A small part of our website is open to members of the public so they can learn about the practices and ethos of Kennet School. School members (including pupils and teachers) have access to the much larger, password-protected, areas of the website, which include much more detail of the curriculum and a great deal of support materials for pupils. Whatever your status, enjoy learning about Kennet School.
Headmaster Mr. P.G.Dick O.B.E.
Telephone: 01635 862121
Facsimile: 01635 871814
Kennet School is a dynamic and ambitious 11-18 co-educational comprehensive school which opened in September 1957; now, as then, it serves the population of Thatcham and the surrounding villages. As the most over-subscribed school in West Berkshire, the school has grown steadily in terms of numbers on roll and, more importantly, facilities available to pupils and staff alike, in the pursuit of excellence. To add to this, the school became a Technology College in September 2000, thereby enriching the infrastructure for learning. This also now includes a brand new technology block and ICT equipment which is the envy of others. The school is close to the A4 just to the east of the town centre and close to the railway station, which carries mainline trains to Paddington. There are good road links, including the M4, M3 and A34. Kennet School is a vibrant and ambitious place of learning and community activity. We invite you to learn more either through this website or by contacting the school directly
This section of the website gives me the opportunity to set out the aims and practices of Kennet School. We are confident that pupils at Kennet are offered an education which is of the highest quality, and our judgement was again confirmed by a further outstanding OFSTED inspection report, following their visit to us in March 2005. The inspection report summary can be viewed by clicking on the link above.
All visitors to the school are an important source of feedback and we pride ourselves in ensuring that the school is performing at its very best every day, not just when inspectors and other external organisations visit. From teachers hoping to gain a post at Kennet through to prospective parents, the feedback we get is consistently strong; Kennet School’s strengths of individual care and high academic and behavioural standards are witnessed on a daily basis in our classrooms, in our corridors and through our public events. The school has gained many accolades including the status of Specialist School (firstly Technology and more recently Theatre Arts). Further, we have won a third specialism in Modern Foreign Languages; we are the only West Berkshire school to have three specialisms and one of a very few in the whole country. This emphasises our strength and depth. We are also the proud owners of Artsmark Gold and Sportsmark, a brief indication of the great variety of talent amongst the pupils and teachers at our school. Finally, we have just learned that we are only the 16th secondary school in the country to attain the Challenge Award. This recognises outstanding provision for able, gifted and talented pupils.
We are proud of the happy but purposeful atmosphere at Kennet School and we intend to ensure that pupils have the support and discipline required for real academic progress. We place great store on hard work and we know that pupils will succeed only in a calm and orderly atmosphere, where mutual consideration, respect, courtesy and self-discipline are strongly featured. For this reason, we make no apology for demanding hard work and good behaviour from all our pupils. Visitors, whether parents or colleagues from education or industry, regularly comment on the happy but purposeful atmosphere at Kennet, and we intend to ensure that pupils have the support and discipline required for real academic progress.
Work, while central in the life of a school, is not the whole picture. Kennet has been particularly successful in valuing pupils as individuals, providing them with work experience, careers guidance and opportunities in the areas of music, drama, sport and fund-raising for charity amongst others. All pupils have many talents, and it is important that these talents are identified and fostered; in this way, the individual will develop into the whole person.
In addition to examination success and our achievements in extra-curricular activities, we seek other opportunities in which pupils may excel – including local and national quizzes and other competitions; our record is second to none and our trophy cabinet is full of the rewards which flow.
Kennet School is not at all complacent nor does it compare itself with other schools. Each year we redefine our own standards, aiming ever higher. I am confident that we will, with the support of the greater Thatcham area, continue to thrive and prosper. We are ambitious for our pupils and I trust that your child and you wish to be part of the success story which is Kennet School.
P G Dick
THE VI FORM
Pupils interested in pursuing VI Form courses receive all relevant details of these courses, and the opportunities available to them, during Year 11.
There is an Information Evening on 9th November for those pupils in Year 11 considering going into the VI Form and applicants are invited to contact the Head of Sixth Form directly. All pupils from Kennet Year 11 or from other schools are invited to apply for a place, ideally before the February half-term.The Application form will be given to Kennet pupils in January or, for external applicants it is available here. "Missed the Open Evening? Never mind, here are the key points covered on the evening..."
Following this, all pupils are interviewed prior to being offered a place. Those pupils who will be joining the VI Form are required to attend an Induction Course, at the end of June, prior to entering the VI Form. Parents are also invited to a meeting, and the demands and requirements of VI Form life are discussed. Great care is taken to ensure that pupils begin the courses most suited to individual talents and aptitudes; attention is given to study skills to ensure that each pupil gives of his or her best in the VI Form, since it is a very demanding time.
THE VI FORM
The school's aim is to provide suitable courses in most subjects for all pupils who wish to continue their studies beyond the age of sixteen. Around 300 pupils are expected in September.
The Head of VI Form, Miss J Watson, has the responsibility for co-ordinating the academic, pastoral and social organisation for this section of the school, and to aid her in this task VI Form pupils remain within the House system, some taking on major responsibilities as House Captains. She is supported in her work by the Head of Year 12, Mrs Gibson, the Head of Year 13, Mrs Smith, the team of Tutors, by the Head Boy and Girl and by the prefects.
In addition to A levels, vocational qualifications are offered at intermediate level over one year(General National Vocational Qualification). All two-year Pupils also take General Studies at advanced level.
