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The Piggott School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Piggott School
The Piggott School Logo.png
Twyford Road

, ,
RG10 8DS

MottoSursum Corda (Lift your hearts up)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FounderRobert Piggott
Local authorityWokingham
Department for Education URN136891 Tables
Head TeacherMr Derren Gray
Age11 to 18
Enrolment1,523 (296 in Sixth Form)
HousesThames - Loddon - St Patrick's - Kennet
Colour(s)Royal Blue  

The Piggott School is a Church of England academy secondary school in Wargrave [1] in Berkshire, England. The school has approximately 1,516 pupils and around 185 teaching staff. The school specialises in Modern Languages and Humanities. It has been awarded International school status by the British Council. The most recent inspection from Ofsted achieved an overall effectiveness rating of 'Good'.[2]

The Piggott School has a long established exchange programme with the Ville-Gymnasium School[3] der Erftstadt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and other programmes with I.E.S. Las Canteras[4] in Collado Villalba near Madrid, Spain, and with Lycée Jean Guéhenno, France. It is a partner school of the EU organised Comenius project. The Piggott School is also the only church of England secondary school in the Reading, Twyford area. The Piggott School is one of the best performing secondary schools in the Wokingham District.[5]


The Piggott School was founded by Robert Piggott, a philanthropist, to cater for 20 poor boys and 20 poor girls in separate schools. The foundation stone was laid on 12 October 1939 it was officially opened on 17 September 1940.[6] The school was originally built for 320 children. When was opened in 1940, it was already too small because war had broken out and a massive evacuation programme was underway (two million children were moved from London to the countryside within three days). This caused a doubling of the local population of children and far more pupils had to be accommodated by the school. Morning school was therefore organised for 'home' children. Afternoon school was for the 'visitors'.

Recent and future changes

Since becoming an academy, there have been several changes to the new site. In 2011, a new sixth form block was opened to replace the old sixth form block (now used as a drama studio and extra classroom). A purpose built gym run by Nuffield Health[7] was constructed on the site of the old Maths and Business Studies terrapins, which is open to the public on evenings and weekends.[citation needed] ( Nuffield no longer run the gym)


Piggott School sweatshirt. Note: Pupil is in Thames house hence the colour.
Piggott School sweatshirt. Note: Pupil is in Thames house hence the colour.

The four houses are:

St Patricks   Thames   Kennet   Loddon  

Loddon house is named after the River Loddon in Berkshire and Hampshire. The emblem is a Lion. Thames house is named after the River Thames which runs through several cities and towns, the emblem is a dragon. Kennet house is named after the River Kennet which runs through Reading, the emblem is a green dragon. St Patrick's house is named after St Patrick's Stream, a backwater of the Thames that flows into the Loddon, the emblem is a harp. The current school sweatshirt (since 2011) comes with the school house; the logo can either be red for Thames, blue for St Patricks, green for Kennet, and yellow for Loddon. The old school sweatshirt consisted of only a gold writing and no house badge underneath. There are many competitions between these four houses, including, rugby, football, netball, hockey, sports day, the governors cup and many more.

Church Status

The Piggott School is a school with a Church Foundation.[8][citation needed]


The school is very high achieving in the terms of results, OfSTED and SIAMS inspections.[9][citation needed]

In its latest Ofsted inspection,[2] carried out 29–30 November 2017, the school achieved the following ratings:

Overall effectiveness Good
Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good
Personal development, behaviour and welfare Outstanding
Outcomes for pupils Good
Early years provision Good
16 to 19 study programmes Outstanding


The Piggott School has a soldering works area, clay area, modelling areas such as making D.I.Y, a Arts Studio and a very large sports field which runs alongside the railway tracks towards Wargrave railway station. In 2011 there was a brand new sixth form block opened. Students are shown how to use a range of tools and equipment safely across a range of projects that are designed to enhance and build upon the skills they learn. They are encouraged to work in a methodical and organised way, assessing their work as it progresses. Projects are designed to provide experience of processes and skills from graphics and layout; to cutting and assembling wood to build freestanding structures; the selection and preparation of ingredients in food technology and the use of components in simple electronic circuits, this is supported by Wokingham Secondary Federation. A new block, similar to that if the sixth form building, was constructed in mid 2013. This contains a mixture of Maths and science facilities but also a gym that is operated by Nuffield Health. This block was built on the south of the site.[citation needed]

Leadership team

  • Mr Derren Gray, Head Teacher
  • Mrs Rebecca Alexander, Deputy Head Teacher (Music)
  • Mr Alex Macleod, Acting Deputy Head Teacher (Geography)
  • Mr David Thatcher, Assistant Head Teacher (PE)
  • Mrs Viki Hunt, Assistant Head Teacher (English)
  • Mrs Karen Thornton, Assistant Head Teacher (Art)
  • Mrs Michelle Bird, Assistant Head Teacher (History)
Subject GCSE A level
Art and Design Yes Yes
Biology Yes Yes
Business Studies Yes Yes
Chemistry Yes Yes
Child Development - -
Computer Science Yes Yes
Design and Technology Yes Yes
Drama Yes Yes
Economics - Yes
English Language Yes Yes
English Literature - Yes - Yes
French Yes Yes
Further Mathematics - Yes
Geography Yes Yes
German Yes Yes
Government & Politics
History Yes Yes
ICT Yes Yes
Mathematics Yes Yes
Media Studies Yes Yes
Music Yes Yes
Physical Education Yes Yes
Physics Yes Yes
Religious Education Yes Yes
Science (double award) Yes -
Statistics - -


