Chemistry Department win prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Education Prize

Greenhead College Chemistry Department has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Team Prize for Excellence in Secondary and Further Education.

Nominated by their peers, the team was chosen by the RSC’s prestigious panel of judges as one of the most inspirational, innovative and dedicated people in education.

The team has now become a winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Team Prize for Excellence in Secondary and Further Education, for enhancing and enriching the chemistry learning of a huge and diverse group of students by offering a high quality and broad chemistry education and through effective outreach.

Ruth Farnell, Head of Chemistry at Greenhead College said:

“Working with young people can be incredibly rewarding. However, the extent of the work that teams like ours put into ensuring that every student receives not only an outstanding education but also so much more in the way of enthusiasm for and opportunities in chemistry isn’t often recognised. Receiving an accolade like this where our efforts are publicly acknowledged, valued and celebrated means so much to everyone in the team.”

The chemistry team at Greenhead College use their skill, expertise and passion to bring chemistry to life for the almost 1000 students studying in the department. The team have developed an interesting and varied scheme of work that is enhanced and enriched by work outside the classroom.

Students in the department are given opportunities to work with local primary schools to share their love and passion for chemistry with Year 6 children whose enthusiasm for putting on a lab coat and using a Bunsen Burner is infectious. If the students are considering a future in chemistry or research, then there is also the chance to work alongside researchers at the University of Huddersfield to conduct a project as part of our Real World Chemistry enrichment, the results of this work are presented both in the college and at the University using PhD style poster presentations.

The team supports all learners to make the most of their chemistry education whilst at the college. Additional support comes in many forms such as peer mentoring, 11 staffed support sessions a week, a dedicated classroom where students can work quietly in their free time, student study groups and video tutorials covering the entire course. Enhancement in the form of the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, RSC Schools’ analyst competition, RSC Chemistry Olympiad, Cambridge HE+ scheme, Alumni interactions, University outreach talks and trips to Huddersfield University and a residential to the Chemistry department at Oxford all enrich the chemistry curriculum.

Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: 

“It’s of vital importance that we recognise the crucial role that educators play in the advancement of the sciences. And that we commend their ability to inspire and nurture the next generation of bright young minds, so that they can go on to make new discoveries and innovations.

“Society faces many challenges, and educators give us the tools we need to advance our understanding of the world around us and solve many of the problems we encounter. The team’s work demonstrates an outstanding commitment to chemistry education, and it is our honour to celebrate their considerable contribution.”

Gill Reid, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said:

“For many of us as chemists our teachers were our inspiration – their influence in driving the next generation of amazing scientists cannot be underestimated. That’s why I’m so proud of the winners of the Education Horizon Prizes, each of whom demonstrates an infectious passion for learning that sparks young minds to do amazing things.

“This year’s winners set exemplary examples of the impact this can make; it’s no exaggeration to say their successes will be felt for generations to come ”

The Excellence in Education Prizes celebrate inspirational, innovative, and dedicated people working in primary, secondary, further education and higher education – including teachers, technicians and more. These prizes recognise a wide range of skills – from curriculum design to effective teaching, and from personal development to working culture. This category includes specific prizes for teams and for those in the early stages of their career.

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s prizes have recognised excellence in the chemical sciences for more than 150 years. In 2019, the organisation announced the biggest overhaul of this portfolio in its history, designed to better reflect modern scientific work and culture.

Results Day 2022 – Greenhead College leads the way!

Greenhead College has once again achieved incredible A Level results, confirming its status as the No.1 A level College in Yorkshire.

The overall A Level pass rate was 99.3% (national average was 98.4%), with 88.0% of all grades at A*-C and 71.9% at A*-B, almost 10% higher than the national average of 62.2%. 1174 students gained A level passes in 3 or more subjects, with 44 students gaining A*/A in 4 or more subjects, and 295 gaining A*/A in 3 subjects. 

College Principal Simon Lett said:

“This summer’s exams were the first external assessments taken by this year group, as they were unable to sit their GCSEs in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“These fantastic results are a testament to our students’ resilience and high aspirations in incredibly challenging circumstances. They are all exceptional, inspiring, and talented young people and I couldn’t be prouder of them and our dedicated and hardworking staff.”

 A*-E Greenhead %A*-E National %A*-B Greenhead %A*-B National %
2021 (TAGS)99.899.571.869.8
2020 (CAGS)99.899.770.865.4

Greenhead College was inspected by Ofsted in March 2022 and was rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas, with no weaknesses identified.


Click here to read the full report.

Students, Staff and Governors at Greenhead College are celebrating an Outstanding Ofsted result, following a rigorous, four-day inspection in March 2022. 

The college is nationally renowned for its A Level provision.  It was recently ranked as the top performing Sixth Form College in the north of England for A Level results according to the most recent Sunday Times Parent Power Schools Guide – the only northern college to make the top 10.   

The inspection, which placed a big focus on the quality of the student experience rather than results and other data, left the inspectors so impressed that no weaknesses were identified.  

The report recognises the exceptional provision available to students, which enables them to develop into confident and well-rounded individuals. They are encouraged to do their very best and treated as mature adults. 

