Welcome to Harwich and Dovercourt High School
It is very reassuring for us all to have our work externally validated by Ofsted in this way. The judgement in June 2016 following the Ofsted Inspection is also a watershed for the school as it is the first time in its history that it has achieved this benchmark. I would encourage parents and new visitors to the school to read the report in full at https://www.hdhs.org.uk/about/ofsted/ as it provides a wide ranging appraisal of all the school’s work.
Harwich and Dovercourt High School aims to prepare its students for life in the 21st Century. The world of employment is changing rapidly and new entrants need to flexible, resilient and expectant of change. At our school, we have identified key skills which we know will be essential to our students’ success both at school and in the world of work. It is essential that all our students leave with the best possible suite of qualifications they can achieve. However, in order for them to do this, they need to understand their own abilities and how these apply to subject and employment pathways.
At Key Stage 3 therefore, we offer as wide a range of experiences as possible whilst ensuring that students develop key skills. The curriculum at HDHS is delivered through seven faculties: Maths; English and Media; Science; Creative Arts and PE; Social Sciences; MFL and Business; Design, Technology & IT. Students attend subject focused lessons where cross curricular programmes are also delivered. Information Technology, for example, is delivered through faculties so that students learn valuable techniques consistently but with subject relevance. The school also runs a ‘Learning to Learn’ programme in Years 7 and 8. Through this programme students’ communication skills, resilience, problem-solving and independent learning skills are promoted and mapped. An understanding of ‘self’ is key to developing confident, happy learners at our school.
Key stage 4 begins formally in Year 10 at HDHS. In many subjects, students will begin GCSE studies when they are ready to do so. As setting allows, faculties are free to pursue an ‘age not stage’ philosophy so that students are appropriately stretched and challenged rather than confined by a national key stage methodology. Faculties plan and prepare GCSE courses in order to meet the needs of a diverse student body. At HDHS we are equally proud of all our students’ achievements both inside and outside of the classroom. In 2015/16 Engineering was launched as a level 2 option and this year there are 49 students beginning this course in a newly refurbished engineering suite.
There is an expectation that students will follow at least eight GCSE subjects with Science, Maths and English being compulsory.
The school has invested heavily in recent years with the goal of creating new opportunities for teachers to promote active learning. Whilst some of our buildings are old, internally we endeavour to provide our students with the resources they deserve enabling them to maximise their potential in a safe, modern environment. Our recent Ofsted report praised the quality of our teachers’ work and their ability to engender good progress in our students. This requires effective partnerships between school, parents and pupils. Outstanding pastoral care and welfare provision have long been the cornerstone of the school’s success within Harwich. Our Community structure is essential in maintaining this. Communities offer academic and social support and add a sense of supportive competition to the school. Each Community nominates a charity to support throughout the year and competes in a range of competitions with the goal of every student in every group taking part at some stage throughout the year. The inter school competition comes to a head with a school sports day in July. Teachers and support staff are also placed into Communities which helps bring a sense of family to each individual community.
HDHS has moved forward rapidly in recent years. There is still much work to do in equipping our students to be successful through the many examination changes which are with us. Post 16 still requires further improvement and the school is committed to addressing this e.g. through the development of our curriculum offer. The school enjoys a great deal of support from the community and its parents. I am confident that the school will continue to improve as we strive towards our next goal of being judged as ‘Outstanding’.
How to apply
If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact Harwich and Dovercourt High School directly.