Minister praises Waddesdon CofE School where pupils make excellent progress

Waddesdon CofE School celebrates great GCSE results. Pictured standing left to right: Jess Walters (17), Jacob Martin (16), Emily Crook (16), Robert Fox (16), Marlon Gillam (17), headteacher Peter Norman, Alice Lee (16), Charlotte Newman (17), Adriano Caruso (17). Front seated, left to right: Shannon Snell (17), Ashley Marshall (16), Abi Goddard (17) and Becky Simmons (16).
Waddesdon CofE School celebrates great GCSE results. Pictured standing left to right: Jess Walters (17), Jacob Martin (16), Emily Crook (16), Robert Fox (16), Marlon Gillam (17), headteacher Peter Norman, Alice Lee (16), Charlotte Newman (17), Adriano Caruso (17). Front seated, left to right: Shannon Snell (17), Ashley Marshall (16), Abi Goddard (17) and Becky Simmons (16).
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A Vale school has been praised by a Government minister for the ‘excellent’ improvement of its pupils.

Waddesdon Church of England School was among the top 100 performing schools in pupil progress between Key Stage 2 and GCSE level in 2012.

In a letter to the school’s headteacher, the minister of state for schools, David Laws MP, described the school as ‘exceptionally effective’ at educating pupils.

Headteacher Peter Norman said it was nice to be recognised not just for exam results but also the school’s work to improve pupils.

He said: “What is important is what the school is able to do with the students it gets from the primary school.

“Raw data only tells you a very little bit about the students’ achievements over five years. It doesn’t tell you about how successful the school has been in developing the students it has got in that year group.”

In the exams last summer, 70% of the school’s pupils achieved five A* to C GCSEs.

Mr Laws said in his letter: “I would like to congratulate your staff, governors and pupils for their hard work and success and thank you for your leadership in continuing the drive towards high standards of educational achievement.”

Mr Norman said the school was delighted to receive such high praise.

The headteacher put much of the improvement down to the schools emphasis on working closely with individual pupils.

Mr Norman said: “We think it is important to know individual students very well and what their gifts, abilities and areas of weakness are so we can tailor our services to their individual needs rather than a large group of children.

“I have to take off my hat to the staff who spend a huge amount of time above and beyond the school day to coach and support the students.”