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Denmark Road High School

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A great start to 2020! - Denmark Road High School ‘South West School of the Year 2020'  

Denmark Road High School named as the Southwest School of the Year 2020 by the Sunday Times school guide Parent Power Recognising our increase in A Level and GCSE results

The award recognises the outstanding achievements of Denmark Road High School's students in their GCSE and A Level examinations this summer.  Headteacher Claire Giblin said "Denmark Road High School achieves excellence not by focussing on outcomes but through a holistic approach to education, by striving for 'Nothing Less than Positive Progress and Well-being for all'.  Our school ethos is underpinned by developing resilient lifelong learners and future leaders.  Our rapid improvement in results has reflected our shift in teaching philosophy to focus on metacognition and thinking hard approaches.  Denmark Road students are in charge of their learning, resilient to set backs and are sophisticated critical thinkers.  This gives them the platform for success inside, outside and beyond the classroom.  I thank them for their pursuance of personal and collective excellence."

Denmark Road High School has been named the Sunday Times Southwest State Secondary School of the Year in their Schools Guide, Parent Power.   The 2020 edition of Parent Power, widely regarded as the most authoritative survey of the country’s best schools, was published on 24th November 2019.   The award recognises the outstanding achievements of Denmark Road High School’s students in their GCSE and A Level examinations this summer.   

Denmark Road High School’s shared goal is ‘Nothing Less than Positive Progress and Wellbeing for all’.  The school’s ethos is underpinned by developing resilient lifelong learners and future leaders.  Claire Giblin, said: “Our rapid improvement in results has reflected our shift in teaching philosophy to focus on metacognition and thinking hard approaches. Denmark Road students are in charge of their learning, resilient to set backs and are sophisticated critical thinkers.  This gives them the platform for success inside, outside and beyond the classroom”.

The school takes a holistic approach to education.  Claire Giblin, said: “Our outstanding academic results are complemented by a varied and exciting curriculum.  We are really proud of the vibrant and diverse range of opportunities open to our students.”  The most visible aspect of this is the extra-curricular    opportunities    offered    to    the  students through the school’s ‘Invest’ package.  Claire Giblin said “This is the area of the school that gives me, and our whole school community, the most pride.  We are DenmarkRoad365.  To pick from too many, in computing for example, in the last year we’ve had a student travel to the USA to represent us as a UK Microsoft Champion and our amazing girls team qualified for the UK finals of CyberFirst.  In sport we continue to punch above our weight, including leading the way in girls’ cricket with our team making the national finals at Lords this year.” 

The school launched their ‘Future Proof’ initiative last year.  Embedded throughout all seven years of the curriculum it focusses on developing learners for their next steps at university, apprenticeships and the world of work.  It includes bespoke programmes tailored to supporting those considering careers in medicine or law.  “The success of those students aspiring to those careers is hardly a surprise” Claire Giblin noted “when you see the hard work, support and opportunities that are put in place by our committed team.”

February 2020 : Another Celebration!

The Government published their KS4 Pupil Progress data for all schools.  These are used in their 'league tables' to allow parents to compare school performance. 

We are delighted that these results have placed us as the number one school in Gloucestershire for pupil progress.   Last year, our Year 11 students achieved a Progress 8 score of +0.90.  This means they achieved nearly one whole grade higher at Denmark Road than students of a similar ability nationally.  Denmark Road was ranked 89th in the country for Pupil Progress from 6274 schools.  The school progress data can be seen at the Compare School Performance government website:   

Our headteacher Claire Giblin acknowledged this sensational achievement:  "It is fantastic that the unbelievable work of our students, staff and school community have been recognised with these latest league tables.  We are rightly proud of our outstanding headline figures however, our school priority remains ‘positive progress and well-being for all’.  It is great to see this celebrated here.  We will never accept any of our students holding back in anything they do.  We are creating strong-minded independent young people at Denmark Road.  They make amongst the best progress academically in the country here while also developing as individuals and leaders who stand out in a crowd, know who they are and know who they will be.

This has already been a remarkable year.  Starting with record breaking results last summer across A Level and GCSE.  We moved into our new Sixth Form Centre this September and were announced in January as the Sunday Times Southwest State School of the Year.  Now we have been recognised as the top performing secondary school in Gloucestershire.  I am looking forward to the rest of the year already!"

Well done Girls!

