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Founding school named Top School in the North - of the decade!

Published on 27/11/20

Congratulations go to our founding school, Silverdale, today after being named the Sunday Times Top State Secondary School in the North - for the decade!

The 28th edition of Parent Power identifies the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK, ranked by their most recently published examination results. A fully searchable national database by school name, local authority, town and postcode, together with regional rankings are available to Times and Sunday Times subscribers at:

As well as assessment of all academic results on a school-by-school basis, Parent Power enables parents to compare the performance of a given school with other schools in the same town, local authority or nationally. There are also live links to school websites and schools’ most recent inspection reports. 

Parent Power is widely acknowledged as the most authoritative survey of the country’s best schools. The rankings in the secondary school league tables are determined by the percentage of examination entries gaining A* to B grades at A-level (which is given double weighting) and the percentage of entries graded 9, 8 and 7, at GCSE and iGCSE. 

Nick Rodrigues, the deputy editor of Parent Power, said:

’Last year, Silverdale got the top A-level and GCSE results in Sheffield and it also won our North State Secondary School of the Year award in 2017. It’s in the top 5% of schools in the country for progress at A-level and is an Ofsted "outstanding" school. With such an exceptional record Silverdale deserves to be recognised as the North State Secondary School of the Decade.” 

“In this comprehensive school no one is left behind, pupils are not only challenged to give their best they are personally supported and motivated to achieve it. Under the leadership of Sarah Sims all students have the opportunity to broaden their skills through a wide range of extracurricular activities that include music, theatre, sport, adventure, service and leadership. This allows them to broaden their life experiences and boosts their confidence. Children leave well prepared to take the next steps in education and life.”

Sarah Sims, Head of Silverdale School, said:

‘This is a win for Sheffield, not just for Silverdale. Our students comes from across the city into both our school and sixth form. And our teachers have taught at schools across Sheffield before joining us. So it’s a reflection of the hard work of everyone who has contributed to our school community over the past decade in this fantastic city!

“Silverdale has always been about so much more than exam results. It’s about the quality of the teachers we attract and their outstanding specialist knowledge, the additional support we give our students, and the inclusive ethos which allows our students to be themselves and believe they can achieve beyond expectations. I know people make assumptions about our school because of our location. But Silverdale is a vibrant, diverse community; our staff and students speak over 50 different languages!

“It was hard keeping such amazing news a secret this past week, and such a relief to be able to finally share it with staff and students. At the start of the day we played them a video about the announcement, which included messages of support from people within both the school and city communities. It was a real boost – just what we all need after one of the hardest and most challenging terms we’ve ever faced. Everyone has gone beyond what has been expected of them, really pulling together – so this award means a lot. There have been a few tears already!”

Chris James, CEO of Chorus Education Trust, said: ‘

When you go into Silverdale you notice immediately what a special place it is. The students have a real thirst for learning, an energetic curiosity and a respect for their teachers. In my experience, it takes quite some time for a school to achieve that positive culture and so it’s good to see the Sunday Times looking back over the whole decade, rather than just the latest results.

‘This award is about more than just one school, it’s about a whole network of educational professionals. In the very best traditions of Sheffield, the school has collaboration at its heart. That’s why Silverdale founded Chorus Education Trust, and is using its expertise to support and develop other schools, such as Westfield School in Sheffield and Hope Valley College in Derbyshire. We also support and share best practice through our teaching school, the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance, our National Modern Languages SCITT and, more recently, the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub. We were asked to set these up by the Department for Education, to train the next generation of teachers – and it’s all because at our heart is Silverdale School, consistently delivering an outstanding education.'

Students were told about the award during form time today, with a video from the Mrs Sims, where she shared congratulatory messages from people within both the school and city community. These included: 

  • Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region Mayor.
  • Freddie Woodward, Olympic diver and former Silverdale student.
  • Lord David Blunkett, former Secretary of State for Education and former leader of Sheffield City Council.
  • Cameron Dawson, Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper and former Silverdale student.
  • Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam.
  • Alex Migali, Chair of Silverdale Governing Body.
  • Roisin Paul, former Head of Silverdale School.
  • Chas Ponsford, former Co-Head of Silverdale School.