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South Bromsgrove High in the top 100 state schools in the UK

Earlier this month, our school (South Bromsgrove High School) was named as one of the top 100 non-selective state schools in 2015/16.

73% of pupils achieved 5 or more high level GCSE grades and 51% achieved these in the core subjects that the Government is promoting with the English Baccalaureate qualification. The English baccalaureate is for students who receive a C grade or higher in English, two sciences, a language, and a humanities subject. Due to this, we received a letter from the schools minister, Nick Gibb, who recognised us as being in one of the top 100 schools in the country. The school were proud of this result because as a school, the teachers try to offer a balanced curriculum, so interests can match to as many students as possible.

Nick Gibb, Minister for Schools, stated in the letter to the head teacher, Paul Topping, “These subjects are vital for giving pupils the best start in life and ensure they have the widest range of opportunities available to them.”

So what was it that made south deserve this award? We interviewed Mr Smith, deputy head of the school:

What makes south an outstanding school?

One thing is the relationships between the teachers and the students and also the relationships between the students themselves. South is a big school, but I do not regularly hear teachers shouting. That is how the school prefers to work as we find the students respond well to that. Bullying is not a big issue in our school either. Another thing is the quality of teachers and all teachers are qualified in their subjects, so we have some of the best people to teach. Along with this, there are not many schools that provide the extra curricula activities we do such as the Duke of Edinburgh, which is very big at our school, and Eisteddfod, a current house competition which involves music, dance, art, drama and sports.

How do you feel about working at the school?

I have been at the school for 18 years. This is a really good school and teachers tend to not want to leave. Many opportunities have come up for me in the course of my career. I believe in this school and it serves a good service to the local community and I am proud to be a part of this school. This school takes students from a range of abilities and backgrounds and it is a place where pupils have equal opportunities.

How would you describe the environment here?

The environment is generally quite calm, but purposeful. It is a single building and there are lots of students, which can be tough, but in the majority of cases, the students that come here want to do well and so do their parents.

How does the extra-curricular contribute to the school ethos?

Duke of Edinburgh has been a big part of this school ever since I joined. I think the skills that are learnt are important as they extend the knowledge in lessons. Sports activities encourage team work and resilience. Many of these skills are what many employees look for, so the things you do outside lessons will give you the edge when applying for jobs. PixelEdge is also something we offer which encourages students to do activities and use, create or develop all of the other skills that may not just be learnt in lessons.

As a student at South, I feel proud to be part of such a great school. The education that I get here is outstanding and I couldn’t be in a better school.

Year 9 student, Tony, said that there is a very good quality of teaching in lessons and poor behaviour is dealt with swiftly.

As a whole, the school is pleased with our achievement as it means our hard work has been recognised. We hope to continue getting these great grades and stay in the top 100 non-selective state schools.

By Charlie and Amelia Yr9