Lady Lumley’s School

Context and Ethos

Lady Lumley’s School is in the market town of Pickering, home of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.  The school has 878 students in Years 7–13 with 158 in the sixth form.

I became headteacher at Lady Lumley’s in September 2007 having been teaching since January 1983.  I have experience in a wide range of schools and I can honestly say that Lady Lumley's is the friendliest, most welcoming and most exciting school in which I've worked.  Obviously I have a vested interest in making the school sound as special as possible, but this really is a wonderful school.

Because of its location and reputation, it is probably one of the most genuinely comprehensive schools in the country. We take students from every background and every ability and produce a community where relationships are excellent, aspirations are high and almost every child succeeds. 

We work together to do the best for the students.  And when I say we, I mean every member of the school community.  Every member of staff is equally valued and we benefit massively from the excellent relations between teaching staff and support staff and the outstanding support we get from parents and carers and the governing body.

The school has impressive classroom facilities in a relatively unimpressive main building (late 1950s style).  Our computer-literate staff are able to use LCD projectors in every teaching room and we are keen on further developing e-learning through the Fronter learning portal. 

We were inspected in February 2016 (after a long five year’s wait!) and were deemed by the HMI to be, once again, a good school.  We see this as a fair assessment and know we have the capability and desire to be even better, not just in Ofsted’s opinion but in the opinions of all who deal with the school.

Lady Lumley’s is a High Performing School with specialisms in sports (second subject science) and languages.  The sports specialism has helped us get even better in a number of ways throughout the school, affecting every department and every student.  We were asked to take on a second specialism as part of our accreditation as a High Performing Specialist School and selected Modern Foreign Languages as a way of further enhancing the excellent teaching in the school and widening the global horizons of our students.  This has led to the school being awarded International School Status in September 2011.  In 2011 we were also recognised nationally for our excellence in Learning Outside the Classroom.  We view learning outside the classroom as a real opportunity for the students, through the Duke of Edinburgh awards, fieldwork and an extensive range of outdoor pursuits.

We are also an Enhanced Mainstream School, housing specialist staff who work with a cluster of 34 secondary and primary schools to ensure the best possible provision for students with specific learning difficulties in each of their schools.  We are expected to be a beacon of good practice in this area and this was recognised when the school was awarded the Dyslexia Quality Mark. 

Our students deserve the best teaching and the best support and we are committed to staff development as we know that highly trained, motivated and enthusiastic staff make the biggest impact on student progress.  We have excellent support staff who work hand-in-hand with teachers to promote student learning, either directly in the role of advanced teaching support or pastoral managers, or indirectly by the efficient administration of school systems.  We are really lucky that there is a genuine ‘one-staff’ ethos and the fact that students treat all the adults in the school with such respect.

The school’s motto is Lady Lumley’s Loves Learning.  Apart from the excellent alliteration, this sentence exemplifies the ethos of the school.  We will happily, and selectively, take on board new initiatives that we believe will enhance provision at the school and develop learning and we will happily share our expertise with others.  For instance, since September 2013 we have run the school on a 3 period day where each lesson is 100 minutes long, a change introduced to further enhance students’ learning.  As a genuinely student-centred school, and following all the research evidence, we teach the vast majority of our students in mixed ability classes (classes mixed by prior attainment).

Lady Lumley's is a very good school, a great place to work and is blessed with wonderful students. Thank you for reading this and please keep an eye on us - Lady Lumley's is an exciting place to be.


Richard Bramley
May 2017