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Church schools come top in TES awards

05 July 2019

TES Awards 2019

Cathedral Academy, Wakefield, wins the award for Secondary School of the Year

Cathedral Academy, Wakefield, wins the award for Secondary School of the Year

TWO Church of England academies and a church primary school have been recognised in the TES Schools Awards.

The awards, in their 11th year, recognise “outstanding contributions” made by education teams and individuals that have helped students in the UK to succeed in and out of the classroom. The awards ceremony was hosted by the comedian Harry Hill last week.

The Cathedral Academy, Wakefield, was named Secondary School of the Year, despite facing a financial crisis two years ago. The school had had to make many cutbacks after reporting a projected deficit of £500,000.

The motto of academy is “Greatness is within”, which, judges said, pupils had shown to be the case. Its Principal, Rob Marsh, said: “We teach our students to believe in themselves, and that the skills they need to succeed are within their own potential. As a collective, we teach that everything is possible for one who believes.”

The Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs, who leads on education for the diocese, congratulated the academy: “This is a fabulous achievement.”

He also praised Bradford Academy, which won the Community and Collaboration Award. The award recognises “the exceptional work taking place with our many partners which prepares our young people to be good citizens, taking pride in their community, and having a say on the issues that concern them”.

Bishop Gibbs said: “These two awards are a testimony to the dedication and commitment of the staff, pupils, and whole community at these schools. They should be justly proudly of these outstanding achievements.”

TES Awards 2019Bradford Academy wins the award for community and collaboration

Bradford Academy has held weekly anti-radicalisation workshops, and worked with both the Linking Network, a local charity that brings pupils together from demographically diverse schools to debate contentious issues, and the charity Peace Foundation, through which pupils have been trained in peace-building to become ambassadors in their communities.

Its Executive Principal, Tehmina Hashmi, said: “We also have links with sporting clubs, including the Bradford Dragons basketball team and Bradford Bulls rugby league club, and we work closely with local businesses, colleges, and universities to widen the horizons and raise the aspirations of pupils.”

Bishop Gibbs said: “This felt like a brave school. It is very easy for schools in Bradford to put their heads down and not be noticed.”

The TES also named Grendon C of E Primary School, Northamptonshire, in the diocese of Peterborough, Primary School of the Year. The school has introduced a mentoring programme, run by pupils for pupils, about “their emotions, feelings, and social, moral, and spiritual development”.

The judges also praised the school’s teaching approach: “The school’s global curriculum sets learning entirely within the context of a specific country, with children immersed in that country’s religion, music, literature, politics, history, and geography.”

A spokesperson for the school said: “Pupils are given the autonomy to explore their own lines of enquiry and translate the skills they acquire into meaningful actions to create real and significant impact at a local, national, or international level.”

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