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Son’s award an extra reason for University Academy Holbeach principal to be proud

UAH Presentations, back: Tommy Roscher, Harley Brown, Jacob Wagstaff, Joseph Baragwanath; front Prof Toby Wilkinson, Amber Mills-Rist, Daisy Church, Eden Wilmott, head Steve Baragwanath.
UAH Presentations, back: Tommy Roscher, Harley Brown, Jacob Wagstaff, Joseph Baragwanath; front Prof Toby Wilkinson, Amber Mills-Rist, Daisy Church, Eden Wilmott, head Steve Baragwanath.

University Academy Holbeach principal Steve Baragwanath played down an amazing family moment at the school’s presentation evening.

The long-serving head must have been immensely proud when his son Joseph received the award for Best A-Level Academic Achievement, but limited himself to a simple: “Well done son,” when his boy came to the stage.

Principal Steve Baragwanath and son Joseph
Principal Steve Baragwanath and son Joseph

Joseph’s award was one of 14 made at the annual prize evening, where GCSE, A-Level and Apprenticeship certificates were also handed out.

Before the awards, Mr Baragwanath spoke of another great year at the UAH, where Year 11 GCSE students came 12th out of over 60 Lincolnshire secondary schools – nine out of the top ten are selective.

At his first address, 17 years ago, 32 per cent of youngsters gained five A-C grades and now 63 per cent achieved that number.

He also spoke about the new, harder GCSEs in English Language, Maths and English Literature that were graded 1-9 and said: “In my 28 years of teaching, I believe that pupils and their teachers have never worked harder for success.”

All the students with their certificates
All the students with their certificates

He also praised the 124 students who voluntarily attendedSaturday English revision sessions and the 150 students who revised for a fornight at Easter School.

He said the school was once again over-subscribed for Year 7, with 271 pupils making it their first choice as opposed to 245 last year.

He spoke of the 16 Sixth Formers who completed their Level 3 Apprenticeships in fields as varied as electro-technical, plumbing, construction, vehicle maintenance and business.

Since the Sixth Form started in 2009, 170 students have progressed on to University, with many the first person ever in their families to have had such an opportunity.


Pat Brewer Award: Amber Mills-Rist; Terry Harrington Shield: Harley Brown; Geoff Capes Award: Eden Willmot; Gill Graper Award: Tommy Roscher; Contribution to Academy Life: Daisy Church; A-Level Best Academic Achievement: Joseph Baragwanath; A-Level Best Effort: Angel Osei-Kissi; Apprenticeship L2: Megan Edwards; Apprenticeship L3: Kai Mountain; Foundation Post 16 Award: Marcus Doughty; Best Duke of Edinburgh Student: Jacob Wagstaff; Paddy Palgrave Art Award: Aistee Minkute; Contribution to 6th Form Life: Austin Walker; 6th Form Principal’s Award: Joseph ingle.


Chair of Governors Professor Toby Wilkinson told a fascinating story about William Stukeley, who has a primary school in Holbeach named in his honour. Holbeach-born Stukeley (1687-1765), dubbed the father of archeaology, pioneered the investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury.

Prof Wilkinson told how the 20-year-old Stukeley was left in charge of his four younger siblings after the death of his parents and had to let out the family home and sell the furniture to pay off their debts.

Despite all this, he went on to gain a degree at Cambridge and pursue a career in medicine before pursuing his famous antiquarian pursuits. He was a close friend of Sir Isaac Newton and wrote a memoir of his life which is one of the earliest sources for the story of the falling apple that inspired Newton’s theory of gravitation.


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