Annual Review Issue
Academy The Topical Magazine of St Aidan’s Church of England Academy
y A Year in the Life
y Success Praised
y Art & Culture
Darlington’s Church Of England Academy
A YEAR IN THE LIFE ... PRAISE BE SHORT STORIES
Principal Thinking Praise From High Places Recognising Success
It is hard to believe that we are already coming to the end of the first year in our
new building. It seems like only yesterday that we were surrounded by packing
cases and facing the daunting task of moving a whole school, lock, stock and barrel,
T he Academy has attracted plenty of praise
during the past year, including Royal
recognition when HRH The Duke of Gloucester
T he Academy’s academic
successes were acknowledged
when our GCSE results meant
from its old home of some seventy years into new accommodation. KG GCVO performed our official opening. that we were represented at a
We were thrilled to be awarded a national trophy for the success of that move, but His Royal Highness met staff and students during ceremony in London.
are even more delighted with the new opportunities and excitement that the move a visit that lasted an hour and saw him dropping Staged by the Specialist Schools
has brought us. into a number of classrooms to see the work being and Academies Trust to honour
done. Among classes he visited were those in ICT, schools that achieved the greatest
Looking back, it is evident that we have achieved much this year. Our Ofsted and SIAS improvement in their results, the
resistant materials and food technology.
inspections acknowledged the progress that we have made and support the journey annual event celebrated the work
we are on. We have hosted a Royal visit; organised international, art and outdoor As the Duke performed the Academy’s official
of 633 specialist schools and
activities trips for our students; enjoyed academic success; supported local and national opening in a packed sports hall, he told the
charities and much, much more as you will see from the pages of this copy of Academy. audience of invited dignitaries, governors, staff
St Aidan’s was invited because we
and students: “I have heard about the history
As a family we have strengthened our commitment to caring for each other with our House system and were:
of this splendid building. As an architect, I am
vertical family tutor groups. This ensures that all students are known and involved in Academy family y One of the top five schools
delighted to see
life and that work and play exist happily together. in the North East with 5+
it playing such a
Have a happy summer and I look forward to the start of an exciting major role in your A*-C results, including English
new term in September when we can further show that ‘Together We transformation. It has and maths, improved by 15
Can and Together We Do’. created a tone for percentage points or more from
education here. 2006-2009.
Alison Appleyard, Principal
“I hope the Academy y A school with 5+ A*-C results
remains the success improved by 15 percentage
it clearly is for many points or more year on year from
years to come.” 2006 - 2009.
Enjoying Exciting Times - One Year On (Cover Story) y A school with 5+ A*-C results,
including English and maths,
A year ago, it was all change as the Academy moved into its new £16.4m building in clearly left the Duke
improved by 15 percentage
Hundens Lane. with a favourable
points or more year on year from
It was a major move and the way the staff and students managed the exercise was 2006 – 2009.
as he left, His Royal Highness commented that he
honoured nationally with the Academy Development Award, presented a matter of was really impressed with their behaviour during
weeks later at the Education Business Awards.
The past year has seen staff and students adapting to the potential offered by the new
building and this edition of Academy tells some of their stories.
Praise For Success
It has also been all change for new Head Boy Michael Wall and Head Girl Bethany
Whittaker, both of whom will start their final year at the Academy in September.
Departing Head Girl Leslie Ann Grace presented them with the ‘key to the building’
A lso receiving praise were the students who received honours for outstanding
performance at the annual Awards night staged late last year, the first since the move to
the new building.
in a ceremony conducted just as the Academy prepared to break up for the summer
holiday. Honours went to students for a range of academic, sporting, artistic and citizenship areas.
Academy co-sponsor David Crossland, who presented the prizes, said: “It was a huge pleasure
For Leslie Ann, her attention now turns to her forthcoming studies at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, including law and psychology, and to meet the students and celebrate some of their achievements with them.”
her hopes of a career within the Army as a Military Police Officer.
She said: “I really enjoyed my year as Head Girl. There were
lots of enjoyable events
and the year really flew
Michael said: “I feel I
have much to offer the
position of Head Boy. I
am looking forward to
Bethany said: “I am
really looking forward
to the responsibility
that comes with being
Out with the old
In with the new
ACHIEVEMENT SPORT SHORT STORIES
It’s all about aiming higher It’s A Sporting Life World Cup Day
O ne of this year’s big themes has been ‘aiming higher’ in which we encourage students to reach their full potential. It’s one of the
philosophies that underlines everything we do. S port features highly on the Academy’s curriculum where we have achieved a number of sporting
firsts during the year. The strength of our sporting achievement is showcased by students
competing at national and international level.
S tudents used the football
World Cup as the ideal
opportunity to find out about
To help students achieve that potential, we have staged a whole range of visits as part of the Aim Higher scheme, which aims to broaden
students‘ experience of education. other nations.
