Principal's welcome

Martin Murphy Arden PrincipalWelcome to Arden and the start of what we believe will an exciting year full of promise and potential.  Each September we look forward to welcoming new staff and students to our very successful school community.  I have no doubt our Year 7 pupils will soon flourish in their new environment and that their transition will be seamless as they embrace everything Arden has to offer.  Many of our former Year 11 students will be returning to study at our very popular Sixth Form but a particularly warm welcome is extended to Year 12 students joining us from across the borough who will also become part of the Arden family.

As the new year begins it is perhaps opportune to reflect on the last academic year and I am able to do so with immense pride as the Class of 2017 performed amazingly well at GCSE and A Level achieving wonderful results despite the major changes in the examination structure.  Once again almost 100% of our pupils achieved five Grade 9/A*- Grade 4/C GCSE grades or equivalent. Of these 85% have achieved Grades 9 - 4 in English and Mathematics. Our results at Grade 7/A and above are once again well above the national average as over 35% of all entries were at Grade A*/A level 7 or above and this is at a time when the national percentage has decreased.  The Year 13 cohort were a special year group who worked incredibly hard throughout a changing A Level climate and did themselves, their parents and Arden proud achieving almost 100% at A Level with nearly two-thirds gaining the prestigious A*-B grades.  The percentage of A*-A grades rose from last year and were once again above the national average.  We would like to wish students in both year groups a happy and successful future.

Teamwork is a key characteristic at Arden and instrumental in ensuring our continued success.  Support and encouragement is at our very heart, not just between staff and students but highlighted through the many students bodies that exemplify their desire to give something back to the school community.  Our Senior Pupils, Leadership team, School Council and Subject Ambassadors all work hard to represent our values by caring for their peers and encouraging them to attain their personal goals.  This ethos extends beyond the school gates and into the local community illustrated by our ever strengthening ties with primary schools, resident groups and associations working together to enhance and strengthen the future for our community.

Arden’s motto ‘ad altiora’ epitomises our belief that high aspirations and high expectations lead to high achievement for all.  The success of our students in their GCSE and A Level results illustrates this but so too does the strength and depth of the opportunities on offer to all students through our extra-curricular timetable.  Many departments offer activities that will involve, inform and excite students of all ability levels.  Particular mention must go to our Performing Arts Department and PE Department who offer a range of clubs and activities that foster and nurture the teambuilding ethos that Arden exemplifies.

The term ahead is a busy one with many important dates – these can be viewed on the website and are updated regularly.  I am particularly looking forward to Open Evening on Thursday 28 September and the opportunity for people to see for themselves what a fantastic learning environment Arden is.

Martin Murphy
Arden Principal

For further information about my background, please read my biography by clicking on the icon below:

MPM biography