New £2.5 million sports hall set to open next year

Students who never miss a day of school gathered at Swanwick Hall School on Monday to celebrate their perfect attendance records.

The Derby Road school honoured 153 students in total - with 84 of the attendees coming from Swanwick Primary, Riddings Infant and Junior, Somerlea Park Junior, Somercotes Infants, Heage Primary, and Ironville and Codnor Park Junior.

The celebration is in its second year and has seen the number of pupils with a 100 per cent attendance record rise from 103 last year.

Head teacher Jonathan Fawcett said: “The attendance figures show that the children want to come to school.

“It’s something that we have looked to do across the cluster and we have worked hard to increase student attendance - this is really positive.

“The fact we able to have that improvement is down to the work done by our primary schools - we see the cluster as a cohernent programme of education and we work together.”

The school even boasts a small number of children who have never had a day off in four years and these eager scholars received special prizes.

Each child was given a certificate and a small trophy to mark their achievement.

The school is also hoping to celebrate its best academic results ever.

Mr Fawcett added: “We have improved our performance over the last five years at GCSE and A Level.

“We are expecting two students to go to Oxbridge - following on from Sam Ainsworth, who went to Cambridge last year to study computer science. - the first student from Swanwick Hall to get into Oxbridge in ten years.”

The school has also been tackling the problem of children who are persistently absent by attending school less than 85 per cent of the time - and the figure is now below the target set by Government.

The school hasn’t permanently excluded any children this year. “That tells us the children are behaving well,” added Mr Fawcett.

In September the school welcomes 195 new students from 18 primary schools around the area. Government inspectors ruled the school was ‘outstanding’ in an November 2010 report.

Mr Fawcett said: “Every year in September I challenge the whole school - staff and student, myself included - to do better. This is the best year we have ever had.”