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The Thomas Aveling School
Arethusa Road, ME1 2UW, UK Rochester
+44 (0)1634-844809

Thomas Aveling - an outstanding school (Ofsted, June 2006)

Welcome to our newly updated website. The Thomas Aveling School is an 11-19 co-educational non-selective secondary school serving our community in Rochester, Kent. We are a second phase Technology College and were designated as a Training School in April 2006 as recognition for our high performance over the past four years. We were amongst the 100 Most Improved Schools in 2005 and have received recognition from the DfES and Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) for the value we add to students' education.

We aim to create a culture of high expectations and success for all students and staff. Our academic results have risen from 26% of students gaining five A-C grades in 2001 to 65% in 2007, whilst inclusive strategies have ensured that 95% of all students gain 5 pass grades. As well as supporting students of all abilities to make outstanding academic progress Thomas Aveling is an Artsmark Gold and Sportsmark School providing excellent opportunities and facilities for drama, music, dance and physical education.

We work in collaboration with a wide range of partners. We are a Mentor School for the Specialist Trust and work with other schools to help raise standards. We are a leading member of Kent and Medway Training and along with fourteen other schools train up to fifty new teachers each year. Our post-16 partnership with other secondary schools in Rochester and Walderslade extends the range of courses we are able to offer in the sixth form. Over the past two years we have worked in collaboration with Warren Wood Primary School to extend out of hours services for local children and adults.

We have a vibrant, inclusive and successful sixth form of 180 students with many young people joining Thomas Aveling at 16 from local secondary schools. We offer advanced and intermediate courses and have a good track record in enabling students to access Further and Higher Education.

We are delighted to have been designated an "outstanding school" by the Ofsted team that inspected our school in June 2006. As well as the overall judgement we were also graded as outstanding for:

  • The effective and inclusive provision of education in meeting the needs of learners:
  • The effectiveness of the school's self evaluation
  • How well learners achieve
  • How well learners make progress
  • How well learners develop workplace skills
  • How well learners are cared for, guided and supported
  • The effectiveness of leadership and management
  • How effectively the school is monitored
  • Value for money

Governors and staff are extremely proud of this achievement and particularly in recognising the "relentless determination that all the students will have the very best opportunities to succeed in life."



The Thomas Aveling School was formed in 1990 following the closure of three local schools. The former Warren Wood Boys' School site was re-developed with new purpose built facilities added to the refurbished classroom and administration block and school hall. The first head teacher was Mrs Ruston who led the school until her retirement in 2001 to be succeeded by the current head, Mr Hart. The school set out clear standards and expectations and transformed its reputation and popularity making it oversubscribed for successive year groups. During the 1990s the school gained Grant Maintained status and governors were able to develop new facilities such as the Sports Hall (1997) as well as gain prestigious awards such as Investors in People. This was followed by a good Ofsted Inspection Report in February 2001.

Grant Maintained status was changed to Foundation with the change in national government in 1997 and at the same time Medway LEA was formed as a unitary authority, separate from Kent. Thomas Aveling has played a full part in the community of schools within Medway, working in partnership with local schools to promote a broader range of courses for sixth form students and with the Warren Wood Primary School to develop a full range of extended services and clubs for young people.

Governors have continued to build new facilities at the school. These include a major development of the Learning Resource Centre & Community Library (2002), a music recording studio (2003), fitness & media suites (2004), post-16 science lab.(2005) and design & technology suite (2006). Plans for major new sports and arts facilities are currently being developed.

In September 2001 Thomas Aveling became a Technology College and set about delivering ambitious plans to raise standards and redefine the school within the selective system of education in the local authority. Over the first four years examination results rose rapidly and this was recognised by the DfES with awards for "value-added" and "most -improved schools." Following the release of results in 2004 the school was named in the 100 Most Improved schools in England and was invited to support other specialist schools as a Mentor School. Specialist schools have to apply for re-designation of specialist status and this was achieved in 2005 with an invitation to become a Training School from April 2006. The school's achievements were recognised by Ofsted who awarded the grade of "outstanding" in 2006.


