Holland Park is a twice Ofsted outstanding and over-subscribed comprehensive school. It is praised in the Good Schools Guide as having results which “speak for themselves”. The school is profoundly committed to exacting high standards, to formality, to demanding creative excellence from its staff and students. It is a driven institution where students’ success lies at the core. It seeks to be ambitious and to be bold for students’ futures. Seeing people’s potential and making detailed plans for its realisation is at the centre of its approach. Recognising people’s personal strengths and development profile is important. Career planning for staff and students is intentionally diverse and personalised, building on capacity and believing that aspiration is for all. Very little at Holland Park happens by chance or accident: this is a planned, well-articulated institution which relishes its responsibility for driving forwards fast and is passionate about equality of opportunity. One of the greatest compliments ever paid to the school came from an Ofsted inspector who described Holland Park School as ‘a grammar school for all’. Holland Park School seeks to create the aspiration, ambition and work ethic for all young people. Holland Park School is a place of unashamed scholarship, a place of courtesy and manners, a place of formality, a place that ardently believes that diligence, industry and care will assist success and that success is worth having.
Academically, the destination for students is a set of stellar examination results created by diligence and commitment. Personally, the destination is the creation of thoughtful, tolerant, warm and open young people. School is a vehicle for change, for self-improvement; it is to bring a sense of otherness, an awareness of the unknown; a challenge to betterness. So, formality is a central building block on our school’s expectations; Ofsted have long commented on the maturity and impeccable behaviour of the school’s students; assemblies take place in silent reflection; lessons which excite students never stray into the unsophisticated or uncontrolled; school events draw upon our rich heritage of classic literature, art, music, dance, theatre.
Extra-curricular activities are designed to introduce students to high culture, so that they are adequately prepared for meeting others for whom poetry is read daily and classical music is the norm. This is all by way of both enabling them to compete in a national context and also recognising the significance of school experience in shaping one’s future. Students of all ages soak up The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford; listening to Simon Armitage read his poetry or Alan Bennett read from his diaries – all happens at Holland Park School. Students benefit from links with the artist Antony Gormley and friend of the school Celia Birtwell, both of whom have contributed to students’ art work. However proud the school is of its specialism in English and art, teachers in history, geography, mathematics, the sciences and languages (including Latin) have certainly established an excellence that does not see them overshadowed. GCSE language results are amongst the top 3% in the country – and have been consistently so for the last five years. Students enjoy regular visits abroad as part of their studies of these subjects. Sport and physical activity are a rich strand of school life and not surprisingly given the strikingly good facilities which support its development. Musical activity is central to the school’s commitment to nourishing students’ experiences of the cultural canon. The centrepiece of Holland Park School’s musical output is the school’s choir. Such extra-curricular experiences are privileges. In return for these opportunities it is expected that students read independently, write neatly in a cursive script, tackle complex texts and enjoy doing so.
The school’s examination results are first rate and bring annual plaudits and praise from central government. Holland Park School often collects awards for the results and far exceed that which is expected. The school’s results are regularly measured to be in the top 10% in the country. Holland Park School is at the forefront of current government changes, working carefully to ensure also that teaching adapts to the new specifications being developed by examination boards. A stunning 62% of students achieved the English Baccalaureate, nearly double last year’s National Average. More than half of the grades achieved by A-level students this year were at A* or A and that is a superb achievement and has seen some stunning university successes. Holland Park School makes no excuse for being ambitious and determinedly academic.
For more information about Holland Park School please access our website: www.hollandparkschool.co.uk.