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Bertrand Russell painting by students in Enrichment week 2016
Bertrand Russell painting by students in Enrichment week 2016

Our school is named after British philosopher Bertrand Russell and unique to Russell School, we adopt Philosophy for Children (P4C) enquiries in some of our tutor sessions. Students participate in discussion over ‘big ideas’ and develop the confidence to speak out and share their views. It is our philosophy that students need to learn how to think critically and creatively so that what and how they learn at Varndean is future-proof in an ever changing, fast paced 21st Century.

Varndean School is truly different – from the moment you step through the doors, the vibrancy and energy of the people in it can be felt.  There is a hunger for learning from both students and adults, making it a fantastic place to work.


Head of Russell School - Gareth Hughes 


Deputy Head of Russell School  - Miss A Holder

 Hello, my name is Miss Holder and I am the Deputy Head of Russell School.

 I joined Varndean in September 2016 and my career has always been based around supporting children and young adults whilst at school.

 My role at Varndean is to ensure that each student has a positive and   rewarding experience during their time at Varndean School. I am here to   not only support, guide and advise each and every student within Russell   School, but also be a member of staff that parents can contact whenever   they need to discuss an issue. 

School Leader - Charlotte Drake 

Hello , my name is Miss Drake and I am the school leader at Russell school

I recently moved from another department within varndean and I'm thrilled to be taking on a role as rewarding as school leader .

I aim to bring support and guidance to our students and to ensure that they have a positive and enriching time whilst learning and growing .

I am particularly passionate about our students happiness and well being and I am always ready to listen to any issue ..big or small .

My support also extends to parents and carers wishing to seek advice regarding issues surrounding all aspects of the students schooling such as attendance , uniform , behaviour and well being

Head Student - Evie O'Kane

Since starting at Varndean it had always been in my mind that I wanted to become a Senior Student to allow me to be involved with decision making. I want to leave something behind me which shows the value of my time at the school. This year I am part of a great senior student team both within Russell and around the whole school, I am privileged to be working with those students to achieve new things in Varndean.
Within our school there have always been so many things to participate in as a student. In my role I would like to bring the communities around Brighton and Hove closer to our school, making this happen through events and projects which will invite the people around our city to mix with the students and create lasting partnerships.

Russell News

It’s been a busy few months over here at Russell School base. First off we’ve has the massively successful Russellmatazz, a concert with a smorgasbord of acts.

A huge congratulations to all of the fantastic artists that performed on the night and undoubtedly left the audience awestruck at the talent our Russell students had to offer.

In other charity news we had the resoundingly  successful Russell Run, we’d like to congratulate all the students in 8GMD who managed to raise a marvellous amount of money and all of the extremely dedicated students in 7NHA who had the largest turnout.


In total we’ve raised a whopping £3701.57 putting us in first place!



Russell Charity Event - 21st March!!!! More information coming soon. 

Year 8 Options Interviews will be taking place wc 5th February with Miss Holder and Mr Davies.


Hot chocolate with the Head: Minnie, Keni, Fleur and Kian!

Year 11 football success - it's great to see Owen, Sam and Santino representing Varndean School during their final year. 

Well done Jake and Katie who represented Russell in this years Spelling Bee competition. Jake won the competition, closely followed by Katie!  

Inter-school hockey comeptition - 1st plase Russell! 

Congratulations to all the students who are now Year 8 language leaders! 

Welcome back!


Hot chocolate with the Head goes to Santino Martin! Santino is working so hard this year and it is incredible to watch. Santino is in catch up sessions frequently and numerous teachers have commented on what a hard working Year 11 he is.

Well done to Kian in 8LAT for representing Russell school in the East Sussex Table Tennis Championship. Good luck for the next stage! 


Hot chocolate with the Head goes to Lex in 9NSW. Lex is kind, hard working and always polite. Lex has had a brilliant start to Year 9 and has really helped school base. 

Scientist of the month goes to Ruby in 8OXM and Ellie in 9NSW! Congratulations Ruby and Ellie - keep up all your amazing hard work. 

Hot chocolate with the Head goes to Riley Johnson this week. Well done Riley!

Hot chocolate with the Head goes to Ben Ferraz this week. Ben has been such a kind friend this year and it has been so lovely to see. 

Welcome back Russell!


Charlie Preston has had such an amazing start to Year 7 that he was awarded hot chocolate with Mr Deighan! Who will be our next Year 7 to win the reward?

Well done to Felicity Mclean-Walters, Leila Ufer, Shreeya Rupani, Edith Yelling & Bea Downes for representing Russell in this terms interschool dance competition! 


Welcome back Year 8, 9, 10 and 11 we wish you all the luck for your new year at school. We would also like to welcome our new Year 7 to Varndean, we hope you have a brilliant start and feel very much a valued part of the wonderful Russell school. 


Congratulations Russell - we are the sports day WINNERS!! 


What an amazing end to May, Year 11 all looked amazing for their Prom. Good luck to all Year 11 with their exams. 

Congratulations to Habiba, Keni and Eloise who gave up their Saturday to help with the art sale for VSIP. We raised £294 and they were amazing!

Current rankings for total achievement point totals - 7LAT/R 1st!!


Another fantastic term for Russell School - enjoy the Easter holidays.

WOW! The Russellmataz was fantastic! Thank you to all who supported the students and a massive well done to all the acts and the team who put the event together. 

Superb effort from the students in Russell who took part in the Brighton and Hove Swimming Championship.


Russell Razamataz - 6th April. It is already looking to be a fantastic event - more details coming soon. 

Comic Relief - please help Russell School raise money for Comic Relief 2017. Two of our students, Harley and Tabitha, will be doing all they can to get Bertie the goat around an obstacle course. The amount raised by each school base will determine what treats the students have available to encourage Bertie! 

Russell students who made the Top 10 Key Stage 4 Individual Achievement Points: Madeline Hogan, Rouguiata Barry, Lewis Bedford, Samuel Angelkov. 

Russell students who made the Top 10 Key Stage 3 Individual Achievement Points: Edith Yelling, Rowan Boyle and Kit Monti.

Rowing victory for Russell! Thank you to all the students who helped Russell reach 35,000m first in the inter-school rowing competition. 


Enjoy your Half Term Russell School.

The staff in Russell School base were thrilled to see 193 students awarded either bronze, silver, gold or platinum for their attitude to learning. 

Russell students who made the Top 10 Key Stage 4 Individual Achievement Points: Madeline Hogan, Rouguiata Barry, Lewis Bedford, Samuel Angelkov. 

Russell students who made the Top 10 Key Stage 3 Individual Achievement Points: Edith Yelling, Rowan Boyle and Kit Monti.

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