Boxing Clever World Cup Day offered the
A key part of the programme has been the identification of students who would benefit from additional activities geared towards
B oxer Jack Edmonds has continued to develop his career throughout the year,. chance to learn about countries
strengthening their knowledge of particular subjects. taking part in the tournament in
That has included a range of specially organised visits at which students have learned from the experience of people working in other Already Northern Champion in the 30-32kg division, he secured the national title at the ABA South Africa.
educational establishments. National Championships in Cheshire.
It was inspired by students from
Now, he is preparing to fight as part of a Darlington Boxing Club team heading for a tri-nations event the W8 Family Group and events
Chocolate Master Class in Germany in September. Jack trains regularly with the club. included creating displays.
F or example, nine Year 8 students were given a Masterclass in making chocolate, visiting Darlington College to learn about the art of the
chocolatier and how it fits into the world of catering. Sam Hollis, Progression Coach at the Academy, who organised the trip, said: “The
students adored the experience. They really enjoyed themselves and they are buzzing about it.” Darlington College tutor Donna Joyce said:
Student Declan Clark, one of the
team behind the event, said: “In
one of our Act of Worships we
“The hands-on experience was a real eye-opener to the pupils and they learnt all about how the chocolate was made, as well as having fun had the Principal draw every tutor
making the chocolate treats. St Aidan’s pupils were a pleasure to teach and were fully engaged on the required task.” group a team in the World Cup.
The tutor groups had to create
a display about the countries
Practice, Practice, Practice cultures’ and a bit about the
history of the country. When the
day arrived everyone appeared in
their red and white football kits.”
Calum Kay, who also helped
organise the day, said: “During our
lunch we had a number of football
More Chocolate Practice, Practice, Practice
Squaring Up To The Challenge related activities going on. We
also had a penalty shoot-out. Each
form nominated a boy and a girl to
World Class Gymnasts take the penalty.”
A nother sporting activity saw students put through their paces during a visit by the Royal
Marines, who staged a series of physical training exercises in the sports hall.
And just before the summer break, Cuthbert student Chelsea Fisher and Durham teenager Jasmine
Danby were part of the British team competing at a tournament in Wrozlaw, Poland.
Anyone for Chocolate? Having already enjoyed great success in their time together as a team, the two girls pitted
themselves against the very best in the world, coming fourth in their category at the World Age
More Chocolate Group Championships in Acrobatic Gymnastics.
Both train for twenty hours a week at Deerness Valley Gymnastic Club, in Ushaw Moor, Durham,
Maths Masters Critical Thinking
which has a reputation for producing national and international performers.
A nother example came when three gifted and talented Academy
students learned about advanced mathematics during visits
to Teesside University. Emma Nichol, Ryan Shields and Chelsea
S tudents Grace Robinson, Rhian Williams, Jamie Bartch, Sarah
McCormick and Abi Guest attended a Critical Thinking event at
Teesside University’s Middlesbrough campus. During the event, they
Fisher visited the University’s Maths Department to learn about the were introduced to different ways of thinking about a wide range of
application of mathematical formulas to solve real-life problems. issues.
Y ear 11 students bade farewell to
the Academy by dressing up in
their finery for the annual Prom held
at Walworth Castle. We wish them
every success for the future.
Maths Masters Deep Thought
Academy Class World Class
ART AND CULTURE RELIGION & COMMUNITY OFSTED SAYS
Supporting Our Cultural Life Celebrating Religious Links
A team of Ofsted inspectors
visited the Academy earlier
A s well as academic attainment, the Academy also places great emphasis on other activities, including arts and culture.
For instance, young musicians from around County Durham were among those celebrating the world of music at one of the year’s most A n important part of life in the Academy is celebrating links with our co-sponsor the Church of
this year and their findings
revealed that we were ‘good’ in a
number of key areas.
exciting events when the Academy hosted the Heavy Cavalry & Cambrai Band, based in Catterick, North Yorkshire.
Bishop of Jarrow y The behavior of our students,
Band members staged a workshop for more than 30 musicians from St Aidan’s and other schools and colleges, who also played alongside
them in a concert. The event was staged with Durham Music Service and the International Military Music Society UK (Founder) Branch North
East and Cumbria Region. O ne of the highlights was the visit of Bishop Mark, the Bishop of Jarrow, who on his first trip to the
new Academy toured the building and chatted to
students. Bishop Mark said: “My first impression is that
y The way the Academy
encourages a healthy lifestyle
Taking part were four young musicians from St Aidan’s and thirty other young people selected by the Durham Music Service, which has people really enjoy being here. St Aidan’s is committed among its students.
supported them. Students taking part came from towns including Chester-le-Street, Newton Aycliffe and Darlington thoroughly enjoying the to doing education in the best possible way.
challenge of playing within such a professional ensemble. y The way the students
“The Church has been involved in education for a contribute to the Academy’s life
very long time. The importance of faith schools is that and the wider community.
they are places where ethos, atmosphere and values
are important. “If you look at St Aidan’s, there is an y The care given to the students,
emphasis on care, respect and responsibility. They are saying: “Students’ spiritual, moral,
social and cultural development is
the key values by which the school is run.” Bishop’s Vist improving rapidly.”
