May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Friday, August 24, 2012
Just two years ago, St Thomas More was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Languishing at the bottom of Haringey’s GCSE league table, a film uploaded to YouTube showing students rampaging through the school’s grounds made national news.
Yet on Thursday, it was revealed the Glendale Avenue school was now the best in the borough with provisional results showing 76 per cent of students getting five or more A*-C grades, including maths and English, and 96pc of students getting five or more A*-C grades without.
In 24 months, the school has stormed up the table by 45pc. Its A-level results are also improving at speed, with the number of A*-C grades going from 60pc to 76pc this year.
The rapid rise has coincided with the arrival of headteacher Martin Tissot, appointed to lead the school during the autumn of 2010. At the time he told the Journal he was determined to improve results and behaviour.
“I want people to hear good things about St Thomas More school so that it then becomes a school that parents will consider,” he said then.
Talking to the students, there seems little doubt he has already achieved this.
“It has changed a lot,” said pupil Sudhanshu Sarin, 16, who got six As, three Bs and a merit in his ICT BTEC. “It has been a great change. The library is a great place [to learn], they’ve separated older and young students to stop bullying, the classrooms are better and the teachers are more organised.”
Howard Barugahare, 16, who got five A*s, two As, two Bs and a distinction in a BTEC, agreed.
“It has got 100pc better. A couple of years ago, I might not have come here for A-levels, but I definitely want to now because I am comfortable here and the teachers are good.”
Cllr Pat Egan, chairman of the school’s governors, is equally impressed.
“There is no doubt that Martin Tissot and his new team have put in place what parents want,” he said. “Structure, discipline, values and a focus on academic achievement.”
The emphasis on structure and discipline - Mr Tissot even introduced Saturday morning classes for those falling behind - is the very reason 16-year-old Simone Borell is staying at the school to complete her A-levels.
“I need a push, which I know I will get here,” she admitted, adding with pride: “I’ve enjoyed being part of the transformation - it is on its path to being a great school.”