Longdean is one of the few ‘good’ schools in Dacorum with ‘interesting and engaging lessons;’ teachers who have ‘strong subject knowledge’ and ‘commitment and enthusiasm’; and ‘strong’ outcomes for pupils. A strong Sixth Form curriculum and leaders who ‘know learners and their circumstances well’ (Ofsted 2015) mean that 100% of Sixth Form parents praise the Sixth Form experience and would recommend it. 96% of parents say that the school is well led and managed (questionnaire Nov 2015). The Headteacher’s ‘vision for the academy is communicated very effectively and his determination to create a high quality of education for pupils is a powerful factor in the academy’s success’ and senior leaders ‘translate his ethos into all that they do.’ (Ofsted 2015).
Longdean’s KS3 Competency Curriculum teaches resilience and how to learn. ‘Positive attitudes in lessons are actively promoted by teachers who frequently model the skills needed to be a successful learner’ and so pupils ‘enjoy their lessons, try hard and demonstrate the important attribute of resilience when things get hard.’ Core GCSEs studied over three years and a GCSE option sat in each of Yr 9, 10 and 11 challenge passivity and provide pupils ‘with a good experience of taking examinations through these three years, meaning that they take their studies very seriously.’ Membership of a consortium and Cooperative means that the sixth form provides ‘learning to meet a wide range of needs’ and the Mathematics & Computing specialism supports whole-school numeracy, success in maths qualifications and ICT resources in all subject areas. The school’s ‘curriculum provides pupils with a wide range of experiences’ and both this and ‘pupils’ good and improving outcomes mean that they are well prepared for the next stage of their education, employment or training’ (Ofsted 2015).
‘The academy’s commitment to the pupils’ welfare is outstanding. A dedicated staff team have exceptionally effective systems for pupils’ pastoral care’ (Ofsted 2015). 91% of parents tell us that there is no bullying or that it is well dealt with; students say that they feel safe; and they are ‘polite and friendly with one another’(questionnaire Nov 2015). Mixed-age form groups enable older students to support younger ones with transition to secondary school and selection of GCSE options; and the four Houses effectively promote collaborative work, healthy competition and challenge. Longdean students ‘are proud of their academy,’ ‘enjoy coming to school’ (Ofsted 2015) and say that they would recommend the school to a friend (questionnaire Nov 2015). Its also a very exciting time...to become a Longdean Student! Our students are divided into small supportive form groups, housed from January 2017 in a new single building with state-of-the-art facilities. At the same time, we’re large enough to offer a wide range of courses and experiences and our East Dacorum Cooperative Learning Trust gives students exciting links to other institutions, businesses and employers. Longdean has always been full of unique opportunities: We’re a thriving International School; offer numerous student leadership roles; run School Parliament with Headteacher’s Question Time and debate; and a “Who Do We Think We Are?” Week or British STEAM Week. Events such as the annual whole-school Charity Walk have raised £27,000 for good causes.
Parents regularly provide us with feedback about their children's success at Longdean. Here are a selection:
A Year 11 Parent:
"I have just come back from watching my son compete in the school athletics in Watford and I wanted to say what an absolutely fantastic PE staff Longdean School has. I have watched my three children partake in a variety of sporting events over the past few years including netball, athletics, football and rugby and I have always been hugely impressed by the sheer commitment of your team. They are incredibly encouraging and show enthusiasm and total commitment to all the children. They are always quick to offer a word of encouragement, advice and / or direction. I just wanted to acknowledge and thank them for the great job they do."