Mount St Mary’s has been at the top of Richmond Hill for the last 170 years – and has now claimed top spot in the recently published unvalidated outcomes for 2022!
With 940 pupils hailing from 44 countries and speaking 46 languages, the school serves some of Leeds’, if not the country’s, most economically-deprived areas, but has emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever.
Mount St Mary’s has been ranked first for ‘Progress 8’ (P8) out of all Leeds secondary schools for English, maths and the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which includes English language and literature, maths, sciences, geography or history and a language at GCSE level.
The Progress 8 score was introduced in 2016. It is an average score for all pupils at a school, showing how well they have progressed academically from the end of primary school to when they finish in secondary education – and as such it is an indicator of secondary school accountability.
Mount St Mary’s is also top for PPP8, the score for disadvantaged cohorts in schools, with one source listing the Richmond Hill School as ninth in the entire country amongst schools with a 40% or greater number of pupils coming from areas of socio-economic deprivation.
Head Teacher Mark Cooper says, ‘We are already fielding questions as to the “secret” of our success. However, there is no secret, simply a steadfast commitment to our belief in being “stronger together” – something we adopted coming out of the pandemic in Autumn 2021, when the phrase had been used in the Tokyo Olympics publicity. Working together as a community of students, staff and parents whilst enthusing and inspiring our students through business links and enrichment, we ensured every student had access to enhanced opportunities in and out of the classroom, whilst providing a climate of aspiration and resilience.’
Mr Cooper credits his ‘fantastic’ staff and their unwavering commitment to the progress and attainment of every student for the sustained improvements over the years. Focusing on ‘Great Outcomes’ both in and out of the formal learning environment, has served to empower students and instil resilience and determination to succeed whatever their starting points.
On witnessing Mount St Mary’s making an average of a whole grade higher than expected, Mr Cooper said that he continues to be humbled by the sheer hard work and commitment of the students, staff, leadership, and governors and looks forward to the next stage in their journey.
As well as Mount St Mary’s at the top of the Leeds P8 league tables, Cardinal Heenan, St Mary’s in Menston and Corpus Christi College are all ranked 7th, 17th and 39th respectively.