory party and managed to house a mobile museum. Languages offered an array of food from around the world and the Kevin Shore Vocational Academy was on hand to display courses in Construction, Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Hairdressing.

The number of Year 7 students wanting to take a place at Wales High School has been extremely high over the past three years with Year 6 Open Evening playing a big part in persuading pupils and families to choose a 21st century education built on traditional values.

For more information please contact School Press Officer James Bolton via email

Posted in School News

Sixth Formers Get a Slice of the Action for MacMillan

Students took to their ovens to help raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support this week. Wales High Sixth formers weren’t afraid to take any whisks (groan) as they produced a large number of high quality cakes in the Wales High MacMillan Bake Off.

The efforts were judged by head teacher Pepe Di’Iasio and Deputy Head Gillian Hemming.

Mrs Hemming said,

“After a hard time deliberating a Hemming handshake went to a selection of vegan chocolate brownies because of the difficulty in baking them and a chocolate orange cake for top class decoration. We also wanted to give special mention to the Victoria Sandwich as it was an exceptional bake. But the overall star baker, neither of us could stop eating them, went to the amazing chocolate cookies”

Those cookies were baked by Olivia Swords from 13.10.

She said,

“It’s better than winning Bake Off and a Hemming handshake is better than a Hollywood handshake. I used dark chocolate, milk chocolate and the rest is a secret recipe made with love”  

Over £100 was raise for MacMillan Cancer Support.

Posted in School News

Students Jumping for Joy With GCSE Results

Wales High’s Yorkshire trampolining star was bouncing with excitement when she picked up her GCSE results this morning. Eve Miller somehow found time to train, practise and compete in her sport while studying to achieve 3 grade 8s, 4 A*s and 4 As.

Her success was shared by staff and students alike as the school average for the new grading system was above the national average.

Head Teacher Pepe Di’Iasio said,

“In a turbulent year of GSCE results, with so many changes to assessment and grading, it is pleasing to see so many students achieving top grades.

We are delighted to exceed the national averages for the new grade 5 benchmark in both English and Maths. This has been achieved through the hard work of our Y11 students and staff.”

Students who had major commitments both in and out of school celebrated excellent results in a range of subjects.

Other notable success stories came from Holly Raynor (2 9s, 5 A*s, 2 As,) Alys Roberts 1 9, 2 8s,1 A*, 4 As) and Adam Smith (1 9, 1 8, 1 7, 7 A*s, 1 A.)

All three managed great results by balancing their academic study with gruelling auditions, rehearsals and performances as part of the cast in this year’s school production of Les Miserables.

Alex Morton-Cooper continued to represent the year group as part of the school council despite the pressures of his GCSE exams and achieved 1 grade 9, 6 A*s and 1 A.

Finally, the school was delighted with the outstanding exam performance of Melissa Driver. Her study and determination paid off in the form of 3 9s, 6 A*s, 1 A and 1 A* with distinction, making her the top performer in Year 11 at Wales High School.

Posted in School News

Wales High School A Level Results

The nervous wait for staff and students was finally over this morning as youngsters arrived at school to pick up their A Level results. It was fantastic news for many as they begin their apprenticeships, employment and higher education courses.

Head Teacher Pepe Di’Iasio said,

“Once again the hard work of students and staff has paid dividends in the outcomes for the students at Wales High School. We are delighted with the number of A* grades achieved by students. The vast majority of them have already secured their places at their chosen university. We have seen an increase in the overall points achieved per entry in academic and vocational qualifications.”

Across the year group there were some excellent performances in a range of subjects and achieved by students who had major commitments in sports and the arts outside of school.

Lucy Whittaker, a county netball player, achieved three A* grades and is taking her sporting excellence to Loughborough to study Sport and Exercise Science.

Brandon Fletcher, a regular star of local theatre and musical groups, achieved A* and two As and is off to York to study Maths.

Gabby Herrington scored A*, A and two distinction *s and is studying children’s nursing, while Rebecca Butler is to take up a very prestigious position with Price Waterhouse Cooper.

Other students achieving top grades include Emma Henderson, Zachary Hollingshead, James Lonsdale, Katelynn Wilson, Georgia Crowther and George Woodward, all setting off to universities across the country including Durham, Warwick and York.

