Longridge celebrates its success

Shelagh Phillips Head of the Junior Department at Longridge Towers School enjoyed a wonderful leavers assembly at the end of the summer term. She was personally thanked by Head Teacher Mr Manning on behalf of the parents, pupils, teachers and governors for all her hard work and commitment during her seven years at the school
Shelagh Phillips Head of the Junior Department at Longridge Towers School enjoyed a wonderful leavers assembly at the end of the summer term. She was personally thanked by Head Teacher Mr Manning on behalf of the parents, pupils, teachers and governors for all her hard work and commitment during her seven years at the school

LONGRIDGE Towers School celebrated another year of successes and achievements at its annual Founders’ Day before the end of term.

Head master Tim Manning said it had been an excellent year both in terms of GCSEs and A levels. The pass rate at GCSE at grade C and above was over 92 per cent.

Longridge Towers School 'Founders Day'. Juniors with The Rt Hon Lord Walton of Detchant and Headmaster Tim Manning.

Longridge Towers School 'Founders Day'. Juniors with The Rt Hon Lord Walton of Detchant and Headmaster Tim Manning.

All candidates sat a minimum of nine academic subjects and over 94 per cent of candidates achieved seven or more passes at grade C or above including English, maths and a science.

This year a new house system was introduced in the senior school, comprising Home, Jerningham and Stobo. This has created a competitive House spirit with points awarded for competitions in drama, music, general knowledge quizzes and a variety of sports.

“I think we can all agree that the new house system has worked to give greater competition, but above all more opportunities for our pupils to show their exceptional talents,” said Mr Manning.

Apart from sports fixtures, there have been 59 different educational trips this year. All pupils from the age of 4 to 18 have been out to enhance their learning experience.

The music and drama departments have had another successful year with various plays and concerts taking place. The highlight of their year though, was without doubt the superb performance of ‘Annie’ at the Maltings last March. A huge cast put on a fantastic show with excellent acting, singing and dancing.

Sporting teams have had considerable success this year: For example, the senior boys won the Emmanuel 7s competition and were runners up in the county, the Under 13 girls were runners up in the county and also qualified for the National Mini hockey finals held in Leeds, the Junior Girls won the under 11 Scottish prep schools cross country and the Junior curling team won the plate in the Borders primary schools championship. Individually there have been other great successes.

However, Mr Manning admitted there had been some difficulties with staffing this year. Several staff had retired or had to leave due to ill health while others were on maternity leave.

The Development Association had put on some wonderful social events and money they have raised has been used to help with many projects with a considerable sum being spent on the refurbishment and upgrading of the 6th form facilities. The next project is to provide improved ICT provision in the Junior Department.

Mr Manning said the school had been pleased with its ISI inspection and was particularly proud of the comments regarding the behaviour of the pupils and the pastoral care throughout the school.

All staff are to receive further training on helping weaker pupils and pushing the brighter pupils, the effectiveness of which will be monitored closely by the SMT.

From this September the school is starting to take pupils from the age of 3. This is in response to demand from parents who are finding nursery places hard to get and increasingly expensive.

Also from September we are introducing some sixth form BTech courses. Btechs can run alongside A levels and have UCAS points values equivalent to A levels.

Mr Manning said: “The Russell group of universities accept them and we feel this will make sixth form study at Longridge more attractive to some. These courses are in addition to our normal diet of A and As levels.”

John Smithson, in his first Founders Day as chairman of governors, thanked his predecessor Ian McCreath for his contribution to the school.

He said: “It is, I think, pretty well impossible to sum up meaningfully Ian’s contribution to our school over that time in just a few words, but one thing is for certain – without Ian, quite simply there would be no Longridge.”

He also admitted that new science facility is still planned but remains on hold until the economic climate improves.