June 29, 2022

Iscuk

International Student Club UK

Hazelwood Integrated College named top secondary school in the UK at national awards


A North Belfast school has come out on top at a prestigious UK-wide education award ceremony.

Hazelwood Integrated College took home a prize at the Tes Schools Awards that were held in person for the first time in three years, after two virtual ceremonies.

They were crowned Secondary School of the Year for 2022.

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Hazelwood is a high-performing, co-educational, integrated school with students from different cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds in an area of multiple deprivation in Belfast – straddling the North Belfast Peace Line.

In 2020, it was the most oversubscribed school in the area, even ahead of grammar schools.

Judge Christine Gilbert said: “It’s so unusual, with 58 per cent of students on free school meals and yet it’s more popular than local grammar schools, which says something about parents’ regard for the school.

“It brings together social workers and youth workers to work together with teachers and learning mentors; they work and plan together and that seems to be pushing the achievement up. It’s astonishing what they’re doing.”

There is a huge emphasis on student voice and the student leadership team has led initiatives to improve student wellbeing throughout the school, for example with a book vending machine.

Both the senior leadership team and student leadership teams have accessed professional coaching, helping to ensure high expectations, standards and achievements.

Máire Thompson, principal of Hazelwood Integrated College said: “This is great recognition for the school, having been through a very challenging two years.



They were named Secondary School of the Year

“My advice for a school to be successful is to always be compassionate to both staff and students.”

Chief judge of the Tes Schools Awards and Editor of Tes magazine Jon Severs added: “The Tes Schools Awards are the Oscars of education, recognising and celebrating everything that’s great about our schools and school staff.

“We had so many entries from teachers and schools across the country; choosing the winners was no easy task.

“Congratulations to the winning schools and thank you to all school staff who do such vital work every day.”

Read more: Principal calls for more Stormont support in 40th year of integrated education

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