NEWSLETTER - Walsall Academy

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Walsall Academy       SUMMER TERM | 2011

High School Musical

Student Profiles

Out & About

Beach Artists

On the Slopes
Olympic Visit

Sporting Highlights
Student profiles p3-4

3 students raise over £3000

Visits & visitors p5-11

                              Welcome to Walsall Academy’s Newsletter-
                              summer edition.

                              As another academic year draws to a close, it is a good
Sixth form challenges         time to reflect on the successes of our students and plan
                              for the future.
 Session 3 p12-17             When I read about the achievements of our students over
                              the past year both in and out of the classroom, it fills me
                              with a great sense of pride. I hope that their stories will
                              inspire you. It’s good to know that there are capable,
                              competent and caring youngsters who are prepared to
                              make a positive contribution to their family, school and

                              Evidence demonstrates that those people most likely to
 High school success          succeed in life have been shaped and mentored by a whole
                              range of people. To be valued, challenged and spurred on
 Fundraising p18              by others certainly breeds confidence and conviction. I
                              would like to thank all those parents, employers and
                              friends of the Academy who work with our staff to
                              encourage our students to achieve and become the very
                              best they can be. As I said at our recent Celebration
                              Evening, for every parent who cheers on the touchline at a
                              sports fixture, for every grandparent who comes to watch a
                              school production or simply checks whether homework is
                              done – thank you! You make the difference!
 Red nose appeal

                                                            Vivienne Evans, Head
Student profiles
Swim in Sync                                    Could George Foster be the next
Can you hold your breath under water while      British hope to win the
completing complex moves? Sharni Hooper
certainly can - she has been a member of        Wimbledon title?
Walsall Synchronised Swimmers for 7 years.
After training for 7 hours a week in the pool
and 2 hours on land she recently came third
in the National duet competition. She
competes regularly throughout the year in
both team and duet events.

Advantage George
Could George Foster be the next British hope
to win the Wimbledon title? He certainly
works hard enough – he has been playing
tennis since he was six years old and trains
for 5-7 hours each week . His weekends are
often taken up playing in competitions.
He is currently ranked inside the top 100
boys in Britain for U12s and by next year he
is aiming to be inside the top 30.
Having won the Staffordshire County
Championships in the summer season in
August 2010, he has started the season well,
winning both of the tournaments he has
played in so far this year.

                                                           Walsall Academy News Summer 2011 | 3
Lauren Lang the current
British, Welsh and European
                                            The three students reached the summit and in so
Champion                                    doing raised over £300 for the Emily Bailes Fund.
Blackbelt Star                              Climbing for Emily
Getting a kick out of life is a serious
                                            When Emile Fisher, Joshua Lake and Jordan Smith lost their
business for Lauren Lang! She started
                                            friend, Emily Bailes, they wanted to do something in her
kickboxing at the age of 8 and has not
                                            memory. Emily was only 9 when she lost her fight with
looked back since. She trains 4 nights a
                                            cancer. The Year 8 students wanted to tackle a real
week at the Walsall Blackbelt Academy.
                                            challenge, and there are not many challenges bigger than
She is a Junior Blackbelt and is now
                                            climbing Snowdon. In August 2010, the three students
meeting the challenge of the Adult belts.
                                            reached the summit and in so doing raised over £300 for
She is the current British, Welsh and
                                            the Emily Bailes Fund. A fantastic achievement and a real
European Champion for her height and
                                            tribute to them and their friendship with Emily
weight and in February she will be
representing England in the Athens
Challenge to defend her European Title.     Sports Ambassador
                                            We read much in the newspapers about how young
First Class                                 children are overweight and lack physical fitness, but how
                                            many of us decide to do something about it?
Sarah Casey joined the Walsall Academy
                                            Sixth Form student Demi Rolston certainly did. She has
Sixth Form in September 2005 to study
                                            recently become a Platinum Sports Ambassador. Demi has
A Levels. She left in July 2007 achieving
                                            achieved the highest National Level of community
an A in Maths, B in Chemistry, B in
                                            volunteering within a Sports Partnership.
Physics and C in ICT. She took a place
                                            As well as increasing participation in school sport and
at the University of Birmingham to study
                                            promoting healthy lifestyles, Demi has encouraged
Maths. We are delighted to hear that
                                            youngsters to develop key values through sport – respect,
she was awarded a first class honours
                                            friendship, personal excellence, courage, determination,
after completing her BSc Mathematics
                                            inspiration and equality – and promoting the London 2012
in July 2010. Congratulations
                                            Olympic and Paralympics Games.
                                            Great job, Demi!

