Ormiston Denes Academy is one of Suffolk’s leading co-educational secondary schools, situated in the coastal town of Lowestoft, about 110 miles north-east of London. The most easterly secondary school in the United Kingdom, it lies just 22 miles south-east of Norwich, and has a train route to London Liverpool Street via Ipswich which is 50 miles to the south.
The academy is located on the A47, centrally within the catchment area and just over a mile from the centre of Lowestoft. The grounds include a sports centre which serves a focal point for the community.
Located in the historic parish of St Margaret’s, the academy’s history dates back to 1910 when it was founded as a replacement for a secondary fee-paying day school established in 1904. Built by Brown and Kerr its main building is a Grade II listed building with a Queen Anne façade. The school was originally designed to accommodate 320 pupils with the site comprising eleven acres, of which seven were playing fields. For the first nine years the school was called the Lowestoft Municipal Secondary School and its aim was to provide a ‘sound education for boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 18’. In 1914 the first school magazine, The Lowestoftian was published, detailing the events of the school. Although it has seen many changes over time The Lowestoftian continues to be published to this day.
From 1920 the school was renamed the Lowestoft Secondary School before becoming known as Lowestoft Grammar School from 1945 under the changes of the 1944 Butler Education Act.
In June 1940, soon after the start of the Second World War and as a result of the danger from air raids on Lowestoft, 327 pupils together with the Head Master and 21 members of staff were evacuated to Worksop. The return to Lowestoft commenced in 1943 with eventually all returning by July 1944.
After the end of the war there was a population boom, which caused a rapid rise in the number of pupils attending the school. This necessitated a utilitarian building programme in order to accommodate the new pupils. This expansion of the school buildings continued intermittently for the next 30 years.
The school became a comprehensive in 1971 and was renamed The Denes High School. In September 2004 it was designated by the Department for Education and Skills as a specialist centre for business and enterprise.
In September 2011 the age range changed from 13–18 to 11–16 as part of the reorganisation of all schools in the area. Students in years 7 and 8 joined the school after the closure of eight middle schools in Lowestoft and the opening of Lowestoft Sixth Form meant that the Lowestoft sixth form consortium, which had operated as a shared sixth form between the high schools in the town, was dissolved.
As a result of these changes and the consolidation of other local providers, Ormiston Denes Academy is now the largest secondary school in the area with approximately 1,000 students on role, primarily feeding into the school from one of the eleven primary schools in north Lowestoft.
In 2013 the school joined Ormiston Academies Trust, converting to academy status and into its present form as Ormiston Denes Academy. Under new leadership from September 2016 the academy recently celebrated the highest ever student outcomes in its history, confirming its position as the top performing secondary academy in north Lowestoft, alongside its established reputation as a centre for sporting and creative excellence.
Ormiston Denes Academy students and staff visited the offices of Accenture in London recently and were given “a real insight” into what it would be like working at a leading management consulting firm during a special visit. With 31 Year 10 students from the Lowestoft high school greeted by employees from the global management consulting […]
Festive fever has spread across Lowestoft as residents got into the Christmas spirit at the town’s switch-on on Saturday afternoon. Not even the weather or a temporary tree light failure could put a damper on the festivities which culminated in the big Christmas lights switch-on. The lights in the town centre were switched on by […]
A clifftop ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War attracted a fine turnout as a “very moving” community event was held. An estimated crowd of more than 500 people turned out on Pakefield Cliffs on Sunday, November 11. Those present saw the beacon lit as the bells tolled to […]
Interactive workshops have helped to inspire the “next generation of engineers and scientists.” A “hands-on science roadshow” has rolled into Lowestoft as a series of wind power and engineering workshops take centre stage. Using coding to make traffic lights turn green, assembling an arch bridge, looking at how energy is generated and hearing about what […]
A popular exhibition was hailed as a “roaring success” as record numbers descended on Lowestoft. The fifth annual Lowestoft model engineering and model making exhibition was held at Ormiston Denes Academy over the weekend, with a diverse range of exhibits inspiring people of all ages. The exhibition, organised by the Halesworth & District Model Engineering […]
An academy trust which educates thousands of children across the region has secured a £2m funding boost to develop social action projects. Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) will receive the money through the #iwill Fund to ensure pupils engage in meaningful youth social action and develop social, emotional and life skills. The trust has numerous academies […]
An education charity which supports school governors is launching a new campaign in Suffolk to encourage more people to take up the role. The Governor Stories campaign is being launched at Quay Place in Ipswich on October 9 by charity Governors for Schools, with the aim of inspiring people to consider joining their local school’s […]
It was another day of celebration for young people who found out the results of the toughest exams of their school careers so far. Students across Lowestoft and Southwold were greeted with good news as schools continued their upward progress despite fears that exam grade changes would prove a setback. At Ormiston Denes Academy it […]
Ormiston Denes Academy was celebrating this week after being honoured with a national Quality in Careers award, recognising the outstanding careers advice it provides to its students. Credited by Prospects, the academy has achieved the highest, Gold-level accreditation, which is part of the Quality in Careers Standard award programme. The standard is awarded to schools […]
In May students in Year 10 visited the International Aviation Academy in Norwich. They climbed aboard a full-size Boeing 737-300 operational aeroplane and were later challenged to identify different parts of an aeroplane’s fuselage. They learnt that they can start training at 16 and progress to employment or the BSc (Hons) Professional Aviation Engineering Practice […]
Ormiston Denes Academy has hit the spotlight, with some of its students being given the unique chance of starring in a new film by renowned movie-makers Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis. The academy was selected to be one of the settings for the film, which is based around the Beatles. Fifty students at the academy […]
Ormiston Denes Academy has been praised for taking effective action after being told it requires improvement by Ofsted. The academy received a monitoring visit on June 20 after a full inspection in April last year when it was given the rating in all four key areas, including outcomes for pupils and quality of teaching. However […]