Joseph Rowntree School

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The Joseph Rowntree School
Joseph Rowntrees School.jpg
Motto Working together to achieve success
Established 1942
Type Voluntary controlled school

Mr Richard Crane

Formerly Mrs Maggi Wright until (2007-2013), retired.
Location Haxby Road, New Earswick
North Yorkshire
YO32 4BZ
England Coordinates: 53°59′54″N 1°04′14″W / 53.99821°N 1.07055°W / 53.99821; -1.07055
Local authority City of York
DfE URN 121711 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 400+
Students 1,200+
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Currently no House system (proposed for 2014 re-introduction)
Website Joseph Rowntree School

The Joseph Rowntree School is a comprehensive school on Haxby Road in New Earswick in the unitary authority City of York, England.


It is just north of Huntington, close to the A1237 bypass, the Foss Walk, and the River Foss. The school has a sixth form. It became a specialist technology college in 1998. The school indeed has a friendly rivalry with Huntington School, due to the proximity of the schools and frequent participitation by both in sports competition. However Joseph Rowntree typically has a lower intake of students from its catchment area than Huntington.


The Joseph Rowntree Village Trust maintains the model village of New Earswick, built by the Quaker organisation. It is analogous to Bournville and the Cadbury family, who were also Quakers. The village of Earswick is on the other side of the A1237 and the river, to the north-east. The primary school opened in 1912. The school was built when the area was in the North Riding Local Education Authority. It opened on 12 January 1942 to serve the Flaxton Rural District, comprising nineteen villages. It was officially opened on 7 July 1942 by Rab Butler. It had a capacity for 480, based on class sizes of 40. It was 14 acres (57,000 m2) and built in West Hungtington Park. It opened as a secondary modern school and taught mainly practical work (making things) and less academic subjects. Education could finish at the age of fifteen (which became the compulsory sixteen only in 1973). From 1944, it was proposed to make the school bi-lateral, with a technical school section of the school intake.

New approach to education[edit]

The school did not want to operate in a traditional manner, and was more informal, with no exams. School life was less structured, more laissez-faire and in keeping with the Rowntree vision of humanitarian fairness and harmony.


At The Joseph Rowntree School, the lessons are as follows:

Maths, Biology, English, Chemistry, Physics, German, French, Food, Textiles, DT, PE, Art, Graphics, Hair and Beauty, ICT, Music, Drama, Performing Arts, RE, Geography, History, Business, Citizenship, Sociology, Media, Psychology, Sport Studies, Land Studies and Construction, Electronics, Resistant Materials, Computer Science, Health and Social Care, Triple Science.

The school runs an 'express maths',group beginning at the start of key stage three in which students with above average SATs results in maths aim to complete their GCSE in maths a year early, with the aim of relieving stress in their final year of GCSEs.If they are successful in obtaining an A or A* grade they carry on to an 'Additional Maths' qualification with OCR, a qualification between a GCSE and an A-Level.This scheme is dwindling after the education reforms of education secretary Michael Gove, limiting the ability to sit examinations early.

Hair and Beauty, Graphics, Business, Sociology, Media, Resistant Materials, Electronics, Psychology, Sport Studies, Land Studies, Computer Science, Health and Social Care and Triple Science are optional, taken only as lessons if chosen as GCSE and A-Level Courses in Key Stage 4 or Sixth Form. English, Maths, Science, R.E and P.E are compulsory for the whole school, besides Sixth Form, while Languages, Food, Textiles, DT, Art, ICT, History, Geography, Citizenship, Music and Drama are compulsory for Key Stage 3. The school also has a main hall, playing fields, a sport centre, 3 floors, and an ASD unit. Each department is called a cluster, named after a famous topic corresponding to the department's subject, such as Turing, Faraday and Vaudeville.

Comprehensive school[edit]

The early 1970s were a period of change for the school. In 1973 the long planned raising of the school leaving age to 16 came into effect, in the same year North Riding Education Committee adopted the comprehensive system. As a result of the 1974 local government reorganisation of 1974 the school continued as a comprehensive under control of North Yorkshire County Council, with intake mainly from the Ryedale District Council catchment area. With 1973 being the first year with a full fifth form, by 1974 there were sufficient numbers for the creation of a sixth form, although initially only fourteen pupils took advantage. Five academic subjects were available with the first A Levels awarded in 1976. Education in York was reorganised in 1985 and it became a comprehensive. When the York bypass was built in 1985, an underpass was built for walking to Haxby from the school. It has joined Project Faraday to encourage the uptake of science courses.

School reconstruction[edit]

Like many schools in Yorkshire and the Humber, the school has been rebuilt from scratch - externally. Construction began next-door on the £29m project in September 2008, and was completed in early 2010. It was built by Carillion, with an energy efficient building with a biomass boiler and 120-seat lecture theatre. The old school was demolished and used as foundation material for a car park. the school is now built several hundred meters back from Haxby Road and is regarded as one of the best schools in the North East of England, because of its modern infrastructure and modern approach to learning.

Academic results[edit]

Results at GCSE are at the England average, but above average for York. At A-level, in 2008, the school did very well. In 2009 72% of students achieved 5 or more passes at GCSE A*-C. At A-level in 2009, 99% of students achieved grade A to E, 90% achieved A to C and 60% of students achieved A's or B's.

School Uniform[edit]

Black Blazer with school badge, School Tie (Key stage 3 or 4), Black Pullover with school logo - optional, Black trousers (boys), Black skirt or trousers (girls), Socks or tights as appropriate for school colours, Black shoes (flat style, NOT trainers), Sensible black sandals are allowed in the summer months. Optional wear is allowed for school trips, sixth form and the rest of the school on end of term dates.


Joseph Rowntree School is one of few select schools to offer the new Society, Health and Development diploma for young people aged 14–19.

Foreign Exchanges[edit]

The school offers several foreign student exchanges, with schools in France, Germany and the USA.

School trips[edit]

The school offers a wide range of educational trips both in the UK, and abroad. Some of these trips abroad include visits to Auschwitz/Birkenau in Poland, Prague, Madrid and South America. Trips in the UK can include visits to the Ken Athur activity centre in Stape - which is owned by the school, Cadburys factory in Birmingham, Theatre trips to London, and many others. There is also an annual foreign exchange scheme, to France and Germany.

Expedition Kenya 2010[edit]

In July 2010, 47 students from Joseph Rowntree School will be travelling to Kenya to take part in community and wildlife development programmes, run in association with volunteer organisation Camps International. This is the first trip to Africa the school has done since it first opened.

Student Council and Prefects[edit]

The school has an active student council and also enrolls school prefects.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]