It also acknowledges that behaviour is exemplary, and that students are highly respectful to each other and staff. Students value the college’s holistic approach which emphasises their personal development as much as their academic achievement. The report also praises the College for its extensive mental health and wellbeing support. 

Across subject areas, inspectors acknowledged how well teachers plan and use assessment, and provide very helpful feedback so that students can improve their work.  

Inspectors also judged that students are well equipped for life after Greenhead, as they benefit from high quality work experience, employer visits and projects. Almost all students progress into higher education or higher-level apprenticeships, including those with high needs, who make progress in line with their peers. 

College Principal, Simon Lett, said: “I am thrilled that Ofsted has recognised the exemplary learning culture which exists at Greenhead College.  Greenhead nurtures individuality and independence through tailored support and as a result, our students develop skills in advance of their years.  I am very pleased that Ofsted has recognised both the high academic standards which exist at the College but also the strong levels of support for safeguarding and wellbeing.  The report is testament to the hard work of our staff and the resilience and ambition of our students.” 

Richard Armstrong, Chair of the Governing Body at Greenhead College commented: “Greenhead College has been rated outstanding for the last 25 years.  The latest Ofsted Inspection confirms that the College remains outstanding, teaching is outstanding, and our students are outstanding. Congratulations to all our staff and students for their amazing dedication and hard work – the Governors are incredibly proud of you all.” 

Greenhead College was also recently named as one of the first 50 schools and colleges nationally to benefit from Department for Education funding to improve accommodation in science subjects.  A new, purpose-built four-storey building for Biology, Chemistry, Politics and Psychology will open next year in time for the 50th anniversary of the College.   

Greenhead College shortlisted for a duo of prestigious awards

We’re delighted to share the news that Greenhead College has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards in the Educate North Awards 2022.

The Educate North Awards is a prestigious awards event which celebrates, recognises, and shares best practice and excellence in the education sector in the North. The winners will be revealed at a special awards ceremony on Thursday 7th April 2022.

Greenhead College has been shortlisted in the following categories:

The FE College of the Year award – an award to honour the leading further education institution within the North of United Kingdom. Greenhead College is amongst just 3 College’s in the shortlist for this award.

The Social Mobility award – an award which recognises institutions that are supporting the education and/or employment prospects of their students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Simon Lett, Principal at Greenhead College commented:

“I am thrilled that Greenhead College has been shortlisted for these prestigious awards.  This is a real testament to the professionalism and dedication of the College’s teaching and support staff, and the high standards achieved by our students.”

Greenhead College ranked as the best state Sixth Form College in the North

The Sunday Times released their 29th edition of the Parent Power Schools Guide last Friday, ranking Greenhead College as the 10th best among all state funded Sixth Form Colleges in the UK, and the highest ranked Sixth Form College in the North of England.

The rankings are based on exam results data from 2017-2019, due to the impact the pandemic had on how grades were assessed in 2020/2021.

The guide comes just months after the government announced their ambitious plans to drive the levelling up agenda, to improve opportunities for young people right across the country.

Greenhead College was the only northern college to make the top 10, with 27 of the top 75 colleges overall being from the north.

Simon Lett, Principal at Greenhead College commented:

“I am thrilled that Greenhead College is once again one of the Top 10 best-performing Sixth Form Colleges in the country.

It’s significant that Greenhead is the only college on the list in the north of England, highlighting the need for young people to have improved opportunities in all parts of the country.”

Greenhead College’s Believe and Achieve programme plays a pivotal role in raising aspirations for its young people regardless of their socioeconomic background. The college maximises opportunities for all students to succeed and progress in their chosen career pathway with its carefully designed programme. Students receive bespoke advice when applying for widening participation schemes with its partner universities, plus a tailored tutorial programme to broaden their skillsets.

A former Greenhead College student who was successful of a place on the ‘Access to Leeds’ scheme said:

“Access to Leeds came to visit us at Greenhead College, which is where I found out about the scheme. My tutor then helped me with my application. Had I not chosen to leave my high school to study at Greenhead College, I probably wouldn’t be doing this now!”

Read the full Sunday Times article here:

Greenhead heads to Glasgow for COP26

We are delighted to reveal that Stuart Strathdee, Chemistry Teacher at Greenhead College and Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commissioner, and Danyaal Malik , A2 Student and Chair of the Student Association, are heading to Glasgow to attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Two further students Ashleigh Jones (A1) and Holly Randle (A2) are also participating remotely.

Danyaal, Holly and Ashleigh will join fifty year 10-13 students from across the UK who will act as the collective voice of UK schools. While Holly and Ashleigh are participating remotely, Danyaal is travelling to Glasgow and will join a panel discussion on the Role of Young People in Climate Solutions, organised by the Departments for Environment and for Culture, Media and Sport, as part of Youth and Public Empowerment Day.

They will be attending as part of the UK Schools Sustainability Network, an organisation of youth environmentalists from across the country who collaborate on new green initiatives and ideas to implement in schools. Danyaal has been selected as one of approximately 20 students from across the UK to attend the conference in Glasgow, and hopes to see real change and dialogue taking place during his time there.

