Hatfield primary school hopeful for the future after becoming academy

PUBLISHED: 16:01 06 October 2020

De Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin Lines

De Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin Lines

Kevin Lines Photography

A primary school based in Hatfield has joined two secondary schools in the borough to become an academy.

De Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin LinesDe Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin Lines

De Havilland Primary School became the first primary school to join Danes Educational Trust – a multi-academy trust based in Chorleywood – on Thursday, October 1.

Pupils from the school celebrated today by launching paper aeroplanes symbolising the school’s link with the De Havilland aircraft and the start of this journey.

De Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin LinesDe Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin Lines

The planes were made by the children and each child wrote their career aspiration on the wings.

Sarah King, head of school, said: “We have been working with Danes Educational Trust for a year now and are delighted to formally join. We are so excited to join the Trust, as we have the highest aspirations for our children. Together we can ensure our children are given the best possible learning opportunities over the coming months and in the years to come.”

De Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin LinesDe Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin Lines

The Danes Educational Trust was formed when St Clement Danes School, an outstanding school in Chorleywood, was asked to open a second school in South West Hertfordshire – Croxley Danes School. The Trust now comprises two further Welwyn Hatfield schools, Chancellor’s and Onslow St Audrey’s.

Its CEO, Dr Josephine Valentine OBE was headteacher at St Clement Danes for 20 years and is thrilled to be welcoming this local school into the Trust. “We are delighted that De Havilland will be the first primary school to join our Trust. We are excited to realise our vision of providing seamless, outstanding education for children and young people from 3 to 18 as they move from De Havilland to Onslow St Audrey’s and Chancellor’s schools who both became part of the Trust in the last year.”

De Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin LinesDe Havilland Primary School has joined Danes Educational Trust. Picture: Kevin Lines

However, the Hatfield-based school was found to be ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted last year – with a report by the school inspector finding that there was “a persistent decline” in outcomes for pupils, lack of support for SEND and disadvantaged children and writing was developing slowly.

Ms King added: “We did have to academise following the Ofsted Inspection. We started work with Danes Educational Trust in January 2020 as they began to support us on our school improvement journey and we have seen the great benefits this support will bring to De Havilland. We are delighted to now be a part of the Trust.

“The Trust’s Development Director, Pippa Bremner, has been working closely with the senior leadership to support the school throughout this Coronavirus crisis, the Danes Educational Trusts motto is ‘making the difference together’ and we saw the benefits of being part of a Trust during a time of crisis. Pippa supported our senior leadership team to enable them to best support our families and community during this time. We provided high quality learning packs for children and staff made regular contact with families through phone calls and socially distanced visits.

“Since 2019 many positive changes have taken place at De Havilland for example our early years benefit from a remodelled outdoor learning provision. We have invested in innovative training for teaching staff and implemented a new whole school phonics and reading scheme.”


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