Staff and pupils are celebrating after Pingle Academy named most improved school in county
HEAD HAILS ‘TEAM EFFORT’
STAFF and students at Swadlincote’s Pingle Academy are “truly celebrating” after the school was named the most improved secondary school in Derbyshire.
The news, revealed from Government figures which track schools’ progress, was welcomed by principal Viv Sharples who praised the teachers and students for the extra work they put in.
Many pupils attend extra lessons at the end of the academic day and on Saturdays, and also go to holiday revision classes.
Mrs Sharples said: “This improvement is down to the dedication of our students, who engage in lessons and willingly attend lesson six, which is an extra period after the academy day from Monday to Friday.
“They also enjoy Saturday and holiday booster revision sessions, where they deepen their knowledge and understanding and do practice exam questions.
“Teachers give generously of their time to support students and, in turn, students feel valued and supported. Parents and carers also show support for their children and the academy.
“It is this team approach which has brought about these improvements, and, as an academy, we are truly celebrating.
“I am extremely fortunate to have such an understanding group of staff at the Pingle Academy.”
Deb Holland, assistant principal, said: “We are absolutely delighted at the news that we have been confirmed as the most improved school in Derbyshire in 2018 in terms of the progress students make.
“This success has not come about by accident.
“We have been on a journey to this point, a journey starting when Mrs Sharples came to the helm.
“From this point we have seen the building of an academy to one where Pingle is at the heart of the local community.
“The vision for constant improvement has been a team effort where staff, students, parents and carers, as well as the wider community, have played their part.”
Derbyshire County Council praised the school’s staff and managers for their achievement in improving outcomes for pupils.
And Ian McNeilly, chief executive of the de Ferrers Trust, which oversees the academy, said: “Children in both their GCSEs or sixth-form subjects did far better in 2018 in terms of progress than any previous year on record.
“It is a tribute to the leadership of Mrs Sharples, her hard-working staff, the support of Trust staff members and, of course, the children.
“2018 was a brilliant year for Pingle and it will, hopefully, serve as a platform for even further improvements in years to come.”
Mrs Sharples said a recent study showed that South Derbyshire is among the least socially mobile areas in England, and was ranked 311th out of 324.
In an attempt to combat this, the academy works closely with South Derbyshire District Council and the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme, which provide opportunities and funding to support pupils.