Welcome to Townsend
At Townsend Church of England School we are committed to delivering the best possible education for our students. The school is inclusive in its outlook, and innovative in its engagement with students, parents and carers and the wider community.
‘Love Your Neighbour’ is our Bible-based vision and our aims of ‘Achievement For All’ and ‘Respect For All’ make it clear the type of education students can expect. We welcome students of all faiths and no faith.
We provide a safe and calm learning environment where every person matters, where no child is left behind and where every child has the opportunity to succeed. We are committed to ensuring that the learner is at the heart of everything we do. All students are encouraged to have high aspirations and to follow an ambitious school curriculum.
Students at Townsend are wonderful ambassadors for our school – hard working, enthusiastic, fun to be with and genuinely impressive young people. We have high expectations of them all and we aim to develop confident, resilient and independent learners.
I am privileged to lead a dedicated team of teachers and support staff who value the many and varied achievements of all students, including academic and wider successes. We recognise that everyone learns differently and that making mistakes and taking risks are both integral parts of the learning experience.
We were rated as ‘Good’ during our most recent Ofsted inspection (May 2018). Ofsted reported that ‘Pupils work diligently and with enthusiasm. Classrooms are calm and industrious environments and pupils routinely work hard.’
I am extremely proud to be the Headteacher at Townsend Church of England School. I truly believe we are an excellent school and we aspire to be the first choice of secondary school for all.
The ‘Respect for All’ theme provides the bedrock for the manner in which all members of school treat each other and prepare for the world outside. Christian principles and values run throughout the school and underpin academic and pastoral concerns.
Respect For All
This school is open to everyone and you do not have to go to church to apply for admission – children of other faiths and those of no faith are very welcome at Townsend.
As the only Church of England secondary school in this area, we offer something very special to all children and families: a long tradition of a high quality education which develops the personality and talents of every child in our care.
We are very conscious of our mission to provide your daughter or son with more than just academic success. We are a school with clear principles and ideals based on a strong ethos, and this philosophy is central to our success. Our great strength is that we keep reminding ourselves of what every parent/carer knows: children learn best when they are happy.
Our teaching encourages independent learning and provides students with those skills and qualities which they need to take them through the 21st century.
I look forward to welcoming you and your son or daughter into our lively and thriving community.
Townsend School seeks to provide an education of the highest quality. Our ‘Respect for All’ policy, written by students and staff affirms our commitment to each member of our community as an individual and underpins all aspects of our school life.
‘Respect for All’ is prominently displayed at Townsend and is very much at the heart of our school life. It expresses Townsend’s strong commitment to equal opportunities and to life in modern Britain and the world that we live in. Each child is valued as an individual and encouraged to take an active part in all aspects of school life. At Townsend, we believe that every person is equally important and that no-one has a right to harass, insult or cause offence to any other person for any reason. We particularly reject the way that some people abuse others:
Excellence In Learning
High expectations supported by excellent resources and expert teaching from qualified, professional staff ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed. Rigorous monitoring and assessment takes account of students’ different aptitudes and interests and enable all to achieve to the very best of their ability.
Every pupil is involved in setting and reviewing targets. At the very beginning of Year 7, students are normally taught in mixed-ability classes for most subjects but then, for some subjects, they are placed in sets with children of similar ability as they progress through the school.
Subject staff and year teams build detailed profiles of individual progress and effort and this important information os reported to parents/carers.
The school’s system of rewards helps motivate students to achieve their maximum potential.
Examination results are strong at Townsend and our focus on outcomes is relentless. Our monitoring of lesson quality is frequent and the progress of individual children is tracked at regular intervals.
Townsend School is an outstanding school with excellent qualities of visionary Christian leadership and management at all levels.
Focusing on the Individual
We attach great importance to getting to know pupils well and to ensuring that they are happy. Many of our pupils were the only person who came from their primary school, but from their first day at Townsend School they became part of our family.
