Fir Vale School

Fir Vale School Academy Trust
Motto Making dreams a reality
Established 1998
Closed Open
Type Academy
Headteacher Ms Breffni Martin
Location Owler Lane
South Yorkshire
S4 8GB
Coordinates: 53°24′26″N 1°26′50″W / 53.407293°N 1.447256°W / 53.407293; -1.447256
Local authority City of Sheffield
DfE URN 138925 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff ~115
Students ~1018
Gender Coeducational
Ages Year 7 Age 11–Year 11 Age 16
Houses Sheaf, Loxley, Porter, Rivelin, Owler
Colours Silver and Purple. Green and Orange (Former). Blue (Sheaf). Loxley (Green). Porter (Yellow). Rivelin (Red). Owler (Orange).
Publication Fir Vale Newsletter

Fir Vale Academy Trust is a secondary school with Converter academy status in Page Hall, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, It is a school in a very challenging context.


Fir Vale School was opened in 1998 by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to replace the troubled Earl Marshall School under the government's "Fresh Start" scheme. It serves approximately 930 students from the local area with a wide cultural mix, over 35 languages are spoken in the school. Fir Vale achieved an "Outstanding" review from Ofsted in 2006. Fir Vale is also one of only 300 national ‘Leading Edge’ Schools in the country and regularly shares Best Practice with other schools. The school is heavily oversubscribed and therefore a major new building project began in December 2010 which was finished in December 2011. A new teaching block was constructed and existing spaces were converted, allowing the annual intake to increase from 150 to 210 students. The main school is a PFI build and the contractor is Interserve. In 2015 they got a "Good" review from Ofsted.[1]

Academic Performance

Students at the school now make excellent progress and in 2013, students achieved the best ever results for the school with 53% of the Year 11 cohort achieving 5 A*-C including English and Maths at GCSE.

In 2014 they failed to hit their GCSE grades target. However, progress was very good with progress 8 figure of 0.4.[2][3]

In 2015 Fir Vale had a very successful set of results. With 78% 3 Levels Progress in English and 23% A*-A grades some of the highest figures in Sheffield. Their Progress 8 score was a very good 0.2 which is remarkable given their starting points.

School population

Fir Vale is a popular school and is full and oversubscribed. The majority of students are BME with a more recent intake of eastern European background; the multi ethnic intake reflecting their diverse local community. Whilst the school serves a deprived social-economic community with 37% of the students qualifying for a free school meal, the area is gradually being regenerated and our parents and carers have high levels of aspirations and expectations for their children and the school. Most of their students go on to 6th Form and academic study.[4]

Hundreds of children are refused places.[5]

The school integrates its Romani students.[6][7]


The school is a successful Business and Enterprise College and the Master Cutlers Curriculum started in 2014 to give the students the best skill set for being ‘employment ready’. Through its specialism the school has recruited a wide range of ‘Business’ Governors and has created a range of Business partnerships. The school is now also a ‘Microsoft Academy’ running courses for staff, students and the local community. In 2013 Fir Vale students successfully bid for a Fir Vale radio station which they now run with their Director of Specialism.

The current Head teacher is Ms Breffni Martin.

They were visited by Howard Webb [8]

They also celebrated student awards at Longley Park Sixth Form College where David Blunkett was present [9]

15 Fir Vale students set out on a journey to Ghana for 10 days to help build an orphanage. The school raised £28,000 to build the orphanage. [10]


  1. "Ofsted - June 2015". Fir Vale School. Fir Vale School Academy Trust. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  2. "Three major Sheffield schools fail to hit GCSE grade targets". The Star. The Star. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  3. "South Yorkshire schools fail to meet national average GCSE standards after controversial changes to ratings system". Sheffield Telegraph. 30 January 2015.
  4. "Fir Vale - About Us". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  5. Sam Jackson (18 April 2015). "Hundreds of children refused secondary school places in Sheffield". The Star. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  6. "A Sheffield school turns to martial arts training to help Roma pupils integrate in classroom". The Star. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  7. Helen Ward (27 March 2015). "Boxing clever to improve Roma pupils' behaviour".
  8. "Former referee Howard Webb to present Sheffield school awards". The Star. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  9. "Students celebrate achievements at a Sheffield sixth form college". The Star. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  10. "Fir Vale School go to Ghana". Retrieved 2016-01-14.

External links

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