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Principal's Welcome



I am delighted to welcome you to the Darwen Vale High School website. DVHS is an 11 – 16 academy situated in the heart of Darwen. We opened in brand new buildings in September 2012 and over the last two years have grown from year groups of 150 to 240 and anticipate that within the next three years we will be a full school of over 1,200 students.

DVHS has been recognised as a rapidly improving school. Our academic standards have improved dramatically. English results have improved to 75% at Grade 4 in 2019 which was above the National average. Maths results improved by over 20% in 2019 when students last sat GCSE examinations resulting in 70% gaining grade 4 or better and 50% gaining grade 5 or better. Combined English and Maths results were 47% for grade 5 in 2019 and 64% for grade 4. Our teacher assessed grades for 2020 and 2021 indicate a continued pattern of improvement with improved outcomes in all curriculum areas.


The results of our significant improvements in academic outcomes can be seen in our alumni; 53 % of students from the 2019 year 11 went on to study level 3 qualifications. From that cohort we have had students accepted into the prestigious Stonyhurse College, secure scholarships with Arkright Engineering and secure apprenticeships in the Royal Navy. Last year ex Vale Head Girl, Fion Fox secured a place studying Law at Oxford University and Adam Smith from our 2019 leavers has just been accepted to top drama school; ItaliacontiUK. Any current students interested in applying for DVHS should visit our admissions page.

In our Ofsted inspection of March 2021 inspectors noted significant improvements observing that “ You have a clear vision for the curriculum that meets the needs of pupils in the school” and that “Leaders are ambitious for vulnerable pupils and those with SEND. They also noted that at Vale “Teachers continued to deliver the planned curriculum through online learning…When the school was closed, teachers delivered lessons, set tasks and ensured pupils received feedback on their work”. As a result, parents have great faith in the school with over 4/5 parents keen to recommend to others – again higher than the Ofsted average for this measure.

It is indeed an exciting time at Vale and further validation of our significant journey of improvement can be seen in our growing popularity. Our Year 11 has 150 students but in years 7 and 8 we are full with 240 students choosing to make Darwen Vale their first-choice secondary school in 2020. This is the case again in 2021.


We hope that if you click around our website you will be able to find any information you need. We have included details of our curriculum, information about our partners, recent news stories showcasing the many achievements of our fantastic students, our prospectus and Sixth Form prospectus of our partner schools, any current staff vacancies and details of all other elements of life at DVHS. Prospective parents and students should visit our admissions pages for details of how to apply.


With best wishes,


Matthew Little


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