School wins national award for work with pupils vulnerable to underachievement

Castle Newnham Quality Mark Award - head teacher Ruth Wilkes, left, and achievement leader for closing gaps Ali Boston with pupils. Picture: Alexander J. Westley

Castle Newnham Quality Mark Award - head teacher Ruth Wilkes, left, and achievement leader for closing gaps Ali Boston with pupils. Picture: Alexander J. Westley

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Pupils and staff at a school in Bedford are celebrating a national award for its work in helping underachievers.

Castle Newnham has been awarded the Quality Mark Award for improving the well-being, resilience and self-esteem of pupils who are

vulnerable to underachievement.

The award recognises the impressive work being done by the school to improve progress in reading, writing and maths for all pupils, particularly those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

The award has been developed by education charity Achievement for All (AfA), which offers support programmes to schools.

Castle Newnham has been working in partnership with Achievement for All since 2012 and has seen a marked improvement in the outcomes for the targeted group of pupils as part of the AfA framework.

Head teacher Ruth Wilkes said: “We are thrilled that our hard work in raising the aspirations and outcomes of our pupils has been awarded with the AFA Quality Mark and credit should go out to our staff, our parents and carers and the pupils themselves.”

The award focuses on a variety of categories such as strategic planning, quality of teaching and learning, effective use of interventions, pupil progress and community relationships.

Kris Wodehouse, regional director at Achievement for All, said: “We are thrilled to present Castle Newnham School with this much deserved award. They have shown a high quality of leadership and teamwork and, most importantly, the target groups are closing the gap with their peers. A huge congratulations to teachers, parents, carers and children at Castle Newnham School for all their hard work.”