Welcome to the Sixth Form at Thomas Aveling. You have a special place within the school will enjoy many new privileges. You are now recognised as young adults and are highly regarded by the staff and students for your contributions to the school community.

The Sixth Form, with its new courses, offers you fresh approach your studies. Great care has been taken to provide an appropriate learning environment for you. We provide a friendly and supportive atmosphere

The gap between GCSE and AS studies can sometimes seem difficult but our experienced and highly qualified staff will be here to guide and advise you about academic matters, career choices or progression in further and higher education.

In addition to your studies, there are a number of opportunities for you to develop your personal interests There are cultural, recreational and social activities arranged by students and staff, to ensure that staying on at school means more than just study.

Sixth Form
How to apply
Summary of courses
Why stay at school
Sixth Form Partnership
School Day
Student Choices
Dress Code
Other Information


In September 2006 the school decided to move to a two-year Key Stage 3 model for students in Year 7 only. This move has been made to increase the pace of learning in lessons and provide students with a more personalised curriculum as they move up the school. The staff at the school are very excited at this opportunity to develop more creative ways to deliver their subjects.

Currently, in Years 7, 8 and 9 students study English, Maths, Science, Design Technology, PE, RE, PSHE, History, Geography, Art (and textiles) and a Modern Foreign Language.

When entering Year 10, students choose to make their curriculum more personalised through their option choices. All students study English, Maths, Science, PE, RE, PSHE and Design Technology and they must also follow a vocational course. Students then have a free choice of two other subjects to study at GCSE.

This list contains links to the various subjects within the school.  

Business Studies
Design Technology
Media Studies
Modern Foreign Languages
Physical Education
Religious Education


Community Library

The Library is open after school for the whole community between 3pm-6pm weekdays and 10am-4pm on Saturdays.

On Thursdays, a qualified counsellor, Lynne Reynolds in the Library is happy to see anybody over the age of 18 who has issues they need to talk about or get support to deal with (3.30-5.30pm). No appointment necessary and it is a FREE.

Woodies Youth Centre

We are fortunate to have on school site a Youth Club, run by Medway Council by experienced and qualified youth workers. This is open on Monday evenings for those wishing to do a qualification or something that will link to their Duke of Edinburgh Award, learn a musical instrument or do something else (food hygiene, first aid, learn a new skill, or even for those 16 and over the opportunity to do a BTEC qualification in Peer Mentoring). Each qualification costs only a fiver plus 50p entry fee to Woodies!

Social Evenings happen on Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7.15pm-9.30pm, where a range of activities are agreed. There is also an opportunity this term to go swimming, fishing or to go to the theatre to see We Will Rock You.

On Tuesday evenings, the MAGIC Group meets to support young people (aged 10+) with Autism or Aspergers syndrome.

Trips out include:

  • Fishing (Capstone Park) - 13th October (7am-6pm) - cost £5
  • Ghost Hunting in Pluckley (most haunted village in England..) - 26th October - cost £3
  • We Will Rock You (Brook Theatre) - 31st October - cost £5
  • Swimming Trip (Larkfield Leisure Centre), 6.30 - 9.30pm 14th November - cost £3
  • Ice Skating (Ice Bowl), 7th December - cost £3

For more information, please contact Angela Taylor at Woodies or phone 400592 for more details...or just turn up and register!

Early risers! Be a Breakfast EarlyBird and come to Holiday Club!

We?re really pleased to re-launch the Warren Wood Breakfast Club, EarlyBirds! From 8-8.45am, Monday-Friday, you can drop your child off to school to eat breakfast and play games, meet friends and have a good time! Our friends at City Way Nursery have made it possible to make breakfast fun and healthy - all for just £4 per day! Children benefit from a hearty breakfast and makes them alert for lessons!

