Students, parents, staff and governors gathered together at the Mercure Grange Park Hotel for the Wolfreton Academic Awards Evening, the annual event which celebrates students’ success in the previous academic year. Nearly 150 individual awards were given out, from the younger students who received a Governors’ Award for Academic Achievement, which recognised their attainment, to the Top Elite Award, which is presented to the student achieving the highest number of A* and A grades at the end of their A levels.
Mr McCready, Headteacher at Wolfreton welcomed everyone, saying ‘The purpose of this evening is to recognise and celebrate excellence. Our students recognise the importance of education and achieve academic success across a wide range of subjects and qualifications. This has been an exciting year for the school, with the construction of our new building. Our students excel in many areas, and this year over 90% of our Year 11 students have continued their education, many of them in our sixth form, with other students successfully choosing an apprenticeship. A large proportion of our sixth form students have continued their studies at university, with many of them being successful with applications to one of the Russell Group Universities, as well as two students gaining places at Oxbridge. It is not easy to achieve a grade A or A* and it is important that we recognise the hard work and commitment from the students, their families and staff in achieving these top grades. In terms of the Gold Standard 70% of our students achieved 5 A*-C grades including English and Maths, and the new government measure Progress 8 places us in the top 20% of schools nationally. My message to the students here tonight is a simple one, continue to value your education and grab any and every opportunity that comes your way to learn new skills. Congratulations on your success.’
The opening address was given by Mike Furbank, Head of Children and Young People, Education and Schools, East Riding of Yorkshire Council. He talked of the optimism, hard work, vitality of students and the positive relationships between students and staff all leading to success. He praised the students’ motivation, aspiration and resilience, describing them as ambassadors for their year groups and thanked the teachers, the young people themselves as well as their parents and carers, who all make sure the students are the best they can be.
The Top Elite Award was presented to Daniel James. In the summer exams of 2016, Daniel achieved an A* in Maths, Biology and the Extended Project Qualification as well as an A in both Chemistry and Spanish A levels. He is now studying Medicine at University College London but travelled back from London to accept the award in person. Having received awards every year throughout his time at Wolfreton, he was delighted to end his school life as the recipient of the ‘Top Elite Award’, which recognises the highest achieving student in the school.
This year’s Governors’ Fellowship Award for outstanding contribution to the school was presented to Keith Turner, retired Learning Manager and Teacher of PE. Assistant Headteacher Mr Lees said ‘Keith joined Wolfreton in September 1977. Unusually, in a sphere where it is the expectation that you move schools in order to progress your own career, he worked solely at Wolfreton for 39 years until he retired last year. Keith was appointed as a PE teacher, and within four years had been promoted to positions of responsibility within the PE department. However Keith’s interests and particular strengths were always on the Pastoral side. Right from the start, Keith was always prepared to go that little bit extra for the students. As well as the many school clubs and sports teams that Keith committed to outside school hours, he also served the county as East Riding Schools’ cricket manager, and the chairman of East Riding Schools’ rugby. One of his particular strengths was that he was always innovative, forward thinking, and looking for ways to extend opportunities for our youngsters. His innovation was also evident as he developed his Pastoral career. His forensic attention to data and pupil profiling was ahead of its time, and led not only to internal promotion, but also to opportunities to speak about his methodologies to other schools in and around the North of England. But it is the immeasurable effect on the motivation, career choices and aspirations of so many students that will be Keith’s most lasting legacy.’