Founding Principal of Saracens High School appointed
Saracens Multi-Academy Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Matthew Stevens as the founding Principal of Saracens High School, a new secondary school in Colindale, Barnet which will open to its first Year 7 intake in September 2018.
Matthew grew up in Barnet and has a teaching degree from Brunel University and a PhD in sport psychology from the University of Wolverhampton. He is currently Deputy Headteacher at a school in Hertfordshire where he has been instrumental in the school being awarded its first ever ‘Good’ OFSTED rating and achieving its best Key Stage 4 examination results in each of the last three years. Previously, Matthew was Head of Year and Assistant Principal at two London Academies in Willesden and Hackney and he has also worked as a sport psychologist for Watford FC.
Professor Graham Chase, Chair of the Trust said: “The appointment of a Principal is always a critical point in the development of an educational establishment. Matthew’s academic background and educational achievements are undoubted, but Saracens were looking for more than that. He was able to clearly demonstrate his ability to work in areas of challenging social and economic deprivation and make the schools he has worked at a beacon, not just of hope, but of tangible and high-quality results, for pupils and stakeholders. It is that success and talent that will be required at Saracens High School from the outset.
Saracens Multi-Academy Trust believes that Dr Stevens will offer exciting, inspiring leadership which will project our new school into its rightful place as a flagship learning institution.”
Chairman of Saracens and one of the principal proposers of the new school, Nigel Wray added: “I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Matthew. He has got a really good sense of vision and of values which I think will be an excellent example to all at Saracens High School. We are all hugely supportive.”
Having taught in Barnet for the first six years of his career, Matthew is thrilled to be back. Commenting on his appointment, he said: “We are determined to provide the young people in our community with the opportunity and support to achieve their aspirations. Through embedding Saracens’ values of discipline, hard work, honesty and humility, we will foster a culture of excellence in all areas of school life.
We are developing a challenging curriculum that will engage all learners. We are making good progress with the plans for the new building which will be truly outstanding, including state of the art science laboratories and excellent sports facilities that will be available for the community to use out of school hours.”
Matthew will formally take up the post of Principal on a part-time basis from January 2018 and then full-time from April to prepare for the school’s opening in September. Over the coming weeks and months, he will meet with local parents and carers, other schools and community members so he can share his vision and plans.
Matthew is married with a young daughter and in his spare time, he enjoys all kinds of sport, particularly basketball. He was a member of the GB Taekwondo squad until he retired through injury.
Saracens High School will be open with 150 new Year 7 pupils in September 2018. Pupils can still apply for a place in Year 7 by visiting the school website, www.thesaracenshighschool.co.uk. When full, the school will have over 1100 pupils and it will create more than 100 jobs.
For further information, please contact Susan Poole, Project Manager, Saracens High School.
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PRESS RELEASE JULY 2017
Saracens High School to convert rugby values into the classroom
Saracens rugby club have today received confirmation from the Department for Education that, subject to receiving a funding agreement, they will be opening the Saracens High School in Colindale, north London in September 2018 with the aim of converting core Saracens team principles from the playing field into the classroom.
Saracens High School will be strongly underpinned by the central values which have helped make Saracens one of the most successful rugby union clubs in the country, namely; discipline, hard work, honesty and humility.
Saracens High School will take a modern and pioneering approach to individual character development through every aspect of school life with the objective of ensuring students can "be who they really can be". The teaching principles are based on those of training and coaching high performing teams.
These same values and teaching practice will also underpin Saracens Primary School which is scheduled to open as a three-form entry school in 2019 and will help ease the pressure for additional school places in the Colindale area.
Saracens is working with local education and community partners, including Middlesex University and The Orion and Goldbeaters Primary Schools, and are forming these schools in response to the needs of the community in and around Colindale’s Grahame Park estate.
Dr Trevor Lee, Chief Executive of Saracens Multi-Academy Trust said: “Saracens is strongly values-driven and has a proven track record of excellence in all that it does.
