STAFF and students at a Huddersfield school are celebrating today after being named in the top 100 most-improved schools across the country.
Royds Hall High at Paddock has been given the accolade for consistent improvements for test results in Key Stage 3 between 2004 and 2007.
Batley Girls High School was also named in the 100 most improved list.
Key Stage 3 national tests are taken when students are in Year 9, when they are around 14 years.
Royds Hall head teacher Melanie Williams said she was delighted.
She added: “These results give credit to the teamwork that goes on between students and staff here and the fantastic support we receive from parents.
“Our staff are always prepared to go the extra mile to help students to achieve their best. That is clearly demonstrated by the work they do outside the usual school timetable, such as at lunchtimes and after school.
“We are continually striving to ensure students achieve their individual best, whatever that might be for them. This is proved by our consistent improvement year on year.”
Results released today also showed how schools in Kirklees fared in the tests based on the contextual valued added (CVA) measure.
This shows the most effective schools at helping children make progress between the ages of 11 and 14.
It takes into account the varying starting points of each pupil’s Key Stage 2 tests, which are taken at the end of primary school, and also adjusts for factors which are outside a school’s control, such as gender and levels of deprivation in the community, that have been shown to affect pupil results.
The CVA score is shown as a figure based around 100. A score of 101 means that, on average, the school’s Key Stage 3 pupils have achieved one term’s more progress than the national average. A score of 99 means they achieved a term’s less progress.
Schools Minister Jim Knight congratulated the pupils, parents and teaching staff at Royds Hall and Batley Girls’ High.
He said: “I am delighted to see the excellent sustained improvement at these two schools over recent years.
“How pupils achieve at Key Stage 3 provides a firm foundation for their future achievement – whether they go down the academic path to GCSE, A-level or university – or if they take the vocational route via the new diplomas or apprenticeships, to their chosen career.
“The results at these Kirklees schools sets the benchmark for other schools to follow.”
There were also celebrations at Rawthorpe High and Fartown High schools, which took first and second place in Kirklees results overall for its value added success.
Joan Young, head teacher at Rawthorpe, was absolutely delighted with the results.
She said: “We knew the students had done well; they have worked extremely hard, but we didn’t know they had done this well.”
Mrs Young said the success could be attributed to a wide-ranging intervention programme, doing individual work with individual students and a lot of support from parents, as well as a talented staff base.
She added that this year both Year 8 and 9 groups would be sitting Key Stage 3 exams, giving them an extra year to study for their GCSEs.
Mrs Young went on: “When you leave school people never ask how you have done in your Sats, only how many GCSE you have. So this aims to give our pupils the best possible chance of achieving as many qualifications as possible.
“It is a new idea, but I have followed this at a previous school I worked at and it was a success.”
Isabella Atraszkiewicz, head teacher at Fartown High, said: "I am delighted to see Fartown be rated second in the Key Stage 3 league tables.
“This clearly demonstrates the high standards of teaching and learning that the school delivers at Key Stage 3.
“The school was inspected by Ofsted last week and inspectors were very impressed. They judged Fartown High to be a good school with an exciting future.
“The staff and students fully deserve their places in the tables, which have been earned through hard work and commitment to all students and commended by Oftsed inspectors."
A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “Children and schools continue to work very hard to raise standards.
“We would like to congratulate the children, their parents and teachers for these achievements. We wish them well for their studies at Key Stage 4.”