Principal's welcome

As we enter the summer term, I would like to thank you for visiting our website.  I hope it gives you an insight into life at Arden and illustrates the strength of relationships with students, parents and the wider community. Ofsted reported that 'Arden is an outstanding school at the heart of the community where students thrive. They develop into confident, articulate young people who trust and care for each other'.

Arden is a successful and vibrant school that demonstrates a common purpose - to ensure the very best for each and every one of our students. Our ethos recognises that every student has their own individual strengths, gifts and talents.  Our aim is to ensure that these qualities are fully developed so that our students achieve their full potential, leaving us as responsible, well-qualified, mature young people; ready to make a valued contribution to society.

I firmly believe Arden’s success is a true team effort; it is a place where staff are proud to work, a place that Governors, parents, carers and guardians are proud to support and a school that students are proud to attend.  However as the examination season approaches, I would particularly like to acknowledge the commitment of Arden staff who work tirelessly to provide top quality teaching and learning to ensure all students continue to progress and develop as independent, aspirational learners. Education, by its very nature is dynamic, but this year in particular has seen significant changes in terms of funding and examination structure.  The latter will impact most noticeably on our current Year 11 students, however with the extra support they have received; they are fully prepared for their GCSEs.  On behalf of everyone at Arden, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all students sitting examinations over the next few weeks every success.

Throughout the whole school, the quality and consistency of teaching remains constant, innovative and challenging so all students can improve their personal outcomes and achieve their full potential.  Arden’s success was acknowledged for the second consecutive year by the School, Students and Teachers network (SSAT) who recognised Arden for its exceptional performance. Outcomes data analysis has shown we are in the top 10% of non-selective schools nationally for attainment at Key Stage 4 examinations. 

As I have already mentioned, here at Arden we pride ourselves on preparing our students to become successful citizens of the future on a local, national and international level.  At the heart of this commitment are the many extra-curricular opportunities on offer.  We encourage students to take on leadership roles that develop their social, moral, cultural and community conscience through bodies such as Student Council, Leadership Team and Senior Pupil team as well as our Subject Ambassadors. There are many educational visits nationally and internationally allowing and encouraging students to grow and develop outside the classroom.  Most recently a group of Year 9 and 10 students enjoyed a study visit to Florence; not only did they behave impeccably throughout the visit and represent Arden so successfully, they embraced the culture, language and character of Florence and Siena which will be hugely beneficial to their education.  During June, the majority of our Year 7 pupils will be enjoying a similar experience in France.  The visit is a highlight of their academic year as they too have the opportunity to gain so much from the experience.  Arden has a thriving Duke of Edinburgh programme and activities before, during and after the school day that allow students to further enrich and expand their education.  Anyone who has attended a school production or concert will be aware of the phenomenal talent we have here at Arden.  Our Performing Arts Department have just received many well deserved plaudits for the recent performance of ‘Into the Woods’ which was a fantastic team effort.  The PE Department also provides a worthy showcase for many talented students and I was delighted to hear that Arden’s superb sporting success had been recognised by School Sports magazine where we ranked in joint fourth place in the top 100 state schools for 2016 – a remarkable achievement!

I am proud to be Principal of such a successful school but such success is never taken for granted especially during such turbulent times in education, however we will never be complacent about our relentless pursuit of excellence on behalf of our students.  We will continue to seek opportunities to improve and enhance the delivery of our already excellent teaching and learning so students continue to flourish, remaining inspired and stimulated.

Thank you to everyone who makes Arden such a remarkable community; the relationships between staff, students, parents, guardians and governors are fundamental to its success and personifies all that is unique about the Arden family.

Martin Murphy
Arden Principal

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

MPM biography