The Deepings School has a Clear Vision for Progress
The Deepings School has a clear vision and drive for progress. This has been identified through the most recent Ofsted inspection, where the school received a grade 1 in all key areas. The school has never rested on it laurels and has continually looked for new initiatives and ideas that have enabled the students, staff and the school site to be transformed, continually, but even more rapidly over the past 18 months. Academy status was granted in February 2012 as the school became a member of the CfBT Schools’ Trust. The school is oversubscribed and is increasing its intake this coming September.
Headteacher, Chris Beckett is recognised as a National Leader in Education, a prestigious title but duly deserved for the journey that he has brought the school on. Grades have continually progressed since Chris took over the headship in 2005, Ofsted recognised standards to be outstanding. The most recent A Level results saw 51% of students achieve an A*-B grade, something that ranks the school in the top few within the county. At GCSE the percentage achieving 5 A*-C grades (including English and Maths) sits just shy of 70%, again placing us very favourably in the local area.
Teaching is outstanding, such a high percentage of our teachers deliver lessons, which inspire, and motivate our students to become in engaged in learning. Co constructive and research based projects have brought students and staff together in the planning of schemes of work, which only helps strengthen relationships and the quality of delivery in the classroom. This initiative is set to evolve still further and bring on board community partners such as Sport Relief, for whom we raise a minimum of £10,000 per year, and our governors to develop a whole array of stimuli to further enhance the experience our students receive. The school has also just purchased a third minibus which will used by all students in the school as well as providing a much in demand service to our local Primary Schools.
Staff development has a major focus within The Deepings School, the school has been designated as one of the Lead schools for the new ‘School Direct Training Programme’ and it has also gained become a SCITT (School Centre for Initial Teacher Training). Nikki Benjamin, Assistant Head will be leading this programme of teacher training and student teachers from several other Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire Schools will receive their core training at The Deepings School on one day per week throughout the next academic year. The new Conference and Training Centre will be used for this purpose. The school is also planning to submit an application to become a National Teaching School for September 2014.
The site is one area where those on the outside can see the most noticeable changes. The new, two million pound, Sixth Form Centre is fantastic asset for this ever growing area of the school. A record numbers of applicants this year will have the chance to utilise this resource first hand. A dedicated library, study facilities, social space, seminar rooms, and servery enable the students to spend time fully focussed on their work. Money has also been spent to support the redevelopment of existing facilities; the ‘main English block’ has had a near £1.5 million pounds investment. This has seen complete refurbishment, window replacement and new boiler and heating system enabling the learning environment to be more conducive to the students. The next phase of development for the school will see a bid to replace existing science provision with a new purpose built, twelve laboratory and other facilities, block – with an approximate cost of £3.5 million!
The schools IT infrastructure has been overhauled with half a million pounds being fed in to replace current servers and systems and for a new virtual, fully wifi enabled system to be introduced. This in itself will further enhance not only learning and teaching but day to day operations within the school. To compliment this the new Virtual Leaning Environment led by ‘Frog’ is due to go live in September which will enable students to access things such as homework, parents to access data on attendance and their child’s assessment information.
The Deepings School is conscious of its image within the local community and always tries hard to portray communications externally in the same way that it is displayed internally. A new marketing strategy has been introduced, which has seen the introduction of a new website, new logo’s, uniform, and all correspondences with parents, the community and prospective students. We believe that this new ‘image’ enables us to be at the forefront of communication and is a contributing factor to success in the number applications for a place at the school. The company that have driven this, ‘clever box’, are market leaders and the bespoke package they have provided has enabled the school to set a new bench mark in this area.
Our ‘Rising Stars’ programme is aimed at providing challenging activities for students in local Primary Schools, from Y4 upwards and takes place throughout the academic year. It then feeds, naturally, into out Able, Gifted and Talented programme at the school. Over the last few years we have had a number of students move on to Oxbridge places; other students have enjoyed the benefits of our excellence programme which is linked to the Air Museum at Duxford.
Internally the school is undergoing an exciting revolution in its operating structure. An existing system of houses and faculties is to be replaced in September with a new College structure; effectively students will be part of a smaller school within a big school. The three Colleges will take on traditional Deepings names – Guthlac, Priory and Welland, each with their own identity. Students will be placed in a College where children are at the heart of everything that goes on; with increased numbers of staff on hand to support the child and help them make the progress that is expected of them. College Leaders, Progress Leaders and Pastoral Support Officers will have a dedicated reception area that will enable the students and parents to access, support, advice and guidance at anytime. Ofsted recognised this as an impressive development and something that will only further enhance the educational experience at the school. Another knock on effect of the new system will be smaller class sizes for KS3 groups.