Leighton Park School


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Quaker
  • Roll: 304 (Boys) 191 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 11-18 years
  • Founded: 1890

General Information

We are a school that inspires Achievement with Values, Character and Community. Our vibrant learning community empowers each student to achieve excellent outcomes, through supporting their choices, nurturing individuality and encouraging talent in whatever direction it may lie. Ours is an education for succeeding in life, as well as in academic assessments. Set in a delightful park in Reading, just outside London, our students have an enriching environment in which to learn, reflect and grow.

The success of our approach is demonstrated by UK Government 16-18 league tables, which place the school in the top 100 in England, or top 3%, for the academic progress made by our students.

Despite being among the top performing schools in the country we are no results factory. We believe a school must be judged by the full range and depth of achievements of its students, and at Leighton Park we develop young people who understand, cherish, and make a difference to the world which they inherit.


In addition to our IT suite and IT facilities, well-equipped Library, Sixth Form Centre with lounge, kitchen, garden and study space and Careers Library, we have a versatile theatre and concert space, drama studio, digital recording studio and technology suite and a modern and spacious Food Technology facility. The Michael Malnick Centre for Music and Media opened in Spring 2019, offers practice rooms and classrooms, a ‘live’ lounge inspired by Radio 1, which can be used for band rehearsals, recordings and broadcasts and a custom-built media room including a green screen, lighting, editing equipment and a surround sound cinema system.

Our excellent sports facilities include a Cardiovascular Fitness Suite with functional strength room, an Olympic lifting room and an ergo room. There are also all-weather surface tennis courts, extensive sports fields, cricket square, a flood lit AstroTurf used for hockey, basketball and netball and covered swimming pool.

Full, weekly and flexi boarding is available. Our boarding houses are well equipped with leisure facilities, for use of day pupils as well as boarders.

Entrance Requirements

Entry into Years 7-10: Tests in English, English Essay and Maths plus interview.

Sixth Form entry: required GCSE or equivalent results and interview.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to sit an EAL (English as an Additional Language) test and possibly other subject area papers depending upon previous educational background and subjects studied.

International students: arrangements can be made for students to sit tests at their current school. Interviews will be arranged and carried out using Skype. A birth certificate and passport will be requested to confirm identification and date of birth.


A limited number of Academic, Art and Design, Drama, Dance, Music and Sports scholarships are granted for entry to Year 7, Year 9 and Sixth Form on the basis of a competitive examination.

Open Days

2020. We hold regular Open Mornings which are the perfect introduction to Leighton Park. These comprise a short introduction to Leighton Park by the Head, a tour of a house with a Housemaster, then a tour of the school. Our Open Mornings take place on Tuesdays from 9.15am – 11.15am.

Please visit our website www.leightonpark.com or contact the Admissions Office for details, by telephone on 0118 987 9608 or email admissions@leightonpark.com.


2019/2020. Per term. Junior pupils (Years 7 and 8): Day £6,255, Weekly Boarding £8,590, Full Boarding £9,985. Senior pupils (Years 9 to Upper Sixth): Day £7,895, Weekly Boarding, £10,635, Full Boarding £12,665

Sibling discount offered.


ISI Boarding Inspection 2012
ISI Full Inspection 2014

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Matthew Judd

Leighton Park School
Shinfield Road

[t]: 0118 987 9600
[w]: www.leightonpark.com

Location Description

Set in 60 acres of parkland, 1 mile south of Reading. Close to M4 and River Thames and within easy reach of Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

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School News

Leighton Park independent school Berkshire

Trial and tribulation augmented by a phenomenal soundtrack thrilled the audience from 4th to 7th February at Leighton Park School’s Senior

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School production of Chicago!  

Broadway’s longest running musical by Fred Ebb, gave students a chance to explore music, murder and media hype, following the lives of night club vixen, Velma Kelly, aspiring starlet, Roxie Hart, and their self-serving but successful lawyer, Billy Flynn. The School’s Main Hall was transformed into an Art Deco 1920’s night club full of sequins and glitz, as the audience followed Roxie’s quest for fame.

Upper Sixth student, Nikki who plays lead femme fatale, Velma, commented in the run-up to the big night, “It has been an incredible opportunity and so much fun, seeing it all come together is so rewarding.” Velma’s arch-rival and ultimate friend, Roxie Hart, played by Lower Sixth student, Megan, reflected, “It’s fun – a lot of work, but it’s nice to work with the whole cast and become like a family on the journey together.” Tomi (Lower Sixth), who plays charismatic lawyer, Billy Flynn, reflected on his initiation into Leighton Park’s biennial musical tradition, “I love the razzle dazzle of this show. I’m getting an amazing experience, which I am able to share with loads of wonderful people.”

Peter Scoggins, Director and Designer of the production added, “This is an ambitious choice of show for any school to put on and fortunately we knew we had the talent and the commitment in our students to make memorable performances. The cast have done such a good job combining challenging routines with incredible vocal performances.”

It was clear that the cast’s commitment was rewarded as they delivered a stunning performance night after night. Mirroring the excellence of our students on stage, were the efforts of the backstage crew, the hair, make-up and costumes and the superb band.

Rosemary Scales, Musical Director said, “I have been so impressed with the way our cast have taken on this impressive musical score. They are sparkling, ironic, insightful, comedic and dazzling in equal measure. The students playing in the band are also gaining extremely important and challenging performance experience – playing in a pit band is like no other musical opportunity available.”

Trumpet player Oliver (Lower Sixth) noted, “It’s been an incredible experience playing in the pit orchestra. Live music really brings a show like Chicago alive and I’ve really enjoyed playing alongside a group of such talented musicians and supporting an amazing cast and crew.”

Beth Butler, Choreographer, praised the cast commenting, “What has struck me is the positive manner in which students have approached the choreography. Fosse dancers have to grab the audience with small gestures and make it look like they are not working at all. I truly believe these dancers have achieved this.”

