Sunderland’s Academy 360 is celebrating triple awards success recognising the progress of pupils, determination by staff to provide the best education and nurturing of student wellbeing.
A study in the acclaimed educational magazine Tes ranks Academy 360 as the third most improved school in the UK in a new Fair Secondary School index which takes into account pupils’ backgrounds when looking at their educational progress.
A newly adjusted score ranks the Sunderland school more than 1,600 places above its position in the Department for Education’s official Progress 8 league table looking at how pupils perform in key subjects from the end of primary school aged 11 to when they sit GCSEs at 16.
When taking into account progress at schools with high numbers of pupils with backgrounds including special educational needs, free school meals and social deprivation, Academy 360 saw the third highest gain in league table rankings.
The school has also landed an Inclusion Quality Mark award for its commitment to provide the very best education for all children irrespective of differences.
The school’s final report from assessors said: “The atmosphere and ethos throughout school is friendly and warm. Surrounding this is a steely determination that staff will create an oasis of learning, allowing students to enjoy childhood, grow in confidence and achieve potential.
“Barriers are removed swiftly so that the students can get on with learning and progress can be made.”
Assessors praised Principal Rachel Donohue, staff, Laidlaw Schools Trust which oversees Academy 360 and governors for leading by positive example – holding high aspirations for their pupils and working relentlessly to provide equality of learning opportunities.
The school has also landed a National Wellbeing Award for promoting emotional wellbeing and mental health across the academy.
Judges from award organisers Optimus Education toured the school, observing wellbeing and mindfulness sessions, meeting pupils, parents and staff to find out the difference these sessions made.
Academy 360 Principal Ms Donohue said: “Everyone at Academy 360 is thrilled to receive these three awards which recognise the huge efforts being made by students, staff, parents and governors.
“We are all united in our determination to deliver the best possible opportunities for our students to learn and grow and to achieve their full potential in life.”