Woodpecker
DARRICK WOOD SCHOOL
RESPECT | RESPONSIBILITY | HONESTY
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Welcome from the Head Teacher

Visitors to Darrick Wood School frequently comment on our pupils' excellent behaviour, their positive attitudes to each other, to their teachers and to their learning. They are also struck by the clean, well presented, modern facilities and the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities offered. Our results at GCSE and A level, designation as a Teaching School and numerous accolades and awards, such as the World Class School Quality Mark, provide further evidence of the School's excellent reputation. Our approach is encapsulated in what we call The Darrick Wood Way, which incorporates our core values of respect, responsibility and honesty, a vision for learning where everyone supports each other to achieve the best possible education. In short, and in accordance with the School’s motto, Revereor Vitam, we have a reverence for life. Click on the diagram below to find out more about each element of the Darrick Wood Way.

Dr M J Airey
Head Teacher

Our approach is encapsulated in what we call The Darrick Wood Way, which incorporates our core values of respect, responsibility and honesty, a vision for learning where everyone supports each other to achieve the best possible education. In short, and in accordance with the School’s motto, Revereor Vitam, we have a reverence for life.

As a School we have an uncompromising commitment to providing our learners with the best possible experiences of teaching and learning. As a staff we are determined to continually strive to improve our teaching expertise so that we can enable our learners to flourish. In pursuit of excellence in our profession we seek to learn from best practice. We have been inspired and enthused over the years by experts in the field of teaching and learning, we have sought out what is best in the practice of fellow professionals beyond our school and we are eager to learn from each other. We work with all learners entrusted to our care to give them the best possible education we can in order to launch them into their journey of life as well qualified and prepared as possible. This is our moral purpose. Imbued with this zeal, as a professional learning community we have debated and discussed what will allow this overriding goal to be achieved. We have agreed on the following pillars of learning as key to the creation of a world class centre of learning in the heart of the local community we serve. We aim to ensure that these pillars are integral to all the teaching and learning which is experienced at Darrick Wood as we believe they are central to achieving the vision for learning on which we are all agreed. Working together, we are united in helping this vision become a reality, continually striving to perfect what we do. This is the Darrick Wood Way. The descriptions for each pillar will continue to evolve as part of our journey towards a world class school. This is not the end but just the beginning.

Progress

Staff seek to enable all learners to grow, continually striving to develop their confidence, become increasingly adaptable, resilient and reflective. Their teaching enables learners to become well qualified for their chosen careers and are committed to lifelong learning.

Ownership

Staff create the conditions so that learners take responsibility for and shape the pathway of their own learning with the teacher acting as a facilitator. Staff empower learners to realise that there are no constraints as to when and where learning can occur.

Challenge

Staff set ambitious yet achievable goals which stretch and challenge all learners. Learners are encouraged to deepen their thinking, take risks and develop strategies to increase resilience.

Relationships

Staff create a positive and safe environment where all members of the School have mutual respect. The behaviour of learners is exemplary due to the high expectations instilled in them and respond positively to the School’s ethos of praise and reward.

Engagement

Staff use a range of strategies to create stimulating learning opportunities where learners demonstrate exceptional commitment. Teaching inspires learners to develop a thirst for knowledge beyond the classroom.

In 2010 students, parents and staff were asked to suggest which values they felt most represented Darrick Wood School. A list of 37 was whittled down to the three which were most popular or subsumed many of the others. Our values of respect, responsibility and honesty have been promoted across the whole school community ever since are vital constituents of what has become known as The Darrick Wood Way.

Respect

Respect includes respect for others, for oneself, for our surroundings and the environment.

Responsibility

Responsibility involves becoming more responsible in attitudes, taking on more responsibilities, accepting responsibility for actions and becoming responsible members of our School, local, national and global communities.

Honesty

Honesty involves being honest with others and with ourselves.

Our motto and logo originate from the earliest days of the School opening in the 1970s. To have a reverence or respect for life works as a basis for all we do at Darrick Wood on several levels. Walk around the School site in the early hours and you will hear the birds, including woodpeckers and almost certainly come across other woodland creatures such as squirrels and foxes. The School’s setting, on the edge of the London Borough of Bromley means it is surrounded not only by residential areas but also by woodlands and fields where the local wildlife, including the lesser spotted woodpecker thrive, but only if London’s Greenbelt land continues to be protected and we have a respect for life and the environment. It is said that the School’s first Head Teacher, Mr Turner, was keen to select the woodpecker as our logo since it was not only a reminder of the School’s setting but liked the idea that the woodpecker is an industrious bird that works hard to build its home. Working hard is something he felt was essential for educational success and we continue to emphasise this to this day. When Ofsted visited the School in 2019, the inspectors noted that our pupils are impeccably dressed and proud of their uniform.  Its distinctive colours certainly mean our pupils are noticed wherever they go and its origins have a 1970s feel (dark brown with ‘honey gold’). The important thing is not the colour, but the logo, the motto and the fact our students dress smartly and are proud of their school.

DWS Audio is a new short-form content service for young people in the Darrick Wood community…and beyond. We aim to offer the best in new music, drama and storytelling as well as a range of different podcasts and items relevant to the lives of teenagers and young people.

On a regular basis DWS Audio will premiere a variety of audio dramas and sketches featuring either a full cast or a just a single voice; transporting you to places that visual media cannot go. And because the action takes place inside your head the pictures are so much better!

Visit the DWS Audio website

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As a qualified teaching school, our real world experience and outstanding teaching practices provide high-quality training to any aspiring teachers.

Visit our Teaching School website