Dinnington Comprehensive School
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|Location||Doe Quarry Lane
Dinnington Comprehensive School is a secondary school in Dinnington, in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. It is a coeducational comprehensive school for day pupils between the ages of 11 and 18, and takes in approximately 1,500 pupils from Dinnington and surrounding settlements (chiefly Anston, Laughton Common, Laughton-en-le-Morthen, Woodsetts, Hooton Levitt, Gildingwells, Letwell and Firbeck).
The school was built in the grounds of Throapham Manor, and was opened by Sir Percy Jackson (chair of the West Riding Local Education Authority) in 1935 as Dinnington Senior Boys and Dinnington Senior Girls. It consisted of a single timber building divided into girls' and boys' departments. In 1938 the building was extended and a separate gymnasium added.
In 1957 the two halves merged to form the coeducational Dinnington Secondary Modern, and at that point there were already plans for a further merger with the secondary technical element of the neighbouring Dinnington Chelmsford Technical College to create the area's first comprehensive school.
This comprehensive school, Dinnington High School, opened on 23 September 1963 (a formal opening taking place a year later, conducted by Jack Longland). The area between the two merging establishments was developed with a new campus designed by Hardy Glover of Basil Spence & Partners. This campus consisted of four house bases and a sixth form college, along with a new main hall and a second gym. The four houses took their names and badges from historical local land-owning families, and were as follows:
- Athorpe: owners of Dinnington Hall. The Athorpe badge was a falcon on a yellow background.
- Hatfield: land-owners in Laughton-en-le-Morthen in the 17th century. The Hatfield badge was a white rose on a green background.and its on the school uniform
- Osborne: the family name of the Duke of Leeds who had property in Kiveton Park. The Osborne badge was a tiger on a blue background.
- Segrave: after the de Segrave family who owned much of the local area in the 16th century. The Segrave badge was a lion on a red background.
The School is credited with the introduction of Rugby Union Football to the local area and in turn to the establishment of Dinnington Rugby Club which has produced players for the county and for Senior clubs such as Rotherham, Harlequins and Northampton.
The campus continued to be extended following the merger, with the addition of a swimming pool, technology block, sports hall, new sixth form base and library in the 1970s and 1980s.
On 20 August 1996 the original 1935 school building (which still made up close to half of the teaching campus) was set alight by arsonists; the latest in a succession of arson attacks on the school. The fire destroyed the building and took with it student course-work and several computer rooms. House-bases were re-fitted into classrooms and this led to the eventual phasing out of the house system at Dinnington, which had existed in various forms even during the pre-merger days.
In 1997 a new school building was opened, standing on the site of the burnt-out original. The brick-built two-storey building also allowed a long-standing "ghetto" of 1960s-built portable classrooms (known as the Terrapin Plateau) to finally be retired. Several other aging prefab buildings on campus have been demolished in recent years.
On 27 January 2005 the school announced its success in a bid to become a specialist school in Science and Engineering. Previously, in 1993, it had been designated a technology school as part of a previous Department of Education grant scheme.
There is a gentle rivalry between Dinnington and the nearby Wales High School. The two schools are sufficiently close for some slight overlap in catchment. Their school league table standings differ negligibly: Wales currently (2005) has the better GCSE results and Dinnington the better A-level results.
Jean Nicholson (the most recent head of Dinnington Comprehensive) died on 21 December 2006 as a result of an inoperable brain tumour diagnosed in late September. She made the most positive and radical changes to Dinnington Comprehensive to benefit each and every one of the children studying at the school. A temporary head was put in place in the form of Mrs. Sue Carhart who was seen as the most likely continue the position in future years, however Paul Blackwell, an ex-Geography teacher and Deputy Head from Winterhill school, was hired as the new Headteacher in September 2007.
As of September 2011, a new system of Vertical Tutoring has been established throughout the school. The system consists of all years from 7-11 (6th Form separate), split up into mixed aged tutor groups. The previous housing system has been brought back, along with head girls and boys too. Governors of the school believe that this system will reduce bullying, bring the school closer and Students will make new friends from different years.
Dinnington Senior Boys
- R.J. Pickard (1935–1946)
- E.J. Ducker (1946–1948)
- William G. Davies (1948–1950)
- E.M. Spelman (1950–1956)
Dinnington Senior Girls
- G.H. Butterworth (1935–1942)
- Elsie Storey / Mrs. Elsie Goldthorpe (1943–1956); Head of merged Secondary Modern until 1963
Dinnington High / Comprehensive School
- J.E.W. Moreton (1963-1975?)
- Brian Ingham (1975?-1983?)
- Gordon Forster (1983?-1997)
- Jean Nicholson (1997–2006)
- Sue Carhart (2006–2007) - Acting head teacher
- Paul Blackwell (2007–Present).