INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL
By any standards, Davenant should be judged as a successful school. We are heavily oversubscribed, achieve excellent examination results and, each year, demonstrate outstanding progress data in the Department of Education Performance Tables. We have a strong ethos of developing every member of our school community (i.e. students and staff) and we are now playing an increasingly significant role in system wide improvement through our status as a Teaching School.
We also have a long and fascinating history. Established in 1680 by the Reverend Ralph Davenant, the school has maintained its strong Christian ethos and admits boys and girls from Christian or Jewish backgrounds who wish to be committed to our ethos and approach.
However, we are not complacent. Our focus is on learning. We expect our staff to be committed to constantly reviewing their practice through continuing professional development. We seek to achieve a collaborative culture based on a shared vision that will ensure our students develop as mature and successful young people in an ever-changing world. Our aim is “to nurture mind, body and spirit”.
Due to the unusual admissions criterion, the school draws students from a wide geographical and social area, including Waltham Abbey, Epping, numerous villages, the suburbs of Loughton, Buckhurst Hill and Woodford as well as the London Boroughs of Redbridge and Waltham Forest. Because of this, we maintain a greater ethnic diversity than other schools in this area.
We have a high quality programme of induction for all new staff and, more especially, newly qualified teachers who are given a lighter teaching load in their first year. There is strong and supportive line management and a meetings’ structure to enable all staff to contribute fully to the future direction of the school.
Buildings and Grounds
The school moved to its present site in 1965 as a two form entry boys’ Grammar School with 400 students and was re-organised in 1980 as a mixed comprehensive now comprising over 1000 students. The school’s facilities are good and include a dedicated sixth form centre, a swimming pool and new tennis courts. Every opportunity has been taken to upgrade our premises and we are fortunate to be located on the edge of Epping Forest – an area of outstanding beauty.
The school has nine acres of grounds, which provide six pitches for rugby, soccer or hockey and, in the summer term, cricket and athletics. Floodlit hard courts are marked out for netball and tennis.
The Governing Body
The Governors are very supportive of the school and work well with the Headteacher and members of staff. They provide a good cross section of business, legal, property and financial expertise and devote a substantial amount of their time to the school. A very large proportion of the present Governing Body either have, or have had, children at the school.
The school has a wide and very strong reputation for its extra-curricular activities, especially in Performing Arts (Music, Drama and Dance) and Sport. There are three major concerts per year, approximately half our students have individual music tuition and our bands, orchestras and choirs regularly perform in London and on foreign tours. There are many clubs and activities during the week, regular exchanges with France and Spain, ski trips, field trips and exciting links with schools in the wider world (we were awarded the full International School Award in 2015). There is a flourishing Duke of Edinburgh scheme at bronze, silver and gold level with the latter culminating in a summer expedition to the Pyrenees. We are particularly keen to recruit staff who will contribute actively to the extra-curricular programme.
A full range of policies are in place to support and protect the work of staff. These include a smart dress code for staff.
The school converted to academy status with effect from 1st April 2011. All staff transferred on their existing conditions of service and it is not anticipated that these will change in the foreseeable future. Staff continue to receive salaries based upon the London Fringe.
Davenant Foundation School is a flourishing and exciting school. Our mission is to develop even further and to appoint only staff who share the same values, vision and ambition for success. In return, we commit ourselves to support all staff throughout their time at the school and to provide opportunities for genuine career development.