11 secondary school choices in Northants
Ahhhhh it’s back to school which means it’s that time you start thinking about which secondary school for your not so littlies! One of our younger Muddy contributors, Bibi Baker gives us Northants parents her down low on 11 of the great local secondary schools on offer in the county.
This Kettering school is an excellent option for both academic and extra-curricular reasons. Whilst it is a self proclaimed Christian school, Bishop is inclusive of all faiths while instilling strong values into its students. Think along the lines of teaching respect, responsibility, self-control, honesty, compassion, thankfulness, perseverance, humility and loyalty etc. This year (2017) 86% students achieved Grade 4 or above in both Maths and English. 93% of students achieved a grade 4 or above in the new English specifications and 89% in Maths. A grade 4 is equivalent to last year’s grade C threshold. The school offers an array of clubs for the students to join such as film club, debate club and a huge amount of sporting clubs and musical bands.
Aside from its amazing facilities, including a swimming pool, a 400-seat theatre and a range of sports pitches and gyms, NSB is renowned for it’s academic excellence. Not only did the school receive an ‘outstanding’ grade at their most recent Ofsted inspection, but their 2017 GCSE performance improved year on year. In 2017, NSB achieved 89% of their students getting a C or above in both Maths and English (versus last year’s 85% in 2016). The school has over 200 clubs for students to join; from more traditional sporting clubs to musical bands, LGBTQ community club and they even run a Star Wars club!
Southfield is a great school for girls interested in the arts. Their dance clubs range from different styles such as ballet, street and lyrical as well as the school having their own dance troop ‘South Step’. They offer clubs in song writing, soul bands choirs and drama clubs. Their sporting facilities are particularly impressive; including a range of outdoor courts, dance studios, a rock climbing wall and trampolining equipment. Ofsted also rated Southfield a ‘good school’.
Brooke Weston is located in Corby but enjoys a wide catchment area – offering bus routes from all over the county. The school has a strong focus on grades as well as more active things such as Duke of Edinburgh award as well as offering students the opportunity to go on residential trips every year. Academically the school also delivered another strong performance – 93% of year 11 students secured grades 9 to 4 in the newly reformed English qualifications and 88% of the cohort secured the same in Mathematics.
Sir Christopher Hatton is an Academy with a specialist Mathematics and Computing status, and has returned really strong GCSE results in 2017. The academy, which is currently the highest achieving school in Northamptonshire under the headline Progress 8 measure, has seen the historic five GCSEs including English and maths increase further to 65 per cent. The academic results on show, are complemented by a huge number of extra curricular clubs and events, with students encouraged to work hard and play hard to broaden and strengthen personal development. Year 11 and 12 students are encouraged to take part in National Citizens Service (NCS) a government funded, programme for 15-17 year olds (Editor’s note: Both my Mudlets are at this school, and usually come home with a smile on their faces : )
This school offers something for everyone. On their most recent Ofsted report it was said that ‘the school helps you to be yourself and it helps you to achieve excellence’. This is the case with their array of different activities to take part in whether it be sporting, music lessons or modern languages, there is something for every student. The school also boasts outstanding facilities such as a swimming pool and The Spinney Theatre which shows performances (with cheap admission) almost every week.
Wollaston school performs well in academic terms with 68% of the the 2017 cohort attaining level 4 or above in both English and Maths. Their vision is also to support and enhance the physical, intellectual and emotional development of their students. This personal touch is evident in the school’s lunch clubs which deal with personal issues such as language, anxiety and preparation for exam support as well as a career guidance drop in. Extra-curricular activities include science and computing, PE clubs and fixtures, performing arts and art and design.
The school states that it has a strong ethos that they focus on all students reaching their full potential, regardless of their starting point or background. Weavers has great sporting facilities and these translate to a good sporting ethos throughout the school. Facilities include a fitness suite and multiple sports halls. Ofsted said that this school was ‘good’ upon their most recent inspection. Academic wise, 64% of students achieved 5 A*-C grades at GCSE last year, and this year, a few very bright students made the local paper for their sterling efforts.
A privately run school, Quinton House is a great option for those students who are keen to pursue excellent qualifications and involvement in the arts. The school has an impressive music department with a range of different bands and choirs, in addition to drama clubs. There is also a range of sporting clubs and teams for the students to take part in if music and drama isn’t their thing. Quinton House School pupils have outperformed the national average of 67.4% A*-C grades, achieving 83.9% A*-C grades in all subjects excluding Maths and English. We visited last year, read our full review here.
Sponne School, located in Towcester is one of the oldest secondary schools in the country. In 2017, it’s likely that once the National data is released Sponne will once again be in the top 10% of schools in the country. Aside from the school’s impressive academic success, they have an outstanding music department with a range of bands and even an orchestra that perform at local theatres and performances around the county.
This school, located in Wootton, on the outskirts of Northampton, has had an impressive set of GCSE results in 2017, with 79% of students obtaining an A*-C grade in both English and maths. Ofsted also awarded Caroline Chisholm school ‘good’ upon their most recent inspection. The school has been awarded an array of different awards such as the business and enterprise college award, the healthy schools award and an award for their arts programme.