Our welcome and integration of new pupils has been frequently praised. Links with primary schools mean that all children will have met some members of staff and enjoyed meeting other new pupils during our annual ‘taster day’ before transferring. Parents/carers too will have had the opportunity to meet their child’s form tutor and the appropriate Director of Learning (Head of Year) before their child starts in September. We traditionally recruit students to Year 7 from over 60 different primary schools and from a very wide area of Hertfordshire, Luton, Bedfordshire and Barnet. Such is the quality of our work and our partnership with parents/carers that many parents/carers are happy to arrange for their child to travel relatively long distances to get to Townsend. Careful contact ensures that the move from primary school to Townsend School is smooth and that everyone settles in quickly.
We believe that students learn best in a calm, orderly and secure environment. Our behaviour code is illustrated in the ‘Respect for All’ policy and we expect high standards of conduct and courtesy. Discipline at Townsend is best described as ‘firm but fair’ with a range of appropriate sanctions if work or behaviour expectations are not met. We have a strict uniform policy, requiring our students to dress smartly and we look to parents/carers to support us in this.
A system of merits and rewards celebrates students’ achievements throughout the year. We believe that students thrive on praise and encouragement, and we work hard to ensure that every pupil leaves school with enhanced life changes and ready for the modern world because they came to Townsend.
Our Parents / Carers
A child’s home is one of the most important influences on any child’s learning and we try to work in close partnership with parents/carers to ensure that all students enjoy the very best education.
Form tutors build a relationship with parents/carers and there are many formal and informal opportunities each year to discuss a child’s progress.
Every family is encouraged to keep in regular contact with their child’s form tutor. Reports are sent home and parents/carers are always welcome to contact the school to arrange to discuss any concerns, successes, or problems.
The school has a thriving and very active Parents/carers’ Association (The Friends of Townsend) that supports a variety of social events and raising significant funds for the school. The Association is a vital and integral part of our community and all the families of our pupils are welcome to participate fully in school activities.
Pupils work diligently and with enthusiasm. Classrooms are calm and industrious environments and pupils routinely work hard.
Outside of the classroom pupils involve themselves enthusiastically in a wide range of extracurricular activities. Over 40% of pupils in Year 10 are currently undertaking The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme programme. St Albans Music School is situated on the school site and this provides the chance for pupils to engage in an array of musical activities.
A Successful Future
We aim to provide our pupils not only with academic success but with those experiences that will develop their individuality, confidence and skills, so that they are ready to enjoy the oportunities and challenges of the 21st Century. We encourage pupils to think about what they are going to do next and help them to make informed decisions at every stage of their development.
Through a comprehensive teaching programme, pupils are encouraged to think about their strengths and weaknesses and to explore possibilities for their talents. As part of our careers programme, every pupil is offered the opportunity to be individually interviewed and to receive individual guidance.
Currently, all pupils in year 10 participate in work experience which gives them a practical insight into employment. As part of the current careers education programme, consultants from industry, business and commerce are invited into the school to speak about their work and organisations.
Talks, workshops, conferences, university visits, a well-stocked library and our fantastic computer network keep pupils informed of the opportunities available.
Pupils in years 10 to 13 are offered the opportunity of taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme where they are able to develop many important life skills as well as taking part in expeditions and helping in the community. When appropriate, a link with the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has provided special courses for some students.
When our pupils leave Townsend, for university, further education, apprenticeships, or for employment, they take with them not only sound academic qualifications, but also an understanding of life in modern Britain, the world in which they live, confidence, kindness and the commitment to succeed in whatever they choose to do.
Beyond the Classroom
Townsend Church of England School is a dynamic and vibrant community and there are many exciting and challenging activities which complement pupils’ study courses, making their lives more fulfilling.
There are numerous clubs and activities which take place at lunchtimes or after school. These range from all the major sporting clubs to music, drama, art, homework, science, and computer clubs.
Field trips, visits to exhibitions, lectures and theatres, weekend or day visits enhance courses studied. There are guest speakers who visit the school and workshops led by visiting specialists.
The school has strong links with our community and pupils are sometimes involved in local projects, voluntary service, and in raising considerable funds for local and national charities.
Meet Our Students
Year 12, Head Student
The primary school I went to was Sandridge JMI School. I, like most year sevens, was so nervous to start at a new school. In fact, on one of my first days, I burst into tears walking into school.
