AN inspiring Tameside school is ending the year on yet another high note after winning a second award for its work to provide pupils with an excellent all round education.
St Damian’s RC School has been named the Most Inspirational Secondary School of Year in the Educate Awards 2016. This follows the Ashton school being named Secondary School of the Year in the Manchester Evening News Awards in July as well as achieving record pupil outcomes.
In 2015 the school achieved 79% A*-C grades at GCSE and this year this year it came top in Tameside in terms of the progress of disadvantaged pupils - this focus on inclusion was reflected in the school achieving an ‘Inclusion Quality Mark’ in July 2016.
The awards recognise this work to overcome barriers to learning and the school attributes much of its success to its exceptional pastoral care, focused leadership and clear vision to be outstanding.
It also offers great enrichment opportunities and was shortlisted for Eco School Project of the Year in the Educate Awards 2016 for its work to give pupils hands-on experience of environmental issues and understanding of food provenance.
The ‘Sow, Grow, Eco’ project involved pupils planting and growing a range of fruits, vegetables and herbs to be used in Cooking and Nutrition lessons as well as using leftovers to make compost for further growing.
They have also used the area to create a wild flower garden to bring wildlife such as bees and dragon flies into the school environment – a resource that has also been used by the geography and science faculties to enhance pupils’ learning.
Chair of Governors Mrs Elizabeth Jones said: “This latest award is a true recognition of what our school is all about. We aim to be inspirational for all our pupils and this is a just award for all connected to our school - including governors, staff, parents and of course our great pupils.”
Headteacher Sheldon Logue said: “This award is a culmination of a true community working together to ensure we fulfil our motto, ‘Believe to Achieve’. My staff are truly great and this is a tribute to their perseverance, commitment and dedication. Without them, this award would simply be impossible.
“This has been a massive boost for everyone in school and is testament to everyone working together in a caring and safe environment.”
Tameside Council Executive Member for Lifelong Learning Cllr Lynn Travis said: “What a wonderful year and achievement for St Damian’s and a shining endorsement of the hard work and commitment of the full school community to give pupils a great all round education. Congratulations to everyone involved.”