Most members of the VI Form follow courses leading to advanced level qualifications and in recent years we have had many successful and pleasing results.
Careers advice and guidance are given by the Careers Service, the Head of Careers, the VI Form staff and Tutors. An evening of information pertaining to Further and Higher Education will be held for parents on 14th June 2006.
The work of all pupils in the VI Form is closely monitored, and progress is regularly reviewed, discussed with the pupil and with parents as appropriate. Academic rigour is stressed, while pupils are also encouraged to play a full part in school life. Members of the VI Form are given opportunities to take on responsibility as part of the Millennium Volunteers scheme, in order to develop their personal talents. Significant achievement in the classroom and in the school generally is rewarded by the presentation of Certificates of Excellence.
The VI Form Prospectus gives full details of the courses and opportunities available at Kennet School. The handbook gives further details of school expectations at this level.
VI FORM COURSES
In 2007, the school plans to offer:
Art and Design
Design & Technology (Product Design)
Design and Technology (Food Design)
Spanish / Italian
Applied A Level (Two year course, equivalent to 2 A levels)
Art and Design
GNVQs Level 2 (Intermediate):
(One year course)
Health and Social Care
Leisure and Tourism
Other enriching courses are offered, such as the Young Enterprise Scheme and European Computer Driving Licence.
Information for 2007 Entrants
ABLE, GIFTED AND TALENTED
Kennet School promotes an excellent ethos of high expectation which permeates throughout all aspects of the school, nurturing the belief that all can succeed, and is highlighted through the school motto ‘Excellence through Endeavour’.
We aim to achieve the following:
- Provide a more challenging experience for pupils in all subject areas
- Ensure staff are equipped to recognise and effectively cater for Able, Gifted and Talented pupils
- To set and improve upon target numbers of pupils achieving top grades at KS3, GCSE and A Level
Our definition of A,G&T pupils at this school is approximately the top 20% of pupils per year group across each subject area of the curriculum. We have, also, successfully nominated 89 exceptionally able pupils (top 5% nationally) from all year groups for membership to the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth. They offer membership, learning opportunities, student communities & communications, 'Aspire' members' magazine and information for parents & carers.
As a school we are working towards the nationally recognised Challenge Award which is an award for schools which recognises and celebrates quality whole school provision for Able, Gifted and Talented pupils. The Award is separated into 10 Elements which provide a whole school framework for the continuous improvement of provision for able pupils.
The school is committed to providing a rich variety of opportunities including an able, gifted and talented summer school for year 6 and year 7 pupils. The main aim of the summer school is to provide enrichment in a variety of subjects and to act as a tool for smoother transition of more able pupils.
Useful Web Links
www.nagty.ac.uk National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth
www.nace.co.uk National Association for Able Children in Education
Careers Education helps young people develop the knowledge and skills they need to make successful choices, manage transitions in learning and move into work.
It has 3 curriculum aims:
· Self development
· Career exploration
· Career management
Careers guidance is an individual or small group activity. It gives young people an opportunity to talk through their ideas, in general and in detail, before making any potentially life-changing decisions. Its purpose is to help individuals focus on their own choices, find the answers to questions, resolve issues and make informed decisions. It aims to help young people use the knowledge and skills they gain from careers education, other learning experiences and formal and informal guidance when they are making decisions. (Informal guidance comes from many sources including teachers and other staff, friends, parents, carers, mentors and employers.)
Careers Guidance enables young people to use the knowledge and skills they develop to make the decisions about learning and work that are right for them.
Work Related Learning
Work related learning is defined as planned activity that uses work as a context for learning. It involves:
· Learning through work: for example placements in the community, work experience, part-time jobs, school enterprise activities, vocational contexts in subject learning.
· Learning about work: for example, vocational courses and careers education.
· Learning for work: for example, developing employer–valued key skills and career management skills.
Work related learning aims to develop a student’s skills for employability i.e.
- Problem solving
- Working with others
- Improving own learning
- Innovation, creativity, “can do” attitude
- Business and economic understanding
Study Skills Home Page
There is an extensive programme of Study Skills sessions to support and improve the personal, social and intellectual development of our students. These sessions are either delivered through discreet sessions and assemblies or as part of the on-going Tutorial programme over the seven years of school life.
Links below will connect to the appropriate year's programme but school members must be logged onto this site in order to gain access to the resources.
Kennet School boasts an architect designed purpose built library that is the envy of many small public libraries.
The Library plays an integral role in the life of Kennet School, enhancing the academic work and enriching the cultural experience for pupils and staff alike.
Opened in September 1997, the library can seat 80+ pupils, and has shelving for approximately 25,000 books. We currently stock over 23,000 titles, addressing the entire age and ability ranges of the school population.
Six national newspapers are available each day along with the local weekly newspaper. We subscribe to a wide range of magazines and periodicals, largely to support the curriculum, but also reflecting some of the diverse interests of our school community.
Nine desktop and thirty laptop computers, all connected to the school network and the Internet (appropriately filtered) are available for pupil use, with a further three desktop computers in the area designated for sixth form private study. This area, whilst an integral part of the library, can be partitioned off and used as a seminar room or for small conferences. The school careers library is housed here.
A collection of audio books and music CDs is also available for loan or use in the Library along with educational videotapes and DVDs which can be used by staff to support their teaching in the classroom or by students for home study. There are also special collections to support reluctant and struggling readers and a separate Staff Development Collection.