St Birinus School

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St Birinus School
St Birinus School logo.png
Motto Inspiring Excellence[1]
Established 1936 (1936) as Didcot Boys County Modern,[2] 2012 as an academy[3]
Type Comprehensive Academy[3]
Religion Secular[3]
Headteacher Alwyn Richards[3]
Location Mereland Road
Didcot
Oxfordshire
OX11 8AZ
England[3] Coordinates: 51°36′05″N 1°14′31″W / 51.60143°N 1.24182°W / 51.60143; -1.24182
Local authority Oxfordshire[3]
DfE number 931/4129
DfE URN 138762 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 79 (teaching excl. TAs)(2012)[4]
Capacity 1509 (2014)[3]
Students 1086 (2014)[3]
Gender Boys[3]
Ages 11–16[5]
Houses Athenian, Corinthian, Spartan & Trojan[6]
Website St Birinus School

St Birinus School, previously known as Didcot Boy's County Modern and Didcot Senior Boys,[2] is a boys' comprehensive academy in Didcot, Oxfordshire, England. St Birinus was founded in 1936 as a secondary modern before becoming a comprehensive in 1973.[7] In September 2012 the school became an academy with the same name.[8][9] St. Birinus' key catchment area includes the town of Didcot and the surrounding rural area, from Harwell in the west to South Moreton in the east and from Long Wittenham in the north to Chilton in the south,[10] however the school also caters for parents in other parts of Oxfordshire who wish their children to be educated in a single-sex environment.[11][12] As of January 2015 the headteacher is Mr Alwyn Richards.[13] The school is a dual specialist technology college[14] and language college.[15]

The school takes boys from the age of 11 until the end of their GCSEs at the age of 16.[5] After this students may continue to the associated Didcot Sixth Form College for their A-levels.[11] This mixed sixth form is shared with Didcot Girls' School and geographically spread across both school sites.[16] As of January 2015 the most recent OFSTED inspection was in 2012 (prior to the school becoming an academy) and the school was given an overall rating of 'good'.[17]

It was announced in March 2015 that Mr Alwyn Richards will be leaving the school in July 2015, following 5 years of headship at the school.[citation needed]

History[edit]

In 1931 St. Frideswide's School opened in Didcot as a coeducational secondary modern school.[18] Then, in 1936, the Didcot Boy's County Modern school was opened in the town,[2] enabling single sex education and, in 1951, the school acquired its present name: St. Birinus School.[19] The school is named for St. Birinus, the first Bishop of Dorchester,[15] although the school is secular.[3] In 1973 the school became a comprehensive school[7] and in 1997 gained specialist technology college status.[14] In 2006 the school became one of the first in Oxfordshire to acquire a second specialism: languages.[15][20] In September 2012 the running of the school was transferred to a limited company, of the same name,[21] when the school became an academy.[8][9][22] In 2011 St. Birinus announced its intention, in conjunction with Didcot Girls' School and Abingdon and Witney College, to bid to run a new academy school in the town,[23] however their bid was not shortlisted by Oxfordshire County Council.[24]

In 2006, the school celebrated its 70th Anniversary.[25]

Campus[edit]

The school is primarily based around its Mereland Road site,[26] however it has additional off-site sports facilities at the nearby Hagbourne Triangle.[27] In recent years the school has updated many of their facilities including the science centre, mathematics block and humanities centre.[28] The new Science Centre was constructed on the site of the old Greenmere Primary School,[29] now relocated a short distance away.[30]

The school shares its site with Didcot Leisure Centre and, thus, has access to additional sports and assembly facilities.[31] Students at Didcot Sixth Form College also have access to facilities at Didcot Girls' School.[32]

Curriculum[edit]

As an academy St. Birinus is required to follow the national curriculum in English, maths and science;[33] however it has considerable freedom over the remaining aspects of its curriculum. At key stage 3 the school broadly follows the national curriculum.[34] At key stage 4 the school offers a full range of "core" GCSEs, as well as further optional GCSEs and vocational qualifications such as BTECs.[34] Through a partnership with Oxford University the school is able to offer Latin lessons to its GCSE pupils.[35]