Finally special mention must be made of Ryan Fox, who with 3 A* grades will be studying Mathematics at Cambridge and Faith Nagra who achieved A*s in Maths, Further Maths Economics and EPQ as well as A grades in Physics and Chemistry. She will be studying for a degree in Economics at the London School of Economics.

Posted in School News

Summer Reading Challenge

Six weeks off is a long time to occupy yourself! Wales High School would like to invite you to take part in a reading challenge.

How many of these challenges can you complete before September? Return this form below to your tutor on the first day of term to be in with a chance of receiving a major prize!

You do not have to do them all to be in with a chance.

Download Summer Reading Challenge Form

Posted in School News


Wales High School students have shared their views on lowering the voting age to 16 along with Head Teacher, Pepe Di’Iasio.

It’s after Rotherham’s Youth Cabinet put forward a motion to the council this week asking for councillors to support the idea.


The campaign to lower the voting age is supported by thousands of young people across the UK and following a nationwide consultation, the UK Youth Parliament voted it as their national campaign for 2017.

The proposal said:

16 and 17 year olds are knowledgeable and passionate about the world in which they live and are as capable of engaging in the democratic system as any other citizen;

Lowering the voting age to 16, combined with strong citizenship education, would empower young people to better engage in society and influence decisions that will define their future.

People, who can consent to medical treatment, work full-time, pay taxes, get married or enter a civil partnership and join the armed forces should also have the right to vote.

Pupils at Wales High recently took part in a Mock Election and were given the chance to hear the views of every candidate that was standing in the Rother Valley Constituency at the last General Election.

Grace Fletcher-Sorsby, Billy Fletcher-Sorsby and Asher Greatorex were interviewed by BBC Radio Sheffield along with the school’s Head Teacher on Wednesday morning.

You can hear the interview with Toby Foster here.

Posted in School News

Warning: Important Snapchat Update

Recently SnapChat, used regularly by many children and young people, launched a new feature. SnapMaps
allows users to see the location of their contacts. This feature allows others to accurately pinpoint where you
are (even down to the exact house a person is in).

This raises many concerns about people being able to
monitor a child’s exact movements. With this in mind please discuss privacy settings on Snapchat with your

  • There are three possible privacy settings with the Snapmaps feature:
  • Ghost mode, where only you can see your position;
  • My Friends mode, where any contact can see your location;
  • Select Friends mode, just those who you choose can see you.

The app automatically turns on the location sharing unless users switch into “ghost mode”. With this in mind,
we are urging parents to check the setting on their children’s phones as the new feature is invasive and could
pose a risk to youngsters who could be stalked or groomed by offenders online. Ghost Mode should be
activated to stop the location of your child being tracked publically.

Wales High School educates its students about e-safety and how to be responsible digital citizens and this
issue will be shared in active tutorials. With your ongoing support we can all help to ensure the safety of our

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you require further information.

Posted in Safeguarding Portal

10 tips for staying safe online

1)      Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile number.

2)      Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself.  Once you’ve put  a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it, it’s not just yours anymore.

3)      Keep your privacy settings as high as possible

4)      Never give out your passwords

5)      Don’t befriend people you don’t know

6)      Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online.  Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do

7)      Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are

8)      Think carefully about what you say before you post something online

9)      Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views doesn’t mean you need to be rude

10)   If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website, turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately.

Posted in Safeguarding Portal

What you need to do to protect children from harm

All organisations that work with or come into contact with children should have safeguarding polices and procedures to ensure that every child, regardless of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity, can be protected from harm.

Setting up and following good safeguarding policies and procedures means children are safe from adults and other children who might pose a risk.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding means:

  • protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
  • preventing harm to children’s health or development
  • ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child.

Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.

Everyone has a responsibility to keep children and young people safe

All organisations that come into contact with children should have specific safeguarding policies and procedures in place. This includes voluntary and community organisations, faith groups, private sector providers, as well as schools, hospitals and sports clubs.

What do I need to do to safeguard children in my care?

Organisations need to make sure that the way they work with children keeps them safe and does not place them at unacceptable risk of harm.

They can do this through:

  • establishing, implementing and following good safeguarding policies and procedures including safe recruitment
  • ensuring all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the organisation’s safeguarding policies and procedures
  • ensuring that all staff and volunteers receive child protection training.
Posted in Safeguarding Portal