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Specialist Status

Castle Rock High School students will be able to take part in many exciting opportunities during their time with us. Specialist Status was a government initiative established in 1993 to encourage schools to become local centres of excellence, it has now been superseded by other government initiatives such as the Academy Scheme. Castle Rock became an Academy in 2012, but we continue to base the emphasis of everything we do in school around the “Six Keys to Success” which we adopted when the school attained Specialist Sports Status, because this has been recognised as one of the many strengths of the school by our students, parents and Ofsted.

The Six keys to Success


Developed in partnership with the British Athletes Commission.

  1. Mental toughness
  2. Hunger to achieve
  3. People skills
  4. Sports and life knowledge
  5. Breaking barriers
  6. Planning for success

The Six Keys to Success are designed to help young people develop valuable life skills that will help them in and outside of school, now and into their future.

Inspiring our Students through the Six Keys to Success


We are always looking for ways to inspire our students to "be the best they can be" which is our school motto. For example, in recent years our students have had the opportunity to work with many different athletes, professionals, actors and dancers including: Sally Walton (GB Hockey Olympian), Eden Francis (U23 European Shot Put Champion), Bobby White (GB Handball Captain), Julian Golley (Gold Commonwealth Medallist and Olympian), Paul Nixon (Leicestershire and England Cricketer), Anthony Clark (GB and England Badminton player) and Anna Turney.

Future Foxes visit to Leicester City FC's King Power Stadium

We worked with Anna on the “Be The Best You Can Be” programme where all Castle Rock students took part in an excellent piece of work that really focused them on what they wanted to achieve and how they would get there. Anna came into school and spoke to our students on her life and sporting successes.

Soft Touch Arts Company worked with thirty Year 9 Performing Arts students who were part of a national awareness campaign against domestic abuse. Our students were part of performing arts workshops which explored a number of topics and issues including domestic abuse, unhealthy and healthy relationships, early warning signs of unhealthy relationships and the pressures that cause people to stay in abusive relationships. The students learned where to get help, whilst also being educated about what to do, and how to help people in these situations. Our students developed and performed their own drama performances, which explored domestic violence and raised awareness to their audiences about healthy relationships.

GB athlete Gemma Steel ran the 2014 Sport Relief Mile with staff & students

Andrew McWilliam (Director - Chorus Theatre, Coalville) works weekly with our performing arts students to explore creativity and imagination through drama. They are currently putting together a performance which will be performed to the school and then to the public at the Century Theatre in June 2015.

Jacquie Sykes (Street environment officer) completed a litter collection locally with our students to help them understand the anti-social nature of littering, recycling and dangers to wildlife. This also built respect with the inter-generational community. She also carried out a campaign with year 9 girls on the perils of dog fowling which won awards and was well-thought of nationally.

Representatives from local and national businesses, professionals and personnel from the armed and emergency services give up their time each year to support our Year 8 Careers Conference, which is held to aid the students in their choices of options for their GCSE studies.

Artists such as Sheena McHugh (The Voice semi-finalist and ex –student), Sam Bailey (X factor winner 2013, Zoe ball (TV and radio Presenter), and Abbey Clancy (TV Presenter, Model and Strictly Come Dancing Winner 2013) have given motivational presentations to our students.

Dance workshops with Carl Sanderson, Nick Sutcliffe & Zoe Curlett

West End and TV Actors/Dancers Nick Sutcliffe, Carl Sanderson and Zoe Curlett run motivational workshops in dance and drama for our students.

We run a Leadership Programme to challenge our young people. Students get the opportunity to take part in a Level 1 Leadership award which is run by our School Sports Partnership, they are also trained in delivering Multi-skills, High 5 Netball, Boccia and Indoor Athletics. They use these skills in their lessons and to lead after school clubs, for example our young leaders work with students at Forest Way Special School and our feeder primary schools. During the summer term we will take our young leaders and complete the core tasks and get to know the new students before they start.

Pre-GCSE options careers conference for Year 8 students

Our Multi-Skills club runs in the summer term and is delivered to our New Year 6 students. They are identified by their school and then come up and take part in many different activities to challenge them and this also gives them the opportunity to meet other students from other schools.

We also offer support and challenges for all groups of students; a programme we deliver called Living for Sports Club is led and co-ordinated by our PE department staff and again the focus is on supporting and challenging students to be “The Best They Can Be”. Around 12 students are targeted in Year 9 and work together to plan and deliver an event of a sporting nature.

The specialism is also used across the curriculum to raise standards. For example the PE Department helps other areas of the school to write schemes of work, this is currently utilised in the Skills Academy where they use sports to look at writing for purpose, Maths and Geography use orienteering for bearings and grid references, etc.