As Shelly, an enthusiastic audience member put it: “The performance exceeded all of my expectations and I felt it was the most amazing musical in so many aspects! It was pure pleasure watching the entire cast work together – mesmerising and at the same time had me smiling throughout the performance. Hats off to you for your hard work and dedication. “

Leighton Park independent school Berkshire

Leighton Park has been listed as one of the country’s top performing schools for Sixth Form education for the third year

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running, according to data released by the Department for Education (DfE) on 24th January.

Recognised as the best performing school in Berkshire and 27th in England for the academic progress of its 2019 Leavers, Leighton Park added 0.6 of a grade on average to its students’ achievements. The School’s value-add contribution has secured a ranking of 8th in England when looking at schools with a cohort of at least 50.

Leighton Park’s consistently high performance in the Government’s leagues tables makes it unusual, being the only school in Berkshire, and one of only eight nationally, that have appeared in the top 100 every year since the league tables started in 2018.

“Our calm, purposeful School combines the breadth of learning traditionally valued by UK independent schools with a forward-thinking approach to education, inspired by our Quaker values. The highest quality teaching and learning are of course at the heart of our approach but can only be most effective when combined with a focus on values, character and community. Our aim is to inspire students to be independent learners with a determined desire to be the changemakers of the future. It is heartening that Leighton Park continues to be recognised by the DfE through this important and impartial measure,” commented Deputy Head (Academic), Karen Gracie-Langrick.

Through the extensive co-curricular programme, the nurturing pastoral care and the Quaker ethos, students are given the confidence and courage to push themselves to their cerebral limits without fear of failure or judgement. Matthew Judd, Head, is delighted with the latest figures: “I am naturally very pleased that the hard work of our students and teachers has been recognised again. Our continued success is a tremendous affirmation of our approach at Leighton Park and our commitment to forming young people of real character and confidence. Outstanding academic results are very much the consequence of the School’s distinctive approach rather than the object.”

The DfE’s data aims to show the academic progress students aged 16-18 have made since joining a school. The tables were introduced by the Government in 2018. The previous system showed the percentage of students achieving A* to C and was considered unfair by many as it took no account of students’ starting levels and therefore the actual impact the school had had on students’ academic attainment. The DfE does not include Independent Schools in its equivalent Secondary table, which looks at performance at the end of Key Stage 4 (GCSEs). While all league tables must be viewed with a degree of caution, we are naturally delighted that the Government’s measure recognises not only academic achievement but also the impact of the outstanding and dedicated work of our vibrant learning community. 

For further information on the 2019 A Level results please contact Emma Randall, Marketing Manager or Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head (Academic) emmarandall@leightonpark.com / 0118 987 9609

Leighton Park School Independent Berkshire Top Grades a Triumph at Leighton Park School!

The highest proportion of top level GCSE grades for 14 years has been achieved by Leighton Park’s Year 11 students today. Celebrating 55% of results

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at grades 7-9 equivalent, an impressive year-on-year increase of 4% on the highest scoring results, the 84-strong cohort racked up 35% at grades 8-9 equivalent with 15% at grade 9.

Matthew Judd, Head, commented, “These outstanding results represent a magnificent achievement for the Year 11 Leighton Park students. This year’s GCSE results are our best for a long time with over the half the grades at the top levels; the students and staff have worked incredibly hard to achieve these and I wholeheartedly congratulate them on this considerable success.”

Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head (Academic), added, “I am delighted that the strength and support of our academic staff has provided such a positive learning environment for our students, whose efforts and commitment to their own academic progress have clearly paid off today, resulting in an fantastic set of results which, at the highest level, haven’t been bettered for more than a decade.”

Keen to repeat their academic success in the Sixth Form, which ranked in the top 3% in England for academic progress, many students are already looking forward to returning in September. Annie Milhofer, whose seven grade 9s, two grade 7s and an A, secure her place to study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Design Technology. “I’m really happy; especially with my Geography result – I never expected to get a 9!” she laughed. Annie also collected her A grade in her Free Standing Maths Qualification (FSMQ) result last week on A Level results day. The FMSQ, which is taught outside the timetabled curriculum, is an opportunity

for more able students to extend their Mathematics beyond GCSE and is excellent preparation for A Level.

Rowan Taylor, who over the last two years has already achieved her Creative Writing AS and A Levels, was all smiles over her four grade 9s, four grade 8s, one grade 7 and an A: “It’s great, I feel brilliant!” she grinned, “I was at a different secondary school before and I honestly think I would have been one or two grades lower across all my subjects if I’d stayed there. Leighton Park gives you a real start; there are small class sizes and well qualified teachers who know how to teach to the exam. The teachers here have higher expectations.” Rowan will be joining the School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the Sixth Form.

With many of her cohort off to Reading Festival over the weekend Ellie Pearson, bucked the trend with her plan for two hours of celebratory pre-season football training this evening, despite an offer of a slap-up meal from her mother! “I am very proud of her” she did work very hard.” said Mrs Pearson, “I’m just delighted! Really, really pleased with how she’s done.” “I’m shocked!” laughed Ellie, over her two grade 9s, two grade 8s and five 7s.

Specialising in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) the School delivered a significant number of top level grades across the STEAM subjects. For Grades 7-9 scores for Combined Science (81%), Physics and Chemistry (both 74%) and Maths (66%) were excellent. Humanities were equally strong with History and Geography students achieving 74% and 72% grades 7-9 respectively.

Hari Gupta’s parents were pleased and relieved that his grades will enable him to study Maths, Further Maths and Economics in the Sixth Form,“ Leighton Park has definitely prepared Hari better for the future.” they reflected.

Jessie Sumroy was delighted with her seven grade 9s, one grade 8 and an A, “I am so happy, I couldn’t have asked for better results. It was hard work but it was worth it!”. Jessie has her sights set on a sparkling stage career as she looks forward to starting her musical theatre, dance and English Literature courses. Jessie is celebrating by going to Barcelona but not before brunch with her friend, Zel Spence Palmer, whose two grade 9s, six grade 8s and an A* have definitely earned her a blueberry pancake!