4 | Walsall Academy News Summer 2011
Visits & Visitors
During their adventure challenge weekend at
Outward Bound at Ullswater in the Lake District
some Year 9 students managed to sleep under the
stars high in the mountains for the night.

Out and About with Humanities
Every year group has been involved in education outside the classroom with humanities during the year.
The visits covered most of the country including Aberdovey, Barmouth, Blencathra, Ullswater,
Cardingmill Valley, Warwick Castle, Dovedale and abroad to Paris.

Here are a few of the highlights:
During their adventure challenge weekend at Outward Bound at Ullswater in the Lake District some
Year 9 students managed to sleep under the stars high in the mountains for the night.
Meanwhile a group of Year 8 students spent two nights on expedition in January crossing the fifth
highest mountain range in Britain and learned a lot about themselves in the process

                                                                   Walsall Academy News Summer 2011 | 5
Schools Out

A group of 24 year 10 students
undertook many challenges at the
Aberdovey Outward Bound centre in
Wales on a course designed to help them
progress in thinking skills and become
the leaders of the future.

The Travel and Tourism BTEC sixth form
students planned and managed their
own visit to Paris and Disneyland Paris in
April as a component unit of their
course. Their action packed itinerary was     Inspired by Nature
decided upon by the students and              Sixth Form students travelled to the Birmingham
bookings made by them to fulfil the           Botanical gardens to carry out important research for
course requirements. A weekend that           their A level Art coursework. The stunning scenery
the staff will never forget and one           and hot houses provided excellent backdrops for the
superbly organised by the students.           ceramic sculptures the Applied students have been
                                              producing as well as primary source photographs for
And finally – a big surprise. Last year the   the GCE students who are studying Natural Forms.
Year 8 Outward Bound Course was               In the afternoon students moved on to the IKON
progressing well when Miss Evans paid a       gallery in Birmingham to view exhibitions. The
visit and shocked the students and staff      students were encouraged to express their opinions of
by completing an abseil down Barmouth         the work. The exhibitions provided students with
Slab. This year Mr Smith, one of our          invaluable information to guide and inform their
Governors joined the students for an          individual research upon their return to the Academy.
overnight expedition.                         Amelia Rochelle Bates said, “ I especially enjoyed the
                                              gallery tour and discussion as it was good to listen to
                                              other students’ perceptions of the work and then to
                                              compare them.”

6 | Walsall Academy News Summer 2011
                                               Sixth Formers were commissioned by the
                                               Outward Bound Trust to create a
                                               landscape of the Aberdovey shoreline.

A history visit to Poland in November
included a visit to the concentration
camp at Auschwitz. The visit gave the        area and took notes and sketches of the shoreline from
students an opportunity to reflect on the    a high vantage point to help them complete the project.
horrors that took place there during         The Mural was presented to staff from the Outward
World War 2.                                 Bound Centre by sixth form students at the end of July.

On the Slopes                                So You Think You Can Dance?
This year staff and students travelled to    We were privileged in May to have Ballet Central visit the
Cannon and Loon in New Hampshire for         Academy. The nationally acclaimed Dance School and
a week of skiing. An excellent time was      contemporary Dance Company conducted a number of
had by all and places for next year’s trip   master classes. The company dancers and choreographers
are already filling up.                      worked with children from Lower Farm Primary, Bloxwich
                                             C of E Primary School, Little Bloxwich and students from
                                             Walsall Academy over two days. The end of the visit was
Beach Artists                                marked by the whole Dance Company putting on a
Sixth Formers were commissioned by           public performance for all the children and parents
the Outward Bound Trust to create a          involved. This was a marvellous opportunity for all the
landscape of the Aberdovey shoreline.        children and has generated a great deal of interest in
The students were shown around the           ballet and dance styles.

