Bishop Stopford School

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Not to be confused with Bishop Stopford's School in Enfield.
Bishop Stopford School
Motto Faith. Justice. Responsibility. Truth. Compassion.
Established 1535
Type Secondary academy
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Mrs Margaret Holman
Chair Matthew Turner
Location Headlands
NN15 6BJ
Coordinates: 52°23′10″N 0°43′38″W / 52.3861°N 0.7272°W / 52.3861; -0.7272
DfE number 928/4601
DfE URN 137086 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1471
Gender Mixed
Ages 11 years–18 years
Houses 8: Canterbury, Durham, Ely, Gloucester, Peterborough, Salisbury, Winchester and York
Colours      Royal Blue
Publication KeyNotes

Bishop Stopford School is a secondary school and sixth form with academy status in Kettering, Northamptonshire, England. It meets the needs of parents who wish their children to be educated by a system which enables pupils to continue their understanding of life based on the Christian Faith as taught by the Church of England.[1]

The school is located in the Headlands, Kettering. The current headteacher is Mrs Margaret Holman, who replaced James Colquhoun in 2001.


Bishop Stopford School was founded in 1965 as a purpose-built Secondary Modern institution, as a replacement for its precursor, a school founded in 1535 by the rector of St Peter and St Paul. The former bishop of Peterborough, Robert Stopford, agreed to the new school being named after him. Bishop Stopford School soon introduced a sixth form and admitted its first fully comprehensive intake in 1976.

The school has benefited from an extensive programme of new buildings and refurbishment over the years to meet the demands of modern-day students and a changing curriculum. In recent years various additional building projects have been undertaken, in particular major expansion and refurbishment of the design and technology department, library, science department, the subsequent construction of the sixth form centre, Octagon building and sports hall. Subsequently, Bishop Stopford School has been nominated for "Midlands School of the Year" four-years running. In 2008 Bishop Stopford opened its newly re-developed library named after the late teacher Ian Smith, who died from cancer in 2007. On 23 May 2012, Bishop Stopford opened its new extension on the sixth form centre, which features new facilities includes a university-style study area, two seminar rooms and an additional Politics classroom

The number-on-roll has more than doubled since 1965 to approximately 1450 students, with a sixth form of approximately 400.

The school converted to academy status in August 2011.


There are generally eight houses in each year group, each with approximately 27 mixed sex students; students each wear a tie depicting their house colour and coat of arms. These are named after great Church of England cathedrals: Canterbury (silver), Durham (light blue), Ely (orange), Gloucester (emerald green) - collectively known as Band A; and Peterborough (purple), Salisbury (grey), Winchester (red) and York (yellow) - collectively known as Band B. This division is based on the alphabetical placing of the house name. In 1997, due to a large intake, an extra house was created for that year group only, named Lincoln (mint green).

School life[edit]

The school places an emphasis on a Christian ethos of education of school values, the Christian Union and the school chaplain. Running alongside curricular lessons are Eucharists, some of which are of mandatory attendance for all pupils in the school, with more frequent voluntary services.

The school has a series of residential trips available during key stage three; students have previously visited various countries including Hawaii, Italy, Australia, Belgium, France and Iceland. In addition to these the school has undertaken international sporting tours involving the sports of rugby, netball and hockey: New Zealand & Fiji (2004), South Africa (2006), Australia (2009) and Malaysia and Singapore (2011). The next planned venture was to Australia and Hong Kong in 2014.

In addition, many subject-related day and residential trips are available throughout the school, including fieldwork for subjects such as geography and geology.

Affiliations and awards[edit]

Bishop Stopford is an academy and faith school. The school is also an Anglican Foundation in the Diocese of Peterborough, as well as being a member of the Woodard Corporation; a collection of Church of England Schools. Bishop Stopford was awarded the School Achievement Award in 2002 and the Artsmark Silver. An Artsmark is awarded to schools who show a commitment to the full range of arts - music, dance, drama and art & design. It is a national award scheme and is managed by Arts Council England. The school also has the Sportsmark Status. A Sportsmark is awarded to schools who show a commitment to the full range of Sport, managed by Sport England. The school also achieved ICT Mark status in 2008.

As one of the first specialist Technology Colleges (from 1993 to 2013) Bishop Stopford School continues to develop standards in technology subjects.

In 2007 the school gained High Performing Specialist School status as a Leadership Partner School.

In May 2009 an OFSTED survey inspection judged development of leadership at Bishop Stopford School and in its partner schools to be outstanding.

Sports facilities[edit]

The school's Community Sports Centre opened in 1999, funded by Sport England, the Foundation for Sport and the Arts and donations from associates of the school. In addition to use for physical education lessons, the facility is intended for use by the wider community. A community Sports Development Officer works in tandem with the school to encourage participation in sport within the community, and promote an ethos of "Sport for All". In particular the effort focuses on eight target sports; badminton, tennis, netball, trampolining, cricket basketball, football and table tennis. The centre is used by local sports clubs, an aerobics group, and hosts holiday sport and art activities.

