An historic year

Withernsea High School was officially opened by Lord Halifax on Thursday 28th April 1955.

A year ago today, on the 60th anniversary of that event, we found ourselves on the brink of an exciting new era with a brand new state-of-the-art teaching block under construction as part of a 13 million pound investment in our school.

Today marks the end of our 60th year. Over the past 12 months we have seen many changes including: the demolition of most of our pre-existing buildings; the completion of the new teaching block and the extensive refurbishment of the retained parts of the original school. We have hosted the largest open day in our history; worked with a local brewery in creating a special ‘anniversary ale’ in the school’s honour; reunited three former Headteachers with their former workplace and enjoyed a return visit from the Archbishop of York. 

Throughout these extensive changes and events, our students have consistently maintained the strong commitment to learning that is expected of them. As a result of this, they have amassed a large number of personal and collective achievements across all areas of the curriculum during this time. 

Please click here to view / download a promotional leaflet that was recently distributed in the community to highlight a selection of student successes between April 2015 and April 2016.

In true end-of-year fashion, please see below for a review of the past 12 months that compliments the above leaflet.

End of year review

Highlights of our 60th Anniversary year...

April 2015


Tuesday 28th April: The school celebrated its 60th

Archive photos were released on the school website and plans were announced for a special anniversary open day on Saturday 4th July to provide former staff and students with an opportunity to revisit the school ahead of its demolition.

Current staff and students posed for photos in the local media to help promote the event and draw attention to the milestone

Original article: Withernsea High School - 60 today!

May 2015

They come from a land down under: Staff and
students from our Australian partner school, Clare High in South Australia, visited us for 6 days in May.

Whilst in our area they were hosted by local families and took part in a number of geographical, historical and
cultural activities both in and out of school.

Their visit reinforced the school’s long history of
international connections. 

Original article: Australian visitors help celebrate school's 60 years of international connections 

Man Alive: In Autumn 1969 a BBC film crew visited Withernsea High School to record a feature on comprehensive education for 'Man Alive' - a weekly documentary and current affairs series which ran on BBC2 between 1965 and 1981.

The feature cemented Withernsea High School's status as a
pioneer in comprehensive education and provided the perfect platform to showcase the school to a national audience. 45 years after its original broadcast on 21st January 1970, the BBC uncovered the programme in their archives and BBC Look North visited the school to show the footage to a group of our current students.

Original article: Man Alive! 

June 2015

Anniversary Ale: In a partnership with Great Newsome
Brewery, Withernsea High School launched its very own limited edition Anniversary Ale. Around 1200 bottles of the brewery’s award winning “Frothingham Best” were relabelled with
commemorative branding to celebrate the school’s 60th year.

Brewery Director Matthew Hodgson, a former student of the school, commented: "With a number of former pupils working here at the brewery we were delighted to become involved with this celebration. I can’t think of a more fitting beer than our
flagship brew to help commemorate the last 60 years and we will certainly be toasting a glass to the next 60." 

Original article: Cheers! Withernsea High School celebrates its 60th year with an Anniversary Ale

Year 11 students celebrate in style: Our Year 11 students
celebrated the end of their exams and their time at Withernsea High School at the annual leavers Prom, held at the Country Park Inn on Hessle Foreshore.

The 2015 cohort were the last year group to pass fully through the old school.

The Prom featured a diamond theme, a nod to the school’s
diamond anniversary.

Original article: Year 11 students celebrate in style


July 2015

60th Anniversary Open Day: On Saturday 4th July the school opened its doors to its former staff and students, giving them a final opportunity to look around the school before demolition.

Around 3000 people visited the school during the day, making it the largest event in the school’s history.

The day included a summer fair, a shopping event, live
entertainment and the serving of traditional school dinners.

The event far exceeded all expectations and generated
wide-spread positive media coverage for the school and the town.

