JUST a year after being taken over by Ambitions Academies Trust, St Aldhelm’s Academy has recorded a 13 per cent rise in the number of pupils achieving five GCSEs at grade A*-C.
Among the many success stories are Eleanor Cleave, who attained 11 GCSEs grade A*-B – three A* grades, 4 As and 4Bs.
She said: “It’s been a challenging year, but I’m really happy to have got these grades and I’m thankful to the teachers who have been really supportive, especially my Maths and English teachers Mr Holman and Mr Webb.
“I’m now going to do a painting and decorating course at Poole College alongside an interior design course at Bournemouth Uni. I hope to have my own interior design business one day.”
Lacey Saunders lives in a Traveller community and was thrilled to learn she had attained 11 GCSEs A*-C.
She said: “I can’t believe it. I’m ecstatic! I hope to study for A levels now and go on to university. I’ll be the first member of my family to do so.
“I also hope that by doing well in my GCSEs I’ll inspire other traveller kids to do well at school.”
Arun Harpale arrived in Britain in Year 6 of his education speaking no English but attained nine GCSEs A*-C.
He said: “I’m really happy. My teacher Ms Amos deserves a mention. She really helped me and pushed me this year.”
Asked how he would celebrate his results he said: “By sleeping! I feel like I haven’t slept properly for months. ”
Mitchell Gilmore passed 10 GCSEs A*-C despite sustaining appalling injuries in a road accident.
He explained: “I was knocked down on a crossing last December and broke my pelvis and my arm in two places. I was in hospital for three weeks and studied from home for two months.
“I am absolutely ecstatic with my results.”
Sophie Dean also did well in her GCSEs in the face of huge adversity.
She said: “My mum has an incurable syndrome which has affected her since her teens. She has also had cancer, so things have been difficult, especially with managing school.
“If it hadn’t been for my teacher Mr Lambert I probably would have dropped out. But his mentoring has been amazing and it’s definitely down to him that I have passed 5 GCSEs.”
Identical twins Bea and Francis Goveia also ‘did the double’ in their GCSEs attaining 12 each.
St Aldhelm’s was taken over by Bournemouth-based Ambitions Academy Trust in June 2015.
In April 2016 Ofsted inspectors applauded the academy’s “transformation” under the Trust and removed it from special measures, re-grading it a Good school.
Executive Principal Sian Thomas, said: “The 13 per cent increase is testament to the hard work of our pupils and the commitment of their teachers.
“We have a host of pupils who have done exceptionally well, along with many who have seen their achievement far outweigh the grades they had been predicted a year ago.
“We were also thrilled to receive a 100 per cent pass rate in our vocational courses.”
St Aldhelm’s Progress 8 results – the government’s new system of measuring pupils’ progress throughout their secondary education – shows that every pupil has improved by at least half a grade in their top eight subjects.
Ambitions Academy Trust Chief Executive Phil Minns, said: “I am very proud of what St Aldhelm’s and its pupils have achieved in their first year with the Trust.
“As Ofsted inspectors observed, pupils are proud to be part of a school which is now grounded in high expectations.”
Ambitions Academies Trust has a track record in transforming underperforming schools, the Trust has taken on Tregonwell Academy, Queen’s Park Academy in Bournemouth and Longspee Special School in Poole, which have since been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by government inspectors.