We won!! Congratulations girls, you are National Maths Champions. We had a great day in London! Very proud of your outstanding problem solving and teamwork skills! #TeamMaths #proudteacher

Well done girls for becoming Young National Mathematician’s Award Finalists 2020. The team of 4 entered the regional stage of the competition in January at Gloucester Explore Learning centre. They showed exceptional teamwork, reasoning and communication skills to solve mathematical problems given to them. They are 1 of 5 teams selected for the national final held at the Natural History museum in London in 2 weeks time. An amazing achievement! #proudteachers #TeamMaths



Monica Sims, (Denmark Road High School 1936-1943), has left the school £20,000 and the PTA a further £20,000. Monica passed away in November 2018 at the age of 93.
She forged pathways for women in the media and senior management. In a career at the BBC spanning 40 years she was changed the face of broadcasting for women and children as editor of Woman's Hour and later the head of children's television. She was the most senior woman in the BBC when she retired as controller of Radio 4 in 1983.

As we celebrate the achievements of women across the world today for International Women's Day, our Headteacher Claire Giblin takes a moment to remember one of our own.

Story Link:


Showcase - Singin' in the Rain

See the cast and more photos here.

Corona Virus Lockdown - March 2020

  • All schools shut for students from Friday 20 March 2020 except vulnerable students or those of key workers.  Remote learning in placed.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson started lockdown on the evening of 23rd March 2020
  • On the 5th April he was admitted to hospital after 10 days self isolating with the Corona Virus 
  • On the 6th April he is in intensive care with deteriorating symptoms 
  • The Queen addressed the nation at 8.00 pm on 5th April
  • Excel now known as NHS Nightingale and will be a hospital for up to 4,000 patients, most of whom are on ventilators. Similar venues being used in cities across the country. Opened by Prince Charles at 11am on 3rd April
  • Community support groups established, to support the vulnerable, elderly, immunocompromised and people in enforced isolation due to exposure, in their community
  • Petrol price close to home was £1.02
  • Self-distancing measures required - tape on the floors at grocery stores  and others to help distance shoppers  (2 metres) from each others.
  • Limited number of people inside stores, therefore, queues outside the store doors
  • Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed; people who can work from home
  • Parks closed or restricted to locals.
  • Entire sports seasons cancelled.
  • Olympics postponed to 2021. 
  • Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events cancelled
  • Weddings,  family celebrations, holidays and even funerals cancelled
  • No mass gatherings, churches are closed
  • Don't socialise with anyone outside of your home
  • Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and all other TV networks are on in every home daily now
  • Shortage of masks gowns gloves for our front-line workers.
  • Clap for front-line workers and NHS on doorsteps every Thursday at 8.00 pm.
  • Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill in many parts of the world.
  • Panic buying sets in and we have limits on toilet paper disinfecting supplies, paper towels, staple foods hand sanitiser.
  • Manufacturers distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks hand sanitiser and PPE
  • Fines are established for breaking lockdown rules
  • Press conferences daily from the PM and other government officials. Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths.
  • Captain Tom Moore (who served in WW2) walked around his garden to raise money for the NHS just before his 100th birthday.  He started out wanting to raise £1000, he ended up raising just over £30,000,000.  On his 100th birthday the Queen made him an honorary Colonel and he had a spitfire fly-past.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, having recovered from corona virus, on Sunday 10 May announced a new system that will help the government decide how tough social-distancing measures should be:

  • Level five (red) - a "material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed" - extremely strict social distancing
  • Level four - a high or rising level of transmission - enforced social distancing
  • Level three - the virus is in general circulation - social distancing relaxed
  • Level two - the number of cases and transmission are low - minimal social distancing
  • Level one (green) - Covid-19 is no longer present in the UK - no social distancing.

As of 15 May we are on Level 4 with debates currently on-going as to whether schools will re-open after half-term on 1st June.


The school ran a mini DRHS for key workers' children, up to the end of term on 10 July.  Staff came into school on a rota system.  All other staff worked from home.  Students received lessons online.

Year 10 and 12 were able to come in for a day per tutor group to see their teachers and tutors.

Year 7 had a virtual Welcome Evening and prospective students had a virtual open morning.

Year 12 took part in a virtual Induction Day and a Q&A session was held.


Farewell from all staff

Staff met this morning, our last day after a busy week planning for September reopening.  We miss you and can’t wait to see you on results days and in September. Here is a little message from us here


Staff leavers

Mrs Dixon

Mrs Dixon joined our school 4 years ago as a newly qualified teacher. During her time with us she has perfected her classroom craft, she is an exceptional teacher with true interest in the development of her students. This commitment to student progress led her to take on the role of Progress & Wellbeing Coordinator Year 11, she took great pride in celebrating her students achievements and in supporting their wellbeing. Mrs Dixon is relocating to Suffolk following her recent marriage. We wish her every success and happiness in the future.