But as soon as they saw me, a teacher rushed up to me, told me everything would be okay, and that I didn’t need to be afraid. After the first week, I felt very settled here at Townsend, and I would argue that my form tutor was instrumental to that. He, along with my Head of Year, helped me and my classmates feel comfortable in the school; they made sure we were okay, and were always there when we needed someone to talk to. My journey here at Townsend has not always been smooth sailing but I have always known that I was valued and appreciated here. A feature that I believe makes Townsend special – and my favourite thing about Townsend – is how much the school genuinely cares about its students.
I went to the Lea Primary School in Harpenden with a few other students.
Two of my sisters were at Townsend at the time, so I was quite comfortable but still nervous. I settled in very quickly. I remember playing rounders on transition day. It was easy to get to know others through sport. I’ve always been part of football clubs after school, taking part in tournaments and fixtures. At Townsend, there is a lot of green space and opportunity to play football at break and lunch, and I love that.
The teachers are very welcoming here and they are open to having good relationships with students. I chose GCSE PE because I am passionate about Sport, and GCSE Business as I may start my own business when I’m older. I am hoping to do a Football Education Programme at an academy when I finish school.
I came from The Grove Academy in Watford and was the only one from my school.
On my first day I was scared but I made friends quickly. There was an orienteering activity that helped me get to know the school. The teachers were fun!
I enjoy making and moulding shapes with my hands and using tools in Design Technology. I enjoy helping in the school show as a member of the crew, learning skills in lighting and sound; you don’t have to act if you don’t want to, there are other skills to learn!
This year we are doing Little Shop of Horrors and last year was Beauty and the Beast. I am an apprentice in lighting this year but next year I will run it!
My primary school was Parkside Community Primary School in Borehamwood.
Three other people from my school came to Townsend. From transition day, I was able to talk with new people and make friends with people from places in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Even the older years came and talked to me to help me get settled in. Everyone was very respectful, and gave us time to settle in.
My favourite thing about Townsend is that everyone is so nice and friendly here. From the first day you experience new things, like Food Technology and Design Technology, and get help when you get stuck in any subject or situation. I am a Christian and I am also very friendly. If you need help, then I might be able to come and help you.
All pupils receive strong levels of support, guidance and care and they feel highly valued as a result. They are proud of their school and clearly enjoy it. They behave extremely well.
The Post-16 Challenge
The number of pupils opting to stay on into years 12 and 13 (the sixth form) over the last few years demonstrates its popularity and reputation. Life in the Sixth Form is an exciting and challenging experience which allows pupils greater independence and freedom, whilst still providing a firm framework of support.
As a founding member of The Alban Learning Partners (ALPS) – a very successful local post 16 consortium with five other St Albans schools, Townsend offers an unparalleled choice of courses in the Sixth Form.
Our aim is to provide as much flexibility as possible so that pupils can study a wide combination of subjects. In addition to their chosen subjects, all pupils participate in a programme of complementary studies that supports and enriches their post 16 experience.
Sixth formers have their own dedicated study centre and a large well-equipped common/social room. Staff constantly monitor and review each pupil’s progress to ensure that high standards of performance are maintained.
Sixth Form pupils contribute greatly to the life of the school,
supporting staff and younger pupils in many ways. For example, they lead the Pupil Council, act as form helpers, mentor younger pupils, and some train as anti-bullying counsellors. Social events, trips and study visits are organised by and for the Sixth Form to complement their academic studies.
Throughout their time in the Sixth Form, pupils are offered individual support and guidance. They are helped to assess their abilities and strengths so that they make the best decisions for their future.
We want all of our pupils to leave us confident and qualified to move on to the next phase of their lives – be that University, Further Education, an apprenticeship, or employment.
Pupils are very confident that there are adults at school that they can talk to if they need advice and that the school will deal effectively with any concerns that are reported.
The Church Connection
Townsend is a Church school but you do not have to go to Church to come here, however, you will need to be in sympathy with our ethos and traditions. Children of all faiths and with no faith are welcome at this Church school.
Religious Studies is an important part of our curriculum. An academic subject in its own right, it is also an integral part of each student’s day, helping them to explore their understanding of God and to reflect on their relationship with him, each other and the world they live in. All pupils have lessons in Religious Studies to examination level.
