Keswick School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Keswick School
Keswick school logo.jpg
Motto "Levavi Oculos" "(I Lift Up My Eyes)"
Established Mid 14th Century
Type Academy
Headteacher Mr. Simon Jackson
Chair of governors Mrs. Sarah Peck
Location Vicarage Hill
CA12 5QB
England Coordinates: 54°36′28″N 3°08′48″W / 54.6079°N 3.1467°W / 54.6079; -3.1467
DfE URN 112441 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1140
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Colours Bottle Green and Maroon
Website Keswick School Website
Keswick School

Keswick School is an 11–18 co-educational school. It retains a traditional atmosphere, including speech days, prefects and Head Boys and Girls and has selected the most appropriate of the educational initiatives on offer in the last decade. Its facilities include boarding accommodation, school-wide Internet now linked to all its primary partners, an extra curricular programme in major sports, outdoor education, music and drama and it offers a wide range of other opportunities for those in the school, including foreign exchanges visits and charity events. It has achieved Specialist Science status and is one of a few Leading Edge schools sharing and spreading good teaching ideas.


Keswick School was awarded Beacon Status in September 2000[1] and in a unique arrangement its partner schools were the 12 secondary schools of the Western Consortium of Cumbria. The school carried out a number of projects under the Beacon programme, many of which were in the area of continuing professional development of teachers. Over the three years of Beacon funding the school, in consultation with partner schools and with LEA advisors, organised in the region of 100 INSET events for secondary teachers throughout Cumbria. In a different project the school funded a group of teachers from Keswick and other local schools to write a course for the new Applied GCSE in ICT. The course was piloted in 10 schools during 2002/2003 and is now in use in over half of the secondary schools in Cumbria. Teacher training for the course has been supported by the Cumberland Building Society and the LEA has funded the production of interactive materials for the course.

Keswick School was also awarded outstanding from Ofsted during a 2010/2011 inspection, and again during a 2014 inspection.[2]

Keswick Area Schools Networking[edit]

Brief description of the project[edit]

The Keswick Area Schools Networking Together project aims to connect computer networks at the five local primary schools in the Keswick area to the Keswick School computer system. This not only allows the schools to obtain fast Internet access via 10MB fibre links between the schools but also allows the entire group of schools to be part of a single network managed from Keswick School. Over 1500 pupils and 125 staff in the area are now part of this network, the first of its kind in a rural area.


The six feeder primary schools received a collaborative project grant from the LEA of about £2,000 to pay for their new network cabling. The schools themselves financed the PCs and servers needed to hook up to the network, using additional money from their own budgets which had been set aside for ICT upgrades. Keswick School used leading-edge funding: in the first year, £15,000 was spent on equipment and engineering time to set up the network; since then, about £5,000-£6,000 has been spent on running costs every year.

Cumbria and Lancashire Education Online (CLEO) paid for a fast broadband link for schools on the program at an estimated cost of £25,000-£30,000. [1]


Keswick School is one of 35 state boarding schools in England and Wales.

The Lairthwaite Boarding house was purpose built on the edge of the school site and has been recently refurbished. It is a co-educational house designed to meet the needs of over 50 students aged 11–18.

Bus Accident[edit]

On Monday 24th May 2010, a J B Pickthall coach appeared to swerve from a car, which was on the wrong side of the road, and topple over on the A66 whilst taking children home from school. The incident was to believed to have happened at 3:47pm. Two students from the school (Chloe Walker, 16, and Kieran Goudling, 15) were killed in the incident. Nine children aged 12 to 18 remained in hospitals across the north of England on Tuesday 25th May 2010 - two of them in serious but stable condition. Another 35 escaped unhurt or with minor injuries. Coach driver David Ratcliffe of Egremont, was admitted to the West Cumberland Hospital with a broken arm.

The coach had fewer passengers on it than usual because many students were on study leave and there were after school clubs on. The crash is still under investigation by the police but they have said the coach was on the correct side of the road at the time of impact. The company is continuing to operate as normal.

Beatrix Potter[edit]

In 2006 pupils and staff found Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger filming scenes for her new movie in their school gym. The Bridget Jones star was filming scenes for a film about the life of Cumbrian children’s author Beatrix Potter on Monday. The scene involved a conversation between Beatrix Potter and a chaperone which happens in a railway carriage.

Teacher and Renee fan Corinne Wilson fulfilled a long-held dream when she met her heroine and snatched a picture of her. Corinne said: “It was brilliant. I was shaking and had tears in my eyes but she was lovely, really nice and friendly. It was worth getting up early for on a Bank Holiday. I arrived at eight in the morning and I hung around for seven hours on the off-chance of meeting her. But in the afternoon when Renee came in they kicked me off set. So I waited outside at the main entrance for an hour until I saw her coming around the corner. I ran over to her and her security guards said no autographs, but I got my camera out and said, ‘Please can I have a photograph?’ She said, ‘Okay, but you will get me into trouble’ in a posh British accent. Corinne, a newly qualified teacher who teaches textiles, made an embroidered card for the star which read: “To Renee. Welcome to Keswick - we all love you.” Corinne said: “I told her it was on behalf of all the children at Keswick School and she said: ‘That’s wonderful, thank you very much. I will treasure this.’

Headteacher Mike Chapman said: "It was very interesting. We were asked to provide an area for her by Susan Bellarby, a former pupil who was on the set. They set up a pretend railway carriage in the school gym. Then Renee turned up and they closed the set in the afternoon. They made a donation to the school for the use of the area. Some of the children came along and saw what goes into a £30 million production. They were just stunned that somebody like Bridget Jones should turn up at their school. Mr Chapman said the crew took just three hours to dismantle the film set in time for the school to use its gym hall for its SAT tests the next day. "It was like watching a circus pack up," he added.

Links Worldwide[edit]

The Gambia[edit]

Keswick School is currently helping to fund a Gambian Nursery (Kulkochie St Woolos Nusery), by building a kitchen and paying for the cook's wages for six months (starting February 2008). With the monies raised from the non-uniform day on 25 March 2010, a new water tank along with structure will be built onto the nusery's roof, this is because the old one fell down. The school is currently running a school trip every year to The Gambia. January 2010 was the school's third trip over there.


Keswick School had an exchange with a school in Königslutter, Germany. This has been going on for 46 years. With the 40th anniversary in 2007, a celebration was held in Königslutter.


The school currently has a sponsorship program with Starehe Boys School in Nairobi, Kenya. Their current sponsored student is Titus. They have had more than one and have just finished seeing another boy finish his education. The money is raised through non-uniform days, collections at carol services and other various items.


  1. ^ "National Lead Status For Keswick School". C & W Herald. 2000-06-10. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Cumbrian secondary school rated among best in country". News & Star (Cumbria). 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 

External links[edit]