The Grangefield Academy
|The Grangefield Academy|
|Established||2014, founded 1896|
|Department for Education URN||139673 Tables|
|Chair||Mr John Copping (Business Development Director of Amec Foster Wheeler)|
|Principal[update]||Miss Nikki Gibb|
|Age||11 to 16|
|Motto||Together, Beyond Expectations|
The Grangefield Academy is a secondary school with academy status situated in the heart of the borough of Stockton on Tees, on Oxbridge Avenue, Grangefield, Stockton-on-Tees, a market town in the ceremonial county of County Durham, North East England.
The school dates back to 1896, originating as the Stockton Higher Grade School. However the current site is that of the former Grangefield Grammar Schools, which opened on 2 November 1951. Prior to this, from 1944, it was in different buildings as the Stockton Secondary Grammar School, and before that, from 1906, as Stockton Secondary School. The boys' and girls' lessons were taught separately, with separate heads of school.
In 1973 the grammar schools were merged into the comprehensive and co-educational The Grange Comprehensive School, which operated until 1985.
In 1985, another school merged in, and the combined entity was renamed Grangefield School. The merging school was Hardwick Secondary Modern School, founded in 1963, later known as Sheraton Comprehensive School. The new institution did not have a sixth form but was a co-educational comprehensive school of over 1000 students aged 11–16. It became a specialist Technology College from 1999 to 2013, during which period it was named Grangefield School and Technology College.
The school undertook formal consultation about plans to re-establish itself as an academy sponsored by Northern Education Trust, a Department for Education-approved charity, and the conversion to The Grangefield Academy was finalised in early 2014.
Buildings and grounds
The Grangefield Academy is located amid extensive school fields, adjacent to the town ring road and opposite the Stockton Cricket Club Ground.
In 2016 plans were completed to rebuild the school, with a new building featuring a large sports hall, activity studio, drama studio, main hall and dining hall.
The now-demolished attractive and substantial main buildings of the old Grammar Schools that stood on the site dated from the early 1950s. Comprising Grangefield Boys’ and Grangefield Girls’ Grammar Schools, the premises were connected to one another by a shared dining hall. The original brick, sandstone and Cumberland slate buildings faced out over the playing fields and were constructed around four well-planted quadrangles that provided a distinctive and stimulating learning environment. The land will be used for a new car park, multi-use games area and school fields.
Before the transition to academy status many areas of the school were extensively refurbished; a new extension for the Design and Technology block was completed in 2005. Modern additions included a sports hall and library. The school field and grounds provide 11 tennis courts, 2 football pitches, 2 rugby pitches, 2 hockey pitches and 2 artificial cricket wickets.
There has been substantial investment to provide fully equipped ICT suites. Mathematics, Modern Languages and Humanities and many other subject areas have in-class ICT provision, including Art, Music, Design and Technology and Science. Many curriculum areas have access to interactive whiteboards and data projectors. The facilities are greatly enhanced through the Grangefield Media Centre, providing state of the art ICT facilities, which is located on the school site.
The academy has had a “schools within school” ethos since its conversion to academy status in January 2014 and has divided the five year groups into schools. Year 7 is Discovery, Year 8 is Ignite, Year 9 is Innovation, Year 10 is Pioneer and Year 11 is Revolution. Each has its own colour scheme with coloured accent walls in each year group area and a coloured ‘G’ on school ties; for example, Year 11's colour is pink.
The school fell to be in the lowest quintile amongst similar schools nationally, with, in 2012, only 40% of pupils attaining at least five GCSEs grade A* to C including English and mathematics. This was a decrease of 10 percentage points since 2011. Work to improve the grades and reputation of the school began, and by 2018, GCSE results were the best ever.
Following an Ofsted inspection in December 2012, the school was placed in "Special Measures" under the Education Act 2005 because it was failing to provide an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing and governing the school were not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvements in the inadequate achievements of pupils, quality of teaching, standards of behaviour, and managerial leadership. Subsequently the school had visits from Her Majesty's Inspectorate, some of which have deemed that the school was making reasonable progress, but the final inspection in 2013 determined that the school was not making enough progress towards the removal of special measures.
After conversion to Academy status, the school continued to improve and, with "Special Measures" removed, in 2018 Grangefield Academy achived "Good" status under all five major assessment headings.
Notable former pupils
Stockton Secondary School
- Alderman Sir Charles William Allison CBE, JP, Honorary Freeman of the Borough 1956
- William Arthur Bone, combustion engineer, and Professor of Chemical Technology at Imperial College London from 1912–36
- Air Vice-Marshal John Embling CBE DSO
- Horace Maybray King, Baron Maybray-King, Labour MP for Southampton Test from 1950-5 and Southampton Itchen from 1955–71 and Speaker of the British House of Commons from 1965–71
- Lieutenant Colonel Ken Scott
- Peter Smithson, architect
- Prof Keith Stewartson, Goldsmid Professor of Mathematics at University College London from 1964–83
- Sir Maurice Sutherland, Leader of Cleveland County Council from 1973-7
- Barry Unsworth, novelist
Grangefield Grammar School
- Pat Barker CBE, author who wrote the historical novel Regeneration, and wife of zoologist David Barker
- Hugh Cameron, cyclist
- James Gaddas, actor
- Charlie Gillett, musicologist, radio presenter and writer
- Raymond and John Gill, founders of ACM Instruments
- David Ingman CBE, Chairman of the British Waterways Board from 1987–93
- Len Porter, Chief Executive of the Rail Safety and Standards Board since 2003
- Sir Ridley Scott, film director
- Tony Scott, film director
- Bruce Thomas, bassist in The Attractions
- Prof David Webb, Professor of Finance at the LSE, and Director since 1991 of the Financial Markets Group Research Centre
- Dr Richard Chesser, Lead Curator of Music at the British Library since 2007
- Kate Pyne, Chief Technical Historian at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, Berks. Died 20 June 2015
- Grangefield Academy website
- Old pictures of the former school
- The Old Stocktonians Association with school transition history
- Old Stocktonians Association http://www.oldstocktonians.org.uk/historys.asp
- Northern Education Trust http://www.northerneducationtrust.org/our-academies/grangefield-academy
- Evening Gazette, 25 March 2014 http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/publics-views-sought-plans-new-6872508
- School Data Dashboard http://dashboard.ofsted.gov.uk/dash.php?urn=111753
- Ofsted Inspection Reports http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/111753