We are extremely pleased with the summer examination series results. Our students have achieved excellent grades that will see them into the next stage of their education and that reward them for their resilience and everyone involved should feel very proud of this.

Now we begin the new academic year at Cockburn. Another period of new learning, challenges and experiences that will shape the future of our students, parents/carers and staff. Nelson Mandella said that: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." I am confident that the school's 'Learning for Life' motto fits well with this and I believe that every Cockburn student has the potential to do just that.

Our growing reputation as a school that provides an exceptional level of service in first class facilities has led to an increasing number of parents applying for their child to join us.  The last academic year saw our highest number of applications with over 500 students applying for just 210 places. An excellent transition programme is strengthened by collaboration with our partner feeder schools from the Learning Trust (South Leeds) and beyond, ensuring that new students are ready for the challenges of high school life. We look forward to welcoming our new Year 7 students from September.

I am proud to be Headteacher of Cockburn School and to share with you our successes and the pride we have in our school and our students. Cockburn provides an excellent environment for children to develop as learners and to grow as individuals. In a world which places ever greater demands on young people, it is vitally important that the schools of the 21st Century provide a broad and rich education to prepare students for the challenges they will face in their lives. We are dedicated to blending academic excellence with a richness of opportunity beyond the classroom.  High standards of teaching combine with opportunities for independent study to create an intellectual curiosity in our students that stays with them for life.  A diverse and rigorous curriculum means we are constantly able to drive students to fulfil, if not exceed, their academic and intellectual potential.

To support our vision we emphasise the importance of promoting, celebrating and recognising achievement in all its many forms. We believe in the concept of partnership, working together with parents, governors and the community to ensure that every student fully participates in school life - supporting the school in its vision of offering the very best in educational opportunities.

Learning and working at Cockburn School is exciting and challenging.  Students develop the knowledge and key skills which are needed in preparation for adult life.  We have a committed team of teachers and support staff who go the extra mile for students and work with them to demonstrate the Values and Expectations of the school.

The enormous range of extra-curricular activities ensures that each student can grow and develop wherever their interests and talents may lie. The school has an outstanding reputation for the Performing Arts.

The many educational trips, visits, tours and work in the community give further evidence of the breadth of our curriculum. With so much on offer, Cockburn students are sure to find their strengths and skills.

Cockburn has developed its own teaching and learning model, the Learning Cycle, which is used to plan all lessons throughout the school. We continue to increase our thinking around teaching and learning and staff work hard to develop innovative approaches to lesson delivery.  Our staff embrace continual professional development.

Our vision of 'Transformation to Excellence' focuses on a relentless drive to continue to improve and excel in all areas. Cockburn's five year development plan has been structured to provide the outcomes of the school, based on thorough evaluation and review, which includes regular observations of all teachers, surveys of staff, students and parents. This is supported by an analysis of the performance of students in all years and the progress they make alongside comparisons against local and national performance.  It is all of this information which is used to determine our focus for the long term future and the current academic year. 

As Year 11 students are working towards their final exams I urge them to revise carefully and with determination. Around 2,500 years ago, the Chinese teacher and philosopher Confucius said that: "The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence."

Professor Brian Cox, physicist and broadcaster, in his Human Universe series describes education as 'the most important investment a developed society can make, and the most effective way of nurturing a developing one.' He acknowledges that 'the young will one day be the decision makers' and at Cockburn School we will continue to develop independent and respectful students who are able to fulfil their potential and whose aspirations are universal.

I look forward to another excellent term at Cockburn and to leading such an exciting community of students, parents/carers, governors and staff.

Mr D Gurney

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