John Flamsteed Community School

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John Flamsteed Community School
Established 1894
Type Academy
Headteacher Mrs Lisa Walton
Chair of Governors Mr R Sibson
Location Derby Road
53°01′11″N 1°25′31″W / 53.019629°N 1.425286°W / 53.019629; -1.425286Coordinates: 53°01′11″N 1°25′31″W / 53.019629°N 1.425286°W / 53.019629; -1.425286
Local authority Derbyshire
DfE URN 142710 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students approx. 600
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–16
Colours Black
Website John Flamsteed Community School Online

John Flamsteed Community School is a mixed secondary school located in the village of Denby, Derbyshire, England. It is named after Sir John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, who was a native of Denby and made early and accurate predictions of a solar eclipse in 1666.[1]


There is evidence of a Free School association in Denby from 1854,[2] although the first school in Denby dates from 1730 after Jane Massie left monies for a school in her 1728 will. In 1838 a school in the village had 25 children receiving a free education in reading and writing with a separate teacher for the girls who were taught to sew and knit.[3]

The school itself can trace its history in the village to a Smithy Houses School that was founded in 1894 with a staff of two.[4] The school was at Smithy Houses which had previously been the offices of William Drury Holden who inherited Locko Park.[3] The first school was designed for 150 students and was paid for by voluntary subscription. Within two weeks the school had attracted over 120 pupils and the new head asked the governors to employ two extra staff to teach the pupils efficiently.[4] Smithy Houses School was used by the community - in 1919 when the Denby Pottery Welfare committee organised a concert here, four days after the end of World War I.[5]

In 1975 there was a plan to close the school but this was opposed by the local community. The school at that time was called Denby John Flamsteed School. After six years the school was relaunched as an eleven to sixteen community school under its present name.[4]

John Flamsteed now specializes in subjects Maths, Computing and Science. A new Drama and Music block was opened in September 2011. The Old School area now only serves subjects Languages, English Language & Literature. [1]

Previously a community school administered by Derbyshire County Council, John Flamsteed Community School converted to academy status in April 2016. However the school continues to coordinate with Derbyshire County Council for admissions.

The latest Ofsted report said the following about the school:

"This school is smaller than most secondary schools. The great majority of students are from White British backgrounds. Very few are from minority ethnic backgrounds. The proportion of students who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities is below average, and those with a statement of special educational needs, is average. The proportion of students who are eligible for free school meals is below average. The school has had specialist mathematics and computing status since 2004 and science since April 2007. Attainment on entry is broadly average. The School has several awards including the Healthy Schools Award. John Flamsteed is a good school. The response of the great majority of parents to the inspection questionnaire is fulsome in praise for the school. The care, guidance and support students receive are outstanding. One parent writes, ' It has never been too much trouble for the school to bend over backwards to try to accommodate us. The strong leadership permeates throughout all of the staff we have dealt with, without exception. This has enabled our children to develop their strengths and given them the confidence to overcome their weaknesses'. Another states, 'My child has changed dramatically since joining the school. He is keen to attend and dislikes being away from school when he is ill'. The school's approach to removing barriers to learning is exceptional, reflecting very effective partnership work with other agencies and parents. Staff work hard to meet students' different needs, as typified by the parent who writes, 'Despite my daughter's physical difficulties she has been recognised as gifted and talented, proving the support she receives is justifiable and much appreciated'. Consequently, students who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities make good and sometimes outstanding progress. Students are proud of their school and enjoy learning. Their attendance rate is above average and the proportion of students who are persistently absent is below that seen nationally and in similar schools. Students particularly enjoy the wide range of extracurricular activities offered at lunchtimes and after school. Participation rates are high and make a significant contribution to students' excellent health and well-being. Their personal development, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, is outstanding because the school's expectations of students are very clear and students respond very positively. In the lessons observed, the promotion of students' social and moral development was very strong. Overall, students' behaviour is exemplary and they say that procedures for managing behaviour are firm and fair. Students say that they feel very safe. A typical comment from students is, 'There is always someone you can go to with confidence; things get sorted out straightaway'. Good community cohesion results from a very clear understanding of the context of the school and the community's needs. Students' contribution to the local community is exceptional, as seen for example in their involvement in organising and managing the autumn fair. This is hugely successful in engaging local people and raising funds to support national and international charities. Students know a lot about life in multicultural Britain and greatly appreciate their own and other cultures and respect diversity. However, students have limited opportunities to engage with people from different religions and cultures. A good curriculum includes a wide range of GCSE courses. The mathematics and computing specialism enhances the opportunities available for students. They benefit from vocational courses but opportunities for level 2 study are currently limited. Observations by the inspector confirmed the school's view that the quality of teaching and learning is good. The school has worked hard at monitoring and evaluating lessons regularly. As a result, the school has rightly identified the need to improve the quality of homework set, a point made by a few parents as well, and to ensure greater consistency in marking within the overall priority to embed effective assessment practice. Occasionally, lesson planning does not identify clear learning outcomes in terms of the knowledge, understanding and skills that students are expected to gain. There is some excellent assessment evidence in some subjects which harnesses student self and peer-assessment and there is a strong commitment to widening this across all departments. Students make good progress from their starting points. There is some variability in the standards attained."


  1. ^ Hutton, Charles; George Shaw; Richard Pearson. The Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London, Volume 1. Royal Society, London. 
  2. ^ Denby:Free School Association 1854-1894, National Archives, accessed December 2009
  3. ^ a b Bagshaw, Samuel (1846). History, gazetteer and directory of Derbyshire, with the town of Burton-upon-Trent p174.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help);
  4. ^ a b c School website
  5. ^ Programme for Denby Pottery Welface at Smithy Houses School, 15 November 1919, accessed December 2009