The schools special atmosphere is one which has been developed by members of the school community over many years. People who visit the school remark on what a warm and friendly place it is to work. We believe this is a result of the emphasis that we place on forming strong, positive working relationships with all our students and that any form of indiscipline is challenged at a very early stage. Our pastoral system is very strong and supports learning by trying to ensure that each student appreciates the value of education and the opportunities this can provide for them in the future.

We aim to create a cheerful, supportive atmosphere in which there is a firm commitment to the principles of inclusion and equality of opportunity. All students have the chance to excel in their own special way and to achieve their personal best in academic, sporting and social activities.

We became a specialist Sports College in 2002 and were re-designated in the Autumn of 2006. A second specialism (Modern Foreign Languages) was confirmed in September 2006 and more recently Special Needs (Physical & Sensory) in April 2007. The impact of the specialist status has been immense, raising students' participation in sports, fitness, team games and adventure activities, boosting their leadership skills, increasing their confidence and self-esteem. The specialist college status has also made a huge impact on students' personal and social development, not to mention increased attendance levels. Ofsted (October 2006) referred to the 'significant impact that our specialism has had on the performance of Lakelands School'.

All of this has contributed to the outstanding examination success of the school, especially the very strong 'value added' effect recorded by the 'contextual value added' (CVA) indicators. The CVA is a measure that helps a school judge how effective it is and our CVA puts us in the ‘outstanding’ category. In simple terms this means that students at Lakelands are more likely to outperform students in similar schools that have similar ability on entry.

We believe that learning should not be restricted by the constraints of a school time-table and offer many out-of-hours opportunities to our students: these include specialist clubs, sporting, music & drama activities, study support and involvement in charity events. We are making increasing use of ICT to enable students to gain access to learning resources outside the regular teaching day.

We believe that Lakelands School should be a resource for the whole of the local community as learning does not stop when we leave school. In September 2006 we became a designated 'extended school' with multi-agency support for students in need and many out-of-hours learning opportunities have been made available. We actively encourage the use of the schools facilities by our community and it is encouraging to see how widely used it is by people. We are always looking to extend this provision as this brings in additional expertise which is of great value to staff and students here at the school.

If you wish to find out more about our school, please do not hesitate to contact us, or better still arrange a visit at a mutually convenient time.

Ian Sanders