Bradford University taking credit for success of University Academy Keighley (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford University taking credit for success of University Academy Keighley
The University of Bradford has taken some of the credit for transforming one of the worst performing schools in the UK after it recorded a dramatic increase in top-grade GCSE passes.
The latest exam results revealed a 20 per cent rise to 46 per cent in the number of pupils gaining A* to C grades at University Academy Keighley (UAK), two years after it was transformed from Greenhead High School in Green Head Lane, Utley.
Last year, only 26 per cent of pupils achieving five passes at A* to C including English and maths – which put the school among the 200 worst performing in the country.
However, following the publication of this year’s exam results, the university’s project leader Nadira Mirza said: “The results are a testament to partnership working which includes the University of Bradford, Bradford Council, Bradford schools partnership and the governing body of UAK.”
She said all year 11 students were profiled and placed into groups, lessons were turned into university-style lesson plans with “clear learning objectives”, and governors and staff were all held accountable for reaching targets.
A buddy system was created between the academy and university in order to share best practice with the school and there was a Saturday homework club, extra revision classes and summer schools at the UAK and University campuses.
Ms Mirza said: “We engaged the academy and the community to raise standards and widen participation.
“Our understanding and belief that university preparation starts from childhood is fundamental to the way we work.
“In this challenging time, it’s more important than ever for students to get the absolute most out of their time in higher education, gaining a good degree to prepare them for the job market.
“We can change all the external factors, but without the focus on teaching, lesson planning, staff development and an emphasis on boosting the morale and confidence of the students and staff, this transformation would not have been possible.”
The University of Bradford became the lead sponsor when Greenhead was transformed into an academy in September 2010.
The decision was taken after Greenhead received an “inadequate” grade in a damning Ofsted report in 2008.
The next step will include a review of the sixth form at UAK into help make A-level students ready to study at university.