Phil Scott

Mr Scott has worked at our school for 11 years, during which he has ably lead the Biology Department. Mr Scott is an expert in his field and brings his knowledge and enthusiasm for Biology to the classroom. He has much improved the department during his time with us, increasing exam results at A Level for three consecutive years. He is a much-loved tutor. Mr Scott leaves us to take on the post of Subject Leader at Stroud High School. We wish him well in his future career.

Mrs Hoare

Mrs Hoare leaves us after 22 years of service to pursue a new business opportunity. Her knowledge of Biology is excellent, passing this on to students in her care who have gone on to excel in science related careers. She is highly organised and known for her high expectations of students. She is also an amazing tutor, genuinely interested in each in her group. Thank you for your service. We wish you well in the future.

Mrs Latham

Also here at Denmark Road for 22 years, Mrs Latham is leaving the Chemistry department. As commented by Miss Spragg in her speech Mrs Latham has the most amazing brain, she is also a very sincere and kind person who has shown much care for students, tutees and staff. We also have her to thank for impromptu testing of the evacuation procedures as on occasion her sugar burning experiments have gone a bit out of control! Sadly for Mrs Latham Covid has prevented her immediate travel plans, but great news for us she will be teaching some Maths and Computing here in September. So leaving, but not left yet!

Ms James

After 24 years of service at Denmark Road High School and 40 years as a serving teacher, Ms James is retiring from the profession. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of literature which she has used to train the minds of students of English during her career with us.  Ms James’ wealth of experience has enabled the many students in her classes to gain the highest grades at GCSE and A Level. We wish her well in her retirement.

Ms James teaching English.


Staff new to the school or with new roles at the school

We are fortunate to have replaced the wealth of talent above with equally impressive individuals who join us in September.


Philip Smith – Joins the school as Associate senior Leader of English & Drama. Mr Smith is relocating to the UK following a successful period leading English & Media at an International School in Brussels. His plans for the English department are exciting. Our students will love his teaching and the new direction for the subject.

Holly Kowalewski – Relocating from Nottingham to the area, Mrs Kowalewski joins us as Associate Senior Leader. Her role will focus on Student Leadership, Oracy and developing partnerships, particularly with local primary schools. Having completed both a degree and an MA, her subject specialism is English.


Lucy Skelding – Miss Skelding completed her teacher training with us last year. She is an impressive teacher who demonstrated wonderful pastoral skills on our school ski trip in February. We welcome her as PE teacher.


Alan Shipman – As the popularity of Maths continues to rise at Denmark Road High School we have need for an additional teacher. Mr Shipman joins the Maths department having impressed us with his teaching at interview.


Andrew Niven – Mr Niven joins us as Associate Senior Leader Science and STEM, his role will be to lead Chemistry as subject lead and the curriculum area of Science & PE. An experienced chemistry teacher, he worked in industry prior to joining the profession.

Julia Scott  - Dr Scott is our new Subject Leader for Biology. An experienced subject leader, Dr Scott joins us after living and teaching in Surrey. With a BSc in Immunology and a PhD in Medical Parasitology she will be a font of knowledge for students aspiring to medical and health fields.

Justin Mace – Mr Mace joins us as teacher of Biology. An experienced teacher of Biology with a degree in Applied Zoology. At interview it was clear his values were aligned with those of Denmark Road, particularly when we discussed the children’s story he has written.


Katie Kanjere – Will join the Languages curriculum area as teacher of German, enabling us to make our change to our Year 7 offer where students will now study two languages from entry. An experienced linguist with French as her second language.


Lucy Bullock -  Joins us as teacher of History & Politics. Miss Bullock is an experienced teacher with an MA in Twentieth Century History. Her Specialist areas include social and cultural modern European History and British Political History. She has completed two dissertations on Holocaust memorials and the Vietnam War. At interview her classroom craft was both exciting and challenging.

Charles Balfour – will cover for Mrs Slatter in Geography as she continues her maternity leave.

New Progress & Wellbeing Coordinator

Mr Bazac – Congratulations to Mr Bazac who has been appointed as PWC for Year 9. He has impressed us as tutor this year, we are looking forward to seeing this enthusiasm for positive mindset and wellbeing support our year 9 students.

Mrs Simpson – Her role as PWC will continue, taking her year groups through to Years 10 & 11.


Year 13 Leavers – a song for us all

It is tradition for Year 13 musicians who are leaving to perform a song at the Leavers’ Concert. Whilst the concert did not take place this year, we are pleased they went ahead and recorded this wonderful song for us.

DRHS Year 13 Leavers

The leavers of 2020 have been outstanding throughout their time at DRHS. There are so many creative students, who were always keen to be part of the music department activities and were stalwart members of many co-curricular groups. 

