THE VALLEY leadership Academy in Bacup is celebrating as year 11 pupils today receive their GCSE results.

The secondary school for pupils aged 11- 16 has, like schools around the country, faced a difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic but can still look back on a year’s job well done thanks to the performance of its year 11s.

Head girl, Lizzie Mawson, secured grades 7 and 8 in subjects including English literature, mathematics and Spanish after what her teachers described as “five years of total commitment and dedication to her studies and school life”, while head boy Kalumn Ridgway, who has represented the school at historical memorials both in the UK and abroad, also achieved an outstanding set of GCSE results, not least a grade 8 in history.

Executive principal Kieran Larkin said: “I have felt extremely privileged to be able to share in our pupils’ journeys this year, particularly so in this unique year.

“The sheer graft of many of our pupils and their ability to succeed in what have been challenging circumstances for many has made me incredibly proud.”

Other outstanding results included artist Theola Whittaker, who obtained eight strong GCSE results including a well-deserved grade 7 in art.

Teachers praised Theola for her fantastic attitude to learning throughout her five years at the school.

Maiya Talbot meanwhile displayed her talents in maths and science, securing impressive GCSE grades and earlier this year winning the school’s first ever Stellar Award.

The award will now be given annually to one pupil and one staff member who always gives their best, goes above and beyond, and who seeks no recognition or reward for what they do.

Another excellent performer was scientist Amy Evans, who achieved strong passes in triple science, which will enable her to continue her post-16 studies in Burnley College.

Mr Larkin said: “All the pupils turned out for their results which showed me how keen and committed they are to now get back into their studies following the challenging year they have faced.

“I would like to thank all our parents and teachers for working so hard to support our pupils through such extraordinary times.”

To find out more about the academy, visit: