St Aldhelm's Academy

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St Aldhelm's Academy
Type Academy
Religion Church of England
Principal Sian Thomas [1]
Location Herbert Avenue
BH12 4HS
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DfE URN 136206 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 504
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses 3

St Aldhelm's Academy (formerly Rossmore Community College and Martin Kemp-Welch School)[2] is a coeducational academy school serving the Rossmore, Parkstone, Newtown, Wallisdown and Alderney areas of Poole, England.

School history

The school opened in October 1938 as Kemp-Welch Senior Council School and taught boys and girls in two different departments—the boys were housed in the west side of the building, while the girls were housed in the east. This was typical for a school of its time and there was a 'quad' in the middle of the school which divided the two schools.

The school became a secondary modern after the Second World War and expanded rapidly in 1963 to house 600 students in both schools. An East Block was built onto the girls' school, housing additional classrooms, art rooms and a music room. The West Block was built across the boys' playground and housed classrooms, science labs and the boys' music room. Prior to this, new workshops and kitchens had been built. The boys' gym was built onto the rear of the boys' half of the main block (now the technology block) and the girls' gym was built on the school field and is now part of the leisure centre.

In 1974 the two schools merged to form one large school and the age was changed from 11–16 to 12–16. Not a great deal changed at the school over the next 15 years and the school fell into a state of disrepair. Pupil numbers dropped in the 1980s and 1990s leaving the school with empty classrooms. The leisure centre first opened onto the former girls' gym in 1992 and the second phase opened in 1998. In 1994 the school opened its sixth form. Despite this, the school was being seen as a 'rough school' with many parents in the local area sending their children to other schools.[citation needed] In 1999 only half of the children from Branksome Heath Middle School (largest in catchment) went to Kemp-Welch with the remainder going to either Poole or Parkstone Grammar School, Poole High or St Edwards Schools.

In 2000 the school was put into 'special measures' by Ofsted and the school aimed to improve itself in time for its next Ofsted visit or face closure. The school changed its name to Rossmore Community College and underwent a major building program to reinvent itself.

In September 2003 the school became a Sports College, one of two in Poole.

On 1 September 2010, the school opened as St. Aldhelms Academy under the new Academies Act 2010.[3]

In 2012 the school became notable for having achieved the worst GCSE results in England and being scammed out of one million pounds.[4] [5] The Schools then head Cheryl Heron was no stranger to her schools being scammed as her previous school Bridgemary was conned in a charity golf day [6] The Academy is not connected to the nearby Bishop Aldhelm's Primary School.

In 2013, the school's new £9.8 million new buildings opened.[7]

In February 2015 the school was forced to close for a few days when half the staff were off sick. [8]

On 20 March 2015 it was claimed in the Independent that one of the problems was building work that took place in Ms. Heron's term in charge 2013, where the buildings were designed for up to 5 classes in an open plan classroom at once. [9] Ms. Heron is no stranger to Educational controversy and a number of other ideas she chose to implement or try and implement never made the mainstream either. For example at Bridgemary Community School she had a flexible day for poor attenders, according to Sky news she devised this plan herself [10] At the same time she introduced ability rather than age classes where an 11-year-old could find themselves in the same class as a 16-year-old. [11]

On 1 June 2015, the school's new sponsor, Ambitions Academdies Trust will take over the running and management of the academy. [12]

Leisure centre

Rossmore Leisure Centre is located next to the school. This facility is used for Physical Education lessons, and is also open to the public. It comprises a sports hall, gym, fitness suite and a swimming pool, and is adjoined by a sports field and tennis courts.

The original Leisure Centre was built in 1992 onto the sports block and included the gym, sports hall, fitness studio and a new canteen for the school (used for parties for the public). In 1998 the centre was extended further with a new swimming pool (the Herbert Ballam pool), new fitness studio (the old studio became a bar) and a gymnastics hall which has trained Olympic contestants. The centre was original Kemp-Welch Leisure Centre, but became Rossmore Leisure Centre in January 2003.

Notable former pupils


External links