The school has made several attempts to integrate new technologies with teaching and learning,[36][37][38][39][40] and, in 2006, received an excellence award from RM plc in recognition of this.[41]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school operates a house system and has 4 houses: Athenian, Corinthian, Spartan and Trojan. The houses compete in a variety of competitions and the house that is awarded the most points in an academic year is awarded the house cup for that year.[42]

St. Birinus has partnered with a number of charitable organisations over the years. For instance St. Birinus School raised almost £11,000 for the Oxford Children's Hospital,[43][44] in efforts spearheaded by former pupil Andrew Baker.[45] As a result of being a major supporter for the Children's Hospital, St Birinus School has been recognised for its contribution, having its name engraved with Andrew Baker on a plaque of recognition which sits inside the children's hospital atrium.[46]

Events to celebrate the school's 70th milestone included a whole school sponsored walk which raised £11,461 for the Oxford Children's Hospital Appeal and its link school in The Gambia, West Africa.[47]

Notable Pupils[edit]

Daniel Rivers - 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold and Bronze Medalist - 50m Rifle 3 Positions and 10m Air Rifle[48]

Matt Richardson - Comedian and Co-Host of The Xtra Factor[49]

Ben Watson - 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze Medalist in weightlifting (105 kg Category)[48]

Antony Hansen - West End actor and contestant on Any Dream Will Do[50]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Values and Vision". St. Birinus School. St. Birinus School. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Guide to School Records - North Berkshire". http://www.berkshirerecordoffice.org.uk/. Berkshire Record Office. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "EduBase - St Birinus School". gov.uk. Department for Education. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "School Performance Tables - St. Birinus School". gov.uk. Department for Education. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "St Birinus School Prospectus" (PDF). St. Birinus School. St. Birinus School. p. 3. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Houses and Awards". Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  7. ^ a b "SCHOOL CONTINUED". Domesday Reloaded. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Schools in meltdown: Academy status across the county". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd). 14 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "EduBase - St. Birinus School". gov.uk. Department for Education. Retrieved 11 January 2015. Reason Establishment Closed Academy Converter Establishment Close Date 31/08/2012 
  10. ^ "Location and Designated Area of St Birinus' School, Didcot" (PDF). Oxfordshire County Council. Oxfordshire County Council. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Additional Information" (PDF). St. Birinus School. St. Birinus School. p. 6. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "School earns more praise". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). 28 June 2002. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Sloan, Liam (10 March 2010). "New heads announced for Didcot secondary schools". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd). Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "House of Commons Written Answers for 21 November 2001 pt 19". Hansard: 346W. 21 November 2001. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c "ST BIRINUS SCHOOL GENERAL INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS". Times Educational Supplement. TES Global. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Warwick, Rachael; Richards, Alwyn. "Headteachers' Welcome". Didcot Sixth Form College. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Hodgkinson, Ian. "St Birinus School Inspection Report" (PDF). gov.uk. Office for Standards in Education. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "80th Anniversary Celebrations!". Didcot Girls' School. Didcot Girls' School. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "News From Everywhere" (PDF). The Children's Newspaper (Amalgamated Press). 2007. p. 2. Retrieved 11 January 2015. A young beech tree has been planted on the steeply-rising Churn Nob at Bleiobury, Berks, (from which St Birinus is said to have preached 1300 years ago), to commemorate the renaming of Didcot Secondary Modern Boys' School, now to be known as St Birinus School. 
  20. ^ Buratta, Chris (29 June 2006). "Good going, says Ofsted". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 11 January 2015. is one of only two schools in the county to be granted two specialisms technology and languages. 
  21. ^ "WebCHeck". gov.uk. Companies House. Retrieved 11 January 2015. can't permalink, search for company no 08152096 
  22. ^ "St. Birinus School Funding Agreement". gov.uk. Department for Education. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  23. ^ "Joining forces to run new academy". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). 16 November 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  24. ^ Ormiston, Katriona. "Town headteachers fail to make the cut to run schools". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  25. ^ Bryan, Chris (13 September 2006). "St Birinus School 1936-2006 70th Anniversary Celebrations". The Saint (06/26) (St. Birinus School). Archived from the original on 22 May 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2015. This month marks the 70th Anniversary of the opening of St Birinus School in 1936. 