The PE Faculty runs a wide range of extra curricular provision. This has resulted in sporting achievements in a wide range of sports at District, County & National Level. Students at Bishop have achieved a variety of National and International honours. The school has hosted touring schools from South Africa, Australia, Canada & Argentina. The major winter sports are: Rugby, Netball, Basketball, Football, Hockey. The major summer sports are: Athletics, Cricket, Tennis & Rounders Fixtures are also played in Volleyball, Cross Country. The faculty run interform competitions and a traditional summer term athletics sports day.

Chapel of St Matthew[edit]

The Chapel of St Matthew is intended to be a welcoming and safe space for students and staff to come and spend time to reflect, pray, socialise or just be. All are welcome in the Chapel, regardless of their faith.

There are various works of art displayed in the Chapel many of them done by students. The artworks depict themes related to the Christian faith and enhance the feeling of the chapel being a place both of welcome, as well as worship. There are also creative activities laid out around the chapel which are intended to help people to pray in ways that are helpful to them.

Several events take place in the chapel during the week, including informal communion services – otherwise known as tea and toast, art events in which students explore ways of worshipping God through art, and the CU also meet in the chapel.

Charity work[edit]

SCC (Stopford Charity Committee) is Bishop Stopford School's student fundraising group led by a group of student from all years.. The group started in September 2008 and has a great following from students who want to help raise money for different charities in a fun, exciting way. SCC's main aim is "getting the whole school working together to raise money for charity in new and fun exciting ways."

The group organises all the non-uniform days to raise money for the school chosen charities. The charity group (committee) is always led by a 6th form student and a group of lower school students.

"Charity Raisers" (CR) was another Charity Group that existed between 2008 and 2010. Its main money raisers were from its live charity shows, starring staff and students. All money raised from these events went straight to the chosen charity at the time including Red Nose Day, Children in Need, Donna's Dream House Blackpool, PoverTee Day and Trusts set up in memory of past students.

Past CR Productions include:

  • For One Lunch Time Only (Children In Need)
  • A Lunch Time Cabaret (RND 2009)
  • Open Mic (PoverTee Day 2009)
  • The Big Bishop Circus (Children In Need)
  • The Best from Gogo and Miss Ringmaster (Earthquake Appeal)
  • The Mad Hatter's Charity Tea Party (Hannah Payne Trust)

Charity Raisers raised over £8,000 in the two years at Bishop Stopford.

Sixth form[edit]

Bishop Stopford School Sixth Form is a community of approximately 400 students offering 30 subjects. Standards at A level continue to be impressive; approximately 150 students go on to university every year.

Most students enroll on 4 AS courses in Year 12 provided they have sufficient GCSE grades. High achievers may take up to 5 subject-specific AS courses in Year 12 which are likely to reduce down to 3 or 4 in Year 13. Opportunities to take Advanced Extension Awards are also provided and there are also the possibilities of taking undergraduate modules in a variety of disciplines from the Open University through the Young Applicants in Schools and Colleges Scheme.

A separate Sixth Form Centre exists with its own social area and specialist staff. Building work has recently been completed to provide a new state-of-the-art extension which doubles the amount of floor space to provide tutorial rooms, offices and large university style study area.

An annual trip is organised to either Hawaii and San Francisco or Canyonlands which is open to all students and is a particular bonus to being in the Sixth Form. Subject specific trips are also arranged to complement individual courses.

A Head Boy and Girl are elected every spring in Year 12 and hold the position through Year 13. They perform a number of leadership duties and are important ambassadors of the school. Heads of Sixth Form Forum are also elected to chair meetings with students and staff where any issues can be raised and discussed to the benefit of all. Student Liaison Heads provide a bridge for students who may be having difficulties settling into the Sixth Form with the External Student Liaison Head particularly focusing on students who have joined from other schools. There is an Events Committee run by a Student Events President. Social events are organised throughout the two years of Sixth Form culminating in the Sixth Form Ball prior to the final A2 exams.

Bishop Stopford receives applications from students at other schools who wish to join the Sixth Form. Nearly a quarter of the Sixth Form students join from other schools across Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Prime Minister's Global Fellowship[edit]

The school had its first student attain a place on the Prime Minister's Global Fellowship programme in 2009.[2]

School Council and politics[edit]

The Student Council is made up of two representatives from each year, year 7 to year 11 drawn from each of the Year Councils. They meet six times each year and push for action to be taken to make the school environment a better place for both students and staff.

The Sixth Form regularly holds mock elections, in the last one in 2015, won by the Labour Party. Other parties that took part were the Conservative Party who finished 2nd and the Liberal Democrats who finished 3rd.


  1. ^
  2. ^ British Council website "Fellows" accessed November 10, 2009.

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