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County Upper
a campus of the
Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust

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Awards and Accreditations

As a school we accept that self-praise is no recommendation and seek external validation of our work. We have led the way in gaining a range of national awards, all at the highest level possible, as testimony to the breadth and depth of our achievements and lack of complacency in all we do in and out of the classroom.  In alphabetical order, the main awards are:

Arts Mark Gold ArtsMark Gold. This is the highest award for curricular and extra-curricular art, dance, drama and music. We were the first Suffolk school to gain it back in 1992 and it has been re-awarded every three years since, most recently in 2013.
Gifted and Talented Lead School Gifted and Talented Lead School. The Department for Education awards this to schools which are considered Beacons of Excellence for their work with the most able and talented students.
Investors in People Investor in People. We were first given this status in 1994 and it recognises our values and care for both the school’s staff and students.
International School Award International Schools Award. The British Council awards this and again we are the only Suffolk school to have gained it in recognition of our strong international links and visits together with the number of languages we teach. We have held it at the highest level since 2007 and it is re-awarded at three yearly intervals, most recently in September 2013.
Ofsyed Outstanding Ofsted Outstanding. The school has been deemed outstanding on eight consecutive occasions since 1998 and we are told by the Department for Education that no other school in the country has this record.
Science and Language College Specialist Status in Science, Mathematics and Technology. This was awarded by the Department for Education in 1996 and subsequently re-awarded. In 2006, the school was given a second specialism so also has Specialist Status in Modern Foreign Languages.
Teaching School Teaching School Status is only given to outstanding schools and the Trust is proud to be a Teaching School Alliance. County Upper is also a national computer science hub and the Department for Education’s lead  school in Suffolk and Norfolk for Science Education. These awards enable us to continue to recruit high quality staff and ensure their continuing professional development.
PE Quality Mark The Department for Education’s Quality Mark in Physical Education was introduced in 2011-12 and can be achieved at pass or distinction level. We were one of the first four schools in the country to receive it at distinction level for the quality of both our curricular and extra-curricular sports programmes. Unlike other sports awards, the Department for Education’s mark does not require schools to pay for accreditation. The school was chosen as the BBC East School of the Year for Sport in 2012.
PYI The Prince’s Institute Charter Mark was set up by HRH Prince Charles. It provides national recognition for rigorous teaching which is inspirational, rather than ‘to the test’ and which results in high standards across the ability range. We have the award for English, history and music.