There is an emphasis is on worship and celebration. There is a time during every day for an act of collective worship, either in form groups, year groups, or multi-year group gatherings. This school has a long association with St Albans Cathedral and Abbey Church and there are four annual services held in the Cathedral that all pupils attend. There are also voluntary opportunities during each term for students to attend Holy Communion services if they want to and there are other worship activities held in school. A faith youth group for those interested meets regularly to worship and pray together in a friendly and informal atmosphere.
Our Christian beliefs form the cornerstone of everything we do. We aim to stimulate lively, enquiring minds as pupils examine the development of religious belief and think about moral and ethical questions. Our ‘Respect For All’ code, fund-raising for charity, and voluntary services to the community are examples of the practical opportunities our pupils have to live out Christian values.
The Townsend Dedication Prayer
We thank you Lord for Townsend School.
Thank you for the many people who founded the School
And through eighty years have served and nurtured it.
Give us grace, O Lord, that in our lives
we may be true to the heritage handed over to us,
and that by our self-sacrifice,
we may preserve it for those who come after us;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
Ofsted and Church Inspections
As Townsend is a Voluntary Aided Church of England School we are inspected twice!
The two inspections are carried out under Section 5 and Section 48 of the Education Act. Ofsted send in inspectors and so does the Church of England.
Parents/carers, staff, students, and governors are all pleased to know that absolutely everything inspected in the three latest inspections was graded as good or outstanding.
Our inspection reports can be viewed on our website (www.townsend.herts.sch.uk) or directly on the Ofsted website or the Church of England website. The inspection reports are a very strong endorsement of our work and we hope that you enjoy reading all recent inspection reports as together they provide an excellent overview of our school.
The inspection reports are a very positive affirmation of our core values. They affirm the quality of what we do and are a great reassurance to parents/carers that pupils attending Townsend School are well taught and well cared for.
Surrounded by open countryside and with over 6 Hectares (15 acres) of playing fields and landscaped areas.
Townsend has one of Hertfordshire’s most attractive school sites. The school has benefited from much refurbishment and improvement over recent years, resulting in excellent accommodation and resources.
- A state-of-the-art Discovery and Independent Learning Centre that also houses our library and some of our extensive computing facilities – including 50 wireless laptop computers for use in the Independent Learning Centre
- All teaching areas have dedicated teaching rooms and all have broadband internet access, interactive computer teaching screens, visualisers, as well as traditional specialist resources
- Seven specialist refurbished hi-spec science laboratories
- A modern, award-winning classroom suite for the English department
- Fully-equipped specialist rooms for art and design and including a large photography darkroom
- A dedicated modern Technology Centre with two fully-equipped food technology rooms and refurbished electronics and resistant material areas/workshops
- A drama studio equipped with specialist lighting
- Seven computer suites networked by fibre optic cables that run throughout the school and all with broadband Internet access. Additionally there are several hundred mobile Chromebook computers available in every area of the school. The computing facilities are complemented by a wireless Wi-Fi network accessible throughout the school
- Dedicated classrooms for the teaching of mathematics and others for the teaching of modern foreign languages
- Seminar, conference and training facilities – available for hire but available for use by our pupils during the day.
- We have a partnership with the St Albans Music School, part of the Hertfordshire Music Service, who currently operate from our purpose built music centre and 12 music practice rooms. The music school also supports our music teaching, our visiting music specialist teachers and tuition, and provide access to some extra-curricular music – such as choirs, bands, orchestra, and wind groups.
- A modern fully resourced dedicated Sixth Form Centre with study rooms, computer room with broadband and Wi-Fi internet access, teaching rooms, seminar rooms, and a comfortable Post-16 student common room/social area
- A large lecture theatre with full audio/visual facilities
- Extensive picnic and landscaped areas with outdoor seating and two canteens, one of which serves a range of foods at lunchtimes and during the morning break
- Many outside all weather table tennis tables and ten indoor table tennis tables
- A prayer and reflection room organised by pupils for pupils and available for anyone to use. There is also a purpose designed outside prayer and worship area.
- A large outside, all weather covered canopy area for pupils to relax in
- Covered walkways between main buildings for pupil comfort
- All pupil toilets and changing rooms have been refurbished to a high standard
- Double glazing, secure fencing and electronic doors throughout the school site.
- A pupil breakfast club area and cafe style facilities.