A vision for an exceptional co-educational school in Huntingdonshire which, modelled on the Independent Sector and based on a Christian foundation, will offer a unique educational experience, open to all.
We plan to open as a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) with Fulham Boys School (FBS) (https://www.fulhamboysschool.org/), a successful Free School in London. This school has the backing of a number of high-profile MPs in Westminster, the New Schools Network advocate it as a good example of an extremely successful Free School, Ofsted have said it is exemplary for how a state funded, Christian ethos school should operate. It was recently invited to contribute to the Parliamentary review for best practice: https://www.theparliamentaryreview.co.uk/organisations/fulham-boys-ce-school
FBS is based on 3 pillars, which we would mirror: Enterprise; Christian Faith; Individuals. See these here.
The school day is longer than usual (8.30-5), with formal lessons ending around 3pm and emersion in a mixture of sporting and co-curricular activities for the rest of the day.
Classes are small (around 24 per group) and the school is small (600-700 students at full capacity).
Links are made with local businesses and community groups to give teenagers real experiences that will fit them to get the best jobs and ensure seamless transition from school to community.
It is a very academic school, aiming for results comparable to the Independent sector and every student given the opportunity to get good enough GCSE’s to go to top universities.
It is truly comprehensive – 40% pupils qualify for free school meals, 10% come from Fulham’s wealthiest families. It is truly designed to bridge the gap between society’s richest and poorest – a necessary criteria for any new Free School Application.
It is oversubscribed by around 300 students every year (400 for 120 places)
The faith element is embraced by all – those of other faiths and none, and the Christian ethos permeates through all of school life. However, there is no indoctrination or pressure, individuals are respected, other faiths appreciated and students given space to think for themselves with true freedom of expression.
Discipline and standards are high – the culture is one of never giving in, failure not an option. Yet the children are strongly supported in this, and praised even when their best attempt results in a failure. The pastoral care is exemplary and one of the stand-out features of the success of the school.
Every child is understood, known by every teacher, they are put on an individualised, personalised “flight path to success” and through this strong pastoral systems, supported to achieve.
Parent – school partnership is considered key to the school’s success.
School – community cohesion is tight, effective, children interact with and take personal and social responsibility for areas of the local community.
The teacher retention rate is exceptional – 4 teachers have left within 5 years, all for promotions and some teachers recently employed have taken demotions to able to work at a school that is leading by example.