Headteacher Blog 27.02.19Posted on: 27th Feb
Welcome to the first edition of The Downs School blog and a warm welcome back to all of our students after the February half-term break. This blog will be a regular update from me, giving more of an insight into areas of school life not traditionally covered in the newsletter or The Downs Download.
In September last year, we unveiled our new school vision which is ‘Educating today’s students for the world of tomorrow,’ which we will achieve by ‘Learning together, learning for life.’
The vision runs through the daily life of the school, with the guidance we need to realise our vision and achieve outstanding outcomes for our students.
So why did we change our vision? During the last academic year, I reflected a lot on what I wanted to get the school to look like in 5-10 years’ time and what qualities I wanted our students to have. As a school it had become clear that we have to keep pace with the demands of the 21st Century and provide students with a range of skills that will allow them to face these challenges head on. They need to thrive in a future that will become more complex, more information risk and more demanding of fresh creative thinking.
At The Downs School we ensure our students have an individual learning experience, alongside opportunities to enhance their sporting, social and creative skills both inside and outside the classroom. We want our students to leave here as well-rounded successful individuals, wherever their next journey takes them.
I have just celebrated five years as Headteacher at The Downs School. It has been an amazing journey so far and I take great pride in how the school has gone from strength to strength. This is supported by the results we have achieved which were published in the performance league for schools just before half-term.
The results - which are based on the grades achieved by Summer 2018 GCSE and A Level leavers – showed that for students aged 11-16, our ‘Progress 8’ score ranked our students achievements as ‘above average’ and one of the best performing West Berkshire schools. The results also showed that 97% of our school leavers either stayed in education or entered employment.
Our A Level results placed us ‘above average’ in the ‘Progress’ score, and our average A Level grade was a B-, placing us at the top of the leaderboard for local Sixth Forms. 21.9% of students scored grades AAB or higher at A Level, and looking at students’ best three A Level results, our average grade was a B, again, the highest attainment of local secondary schools with a sixth form facility.
I am confident that if we all work together to achieve our new inspirational vision, our school will continue to go from strength to strength, preparing our students fully for the challenges that lay ahead of them.