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Principal's Welcome

 “South”, as our school is affectionately known, is a high performing academy and, for many years, students of all abilities have achieved results at GCSE and A level significantly above local and national averages. This Is because the progress that students make from their starting points in Year 9, is very good indeed.  I know that the transition to High School, or into Sixth Form, is both an important and exciting phase in your educational lives and I hope that our prospectus, and this website, gives you an insight into what it is like to be a student here.

We have high expectations of all our students, whatever their experience in middle or primary school and aim to equip you with the skills and experience which will enable you to be successful in the next stage of your life beyond school.  This may involve you moving into our very successful Sixth Form and on to University, or taking a route with more bespoke training, an apprenticeship or work-related study.  Each year we learn of former students who are happy in their careers and who remind us that the foundations for their success were laid during their time with us.

In our last Ofsted Inspection we were graded as outstanding in all areas - achievement, quality of teaching, leadership, behaviour and overall effectiveness.  Each year since that inspection Ofsted has assessed out performance and we remain outstanding. In 2016 we have received a letter from the School's Minster, Nick Gibb, congratulating the school on being one of the top 100 non-selective schools in the country. As you can imagine our whole community was delighted at this independent confirmation of the work of our students, teachers and support staff and parents.

One of the opening sentences from Ofsted notes that “Students’ universally positive relationships with one another and staff promote consistently excellent learning.” Inspectors also wrote that “The outstanding range of subjects and courses includes many memorable experiences, greatly enriched by the exceptional arts provision and the largest school-based centre for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the country”.  Each year we have around 500 students participating in Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards and for some parents, our experience in the Award, and the fact that we have an amazing success rate, is an important consideration in applying for South.

Our school was designated as a National Teaching School in 2014, one of only 500 such centres in the country, in recognition of excellence in Initial Teacher Education and Leadership Development.  This means that we can attract the highest quality teachers who are motivated, enthusiastic and dedicated to ensuring that you are happy, believe in your abilities and reach your potential.

We are proud of our students and what they achieve, and share with them a pride in our school. We are a happy learning community, where learning is enjoyed and valued.

You are most welcome at any time to look around and see our school in action. I look forward to meeting you.

Paul Topping MA (Ed)

Principal and National Leader of Education