A HEADTEACHER has praised his pupils and said parents should not lose sight of the hard work youngsters do despite the bad press teenagers often get.
Norden High School and Sports College headteacher Bob Flood made his comments during the school’s awards evening.
He said: “There is a tendency within the media to be quite critical of young people today. What we tend to forget is that the vast majority of young people do what they should be doing for the majority of the time.
“All schools have a small number of students who will, at times, let the school down.
“We must not, however, forget all of those pleasant, hard-working, conscientious students who make up the backbone and also the vast majority of our student population.
“Within school and also within the community, these youngsters are a credit to our school.”
Mr Flood also said it was important for schools to keep focused on essential skills including maths and English and not simply “easier” courses in a bid to bump up GCSE pass rates.
He said: “As a school we place the greatest emphasis on developing the skills that young people need. In particular, we want to ensure that our youngsters leave with skills in English and mathematics in order to give them the best chance in further education or in finding employment.
“There has been a trend in recent years for development of new and – dare one say – easier courses that have enabled some institutions to increase their results dramatically.
“This has not been matched by developments in these cases in English and Mathematics.
“The net result has been that while many youngsters have gained qualifications, they have not really developed the skills that employers are looking for.”
He added that computer-literacy was also important and would remain a key area the school would focus on.
Mr Flood added: “Education is the springboard for success for young people in today’s society. The challenges faced by the young are possibly greater now than they have ever been in the past.
“Competition from overseas and changing job patterns all mean that youngsters who leave our school today need to have the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in our rapidly changing world.”
Prizes were given out by guest Tony Cann, vice-chairman of training organisation Promethean UK.
He began by making a presentation to head boy Ryan Holdsworth and head girl Melissa Addison.
Prize winners were as follows: Art, Victoria Yates; child development, Katrina Sykes, Joanna Tann; drama, Lauren Robinson; English, Leam Burfield; French, Matthew Guest.
Food technology, Rebecca Drinkwater; geography, Adam Hopley; graphic products, Osman Ali; history, Kim Illsley; ICT, Jordan Fearn; mathematics, Matthew Guest; music, Tracey Blakelidge.
PE, Naomi Singh; RE, Chelsea George; resistant materials, Daniel Sillitoe; science, Leam Burfield; Spanish, Danielle Stott; textiles, Naomi Singh; work experience, Victoria Yates.
Excellent progress, Nicola Haworth, endeavour, Rebecca Drinkwater; Matthew Smith Memorial Cup, Katrina Sykes; Ian Kitchin Trophy, Naomi Singh; Allan Critchlow Trophy, Matthew Guest.