We will remember you for: Year 7-9 class music ensembles, TACA (Music for Youth) to individual success in music examinations, being in the school shows and leading and inspiring musicians further down the school e.g. House Music, performances in assembly, Carol Service, Chamber choir, as well as great fun in GCSE and A-level Music lessons!!

To ALL of you who have played any part in the Music department – THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.  We have so enjoyed watching you develop and grow in confidence.  May Music be with you always, it makes the world a better place!  Good luck in your next adventure.  Wherever you go, remember this quote from Ella Fitzgerald “Music is the universal language….it brings people closer together”.

Mrs Bowman, Mrs Day and Mrs Warner


September 2020

Over the summer there was a huge amount of work done around the site.  The Sixth form now have a wonderful deck.

The new academic year started on Wednesday 2 September for Years 7 and 12.  On Thursday 3 September  Year 8 and 9 joined them and finally on Friday 4 September Year 7 and Year 13 started.

There were new rules and the school had a one-way system.  


Miss Giblin sent this message out to all parents:

We are excited to be back.

Denmark Road has improved, not diminished.

Learning continues.


A new section was added to the website:

DRHS September 2020: The Same But Different

This held all the information parents and students required.


The Year 12 Welcome Evening was held via a virtual meeting and all Excellence Evenings were held via video link using the new Parents Evening software.  Year group assemblies are held via video.

The school held five on-site, socially distanced, open evenings and one open morning meeting the Government guidelines, which included virtual meetings with Miss Giblin.  

Link to virtual tour.

Year 7 had their first trip of the year with a visit to Croft Farm.

Honours Evening was presented virtually via year group assemblies with successful students receiving their certificates and Honour Badges via their tutor.

The CEM testing was put back a month from its normal time to 17 October and it was held over a whole day to socially distance all the students.

The country went into National Lockdown 2 from midnight on Wednesday 4 November until Wednesday 2 December.  We were told:

1.  Stay at home, except for specific purposes.                                                                                          

2. Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.                                     

3. Close certain non-essential businesses and venues.

These new measures will reduce the growth rate of the virus, which will:

  • prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed
  • ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open
  • ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work.

DRHS celebrated Children in Need in November with two year groups out (Year 9 and 11) who were self-isolating due to covid cases in both years.  Students and staff raised over £600 by wearing non-uniform.

Sadly no Christmas Carol Concert, Christmas lunch or Christmas Fayre this year.

Students, teachers and staff enjoyed a free lunch due to donations from parents on the last day of term, Thursday 17 December.  They enjoyed delicious chicken naan wraps, garlic roast potatoes and a salad for lunch.  



Sadly 2021 started with Lockdown 3 which meant that from Tuesday 5 January schools were only open to vulnerable and key worker students.

On Thursday 21 January a virtual Sixth Form Open Evening was held.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on 27 January that schools in England will not be able to open after the half-term break in February, but could begin to return from 8 March.

On Monday 22 February Boris Johnson announced the roadmap for the lifting of Lockdown 3:

Stage one is in two parts:

8 March

  • All schools and colleges will reopen
  • University students can return for practical courses. There will be a review by the end of the Easter holidays for all other students
  • Face coverings are recommended in class for secondary school students and also for parents and staff in primary schools


29 March

  • People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the "rule of six", including in private gardens
  • The stay at home rule will end, but the government will urge people to stay local as much as possible
  • Outdoor sport facilities will reopen, including golf courses and tennis and basketball courts
  • Formally organised outdoor sports can also restart
  • Parents and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work
  • Weddings attended by up to six people can take place in any circumstances

Stage two

No earlier than 12 April:

  • All shops allowed to open
  • Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol
  • Gyms and spas can reopen for individuals and households
  • Hairdressers, beauty salons and other "close contact services" can reopen
  • UK domestic holidays away from home permitted, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household
  • Children allowed to attend indoor play activities, with up to 15 parents or guardians allowed to join them
  • Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen
  • Libraries and community centres can reopen
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place

Stage three

No earlier than 17 May:

  • People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
  • Six people or two households can meet indoors
  • Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors
  • Up to 30 people can meet to celebrate weddings or other life events, like christenings
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children's play areas can open
  • Performances and large events will be subject to limits though. For indoor events they can be at half capacity or 1,000 people, and outdoors they can be at half capacity or 4,000 people - whichever is lower. For large venues (at least 40,000 capacity) up to 10,000 will be allowed to attend
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen
  • International leisure travel will resume no earlier than 17 May
  • Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can start up again

Stage four

No earlier than 21 June:

  • All legal limits on social contact will be removed
  • No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events. From April, the government will run pilots for events such as large weddings, festivals and work conferences. This will help to determine how measures such as enhanced testing might allow large groups to attend without social distancing
  • Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen