TES Schools Awards shortlist 2011

29th April 2011 at 01:00
Not even a royal wedding is as good at lifting the gloom as hearing about the inspirational work going on in our schools. While the economic downturn is squeezing budgets everywhere - and more cuts are on the way - schools across the UK are still managing to push the boundaries.

Now in their third year, the TES Schools Awards - or Tessas - aim to celebrate this work. This year's awards attracted a record number of entries, extolling the achievements of teachers, school leaders, support staff and pupils alike. If there is one principle underlying the awards it is that success is a team effort. It is rarely the product of one person acting alone. Having said that, one individual will receive the Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of a career devoted to education.

This year, one of the categories, Outstanding Community Partnership, attracted such a large number of high-calibre entries that we decided to split it in two. One award will recognise a community partnership; the other will acknowledge community partnerships with a business link. Another innovation this year is that the judges will choose a School of Schools from the winners of the three school categories, for primary, secondary and special needs.

On these pages, some of the schools are singled out in the introductions, but do not read anything into this: the final judging has yet to take place. The winners will be announced at a gala lunch at the Park Lane Hilton in London on 8 July. We hope to see many of you there.

Nick Morrison, Deputy Features Editor


Drove Primary Swindon, Wiltshire

Gosberton Primary Boston, Lincolnshire

King Solomon Academy Primary St John's Wood, London

Old Park Primary Telford, Shropshire

The Pilgrim CofE Primary Rochester, Kent

Ysgol Glan Gele Infants Abergele, Conwy

Drove Primary set up a youth club for disaffected pupils and has supported neighbouring schools, while Gosberton has introduced pupils to other cultures through its global links.

At King Solomon Academy, university aspirations are promoted from day one, and at Old Park pupils are inspired through creativity. The Pilgrim Primary has been named the most improved in the country, while Ysgol Glan Gele has set up a boys' reading scheme that has had impressive results.


Baxter College Kidderminster, Worcestershire

Burlington Danes Academy Hammersmith, London

Highcrest Community School High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Perry Beeches School Birmingham

Pool Business and Enterprise College Redruth, Cornwall

Woodside High Haringey, London

Baxter College's improvements have seen its roll double, while Burlington Danes' results have risen since it replaced a failing school. The number of students at Highcrest leaving with nothing to go on to has fallen from 25 per cent to 2 per cent.

Perry Beeches was named most improved school in the country this year, while Pool Business and Enterprise College has been recognised for supporting other schools.

Finally, Woodside High's GCSE results have improved sevenfold in five years.


The Bridge School Telford, Shropshire

Frank Wise School Banbury, Oxfordshire

James Brindley School Birmingham

Newman School Rotherham

The New School Butterstone Dunkeld, Perthshire

The New School at West Heath Sevenoaks, Kent

Among the finalists in this category is the Bridge School, where pupils are heavily involved in enterprise projects. At Frank Wise, the focus on inclusion means students spend at least half a day a week in mainstream schools.

James Brindley gives pupils with severe medical conditions the opportunity to take part in activities outside school, while students at Newman run a commercial cyber cafe and prepare meals for the elderly.

The New School at Butterstone helps its pupils, many of whom have autistic spectrum disorders, live independent lives, and the New School at West Heath has set up a therapeutic unit for pupils who have been severely traumatised and often out of school for several years.


Castlehead High Paisley, Renfrewshire

Chenderit School Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire

Felsted Primary Felsted, Essex

Kings Farm Primary Gravesend, Kent

Oriel Primary Hanworth, Middlesex

Rodbourne Cheney Primary Swindon, Wiltshire

A card game that incorporates characters from the local community is among the shortlisted initiatives in this category. The cards, developed by Kings Farm Primary, have been designed to get pupils interested in maths and give parents a game to play with their children.

Students at Castlehead High have set up a reading base for younger pupils which promotes literacy at the same time as easing transition. This has helped reading ages increase by as much as three years.


Hamble Community Sports College Southampton

Hamstead Hall Community Learning Centre Birmingham

Jack Hunt School Peterborough

William de Ferrers School South Woodham Ferrers, Essex

Redwood School Rochdale

Westminster Academy Westminster, London

This shortlist includes a sports leaders' scheme at Jack Hunt School, in which students run clubs in primaries, with a route to voluntary and paid work. Last year, four students gained work as assistant coaches. The gymnastics club at Hamble College has provided coaching opportunities for pupils and boosted participation in two hours of PE from 57 per cent to 93 per cent. Hamstead Hall has set up a scheme for dwarf athletes that has produced a world champion and helped introduce power-lifting to the Dwarf World Games.


Avonbourne School Bournemouth

Conyers School Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees

Costello Technology College Basingstoke, Hampshire

Essa Academy Bolton

Northants BLT (Better Learning using Technology network) Northamptonshire

Saltash.net Community School Saltash, Cornwall

Among the finalists for Outstanding ICT Learning Initiative is Avonbourne's cross-generational project, in which students provide one-to- one training for silver surfers.

