It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the William de Ferrers School website.
We are a large school but organised in a very personal way. We have 1565 students, 280 of them being in our thriving Sixth Form. Our scale is a great advantage when it comes to the curriculum we offer and the opportunities available to students. However, despite our size, our systems are personalised and we care for each and every student including their talents, interests, challenges and aspirations. Our approach to caring for students is that we have the same hopes and expectations as parents. To paraphrase John Dewey (1907), ‘What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the school want for all of its children’.
The students are a credit to our community and they come first in everything we do. They are proud of their school and are ambitious to be successful. We are told regularly that this is a great place to come to school and a lovely school for adults to work in. We combine two approaches really well: teaching and learning which is modern, engaging and takes account of the students’ views. However, at the same time we have strong traditional values around standards, discipline, respect, school uniform and promoting an ethos of achievement. We are a modern school rooted in traditional values.
We make no apology for the fact that all our students follow a rigorous academic curriculum. All young people can achieve highly and be successful at school if they are taught well, apply themselves and give of their best. However, to be successful at school students need to be happy and enjoy coming here. They have ample opportunity to do this through vast range of clubs and activities linked to sport, drama, music, debating, technology, gifted and talented and many other endeavours.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is thriving in the school and we have large numbers of students achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards each year. Trips and visits are a key part of school life, as part of the curriculum at home but also in exploring some of the world’s most fascinating and interesting destinations.
In June 2015 we were judged to be a ‘Good’ school by Ofsted and well on our way to ‘Outstanding’. One of the inspectors commented that she would gladly send her children to this school. This summer our students achieved wonderful GCSE and A-level results. 67% of students in Year 11 gained 5+ GCSEs at A*–C including English and mathematics, which is significantly above the national and county averages. At A-level, 53% of entries were graded A*–B or equivalent and most of our students have gone on to positive destinations of their choice, including the country’s top ‘Russell Group’ universities.
This website can only offer a brief glimpse of our school. We would be delighted to welcome you for a personal visit if you would like to know more and see the school in action for yourself. I am sure you will be impressed.
Mike Applewhite MA NPQH