Story by Tamikka Reid | Photos courtesy of Longley Sixth Form College
Fir Vale Academy has undergone a positive transformation, with the help of the new head teacher Simon Hawkins, who wanted to improve school standards by obtaining a sense of purpose and high expectations. He did this by providing unconditional positive regard to students as well as rewarding and praising them for their efforts, and challenging them when they do not meet their expectations.
Mr Hawkins stated:
“The impact after one year has been significant: the school has seen the number of lates fall by 30% and attendance rise rapidly to where it is now at a four year high.”
Ofsted also noticed the development of the school and commented that, under Hawkins’ leadership “rates of exclusion at Fir Vale have decreased significantly since September 2017,” as well as seeing improvements in relation to “punctuality, levels of bullying and positive rewards”.
This would explain their success this year with their GCSE results. Science leads the way again, with the school having been in the top 15% for the past three years. Nearly one in six pupils achieved one or more grades higher than the national average across a range of subjects. Other subjects with evidence of strong performance included history, business and sport.
“Our school is safe, happy, ambitious and inclusive. We have cut exclusions by 74%, punctuality is up by 30%; attendance is at a 4 year high; and 95% of parents in a recent survey said they would recommend our school. The GCSE results today are a further testament to the hard work and commitment of pupils, their families and staff.”
Longley Sixth Form College also achieved outstanding results in their exams this year. More than 97% of students passed, with 49% of pupils achieving grades A*- B and obtaining a 100% pass rate in 24 subjects. Head teacher Mo Nisbet said:
“We are delighted to see an improvement in our A-Level pass rate and that so many of our students continue to achieve the highest grades.”