South Yorkshire Times, September 14.
New School begins to take Shape at Conisbrough.
With the opening of the autumn term, a new school has begun to take shape in Conisbrough, when Northcliffe High School has been formed by the amalgamation of the former Northcliffe Boys and Northcliffe Girls secondary schools.
Headmaster of the new unit Mr A.G.G. Young formerly head of the boys school for five years, now faces an eventful period as staff and pupils adjust themselves to the new conditions, not only as a school being combined with mixed classes for the first time in the 35 years old building in Northcliffe Road, Conisbrough, but Mr Young has also “unstreamed” the vast majority of the classes.
The pupils in each “year” – first to fifth form – are now subdivided, not according to assessed abilities but according to houses – Lister, Faraday, Cromwell, Nelson, Wesley, Marlborough and Shakespeare. So instead of 4a and 4b, for instance, there are Nelson 4for Shakespeare 4, and so on.
Mr Young said on Tuesday: “we have taken the plunge and I must say it seems to have worked out. The staff and children seem to enjoy the situation and, indeed, rise to it.”
“It is a fairly bold step.” He added, “but it is not a step in the dark, for quite a number of schools have adopted the system.”
The children now find themselves in a setup warehouses come first, and Mr Young emphasises that there is now no “label” around a child’s neck as a result of being in a particular class.
For the Present.
The only exception to the “streaming” and mix in our two classes – form 5R and Lister 4 – which are “boys only” forms for the present, since they are working up to G.C.P.standard, and there were no corresponding girls classes with which to combine. All other classes are mixed.
Form Faraday 4 is working up to Certificate of Secondary Education standard and it is anticipated that once this examination becomes properly established it may be more practical for GCE candidates to stay on for a sixth year, taking some subjects at 16 and the rest at 17.
A further change in the school is the addition of 14 new members of staff in a total of 41 teachers.
Here again Mr Young is confident.
“Personally, I see no problem arising from this,” he said.
“I think it would have an enormous tonic effect on any school to have so many eager young teachers.”
He concluded: “everyone has settle down far more quickly than I had anticipated though it’s early yet to make any really lasting judgement.”
The “new” school has almost 1000 pupils.