Leighton Park School, located in 65 acres of beautiful parkland, opposite the University of Reading, offers GCSE students the opportunity to choose from a broad range of 27 subjects. In addition, Leighton Park also offers a rigorous one-year Pre-Sixth Form course primarily for international students seeking an intensive programme of study prior to Sixth Form.

Students currently in Year 9 and their families are welcome to find out more about the GCSE or Pre-Sixth Form courses at Leighton Park at the school’s annual open morning on Saturday 28th September 2019, 9.00-11.00am. Book online at www.leightonpark.com/visitus.

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Leighton Park’s IB students marked the official end of their Sixth Form careers yesterday with the announcement of their International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) results. Having

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successfully completed this internationally recognised course, the class of 2019 will go on to accept their places at top ranking UK, European and international universities.

Angi Hernandez Notaroberto, whose 40 points have secured her place at Leeds to read Accounting and Finance in the autumn was delighted with her results. “I really didn’t expect this, not to be humble, I just really didn’t expect it.”

Head of Sixth Form and IBDP Co-ordinator, Helen Taylor, commented, “I am really pleased with the results our students have achieved. Our focus is on helping each student achieve the very best they can, whether that be getting the grades to go to a top university or fulfilling their dreams of studying the subjects they really love. The breadth of the education they have received on the IBDP equips our students with the skills and attributes to succeed in this rapidly-changing world.”

Anthea Schulz’s mother, Janina, commented: “We are all very happy Anthea managed to fulfil the requirements to be accepted by her favourite university. I would like to thank you and the entire staff who helped Anthea those last two years. Without her stay at Leighton Park she would not have been able to pursue her dreams of going to a university.”

Leighton Park students averaged a score of 35, with three of the nine candidates also gaining a bilingual diploma. In addition to this, one student from war-torn Libya was supported on the IB programme having had very little formal education. Leighton Park was recognised in the Government’s league tables earlier this year as one of the highest performing schools in Berkshire and in the top 100 nationwide for the academic progress our Sixth Formers make.

Leighton Park School, located in 65 acres of beautiful parkland, opposite the University of Reading, offers Sixth Form students the opportunity to choose between studying A Levels and the IBDP. IBDP students follow a diverse and inspiring curriculum across six core subjects in addition to an extended project, and modules in Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS). In addition to the IBDP, Leighton Park offers a rigorous one-year Pre-Sixth Form course primarily for international students seeking an intensive programme of study prior to Sixth Form.

The school is offering Year 11 students the opportunity to learn more about the IBDP at their Sixth Form evening on Tuesday 8th October, from 6.00pm


Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Leighton Park’s Master Teacher in Computer Science, Peter Marshman, is sharing his expertise – alongside world-leading tech companies such as Google, Facebook, BT

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and Microsoft – to advise UK Government on Digital Skills education. The Digital Skills Panel, which brings these organisations together, is an initiative supported by the Department for Education.

Leighton Park is the only school represented in the group, reflecting the school’s leading status for Computing education, offering advice, training and outreach programmes to schools in the South East.  Recently, the school has been the host of the Royal Institution Masterclasses, providing challenging projects and workshops for high achieving students from a number of regional secondary schools.

Peter Marshman commented: “I’m delighted that the Computing & ICT department at Leighton Park School can share its experience of offering innovative and creative Computing and how these approaches can prepare students for vital future pathways.”

Leighton Park has gained recognition for its innovative approach to digital skills acquisition, with the school’s iSTEM+ programme achieving top spot for secondary schools in the national STEM Community Awards in 2018. The school was also a finalist in both the Education Business STEM Innovation Awards and the Independent Schools Association Innovation in STEM Award. Part of the School’s approach involves close collaboration with industry partners, including Cisco, Intel, Pfizer and Bion. It also places the arts and creativity at the heart of its STEM education programme – an approach sometimes referred to as STEAM.

Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head (Academic) commented: “Leighton Park School is proud to be at the forefront of Digital Literacy within the education sector and to support students and staff in developing Digital Skills, both within and across the curriculum, but also in its advocacy of the opportunity to learn ‘Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace’.  Investing in teaching and learning, we have created a STEAM Innovation Hub, provided ChromeBooks for all students from Y7-11 and CleverTouch screens in classrooms to optimise our Google Classrooms virtual learning environment and Apps for Education. This investment has opened up a wide range of opportunities for our students – for collaboration, independent research and creativity.”

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Leighton Park is one of the top two schools in Reading for the second year running, according to data released by the Department for Education

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(DfE) on Thursday 24th January. The result secures the School’s position in the top 100 schools and colleges in England and Wales. The statistics place the School securely in the highest band, rated by the DfE as “Well Above Average” a measure applied to the top 5% of schools and colleges nationally, for the provision of Sixth Form education. The quality of teaching and learning at Leighton Park is clearly apparent in the student’s academic achievements, adding over a third of a grade, on average, to each student’s A level results.

“I am delighted that the impact of the highest quality teaching and learning at Leighton Park has been recognised by the DfE through this important and impartial measure,” commented Deputy Head (Academic), Karen Gracie-Langrick. “The School is dedicated to meeting the needs of each individual, providing excellent teaching and supporting our students to become independent learners in preparation for university and for life.”

The School’s commitment to a broader, values-driven education underpins the academic achievements of Leighton Park’s Sixth Formers. Through the extensive co-curricular programme, the nurturing pastoral care and the Quaker ethos with its values of integrity, equality, truth and simplicity, students are given the confidence and courage to push themselves to their cerebral limits without fear of failure or judgement. Matthew Judd, Head, is delighted with the latest figures: “I am thrilled that the Leighton Park community and individual students have had their results celebrated in this way, complementing the commitment we have to character and values.” 

The DfE’s data aims to show the academic progress students aged 16-18 have made since joining a school. This change, initiated in 2018, follows concerns around previous league tables that showed the percentage of students achieving A* to C. The previous system was considered unfair by many as it took no account of students’ starting levels and therefore the actual impact the school had had on students’ academic attainment. The DfE does not include Independent Schools in its equivalent Secondary table, which looks at performance at the end of Key Stage 4 (GCSEs). While all league tables must be viewed with a degree of caution, we are naturally delighted that the Government’s new measure recognises not only academic achievement but also the impact of the outstanding and dedicated work of our vibrant learning community.



Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

The best comes to those who wait – and so it proved on Tuesday 26th March at the much-anticipated official opening of the Michael Malnick

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Centre (MMC) for music and media.

In the afternoon, members of the Leighton Park community and special guests enjoyed a glittering opening celebration in the spectacular MMC Upper Foyer. Karen Gibson, Conductor of the Kingdom Choir, opened the new facilities with an inspiring and heart-warming speech. Referring to the passionate teaching staff at Leighton Park, she noted:

“This centre is beautiful and impressive and the Yamaha pianos are grand, and I’m so jealous, but you all are inimitable, and the grace, love and power in you is what I see around me. Your ability and desire to make your ceiling their floor is what I sensed when I first walked in here for my first House Music competition.”

The floor to ceiling windows of the MMC Upper Foyer provided a spectacular backdrop of the Park bathed in a silvery Spring light, with performances from Leighton Park students adding to a wonderful occasion.

Our music scholars enjoyed mingling with guests, including the Mayor of Reading Cllr Debs Edwards, Brit Award-winner Laura Marling (an Old Leightonian) and acclaimed Yamaha Woodwind Artist Lisa Nelson. Leighton Park is a Yamaha Flagship Music Education Partner, the only school in Europe to have this level of partnership, and James Sargeant, Institutional Business Manager for Yamaha, was there to help the School launch the sector-leading music and media facility, complete with a Yamaha Live Lounge recording studio. There are 27 music teachers at Leighton Park and over 50% of students study an instrument at the School.

An evening Gala Concert gave guests the opportunity to see talented students perform a wonderful cornucopia of pieces, ranging from Rachmaninov to Andrew Lloyd Weber. Director of Music, Rosemary Scales, orchestrated a real showcase of ability and depth. Leighton Park students were, in turn, inspired by a remarkable programme from internationally renowned flautist Lisa Nelsen, who played some highly intricate and moving pieces, ably accompanied by Emma Scammell.

Head of Leighton Park, Matthew Judd, said of the Gala Concert:

“The evening concert was a fantastic showcase of the musical talent that is nurtured by the School and it was lovely to see so many guests and members of the Leighton Park community in attendance.”

Former Leighton Park Voice teacher, Trevor Craddock commented:

“I am sure that the new building will prove to be a great asset to the school. Perhaps the greatest compliment I could add is that the Centre already has the air of having been there for a long period.”

The Michael Malnick Centre for music and media was designed by NVB architects and provides three stunning new music classrooms, seven additional music practice rooms, a Yamaha Live Lounge recording studio and a digital media studio. The digital media studio acts as a base for the School’s BTEC in Digital Media Production as well as several related co-curricular hobbies, including Film, TV and Animation club. The School’s commitment to media and film dates back nearly a century, with David Lean, an Oscar-winning Film Director, attending Leighton Park in the 1920s. Today, the School works in partnership with Pinewood Studios to ensure its teaching is in step with the requirements of industry.

The new centre is named after Michael Malnick, who attended Leighton Park from 1938 to 1944 and went on to be a respected actor, enjoying an illustrious career and touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is perhaps best know for ‘The Darwin Adventure’ (1972 ), ‘Ike: The War Years’ (1979), ‘The Far Pavilions’ (1984) and ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’ (1984). Michael was a bursary holder at Leighton Park and bequeathed a very generous gift to the Leighton Park Bursary Fund on his death.


Explore our virtual tour of the new Michael Malnick Centre for music and media: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=NrQZPWGCW5m

Watch our talented musicians perform in the Yamaha Live Lounge recording studio: https://youtu.be/FT9NxyMBOK8?list=PLeW7DC9fZvTaHK7MKqqe_8fKwbTy3mMeg

See images from the official opening celebration: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmCpKVtf

For further information please contact: John Burnett, Director of Marketing and Admissions, JohnBurnett@leightonpark.com



Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Leighton Park has achieved a landmark in the school’s sustainability journey with the launch of the Change Champions initiative to students in Years 7 and

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8 the start of term. It is vital that young people understand the critical importance of their role within a global community committed to nurturing the world in which we live for their own future and that of subsequent generations.

Change Champions was the brain child of our IT Support company Commercial Group and has been a key strategy for all their staff within the business. Our Director of IT, David Pacey and Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head (Academic) tailored the programme to work around the ages groups and designed sample projects for each team to attempt. Delivering this message on launch day from Commercial were Richard Blundell, Managed IT Divisional Director, and Grace Segrave, Sustainability Assistant. Commercial Group are made up of various divisions and Change Champions was originally started in the Office Supplies Division, however quickly spread to the entire business. An IT consultancy may seem an unusual source of sustainability wisdom but Commercial have whole-heartedly embraced sustainability and their Co-Founder, Simone Hindmarch-Bye, is so determined to make a difference that she has employed two full time members of staff dedicated to the creation and implementation of a Change Champions programme within her business. Aiming to inspire similar behaviours in the school community and specifically within the Fryer’s Community Action Service (CAS) programme, Commercial shared the success of their sustainability formula with Leighton Park’s students.

As Grace Segrave, explained to the students, “Every little thing you do can make a difference, every choice you make, every item you pick, has a ripple effect. You are tomorrow’s leaders and you will be responsible for changing the planet from what it is today and making it better.”

“The Change Champions initiative, which we will deliver through our weekly CAS sessions, is about empowering our students to be real drivers of change as they look at their role as stewards of the planet and to action their pioneering ideas to make a difference and to reduce our carbon footprint.” added Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head (Academic).

