Ulverston Victoria High School has been crowned Secondary School of the Year at Cumbria’s premier education awards, The Golden Apples.
The school – a partner of Choose Cumbria – was recognised for being one of the most successful secondary schools in Cumbria and a leader in its field on the national stage. Award judges praised the school’s strong all-round package, in particular the pioneering teaching, and the high-level recognition of its standards given by Prince Charles through The Prince's Teaching Institute.
UVHS assistant headteachers Alessandra Desbottes and Andy Nayler described the award as the “icing on the cake” of an amazing year for the school, which has 1,300 pupils and employs around 150 people.
Speaking at the ceremony, held at Carlisle Racecourse on Friday (October 7), Mrs Desbottes said: “Our headteacher Denis Fay says that we should treat every child if they were our own and that is our starting point every time.
“It isn’t just things like our results, this is about the whole school community. We’ve got fantastic relationships with our parents and governors. Teachers are amazing and go over and above for all our children, whom we mustn't forget in all of this. They are simply going to love this.”
Mr Nayler said: “This is just fantastic and we’ve had such a good year. This is the icing on the cake.
“We’ve had our best GCSE results and we’ve now got our largest sixth form ever - 291 students.
“In the summer for GCSE 30 per cent of the grades in maths were A* or A and 88 per cent of our students achieved A*-C in maths. We also had our largest ever uptake in triple science and they still got a 100 per cent pass rate.”
Meanwhile, third-year engineering apprentice at GSK in Ulverston Jemima Armstrong scooped the highly coveted Apprentice of the Year Award. She was praised for her excellent results, commitment and as an ambassador promoting STEM careers, and will also be competing in the finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2016.
It was also a good night for Choose Cumbria partners University of Cumbria, who received the Technology in Learning while retired vice-chancellor Professor Peter Strike received the Lifetime Achievement accolade.
The Barrow-born academic and scientist was honoured for his 50-year involvement in high education, which saw him return to Cumbria to help establish the university in 2007, said: “It is important that the University should continue to develop the opportunities of higher education provision for young people and not-so-young people here. It has been a huge pleasure to be involved in the first steps of its journey.”
The Golden Apples – or to give its full name the CN Group Education & Learning Awards – was supported by the University of Cumbria along with Choose Cumbria partners BAE Systems, Furness College and Barrow Sixth Form College.
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