St Thomas the Apostle College was the only south London secondary school shortlisted for a prestigious TES ‘school of the year’ award.
Formerly linked to The Times Education Supplement, the 2017 TES awards has shortlisted eight secondary schools after received hundreds of applicants. The all-boys school in Nunhead made the final round after finishing twelfth in the country for its 2016 Progress Eight results – a new national standard to measure pupils’ academic improvement. And 82 per cent of its pupils achieved five or more A* to C grades.
Assistant head teacher Emma Whittaker said the school came second in 2015, so thought this could be their year.
“It’s not just about good results, it’s also about what we do in the community and extra circular things that help them grow as individuals, whether it’s our Aspirations Evenings, our debating events, or our basketball,” Emma said.
“We have had spelling bees and more academic events for children who aren’t interested in sports. We’ve done a lot of work in the community with a charity called Cafod [Catholic aid agency], and during Easter we visited care homes to hand out Easter eggs. One of our ex-students passed away recently, and we helped his funeral pay for the funeral because they couldn’t afford it.”