Through Commercial’s presentation, students discovered that the three pillars of sustainability; environmental, social and economic, or colloquially, planet, people and profit; support the Quaker values at the heart of Leighton Park’s ethos. Considering your environmental impact, remembering to reuse, reduce and recycle, taking decisions that reduce your carbon footprint, all speak to the testimonies of simplicity and sustainability. The need to select suppliers and buy products from organisations who treat their workers with respect, integrity, equality and peace, pay a fair wage for work, offer benefits that improve the life/work balance and don’t take advantage of people is vital for a sustainable workforce. A business must be profitable to be sustainable but profit at any cost is not economically sustainable. The truth is also that it is not necessary to be greedy or deceitful in the pursuit of profit and organisations must consider their corporate social responsibility, risk management and governance strategies to ensure that their desire for profit does not overwhelm the other two pillars of sustainability. The option which seems financially the cheapest often has a much higher cost to the planet or its people. Sustainability is about recognising that and achieving an acceptable balance between the three pillars.

It was fascinating to hear some of the initiatives that Commercial’s own employees have undertaken. There were activities ranging from planting a living wall over recycled plastic benches creating mindfulness areas at their headquarters to  refusing to supply their clients laptops with precious metal components mined in countries where workers are exploited; from using delivery vans that run on hydrogen and emit only water to supporting a female farming project on a Kenyan palm oil plantation to reduce their carbon footprint. Recognition of their laudable efforts came last year in the form of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the sustainability category, and Commercial are delighted to be pioneers as the only member of the Ethical Trading Institute (ETI) in the office supplies industry, leading the way for others to follow.

As the presentation came to a close, the students were buzzing with ideas “It was good,” commented Maurice (Year 7). “I was really inspired by the tiers of sustainability,” added Jack (Year 8) “I don’t know what I’m going to do next but I want to do something for good.” Co-ordinator of the CAS programme, Pablo Gorostidi, was pleased the launch had been well received, reflecting, “Not only is our CAS Change Champions initiative about sustainability but it is in itself sustainable. The Year 7s will begin their project this year in a group mixed with Year 8s and next year they will continue their activity in Year 8 with some new Year 7s on their team and so on. It is a rolling responsibility and commitment.”

Already underway with the school’s commitment to sustainability is Grounds and Facilities Manager, Tom Sheldon. “We are trying to achieve as much sustainability across the Park as we can.” Tom explained. “It’s important that we work with the right companies and find suppliers who are local to us to help reduce our carbon footprint.”

The rolling programme for the replacement of furniture has enabled Tom to order modular sofa units with timber frames certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and with high quality production values so that they can be re-upholstered in the future rather than replaced. Although the upfront costs are higher, this approach will extend the sofa’s lifespan from 10 to 30 years. In addition, the soft and durable fabric covering the new sofas is incredibly made from recycled plastic bottles! Over the next three years all the boarding house couches will be replaced with sustainable sofas and this term the Individual Learning Centre is also being kitted out.

Tree Preservation Orders are active across the 65 acre park and although the estates team do occasionally have to fell mature or over-mature trees, they are careful to plan two new trees in a nearby location. “I’d love to see every child joining Fryer planting their own tree on the Park,” mused Tom, recognising the value of saplings which use up more carbon dioxide as they grow than older trees.

One of the biggest differences Tom has made to the School’s carbon footprint recently is through the compacting of waste. The school previously generated eleven bins of cardboard waste per week necessitating frequent waste collections. By compacting the cardboard and arranging for it to be collected weekly by a recycling company we have avoided unnecessary CO2 emissions and converted the waste into recycling. The waste that cannot be recycled is collected by Select Environmental who ensures 0% landfill by incinerating the waste. They employ special filters on the emissions resulting in an output which is actually cleaner than the air we are already breathing!

Fuel for the school’s five minibuses is now delivered to site for onsite refuelling, rather than all five buses being driven to a service station each week for diesel. The fleet of golf buggies and the catering van have all been changed to electric vehicles and the move towards electric, rather than petrol powered, tools such as mowers, hedge cutters and strimmers etc, is 80% complete.

Keith Eldridge, Bursar, is proud of the School’s commitment to solar power. “We have had solar panels on the swimming pool, Reckitt House and Oakview restaurant, and will have completed School House before the end of the summer.” Alan Rumney, Estates Manager, explained “Since its installation in 2015 the 35kW array on the swimming pool has generated over 101 megawatt hours of free electricity for the School, a saving that equates to over 40 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from a power station.” The 20kW array on Oakview and the 13kW array on Reckitt are as efficient although smaller. “We believe that 75% of all the electricity being produced is being used by the School, reducing our carbon footprint even further.” concluded Alan.

It is clear that the Leighton Park community is already an educational environment that values sustainability. We’re excited to see how much more we can do to make a difference.

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Leighton Park’s 80-strong cohort of Year 11 students were up bright and early this morning eager to collect their GCSE results. Whilst all were keen

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to discover the outcome of two years’ dedicated study, many were equally keen join the Sixth Form next autumn, ranked the Best in Berkshire and in the Top 40 nationally for academic progress.

Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head (Academic), commented, “These are the best results we’ve had in a decade. The pass rate for 5+ GCSEs with grades 4-9 equivalent is up by 7% year on year, with over 50% of our students gaining grades at the highest level, 7-9 or equivalent. The uncertainty of the new grading system and the new specifications have been a challenge but the cohort have achieved some outstanding grades and I’m proud that the students own efforts, supported by the capability and commitment of our academic staff, have resulted in such an excellent set of results.”

“I’m really happy! Just so, so happy! I didn’t expect such good results.” grinned a delighted Nikki Wilson (five grade 9, four grade 8 equivalent), “I did,” smiled proud mum, Ji Young, “Because she worked so hard. She really deserves these results.” Nikki is looking forward to studying Biology, Chemistry and Psychology in the Sixth Form with Music A Level. She’ll be one of the first to undertake the qualification in the school’s new state of the art music and media centre, supported by the Yamaha Flagship Education partner, the only secondary school in Europe to benefit from this exclusive relationship. Music GCSE results for the cohort were 87% grades 7-9.