We are also looking to run a Holiday Club for 4-11 year olds on 22-23 Oct, 8am-6pm at Warren Wood School. Children from the whole commnity may attend either half a day or a whole day.

Many parents will be able to claim Working Families Tax Credit to subsidise any registered Child Care activity, including Breakfast Clubs, Holiday Clubs and After School Clubs. Working Tax Credit information packs are available from Reception at Warren Wood School or by contacting Paul.

We have invited someone from the Job Centre to answer Tax Credit queries during a drop-in session at Warren Wood Primary between 8.30 and 10am on Friday 12th October, to which you are invited to attend. This would be especially helpful to parents/carers looking to claim Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credits.

R U Up 4 It?

We're looking to see whether we can get other local organizations involved in offering Family Learning activities, including "How 2" sessions:

  • Look after your pet
  • First Aid
  • Women's Sports
  • DIY courses
  • Archery
  • Adult Education
  • Local Coffee Mornings

Our aim is to build bridges to reach the community-will you be Up 4 it?

Support for Parents

We know how tough it can be to be a parent, which is why we are offering new courses for parents and carers of every age! Starting in the new year, Parentis hope to offer FREE courses to help you through the issues you face with your child. Possible courses include:

  • Understanding your Baby 1-9months
  • Toddler and Tantrum Toolkit (Understanding your Child 1-5years)
  • Growing Pains (Understanding your 5-8 year-old)
  • All Change! (Understanding your 8-13 year old)
  • Whatever! (Understanding your teenager)

These are opportunities to meet other parents, share ways of working with your children and perhaps to learn new techniques of dealing with things. Courses will be held at Warren Wood Community Primary School's Training Room or at The Thomas Aveling School. Please let Paul Wintle know if you are interested in attending.

Venues and dates are still to be arranged, but please register your interest as soon as possible!

Parentis can be contacted on 338635.

Please feel free to have a look through our Adobe PDF Document Extra Time brochure or our Adobe PDF Document Thomas Aveling Clubs and Activities Prospectus.

Paul Wintle
Project Manager
on behalf of the Head Teachers and Governors of the Extended Services Partnership


How to apply for a place in Year 7

The following information relates to requests for Admission to Year 7 in September 2008.

The Thomas Aveling School, as a Foundation Technology College, is able to take students without reference to ability or aptitude. You may still apply for a place, whether or not your child sits the selection tests.

  1. Fill in the Medway Common Application Form provided by the Local Authority (LA).  The Thomas Aveling School will appear in the list of schools, with all the other schools in the area.  We do not have a separate application form.
  2. The dates for the 2007 Open Sessions at The Thomas Aveling School are:
    Wednesday 21st November 2007 - 7.00 - 9.00 pm
    Wednesday 28th November 2007 - 9.00 - 10.30 am
    Thursday 29th November 2007 - 9.00 - 10.30 am
  3. Make sure the Application form is sent back to your child's primary school by 6th December 2007.
  4. In the first instance, the LA will forward to this school a list of applicants' names whose parents have placed The Thomas Aveling School as an equal preference. The Governing Body Admissions Authority (GBAA) has an over-riding duty to comply with parents' requests and will carefully consider every application received. In an effort to provide parents with clear and transparent guidance with regard to the admissions process, your attention is drawn to Appendix 1 attached, which clarifies and explains important information relating to applications.

We have places for 180 students in each year group. If we receive more than 180 applications for places, then the following criteria will be applied:

  1. Children in public care
  2. Current family association, i.e. a sibling in the school at the time of application, living in the same household;.
  3. Nearness to The Thomas Aveling School.

Letters notifying parents as to whether their child has a place will be posted on 3rd March 2008.

* A detailed explanation of the above criteria is contained in Appendix 1.

Admissions to Year 7
Information for applying for 2007
Applying to other Years
School Policies

primary schools in Rochester, secondary schools in Rochester, schools in Rochester

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