That special touch

A SECONDARY school will reduce class sizes after receiving £900,000 by achieving special educational status. The St Ivo, in St Ives, has won accreditation as a humanities specialist college and will receive £200,000 every year for four years, starting in

A SECONDARY school will reduce class sizes after receiving £900,000 by achieving special educational status.

The St Ivo, in St Ives, has won accreditation as a humanities specialist college and will receive £200,000 every year for four years, starting in September, as well as further Government cash.

Assistant headteacher Dan Wilson said: "We have some of the largest class sizes in Cambridgeshire because we are not a specialist college and did not have access to the cash pot that comes with the status.

"We have shown an upward trend in exam results over three years and the extra income will allow us to continue our improvement."


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Humanities teaching covers geography, history and drama lessons, but the school will use its funding to benefit all subjects.

Mr Wilson said: "We are not in the business of creating first and second division departments in the school - we intend to boost our IT facilities and that will benefit every department and every student."

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The school had to raise £50,000 as a condition of the application but managed £70,000 thanks to sponsorship from local businesses and parents.

The sponsorship will be supplemented by £100,000 from the Government to spend on capital projects, meaning the school will receive £900,000 over four years.

School principal Howard Gilbert said: "As a humanities college it will be our aim to encourage students to examine their own values and attitudes as individuals in a post-industrial, global and inter-dependent society."

As well as reducing class sizes and investing further in computer equipment, the school intends to increase its focus on literacy skills.

The new status means the Ivo is the first school in Huntingdonshire ­- and the fifth in Cambridgeshire - to have special status in humanities.

Mr Gilbert said: "This new status will benefit students in all subjects across the curriculum and is recognition of the quality of work in the geography, history and drama departments and the standard of our plan for school improvement.

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