Watling Academy Open Evening

Welcome to Watling

A very warm welcome to Watling Academy and thank you for your interest in our brand-new Academy. I hope that our virtual open evening will provide you with a flavour of the context and vision for the Academy and how we work in partnership with students and parents.

Watling Academy is part the Denbigh Alliance Multi-Academy Trust based at Denbigh School, approximately one mile away from our main site in Whitehouse, Milton Keynes. We are a brand new, purpose built 11-16 secondary school on the rapidly expanding western flank of Milton Keynes, comprising of the Whitehouse and Fairfields developments.

The Trust’s mission – to provide the highest standards of Education, Care and Opportunity for all its students is underpinned by the ‘Watling Way’ exemplifying our core values of:

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Kindness

These form an integral part of a shared language between all members of our community – within lessons, extra-curricular activities, social time and in every interaction between ourselves and others.

Our broad and balanced curriculum is intertwined with three distinct themes that provide the foundations for everything we do:

  • STEM
  • Global challenges
  • The development of Milton Keynes

As the fastest growing city in the UK, we have a responsibility to ensure that our students understand how Milton Keynes has developed over time, where its sits now as a centre for innovation and technology and foster in them the skills and knowledge to be successful as the city continues to  expand. We are committed to encouraging our students to champion the need to respect and be kind to the environment around us and actively contribute to tackling global challenges around sustainability.

Please explore the full range of presentations and information on this website to get a flavour of what it would be like to be a student, and a parent of a student, at Watling Academy.

Mr Ian Bacon
Head of School

Short guide to accessing the virtual open evening

Thank you for having a look at Watling Academy’s virtual open evening. Please click on the links on the top blue ribbon to take you to information on your selected headings.

To find out more about the Watling approach to Teaching and Learning, please download the following document.

Teaching and Learning

All subject information can be found by going to the interactive map and clicking on the subject that you would like to hear/read about.

Each subject will have a presentation from a member of staff, some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a learning journey that will show exactly what year 7s will be learning at Watling Academy.

Many subjects also have presentations from students to share with you student perspectives on the subjects they are studying and there are optional activities that Year 6 students may wish to have a go at.

Finally, there is a Microsoft Form that provides students with an interactive opportunity to answer questions whilst they are listening to the various teacher presentations. Please click here to complete the form.

Introducing the Senior Leadership Team

Ian Bacon

Head of School

As Head of School, It is my job to make sure that students at Watling get the very best Care, Education and Opportunity during their time with us and are safe, enjoy coming every day, make great progress in their studies and participate in all areas of Academy life. After all, you get out of school what you put into it. We have an environment here where we act with Respect, Responsibility and Kindness to ourselves, each other and the environment around us both within Watling and our wider community. I do hope that you like what you see and that you will be able to join us next September to experience in person, the excitement of life at Watling Academy.

Jo Barford

Deputy Headteacher

I am the Deputy Headteacher at Watling Academy, having been Assistant Headteacher at Denbigh School for over 15 years. I oversee Care and Opportunity at Watling. Every decision I make in my role starts with the same question – “What is best for ALL the students at Watling Academy” – both academically and for their well-being. I am absolutely passionate about celebrating achievement at every level and inspiring and motivating all students to achieve their absolute best in everything they do. Providing a huge range of opportunities to all our students is also very important to me and I make sure students have a voice in creating opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom.

James Cassidy

Assistant Headteacher

I am Mr Cassidy and I am an Assistant Headteacher at Watling Academy. I am responsible for Teaching and Learning here at the Academy, as well as teaching History, Geography and RE (Humanities). My role is all about making sure that all students receive the very best teaching and opportunities to learn whilst at school. I work with members of the senior leadership team to monitor standards across the school and to celebrate examples of excellent teaching and learning. As teachers we are very passionate about our work. We are constantly seeking new ways of delivering subject material and providing opportunities to develop students as learners. It is my role to support teachers in developing aspects of their own teaching practice to give students the very best learning experience that we can.

Interactive Subject Map

To see more department updates, student videos and experience life at Watling Academy, please visit our YouTube channel.

Please note: interactive subject map is for illustration purposes only, floor plan is subject to change.

Geography at Watling Academy

Geography FAQs Year 7 Geography Learning Journey

Drama at Watling Academy

Drama FAQs Year 7 Drama Learning Journey

RE at Watling Academy

RE FAQs Year 7 RE Learning Journey

Welcome address from Mr Bacon, Head of Watling Academy


All food at Watling Academy is cooked by Cucina who will be providing new menu options, focusing on foods cooked from fresh ingredients in the Academy’s kitchen. Cucina provide nutritious and varied meals with themed weeks running throughout the year.

  • 90% of our menu…or more…is home-made!
  • All eggs and egg-based products are free range
  • 80% of our vegetables and fruit are sourced within the UK
  • The majority of our meat is red tractor approved and sourced from Great Britain
  • All our fish is farmed from sustainable stocks (MSC approved)
  • All our coffee and chocolate is fair trade

The restaurant is open for breakfast from 7.55am with food also available at both break and lunchtimes.

Cucina provide a top chef who cooks all food from scratch every single day to make sure your children’s food is fresh, nutritious and tastes great.

Cucina Restaurant Menu 2020 SeptemberCucina Tariff Poster No VAT


Extra-Curricular opportunities are hugely important to us at Watling Academy!

Students will gain the opportunity to try new activities, develop new interests, form new friendships and further enhance skills that they have learnt as part of our curriculum.

Clubs at Watling

Student Voice

The purpose of student voice at Watling Academy is to engage, ignite and enrich the thinking of students, allowing them to have a say in decisions in the Academy that affect them.

Methods of engaging and listening to students include:

  • building commitments to the student voice as part of a Watling’s strategic plans;
  • seeing students as empowered partners;
  • creating opportunities for students to organise and lead change through student councils;
  • engaging students when designing and reflecting on learning and teaching;
  • engaging students when creating opportunities at Watling;
  • creating student representative committees.

To find out more about Student voice at Watling Academy, please download the following document.

Student Voice

To hear more from students at Watling Academy, please visit our YouTube channel.


Pastoral support is at the heart of everything we do at Watling Academy. It is all about getting to know and understand the needs of every student – no student at Watling is anonymous!

Support for students will be provided by Form Tutors, our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities team, Heads and Assistant Heads of Year, Teaching Assistants, Inclusion Assistants and Pastoral and Learning Mentors, as well of course, by all teaching staff. Some students may also receive support from professionals from outside the Academy community and we facilitate this support as far as possible.

To read more about our pastoral support, please download the following document:



At Watling Academy, we believe that all students are entitled to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum. We are committed to a policy of inclusion; where students are valued equally regardless of ability and encouraged to achieve their full potential. We believe that the opportunity, care, and education of all students matter, including those identified as having SEND.

All students at Watling Academy, including those with SEND, have access to an exciting and stimulating curriculum, which includes the National Curriculum. As a mainstream school, student learning takes place in the classroom and is facilitated by teachers with ‘Quality First Teaching’. Additional targeted individual or small group support.

To find out more about SEND information, please click to download the following file:

Open Evening SEND Information

Register Interest

To contact us about Year 7 admissions for September 2021 and hear parent testimonials, please complete the following form.