Village People: Dom Kenrick (Warden Park head)

Dom Kenrick, Warden Park Academy Headmaster

By Simon Yeend

Dom Kenrick believes in special moments. Moments that children will remember. Moments that will enrich their lives.

Mr Kenrick has been Head of Warden Park Academy for just one term but has already stamped his mark on the school with this approach.

His is the first face most pupils will see when they arrive in the morning and the last face they see as they leave in the afternoon as he sees the kids off, encouraging, praising and looking hungrily at any apple pies baked in food technology that day!

“I’ll be out there in the morning to welcome students into school and in the evening I walk down to the road and wave the kids off and say thanks for all your hard work. It is important to do it so that students know that I think what they have done today matters. Perhaps they’ve got something that they’ve baked in food technology class or a piece of art work or something they have made, I will always ask about it. These little moments of recognition are important as they help to build confidence, resilience and self-esteem. Lots of the work students do is very challenging therefore it is important that they feel proud about what they have accomplished.”

His approach makes him a popular figurehead following his move in the summer from Steyning Grammar. And he has been pleasantly surprised by the number of girls at the school who get involved in sport and are succeeding in other areas of the school curriculum.

“There’s a massive number of young ladies here who are bucking the trend from every other school I’ve worked in, who are getting involved, being successful and being great role models, and hopefully going on to be healthy, successful adults in the future,” he explains.

“We’ve got girls working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Year 8 girls working in coding – computer science at the Amex.

“There are a lot of opportunities for girls to play sport here, and they are picking it up. Here, more than in other schools I have worked in, it’s cool to be doing these things. 

“The number of kids who are here at 8 o’clock in the morning to play netball is fantastic.

That is all helped by teachers committing and parents supporting that by dropping them off early."

Full Story in January's issue of Cuckfield Life magazine

Warden Park's new school head teacher says Hi on YouTube

Welcome video by Mr Dominic Kenrick, new Headteacher of Warden Park Secondary Academy from September 2017

Warden Park Academy’s new head teacher, Dominic Kenrick, has made a video to introduce himself to pupils and parents before he takes up his role in September.

Kenrick, who lives in Haywards Heath, is promising to set the bar extremely high in all aspects of schooling and to continue the “World Class” approach that the school has demanded of itself.

He said: “The relationships between students, teachers and parents is fundamental in achieving this success and by working together we can ensure that students at Warden Park make outstanding progress and leave as well-qualified, mature young people.

“My expectations of the students in terms of their achievement and behaviour are very high – I expect all students to be ambassadors of the school, to wear their uniform with pride and to display the highest standards of personal conduct.

“The values of the school should underpin the values of the community as a whole. Great communities are based on care and kindness, those are vital.”

He believes empowerment is the way to get the best out of students. “Education is a transformer and empowerment is the absolute priority,” he said. “Students who are empowered personally, socially and academically to go on and make the very best of their lives and be absolutely fulfilled in all that they do. A great academic outcome will be the ticket for students to move on in their learning.”


Jonathan Morris: Village People

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As the new head of Warden Park Academy Jonathan Morris has a large school to take care of and big boots to fill, taking over from Steve Johnson in January. Warden Park head boy Luke Mitchell talks to the new man about the new role...

Full story on p.16 of Feb/Mar issue of Cuckfield Life

For local man (and newly appointed head of Warden Park Academy) Mr Morris, a new challenge involving people and education has never been something to shy away from. Moving around the area throughout the years, Mr Morris has seen various successes in many different places; starting off in the property business and then working with adults with special educational needs. Mr Morris took his teaching qualification before moving on to specialise in Theology, and has held many Assistant and Deputy Headships at schools in the south of England. Now, moving on from a seven year Head Teacher post at St Wilfrids in Crawley, he has come to Warden Park with a wonderful, ambitious (yet achievable) vision: to make Warden Park ‘world class’.

This concept is a very important one for Mr Morris and he’s presented it to every year group since taking post around three weeks ago. This was playing on the minds of the student body, and indeed mine, so I sat down to ask exactly what the vision of ‘world class’ was. Mr Morris explained that, perhaps most importantly, a world class school is “rooted in ethics” and takes great care in benevolence amongst the school community. Naturally following behind this is pride in appearance, work and the idea of achieving exceptional exam results across the board – all of which are achievable given the commitment of staff, parents and students that Mr Morris was greeted with.