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Areas, subjects and staircases zing through the entire colour spectrum (pupils must travel to end of the rainbow and back several times a day). Even the displays coordinate with the paintwork. Instead of super selectivity, takes students from across the ability range. ‘Far more professionally satisfying to see a student come in with moderate or even limited academic prowess and see them grow into someone who can do really well.’ Art is exciting as well as impressive – highlights on view included stunning A level project, inspired by 1970s slogans and street protests...

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Rowing

What The Good Schools Guide says

Headmaster

Since 2013, Mark Hudson MEd (50s). Previously senior deputy head and director of technology at top performing Thomas Telford School - joined in 1996 as director of technology, becoming deputy head two years later and senior deputy head in 2006. Before this, head of design and technology at Bishop Fox’s Community School in Taunton for 11 years, preceded by post as a DT teacher at St James’s High School in Exeter, after a year in the same role at Kingsfield School in Bristol.

An 11+ ‘failure’ (made grammar school for sixth form), he’s an articulate advocate for children at risk of being written off too early. Wants to offer ‘the very best of contemporary educational practice’ and overcome inertia that, he says, governs too much of what schools do. ‘I’d rather...

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Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

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