                                                                 Walsall Academy News Summer 2011 | 7
Olympic Visit
A Level PE students spent two days
getting an in-depth insight into the impact
hosting the Olympic Games will have of
the UK. They visited the site of the
Olympic Visit to learn more about the
development of the area and how it has
dramatically changed. They also rubbed
shoulders with athletes past and present
when they visited Emirates Stadium for a
presentation from Sharron Davies, Jade
Johnson and Derek Redmond who talked          Rising to the Challenge
about their experiences and how               Sixth Formers took part in an apprentice style course at
important hosting the Olympics is to          Outward Bound during their work experience week.
them.                                         They were set a whole series of leadership challenges.

                                              The group were very enthusiastic and now hold the
                                              ’Challenge Wall’ record at Outward Bound. A team of
                                              ten students managed to scale the wall in 36 seconds!

                                              Back Stage at the Hippodrome
                                              During October, 21 sixth form, Performing Arts Students
                                              visited Birmingham Hippodrome. They were fortunate
                                              enough to have a full tour learning about how the
                                              Hippodrome is run as a business well as well as
Feltmaking                                    witnessing how scenery is lowered from the ceiling. The
Students in year 7 were involved in a felt    set they visited was from the critically acclaimed tour of
making workshop in March. Artist and          Blood Brothers. Later on the group watched a full
Designer, Liz Marchetti demonstrated the      evening performance of the show.
technique to the students using coloured
Marino wool, bubble wrap and lots of          It’s a Rap
soapy water. Students then worked in          Year 8 English students were visited by Poet Spoz. His
pairs alongside 6.1 Applied Art students      aim was to show students the importance of rhyme and
to produce felted pieces that                 beat in poetry. Spoz engaged the students by
complemented the projects they were           explaining that Rap is a style of poetry. He then set a
doing. Some students produced images          challenge by asking them to write their own Rap Poem
of fish, flowers or faces.                    based on the theme of Aim Higher.

8 | Walsall Academy News Summer 2011
Engineers of the                                Duke of Edinburgh Award
                                                50 students are working towards either silver or Bronze
Future                                          Duke of Edinburgh Awards. All the students are
Year 10 students visited the manufacturing      involved in improving their map reading skills and have
facility at Thyssen Krupp in Cannock. The       practised these during expeditions in Shropshire. The
afternoon was hosted by Phil Carr,              students are all well motivated and enthusiastic. A
Training Manager for the company, and           number of these students have also been involved in
involved the students taking a tour of the      Scuba Diving and various volunteering organisations.
factory and being involved in some              14 students have now started the Gold Award and we
engineering activities. The students used a     wish them every success
CMM scanner (worth £250,000) to scan
parts for the Honda Jazz. They took part in
a team task which taught them about
state of the art manufacturing techniques
such as line balancing and the Toyota
Production System. The afternoon was
rounded off with a talk about
opportunities that exist for students at
post 18 and post graduate level. It was a
great experience for the students and we
hope that it is the start of a productive
relationship between the Academy and
Thyssen Krupp.

                                              Saatchi and Tate
                                              Sixth form students from the Applied and GCE Art
                                              courses travelled to London to visit the Saatchi Gallery in
                                              Chelsea and the Tate Modern Gallery. Students were
                                              asked to give their opinions and insights into the work of
                                              the artists. They were fascinated by the work of
                                              Birmingham artist Tessa Farmer with her fighting bug
                                              sculptures. Students were then taken to view works
                                              ranging from Dali to more current work by Chinese artist
                                              Ai Weiwei who produced a carpet of thousands of hand
                                              painted sunflower seeds for the Unilever exhibition in the
                                              Turbine Hall.

                                                                   Walsall Academy News Summer 2011 | 9
Top London Gallery
Spot for Winning
Gemma Ford’s work has been selected for
the prestigious National Students’ Art
Exhibition under the patronage of the
Royal Society of British Artists, held at The
Mall Galleries, London, from 12 – 16 July
2011. This occasion was a splendid
opportunity for Gemma to showcase her
excellent large scale paintings in a
prominent London Gallery with press
preview. We are very proud that Gemma’s
work has been selected from very strong
field of candidates and wish her success
with future selections.                         Out At Work
                                                In the three weeks prior to the February half term, Year
                                                12 students went out on three weeks work experience.
                                                A total of 133 students attended 307 placements
                                                organised by the Careers department.

                                                The students had opportunities to sample life in various
                                                placements which included Hospitals, Dentists, Vets,
                                                Banks, Football Clubs, Solicitors, Accountancy Practices,
                                                Primary and Secondary Schools to name but a few.

                                                This year’s Year 12 students received extremely positive
                                                comments from their placement supervisors, and were a
                                                credit to the school.

10 | Walsall Academy News Summer 2011
Parlez vous francais?
In June Year 8 students went to Nice to
sample the delights of the South of
France. During the visit the students were
given opportunities to practise their French
through buying their own lunch, ordering
ice creams in the old town of Nice and
speaking to the receptionists at the hotel.
The students were captivated by the street
performances in Nice and got a taste of
the high life in Monaco, admiring the
fabulous cars and yachts
The students really enjoyed their visit and
were keen to tell their friends about their
experiences – in French, of course!

The Sixth Form Ball
The sixth form leavers ball took place on
Wednesday 29 June at the Village Hotel. It
was a fantastic night where students enjoyed
an ‘alternative’ awards ceremony compered
by ex Hollyoaks stars and T4 regulars Matt
and Darren AKA Max and O.B. The awards
included Kindest Heart which went to Asli
Yoncaci, Gossip Queen the one and only Ryan
Stanton and Most Likely to be Prime Minister
went to a well deserving Arun Chand.

                                               Walsall Academy News Summer 2011 | 11
Session 3

What a fantastic night out!

High School Musical
What a fantastic night out! Students and staff
may have been excited to stage the hugely
popular show, High School Musical, but this was
easily matched by the audience’s response to
their performances.
The students put in hours of rehearsal to polish
the show ably assisted by all the unsung heroes
working backstage to make it all possible. The
show was a complete sell out over three nights
and we can’t wait for the follow up next year.

12 | Walsall Academy News Summer 2011
Is This A Dagger ..?

                                              Instrumental Success
                                              Music Academy has really taken off this year with over 90
                                              students taking instrumental lessons, and has produced
                                              many successful examination students this term. All of the
                                              Academy musical ensembles will be performing in this
                                              years’ Celebration of Christmas. Xpression will also be
                                              participating in many local community events this term,
                                              including a collaboration of local choirs to sing in Bloxwich
                                              at Christmas.

The Drama Club have
attended a workshop run by
actors and directors from the
Royal Shakespeare Company
The students of Drama Club have been
busy rehearsing for a performance of
Macbeth. They were invited by the
National Theatre to take part in the event
staged at The Prince of Wales Theatre in        Academy’s Got Talent
Cannock. This is the first time that the        Once again we had a successful performance of
Drama Club has performed outside of             Academy’s Got Talent. The talent we are seeing just gets
the school theatre. Mrs Pattinson has           better every year. This year we had two rounds of
visited the National Theatre in London to       auditions that took place in front of a live audience. We
learn new directing techniques and the          had a few surprise acts which included an unforgettable
whole of Drama Club have attended a             rendition of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face by Miss Dugmore
workshop run by actors and directors            and the Science Team. The students excelled themselves
from the Royal Shakespeare Company.             and the winners for the evening were James Ellison for
Elliott Webb in year 8 was invited to           his brilliant street dancing. Charlotte Naylor impressed
attend auditions for the National Youth         with her version of Skinny Love by Birdy and Tom
Theatre. Unfortunately he must wait until       Roberts who was as entertaining as ever playing his
he is thirteen to do this, later this year!     Ukulele ‘Darren’ and singing Jessie J’s Price Tag

                                                                    Walsall Academy News Summer 2011 | 13
Politicians in Waiting
The Academy hosted the Annual Inter
Academies Public Speaking Competition for
the first time. Teams from year 7, 8 and 9
competed against students from Sandwell
                                                Primary Ceramics
                                                Last summer the Art department provided Green Rock and
Academy, Madeley Academy and Thomas
                                                Little Bloxwich primary schools with ceramic workshops.
Telford School. Students talked about how
                                                Students developed their ideas in their schools and came to
the media affects young people, recent
                                                Walsall Academy to produce ceramic tiles. The yr 4 and 5
Government changes and celebrities being
                                                students had two sessions in which they were taught about
bad role models. Joshua Madhar was the
                                                clay and glazes. They were shown how to produce a clay tile
only student in the whole competition to
                                                and how to decorate using coloured slip. After firing the tiles
reach six minutes in his speech. Thomas
                                                were returned to the schools to put on display. One of the
Hayes, Year 7, won the award for best
                                                schools has produced a group display in their entrance hall.

Any Volunteers?                                 Shares 4 Schools
There are about 50 students registered on       Shares for Schools is a competition organised by the Share
the Vflex volunteering programme. This          Centre, a leading retail stockbroker. The competition brings
Programme has been set up by the Rathbone       Economics and Business Studies to life as teams of students
Corporation to give post 16 students the        invest money in the stock market.
chance to get involved in volunteering          Sixth Form Business Studies Students Maninder Sidhu,
activities in their community. The students     Harminder Sarai, Christopher Ray, Sharni Stevenson and
                                                Eleanor Westwood raised £1500 to invest in the stock
keep a log of the hours that they volunteer
                                                market , with the aim of achieving the greatest profit over a
for and get this signed off by the person who
                                                period October to June.
co-ordinates their volunteer work. When they
                                                After a shaky start the team have now changed tactics and
have accumulated a number of hours (aiming      transferred all their investment into an oil exploration
for 50) they gain accreditation for these       company. They are currently in position 63 out of 73 schools
hours and get a certificate from Vflex – and    so the above strategy will hopefully turn our fortunes
the community community benefits too!           around, watch this space!

14 | Walsall Academy News Summer 2011
Sporting Highlights

The year 11 girls competed against the best teams in Staffordshire in the annual army 7’s by finishing the
tournament as runners up - a fantastic result. The year 11 boys also competed and were placed third in their
group. Walsall Academy has always worked hard to promote Rugby and develop the sport for both boys and girls.
This year, the hard work of Mr Elmes and the department has led to the Academy achieving the status as an RFU
Development School. Having secured this award the school has also been selected by the RFU to be one of 300
schools in England to assist in the ‘Choose Rugby’ Campaign next year.

Girls Football
Under 14 Girls Football Team became our first team to reach the final of a West Midlands County Cup. St Peter’s
Catholic School from Solihull won the match but we are extremely proud of our girls’ achievement.

Boys Football
The U15 boy’s football team reached Round 5 of the ESFA Cup. Over 500 schools entered and the boys have done
exceptionally well.

Hockey is going from strength to strength with the U13 boys hockey team currently third in the Staffs league with
the best result being a 7-0 win (5 goals for Reece Westwood in one game!). Ben Johnson and Robert Massey (Year
9) have been selected for the Black Country Hockey squad after recently attending trials at Cannock Hockey Club.

George Foster, Chanae Stevens and Ellie Hayward (Year 7) all came first in their Swimming events at the Inter
Academies Swimming tournament at Thomas Telford School. This helped the Year 7 team to overall second place.

Year 8 Mixed Rounders team retained their Champions trophy in the Inter Academies Tournament. Year 7 also
won their competition.

