Free school story: Corby Technical School


Corby has a proud industrial heritage, the town used to be home to one of the biggest steel works in the country, so it was natural for Corby Technical School to focus on developing children’s technical knowledge and understanding, helping to equip them for future careers in science, engineering and technology.

The school’s curriculum reflects this through a particular emphasis on technical knowledge and skills. As a free school, it has the flexibility to move away from the national curriculum and dedicates every Wednesday afternoon to the study of STEM subjects - science, engineering, technology and maths – and how they combine. In these sessions, pupils come off the normal timetable and take part in group activities which develop their research, investigation and practical skills. For example, pupils recently worked in teams to design, build and then race solar powered cars.

The STEM focus is also supported by a range of after school clubs and regular guest speakers from industry, who have so far included engineers from Triumph motorcycles, a medic from the RAF and even a NASA astronaut.

Thanks to the fantastic facilities in its brand new building, including 3-D printers and laser cutters, the school is able to turn pupil’s ideas into reality. And it’s clear that they are flourishing in their new home, with  Ofsted finding the school to be ‘Outstanding’ in every category when they came to inspect it in May 2014.

The school was established in 2012 by the Brooke Weston Trust, which already runs several successful schools in the area.  They were responding to a local need for new places. So far, it has proved hugely popular with parents, with more than three applications for every place available this year.