The Piggott School was founded by Robert Piggott, a philanthropist, to cater for 20 poor boys and 20 poor girls in separate schools. The foundation stone was laid on 12 October 1939 it was officially opened on 17 September 1940. The school was originally built for 320 children. It was too small as soon as it was opened in 1940, because war had broken out and a massive evacuation programme was underway (2 million children moved out of London in 3 days). This meant a doubling of the local population of children and far more children had to be accommodated. Morning school was therefore organised for ‘home’ children’. Afternoon school was for the ‘visitors’.
Since becoming an academy, there have been several changes to the new site. In 2011, a brand new sixth form block was opened to replace the old sixth form block (now used as a drama studio and extra classroom). A purpose built gym run by Nuffield Health was constructed on the site of the old Maths and Business Studies terrapins, which is open to the public on evenings and weekends.
The school operates a house system. There are four houses, which each have a Head of House, Pastoral Mentor, and a team of tutors. House prefects are appointed by the Head of House. The purpose of the House system is to encourage pupils to take on an active role within the school and to take pride in their House. Through the House system they hope to build a sense of community as well as encouraging pupils to work for their House in a competitive manner.
The house system involves house points, in the form of merits and each individual pupil is encouraged to collect these to support their house. Merits are awarded for effort and achievement, community service and extra curricular involvement within the school.
Being a member of a house is about being part of a team, so each an every member of this school, pupils and staff are part of a team. Every member of a team is important. Each person brings unique skills, knowledge, and experience. People also bring energy, drive, passion, and determination. Since everyone brings different amounts of all of these things, team members need each other.
At present the school holds inter-house competitions every year along with the annual Spelling Bee, Photography and ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition. The four houses are.
St Patricks Thames Kennet Loddon
Loddon house is named after the River Loddon in Berkshire and Hampshire, this is currently the leading house. The emblem is a Lion. Thames house is named after the River Thames which runs through several cities and towns, the emblem is a dragon. Kennet house is named after the River Kennet which runs through Reading, the emblem is a green dragon. St Patrick's house is named after St Patrick's Stream, a backwater of the Thames that flows into the Loddon, the emblem is a harp. The new school sweatshirt will come with the school house by July 2011, the logo can either be red for Thames, blue for St Patricks, green for Kennet, and gold for Loddon. The old school sweatshirt consists of only a gold writing and no house badge underneath. There are many competitions between these four houses, including, rugby, football, netball, hockey, sports day, the governors cup and many more.
The Piggott School is a school with a Church Foundation. This reflects the School's history and the involvement of The Church of England in the education of young people in their communities; it does not mean the pupils or their families have to have a Christian faith, or any religious faith. But everyone is expected to respect the teachings of the Christian faith.
Gospel values place great emphasis on care and respect, on fairness and forgiveness; there is an emphasis on our responsibilities as fellow human beings, as well as our rights as individuals.
The school has been very high achieving in the terms of results and Ofsted inspections the last inspection in 2010–11 school year. The Piggot School got outstanding on an inspection in early January 2014.
The Piggott School has a soldering works area, clay area, modelling areas such as making D.I.Y, a Arts Studio and a very large sports field which runs alongside the railway tracks towards Wargrave railway station. There is also a proposed new humanities block with updated facilities, in 2011 there was a brand new sixth form block opened. Students are shown how to use a range of tools and equipment safely across a range of projects that are designed to enhance and build upon the skills they learn. They are encouraged to work in a methodical and organised way, assessing their work as it progresses. Projects are designed to provide experience of processes and skills from graphics and layout; to cutting and assembling wood to build freestanding structures; the selection and preparation of ingredients in food technology and the use of components in simple electronic circuits, this is supported by Wokingham Secondary Federation. A brand new block, similar to that if the sixth form building, was constructed in mid 2013. This contains a mixture of Maths and science facilities but also a gym that is operated by Nufield Health. This block was built on the south of the site.
