What our students say
Harrison, Year 10Building his skills to target gold
Harrison, Year 10
One of the best things I’ve experience at Parrs Wood is the Duke of Edinburgh programme. To achieve the various awards you have to do a series of challenges that become increasingly challenging. I accomplished the bronze level, in part by doing 30 hours of volunteering and completing a hike in the Peak District that included wild camping.
Taking part has really pushed me to do new things, particularly taking on leadership roles. The pressure is quite stressful, but I’m pleased to have proved to myself that I can do it. I’m looking forward to doing the silver and gold challenges now!
The programme has shown me that being successful might not be easy, but it’s worth the hard work. In the future I plan to become a carpenter and, thanks to the school’s support, I’ve taken on more projects in Design Technology to help achieve my future ambitions.
Lucas, Year 11Directing mental health awareness
Lucas, Year 11
Parrs Wood is an amazing place to be a student because it’s so much bigger than other schools. Some people think this can be intimidating, but it just means we have more resources to try new things, and that there are so many friends to make and people to learn from.
We’re lucky to have such a big and diverse year group because there’s always someone else who shares your interests. I made new friends by joining the Mental Health Team. This is something the school takes very seriously, and we support it by going into assemblies to promote the afternoon drop-in sessions that are open to everyone, as well as national campaigns like Hello Yellow and Ask Twice.
I’ve also become involved in the school’s drama work, performing in Bugsy Malone and a showcase that was performed to external people. I feel confident projecting my voice in public situations now, like class presentations, and no want to get involved in activities rather than being wary of them.
My dream is to become a film director. I’ve started writing comedic short stories and attended workshops at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Teachers are very supportive, and have invited in a former student who is now an actor – he gave me lots of top tips!
I’m now looking forward to studying in our sixth form. It was a no-brainer to stay really because I know all the teachers and the class sizes are small, so you get more focus on you.
Anna, Year 12Strength in diversity
Anna, Year 12
I recently completed my GCSEs and managed to achieve seven 9s and three 8s. It was a lot of hard work and I couldn’t have done it without my teachers. Not only did they provide the extra time and work to push us all, but they help manage stress levels really well! Even though it’s a big school our teachers get to know us as individuals so they can do what’s right for us.
That sense of community – that everyone is in this together – is one of the best things about Parrs Wood. Students come from all sorts of different backgrounds but the school shows us that we are one team, all trying to achieve the best for ourselves but helping those around us too when we can.
I’ve been here since Year 7 and it made sense to stay for sixth form because of the quality of education you get here. We’re a lot more independent in Year 12, but I know the school will be there for me if and when I need it.
My plan is to study architecture at Oxford or Cambridge. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re given a lot of 1-1 support to help with UCAS applications and personal statements. Also, through the Gifted and Talented programme I’ve been able to visit universities and even shadow existing undergraduates.
Kav, Year 12Making a difference
Kav, Year 12
My highlight from school is helping to run the Parrs Wood LGBT group. It felt important because it made a difference to people’s lives. As a team we focused on making sure people felt included and raising awareness of what it’s like for someone in the LGBT community. We held confidential drop-in sessions, organised assemblies for KS3 and even made a presentation to staff about how to ensure the school is always a safe space.
Parrs Wood is an inclusive place where everyone can feel safe. The school promotes the importance of acceptance, and this allows everyone to be who they are without fear of judgment. This is quite extraordinary, but I think it’s because of the school’s natural diversity; our differences our cherished, not viewed sceptically.
This ethos has helped shape who I am and a big factor in why I have stayed for sixth form. I plan to use all of the resources available to me to study zoology at Edinburgh University. My dream is to live in South America, working with conservationists to preserve endangered species.
Mateusz, Year 8Sounds like a star of the future
Mateusz, Year 8
I love Parrs Wood because you get access to facilities that you wouldn’t get elsewhere. Technology is one of my passions and so I’ve joined the SHOUT team, which helps us learn about the equipment used to support the performing arts. I have worked with the sound engineers on a GCSE performance and Presentation Evening. There’s always a new problem so it’s good at getting you think on your feet in stressful situations.
I’m also involved in 3 other clubs – art, coding and Dungeons and Dragons. That’s the thing about this school, the enrichment offer is so big that there is something for everyone. Even if there isn’t then the school will help you set it up!
KydaCounting on the school and her trophies
I began my journey with Parrs Wood long before my first day in Year 7. From the Spring term in Year 6 I was working with the inclusion support, SENCO and pastoral teams at the school to make sure my transition to secondary school went smoothly.
It’s gone very well! Since then I have had many highlights, but I was really pleased to be named students of the week by my classmates. I have also represented the school at the Etihad Stadium at the mini Olympics for adapted sports, including tag rugby and wheelchair basketball.
This school will meet the needs of every student if it can. My advice is just don’t be afraid to ask for help! I’m certainly not going to let anything get in the way of achieving my dream of becoming a teacher.
Kamran, Year 10Ringside view for transforming lives
Kamran, Year 10
I arrived in London in 2016 and have been at Parrs Wood for the last 2 years. I have learnt English through the school’s EAL courses, 1-1 tutoring and access to technology I didn’t have, like iPads and laptops. The school feels like my second home and I’m really pleased to say that I have achieved my goal of getting into the mainstream sets.
I’m currently part of a team that’s raising money to support homeless men in Manchester as part of International Man’s Day. We made a video proposal and were nominated in the top 20 entries.
My vision is to become a personal trainer. My love of sport is supported through the boxing programme that Miss Copeland runs – she’s a Commonwealth Champion. I’m really grateful for this kind of opportunity because it gives you a choice with what you want to do with your life.
Chand, Year 10In pole position
Chand, Year 10
I benefitted from working with the transition team before I started to make sure that the move into secondary school was easy. I was really worried about being bullied but at this school it is easy for anyone to fit in.
There’s no need to be worried if you’re at Parrs Wood because there are so many teachers to help if you need it. The school is determined that we all have high expectations of and for ourselves – I’ve set my sights on getting an apprenticeship with Ferrari because I want to design a bestselling car.
Diti, Year 11Leading from the front
Diti, Year 11
I am one of the 12 members of the Student Leadership Team. There was a rigorous application process and 60 students were interviewed before the final candidates were selected. It was quite an achievement to be picked!
Student Voice at Parrs Wood seems better than anything I’ve heard of at other schools because it has a genuine impact. We want to leave a genuine legacy of school improvement and our teachers help us to do that. At the moment we’re introducing a recycling policy that should mean we’re a much more environmentally friendly school – we’ve been given the resources we needed to make this happen.
This is a wonderful place to go to school because you never feel alone, even other students want to help. We’re never short of volunteers for the SLT initiatives and we’re currently using this enthusiasm to create a mentoring scheme for Year 7 students with those in Years 10 and 11.
I’m planning on going to the Parrs Wood Sixth Form College because I know it’s a great springboard for getting to university. I want to go to Oxford to study medicine and I know lots of students from here have done that. My dream is eventually to specialise in Cardiology.