A warm welcome from the Governors of Denefield School.
We are very proud of our school which has been serving our local community for the past 40 years. The school, under the effective leadership of Lucy Hillyard, provides high quality education for our young people. Our caring and distinctive ethos is based on our 'CHARACTER Values' and a belief that every child has the potential to succeed. Our strap line, 'Enabling potential, expecting the best' is at the heart of all the school's work.
We are committed to excellence and passionately believe that the school provides our young people with the best opportunities to develop and achieve both academically and personally. At Denefield, we strongly believe in providing a broad and balanced curriculum and value all subjects especially in a time when schools are under increasing Government pressure to focus on a narrow suite of academic qualifications.
We were delighted to have our own evaluation of our school endorsed by Ofsted when they judged the school to be ‘Good’ following inspection in June 2014. Since this date the school has gone from strength to strength. Our 2017 exam results were very pleasing and worthy of much celebration. This year we have seen record breaking A2 and GCSE results, the best ever in the school’s history. Our results for the Ebacc suite of GCSE qualifications have continued to exceed national average for the fourth year running. Provisional data from the Department of Education shows that our progress 8 score for GCSE has significantly improved from 0.01 for 2016 to 0.19 for 2017.
Our curriculum provides students with a good academic grounding together with ample opportunities to become well rounded individuals. Developing CHARACTER values is a key focus of our work and we encourage our students to embrace these values to become confident, happy, articulate, resilient, ambitious, courageous, tolerant, empathetic and respectful individuals. Students are given every opportunity to thrive and grow in our school community through an array of extra-curricular activities (ie sports clubs, expressive arts clubs, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Combined Cadet Force) and via an abundance of in-school leadership positions (ie school council, house council, subject ambassadors).
We have excellent links with a number of local businesses which provide superb opportunities for young people to develop a passion and interest for the STEM subjects. The school has a strong sporting tradition and plays an active part in a number of county fixtures; opportunities to play sport overseas have been introduced in recent years, past trips include Paris, Greece and Malta. Our art, music and drama departments make valuable contributions to school life including annual productions; past performances include: Oliver, We Will Rock You and Hairspray. We have a partnership with Pangbourne College and have a Combined Cadet Force which enables our young people to develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, resilience, resourcefulness, endurance, and perseverance.
Our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum offers a wide range of languages: French, Spanish and German and opportunities for overseas visits to help children practice language skills and to experience the culture of countries they are studying. Our German exchange has been in place for the last 31 years and is testament to the drive and enthusiasm of the leadership team in MFL.
Since January 2012 the school has operated as an Academy Trust School. Academy schools are free from the local authority control but directly accountable to the Secretary of State for Education. Academy status has benefited the school considerably and has enabled us to bid for a number of capital grants to improve the buildings and learning environment. Thus far to date, we have received £2.5 million pounds which has been used to replace all the windows, install new ceilings, lighting and heating controls and to extend the canteen and to improve the outdoor eating areas.
I am very proud to be Chair of Governors at Denefield School. The Governors are very committed to supporting the school and working with the staff to offer the best education for the young people in our local community. As a parent of three children, my two daughters who have completed their education at the school and my son is in Year 11, I have been delighted with the quality of education and the excellent support they have received.
Chair of Governors