Excellent start for Downend School

Published on: 01 Oct 2014

IT’S been an exceptionally busy start to the school year at Downend School.

More than 1,000 people attended the annual open evening on September 18, then on September 23 and 24 the school underwent an Ofsted inspection.

Downend School is celebrating record-breaking A-level results in 2014 and strong GCSE results.

Twelve students achieved eight or more A/A* grades, including Lewis Jones (9 A*, 1 A, 1 B), Daniel P Smith (6 A*, 4 A, 1 B), Ewan Cassidy (5 A*, 5 A, 1 B), Grace Kirby (5 A*, 5 A, 1 B), Toby Cook (5 A*, 4 A, 2 B), Callum Cook (5 A*, 4 A, 1 B, 1 C), James Nuttall (4 A*, 7 A), Daniel J Smith (4 A*, 6 A, 1 B), Molly Monk (3 A*, 7 A, 1 B), Magalie Plissoneau (2 A*, 9 A, 1 B), Natasha Burden (2 A*, 8 A, 1 B), and Chloe Sheppard (2 A*, 7 A, 2 B).

Headteacher William Roberts said: “We are thrilled that so many students have achieved the high grades they deserved. The sustained improvement in results for the school is a fantastic reward to students and staff for the very hard work that has made this possible”.

This year, Mr Roberts is spending part of his time as the first chairman of the new South Gloucestershire Education Partnership, set up to coordinate the work of schools and the council in raising educational standards across the area.

In a letter to parents, chairman of governors Bob Hedge said Mr Roberts had been approached for the role in recognition of the school’s recent record of rapid improvements. He said Downend School students and those in other schools stood to benefit from the work of the partnership.

Mark Fuller has been appointed associate head and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school while Mr Roberts will be based at Downend five days a week and will continue to lead strategic improvements, Mr Hedge added.

Mr Roberts, in the first newsletter of the year, said the school had had a fantastic start to the academic year.

“Downend students have been demonstrating our school community’s PRIDE values (Participation, Respect, Identity, Determination & Excellence) on a daily basis. We have been challenging students to build on their successes from last year by doing even better this year – and they have certainly risen to that challenge. Students are proud of their ‘small successes’ – being on time to school every day, putting up their hand in class, completing their homework, attending an extra-curricular activity – and it is on these small steps that that bigger successes are built,” he said.

The newsletter also quoted a number of prospective parents who were impressed with the open evening, in which more than 300 students participated.

“A very inclusive, encouraging and welcoming school. We are very impressed with the way each student is supported as an individual as well as being part of the school community,” said one.

The school is running open mornings daily until October 23. The outcome of the Ofsted inspection will be known later this month.

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