Saffron Walden County High School Head Teacher Personal Statement

Saffron Walden County High School is a coeducationalacademy school and an ex-specialist Technology College for ages 11–18 in Saffron Walden, Essex, England. The current headteacher is Caroline Derbyshire, following the departure of John Hartley.[1] It is also an accredited training school.

The school has developed a growing sporting pedigree, particularly in Rugby Union. Numerous forays into the latter stages of the Daily Mail National Cup competition culminated in the under 15's achieving victory at Twickenham in the plate competition of 2011.[2]

The 2018 Sunday Times School Guide ranked the school as the best non-selective state school in East Anglia.[3]


In November 2013, the school opened a new "world-class" concert hall[4] dubbed Saffron Hall.[5] The £10m auditorium was funded by the Yellow Car Charitable Trust[6] and replaced the previous main school hall. Saffron Hall won the Project of the Year award at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors East of England Awards 2014.[7]

The only cinema in Saffron Walden has operated within the school since 2006.[8] It is a not-for-profit cinema run by volunteer projectionists using both digital projectors and 35mm film.[9] Both Saffron Screen and Saffron Hall are open to the public outside of school hours and used by the school otherwise.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]

Not to be confused with Brentwood School or Brentwood High School.

Brentwood County High School is a state-funded academy (formerly a grammar school) located in the town of Brentwood, Essex. The school receives support from and is a member of the Osborne Co-Operative Academies Trust and educates around 1,200 students from North East London and South West Essex. In January 2014 the school was graded as “Good” in all of areas by Ofsted. This grading was maintained for three years. However, as of 2017, the school has been graded as "Requires Improvement" according to Ofsted, although the sixth form is still graded as “Good”.[1]

The School[edit]

The school is on a single site consisting of grammar school buildings originally built in 1927. After the school's conversion from a girls' grammar school in 1972 a linking extension was added where science, art and design and technology are taught. Soon afterwards, a drama hall, sports hall, gymnasium, fitness suite and more classrooms were added where physical education and humanities are taught. A separate building was added where Mathematics is taught, there are also two drama studios where some drama lessons take place. The newest addition to the school is the library and two new classrooms which were added in 2009.

The school has a reasonably sized field where Rugby and other outdoor sports are taught and played competitively either through inter-school competitions or as part of a county sports league. The school also has an indoor swimming pool where swimming lessons and the annual swimming gala take place.


In 1913, a private school for girls which originally opened in 1876, was taken over by Essex County Council opening with only fifty four students as a girls' grammar school.

In 1927, the school moved from Queen's Road, Brentwood to its current site at Seven Arches Road Brentwood. Extensions were added by 1937 to provide accommodation for 450 girls. During the grammar school era of the 1960s and early 1970s, it was the female counterpart of Brentwood School, which was a boys' direct grant grammar school at that time.

The school celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1963 and then in 1965 plans were laid to convert it from a girls' grammar school into a co-educational school which, after extensive building works, happened in September 1978.[1]

In 2013, the school celebrated its centenary year, and became a voluntary aided school by converting to foundation school status forming the Brentwood Community Learning Trust.

From 2017, the school has been part of the Osborne Co-Operative Academy Trust. The trust is based around a group of schools in Thurrock, including St Clere’s secondary school. st Clere’s was the original school in the trust which has now expanded to include two secondary schools and four primary schools. [2]

Brentwood County High School will be undergoing a major rebuilding and refurbishment programme from the summer of 2018 onwards, funded by the Education and Schools Funding Agency (part of the Department for Education). The building works are planned to include the construction of a new science, art and technology block to replace the blue 1970s block which will be knocked down. The rest of the school will be completely refurbished. The building programme is expected to take three years to complete.


Brentwood County High School has based its ethos heavily on community. Every student and staff member is part of one of the five Houses which compete regularly in competitions of sport and academia. Each house competition is worth points which determine which House wins the House cup. The five Houses also compete with each other on attendance, punctuality and student house points where the house with the most points goes on to win a prize every half term.

A few students at Brentwood County High School also participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme which encourages young people to contribute to their local community.

The school created a Community Awards scheme in 2012 which aims to recognise the achievements of local people in the Brentwood area. The school also holds an annual 'Community Day' where all students and staff perform activities to give back to the local community.


Brentwood County High School is renowned for its successful rugby teams that often compete at a national level winning the Carnegie cup in 2008, and coming as runners up in 2009.[2][3] The school also has successful football, netball, swimming and water polo teams which compete at a regional level.


Brentwood County High School has achieved Eco-School status by being awarded four Green Flags[4] and an Energy Award[5] by Keep Britain Tidy. The school is one of only 23 schools to be awarded four Green Flags.[6]

The school also holds National Healthy School Status (NHSS) and has won awards for the school's education of English and Humanities from the Prince's Institute of Teaching and the Geographical Association, as well as the Sportsmark award for the provision of physical education.

Sixth Form[edit]

Main article: Brentwood County High School Sixth Form

Th sixth form at BCHS has around 230 students studying A-Levels and Level 3 BTECs. Students attending the sixth form are a mixture of students who attended BCHS up to year 11, and a number who join the school for year 12.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Pixie Lott[edit]

On February 5, 2010, Pixie Lott returned to Brentwood County High School unannounced to students to perform a small concert in the school's main sports hall and answer questions from students.[7][8][9][10] Past headteacher, Mrs. Carol Mason said “We are very proud to have had Pixie Lott come to our school. Brentwood County High School has an active extra-curricular music programme and we hope that Pixie Lott’s visit on Friday will encourage even more students to get involved with music and possibly take up a musical instrument. We hope that her talk to the youngsters will inspire them to pursue their dreams in whatever field their interest lies.”[11]

External links[edit]


Brentwood County High School, Seven Arches Road site in 1927

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