Mr Derren Gray, BSc, NPQH Head Teacher Mr Kevin Harley, BSc, NPQH Deputy Head Teacher, Curriculum, (Mathematics/IT) Mrs Maggie Urwin, BA, NPQH Deputy Head Teacher, Pastoral, (Modern Languages) Mr Steve Woodhull, BA Assistant Head Teacher, (Economics/Business Studies) Mrs Viki Hunt, BA, NPQH Assistant Head Teacher, Director of Specialisms (English) Mr Brian Murphy, BEd, MA AST ( Subject Leader Art) Mrs Nadine Doble Business Manager Ms Karen Burch, BA Seconded, (Sociology, Learning 4 Life)
In Years 7, 8 and 9 (Key Stage 3) students study the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science (Year 9 start GCSE Science) plus the following foundation subjects: French, Design and Technology, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), History, Geography, Religious Education, Art, Music and Physical Education. In addition lessons are offered in Personal, Social and Health Education, Citizenship and Drama. Pupils are taught in sets for English, Maths, Science and French. German is offered as a first language (if you choose it) language from Year 7 onwards to those in the top French sets. Mandarin Chinese is now available.. The Piggott School's is one of a small number of state schools which still offer the three separate sciences at GCSE. The following Design and Technology options are offered at GCSE: Food and Nutrition; Graphic Products; Resistant Materials; Systems and Control; Textiles.
AS Art, Craft and Design is also available as a fast track course for students in year 10 and 11. In Years 9, 10 and 11 students are able to specialise in Catering, Graphic Products, Textiles, Resistant Materials, Electronic Products or Food. Sixth formers can study the following courses in AS & A2 are food technology, AQA theatre studies, music, AQA geography, OCR history, AQA maths and languages (French, Spanish or German). Students can also study at AS and A level which are ICT, product design (graphic products or textile technology), economics, science (students are able to take one or more of the three separate sciences, these are biology, physics, chemistry), business studies, art and photography.
In addition, a number of vocational courses are available including the new Key Skills Qualifications in Application of Number, Communication, and Information Technology, and the National Diploma in Business (Level 2). The Piggott School's participates in the Cisco Networking Academy Programme and is one of the relatively few schools in the UK to offer this globally accepted professional course in networking. Pupils on this course have networked the computers in the school's IT suite and also those of the neighbouring primary school Robert Piggott Junior in Wargrave, Berkshire. The Piggott School's has pioneered an innovative science buddy scheme, which was featured on Teachernet, the website for teachers and educators. The scheme involved around 30 pupils from the top three sets in Year 11 helping the younger children in Year 7 to conduct experiments and investigations in a lunchtime club.
Pupils at the school participate in the following sports: cross-country, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, health-related fitness, hockey, netball, rounders, rugby, athletics, table tennis and tennis. There are school teams which play regular fixtures with other local schools in rugby, football, hockey, netball and basketball. Pupils also participate in the Reading Cross Country League. A number of pupils play at county level.
Music and Drama:
Tuition is provided by Berkshire Maestros, pupils can learn to play all sorts of instruments such as woodwind. Pupils can even perform at concerts.There is also a School Jazz Band and String Group. All pupils who learn instruments in school are expected to participate in at least one of these groups.
Drama productions are a feature of The Piggott School and have ranged from well known musicals to exam performances presented by students studying GCSE and A levels.
Trips are organised to France for Year 7 students and to a number of other countries for students in Years 8–12. Sixth formers are involved in outdoor education visits and subject based field work.
The Piggott School is a specialist school in languages and humanities. The school has Investor in People Status and also holds the Sportsmark Award and the Healthy School's award.
In common with all other schools in Wokingham Borough, school places are allocated by the LEA based on designated catchment areas and feeder primary schools. Around 200 places are available at Piggott every year. The feeder primary schools for Piggott are:Colleton Primary School
Crazies Hill CofE Primary School
Polehampton CofE Junior School
Robert Piggott CofE Junior School
Sonning CofE Primary School
Knowl Hill CofE Primary School
Charvil Piggott Primary School
Note: St. Johns's C of E Aided Primary School is no longer a feeder school for the Piggott School.
On Friday 1 July 2011, The Piggott School became an academy after being approved by the Department of Education. The letter sent out to parents saying the school would become and academy on 1 July was sent out on Monday, 4 July.
In 2013 it was announced that the Piggott school will be opening a primary school in Charvil. This primary school has now been opened and named "Charvil Piggott Primary".