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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Double joy for Cumbrian senior school

Cockermouth School has two reasons to celebrate.

The secondary is the only one in the county to be congratulated for its progress over the last 12 months.

It has also been shortlisted for an award that comes with a possible £5,000 cash prize.

The school was sent a letter by Schools Minister David Laws in recognition of the progress all of its pupils have made in their school careers.

Rob Petrie, the deputy headteacher, was delighted.

He said: “I think it is fantastic and it is absolutely a testament to both the staff and students.”

The Department for Education monitored the school’s pupils’ work in English, maths, and their other three strongest subjects at GCSE.

It then measured the progress they made from their start at secondary school to sitting their final exams, set against what was expected of them.

Cockermouth was in the top 100 schools in the country for improving this progress, which is why it received the letter from Mr Laws.

“We have got copies being distributed and handed out,” Dr Petrie said. “It’s not every day we get this recognition.”

He added that the school employs a number of measures to help its pupils achieve their full potential.

These include early identification of pupils who might face potential problems in achieving a good grade.

A-level students also help out, offering support to GCSE pupils who are struggling with their courses.

Figures published last month showed that, across the United Kingdom, the gap between pupils on free school meals and all other pupils achieving five or more A* to C GCSEs, including English and maths, is at its lowest for five years. This data was among the issues measured at Cockermouth.

Mr Laws said: “I am pleased to see the appalling attainment gap between the poorest pupils and their peers narrowing. This is indeed encouraging, but we must get rid of it completely.

“We are targeting more funding than ever before to help all children meet their full potential, whatever their background.”

The school has also been shortlisted for an Ashden Award.

This aims to recognise institutions that have come up with ground-breaking ideas in the field of renewable energy.

It is one of six schools from across the UK to be put on this shortlist. Full details can be found via www.ashden.org.

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