About DWS

Our Story

Darrick Wood School is a mixed comprehensive secondary school in Orpington, Kent.

Darrick Wood School first opened in 1975. During the first term, because the buildings were not finished, the staff and children were transported to Charles Darwin School in Biggin Hill for their lessons. Mr Turner served as Head Teacher for the first ten years from 1975 until 1985.

Mr Barker then served as Head Teacher from 1985 until he retired as Head Teacher in December 2000. The Governors named the new main building The Barker Building in recognition of Mr Barker’s achievements as Head Teacher. Alongside many other achievements, the school underwent a huge capital project in January 1994 to provide purpose-built accommodation for what was planned to be the biggest school in the London Borough of Bromley. Two years of mud and inconvenience gave rise to the new main building and the Assembly Hall complex, together with the refurbishment and extension of the old main building. In 1998, the school received an excellent Ofsted.

Mrs Rhymaun was appointed as the new Head Teacher, having previously served as Deputy Head Teacher, in 2000. In June 2004 Darrick Wood obtained Technology Specialist Status. This allowed substantial new funding to be dedicated to improving the equipment and facilities in the School. A full Ofsted inspection judged the School to be “outstanding”, the highest of educational accolades. In her report HMI Mrs Wood surmised, “the School provides an inspirational learning environment,” “students display respectful and exemplary behaviour” and “teaching and learning are excellent”.  In December 2010 the School became an Academy, giving greater autonomy over use of resources and curriculum issues. and a purpose-built Sixth Form building was completed in November 2010.

In 2013 Darrick Wood School was selected for an important new role aimed at raising standards further and became one of only 150 schools in England to be granted Teaching School status. This designation entitles the School to lead the training and professional development for staff across a range of schools, a role which the school still fulfils to this day. A single storey building near the Physical Education department was completed in April 2014. It has three classrooms and a conference room. It has now been extended to support two additional floors for Music and Drama.

In April 2015, after 15 years as Head Teacher and 26 years at the School in total, Mrs Rhymaun retired. During her time at Darrick Wood, Mrs Rhymaun’s dedication and hard work led the School to many achievements and accolades. Dr Airey was appointed the new Head Teacher.

In October 2015, Darrick Wood School successfully achieved the World Class Schools Quality Mark (WCSQM). On Tuesday, 13th October 2015 the School was informed that it had exceeded the standard required for accreditation. The WCSQM process required the School to provide students capable of compiling comprehensive evidence in support of their application. In 2018 Darrick Wood School was again asked to submit evidence of the world class education provided in order to be re-accredited. This time the evidence submitted was reviewed by pupils from another world class school. In the summer term of 2018 Darrick Wood School was proud to receive our re-accreditation.

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Our Culture

Vision for Learning

As a School we have an uncompromising commitment to providing our learners with the best possible experiences of teaching and learning. We focus on learning on the five pillars of the Darrick Wood School Vision for Learning. They are: progress, ownership, challenge, relationships and engagement.

Darrick Wood Way

Our approach is encapsulated in what we call The Darrick Wood Way, which incorporates our core values of respect, responsibility and honesty, a vision for learning where everyone supports each other to achieve the best possible education. In short, and in accordance with the School’s motto, Revereor Vitam, we have a reverence for life.


These are respect, responsibility and honesty.
Respect includes respect for others, for oneself, for our surroundings and the environment.
Responsibility involves becoming more responsible as members of our School, local, national and global communities.
Honesty involves being honest with others and with ourselves.

Motto - Revereor Vitam

Our motto and logo originate from the earliest days of the School opening in the 1970s. To have a reverence or respect for life works as a basis for all we do at Darrick Wood on several levels.

What we do - extra-curricular

In addition to teaching and learning, we have a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities. See the examples below for a small selection of what we offer at Darrick Wood School.


DWS Audio

DWS Audio is a new short-form content service for young people in the Darrick Wood community…and beyond.

DWS News

Check out the latest news and information from across Darrick Wood School, for pupils, parents, carers and the wider community.

DWS Sport

DWS offers a wealth of options for sport, both within the curriculum and as extra-curricular provision
DWS Sport

Some of our partners

The Darrick Wood School Parents, Staff and Friends Association (PSFA) was born principally as a fund raising tool and has developed a close and rewarding relationship with the school.
Independent Catering support Darrick Wood School in providing school meals. For 24 years Independent Catering has been at the forefront of providing fresh food to schools.
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Students on roll
Years of history
Houses to belong to