A KEIGHLEY district school is celebrating its strong performance in an innovative national scheme which brings together football and maths to stimulate pupils' learning.

Following the successful Sky Living for Sport project at Parkside School, implemented by deputy head Matt Barratt and maths project leader Dave Russell, the school was nominated by athlete mentor Paul Broadbent for UK Sky Living for Sport project of the year and UK Sky Living for Sport Teacher of the year.

Parkside's involvement in the scheme saw its pupils working together in teams to develop their GCSE maths knowledge from the data they gathered during a five-a-side football league.

A spokesman for Parkside said: "The project has had a significant impact on the students involved, not only in terms of their progress and GCSE ability but also in terms of their attendance and attitude to learning.

"The combination of both the innovative use of the curriculum and the impact on the pupils secured the school's nomination from the hundreds of projects that Paul is involved with.

"The school was then required to provide a detailed overview of its project to make it to the final shortlist of 22 out of all the projects implemented in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England."

Although Parkside did not win the overall award, it was still one of just 12 participants to have its project "highly commended".

And maths teacher Dave Russell made it as far as the final shortlist for the teacher of the year award.

Parkside's deputy head Mr Barratt said: “Although we were disappointed not to be overall winners we are absolutely delighted to have had our work recognised at a national level.

"The project was only ever about improving the learning experiences for the pupils involved, and Dave and I are very pleased to have achieved this.”

He praised Mr Russell's dedication, adding that he fully deserved to have reached the final UK shortlist for teacher of the year.

“Dave is an exceptionally conscientious teacher who, like the staff at Parkside, works tirelessly for our pupils," he said.

"It is therefore extremely well deserved and a fantastic recognition of his continual hard work and commitment.”

Parkside is not resting on its laurels and has already launched its next Sky Living for Sport project.

This is based on a similar model, but is instead using orienteering to engage and improve the progress of year seven and year eight maths students.