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School takes pride as tables recognise success.

HOW do accolades affect a school? It was great this past autumn to see the RGS identified by performance tables as the highest-performing school north of Manchester at A-level and north of Cambridge at GCSE: and RGS Junior School as the best outside London.

Students, staff and parents alike take great pride in the school but we never forget that those fantastic exam results are personal, individual achievements by hardworking, highly-motivated girls and boys, anxious to go as far as they can.

They will! Our Upper Sixth students have now submitted their university applications. They're applying to top universities for highly selective courses and offers of places are rolling in.

But they never forget that education is about much more. Take the last week of term in December.

There were two carol services (for the Senior and Junior schools) and not one but two plays running!

Year 7 and 8 mounted a hilarious pantomime with huge numbers of boys and girls involved. Meanwhile, a cast of nine performed Alan Ayckbourn's hilarious Christmas farce Season's Greetings.

As the weather deteriorated our boys and girls were reaching advanced stages of several sporting competitions: regional and county finals in netball and girls' hockey.

For boys, a national swimming final, and two rugby teams advancing to the fifth and sixth rounds in the national Daily Mail Cup.

Our students know viscerally that a real education is about grabbing all those opportunities.

They know the teamwork, resilience and sheer doggedness that carry them through play productions, concerts, tough sports fixtures and (for the Cadet Force) survival weekends in the frozen Cheviots also contribute to their achievement in the classroom and exam hall. It's a challenging, all-round education. For our students, it's just "what they do". But we all have a lot of fun doing it.

Dr Bernard Trafford, headmaster at the Royal Grammar School
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 4, 2013
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