St Simon Stock Catholic School
|Motto||Labora Cum Amore "Work with love"|
|Headteacher||Mr Brendan Wall (2010-)|
St. Simon Stock Catholic School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Maidstone, Kent, England. It was founded in 1967 and is the only Roman Catholic secondary school in the area. It was named after the Carmelite St. Simon Stock, who was believed to be born in Aylesford and is linked to the nearby Aylesford Priory and St Francis' Church, Maidstone.
St Simon Stock is a mixed Roman Catholic comprehensive co-educational school with a strong academic and pastoral tradition. Its primary function is to serve the educational needs of Roman Catholic students in the Mid Kent area. The students of the school range from 11–18 years. Students are also admitted from other Christian denominations and other faiths whenever places are available, and if the parents clearly value the school ethos.
The school is linked to the ME16+ consortium, which deals with 'post 16'(after Year 11). This integrates the school with other local schools such as Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, St Augustine Academy, Maplesden Noakes, Oakwood Park Grammar School and Oakwood Park MidKent College, giving students in sixth form a wider choice of subjects to study.
The school's official name with the DfES was officially changed in 2001 upon the appointment of then new headteacher, Mr John McParland, from Saint Simon Stock School to St. Simon Stock Catholic School. Mr McParland stated that this was to emphasise the school's Catholic ethos.
The school was opened in 1966 to serve the growth of the Catholic community within the Maidstone area, originally with the intention of the school serving as the centre for a new Catholic parish.
In the early 2000s, after the appointment of John McParland as headteacher, a drama studio was built in memory of Kath Topping, a former school governor, along with two new science classrooms.
The school was designated as a Specialist Technology College by the DfES in 2003, with the additional funding used to provide a new Sports Hall and Sixth Form building/teaching rooms, including a conference room. One other new block has been built, which contains three specialist ICT rooms, which are equipped with a full class set of 30 desktop computers, and interactive whiteboards. The block also includes two business studies classrooms.
On 30 November 2009, it was announced to the school that Mr McParland would be departing as headmaster, to take up the role of principal at a new academy to be formed from the old Christ Church C of E School in Ashford, Kent. At the end of the 2009/10 academic year, it was announced that Brendan Wall, a headteacher from a Catholic school in Wiltshire, would take up the post of headteacher from September 2010.
From September 2011, the school's specialist status was changed to a Science college, owing to the facilities afforded by the newly refurbished science classrooms after a significant upgrade.
On 1 January 2014 the school converted to academy status.
Notable former pupils
- Shaun Williamson - Eastenders actor
- Mark Beeney - Gillingham/Brighton/Leeds Utd goalkeeper
- Doug Loft - Brighton/Port Vale footballer
- Jon Harley - Chelsea/Notts County footballer
- Harry Arter - footballer
- Bunmi Mojekwu - Eastenders/E20 actress
- Danielle Buet - footballer
- Damian Matthew - footballer
- Mick Healy - Gillingham Youth Player, Amateur Musician and Photographer
Notes and references
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