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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Ulverston Victoria High School students ‘have a brilliant time’

A HIGH-PERFORMING school has exciting £4.5m building and refurbishment plans starting this summer, and is striving to maintain excellence.

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Ulverston Victoria High School will see Esh Border arrive on site in August, with building work starting in September.

The Springfield Road secondary school and sixth form will benefit from a new build and extension work to its centre block and library. There will also be refurbishments to the areas of design and technology, the science labs and maths classroom. There will be a new common room, and teaching and research facilities for the sixth form.

UVHS may need further development in the future as the school expands to meet a growing Ulverston.

Headteacher Denis Fay said: “We are absolutely thrilled by the prospect of the new build because the school has been under-resourced for many years and has not received the funding that other schools have.

“We have tried to create an inspirational mixture of new build blended into the traditional strengths of our school site. This actually symbolises what our school is all about because we are always in pursuit of leading edge aspects of education, teaching and learning and experiences for our children. We base it on a bedrock of the traditional values that have always made great schools great.”

Mr Fay said parents agree with the school team that UVHS deals with the “whole child”.

The head said: “While we promote excellence in our exam results we want to celebrate the value and aspirations of our parents for their children by offering a challenging an inspirational learning experience both in the classroom, and importantly outside of it.

“I think Ofsted are at last beginning to realise that there is too much preoccupation with seeing children as statistics. Here at Ulverston we celebrate success at all levels for all students.

“Quite simply students and staff, both teaching and non teaching, have a brilliant time. It is hard to walk around our school without having a smile on your face.”

Schools roll out the new GCSE in computing in September. UVHS says it is highly prepared, trained and staffed because it teaches the subject at A-Level.

The school also continues to grow its partnerships with industry, with the likes of GSK, Siemens, Forge Europa, CGP and BAE Systems being very supportive of the school.

UVHS has record numbers for the new Year Seven and Year 12 group. Around 40 per cent of the sixth form entry for September are coming from other schools. The school says students are attracted by the challenging programme of traditional and enabling A-Levels, particularly in the subjects of science and maths.

Roger Cahalin, an assistant head at UVHS, said: “We have the best A-Level results in the area. We were the joint highest performing sixth form in Cumbria for facilitating subjects.”

UVHS saw 19 per cent of students achieve at least AAB grades in facilitating subjects, the subjects preferred, or required more often, by Russell Group universities.

Mr Cahalin said students are also attracted by the caring and warm environment and he praised the excellence of the leadership from Rob Rastelli, the head of sixth form. Over the last few years UVHS has had on average six new staff a year as the school regenerates itself.

Mr Fay said: “One of the principal aims of the school over the next few years is that it sustains itself and gets even better.

“We are doing lots of exciting things, developing leadership among our staff and developing their teaching. A lot of planning is based on sustainability.”

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