Skipton Girls’ High School: Onward to more success

Jenn Plews, head of academy, Sophie O’Hara, head girl, Jan Renou, executive head teacher, Charlotte Reay, deputy head girl, Anne Richards, guest speaker, Francesca Leighton, deputy head girl and John Goodfellow, chair of governors

Jenn Plews, head of academy, Sophie O’Hara, head girl, Jan Renou, executive head teacher, Charlotte Reay, deputy head girl, Anne Richards, guest speaker, Francesca Leighton, deputy head girl and John Goodfellow, chair of governors

First published in News

Parents and friends of Skipton Girls’ High School are looking ahead to another year of continued success.

John Goodfellow, head of governors, told the annual prizegiving that accolades over the past year had brought further success to the school.

“Looking back at last year, there were areas of great success and many accolades and new ventures which have helped stimulate the school, brought greater funding, helped us attract excellent and committed staff, and improved the quality of experience and achievement for our students,” he said.

“Our focus for this year is to make sure we continue to develop our innovative practice and continue to work together with the girls to better understand their needs.

“This will be even more important as syllabus and curriculum changes move through the school at key stage four and post-16 years.

“We will have a particular focus on developing our sixth form to ensure we maintain a viable offering which allows students breadth and depth of study while also providing the necessary springboard to higher education, apprenticeship or employment.”

The school, an engineering academy, saw around 90 per cent of its students take up their first-choice university places last year and all those offered places at Oxford or Cambridge were successful.

In addition, the school has been designated a Pathfinder School for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is the first school in Skipton to achieve Fairtrade status and is forging links with Cambridge University and schools in Germany through its engineering work.

As an academy trust, the school has worked with strategic partner schools and others through the Northern Lights Teaching Schools Alliance.

It is involved in initial teacher training and, in September, the school welcomed its first cohort of school-direct trainees.

“They are embarking on a new programme of training that is more school-led and specialising in a wide range of subjects,” said Mr Goodfellow, who added they had been recruited from the universities of Leeds, York and Open University.

“Working across such a large alliance is creating new opportunities for our school to learn and work with a number of schools and colleagues in different contexts,” he said.

“These partnerships are bringing great benefits to the school, the staff and its students, helping us attract and retain outstanding teachers and offering them professional opportunities which would not otherwise be available in such a small school.”

Prizewinners were: head girl - Rachel Casper; deputy head girls - Gabrielle Wood and Candice McKane; Jessie Broadbent Prize for highest academic achievement - Stephanie Ford; Jackson Bell Award for service to the school - Vickky Firth; Longden Smith Prize for best all-round student - Bethany Smith; Julie Hyde Memorial Award for endeavour - Harriet Paul; Jean Walker Prize for art - Emily Phillips for languages - Josephine Wright; Grace Stapleton Award for medical science - Emma Pearson; Sarah Woolmer Prize for history - Abigail Kennedy; individual attainment - Rachel Malik.

Subject prizes: biology - Lizzie Goldsborough; business studies - Sarah Tindall; chemistry - Sarah Lorimer; English language - Emma Willingham; further maths - Maria Hyde; general studies - Isabella Ellwood; geography - Katie Stoney; government and politics - Isobel Clare; music - Nicole Johnson; PE - Beth Pugh; physics - Flavia Vaz; philosophy, ethics and RE - Isobel Clare; psychology - Morgan McCabe.

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