Original article:
 High School open day attracts record numbers 

Another brick in the wall: With construction of the new
teaching block nearing completion, a group of four students were given the honour of laying a small area of brickwork near the
entrance of the new school.

The students had won this honour after coming first place in a challenge set by BAM Construction to build a small cavity wall to a detailed specification.

A plaque marks the spot where the students laid their bricks. 

Original article: Another brick in the wall


Final assembly in the main hall and the last day in the old school: It was the end of an era on Friday 17th July as the final end of term awards assembly was held in the Main Hall –
making it the last event to be staged in the venue ahead of the extensive changes that took place over the summer.

The hall was packed to capacity as the whole school community came together to celebrate the outstanding successes of the award winners.

Original article: End of term awards assembly 


August 2015

A-Level results: It was another successful year for our A-Level students who replicated 2014's strong overall performance with a 97% pass rate across A-level and Level 3 BTEC’s.

In Year 12 the overall pass rate at AS was 93%, a rise of 20% on 2014. 

There was also a continued improvement in the percentage of grades awarded at the very highest level with 48% of results being graded at A*-B or equivalent, a rise of 3% on 2014.

Original article: Withernsea High School students celebrate
another year of excellent A-level results

GCSE Results: 54% of students gained five or more A*-C grades with 44% of students gaining the ‘Gold standard’ of five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths. In addition 98% of students achieved five or more A*-G grades.

As has been the case in the last 2 years, the A*-C pass rate in Maths and Science remained very strong with 69% of students, a rise of 5% on 2014 and against a national fall achieving the A*-C threshold in Maths with 66% in Core Science, 79% in Additional Science and 83% in
Further Additional Science achieving the A*-C threshold.

Original article: Withernsea High School students
celebrate their GCSE results

Video: - A compilation of images taken on both results days.

September 2015

Wednesday 9th September: Staff were given access to their new school after the building was officially handed over -
marking the end of Phase One of the rebuild and refurbishment works.

Deputy Headteacher Bob Wardman, the school's longest serving member of staff, was given the honour of being the first through the doors. He was eagerly followed by the rest of the staff who were keen to explore their new surroundings and begin the hard work of preparing their rooms ready for the return of the students the following week.

Original article: Staff get first look inside their new school


Hull Daily Mail: The Hull Daily Mail ran a two page spread on the new school.

A number of students were asked their thoughts. 

Samuel Lord, 15, commented: “The new building is a nicer place to work in, it has a better feel to it. “I look forward to coming to school. I enjoy subjects like engineering and science and we now have better resources.”

Original article: Our new £13m school is a different class, say pupils

October 2015

Thursday 8th October: The school opened its doors to the community for the Year 5 and 6 open evening.

Large numbers of parents and children visited the school, eager to see the new facilities for themselves. The annual event, which sees current high school students demonstrating work in all
subject areas, provides the opportunity for the younger pupils and their parents to see the school in operation.

Feedback throughout the evening was extremely positive, with everyone impressed with the new school building and its
state-of-the-art facilities.

Original article: Year 5 and 6 Open Evening

November 2015


We will remember them: Staff and students joined the rest of the country in remembering the nation's war dead on Armistice Day. 

A group of four Year 7 students, accompanied by Headteacher Richard Williman and Media Coordinator Tim Nuttall, attended the service at Withernsea’s War Memorial.

An additional act of remembrance took place that afternoon in the foyer of the new school. The event was attended by the deputy mayor of Withernsea, town councillors, representatives of local organisations and members of the Royal British Legion.

Original article: We will remember them


Children in Need: Students across the school helped raise over £300 for the BBC’s Children in Need appeal.

Business Studies teacher Mrs Penny Rushworth, along with a team of student helpers, led the fundraising efforts with a cake sale and ‘Guess the weight of the cake’ competition.

Elsewhere in the school, Year 8 tutor group 8DMT took part in a sponsored stair climb which saw the 29-strong group tackle 10,000 steps between them during tutor time.