In Years 7 and 8 (Key Stage 3) students study the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science (Year 9 start GCSE Science) plus the following foundation subjects: French, Design and Technology, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), History, Geography, Religious Education, Art, Music, Drama and Physical Education. Lessons are offered in Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship. In addition to French, pupils either study German, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese as a second language. The Piggott School is one of a small number of state schools which still offer the three separate sciences at GCSE. The following Design and Technology options are offered at GCSE: Food and Nutrition; Graphic Products; Resistant Materials; Systems and Control; Textiles.

AS Art, Craft and Design is also available as a fast track course for students in year 10 and 11. In Years 9, 10 and 11 students are able to specialise in Catering, Graphic Products, Textiles, Resistant Materials, Electronic Products or Food. Sixth formers can study the following courses in AS & A2 are food technology, AQA theatre studies, music, AQA geography, OCR history, AQA maths and languages (French, Spanish or German). Students can also study at AS and A level which are ICT, product design (graphic products or textile technology), economics, science (students are able to take one or more of the three separate sciences, these are biology, physics, chemistry), business studies, art and photography.

In addition, a number of vocational courses are available including the new Key Skills Qualifications in Application of Number, Communication, and Information Technology, and the National Diploma in Business (Level 2). The Piggott School's participates in the Cisco Networking Academy Programme and is one of the relatively few schools in the UK to offer this globally accepted professional course in networking. Pupils on this course have networked the computers in the school's IT suite and also those of the neighbouring primary school Robert Piggott Junior in Wargrave, Berkshire. The Piggott School's has pioneered an innovative science buddy scheme, which was featured on Teachernet, the website for teachers and educators. The scheme involved around 30 pupils from the top three sets in Year 11 helping the younger children in Year 7 to conduct experiments and investigations in a lunchtime club.


Pupils at the school participate in the following sports: cross-country, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, health-related fitness, hockey, netball, rounders, rugby, athletics, table tennis and tennis. There are school teams which play regular fixtures with other local schools in rugby, football, hockey, netball and basketball. Pupils also participate in the Reading Cross Country League. A number of pupils play at county level.

Extracurricular activities

Music and Drama:

Tuition is provided by Berkshire Maestros, pupils can learn to play instruments such as woodwind. Pupils can perform at end of term concerts. There is also a School Band and Choir.

Drama productions are a feature of The Piggott School and have ranged from well known musicals to exam performances presented by students studying GCSE and A levels.

Trips are organised to France for Year 7 students and to a number of other countries for students in Years 8–12. Sixth formers are involved in outdoor education visits and subject based field work.


In common with all other schools in Wokingham Borough, school places are allocated by the LEA based on designated catchment areas and feeder primary schools. Around 200 places are available at Piggott every year. The feeder primary schools for Piggott are:

  • Colleton Primary School
  • Crazies Hill CofE Primary School
  • Polehampton CofE Junior School
  • Robert Piggott CofE Junior School
  • Sonning CofE Primary School
  • Knowl Hill CofE Primary School
  • Charvil Piggott Primary School

Note: St. Johns C of E Aided Primary School is no longer a feeder school for the Piggott School.


On Friday 1 July 2011, The Piggott School became an academy after being approved by the Department of Education. The letter sent out to parents saying the school would become and academy on 1 July was sent out on Monday, 4 July.

Primary school

In 2013 it was announced that the Piggott school will be opening a primary school in Charvil. This primary school has now been opened and named "Charvil Piggott Primary".


In 2015, math teacher Mark Wade was fired by the school following allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a female student. In 2016 he was banned from teaching for life by the National College for Teaching and Leadership after their investigation concluded that he had consensual sex with a female former student, and had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with her, which included kissing, while she was still a student.[10]

In 2017 the school gained national attention after outlining a range of cost-cutting measures intended to achieve savings of £200,000. These included staff redundancies, phasing out of some subjects, and increasing fees for school trips.[11]


  1. ^ "Contact Us - The Piggott School". Piggott School Website. 09/11/20. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Overall performance at end of key stage 4 in all schools and colleges in Wokingham". UK Government school comparison service for England. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The Piggott School - Facilities".
  8. ^ "The Piggott School - Church".
  9. ^ "SIAMS Report- The Piggott School".
  10. ^
  11. ^

Further reading

  • Pam Haseltine, The Piggott School: Wargrave: a profile, (Twyford & Ruscombe Local History Society, c1986) ISBN 0-948245-02-6

This page was last edited on 31 January 2021, at 02:53
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