Chew Valley School

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Chew Valley School
Chew Valley School badge.png
Established 1958
Type Secondary school
Headteacher Gareth Beynon
Location Chew Lane
Chew Stoke
51°21′31″N 2°37′22″W / 51.3586°N 2.6228°W / 51.3586; -2.6228Coordinates: 51°21′31″N 2°37′22″W / 51.3586°N 2.6228°W / 51.3586; -2.6228
Local authority Bath and North East Somerset Council
DfE URN 109306 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1,160 as of 2015[1]
Ages 11–18

Chew Valley School[2] is situated within the Chew Valley in Somerset in South West England. It is 8 miles (13 km) south of Bristol in the village of Chew Stoke, on a 30-acre (12 ha) site in open countryside overlooking the Chew Valley Lake.

It is the only secondary school in the area, providing further education to local children, from various local primary schools, and some pupils who live outside the catchment area in South Bristol. As of 2015, the school had 1,160 pupils, including 186 in the Sixth Form.[1]


Chew Valley School

The school was proposed in May 1955 in a public notice issued by Somerset County Council Education Committee, to eventually comply with the 1944 Education Act which had required secondary education for all, which had previously been provided by "all age primaries" in the area. The new school, which was originally called Chew Magna Secondary School, opened on 13 January 1958, although the official opening by Sir James Turner then president of the National Farmers Union was on 23 May.[3][4]

In 2008, the school celebrated its 50th anniversary. In the same year a wind turbine was installed at the school, and unveiled by the local MP Dan Norris.[5][6] The turbine was supported by the Go Zero campaign based in Chew Magna who have also supported a similar initiative in Tamil Nadu, India.[7] In April 2009, current Head Teacher, Mark Mallet, did a parachute jump from 10,000 feet above ground level in aid of a new Art and Sixth Form block which was completed in August that year.[8][9]

On 1 August 2010, Chew Valley School became a foundation school. A letter to parents described the aims as "to use Foundation Status to help to raise standards and make a direct contribution to raising achievement and improve the well being and aspirations of students."[10] As part of the status change there was a legal transfer of land from the Local Authority to the School.[2] The school's letterhead now reads "A Foundation School serving the whole community"

In November 2015 Chew Valley School created controversy when Head Teacher, Mark Mallet, asked parents for monthly standing orders to overcome a budget deficit.[11]

Academic achievement[edit]

In the most recent Ofsted report, in 2011, the school received was rated 'Outstanding',[1] higher than previous ratings in 2004 and 2008.[12] In 2010 68% of students achieved five or more A*-C (and equivalent) including English and Mathematics GCSEs.[13]

In March 2011 three students from the school's Sixth Form won the English Speaking Union's Great Shakespeare Debate, beating eleven other schools including Eton, Wellingborough, and Magdalen College School, Oxford.[14]

Performing arts[edit]

The school became a Specialist school in the Performing Arts in 2003.[15] Productions are put on each term, there is an annual dance festival, concerts, and cabarets.


After numerous years of poor sports facilities a lottery grant enabled the school to build a new gymnasium and an all-weather pitch for both school and community use.[16] This grant followed a similar grant for Chew Valley Rugby Club.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Chew Valley School" (PDF). Ofsted. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Foundation Status Letter October 2010" (PDF). Chew valley School. October 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Hucker, Ernest (1997). Chew Stoke Recalled in Old Photographs. Ernest Hucker. 
  4. ^ "Chew Valley School's 50th anniversary". Chew Valley Gazette. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "MP unveils school's wind turbine". BBC Somerset News. BBC. 26 September 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  6. ^ "Wind of change comes to Chew Valley as school launches turbine". Western Gazette. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "New Chew Turbine linked to Tamil Nadu". Chew Valley Gazette. September 2008. 
  8. ^ "Sixth Form Building". Chew Valley School. Retrieved 14 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "December Newsletter" (PDF). Chew Valley School. Retrieved 14 February 2009. 
  10. ^ "Foundation Status May 2010" (PDF). Chew valley School. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Inspection Report Chew Valley School" (PDF). Ofsted. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Chew Valley School". Department for Education. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Shakespeare Debate Triumph!". Chew Valley School. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Chew Valley School". Education Base. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Education, Youth, Culture and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Panel Monday, 23rd January, 2006". Bath and North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 

External links[edit]