Original article: Children in Need 2015


December 2015

Headteacher’s Reunion: On Friday 4th December, three of Withernsea High School’s former Headteachers returned to the school for a unique reunion to celebrate the new school building and the 60th anniversary year.

Rod Owen, Dr Fiona Ireland and Martin Green met current headteacher Richard Williman for a tour of the new school and a chance to share memories of their time here.

A group of students accompanied the group and enjoyed
hearing about the school’s past from the school's former leaders.


Sixth Form student becomes UK’s youngest councillor: One of our Sixth Form students was celebrating after becoming the youngest councillor in the UK after being elected on to
Withernsea Town Council barely a month after his 18th birthday.

Patrick Wilkinson’s victory led to national press coverage and even a congratulatory message from former Deputy Prime
Minister Lord Prescott.

Original article: Withernsea High School Sixth Form student becomes UK's youngest councillor.

January 2016

Demolition of the old building begins: On Thursday 7th
January, work began on the demolition of the old school

It was a bittersweet day for many staff and students of the school as they looked out of the windows of their brand new state-of-the-art classrooms to witness the demolition of buildings which held a lot of history and memories.

Original article: Demolition of the old building begins


Supsersonic: A group of thirteen Year 8 students visited Hull University to take part in a range of hands-on design challenges related to the Bloodhound SSC (SuperSonic Car) project.

Bloodhound SSC is a unique, high-technology project to design and build a car that will break the 1,000mph barrier and set a new world land speed record.

Students spent time investigating the qualities required to
become actively involved in a project such as this.

Original article: Supersonic! Year 8 STEM students study
record-breaking technology



February 2016

Refurbished areas of the school open: Monday 22nd
February saw the re-opening of parts of the original school
building which had been under extensive refurbishment since July 2015.

The completion of these works delivered us: a brand new office block and main reception area; a modernised and spacious
entrance hall; an open plan learning zone with a balcony
overlooking the entrance hall; two state-of-the-art ICT computer suites; three History classrooms; a Staff Room; a refurbished Library and various offices plus additional student toilets and
disabled toilet / care facilities.

Original article: In with the new...

The view from above: Stunning aerial footage shot from a drone showed the extent of the changes that had taken place at the school since demolition work had begun the previous month.

At the time of filming, D, E and F blocks had all been demolished with only C Block left to go.

Original article: The view from above


March 2016


The Archbishop of York returned to Withernsea High School: Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, returned to the school on Friday 18th March as part of his on-going
pilgrimage throughout the 21 Deaneries of the Diocese of York.

During his visit, he was interviewed by a group of students who questioned him on his current pilgrimage, his personal faith and his relationship with God.

The Archbishop also blessed our brand new school building.

Original article: The Archbishop of York visits Withernsea High School


The Show DID Go On: Months of hard work and rehearsals paid off in style for students of the school as they staged their sold-out dance extravaganza “The Show Must Go On!” at the Bridlington Spa Theatre on the evening of Thursday 24th March.

Over 100 students from across all years of the school took part in the show, performing to a large and appreciative audience of parents, friends and teachers who had filled the theatre to
support them.

Original article: The show DID go on!


April 2016

Final phase of demolition begins: Our 60th Anniversary year drew to close as work commenced on the demolition of the final block of the old school building.

Demolition of ‘C Block’, which primarily housed English and Maths, started on Monday 25th April and will be the final phase of demolition ahead of the large-scale landscaping that is set to take place to complete the project by mid-June.

Original article: Final phase of demolition begins


28th April 2016: 
Work on our all-weathers flood-lit sports pitch continues to progress well and today we saw the laying of the AstroTurf.

The whole project, which includes the remainder of the demolition and full landscaping of the site, is still on course for a mid-June
completion date.

Plans for the official opening of the new school have been
tentatively set for early
September, with a public open day to follow shortly afterwards.

Thank you for your continuing support and please do keep checking our website for the latest news and updates.

Withernsea High School
Working together,
achieving more