St John’s C of E Primary School in Dorking is now the number-one school in Surrey for progress in all three subjects. Rated as inadequate by Ofsted in 2013 the school, an academy in the Good Shepherd Trust, has been on a transformational journey.
The head teacher, Mark Richards, said:
"I am exceptionally proud of the children's achievements which is testament to the hard work and tenacity of our incredible teachers and support staff. The whole team's determination for ensuring all children succeed regardless of their circumstances or history makes St John's an inspiring place to be. With the right provision surrounding each child, the sky is their limit and our staff are proving this can be true."
Tony Billings, Chief Executive Officer of The Good Shepherd Trust said:
“The journey Mr Richards and his team have taken St John's on is truly inspirational. Educational excellence and holistic Church school education go hand in hand and we are very proud of all its children and staff for their continued hard work."
The school has recently introduced a new 'Harmony' curriculum, inspired by HRH Prince of Wales' book and in partnership with Ashley Primary School, Walton On Thames. The new curriculum puts the school's farm at the centre of their learning and allows the children to see how everything in their world is connected and develop an understanding of their responsibly in being tomorrow's leaders.
With 51% of the school classified as disadvantaged and 1/3 with Special Educational Needs, the school have many different approaches to cater for the needs of each child, allowing all children to shine.
The school strives to create the best possible learning opportunities for the children. Thanks to funding from several charities, the school has recently installed an ‘Immersive Technology’ room to really bring learning to life. The room gives children the opportunity to feel, smell and see thousands of interactive scenes, transporting them to any place in the world like volcanos or rainforests, and any place in time, like London during the great fire of 1666.
In November of this year, the school launched its radio station named after their curriculum - Harmony Live. This new station hooks onto the children's topic of learning including their recent local history week where they interviewed past kings and queens of our country.
St John’s is being called upon by other Surrey schools to inspire good practice and so everyone can learn from their successes. Since September 2018, key members of staff from St John’s have supported Green Oak Primary School in Godalming resulting in a formal partnership as a ‘sister school’. This arrangement will allow expertise in both schools to benefit from increased capacity and shared resources.