Sponne School

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Sponne School
Sponne School.jpg
Established 15th Century
Type Academy of Music and Science
Headteacher Jamie Clarke
Location Brackley Road
NN12 6DJ
England Coordinates: 52°07′56″N 0°59′37″W / 52.1323°N 0.9935°W / 52.1323; -0.9935
DfE URN 122051 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1236
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Colours Red, Blue and Black
Website School website

Sponne School in Towcester, Northamptonshire, England is the oldest secondary school in Northamptonshire, and one of the oldest in the country.[1] Part of the school was originally Towcester Grammar School, until Grammar schools were abolished in Northamptonshire. In 1968, the Grammar school was joined with the next-door Secondary Modern school, and the school was renamed Sponne, after Archdeacon William Sponne, who was Rector at the nearby St. Lawrence Church in the 15th Century and the original founder of the school.

Sponne School is a mixed gender Secondary School and Sixth Form College, with 1236 pupils on the roll, around 200 of whom are in the 6th Form.[2] It is registered as a specialist science and music academy. The current head teacher is Jamie Clarke. In October 2007, the school became a "Foundation" school and in November 2009, changed to Trust school status. Since October 2010, the school has started a consultation process and has been approved to become an Academy.[3]

The Sponne School time-table is run on a two week rota, blue week and red week, due to of the two colours of the schools badge.

Physical layout[edit]

  • The staff room, main reception and senior staff offices are in the centre of the school. Pupils are no longer permitted to enter unless directed by staff.
  • C Block - Consists of most of the art rooms, a computer room and senior staff offices.
  • D Block - Design and Technology block, including 5 computer rooms, 3 workshops, 2 kitchens and 2 textiles rooms.
  • T Block - Not actually a block but a series of mobiles, used for humanities, drama, and music. T2, T3, T4 and T5 mobiles are situated next to S block. The T1 mobile is an extension teaching room with electronic keyboards for the M block.
  • E Block - The ground floor is where the 6th form common room is, along with some social sciences rooms and 1 computer room. The 1st floor is used to teach languages, such as French and German. The 3rd floor is dedicated to Mathematics. One room, E40, resides halfway between the second and third floors. This is a computer room and in 2008 was re-assigned from the ICT faculty to the Mathematics faculty.
  • H Block - This is the main hall.
  • M Block - Until September 2006, separate from the rest of the School. It contains most of the Music classrooms. It has been extended with more rooms and a Practise hall to accommodate more pupils

On the right end of the school is the Sports Hall and changing rooms, located opposite the E Block.

  • S Block - Used for all the Science Subjects. Also used as an introduction area for primary school children moving up to Sponne. The one way system to this building has been recently changed.
  • W Block - The old Grammar School building, rebuilt in 1928 after a fire. This area is for Humanities, English, Business Studies and Drama. The front section of the block is a grade 2 listed building.
  • HLRC - Hesketh Learning Resource Centre, technically part of the C block. It is a library containing computers, books, newspapers and desks for pupils to work. It is managed by employed library staff. Some pupils help out in the library, and in return, are awarded with credits.

There are two residential houses in the school; they both used to be occupied by the care-takers. The house at the front of school is now the GUTP office. There is also a 4-acre (16,000 m2) field at the back of the school. It is repainted in the summer and the winter with two football pitches, a hockey pitch, 2 rugby pitches, a 400 m track and a 100 m track. It also has two long jump sandpits, and 2 discus circles. Adjacent to the field is a set of tennis courts.

Media attention[edit]

Sponne was one of the first schools in Britain to switch its dietary policies following celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's anti–obesity TV campaign. In July 2006, William Guntrip (13), set up a playground sweet shop to counteract what he considered to be 'overpriced health food'. Mr Guntrip was taking more than £50 a day, selling chocolate bars and fizzy drinks to other pupils during break times. He was allegedly threatened with expulsion and the story was picked up by the national media.[4]

Sixth form[edit]

Sponne School offers a Sixth Form for pupils in Year 12 and 13. The sixth form provides A-Level grade education and provides the same courses as a sixth form college. Uniform is not a factor for Sixth Form students; they may wear their own clothes. In Year 12, pupils may choose up to 5 AS Level subjects to study. The school holds a sixth form open evening for both internal and external candidates and provides prospective pupils with choice application forms. The subjects differ slightly from GCSE level and the school offers an extended range of courses, including psychology and health/social care. Pupils can stay on a second year as long as they earn a minimum of 60 UCAS points from their AS results. Pupils can then continue to work towards gaining points for university entry. At the end of year 12, pupils generally drop one subject; the majority of year 13 pupils take 3 subjects on to A2 level. Sixth form classes are much smaller than standard secondary school lessons, allowing teachers to provide a more in depth level of teaching.[5]

Famous Former Pupils[edit]

England international and Nottinghamshire offspin bowler Graeme Swann attended the school between 1990 and 1997. Swann's older brother, Alec, also a first class cricketer for Lancashire, was at the school between 1988 and 1995. His father Raymond, who had previously played cricket for Northumberland and Bedfordshire, was a Mathematics and P.E. teacher at the school.

The Brentford attacking midfielder Harry Forrester attended the school between 2003 and 2008.

Also Joshua Steele, known professionally as Flux Pavilion, is an English dubstep producer and DJ attended the school.

Head teachers[edit]

  • 2003-Present Day Jamie Clarke
  • 1991-2003 Ian Brown
  • 1969-1991 John Mayes
  • 1960-1969 Jack Searle
  • 1955-1960 Mr Beacock
  • 1920-1955 P.G.F.Clark
  • 1890-1920 John Wetherell

Current Heads of Faculty[edit]

  • English & Media: Mrs. C. Cutler
  • Expressive Arts: Mrs. A. Noble
  • Humanities: Mr. R. MacPhail
  • ICT1: Mr. A. McGrory
  • LRC2: Mrs. J. Romane
  • Maths: Unknown
  • MFL3: Mrs. G. Hochrath
  • PE4: Mr. J. Maybury
  • Science: Mrs. S. Thomas
  • SEN5: Mrs. Y. Farrell
  • Social Science: Mr. S. Bennett
  • Technology: Mr. P. Lopes
  • Head of Sixth Form: Miss V. Austin
  • Deputy Head of Sixth Form6: Mrs. H. Ramsden

'*'Head of Year 11: Mr. A. Crawte

  • Head of Year 10: Mrs.A. Nicolle
  • Head of Year 9: Mrs. A. Freeman
  • Head of Year 8: Miss .H. Reilly
  • Head of Year 7: Mrs. J. Lais
  • 1Information Communication Technology
  • 2Learning Resource Centre (the school's library)
  • 3Modern Foreign Languages
  • 4Physical Education
  • 5Special Educational Needs
  • 6De facto Head of Year 12


External links[edit]