Our children are the most important thing to us, and education has a huge impact on their lives. Invaluable things are learned at school and friendships are formed that can last a lifetime. Choosing the right school for your little ones and teenagers is no easy feat, so to make things a little easier, we have compiled a list of the top schools in Doncaster, so you can move to the area with confidence, knowing the kids will be happy, fulfilled, and successful during their school days.

Hall Cross Academy

Founded in 1350 as Hall Cross School and Doncaster Grammar School, Hall Cross Academy is proud of his history. Today, Hall Cross is a large, diverse, co-educational academy, in the heart of the local community, helping children from 11-18 find their strengths and have a thirst for learning. With a passionate teaching staff, a superb pastoral team to support pupils when they need it and plenty of opportunity for extracurricular activities. 

Principle Simon Swain says, “I believe Hall Cross is a ‘school with a soul’ and I am determined that we retain our uniquely inclusive culture and ethos, our broad and balanced curriculum, and our fantastic range of extracurricular opportunities.”

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Ridgewood School

Ridgewood School began as a specialist engineering college and gained its academy status in 2015. A large school, currently teaching 1347 students from ages 11-18, puts excellence at the forefront of its values. With a fantastic Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) department, helping children with learning and behavioral difficulties and those on the autism spectrum, this is an academy where all children can excel. 

Headteacher Andy Peirson says, “We strive for all our students to meet and exceed their potential academically, however, we also place a great deal of importance on them really enjoying school and developing skills that will enable them to be responsible members of society.”

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Scawsby Saltersgate Junior School

The top-rated primary school in the area, Scawsby Saltersgate Junior School believes in success and healthy competition under the guidance and teaching of a dedicated teaching staff. Sports and extra-curricular activities are encouraged and are harnessed to help prepare the children here for life after Scawsby Saltersgate when they leave at 11. 

Headteacher Mr. Chambers says, “[Scawsby Saltersgate is] a performance-minded school; children need to be prepared for the outside world knowing that success is not a given and that practice and perseverance are desirable qualities. We are outward looking, and seek to engage with the wider community, to benefit others, not just ourselves, and do this in innovative and creative ways- a key part of this is to develop a strong partnership between parents and the school to ‘strive for excellence’ in all aspects of our children’s lives.”

Don Valley Academy

Don Valley Academy, formerly a performing arts college, is a local school in Scawthorpe, Doncaster for children aged 11-18. The core values of the school are to change the lives of everyone who passes through the school through belief in their abilities and collaboration. Its latest OFSTED rating was good, and this is evidenced by the school’s tireless commitment to its ethos. 

Principle Hannah Thornton says, “Our mission is to ‘Change Lives’ and give every child in our care the grounding both academically and experientially to thrive in life. Our relentless belief in students and staff is resulting in great achievements and is underpinned by a focus on collaboration through our teaching techniques to our vertical mentoring groups.”

Park Primary School

This is a local primary school with a difference. Park Primary’s main goal is to create a happy, nurturing and safe place where children aged 3-11 can thrive and achieve their full potential. With the guidance of a passionate and committed teaching staff, Park Primary students are set up to excel beyond the walls of the school, and a focus is placed on preparing them for what comes next. 

Headmistress Karen Fagg says, “Children are encouraged to take pride in their work, to work hard and to do the best they can always. High standards of behaviour and discipline are expected at Park so that children, parents and staff feel both safe and valued as individuals.”

The McAuley Catholic High School

The McAuley Catholic High School is a co-educational Catholic Academy which in 2003, became a specialist school for the performing arts. The school prides themselves on preparing children for the ever-changing world when they leave at 18. Through learning, faith and allowing the dedicated staff to support and encourage them, students realise their potential and excel here. 

Headteacher John Rooney says, “The vision we and our students have for Catholic education opens the possibilities, for all members of our family, of living a fulfilled life through realising the Glory of God in everything we do. In practice this means we insist upon excellence from everyone in all aspects of school life both inside and outside the classroom. We are a community of Learners committed to Gospel values.”

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Woodfield Primary School

Woodfield Primary School’s main goal is to provide a safe, inclusive and supportive environment where children aged 3-11 to thrive and reach their potential. Their definition of ‘curriculum’ is a holistic approach to education, preparing the child for the next stage of their school life not only with knowledge but with confidence and skills that go beyond the academic. 

Headteacher Kate Hope says, “We have a highly inclusive ethos and believe that, through the pursuit of excellence, every child can achieve great things.  All our staff are highly skilled and go ‘the extra mile’ in making sure that your child’s experience in school is productive and enjoyable and that they grow academically, socially, and emotionally. Our aim at Woodfield Primary School is to provide your children with the best possible start in life.”

Doncaster UTC

An educational institution for 13-18 year olds with a difference, Doncaster University Technical College places emphasis on technology and science in their curriculum, giving students vocational skills they can apply to their future careers. They work closely with local employers and universities to give students tangible experience and incredible facilities to further their knowledge in their chosen field. 

Principle Gareth Rawson says, “Doncaster UTC has the support of local, high-profile industry and academic partners who have helped shape the curriculum and will work closely with our students. The importance of engineers to any society has historically been of great importance, and that trend will increase over time. I truly believe specialisms in engineering and creative and digital technologies will allow UK and global leaders to shape future jobs and help improve the life chances of all the students studying at Doncaster UTC.”

St Peter’s Catholic Primary School

St Peter’s Catholic Primary School promotes high standards and good relationships with peers and teaching staff to their students aged 4-11. The school gives its community a supportive and engaging environment to enable strong, independent learning. With a good, dedicated SEN (Special Educational Needs) department, children of all abilities and with all needs are catered for and encouraged to reach their full potential. 

Headmistress Mrs. Groarke says, “At St. Peter's, we are extremely proud of the success of our children and we encourage each other to excel within our caring community; where the standards are high and our expectations are consistent and clear. These expectations apply not only to our children but also to our staff, as we strive to develop the best possible learning environment for the children entrusted to our care.”

Outwood Academy Danum

This academy truly places students at the heart of everything they do. The passionate and dedicated teaching staff encourage independent study and aim to create an inclusive, supportive and engaging learning environment. High standards and good results follow and with a GOOD OFSTED rating, this is a place where children aged 11-18 can thrive and achieve. 

They say, “We are a welcoming and supportive academy, with a relentless determination to provide the very best education for every child. We place students at the centre of everything we do, with a focus on creating a culture of success and a positive climate for learning.”

by Anuradha Kulkarni - 05 Apr 22