Meet our school

T. 020 7474 0231



Our school


‘Determined, ambitious learners’


“Cumberland School provides a GOOD education with OUTSTANDING features.”

Overall Effectiveness is GOOD

Achievement is GOOD

Teaching and Learning is GOOD

Behaviour and Safety is OUTSTANDING

Leadership and Management is OUTSTANDING

Ofsted March 2013


Our School

The Cumberland School is a mixed comprehensive school with 1500 pupils on roll. We are an ambitious school, keen to improve on and exceed previous success. We serve, and are proud to do so, a rich, diverse and exciting community. We live and breathe our commitment to equal opportunities and inclusivity, and work hard to ensure that Cumberland is a cohesive, positive and exciting environment for all. Our fabulous site has the kind of green space, facilities and energy rarely found in inner city schools. There is a real sense of determination and an ethos of aspiration and support pervades all we do. The school moved into brand new premises in July 2005 and ten years on the building remains an excellent learning environment with outstanding facilities particularly in sport, IT, design technology and art. We are about to complete an additional extension to the building which will increase capacity and facilities in English and MFL areas amongst others. Cumberland is a forward looking school, creative and imaginative in its approach to ensure that a quality education is provided for everyone.


Our ambitions

Our ambitions are many, but at the heart is the determination to become an exemplar 21st century community school. One which:

  • ensures that all pupils learn effectively and achieve the highest levels of achievement possible
  • ensures that they gain the knowledge, skills and qualifications that will set them up for success as adults
  • prepares them for the challenges and joys of the wider world
  • develops in each pupil the life-skills they need to be fulfilled and responsible citizens, whilst they are at Cumberland and after they have left
  • creates a working environment at Cumberland which is supportive and fulfilling for staff and pupils
  • offers a first-rate comprehensive education option for local families, helping to build a strong, integrated local community
  • contributes to a wider movement that is working to improve education and the life chances of those from disadvantaged backgrounds


Our ethos

Cumberland’s ethos is based on respect, high expectations, strong relationships and tolerance. We are unequivocal in challenging discrimination and inequality. Our pupils enjoy coming here. Our staff know pupils very well as individuals and outstanding care, guidance and support contribute greatly to pupil safety, enjoyment and achievement. This is enhanced and enriched by our commitment to engaging with parents and forming productive and sustained partnerships with a variety of businesses and community groups from which our pupils benefit.


Our responsibilities

Our core responsibility is to ensure that our young people leave with the highest academic qualifications; skills that will give them opportunities to have successful careers and families; and values and attitudes that will make the world a better place. We have pupils across the entire ability range, the most able who get A* at GCSE and go on to Russell Group Universities and those with complex needs (some of whom have a statement of SEN,) as well as an onsite autism provision for around 20 pupils. Whatever pupils’ prior achievements we challenge them to reach or surpass their personal goals. Many of our pupils are bilingual, some are refugees or asylum seekers. Whatever their ability, whatever their needs, whatever their culture, they have equal value at Cumberland and this is central to our ethos.


Our Behaviours

Behaviour at Cumberland is good and continually improving. Relationships are very strong, expectations are high and we are unequivocal in challenging behaviour that affects learning or in any way challenges our ethos and core principles. Young people thrive in an orderly structured school. We reward and promote good behaviour through the VIVO system and take sanctions when we need to. Our behaviour policy is well understood by all and is displayed in all classrooms and corridors. It is consistently applied and was praised by Ofsted. Safeguarding is outstanding. Our young people tell us that they feel safe in school and know what to do if they need support. Pupils are happy, well-motivated and enjoy coming to school. Consequently our attendance is well above the national average.


Our staff

Staff development is very important at Cumberland and we pride ourselves on a dynamic and supportive programme.  All staff are encouraged to develop professionally and there is a full programme of INSET and support for Newly Qualified Teachers and those teachers who are simply new to Cumberland. Newly Qualified Teachers can begin with us in the July. We also take pupils from a variety of PGCE courses.  We provide all new staff with a laptop computer. The school retained its designation as an ‘Investors in People’ school for the fourth time in March 2014.  This is evidence of the strong commitment to and implementation of intensive training and development of its entire staff.


Our pupils

The school attracts most of its intake from six primary schools.  However, up to another thirty five primary schools also send their pupils to us.  Our pupil population reflects the local community and covers the full range of abilities. The school has a ten form entry in all years and we are full in virtually all year groups. More than seventy languages are spoken at the school and pupils come from very varied backgrounds. Strategies for literacy and numeracy have been developed to support those pupils that come to us with below average reading skills.


There is an active School Council that meets regularly, holds a budget, and is an important voice in the school.  Every year pupils take part in the annual drama production and Christmas Concert.  Pupils’ achievements are celebrated in assemblies, at the Leavers Celebration, Certificates Evening, Awards Evening and at various other events throughout the school year.  We also reward excellent attendance and run a merit system, which rewards a range of achievements with certificates and prizes.


All form groups are mixed ability and pupils are placed in classes of 30 in Key Stage 3.  Technology classes and option subjects are smaller in size.  There is setting of pupils in some subjects.  The London Borough of Newham has an Inclusive Education Policy.  This means we have places for children with moderate learning difficulties as well as other pupils with statements and complex needs. The school is also a resourced school for children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and has excellent facilities for these pupils.   This rich and diverse pupil community, along with excellent resources and structures to support these pupils, is part of what makes Cumberland such a rewarding and exciting place to work.


Our Borough - Newham

Cumberland lies at the heart of the London Borough of Newham. Newham is situated just three miles from the city and takes in much of London’s revitalised docklands. The Olympics have left the amazing legacy of the Queen Elizabeth Park and all its sporting facilities, along with Westfield, and Canary Wharf, which are only a mile or so away. Major regeneration schemes are underway in other parts of Newham, including Canning Town and West Ham. Newham is London’s most diverse borough and the borough’s youthful vigour and creativity has fused with the traditional East End values of warmth, friendliness, community spirit and good humour to make Newham a welcoming place with a unique character. Newham remains a great place to buy a house with better prices than comparable parts of London. Newham has the youngest and most diverse population in the UK. More than 40 per cent of the 254,000 people in Newham are under 25 years old and more than 100 languages are spoken locally – from Albanian to Zhuang. All of which makes for an exciting area rich in culture, flavour and atmosphere where local people take great pride in being part of a global village.


Next steps

After a very positive Ofsted report in March of 2013, results have dipped. This is clearly disappointing and something which the school is determined to address swiftly. Schools do not get better by chance and we have a staff totally committed to working to improve the life chances of our pupils.



Gillian Dineen




Cumberland School

Oban Close, London, E13 8SJ



T. 020 7474 0231

F. 020 7511 2510


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