Denefield is an 11-18 academy in West Berkshire, on the outskirts of Reading. The school provides education for the children and young people of both Reading and West Berkshire Local Authorities.
As the first choice preference for the community that it serves, Denefield offers local children a high quality learning experience, delivered by a team of staff committed to enabling the potential of every young person.
This is a school that expects the very best, striving to continually improve in all aspects of its work, in pursuit of excellence for all.
As the Headteacher of Denefield School I take my responsibility very seriously, aiming to ensure that each student has the opportunity to grow into a well-qualified, secure, happy, young adult, who is resilient enough to manage themselves personally, socially and academically and who is tolerant of difference.
Our success as a school is built upon a strong foundation of high standards, coupled with a relentless focus on improving the quality of learning, teaching and engagement, to ensure that all students are given every chance of developing the knowledge, skills and attributes to prepare them for their future.
We pride ourselves on the positive attitudes that our students demonstrate daily, the passion that they show for their learning and the respect that they have for others. The network created through our collaboration with parents/carers, primary schools and other partners supports the work of our house system and simply reinforces our belief that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.
The school benefits from a stimulating learning environment with well-equipped classrooms and modern facilities. Our Montessori building boasts state-of-the-art technology including a 3D printer and laser cutters, plentiful ICT suites and exceptional workshops for practical learning. In the Piaget building, our nine new science laboratories offer students ‘hands-on’ activities which support the development of practical skills and help to shape their understanding of scientific concepts. Our recording studio, fabulous art exhibition space and new Sixth Form areas also enhance a learning environment which contributes to the independence, curiosity and resourcefulness of our young people.
A culture of praise is something we have created at the school and therefore we invest extensive time in recognising the achievements of every young person. Our strong academic and pastoral systems allow for class teachers and tutors alike to praise young people, whether it be a simple well done, a postcard of congratulations or a phone call home. Annually, formal events are held in the form of Presentation Evening and Key Stage Award Evenings, with all winners invited being captured on the roll of honour boards in our Da Vinci space and included on our ‘Celebrate’ page of the website.
An aspirational culture in all aspects of the curriculum is what we seek to create at Denefield. We believe that public praise enables us to do this and instils pride in the young people. Many opportunities exist for students here to be role models through applying to take on a leadership role and further build their CHARACTER, the most prestigious of those being Head Boy and Head Girl.
Our Sixth Form is a source of pride, with conscientious young people choosing to spend a further two years with us. Securing the very best progress year on year, with our best A Level results on record in 2015, our students continue to be provided with excellent teaching and further development opportunities, to ensure that they can compete for the very best jobs, apprenticeships or university places that they choose.
As a comprehensive school, we firmly understand the need to develop the whole child, therefore provision of extra-curricular activities is of upmost importance. Denefield offers a vast array of sports clubs to participate in, and for those who want to take it a step further, extensive successful competitive teams. We believe that enrichment outside of the classroom, not simply within the sporting arena, but more broadly in terms of participating in life outside of the classroom, is pivotal to the development of the whole child. It allows a young person to view life broader than their immediate experience and to challenge and embrace new ways of thinking and behaving.
A number of school visits are offered each academic year. Some are aimed to develop a cultural awareness of the world, some to develop an appreciation for languages or the arts, and others to facilitate even greater success in the classroom.
Our music, drama and art departments come together each year to provide fantastic concerts, shows and exhibitions, all which foster further CHARACTER in the young people and provide opportunities to celebrate their success and talents.
Our house system, coupled with extensive pastoral support and guidance provides a strong sense of identity and belonging, within a safe and supportive environment.
As staff at Denefield we believe that happy learners’ equal successful learners and therefore each day, we strive to improve each individuals experience so that their futures are bright.
Mrs L Hillyard