The top 10 schools in Derby

Derby is home to a number of excellent secondary and primary schools, with several of its academic institutions receiving glowing reviews from Ofsted in recent years. 

Below, we highlight 5 of the best secondary and primary schools Derby has to offer, considering not only their academic performance, but their extra-curricular offerings and their overall approach to teaching. 

Breadsall Hilltop Primary School

Receiving a rating of “Good” at its most recent Ofsted inspection in 2021, Breadsall Hilltop is one of Derby’s finest and most progressive schools, offering students unconventional but inarguably essential after-school sessions where they can learn basic coding skills, engage in yoga and take part in gardening. Having a more versatile curriculum than the average school, Breadsall Hilltop’s success can be attributed to its panoramic approach to education.

St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy

One of the more prominent catholic schools in Derby, St Mary’s takes a holistic approach to education – beautifully combining faith and education to form a curriculum that not only challenges its students academically but supports them spiritually. 

Developing the next generation of academic adventurers and curious contemplators, the school’s science club gets kids to perform captivating hands-on experiments and explore the wonders of the natural world.  

St Mary’s was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in 2023.

Chellaston Infant School

Providing pupils with a nurturing environment where they are able to thrive, Chellaston is a primary school with a focus on the future. 

Its Mini-Olympians Club – a sports club that places a strong emphasis on physical fitness and teamwork – captures the growth-orientated spirit of the school. 

Kids are encouraged to work together – to prop each other up and learn from one another rather than compete against each other – creating an environment where students aren’t afraid to ask for help, and others aren’t afraid to give it. 

In the end, everyone wins and wins together, and this is demonstrated by the school’s positive ratings Ofsted ratings –  receiving a rating of “Good” in their 2023 inspection. 

Stenson Fields Primary Community School

Stenson Fields takes the “community” element of their name very seriously, producing minds that fully embrace and take responsibility for the world around them. 

With initiatives like their “Eco Warriors Club” getting their students to engage in a whole range of activities centred around sustainability and conservation, kids are given a challenge to step up to and something to look after, providing them with a sense of duty and perspective. 

Entrusting them with responsibilities and making them feel empowered by instilling in them that they are the change the world needs, has seen the school produce confident, self-assured students, ready to take on the world.

Receiving a “Good” rating during its most recent Ofsted inspection in 2022, Stenson Fields should be in the conversation when it comes to the best primary schools in Derby.

Portway Infant School

With its lush green surroundings, Portway is a beautiful little school with a great reputation having netted a score of “Good” during its most recent Ofsted inspection in 2023. 

Bringing out the little adventurer in all of its students, kids are often taken on school trips, exploring the neighbouring greenery, receiving a hands-on education about and a deep love for nature. 

Less than a 15-minute drive from Derby’s city centre, the school’s conveniently central location is also a strong selling point for parents comparing the merits of the different primary schools in Derby.

Littleover Community School

Situated just a 7 minute drive away from our new homes in Mickleover, Littleover Community School is one which boasts a positive track record with Ofsted, having received a rating of “Good” during its most recent inspection in 2022. 

The school encourages its students to develop the critical thinking and public speaking skills that will not only serve them well over the course of their academic lives, but their professional careers as well. 

Through the school’s several extra-curricular activities that exercise these skills – particularly the school’s debating society – students are provided every opportunity to sharpen their social skills and are emboldened to question the world around them.

The Bemrose School

A wonderful school for aspiring thespians, Bemrose School has a brilliant performing arts program, with its Reimagine drama group regularly challenging the way stories are told with their wonderful stage productions. 

The school also performs well academically, receiving a rating of “Good” from Ofsted during its most recent inspection in 2018. 

Both one of the best secondary and primary schools Derby has to offer – as the school caters to students aged 3-19 – Bemrose has truly established itself as one of the premier schools in Derby.

St Clare’s Academy

An academy helping children of any ability to achieve their goals, St Clare’s is one of the most respected secondary schools in Derby, having consistently performed well academically, with the school receiving that elusive “Outstanding” rating during its most recent Ofsted inspection in 2023. 

Catering to students aged 11-16, St Clare’s Academy is only a 7 minute drive from our new homes in Mickleover – conveniently close if you feel your kids might benefit from a little bit of extra support.

Murray Park Community School

A school with strong connections to the local community as well as a whole host of international partners, Murray Park provides its students with many different opportunities, all of which aid in their personal development. 

The school works with several of the local Derby businesses to provide students with training and apprenticeship opportunities, whilst also working with international partners to allow students to travel abroad and experience cultures other than their own. 

As of its most recent Ofsted inspection in 2022, Murray Park received a rating of “Good” – a testament to the value it provides to every child that attends.

Challaston Academy

Challaston Academy is a well performing secondary school and sixth form college, with enviable academic results and a rating of “Good” at its most recent Ofsted inspection in 2023. 

A school that favours teaching students lifelong effective learning techniques over short-term memorisation of syllabuses, the school places high expectations on its students and pushes them to question more of what they’re taught so that each student can grasp just how malleable the status quo can be.  

The school’s Entrepreneurship Society is a perfect example of the school’s innovation-focused ethos, encouraging students to develop and pitch their very own business ideas, enriching them with the business acumen that will serve them well in later life. 

Just some of the best schools in Derby, this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are over 100 different secondary and primary schools in Derby for parents to choose from. But hopefully this list serves as a great starting point for your search!