Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

The Schools Going 'To the Ends of the Earth' for Pupils: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

The Schools Going 'To the Ends of the Earth' for Pupils: News

Article excerpt

Exceptional teams honoured at glittering TES Schools Awards.

By taking pupils on expeditions to places including the Arctic and Africa, staff at the Springfields Academy have gone "to the ends of the earth" to create an extraordinary school.

That was the verdict of the judges at this year's annual TES Schools Awards, which last week named the academy the overall outstanding school of 2012. In a day of double celebration, Springfields was also named special school of the year.

The academy, in Calne, Wiltshire, was lauded for its groundbreaking work with pupils, all of whom have severe behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. As well as providing incredible opportunities to see some of the most remote parts of the globe, teachers also manage a vocational centre at the school, which opened in 1999.

"Our ethos is that against all odds we can transform these children's lives; we have the desire, belief, resilient staff and motivation to do it," said principal Trystan Williams. "We have taken the best parts of learning outside the classroom and have innovated, allowing staff to try new things."

Schools and teachers from around the country triumphed at the ceremony, hosted by actor and comedian Rob Brydon.

Teachers at the secondary school of the year, Wade Deacon High in Widnes, Cheshire, have been inundated with messages of congratulations. The school was formed two years ago following the merger of two secondaries and is based on two sites a mile apart.

"It's been a challenging few years, but we have brought two large schools together and kept results high," said executive head Pam Wright. "Everyone is absolutely thrilled to have won this award. We think this will give us even more confidence. It's like a licence to go out and share and entice others to come and work with us."

Teachers at the primary school of the year, Iqra Community Primary in Bradford, have faced years of upheaval. …

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