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We are proud to share with you the inspection findings from our recent Ofsted inspection. 

Our school continues to be good

The team noted the improvements in the areas that we are already developing and the report goes on to say,

Many aspects of school life have moved into a higher gear, from achievement to behaviour, and pastoral care to the curriculum... Your school has the best attendance in the local authority...It has come on an incredible journey since the last inspection.

We were pleased that inspectors noticed that we have,

strengthened the quality of teaching, [that has...] resulted in improved progress for pupils in all years and in better GCSE examination results.

This has continued into 2017. 

The feedback notes the success of our small schools where staff,

know each pupil really well, so that large and small concerns are dealt with swiftly- [with] a strong ethos of developing the whole person, encouraging kindness, pupils valuing themselves and others and being socially aware and connected to their local community...  I love the fact that Varndean is a caring, inclusive and friendly school. 

A particular strength of Varndean School is our curriculum. Inspectors agreed that it is,

"modern and diverse...You and governors (experienced and wise) continue to offer a wide range of subjects... pupils in all years enjoy experiencing creative and artistic subjects ... an above average proportion of them enter such subjects at GCSE and achieve very well."

They informed us that,

 Many parents, rightly, complimented the considerable breadth of extra-curricular activities and trips, particular the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards.

We were thrilled with some of our parents' comments,

"brilliant music, fantastic drama, amazing library staff, energetic sport and thought-provoking philosophy."

Inspectors confirmed that the curriculum as a whole, the culture of the school, the quality of pupils' personal development and well-being are,

especially strong and [we] are convincingly improving teaching and outcomes.

The report recognises that we are not complacent and those that know us well will recognise our continuous improvement. 

Leading a secondary school is like, I imagine, the cycle up Ditchling Beacon at the end of the London to Brighton; invigorating, never ending, sometimes getting off to push and always, joyous.  

I am deeply appreciative of the hard work and commitment of our staff, governors, students and their families that make Varndean School such a special place.

I hope you enjoy reading the report. We've already moved on with the wonderful job that is Varndean School. 


William Deighan
Headteacher