Rokeby School

In the following up-date, prepared by Shelley Eckton on behalf of the School, it reports on examination successes, how its values are being put into practice, a pupil speaking at Buckingham Palace and progress of the Ghana project to which the Company has contributed.

Our GCSE results from summer 2016 were hugely positive. Our students made more progress than students nationally in both Maths and English, placing us in the top 25% of schools across the UK for progress. Compared with boys attending our neighbours in Newham we were placed 3rd in the DFE Performance table for progress. This exam success has provided our boys with the ability to secure places at the sixth forms and colleges of their choice and some students have even received scholarships to the City of London Boys School.

As part of the Newham Community Schools Trust (NCST) we work in collaboration with Lister Community School and Sarah Bonnell School. Just recently, all three schools joined together for a joint Continuing Professional Development day where staff led and took part in workshops, had sessions with their departmental counterparts and had an opportunity to network. Our shared commitment to working together to provide a world-class education for young people in Newham, and to developing as centres of excellence for teaching and learning has enabled us to support each other in ensuring that every child succeeds and is fully equipped to take the next step in their academic journey or the world of work.

Academic success is only one aspect of what is important to us. We strongly encourage our students to be leaders in our school community so that they can then go onto be leaders in all aspects of their lives in the future. Our student’s leaders, prefects and student council members represent our school regularly whether it be welcoming parents at parents evening, supporting teachers with the organisation of events in school, representing our school at external events or continuously showcasing our five core values: Respect, Success, Passion for learning, Personal challenge and Harmony. Every month one student who we feel truly embodies our core values is selected to receive a Jack Petchey Award and that student is given a sum of money to invest in something they believe will make our school a better place. Empowering our students in this way shows them that they can effect change within their school community and not only that, they can have an impact and play a major part in the communities in which they will live and work.

We are highly committed to the personal development of our students as well as their educational development. We want our students to become accomplished, ambitious young men of integrity and resilience and so providing students with enrichment activities which expose them to new challenges is also important to us. Earlier this year, some of our students had the exciting opportunity to spend a few days at the Aberdovey Outdoor Education Centre in Snowdonia, Wales. The Education centre is funded by the Outward Bound Trust, an educational charity which promotes outdoors activities as a way to develop young people’s skills and confidence. During their time in Wales the boys carried out a range of activities including water activities, expeditions, and rock climbing. The Trust was so impressed with our students, they asked our school to accept the honour of representing them at a Gala dinner, held at Buckingham Palace this spring. One of our Year 9 students Ryan Hicks was selected to deliver a speech about his experience at Outward Bounds to a crowd of several celebrities, including Tom Cruise, the Duke of Edinburgh and Joanna Lumley, who is the patron of The Outward Bound Trust.

A group of eight students from Years 7 and Y11 will visit our partner school, Jubilee Boys School in Cape Coast, Ghana in July. The educational partnership between our two schools has already seen teachers from both schools observing each other and sharing resources and good practice. The aim of the trip is to break down social stereotypes and provide hands-on exposure to sustainable development solutions for the school. It’s also a great opportunity for our students to gain an insight into the differences between schools in the developing world and a chance to experience a completely new culture. Since conceiving the idea for this trip we have carried out several fundraising activities including car washing, festive singing at London City Airport, approaching local businesses for sponsorship, sponsored silences, non-uniform days and cake baking. We have also applied for grants and have received a donation from organisations including the Frederick Soddy Trust (who support geographical activities and educational visits) and a generous donation from the WCCSA. We are hugely grateful for all of your support in our endeavour as we steadily progress towards our goal.