SHEFFIELD schools serving some of the city’s biggest estates are celebrating record-breaking GCSE results after making major leaps of improvement.
Thousands of students in Shirecliffe, the Manor, Shiregreen and Firth Park have left school with top results, which saw pass rates soar by up to 18 per cent – bucking a national downward trend.
Across the city education chiefs said early indications showed a rise - with schools like All Saints Catholic High School, and Westfield Sports College, both up 16 per cent, being success stories.
Two of the city’s academy schools surpassed the Government’s new minimum ‘floor standard’ of 40 per cent.
Parkwood Academy in Shirecliffe’s five A* to C pass rate, including English and maths, rose by 17 per cent to 47 per cent.
Principal Mike Westerdale told The Star more Principal Mike Westerdale told The Star more than one in three students left school with three A* or A grades - and the aim was to ‘accelerate’ attainment and ambition further.
He added: “The results are great for the academy and for this part of the city when it comes to perceptions and motivations.
“This growth is a credit to the teaching and learning from both the students and staff. Everyone has worked extremely hard, which is reflected not only in the results but also in the level of progress.”
Nationally the GCSE pass rate dropped for the first time ever, with 69.4 per cent of entries at grades A* to C, compared with 69.8 per cent last year.
But Hinde House in Shiregreen, and Firth Park Community College, both saw rises of 18 per cent in their crucial pass rate - and were favourites for the biggest improvers in the city.
Chris French, headteacher at Hinde House, with has a pass rate of 52 per cent from 34 last year, said: “It’s fantastic news for the school and a reflection of students’ ambition, hard work, the quality of teaching in school and the fact that school leadership is focused on improvement.
“To be so improved is a great achievement for the staff and school, making public the progress secured in the last few years. But it is a stepping stone because it’s not the end of improvement for the future.”
Chris Keen, headteacher, said: “We are delighted with our GCSE results which are the best ever for Firth Park Community Arts College.
“The improvement in one year is outstanding – nearly 69 per cent improvement on last year. This has been a team effort attributed to hard work, determination and belief.”
Sheffield Park Academy on the Manor also saw its rate rise by 14 per cent to 50 per cent.
Maria Nightingale, principal, said: “Everybody at the academy has worked incredibly hard towards these results, which are our highest yet. These results demonstrate is we have the potential to accelerate our progress further.”