During the visit, the Bishop elaborated on the role of y The way the governors
faith schools, stressing that they were not just for Christians, but for all faiths. Bishop Mark said: “The support the work being done by
really good and important thing about faith schools is that they are places where faith is taken very the leadership team within the
seriously. It is important that, as a nation, we have places like this. “They are not elitist. Often faith Academy.
Sound Off Keeping Time Playing Together schools are operating in some of the most challenging communities in the nation. They are at the
y Inspectors praised the way the
forefront of improving life for students, parents and carers in the community.”
Academy works with parents and
carers, giving it a ‘good’ rating.
Residential Culture Christian Heritage One of the other things the
inspectors pointed out was the
Music and art, was also the theme for a
residential trip to the Lake District for 38
students in the Summer term.
A mong students heavily involved in the work to
better understand Christianity are the ten who
have been engaged in a design project that stretches
improvement in academic results,
with more students gaining five or
more GCSE A* to C grades than
During the visit, they were able to take deep into history. in 2008. They pointed out that
inspiration from the stunning scenery to carry Each house is producing a Cross for its area within grades in English and Mathematics
out a series of artistic projects, as well as enjoy a the Academy. The students have worked with staff improved.
number of outward-bound activities. to come up with designs and work is under way to
Inspectors said that they were
Paddle Perfect Splash! complete the finished versions.
pleased with the students’
Design & Build achievements in our specialism,
business and enterprise.
Collaboration Leads To Success
Being Part Of The Wider Community One of the aspects of Academy
S tudents also appeared in a range of dramatic productions throughout the year, including a performance of Inferno just before the
Academy broke up for the Summer holidays.
T he Academy places great store on being a part of
the community, both local and international.
life that impressed the Ofsted
inspectors was the focus on
The show, which featured some of our most talented performers, was the latest in a successful collaboration between the Academy and lifestyles.
David Evans and his company, Forge Solutions, of Nottinghamshire. David is a former Deputy Headteacher who now specialises in working in In addition to working with local organisations,
partnership with schools to create outstanding drama productions. During his visits to the Academy, he has worked with students of all ages, students fostered international relations by hosting As part of that work, students have
teaching them about the artistic and technical world of live theatre. visitors from schools in Germany and Norway. been encouraged to eat healthy
food with the help of nutritional
The shows have been performed at the Academy and have been well received by large audiences. The visit was part of the Comenius Project, which is
menus and a series of initiatives,
backed by the British Council and the European Union
including healthy eating weeks, the
and brings together schools from across the world.
International Relations most recent of which was held just
Students from St Aidan’s visited Norway as part before the Summer holiday.
of the project and students from the Norwegian secondary school, in Porsgrunn Town, and one
Catering manager Sue Albrow
near Brandbenburg, in Germany, came to Darlington in return. The focus of the project has been
said the Academy has been
regeneration and the environment. During the visit, the 31 visitors were shown the work being done
working towards gaining a Healthy
in Darlington by the borough council’s countryside team as well as taken to look round parts of
School accreditation in October/
Teesside and Whitby.
She said: “We regard healthy
Third World Water Stories eating as really important.”
In other activities, students supported an organisation
that guarantees fresh water for children in the Third
World. As part of Cuthbert Week, the students raised
Art & Culture Through Drama Hot Stuff!
money for Playpumps International, which provides
equipment for Third World schools.
Money For Playpumps
That Winning Feeling
S tudents have spent the year excelling in the things they do best.
For example, a five-strong team won the Darlington Borough Council Gifted and Talented Quiz Competition. Daniel Friery, James Crossley,
Lewis Harper, Chloe Lewis and Daniel Hall beat teams from schools across the borough. As winners, St Aidan’s will host the final next year.
Daniel Friery enjoyed more success when he won the Academy’s chess competition, beating six opponents on his way to the title.
And a team of super-spellers narrowly missed out on success in a national competition. Ashleigh Burton, Caitlin Rumney, Katie Hannan and
Callum Kay won through to the regional stages of the Spelling Bee competition, run through The Times newspaper.
Quiz Masters Chess Master Spelling Masters
A Year In Pictures
Holiday Dates (Inclusive)
Summer 26th July 2010 - 31st August 2010 Christmas 20th Dec. 2010 - 3rd Jan. 2011 Easter 15th April - 2nd May 2010
Half Term 25th Oct. 2010 - 29th Oct. 2010 Half Term 21st Feb. 2011 - 25th Feb. 2011 Half Term 30th May - 3rd June
St Aidan’s Church of England Academy T: 01325 373770 Design & Production
Hundens Lane F: 01325 373771
Aegies Associates Ltd
Darlington E: firstname.lastname@example.org Specialists in Marketing, Innovation, Brand and
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St Aidan’s Church of England Academy,
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Issue 6 -2009/2010 - August 2010