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Minister sings the praises of a King's Lynn school

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:00 22 June 2013

MP's Liz Truss and Henry Bellingham talk to students at Springwood High School, during a tour of the school. Picture: Matthew Usher.

MP's Liz Truss and Henry Bellingham talk to students at Springwood High School, during a tour of the school. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2013

Education minister Elizabeth Truss has praised a West Norfolk school for setting pupils' sights on Oxbridge.

Ms Truss and North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham met and spoke to students and teachers at Springwood High School when they visited.

After being taken on a tour of the site and sitting in on some classes, both MPs were full of praise for what they had seen.

Ms Truss, who is also MP for South West Norfolk, said: “What I believe is the really impressive thing at Springwood is that they look carefully at the needs of every pupil.

“They are targeting more students to get into Oxbridge and also those who need more help, which is really important. There is a big focus on the careers aspect of education.

“The pupils here are just so enthusiastic about every subject, which is a really good aspect of the school.

“We have had problems in education in Norfolk and it is good to see a school like Springwood leading the way.”

North West Norfolk MP Mr Bellingham said: “I think it is very important to visit a school that is making such fantastic progress. It has set high standards and has a great reputation.

“I think we are fortunate to have such a good school in the area which is raising the level of aspiration.

“I think it is very important for Elizabeth to see as many schools as possible, in many different constituencies, and this one was an obvious choice for me.”

As well as having the opportunity to get to know a number of students and staff, the MPs were treated to a song in German and a theatrical performance.

Headteacher Andy Johnson said: “We’re very pleased with how things are going. We’ve had three years of sustained performance. The children do well and they want to achieve.

“We are working hard day and night because we want to be an outstanding school.

“We obviously want to continue improving our Sixth Form and also improve extra curricular engagement. It is our aim that every child in the school will take part in extra curricular activities.”

Ms Truss also spoke about the proposed reforms to the GCSE curriculum and examinations.

“What we want to do with GCSEs is to make sure the subject content is as good as possible,” she said. “We want to make the questions broader, enabling students to answer more thoroughly about a subject. We want more skills to be included, so for example mathematics will include problem solving.

“GCSEs are always worthwhile, but we do need to make sure our exam is comparable with other top-performing qualifications.”

The visit came as Norfolk’s director of children’s services and education, Lisa Christensen, resigned following pressure from MPs.

Both Mr Bellingham and Ms Truss said they believed she had made the correct decision in standing down.

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