  26. ^ "Site Map". St. Birinus School. St. Birinus School. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  27. ^ Ffrench, Andrew (24 April 2013). "School in bid for artificial sports pitch". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  28. ^ Sloan, Liam (15 July 2010). "TV singing star Antony Hansen and fellow former Didcot school pupils reprise Les Miserables for farewell to Oxfordshire's longest-serving headteacher". The Didcot Herald (Newsquestion (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 10 January 2015. Since his arrival, the school has grown from 650 to 1,250 pupils, and Mr Bryan has overseen the creation of a combined sixth form with Didcot Girls’ School, plus the construction of a new library, music and maths block, humanities centre, reception area, sports pavilion and a £4.7m science centre. 
  29. ^ "Didcot school's science centre open for studies". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). 18 March 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "New science centre opens at St Birinus in Didcot". Oxfordshire County Council. Oxfordshire County Council. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  31. ^ Thompson, I (May 2000). "Inspection Report St. Birinus School" (PDF). gov.uk. Office for Standards in Education. p. 23. Retrieved 28 January 2015. Because of shared use, access to the adjacent leisure centre is difficult 
  32. ^ "Didcot Sixth Form College Prospectus" (PDF). Didcot Sixth Form College. Didcot Sixth Form College. p. 1. Retrieved 28 January 2015. Didcot Sixth Form College (DSFC) is a unique partnership between two successful schools, Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus School, creating a vibrant mixed Sixth Form utilising both the girls’ and boys’ school sites and staff expertise 
  33. ^ Bedell, Geraldine (31 August 2008). "Children of the revolution". The Observer (Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 28 January 2015. Gordon Brown and Ed Balls have now changed the rules to require academies to follow the national curriculum in the core subjects of maths, English and science. 
  34. ^ a b "St Birinus School Curriculum Statement" (PDF). St Birinus School. St. Birinus School. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  35. ^ Wynick, Alex (16 December 2014). "Ad libbing returns to class as new generation learns Latin". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire & Wiltshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  36. ^ Haigh, Gerald. "Transformation at St Birinus School – Part 2. Implementation and Inspiration". Microsoft UK Schools Blog. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  37. ^ Haigh, Gerald. "Transformation at St Birinus - Part one, The Push for change". Microsoft UK Schools Blog. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  38. ^ "Centre puts school at the cutting edge". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). 27 July 2004. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  39. ^ Jennings, Tom (15 November 2013). "Didcot and Wantage schools enter the digital age and offer iPads to pupils". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  40. ^ "Comment: Tablet pupils will be happy to take". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). 15 November 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  41. ^ Buratta, Chris (14 March 2006). "School gains accolade for use of technology". The Didcot Herald (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  42. ^ "Houses". St. Birinus School. St. Birinus School. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  43. ^ "£6,000 Handed Over!". St. Birinus School Oxford Children's Hospital Campaign Support Website. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  44. ^ Baker, Andrew. "£2.5m total raised . . . thanks to St Birinus!". St. Birinus. Archived from the original on 1 January 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  45. ^ Ormiston, Katriona (17 January 2013). "Years of fundraising and still going strong". The Oxford Mail (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  46. ^ "Meet Andrew Baker - Mr Play2Give". Play2Give. Play2Give. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  47. ^ Baker, Andrew (31 October 2006). "Pupils and Staff took part in a sponsored walk.". St. Birinus School. Archived from the original on 1 January 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  48. ^ a b Mezzetti, Ed (6 August 2014). "Commonwealth medal heroes go back to school". The Oxford Mail (Newsquest (Oxfordshire & Wiltshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  49. ^ Bardsley, Fran (17 January 2012). "Comic is old enough now to do Childish Things". The Oxford Mail (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  50. ^ Ffrench, Andrew (11 May 2009). "Former Didcot student lands top West End part". The Oxford Mail (Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd.). Retrieved 10 January 2015. 

External links[edit]