Longdean is a ‘good’ school 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). 90% 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 2018). 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 2018).
Its also a very exciting time...to become a Longdean Student! Our students are divided into small supportive form groups, housed 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.
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."
A Year 7 Parent:
"Our son seems to have 'taken like a duck to water' to his new school environment and I am certain this is due to the brilliant taster and campus days he attended prior to joining."
A Year 12 Parent:
"Our son came to Longdean in the Sixth form following a recommendation to the level 2 course. I would just like to say a very big thank you as he now has his Grade C in Maths, and improved his English to an A, and has an A* in the HPQ... I am one very proud Mum. He is now staying with you to do his A Levels. This one year GCSE course you offer is fantastic & a great opportunity to give these young students a second chance. Well done to Longdean School for having the initiative & foresight to allow a second chance to students from other schools for more students to achieve greater things."
A Year 13 Parent:
"Our son joined Longdean in Year 12 to study for his A-levels. He achieved beyond our greatest expectations, with A*A*A*A at A-Level. Thanks to the commitment and hard work of all the staff... the support of his Special Needs, he has gone on to his first choice of University. He grew as a person at Longdean, through the extra curricular activities"
A Year 13 Parent:
"We would like to thank you and your staff for the support, encouragement and positive experience they have given to our son during his seven years at Longdean School. He came to the school struggling with confidence and was immediately appreciated and encouraged to be himself rather than moulded into someone he could not be. Staff have encouraged and supported him to follow his ambitions and dreams which resulted in him obtaining amazing results in his GCSEs and A-Levels, Culminating in a place at Cambridge University. Many thanks to all the staff that have worked with him during his time at Longdean."