Also shortlisted is a game developed by Saltash.net to help ease transition from its feeder primary schools, and Costello Technology College, which has created an online bank of lessons that pupils can access at any time.


Birchensale Middle School Redditch, Worcestershire

Coed Eva Primary Cwmbran, Torfaen

De La Salle Humanities College (now the De La Salle Academy) Liverpool

The Purcell School Bushey, Hertfordshire

Shimna Integrated College Newcastle, Co Down

St John's Catholic School for the Deaf Boston Spa, West Yorkshire

Initiatives in this category range from a partnership between St John's and a local prison, which has seen pupils working with prison staff, who undertook deaf-awareness training in return, to a pupil-led music outreach scheme which has seen students at the Purcell School touring the country to perform in schools, churches and care homes.

A languages project run by Shimna College has helped bring Protestant and Catholic pupils together, while a parents' group run by De La Salle aims to bridge divisions in an area riven with gang conflict.


The Isle of Sheppey Academy Sheerness, Kent

Manchester Academy Manchester

Moor End Technology College Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Pool Business and Enterprise College Redruth, Cornwall

Portree High School Portree, Skye

Rokeby School Newham, London

Portree High's project to repair and reuse bicycles is one of the finalists for this award. Also shortlisted are the links forged by Rokeby School with businesses in Canary Wharf, neighbours but worlds apart in terms of experience, as well as a partnership between Moor End and a local engineering firm which has led to the creation of an apprenticeship scheme.


Baxter College Kidderminster, Worcestershire

The Compton School Finchley, London

Holte Visual and Performing Arts College Birmingham

Lent Rise Primary Burnham, Slough

Pensans Community Primary Penzance, Cornwall

St Mary's CofE Primary Kidderminster, Worcestershire

The leadership team at Pensans bounced back from receiving a notice to improve from Ofsted to being graded outstanding in just 16 months.

The Compton School has worked with more than 40 schools in the past year and the team at St Mary's developed a new curriculum to take the school out of special measures. All have been willing to put their heads above the parapet in the search for improvement.


Corpus Christi Catholic Sports College Preston, Lancashire

Haydon Wick Primary Swindon, Wiltshire

Monteney Primary Sheffield

Neston Primary Neston, Wiltshire

The Phoenix Federation Boston, Lincolnshire

St John Bosco Arts College Liverpool

Finance and business management may be the less glamorous side of education, but in times of cutbacks it takes on an added importance. Among the nominees in this category are the business management team at the Phoenix Federation, who have taken it from an overspend to a healthy surplus and through to foundation status, and the finance team at Neston Primary, who have driven down procurement costs and are proactive in sharing their expertise with other schools.


Alcester Grammar Alcester, Warwickshire

Royal Russell School Croydon, Surrey

St Joseph's Primary Antrim

Sir John Lawes School Harpenden, Hertfordshire

West Lea School Edmonton, London

Ysgol Bryn Hedydd Rhyl, Denbighshire

Among the shortlisted websites is that at Royal Russell, which includes a virtual tour of the school for parents who live abroad, and interactive maps for away sports fixtures. The website at Sir John Lawes includes a Year 6 forum, where prospective pupils can post questions before they arrive at the school. At Ysgol Bryn Hedydd the site provides a showcase for the school, despite being less than a year old.


Astronomy masterclass - Uploaded by Andrew Jackson

50 ideas for meeting your new class - Uploaded by tafkam

Good listening visual aids - Uploaded by bluecrayon

Introduction to sustainable packaging - Uploaded by zaikamaria

Pora Ora - Uploaded by jameslane

The solar system workbook - Uploaded by StChristophersschool

Nominees in the resources category include Pora Ora, a virtual world of games and puzzles for primary pupils, and two sets of space-based activities: an interactive astronomy masterclass and a booklet on the solar system, the latter aimed at pupils with special needs.

All of the shortlisted resources, plus thousands more online materials, can be found on the TES resources bank


Dairsie Primary Cupar, Fife

Edwalton Primary Nottingham

Queen Elizabeth's High Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

St Christopher's CofE High Accrington, Lancashire

St Christopher's School Wrexham

Wandle Valley School Carshalton, Surrey

The furniture recycling business at St Christopher's School in Wrexham is typical of these nominees' passion for the environment.

Edwalton Primary uses its grounds, pigs, goats and hens to instil an understanding of the environment in its pupils. Recycling paper and saving energy are crucial, but these schools have taken the green agenda to the next level.


Archbishop Temple School Preston, Lancashire

Corpus Christi Catholic Sports College Preston, Lancashire

Crondall Primary Crondall, Hampshire

Penair School Truro, Cornwall

St Katherine's School Pill, North Somerset

St Stephen's CofE Juniors Twickenham, Middlesex

From using locally sourced food and vegetable-growing garden clubs to residential trips to visit farms, these shortlisted schools have all done something out of the ordinary to help make healthy eating the most appealing option.


The shortlist for this category will be kept under wraps, with the winner announced on the big day.


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