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Sheffield Park Academy

In June 2017 the Wolfson Foundation awarded £50,000 towards the conversion of two classrooms to a science laboratory and prep room.

Wolfson funding programme: Secondary Education
Grant awarded: June 2017
Project completed: September 2017
Total project cost: £61,056
Wolfson funding: £50,000

The school

Sheffield Park Academy had made significant progress in the lead up to their application to the Wolfson Foundation. In addition to an improved Ofsted rating and an exceptional Progress 8 score, the school had received a Key Stage 4 Pupil Premium Award to recognise the progress made in delivering the best outcomes for disadvantaged children and those eligible for Pupil Premium funding. Staff had also worked hard to build good and effective links with local universities to help improve access to higher education for their students.

Showing a recent record of high performance as well as an ongoing capacity for improvement, the school was identified by the Foundation as carrying out excellent work in a disadvantaged area.

  • In a community that still provides exceptional challenges in terms of deprivation … the Academy has the highest expectations of what pupils can achieve.

Sheffield Park Academy

The ambition

A key strategic aim for the school’s senior leadership team was to increase uptake for sixth form science courses and to increase the number of pupils progressing onto science-related degree courses. With rising student numbers and expanded sixth form courses, however, they found that their original science lab provision was no longer sufficient: when A-level and KS3 or KS4 science lessons were taking place simultaneously, at least one class had to be timetabled into a standard classroom.

To address this the school wanted to extend the Academy’s lab capacity, to enable the vast majority of science lessons to take place in an appropriate, specialist environment where practical learning could take place.

The result

Wolfson funding enabled Sheffield Park Academy to convert two existing classrooms to create an additional science lab and new prep room.  The school started the new academic year with sufficient provision to enable 90% of all science lessons across years 7-13 to take place in designated practical science labs. In 2018 the school saw an increase of 15% of year 13 students that went on to study a science-related subject in higher education, compared to September 2017.

  • We found the whole process and the support received exceptional. [Wolfson] were entirely professional, understanding the progress the school had made over the previous 6 years.

Sheffield Park Academy