|Pupils have very positive attitudes to learning and they clearly enjoy their studies, gaining great satisfaction from their success. They are well behaved in lessons, settle immediately to tasks and work well co-operatively.
Although an education at Denstone is all-round, teaching and learning are at the heart of what we do, and the results are impressive. These results are achieved with a relatively broad intake of pupils into the College, a fact reflected in outstanding value-added measures; in recent years Denstone has commonly been placed within the top 5-10% of participating centres nationally for its value added performance at GCSE as measured by the widely-used Yellis project.
Denstone is a pre-university school, and our aim is to prepare students for university and the world beyond. This means helping them achieve high grades and develop enquiring minds. All subjects are taught within specialist departmental areas providing first class facilities for pupils and staff; the recently completed Tookey’s classroom block is the most recent addition to the site, providing specialist accommodation for English and Religious Studies. A fair and flexible setting system, small set sizes, regular formal assessments of academic progress across all subjects and a highly qualified and committed teaching staff all play their part in the continuing academic success of our pupils. Support for pupils with specific needs is provided through a thorough and highly effective pastoral system as well as specific programmes put in place for those on our Highly Able Pupils register, including a tailored programme for potential Oxbridge applicants in our Sixth Form. Our learning support staff also work hard to provide appropriate support for those pupils who have specific learning needs.
Academic success requires high standards, and none less so than in the requirement to enter the full ‘A’ level programme in our Sixth Form, which currently stands at 14 points for pupils at Denstone and 16 points for pupils wishing to join the College in our Sixth Form (a C at GCSE is 1 point, a B is 2 points etc). A significant number of Denstonians achieve all A*/As, but for others this is an entry target that spurs them on. What supports them in these efforts is an environment which applauds success, very good teaching by subject specialists, and a level of academic and pastoral mentoring that genuinely cherishes the individual.