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Aurora Hanley, an Ofsted Outstanding rated special needs school in Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent is celebrating another year of exceptional exam success for its students – which included a 100% pass rate in GCSE English, Maths and Art. The good news on exam results day continued, as Aurora Hanley discovered they were a shortlisted finalist in the national Children & Young People Now Awards.

Success in GCSE subjects for Aurora Hanley students was matched with a 100% pass rate for the young people studying BTEC Level 2 Home Cooking; Information & Creative Technology; the BTEC First Award Applied Science – as well as perfect pass rates for the Princes Trust Entry-level and Level 1 Awards.

Tracy Whitehurst Head Teacher at Aurora Hanley commented: “We are incredibly proud of all our students and their achievements. They have worked so hard to achieve these impressive exam results, despite the unprecedented challenge of studying through the Coronavirus lockdowns.”

Tracy added: “In addition to celebrating the GCSE and BTEC exam successes of our young people, we are equally proud of our students like Gracie Myers who have achieved passes in English and Maths functional skills and entry level qualifications.”

Gracie arrived at Aurora Hanley at the start of the academic year having struggled with anxiety in mainstream education. Despite this she has achieved qualifications in all her subjects - which is a fantastic representation of how well she has settled and how her confidence has improved, as she continues on her pathway towards a creative course in the future.”

Gracie reflected: “I didn’t fit in at my old school. I felt they didn’t understand me, so it’s made a huge difference to me coming here and I’m much happier,” she says. “The staff are supportive, the classes are smaller and there’s no uniform. I especially like Feel Good Fridays when we get the chance to do fun activities and go on outside visits.”

The announcement that Aurora Hanley had been shortlisted in the Children & Young People Now Awards added to the good news on exam results day, as Tracy explains: “Our main focus will always be our young people and so we are delighted with their exam achievements. Finding out on the same day that our ‘Feel Good Friday’ initiative had been shortlisted in the Learning category of the Children & Young People Now Awards really was the cherry on the top of a wonderful day – and we look forward to attending the award ceremony in November.”