Fellow A Level musician, Sam Caley (four grade 9, three grade 8, two grade 7 and one grade 6 equivalent), was also celebrating this morning; “I’m extremely happy with my results and am grateful to my teachers for their support. I’m going on to study Maths, Physics, Computer Science and Music at A Level.” Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects have been especially successful with Physics 92% grades 7-9, Chemistry 72% grades 7-9, Biology 69% grades 7-9 and Design Technology 75% grades 7-9. Science orientated, Adriana Ioannou was pleased with her three grade 9, five grade 8, one grade 7 and one grade 6 equivalent; “I did better than I was expecting and that is such a relief. I’m doing A Levels next year in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Maths.”

Adam Norris was relaxed, explaining as he collected his envelope, “I feel fine; I did my best.” and happily was still smiling after he had opened his results to discover he had passed every subject! “I’m really relieved that I’ve done well.” commented Alex Allison (two grade 9, six grade 8, two grade 7 equivalent), glad the tension was over, “I was surprised but so thankful to my teachers.”

“I only slept on and off as I was kind of nervous and excited at the same time,” said Jasmine Walker. “Some people went online at midnight but I didn’t look. I wanted to come in to collect the envelope. It’s more tangible, it makes it seem real.” Jasmine’s two grade 9, four grade 8, one grade 7 and one grade 6 equivalent results secure her place on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Leighton Park, one of only a handful of schools in Berkshire to offer the internationally acclaimed qualification. “I’m pretty well balanced across all my subjects and I think I’ll be well suited to it,” enthused Jasmine, “I like the different style of teaching and I think it is more fun and engaging, more me! And I might want to study abroad, I’m considering universities in Europe: it’s good to be able keep my options open.”

Leighton Park School, located in 65 acres of beautiful parkland, opposite the University of Reading, offers GCSE students the opportunity to choose from a broad range of 26 subjects. In addition, Leighton Park also offers a rigorous one-year Pre-Sixth Form course primarily for international students seeking an intensive programme of study prior to Sixth Form.

Students currently in Year 9 and their families are welcome to find out more about the GCSE or Pre-Sixth Form courses at Leighton Park at the school’s annual open morning on Saturday 29th September 2018, 10am–12pm. Book online at www.leightonpark.com/visitus

Leighton Park School Independent Berkshire A Level Excellence at Leighton Park School

Recognised as the top school in Berkshire and in the top 40 nationally by Government’s new league tables for Sixth Form progress, Leighton Park staff

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and students already had cause to celebrate the success of their Sixth Form education. Even so, it was a delight to see so many smiling faces on the Park today as excited students grabbed their brollies and braved the downpours to collect their A Level results.

Head of Sixth Form, Helen Taylor, remarked, “The increase in our percentage of A*-B grades to 61.7% this year is excellent news. It is testament to the quality of teaching for the new linear A Levels, and the hard work and application of our students who met and exceeded the grades required by their Russell Group Universities.”

Deputy Head (Academic), Karen Gracie-Langrick, commented, “In contrast to many schools, we encourage students to study four AS Levels in the Lower Sixth. It is excellent preparation for their full A Levels, offering a secure measure of rigorous academic performance, and it maintains greater breadth of subjects for as long as possible. Indeed, several of our students enjoy their AS Level subjects so much, they go on to do four full A Levels.”

One such high achiever was Jonty Hyde, who took four A Levels (A*AAB) and was awarded a 7, the highest possible mark, in the Philosophy module of his International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Jonty, who has been heavily involved with supporting musical and dramatic performances throughout his time at Leighton Park, culminating in his role as Prefect and Head of Tech Crew, is looking forward to reading Film Studies at Warwick after a gap year in Japan. “I’m really pleased. Thankfully the results were what I was expecting and I am grateful to everyone for being so supportive whenever I needed it.” Karen Gracie-Langrick added, “We are looking forward to welcoming Jonty back for the opening of our new Music and Media Centre next term, which will have state of the art film production facilities supporting our BTEC in Creative Digital Media Production and exciting partnership with Pinewood Studios.”

Another example of the school’s strength in the Creative Arts is Rowan Taylor, who at 15 years old is the school’s youngest A Level candidate, achieving an A grade for her Creative Writing in Year 10. “I really wasn’t very good at writing before I joined Leighton Park, but the

teacher who ran the Creative Writing hobby was so encouraging and helpful; he really pushed me to do the AS Level last year and the A Level this year. I am so pleased I did!”

Cat Mulvihill, destined for the University of Sussex with her AAB grades in Geography, Psychology and English Literature, was delighted with her results, “Last night I was very, very scared and I didn’t think I’d do well at all; certainly not this well!”. Cat’s mum, Jane, was equally insomniac but proud as well as tired this morning, “I am relieved and very proud of her; she worked really hard, especially towards the end.”

The school was recognised for its excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) provision by the Education Business Awards in June, winning the ICT Facilities Award, sponsored by Fujitsu, and being shortlisted and highly commended for the STEM Award. The Community Education Awards, sponsored by Costa, awarded Leighton Park 2nd place in their STEM Innovation Awards, beating over 350 other schools. The achievements follow Intel and IT solutions specialists, XMA, awarding Leighton Park the latest Ripple Effect Prize, recognising schools at the forefront of using technology to support student learning. Such a STEM focus has clearly benefitted the students with impressive results in STEM subjects including Maths (73% A*-B), Design and Technology (86% A*-B) and Chemistry (73% A*-B).

Jack Bowes-Reynolds, who describes himself “a bit of a mad scientist!” also said, “I am pleased with my 3 A grades. I felt a little anxious this morning but I knew I’d done my best and I’m looking forward to studying Space Science at Leicester, which has a real specialism in the area. I’m most interested in how space technology is used and the different applications for it on earth. I’ll really miss the calm environment of Leighton Park.”

Seb Milhofer, one of the school’s STEM Ambassadors, helping to guide the direction of STEM and the student experience of science, is taking his 3 A* grades to read Maths at Bristol next year. “I’m happy with these results and looking forward to new experiences in Bristol. I’ve enjoyed life at Leighton Park and will miss the people.” he commented.

Another of Leighton Park’s STEM Ambassadors, Olly Nicholls, whose 3 A grades in Chemistry, Maths and Physics have secured him a place at Bath to read Physics, is feeling relieved, “It’s nice to have it all over,” he commented, “You have to work hard and motivate yourself in the Sixth Form. I did work hard; what you put in, you get out.” Henry Middleton also gained 3 A grades in the sciences and is taking a gap year to travel Asia and focus on his ABRSM Diploma having already earned a Grade 8 for his oboe talents before studying Civil Engineering at Edinburgh University. Other accomplished musicians in the 2018 cohort include Ravi Nathwani who with his 3 A grades in Geography, Maths and Music will be studying Classical Guitar at The Royal Northern College of Music. Delighted Director of Music, Rosemary Scales, commented, “We are extremely proud of Ravi and we know that he is going to thrive studying at one of the country’s top music conservatoires.”

Photo: Henry Middleton (AAA), Seb Milhofer (A*A*A*) and Olly Nicholls (AAA)

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

#LP Girls’ Can

The girls of Leighton Park ran, kicked, batted, bowled, shot, stretched and jumped their way through last week as the inaugural festival of

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girls’ sport sprang into action!

With almost twenty different activities planned between Monday 11th and Friday 15th June  female students, staff and parents were invited to get involved with a wide variety of sports, ranging from Gaelic Football to Parkour; Boxercise to Cricket.

The five day celebration of sport, which builds on the national initiative to increase activity in young women through Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, began on Monday with a step challenge culminating in a 1K, 3K or 5K Race for Life. The race raised money for Cancer Research and brought together friends and family dressed in pink from across the Leighton Park community for a sprint, a wander and everything in between, around the beautiful 65 acre site.

For many, the highlight of the week was an inspirational visit from Svava Sigbersdottir, personal trainer to celebrities such as Amanda Holden and Nicole Sherzinger. Svava put each year group from Year 7 to Year 10 through their paces before inflicting her infamous ‘Viking Method’ on some of the staff, during their lunch break. “I can really feel my muscles today,” laughed recovering English teacher, Leana Mikula, “I wasn’t expecting to, as I work out pretty regularly, but I can definitely feel it.” Svava’s training focusses on a positive approach to mental as well as physical health and she shared anecdotes from her past which illustrated her approach. Determination, having fun and doing your best, in spite of other people’s comments or criticisms, were the messages conveyed to her entranced audience during the Q&A sessions on the sunny Headmaster’s Lawn.

There were trips off site for daring feats of Parkour at Sol Joel Park in Reading and the London Schools’ Gaelic Football Tournament in Greenford on Tuesday. The tournament kicked off, quite literally, with a skills session in the morning where the girls

learnt how to hand pass, run with the ball, defend and score. After lunch the team really began to find their feet and, building on their natural co-ordination and sporting instincts, rapidly developed a talent for the game. The girls were delighted to finish the tournament in second place. “I had a great time trying out Gaelic football,” commented Emily (Year 10), “We were able to learn something new as well as apply skills from different sports in the tournament.” Continuing to combine sport and travel, Wednesday saw a minibus full of enthusiastic footballers heading to Independent Schools’ Football Association (ISFA) Girls U15 7-a-side tournament at ACS Cobham School. Competing for the first time the team played valiantly against some strong sides from schools including Repton, Royal Russell, Millfield and ACS Cobham. They returned full of enthusiasm for the game, “Let’s hope it the first of many Girls’ Football Tournaments!” commented Head of Football, Tim Green.

It was equally busy on the Park with the school hosting a Cricket Festival for Maiden Erlegh, Pangbourne College and The Holt as well as Leighton Park students on Tuesday. The Festival offered plenty of fortuitously timed training as we hosted our very first girls’ hardball cricket match against The Abbey on Thursday, which we won! Looking forward to the autumn term, we were pleased to welcome the Nomads, a rugby squad famous for their touring, to coach a session of Girls’ Rugby on Thursday afternoon, offering an insight into the training commitments of those playing at professional level.

Jez Belas, Director of Sport, reflected on the success of the week: “When I sat with two of our Year 10 students, Nic and Ellie, at the beginning of this year and this was just an idea, I never thought it would be this great a week. It has truly inspired me and I hope it has inspired all the girls, even those who wouldn’t normally consider themselves to be sporty. The girls have been awesome this week. It’s been filled with staff and students playing top level sport, enjoying fun activities, taking part in fitness sessions, in depth talks, hosting other schools… the list goes on.”

Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head (Academic) added, “I loved watching all the girls playing cricket on the 1st XI pitch – and yes, in their whites! A truly inspirational and fantastically well co-ordinated week. I am definitely looking forward to a repeat next year!”

Image: Parkour


Leighton Park Independent Berkshire New GCSE Subjects at Leighton Park School

With the school’s aim of providing an inspiring, holistic education for each individual, Leighton Park School’s Deputy Head (Academic), Karen Gracie-Langrick, is delighted to announce

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three new GCSE options to offer Year 10 students even more choice from September 2018.

We are pleased to offer a new GCSE in Dance, further enhancing our strong creative arts offering and complementing our investment in performing arts through the development of the Michael Malnick Centre for music and media. The school is making investments to support this new option, recruiting a dance teacher and creating a new dance studio. These investments will also enable exciting new dance options as part of our expansive co-curricular programme.

Reflecting the school’s strength in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), we will be launching a new GCSE in Engineering. Drawing on expertise in Maths and DT, this subject will explore materials, manufacturing processes and systems. It will also build on our strong industry partnerships with companies like Cisco and Intel and our close relationship with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). The school is investing in STEM facilities, including the creation of a STEM creative studio, sponsored in part by HP, to support the growth in relevance and popularity of DT, Computer Science and Engineering.

Leighton Park will also offer a new GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition, which will focus on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition. This exciting new option will make the most of our fantastic food technology centre, link closely with the school’s PE GCSE and support our Advanced Performer Programme (APP) for elite athletes.

Further details can be found in our GCSE booklet at https://www.leightonpark.com/academic/senior-school

Leighton Park independent day and boarding school Berkshire

A Leighton Park student, who is the current U16 1000m kayak UK champion and on the GB Olympic pathway, has been awarded a prestigious Squadkit

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Scholarship for her amazing achievements in kayaking.

