Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK23 0TQ
This job expired on 6 June 2022 – see similar jobs
Expected start date
As soon as possible
6 June 2022 at 12:00pm
17 May 2022
About Chapel-en-le-Frith High School
- School type
- Local authority maintained school, ages 11 to 16
- Education phase
- View all Secondaryjobs
- School size
- 940 pupils enrolled
- Age range
- 11 to 16
- Ofsted report
- View Ofsted report (opens in a new tab)
- Contact email
- Contact phone number
An introduction to our school
Our school is an 11-16 mixed, community, comprehensive school of around 950 students. We are lucky to be based in a relatively new building, with great facilities, on a beautiful site at the edge of the Peak District market town of Chapel-en-le-Frith. The Peak District National Park is quite literally on the school’s doorstep and provides endless opportunities for walkers, cyclists, mountain bikers, climbers, cavers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
The nearest big towns to the school are Buxton and Stockport but good transport links mean that the school’s staff travel from a wide area with many commuting from Manchester, Sheffield, Chesterfield and the towns of East Cheshire. A sizable contingent of staff live in the villages of the Peak District. For anyone considering relocating it is a wonderful area in which to live, with a good mix of housing, decent schools, easy commutes and a good quality of life.
We believe that our school is unusual in many ways. Perhaps the most obvious of these, which may even make us unique, is structural. The current school was formed by merging, in a new building, the local area special school with the existing high school. The special school became the current 34 place enhanced resourced SEND provision, always referred to simply as ‘Learning Support’ in school. To meet the moderate to severe special educational needs of its cohort, Learning Support operates as a ‘school within a school’. The Learning Support department runs a full independent curriculum with significant dedicated SEND trained staffing. Whilst Learning Support can provide an independent, tailored, learning experience for students, in every other way this cohort is fully integrated into the life of the school. This arrangement makes for a wonderfully inclusive school with young people who are very accepting of difference. Our inclusive approach spreads more widely too and we often buck local and national trends by accepting students with difficult and complex backgrounds.
This inclusivity does however make the school’s published data rather tricky to interpret. The DfE data effectively merges the results of an average sized comprehensive school with that of a special school. In short, we are rather better than the league tables make us look. Some years ago, we set ourselves a challenge; “to achieve results ranking alongside the best schools nationally; whilst remaining a highly inclusive, friendly, community school”. We have not achieved this yet, but it is a mantra that has guided us since. Undoubtedly, the balance between inclusivity and excellence is a difficult one, but both governors and staff are fully committed to making it work, despite its undoubted challenges in the current educational environment.
We think that we are different in other ways too. Our governors value the arts and creative subjects and we retain high uptake in these areas. We are not a top-down organisation; we are a team, and we work together to do the best we can for the young people in our care. If you join us, you can become involved in developing the future of our school community. Perhaps most importantly, we recognise that happy, committed staff make for a successful school; we work really hard to look after and develop our staff.
Visitors to our school notice these differences. People frequently comment on the sense of community, the calm atmosphere, and the fact that our staff smile, joke and enjoy what they do. At the start of our most recent Ofsted inspection the lead inspector commented, after meeting the staff in briefing, that he had never met such a welcoming, smiley and relaxed staff team at the start of an inspection. The report from that inspection, in May 2019, gives a very good picture of the organisation that we are.
Like most schools, we have our strengths and weaknesses. We are proud of the work we have done recently on curriculum development, on teaching and learning and on research-based practice, with many staff now engaged with research and further professional qualifications. Our challenges remain those of many rural schools, getting our results to be clearly above average requires that we better engage disadvantaged students and that we raise aspirations of boys in particular.
We are in the minority of secondary schools that remain local authority run. This is by choice after careful research and consideration. We are not, however, an isolated school. We have good links with other local schools, with local further education providers and with universities. We are a member of the Connected Schools group of like-minded Derbyshire secondary schools.
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