Under the leadership of headteacher Dr Josephine Valentine, St Clement Danes School continues to grow, thrive and lead the way in education. The school was named a High Performing Specialist School in 2008, specialising in Science and Modern Foreign Languages. Dr Valentine is a National Leader in Education which recognises headteachers who, together with the staff in their schools, use their skills and experience to support schools in challenging circumstances.
The school was granted Academy status in July 2011 which gives it more autonomy. In November 2011 St Clement Danes School was rated outstanding in every area by school inspectorate Ofsted. In 2013 the school was selected to become a teacher training school, leading 25 primary and secondary schools and seven universities in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire in delivering the best in teacher training, research and development, as well as supporting other schools.
Students leave school well equipped to excel in their chosen careers but face stiff competition for jobs with unemployment at an all-time high.
They remember the death of Princess Diana in a car crash in 1997, Labour’s Tony Blair becoming the youngest Prime Minister since 1812, the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York on 9/11/01, and Britain fighting alongside the USA against Afghanistan.
Mark Stewart (Burleigh) attended St Clement Danes School from September 1997 until July 2004. He recalls his time at school.
"The timetable changed many times when I was at SCD as I think they were trying out new logistical timings. I remember one year when registration was moved to the end of the day before home time to stop people skiving afternoon lessons. At one stage we had 17 minute periods, in either single, double or triple format. I had a wide range of lessons and took French and ICT GCSE early so ended up having to pick up more subjects in Year 11.
" I also looked forward to lunch and particlarly enjoyed getting in early to get first choice of burgers and then towards the end of lunch for a hot chocolate and a piece of shortbread."
"I played cricket and hockey for the school and remember getting my colours in assembly time. I always liked football but never really played as the 'bigger boys' were in charge of that. I always remember sports day, particularly sitting in the house 'pens' and watching the staff v sixth form race. The opening of astro turf was also memorable as we got to miss afternoon lessons and sit in the freezing cold watching the older students play football!
Litter duty was a popular punishment
"I don't really remember many disciplinary procedures as I was always very well behaved at school. There were yellow slips for misbehaviour in class. Litter duty at lunchtimes was another popular punishment."
Mr Stewart also recalls: "We had some computer rooms and it was always exciting when we got to undertake work in them. I also remember the amazement at seeing the CAD/CAM machine in DT (Design & Technology) which cut and engraved wood. Considering this was only 10-15 years ago, there was not a great deal else."
He adds: "The most enjoyable/life changing moment for me was the World Challenge Expedition to Ecuador in the summer of 2002. This trip changed my perception on the world and made me the physical person I am today. It inspired me to continue with my studies, go to University and earn enough money to travel the world. It was also my first time in a hammock!"
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