The summer holidays saw the front of the school surrounded by scaffolding , with squads of busy workmen carrying out renovation work both inside and outside of the school buildings. The men worked long hours and weekends to complete an extensive refurbishment programme in time for the school to re-open in September.
The outward appearance of the school has changed dramatically. The school’s obsolete single-glazed, metal-framed windows have been replaced with state-of-the-art, tinted, double-glazed units, whilst the old, crumbling corrugated cladding has been replaced by new composite boards. The whole of the facia has been finished off with a powder-coated metal trim, transforming the appearance of the school and giving it a much more modern and attractive look.
The window and facia replacement programme has not been just a cosmetic exercise. The new windows, combined with the replacement of all of the blinds in the main school block, means that the classrooms, laboratories and Technology rooms are now much more comfortable and effective learning environments.
The building works were not confined to those at the front of the school. The failing heating system has been rescued by the installation of new boilers and a number of storage areas have been converted into new offices and teaching spaces. Clear signage has also been put in place throughout the building, making it much easier for visitors and new students to navigate.
Over £800,000 has been spent on improving the school over the summer period. This investment in the school is a further step towards ensuring that we have a school which continues to be fit for purpose and which provides a comfortable and stimulating learning environment for our students.
John Spence is due to be rebuilt under the government’s Priority Schools Building Programme in the near future, but the school and the Local Authority are committed to ensuring that our current and future students do not have to be taught in sub-standard accommodation whilst we wait for the roll out of the PSBP. For that reason we will continue to invest in the school in order to provide the best learning environment and the best education possible for our students.
On Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 October 2011 we took part in a full OFSTED inspection. We were visited by a team of inspectors who were here to look at all aspects of the school and seek information from: students, staff, governors and parents/carers. Inspectors gave judgements on a whole range of areas including: attainment and progress, behaviour, community links, student safety, teaching and learning. In addition, inspectors looked at how we have performed over time and make a judgement as to whether they think we have the capacity to improve further in the future.
Schools are graded as being: 1 Outstanding, 2 Good, 3 Satisfactory or 4 Inadequate. We are delighted to let you know that the overall grade our school was awarded was Outstanding! Only 14% of secondary schools in the country are awarded this grade so we should all be proud of our achievement: students, parents/carers, staff and governors.
We know that there is still work to do and improvements to be made. But the recognition by OFSTED that our school is an outstanding one is a huge reward for all of our hard work and something that we will be able to build upon so lead to further success.
The results this year are the best we have ever achieved. 100% of the students passed at least one GCSE and 91% passed five or more at A*-C grades. 72% of students achieved a good grade in English, 78% achieved a good grade in maths and a superb 82% achieved two good grades in science. Thanks to all who contributed to the success in particular to the students who put in the work and dedication needed to ensure they fulfilled their potential.
We are running lunchtime sessions to help Year 11 students with their work and help with exam preparation. Students will be informed if they need to attend the sessions. The timetable of sessions will run as follows:
Students who are not attending a session on a particular day could be asked to attend an alternative session for a different group.