                                                                      Walsall Academy News Summer 2011 | 15
A Night of Celebration
This year’s Celebration of Student Achievements
saw over 120 students throughout the key
stages receive medals and trophies in recognition
for their progress and achievements in 2010/11.
The awards were presented by Mr Tom Sheldon,
The Master of the Mercers’ Company and guests
were entertained by some excellent student

                                                        Key Stage 3 medal winners

                                                        Key Stage 4 award winners

           Joe Collins performing ‘Pie Jesu’

                                                        Key Stage 4 award winners

Jack Keen and Amie Kidd performing Fly me to the Moon   Sixth Form award winners

16 | Walsall Academy News Summer 2011
                                Special award winners with The Master

 Sam Holdcroft Mercers’ School Memorial                           Sixth Form award winners
   and Merrett Bequest Award Winner

Arun Chand, Vote of Thanks to the Master               Sarah Shaw, Mercers’ Cup winner and the Master

                                                                 Walsall Academy News Summer 2011 | 17

On Friday 18 March students and staff raised Monday by wearing an item of red clothing for the day and paying a pound.
                                              The total raised was £890.

Saddle Sore
During the summer Mr Dingle, Mr Gostling, and
his son-in-law spent two weeks cycling from
John-O-Groats to Lands End. This involved
travelling approximately 70 miles each day, which
with some beautiful views was very pleasurable
but also very challenging.
Together they raised money for various charities,
Mr Gostling for Walsall Hospital, Mr Cornish for
Alzheimer’s and Mr Dingle for Walsall Hospice.
They have managed to raise over £500 pounds
each so far and thank everyone for their help
and support

18 | Walsall Academy News Summer 2011
Shoe box Appeal
This year the students broke an Academy
record by collecting 433 boxes for the
Samaritans Christmas Box appeal that
were sent to Eastern Europe.

                                              Match of the Day
                                              Having lost the Staff versus Student match last year the
                                              staff were determined to do better in the rematch. It
                                              took place on Friday 18 March in aid of Comic Relief.
                                              The Staff decided to prepare a little better and had two
                                              practice sessions leading up to the fixture. They started
                                              the game well and could have taken an early lead when
                                              a hurried clearance crashed against the Sixth Form post.
No Jacket Required                            As substitutions were made on both sides the Staff team
On Tuesday 19 July students raised            began to lose their shape a little and when a back pass
£590.96 by paying a pound to not wear
                                              went astray, Alastair Cowmeadow was on hand to put
their school blazers. The money was given
                                              the Sixth Form ahead. In the second half the students
to Joe Talbot 6.2 student who is raising
funds for his trip to a Cambodian             went on to score another 3 goals before a consolation
Orphanage in August. Joe will spend a         goal from Mr Hennessy for the staff made it 4-1 at full
month volunteering at an orphanage            time. A big thank you to Premiership referee Mr Alan
located in a small rural town about 1.5       Wiley for giving up his time to referee the match and to
hours south from the capital, Phnom           Mr Hennessy for his guest appearance.
Penh. Joe will help to care for 55 children
aged between 6-18 as well as work on the
building and grounds. For more
information about Joe and his trip visit
On Your Marks ….
The charity fundraising for Walsall hospice
was boosted by the cycle challenge
between Mr Dingle and Mr Clarke who
battled to see who could cycle the
furthest on static turbo trainers during
one lunch time. Mr Dingle paced Mr
Clarke well and managed to pull away at
the end covering 0.2 of a mile more. The
students purchased times with the
winning student gaining a prize fund.

                                                                 Walsall Academy News Summer 2011 | 19
Come and Join Us
As parents on the council we are privileged to see first hand
the many and varied talents of our youngsters at the
Academy. We meet with the Head once per term and Miss
Evans showcases events that the students are involved in
such as Public Speaking, Enterprise Club and Young
Innovators. The students get to do presentations to the
Council which is great for us and good practice for them.

The Council also offers the parent’s perspective on issues or
changes affecting the school. We also do fund-raising on a      Mrs Woodward and Mrs Johnson
                                                                     running Race for Life
small scale combined with social events such as Quiz Nights,
Ten pin Bowling etc. We would love for you to join us both
on the council and at our events.

For more information go to the Parents page on the
Academy website

                                                                Lichfield Road
                                                                WS3 3LX

                                                                Telephone 01922 493910
                                                                Fax 01922 492186

Walsall Academy                                       

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