Bowland High Open Prospectus

From the Headteacher


It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Bowland High and to encourage you to explore fully what the school has to offer. I am both privileged and proud to be Headteacher at this amazing school and to work on a daily basis in such a positive community. There is something unique about the school that really has to be experienced, and I hope you get the opportunity to do this either at our open evening or on one of our open days. A number of factors combine to make Bowland a unique school. Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by the attitudes of our pupils. The friendly and supportive atmosphere is, to a large degree, due to the fundamental decency and good-natured approach of the pupils. These attributes and values are nurtured by the staff, so that a genuine sense of community and a family atmosphere pervades all aspects of school life. We do not, however, take these things for granted, and prioritise the highest standards of behaviour and respect, insisting on excellent manners, courtesy and uniform.


The high levels of achievement are testimony to the work ethic throughout the school and the quality of the teaching and dynamic curriculum we have in place. In a small school it is much easier for staff to get to know all pupils, and for the whole community to understand the specific needs and interests of individuals and to monitor their progress. Pupils therefore thrive in a secure environment, where excellence is encouraged and where young people learn from each other as well as from their teachers. In addition to all of the above, our spectacular setting overlooking the River Ribble and Pendle Hill, surrounded by green fields and in an area of outstanding natural beauty, provides an inspiring but tranquil environment.

My commitment to you is that your child will have every opportunity at Bowland to fulfil his or her potential, both academically and socially. At Bowland we want to provide the highest quality of education for every pupil in our care and we also strive for the further improvement of all aspects of the school. We seek to involve pupils and parents/carers as fully as possible in decisions about the ongoing development of the school and the day to day experiences of our young people; believing education is most effective when pupils, parents/ carers and teachers work closely together. Our most recent Ofsted Inspection, in December 2016, judged the school to be outstanding in all areas of the framework.

I hope that like me you will feel Bowland High is the best school for your child. Should you have any further questions after reading this prospectus, please do not hesitate in contacting the school.


Mrs L Fielden

Values and ethos

At Bowland, pupils are at the heart of everything we do. We aim to provide an exceptional education for every child in a caring, inclusive and challenging environment in order to develop confident, skilled and independent citizens of the future.

In order to achieve this we focus on our core values of tradition, care and challenge:


Tradition – a school founded on mutual respect and responsibility with high standards of behaviour. It is forward-looking and evidence based in its approach but also proud of, and true to, its heritage and locality.


Care – an inclusive environment where each individual is known, valued and nurtured, and in turn learns to care for other members of the community and the environment.


Challenge – a community where all members are encouraged and supported to be their very best and which seeks to develop the whole person.

Tradition and history

The current site was first used for education in the 1920s as an orphanage under the direction of Sister Ella Curnock. In the late 1930s it housed Jewish children who had been smuggled out of Nazi Germany as part of the Kinder transport rescue movement.

In 1949 the secondary school that is now Bowland High opened. The school was based in a building dating from 1865, which had originally formed Foxley Bank Hydro. This has recently been demolished to make way for the new main building at the centre of our current site. ‘Bowland County Secondary School’, also known as ‘Riversmead’ remained a very small rural school until into the 1990s. Thereafter the number of pupils on roll grew significantly and more purpose-built facilities followed.

Physically, Bowland High bears little resemblance to the school that opened here 73 years ago. However, history and tradition have always been important at Bowland and will remain so. The school’s ethos and values were firmly established in its early years and provide a firm foundation as the school adapts and develops to prepare pupils for life in the 21st Century.


named after the Benedictine monks who lived, worked and worshipped at Sawley Abbey..


derives its name from Sister Ella Curnock, the dedicated nurse who ran the orphanage based in the main building of the school from 1939 to 1946.


the name of the wealthy family who once owned the land on which the school is built.


named after Councillor Walker who was the school’s first chair of governors.

The societies provide a daily reminder to pupils of our heritage.

Care and support

Pupil welfare is prioritised above all things. At Bowland we understand that feeling happy, secure and confident is as important to success in education as academic ability. Respect, manners and good behaviour are expected and demanded of all members of the school community.

Rewards and prizes reinforce the message that personal development and a sense of responsibility are fundamental elements of education at Bowland.

All pupils are members of tutor groups according to the society they belong to. These groups are the backbone of the pastoral structure, which oversees pupils’ welfare and progress. Tutor groups and pastoral care are coordinated

by a team of year and key stage leaders. With the support of a counsellor and any relevant agencies they track progress carefully and ensure appropriate intervention is provided quickly where it is necessary.

The small size of the school – just 565 pupils on roll – means that pupils are not just statistics in a crowd. Many teachers know every single pupil in school. Teachers get to know pupils, their strengths and weaknesses in their subject, what motivates them, when to apply more challenge and when to scaffold for support. We also have robust systems in place to address any issues of concern and to ensure specific needs are met in a coordinated and thorough way.

“Safeguarding policies and practice
are highly effective. Pupils feel safe
at school and very well looked after.
The school works well with a range
of external agencies to ensure that
all pupils are well supported.”


Challenge and high expectations

Pupils who come to Bowland should expect to be challenged on a daily basis. Whilst care, support and a sense of community are a priority, there is no complacency with regard to academic progress and rigour. Pupils and teachers set challenging targets and strive for the highest levels of achievement.

We believe in providing our pupils with a wide variety of learning experiences, which help to nurture their various talents and interests and cater for the full ability spectrum. Examples of challenge within the varied curriculum include encouraging over two-thirds of our pupils to achieve 3 GCSEs in separate sciences. Beyond the curriculum pupils who show expertise and enthusiasm for a particular subject have the chance to become pupil leaders in those areas. Additional tuition or ‘academy’ sessions provide support to stretch pupils to their full potential.