Olympic gold medalist and GB Hockey team member, Kate Richardson-Walsh, came to Leighton Park to present Kate with her award. She graciously took the time to deliver a seminar to students in Leighton Park’s Advanced Performer Programme and ran a hockey masterclass with some of the school’s top hockey players.

Kate applied for the Squadkit Scholarship along with several other elite athletes on Leighton Park’s Advanced Performer Programme. Kate is one of only five students in the country to be granted one. Squadkit is committed to supporting the next generation in sports, and the sponsorship goes a long way to helping Kate achieve her goals and get ever closer towards her Olympic aspirations. Providing tangible support that also motivates and engages students and their peers.

Kate said:

“I feel so honoured to have received this award and am so excited to see the opportunities this will open for me. I’m so thankful to Squadkit”

Leighton Park’s Director of Sport, Jeremy Belas said:

“We are very proud of Kate and her achievements in kayaking. She is a thoroughly deserved winner of the Squadkit scholarship and will put the money to good use on her journey to greatness in her sport. This is a big positive for the school, sport and the Advanced Performer Programme and all the students involved in the sessions with Kate Richardson-Walsh have had a truly inspirational experience.”

Kate Richardson-Walsh, Squadkit Performance Director said: “It’s great to see Squadkit support young athletes with the Squadkit Scholarship at the time when they need it the most. I feel lucky to be able to visit schools across the country as Squadkit Performance Director hoping to inspire the next generation and always come away inspired by the young people I meet, who like Kate have so much passion and dedication for their sport. I wish Kate every success in achieving her goals and look forward to following her sporting progress.

It was my honour and pleasure to present Kate with one of the Squadkit Scholarships. With only 5 scholarships awarded each year, this represents the enormity of Kate’s achievements to date. Kate is dedicating her life to being the best kayaker she can be whilst juggling her academic life alongside. Representing her country at junior levels, her progress to seniors is both steady and assured. We all look forward to supporting Kate in any way we can.”


Leighton Park independent school Berkshire

Following months of successfully contested heats, Saturday 20th January 2018 saw Leighton Park School’s Giacomo (Johnny) (Year 10) at The NEC in Birmingham for The

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Open Mic UK Grand Final.

Having made it through local, area and regional heats with renditions of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Come Together, reggae style, with a rock version of U2’s ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’, Johnny’s performance of his own composition, ‘Come Back Home’ won him fourth place from an appreciative crowd. “I’m a very proud papa” commented dad, Richard. “I write all the time so I thought I would perform one of my own songs in the final. I knew the judges were looking for originality.” explained Johnny, “I wasn’t expecting that much out of it as I’ve never entered a competition like this before but I won the song writing competition with ‘Never Let You Go’ and I made it to the finals for my age group in the singing.”

The competition, which has been running since September 2017, aims to encourage new talent and recognises young singer / songwriters who can enter by age category. Over 3,500 hopefuls entered the Under 16s group and Johnny’s musical skills took him to the Grand Final as one of the best contestants in his category.

Johnny began his musical journey at the age of eight when he joined the choir at St George’s, the prep school that prepares choristers for St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. From his role as Head Chorister in 2015, Johnny launched a Sussex based three-strong rock / pop band called Paper Machete who are currently working on their first album with plans to tour a number of London venues in the summer holidays. Influenced by musicians as diverse as Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones, Johnny feels that he is destined for a career in entertainment. “The NEC was so cool; what I want to do is to perform and sing all the time. It’s exhilarating standing on stage. I don’t get nervous because I love it so much and it’s what I want to do. I wouldn’t see this as work at all, it’s just having a good time on stage.”

In addition to members of the public and the judging panel, the audience included A&R representatives from famous record labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Syco. Part of Johnny’s prize is a meeting with a management company with a view to boosting his exposure on the music scene. Those lucky enough to perform at this national level may well be forging their musical future lives on stage, even before they have left school.

Johnny’s talents have also secured him this year’s lead in the Leighton Park School’s Senior Production, ‘Parade’ by Alfred Uhry. The production which is taking place 6th-9th February packs a punch, with many songs in different styles telling the story of a Jewish factory manager framed for murder. Johnny and the cast have been working hard since the autumn term in putting together a fantastic show. If you have yet to book your tickets to the show, you can do so at http://bit.ly/ParadeLP2018

Johnny in rehearsal for Parade

Johnny on the stage for Open Mic UK


Leighton Park independent school Berkshire

Leighton Park School is delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Judd as Head from 1st September 2018.

Matthew comes to the school with a very

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impressive track record of success from Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, where he is Second Master (equivalent to Deputy Head) and Executive Head of the preparatory school. He has been instrumental in driving academic standards whilst bringing greater focus on values education and personalised learning. Haberdashers’ Aske’s School is one of the UK’s leading independent schools and won Sunday Times Independent School of the Year in 2017.

Prior to this, Matthew was Principal of Mander Portman Woodward College – an independent co-educational school. He is a Geography graduate of the University of Wales and qualified in education at Queens’ College, Cambridge.

Matthew said: “I am thrilled to be joining Leighton Park School as Head to lead the amazing community with its exceptional commitment to the holistic education of young individuals. Never have Quaker principles for a mindful and reflective education been more important. I am proud to be joining a School dedicated to bringing out the best in young people in their academic and co-curricular lives, at school and beyond”

Matthew also brings valuable experience from his role as a Trustee, and latterly Chair, of Education Action International. Matthew has demonstrated a strong affinity for the School’s Quaker values and was strongly motivated in applying for the role after visiting the School as an ISI inspector. He will live on the park with his partner Ian.

David Isherwood, Chair of Governors, said: “I am confident that Matthew is the right person to lead and shape the School through its next phase. He has achieved excellent results over a sustained period at his previous school and will have a superb foundation to build on at Leighton Park. The school is remarkable because of the huge commitment of its staff, the wonderful sense of calm and the impressive way that it inspires each student to succeed as themselves.”


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