Whilst in Glasgow, Danyaal and Stuart will be participating at a showcase in the Green Zone of COP26 where there will be different stands, each focussing on a specific area related to climate change. They hope to attract other delegates and activists to the stands to discuss and raise awareness of various issues.

We are also extremely proud that Danyaal has also been selected as one of only a few students across the UK to have the opportunity to enter the Ministerial Blue Zone. This is a highly prestigious area of COP26 as it is where the World Leaders gather and the main negotiations and speeches take place. During his time in the Blue Zone he will be participating in a number of events alongside the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi MP as well as the WWF, Bear Grylls and  Educational Charity ‘Students Organising for Sustainability’.

This is an incredible opportunity for Danyaal and Stuart, who hope to meet with as many Ministers as possible to promote the cause whilst gathering key information and developing strategies to support Greenhead College, and also schools and colleges across the country, in tackling climate change.

Simon Lett, Principal at Greenhead College has commented:

“I am thrilled that Stuart and Danyaal will be representing Greenhead College at this important international event.  Their participation at COP26 will enable them to inform the College community and regional networks both during and after the event, and I look forward to hearing about their experience.” 

Commenting on what he will bring back with him from the conference, Danyaal said:

“I hope post-COP, I will be able to utilise the key messages and information I’ve taken from the conference back to College so we can further discuss and set out our aims for a greener campus.”

We can’t wait to hear more about their once in a lifetime experience!

Greenhead College Art Exhibition 2021

16th September 2021 saw our A Level Art Exhibition finally return, albeit on a smaller scale than usual. The college invited its A2 leavers to return and celebrate their outstanding achievements with their families, friends and staff members, following its cancellation back in June.

The Art students have faced two extremely difficult years, and online learning has been far from ideal for creative courses. Despite this, the students have stayed positive in the most testing times, and their resilience and ambition has shone.

Head of Art, Rachel Lumb commented:

We are really proud of the work they have produced under such
testing conditions and how they have shown such independence and ambition.
It has certainly been an extraordinary first year for me at Greenhead but
these students have really pulled me through with their joy and resilience.
Staff have worked particularly hard to ensure students have achieved their
very best and we have all loved working with this group of students so

We welcome you to watch our Art Exhibition via video and our online gallery below:

Greenhead College celebrates outstanding results for its Class of 2021!

Greenhead College is thrilled to report outstanding achievements by its students in their A Levels this summer.

This year, the A-E pass rate was 99.8%, with 89.8% of grades awarded A-C and 71.8% of grades A*-B.

72 students achieved 3 or 4 A* grades when taking 3 or 4 A Levels, achieving A* in every subject. 303 students achieved 3 or 4 A* or A grades when taking 3 or 4 A Levels, achieving A* or A in every subject. 1171 Students took 3 or 4 A Levels.

Greenhead College Principal, Simon Lett, said:

“We are extremely proud of all the work and achievements of our students, especially after such a difficult and disrupted year.  Our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are able to progress to higher education, apprenticeships or employment, and we look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.”

Following the national cancellation of exams, A Levels were awarded through a process of Teacher Assessed Grades which were approved and awarded by the examination boards.  The government is not publishing performance data for any schools or colleges this year due to the varying impact of the pandemic.

Major investment in Greenhead College facilities announced

Greenhead College will be one of the first Colleges in the country to receive significant capital investment to improve its facilities as part of a major building programme announced by the Government on 5 February 2021.  

The College has been working with the Department for Education to plan significant improvements to the current estate.  This will involve replacing Biology and Chemistry facilities with brand new laboratories and classrooms.  The investment will also see increased social and dining space for students.

Principal Simon Lett said:

“Greenhead College is the top-performing provider of A Levels in the local area and one of the best Sixth Form Colleges in the country.  We are thrilled the Government has chosen our College for this investment which will ensure our students continue to receive outstanding teaching and pastoral care in modern, state-of-the art facilities.

“We are currently working with the DfE and contractors to explore the scope for further development of the site.  This would allow additional students to attend the College in future years in response to the significant increase in the 16-18 year old population in Kirklees over the next 5 years.  This is a really exciting development for the College.”

For further details of the Government’s proposals, please go to

Results Day 2020

Greenhead College students have been receiving their A Level results today following the unprecedented cancellation of this summer’s exams.

College Principal Simon Lett said:

“I’m very pleased that the hard work of our students over the course of their A Level studies has been rewarded with such good results. Clearly both staff and students were disappointed that students were unable to sit their exams as planned. However, this year’s calculated grades will help many of our students secure their first choice destination in higher education, training and employment. 

“Overall, the majority of our students appear to have received the grades we would have expected. However, we are seeing some instances where the grade awarded to a student is lower than both their teachers’ predicted grade and their mock exam results. In these cases we are working with students to ensure they can progress successfully to the next stage of their education and training.”

He added: “I’d like to thank parents and carers, and our superb staff for the dedicated support they have given our students throughout their studies, and wish our students the very best for the future.”

The College has a team of staff on hand today and into next week to offer its students careers advice and pastoral support both online and in person.