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About West Coventry Academy

Tile Hill Wood School and Language College

Tile Hill Wood School for girls was built at a cost of £250. 305.00 and opened in September 1957. Only those girls who had passed the 11 plus examination were eligible to attend.

According to the booklet written for the 25th anniversary of the school only 40 girls initially started. They met outside the Middle School building and were allocated, with staff, to one of three classes in either class 2A, 2B or 2C.

From the Admission Register the first intake of girls was on September 10th. One hundred and five girls were admitted that day, forty seven of that number were transferred from Templars Secondary Modern School as they had also passed the 11 plus examination.  The girls were accommodated into two blocks which each could hold up to 120 people. The first head Mistress was Miss Charlotte Stanley. The uniform consisted of forest green blazer with a badge on the breast pocket which the colours of blue, green, silver and gold represented the woods and the plough. The motto was “With Gods help one could plough a straight furrow in life.” A forest green skirt and underwear, white blouse, terracotta socks and forest green beret completed the uniform.  

The prefects helped with the organisation of the school as they were table leaders at lunch times as the girls ate a fixed cooked meal in family groups of ages 11 to 18 years in the back of the house rooms. No one was allowed to leave the premises at lunchtime unless they were in the sixth year and absolutely no pupil could enter the school through the front gate, access was, and still is, from Nutbrook Avenue.

School assemblies were very formal affairs as staff wore their gowns as they walked onto the platform. From the 1970s however, with the increase in numbers, assemblies are now a weekly meeting of the separate years.

By 1970 the four houses had split to become nine houses and each house was named after a member of staff. Seven of those names were Stanley, Nuttall, Lisiker, Taylor, Stone, McGowan, Carson, Lupson and Baker. By the time the head mistress, Miss Stanley, had retired the building programme was complete.

Miss Sparshott, became the new headmistress. The school was changed from a vertical house system to a horizontal year system. By the time Miss Sparshott retired in July 1981 there were more than 1550 girls on the roll and eighty-three members of staff. There were nine separate buildings, two kitchens with the four storey building towering above.

In 1998 the school was awarded Specialist Status as a Language College. A new logo was introduced and the motto became “Enjoy, Achieve, Aspire”. An updated uniform followed in 2010 with a return to traditional blazers.

The school went on to become one of the leading Language Colleges in the UK, winning the European Language Award in 2006 for its language immersion programme (CLIL): All students in Year 7 were taught one of their subjects through a foreign language. The school also undertook several projects with Warwick University on behalf of the Department of Education which helped to maintain its national profile as a centre of excellence for language teaching and learning.