Uniform consultation

We’re seeking your views on some changes that we are proposing to our uniform.  The letter about the changes can be found here.

Your views can be submitted through the uniform page on the website, and the deadline for this is 1st March 2019.

Thank you for your help.


Exams Timetable

Pupils, Parents and Carers can now access the February exam timetable on the Duke’s website.  You can find the timetable under Useful Info > Examination Timetables, or by clicking here.

These exams are for all Year 11, 12 and 13 students and they commence on 25th February 2019.

Garden of Eden Project and much more!

This episode includes

  • New theme and incidental music, composed by Y10 pupil Nathan Golightly
  • A chat with our Belgian Exchange visitors about the Garden of Eden project
  • A solo performance by JBVI student Lynsey Garratt
  • A sports debate, featuring GCSE PE pupils Alex, Dylan, Daniel and Ana-Lee



Duke’s Secondary School, part of the NCEA Trust in Ashington, was praised by Ofsted for the speed of action to address areas for improvement and for the progress being seen in improving pupil behaviour, attendance and literacy following their visit to the school in December 2018.

The letter to the school which followed the inspection commended school leaders for “taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement” seen at the time of the previous inspection. The inspection scrutinised leaders’ plans for improvement and found evidence throughout the school of these improvements being seen in lessons, behaviours and attitudes.

An inspector commented that pupils had told him that they recognised the changes that have taken place in the classroom, and how pupils are “regularly challenged to be critical thinkers”.  Reading is improving, with pupil ability having “improved markedly” in comparison with national data.

Steve Gibson, Principal at Duke’s School, said: “We are delighted with the findings of this inspection, and particularly that Ofsted have seen improvements.  This is an important milestone for the school, and allows us a moment to reflect on and celebrate the hard work of a talented staff team in making these rapid improvements.  We will continue our relentless focus to ensure that we achieve our high aspirations for our fantastic pupils and school community.”

John Brearley, Chair of Governors, said, speaking on behalf of the Full Governing Body: “This is a really important step to improve the life chances of the pupils in our communities, and our resolve is to make continued improvements over the coming months and years.”

The report also reflects the impact of the change in structure from a single academy to form the new NCEA multi-academy trust earlier in 2018.  The Trust was praised for the support and challenge provided to drive improvements within the school.  Alan Hardie, a national leader for education, has recently been confirmed as the new chief executive officer of the Trust following a period of support as interim CEO bringing his experience and guidance to the school.  The school’s work with the Church of England’s Diocese of Newcastle Education Office was also commended as an important aspect of the school’s improvement trajectory.

Click here for the report.

Denver Hume Interview

Duke’s DNA Podcast interviews Denver Hume

Listen in as Mr Hunter interviews professional footballer Denver Hume, a former pupil at the Academy, about his work and life with Sunderland AFC.

Pro footballer talks to pupils about learning

Former pupil at the Academy, and now professional footballer with Sunderland AFC, Denver Hume, came back to his roots to talk to pupils about how what they learn at school impacts their future, regardless of where that future might take them.

Talking to Mr Hunter and a group of pupils, Denver spoke about team tactics, performance analysis and the impact of critical thinking on his work as a professional footballer.  He also explained about the range of different opportunities for careers in football in roles that support the players on and off the pitch.

Denver’s full interview can be heard on the Duke’s DNA Podcast.