Monday, 23 March 2009

I visited Cockburn College of Arts this morning...

This is a brilliant learning place where Dave Gurney, headteacher, and his young, energetic and totally committed team are releasing real magic. My friend John Ellis, previous Chair of Governors, had asked me to visit the school to talk to the senior team and to see what has been achieved. I walked around the school with Dave and it was incredible to see talented colleagues working with young people who were enagaged, involved and really focused on learning in drama, art, technology, English and mathematics. The whole school was calm, the atmosphere positive and the relationships exceptional. The building work at the school has been handled fantastically and the new building certainly has the WOW factor.

This is a school very clearly on a flight path to brilliant and everyone I spoke to was determined to give all their young people the passport to the next stage of learning. The school is oversubscribed, results have been improving year on year and the school's contextual value-added from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4 is simply brilliant.

It was wonderful, as I approach eight great years here in Leeds, to visit Cockburn College of Arts and see what has been achieved over those eight years through strong and highly effective leadership and governance, great teaching, a focused and personalised curriculum, highly structured behaviour management and rigorous attendance management.

This makes you realise what we can achieve and what is possible with persistence, determination and sheer hard work and a brilliant team!

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