We also place great value on the benefit of parents sharing in their child’s learning and maintaining a dialogue with school. We encourage regular contact between parents and

teachers and expect parents to play a significant role in monitoring and encouraging progress, especially with regard to homework.

“Pupils’ outcomes are outstanding.
All groups of pupils make very
strong progress from their
starting points. Pupils enter the
school in Year 7 in line with the
national average and leave school
in Year 11 having made progress
equivalent to two-thirds of a GCSE
grade better than expected in a
wide range of subjects.”


Developing independence and life-long learning skills

Our goal is to produce caring, responsible, independent young people, who are well prepared for the demands of modern life. We believe in giving responsibility to our pupils. We operate a leadership programme at both a junior and a senior level. This allows for the development of key skills and talents as well as providing support and encouragement where pupils are trained as peer mentors and run year councils. In upper school we have our team of senior leaders who act as bus prefects and help to ensure the journey to and from school is pleasant and safe, as well as assisting in many of the day-to-day aspects of running the school. Lots of these pupils work in sports as well as the creative and performing arts areas to help develop the skills and talents of younger pupils.


The society system has elected pupil officials who have real responsibility for organising their teams for arts festival, sports day, swimming gala and other society competitions. Each year elections are held for the school council, whose members influence decisions made about the school environment, codes of conduct and learning and teaching.

To prepare pupils for continuing their education and a career beyond Bowland there is a comprehensive programme of information, advice and guidance, which includes a week long work experience placement. The PSHCE curriculum, supported by other subjects and special events equips pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed choices in an ever-changing world.

“Pupils are taught to respect
people from other backgrounds
and to treat people fairly. They
are actively encouraged to make a
positive contribution to society. As
a result, they are exceptionally well
prepared for life in modern Britain.”


Enriching experiences

Bowland is highly committed to the provision of extra-curricular activities, which contribute to the development of the whole child. These activities have enormous educational benefits.

As a consequence we encourage our pupils to involve themselves as much as possible. Opportunities include a wide variety of sports, foreign residential visits, cultural visits, field trips, participating in performances and numerous clubs and societies. Current clubs include ICT, toy making, dance, choir, technology and STEM as well as many sports and performing arts activities and subject help groups.

At Key Stage 4 pupils can access the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at Bronze and Silver level.

Many of the residential visits take place in ‘Enrichment Week’ just before the summer holiday. This reduces disruption to lessons and ensures pupils in each year have an opportunity to go on an extended visit or take part in other day-long activities that offer different experiences. Examples of recent residential visits include an activities trip to Austria, a cultural visit to Berlin and Krakow, a theatre visit to London and a ski trip to Norway.

Other experiences enable pupils to develop a specific interest in sport, food, dance, music, art, the environment, etc. with a range of visits and activities.

“Pupils welcome the opportunities
to take part in a wide range of
extra-curricular activities. They are
very keen to take on responsibilities
such as prefects, form captains,
society officials and buddies.”


Performing and creative arts at Bowland

Bowland has built a very strong reputation and tradition of excellence in performing and creative arts. Though we are no longer a specialist performing arts school, we firmly believe that dance, drama and music instil teamwork, creativity, independence and self-assurance in our pupils, serving them throughout the curriculum and their future lives. For this reason we still give a high priority to these disciplines at Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 (where numbers allow) and through extra-curricular provision. The creative arts such as art, food and design technology give our pupils the opportunity to express themselves in a variety of different mediums and develop their skills and talents in specialist and well equipped classrooms.

Our focus on performing and creative arts has allowed us to build and equip state of the art facilities for music, dance, drama, art and the technologies. These facilities are not only extensively used within the curriculum but also serve as a venue for rehearsals, performances and show-cases. We aim to encourage all pupils to involve themselves in extra-curricular activities and, therefore, offer a variety of opportunities; from contemporary dance to the technical aspects of stagecraft. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the school calendar is the school show. Recent productions have included Mary Poppins, Aladdin, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Oliver and Les Miserables. Another special event is the annual Arts Festival, where societies plan and produce their own performances for the competition.

“Leaders and staff are highly ambitious
for pupils as to what they can achieve
and how they should behave. All
groups of pupils respond actively to
these ambitions and make outstanding
progress at this school.”


Facilities and sporting opportunities at Bowland High

Bowland enjoys a fantastic location in an area of outstanding beauty. Our new £3.3 million main building, our media and music building as well as the South Field and outdoor seating areas make full use of the stunning view. Completion of the new Riversmead Building, in February 2015, was the final stage of a long overhaul of the school’s buildings and provides a new hall, kitchen and dining facilities, as well as a library and six classrooms. The school now has purpose built classrooms for all subjects including a modern sports hall, dance studio, computer suites, science laboratories and technology workshops. In addition to these facilities we have just been successful in the building of a 3G pitch providing all year round sporting facilities for our pupils. Pupils have the opportunity to join a number of sporting teams and compete in local and national competitions. There is also a nature reserve which is used to support the countryside and environment course and as an outside learning area.

ATC Multi Academy Trust

Bowland High is a founder member of the Achievement through Collaboration (AtC) multi-academy trust.


AtC is creating a family of like-minded schools who will work together to improve standards further in all of the schools and the lives of their pupils. The Trust will strengthen knowledge of education at all key stages, support curriculum and staff development and ensure finances are used effectively. Being part of a multi-academy trust provides greater financial security and effective governance and accountability.