About our school
Ralph Allen School is a high achieving, non-denominational 11-18 school for girls and boys on the skyline of the world heritage city Bath, in the local authority of Bath and North East Somerset. The school became an academy in August 2012 and a member of the Palladian Academy Trust in 2016. We have approximately 1000 pupils and take 180 pupils in each year in six forms of entry (Years 7-11); there are approximately 230 pupils in the sixth form. We serve the community of Bath and villages to the south of the city. The school is surrounded by green sites managed by English Nature and the National Trust. Its local village is Combe Down.
The school is named after Ralph Allen (1693-1764), the Bath mine owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist who contributed much to the building of Georgian Bath and the early development of the post office. The school was built in 1957 and has been further extended and developed since then.
The school has consistently excellent results in the three core subjects, English, Maths and Science, and is consistently mentioned in The Times annual list of highest-achieving schools. It has developed as a centre of excellence for STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Students attend annual conferences at the University of Bath on sustainability for young people in the community in partnership with Resource Futures and the school has developed a wide range of partnerships to enhance the teaching of STEM subjects.
We have also received the following awards: Artsmark Silver, Investors in People, Investors in Student Careers, Healthy Schools Plus, Partnership Promotion School and Sportsmark Gold. We are a Dyson School and a CueZone snooker school.
The school has undergone successive modifications to include young people with special needs and disabilities into the whole life of the school.
The Ofsted inspection in March 2014 graded the school as 'good' and some features were noted to be outstanding.
The school works closely with partners including the Dyson Foundation, the University of Bath, local schools, business and health service providers to improve outcomes for young people and the community.
The school campus undergoes a continuous programme of improvement. March 2011 saw the opening of the new art and photography space by nationally acclaimed artist David Cobley. This comprises new art and photography and textiles classrooms, meeting spaces and a Snack Shack. In September 2012 a new reception area was opened together with a second outdoor learning space and refurbished Science teaching spaces.
The Lee Sixth Form Centre and all-weather sports pitch, opened in 2013, have expanded the range of learning opportunities for both the school and across the local area with an emphasis on sixth form students and further developing our excellent sports provision.
The building also provides a community facility out of hours. The learning landscapes attached to the Lee Centre are integral to the school’s teaching and learning approach. The school has worked closely with ex-student Fergus Feilden and his architectural practice Feilden Fowles on the project, and it is an exemplar environmental building, designed along passive solar principles and sensible design rather than environmental add-ons. Inclusivity is at the heart of Ralph Allen School’s ethos and the Lee Centre is accessible to all, promoting equal access and opportunities throughout.
The Rose Building opened in April 2014. This two-storey teaching block for English and Modern Foreign Languages was named after inspirational ex-Assistant Principal Mr Steve Rose who worked at the school for 37 years. The provision of this building enabled us to demolish many of the temporary teaching buildings on the south of the site, a long-held desire which we were delighted to realise.
Relationships with our parents are good. The local community regards the school highly and gives us considerable support. In turn, the school provides venues and facilities for many community activities and events.
Over the last year we have worked hard with local primary schools on the formation of the Palladian Academy Trust (PAT), a development we are passionate about. The new multi-academy trust (MAT) is a group of like-minded local schools - all academies – that have chosen to work together in partnership for the benefit of our children’s education.
The Trust – a group of geographically close secondary, primary, infant and junior schools - will build on existing good practice and collaborative work. It will seek to retain the ethos and identity of each school while enjoying and exploring the benefits of partnership.
The eight schools in the Palladian Academy Trust (PAT) are:
- Combe Down C of E Primary School
- Oldfield Park Infant School
- Oldfield Park Junior School
- Ralph Allen School (secondary school)
- St Martin’s Garden Primary School
- St Philip’s C of E Primary School
- Widcombe Infant School
- Widcombe C of E Junior School
The students of Ralph Allen are of course the heart of the school - they are genuine, open and welcoming and we look forward to the many opportunities for learning that being part of the PAT offers our students.