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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Triple joy for school

A SCHOOL is celebrating triple awards success.

Ulverston Victoria High School is one of only 15 schools nationally to have achieved the Prince’s Teaching Institute Mark for 2012 in English, history and maths.

The Prince’s Teaching Institute launched its Schools Programme in 2007 to recognise and reward school departments that develop inspirational ideas and activities which enhance teaching, regardless of their pupils’ backgrounds or abilities.

It is run as a membership group for school departments that choose to commit to increasing the challenge of their subject provision.

The UVHS maths department received the mark in recognition of the work in developing cross-curricular projects involving both staff and students in the planning process. The slave trade was the main focus of a project which enabled students to explore maths in an historical context, while also reflecting on the moral and ethical issues involved.

The history department developed a distinct unit of work on the Holocaust with Year Nine, culminating in the visit of Zigi Shipper, a survivor from Auschwitz . The students have also been involved in a “talking heads” project in which people with differing experiences of the Second World War were interviewed and filmed by the students in school. These pupils then visited other Year Nine classes to share with them the edited interviews.

Having already received the mark for three years, English is now an associate department of the school. This involves undertaking research for three years to develop two focus areas that the PTI is keen to promote, including extending and enthusing pupils through subject-based activities that are beyond the curriculum.

The first year of their research has seen several university academics coming in to work with English language and English literature students in the sixth form. There have been lectures and masterclasses on different sections of the syllabus which have been enjoyed by all involved.

They have also taken part in the UK Linguistics Olympiad and successfully in local writing competitions. This is in addition to the activities already set up to achieve the PTI mark four years ago.

UVHS assistant headteacher, Roger Cahalin, is delighted with the school’s latest achievements.

UVHS is an Ofsted “Outstanding School” and Mr Cahalin is inviting prospective new pupils and parents to come along and visit during the open week, which runs until Friday, with an open evening on Thursday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Mr Cahalin said: “UVHS welcomes parents and children to its open week and open evening so that they can see and feel for themselves what makes our school outstanding on a national level. We have been on an incredible improvement journey at our school which has been described as unique.

“Last year we achieved record examination results at GCSE and at A-Level. Equally, we are one of the few secondary schools in Cumbria to be awarded Inclusion Gold for our excellence in special educational needs. In 2011 we were awarded ‘Secondary School of the Year in Cumbria’ at the CN Group Golden Apple Awards.

“Our visitors will find a school with traditional values and progressive ideas which values all its students as individuals within a collective ethos of team spirit and clear shared responsibilities.

“We welcome students from all over the Furness peninsula to our over-subscribed school so that they can enjoy a high level of examination success right up to Year 13 in our sixth form and flourishing extra-curricular activities.”

Parents are particularly advised to take advantage of the classroom tours during normal school days, as well as the celebration of its open evening, to see a school that Ofsted said their inspectors would be proud for their children to attend.

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