“Saracens High School is intended to be a high performing academic school which will also excel in a range of sports and arts. It will serve as a hub for the local community with extended care for children before and after school along with extensive community use of the school facilities.
“Teaching styles will reflect a commitment to character development, resilience and coaching and mentoring in life skills as well as academic excellence. The work of school staff and community will be characterised by exemplary preparation and always going the extra mile.”
Chris Flathers, Head of The Orion and Goldbeaters Primary Schools said: "The Saracens High School project brings to our community not only new secondary places but an approach to learning that is very similar to the successful methods used at The Orion and Goldbeaters. Helping this new school come to life means we can provide amazing opportunities for our pupils as they move from primary to secondary."
Saracens is one of the most successful rugby unions clubs in England with a history of outstanding competitive achievement such as winning the Aviva Premiership in 2011 and 2015, both the Premiership and European Champions Cup in 2016 and recently retaining the European Champions Cup in 2017.
Saracens’ core values are clear in their commitment to excellence in its business activities and sporting success.
Saracens Chairman Nigel Wray said: “What a privilege it is for us all to be involved in this, the first ever Saracens High School”.
Honesty and humility are reflected not only in the Saracen approach to team work but also in the commitment to benefitting the local community through the club’s own charity, the Saracens Sport Foundation, which strives to bring positive change to the community, working with some 70,000 children and adults a year to improve their health and education.
The Saracens High School will have educational programmes designed to achieve success for all, a special focus on character development, strong emphasis on the mastery of reading, writing and mathematics along with a wider thematic focus on the world including science, art, history and other subjects.
There will be a focus on learning to be ‘smart’, finding talents and working hard on them, along with an innovative approach to primary to secondary transfer through continuity of a values based approach and leadership development programmes for all based on the ‘Saracen’sWay’.
The school will be sited at Lanacre Avenue, Colindale, London NW9 5FN
For more information on the Saracens High School visit: www.thesaracenshighschool.co.uk
PRESS RELEASE APRIL 2017
Saracens are pleased to announce that our proposal to open a new primary school at the former Peel Centre site in Colindale, has today been approved by the Department for Education. The Saracens Multi Academy Trust will continue to work with our partners to deliver our vision, not only for our High School that was approved last September, but now also for a new Primary School. Our focus will not only be on academic excellence but also identifying and nurturing the interests, intellectual curiosity and skills of every student.
The Saracens Multi Academy Trust was established in response to the urgent need for more school places across the London Borough of Barnet. Saracens has continued to work with a group of like-minded individuals and organizations with a passion for education and a focus on the Colindale community, including the Saracens Sports Foundation, Middlesex University, and our educational partners, the Orion and Goldbeaters Primary Schools.
Saracens Chairman, Nigel Wray, said today,“establishing the Saracens Primary School, in close association with the Orion and Goldbeaters Primary Schools, will firstly help meet the growing need for school places in the area. We look forward tobuilding on the excellence of the current provision for primary education, as well as offering continuity for school aged pupils from three to eighteen years of age”.
Saracens Community Director, Gordon Banks, commented, “we have been presented with the exciting opportunity of extending our outreach to families with primary school aged children in the Colindale area. We remain convinced of the benefits of transferring our core values at Saracens of humility, honesty, hard work and discipline to the school environment, as we seek to raise aspirations”.
Chris Flathers, Principal of Orion and Goldbeaters Primary Schools added, “this new primary school will have the unique Saracens spirit and ethos. Pupils will succeed academically and there will be a special emphasis on finding, then nurturing, everyone’s talents. Developing character from a very young age will be a special feature. The best schools today ensure that their pupils have grit and determination as well as pride and respect for all. Saracens are amazing at motivating people in these areas already.”
The Saracens Multi Academy Trust will now work with the Department for Education and the Education Funding Agency to progress our pre-opening plans.