Varndean School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

Secondary
PUPILS
1419
AGES
11 - 16
GENDER
Mixed
TYPE
Community school
SCHOOL GUIDE RATING
Not Rated

Can I Get My Child Into This School?

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This pupil heat map shows where pupils currently attending the school live.
The concentration of pupils shows likelihood of admission based on distance criteria

Source: All attending pupils National School Census Data 2021, ONS
01273 293653

This School Guide heat map has been plotted using official pupil data taken from the last School Census collected by the Department for Education. It is a visualisation of where pupils lived at the time of the annual School Census.

Our heat maps use groups of postcodes, not individual postcodes, and have naturally soft edges. All pupils are included in the mapping (i.e. children with siblings already at the school, high priority pupils and selective and/or religious admissions) but we may have removed statistical ‘outliers’ with more remote postcodes that do not reflect majority admissions.

For some schools, the heat map may be a useful indicator of the catchment area but our heat maps are not the same as catchment area maps. Catchment area maps, published by the school or local authority, are based on geographical admissions criteria and show actual cut-off distances and pre-defined catchment areas for a single admission year.

This information is provided as a guide only. The criteria in which schools use to allocate places in the event that they are oversubscribed can and do vary between schools and over time. These criteria can include distance from the school and sometimes specific catchment areas but can also include, amongst others, priority for siblings, children of a particular faith or specific feeder schools. Living in an area where children have previously attended a school does not guarantee admission to the school in future years. Always check with the school’s own admission authority for the current admission arrangements.

3 steps to help parents gather catchment information for a school:

  1. Look at our school catchment area guide for more information on heat maps. They give a useful indicator of the general areas that admit pupils to the school. This visualisation is based on all attending pupils present at the time of the annual School Census.
  2. Use the link to the Local Authority Contact (above) to find catchment area information based on a single admission year. This is very important if you are considering applying to a school.
  3. On each school page, use the link to visit the school website and find information on individual school admissions criteria. Geographical criteria are only applied after pupils have been admitted on higher priority criteria such as Looked After Children, SEN, siblings, etc.

How Does The School Perform?

4 1 1 2 3 4
NATIONAL AVG. 2.08
Ofsted Inspection
(5/7/17)
Full Report - All Reports
77%
NATIONAL AVG. 60%
5+ GCSEs grade 9-4 (standard pass or above) including English and maths



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Progress Compared With All Other Schools

UNLOCK Well Below Average (About 12% of schools in England) Below Average (About 20% of schools in England) Average (About 37% of schools in England) Above Average (About 17% of schools in England) Well Above Average (About 14% of schools in England)

School Results Over Time

2017 2018 2019 UNLOCK

% of pupils who achieved 5+ GCSEs grade 9-4
2017 2018 2019 UNLOCK

% of pupils who achieved GCSE grade 5 or above in both English and maths

These results over time show historic performance for key exam results. We show pre-pandemic results as the fairest indicator of whether performance is up, down or stable

Balfour Road
Brighton
BN1 6NP
01273561281

School Description

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. Many aspects of school life have moved into a higher gear, from achievement to behaviour, and pastoral care to the curriculum. As a member of staff wrote, ‘It has come on an incredible journey since the last inspection.’ Initiatives that started a few years ago have blossomed, and over 90% of staff are proud to work at the school. Since the last inspection, you have strengthened the quality of teaching in the school. This has resulted in improved progress for pupils in all years and in better GCSE examination results. Pupils now feel confident about how to improve their work, and typically behave well and work hard in lessons. The percentage of pupils attaining good grades in GCSE English and mathematics examinations in 2016 was just above average. Results were convincingly above average in several curriculum areas, such as technology and computer subjects, Spanish, sports and media studies. You and senior leaders are fully aware that a few subjects and groups had disappointing results. Tackling the underlying factors started early this year. Under your leadership, your deputy headteachers and other members of the senior leadership team have become increasingly effective. You insist on high standards of teaching throughout the school. You make sure that teachers’ skills are constantly improved by providing relevant and useful training sessions and by visiting and working with other schools to share best practice. You have appointed non-teaching staff and teaching assistants who contribute much to pupils’ well-being and progress. You welcome probing and challenging questions from your experienced and wise governors and regularly seek external advice to verify procedures and standards. A contributory factor to pupils feeling safe, happy and belonging is the successful establishment of four ‘small schools’. In these, teaching and non-teaching staff know each pupil really well, so that small and large concerns are dealt with swiftly. Many parents complimented the school, writing, for example, ‘I love the fact that Varndean is a caring, inclusive and friendly school.’ Pupils are extremely well prepared for their transition towards sixth-form studies and beyond through activities such as ‘learning for life’ and philosophy lessons. Pupils discuss many aspects of British values and often focus on the news in form time. They answer questions, written by a member of staff, which require them to reflect and learn much about what is happening in the world. One parent summed up exactly the atmosphere and strengths that the inspectors noticed, writing that there is ‘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’. Pupils confirmed that behaviour has improved since the previous inspection. This has generated a reduction in exclusions and improved attendance – an aspect for improvement in the previous report. Your school has the best attendance in the local authority, but you are not complacent and staff continue to work hard to raise attendance further. The school’s website, rightly, describes your curriculum as ‘modern and diverse’. You and governors continue to offer a very wide range of subjects. This means that pupils in all years enjoy experiencing creative and artistic subjects. An aboveaverage proportion of them enter such subjects at GCSE and achieve very well. Year 7 pupils all learn a musical instrument. In addition, after taster sessions of 16 options, including creative writing and outdoor leadership, they choose one which they study for an afternoon a week. When I visited some of these sessions, it was clear that pupils were thoroughly absorbed and confident to work independently. This was an aspect of learning requiring improvement in the previous inspection. Many parents, rightly, complimented the considerable breadth of extra-curricular activities and trips, particularly the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. The school has the largest number of pupils achieving these awards in the South East. Parents also referred to the ‘brilliant music’, ‘fantastic drama’, ‘amazing library staff’, ‘energetic sport’ and ‘thought-provoking philosophy’. It is not surprising that the ethos of the school reflects its excellent provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils contribute much to the local community and generously raise funds for charities.

Varndean School Parent Reviews



unlock % Parents Recommend This School
Strongly Agree 67% Agree 23% Disagree 6% Strongly Disagree 4% Don't Know 1% {"strongly_agree"=>67, "agree"=>23, "disagree"=>6, "strongly_disagree"=>4, "dont_know"=>1} Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019
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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

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Figures based on 195 responses up to 12-07-2019

Responses taken from Ofsted Parent View

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