Welcome to another edition of our Academy newsletter. I am always proud to share the amazing work of our students and I hope you can see, within this edition, how hard staff and students are working together to achieve some fantastic things.
There have been a number of incredibly proud moments to celebrate as we have continued to break through the covid pandemic barriers, barriers which have, for the past 18months, prevented us from progressing in the way we had planned. Re-opening our doors to families, as an example, has once more enabled us to begin re-building the strong connection I am keen to develop with our families. A fantastically well attended year 9 Options Evening, where 92% of parents/carers attended, was the first of many opportunities to do exactly this, and it was wonderful to see such fantastic engagement and support of your children. The first Families Forum meeting also provided opportunities to begin discussing some of our Academy improvement work, I am really excited about how this will develop over the next 12months and hope more and more parents/carers will become involved. And finally, our year 10 students who have been afforded the opportunity to go out into the world of work for a week long work experience programme, 100% of students have engaged with this and did an amazing job! The feedback we have received from local business and employers has been fantastic - thank you so much for working with us to provide these opportunities for our students.
This term has been one filled with more 'traditional' school experiences for many of our staff and students, and one which has reminded us about why we do what we do for our students here at Newark Academy - a brilliant term of activity and celebration.
Finally, I would like to inform parents/carers that Mr. Steve Taylor will be joining our Academy as Senior Deputy Head. Mr. Taylor will lead on Behaviour, Attitudes and Personal Development and brings with him a wealth of experience, both on these agendas but also in terms of school leadership. Mr. Taylor will start on the 6th June, following the May half term break. This is an excellent appointment and will add significant capacity to our ongoing Academy improvement work.
We now prepare to move into our final term of the academic year, an incredibly busy and important one for many reasons, and particularly for our year 11 and 13 students who are getting ready for the examination season. I would like to thank parents/carers in advance for your continued support and to wish you all a safe and enjoyable Easter period.
Through our crew programme, students have been learning about the causes, impacts and responses to the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Students have had opportunities to discuss how they would feel if they were caught up in the conflict and who should be responding to this, and what this help should look like. This has allowed students to connect with the Ukrainian people and consider how they wish to support them
As part of our response here in school, students expressed a desire to do something to help raise funds for charities in Newark who are directly involved in the response. Students were invited to bring a donation of £1 or more if they wanted to and wear blue or yellow – the colours of the Ukrainian flag – in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and to raise funds towards the relief efforts in Ukraine.
We have been really proud of our student’s thoughtful responses to the crisis in Ukraine. Our art enrichment club who meet after school on a Wednesday were commissioned to create an art project that reflects our sentiments and thoughts on the unfolding matter. They have designed a legacy piece that now sits above our GREAT values in the main entrance. The piece of art depicts sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine but also a symbol of growth and tenacity. We are proud of their thoughtful response and we know this symbol of peace will provide a point of reflection for many years to come.
On Friday 18th March 2022 the whole school took part in raising money for the annual Red Nose Day / Comic Relief charity. Our students wore an item of red clothing to show their support to this charity event.
Tayla from Crew 7 said “It was fun to wear red for the day and also help raise money.”
As part of the charity event NA6 Year 13 students ran football tournaments running at lunch times for both KS3 and KS4 students.
Rhys from Crew Rudd said “We won 5-4 in the football game at lunch and it was great fun! Team red were the winning team too”.
We would like to show appreciation to our NA6 Student Union team, Rowan Hunter, Kassia Chapman ,Elizabeth Gibson and India Leyland who organised the successful day, and we raised a total of £223.60
It is always nice to see students giving back, and this week we have seen that in all areas of the Academy. From English to the Site team, we have been supported throughout by our lovely Year 10 students as they get stuck into the daily running's of a school.
“Mark has been an absolute star! He is polite, hardworking, generally interested in what we do and is always willing to learn.” – Dave Crampton, Site Manager, Newark Academy.
It has been an exciting term for Year 10 as they organise, prepare and complete their Work Experience places. Over 180 students embarked on their first life lesson this term by working within our community to gain those important skills that only a work place can fulfill.
There have been some incredible opportunities offered to our young students within the Newark Area and we are grateful for this.
“We have learnt so much but I am so tired and my feet hurt but the experience has been really good.” – David Leggett.
We are also excited to share the news that one of our incredible students, Dolly-May has managed to secure a Saturday job working at a local hair salon in Newark town after an incredible week on Work Experience. We are so proud and delighted for Dolly-May and wish her success in her new job.
“I have really enjoyed the experience, I have washed hair colours off clients and learnt about the colour chart.” – Dolly-May Harker, Year 10.
Beating the Pandemic - Newark Academy, like most schools, would normally introduce the workplace to their students during their time in Year 10 but had to scrap all plans for work experience over the last 2 academic years because of the Pandemic.
Not to be beaten, Year 11 student, Ben Bilton has taken the task into his own hands by approaching local business, Motorfinity and organising a week of work experience with the company during his half term break.
Ben has been working alongside Team Motorfinity in a range of departments including Sales, Finance, Marketing and Deliveries.
Ben said, “I am very interested in an apprenticeship with the company and a move into sales once I am 18. I have really enjoyed my week here – the team are friendly and welcoming.”
Senior Account Manager, Lewis Parker commented, “Ben is enthusiastic and confident. He has been very respectful and prepared to have a ‘hands on’ approach to learning about the way the company works.”
Congratulations, Ben on using your own initiative to get a taste of Motorfinity life.
Editorial and photograph supplied by the Motorfinity Group.
Despite being unable to secure placements for work experience, the remaining students in Year 12 were provided with a week of equally beneficial opportunities. A wide range of timetabled activities occurred in the morning as well as more independent tasks throughout the rest of the day, helping them to hone a variety of skills even though they weren’t in the workplace.
On Tuesday, the morning session consisted of a CV writing workshop, in which members of the DWP gave advice surrounding the format and content necessary to make the perfect first impression to an employer. Wednesday’s session was led by DANCOP, who divided students into smaller groups to solve puzzles and participate in team-building games. Matt Frank delivered multiple sessions on Thursday, involving problem solving tasks and mock interviews, providing the chance to experience a taste of the application process. For Friday, students led presentations to a school governor covering everything they had learnt throughout the week. In between the days, duties took place at breaks and lunches, which involved different responsibilities such as litter-picking and engaging with younger pupils in order to give something back to the school. The week was rounded off by helping to replant trees in the conservation area, a perfect day and temperature to end on.
Molly Smith - Year 12
Many students feel as though they are still unaware of what career pathway they wish to take and that is perfectly fine. Work experience is a great way to sample all the career options out there and a great way of exploring different jobs without fully committing to anything. When in a placement, students will get the opportunity to speak to employees and ask them questions about their experiences and responsibilities. In building up good contacts with employers, they can recommend students, that have completed their work experience to the best of their ability, to another company in the future.
Carla Roberts - Year 12
Students at Newark Academy have been taking advantage of the multitude of Enrichment Opportunities that run across the school.
Here is a gallery of photographs of students experiencing a range of activities from our external providers and Newark Academy staff.
To view the timetable and to sign up for enrichment clubs please visit this page:
Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Following a very kind donation from the Friends of Newark Academy to the conservation area, two benches made from recycled plastic were purchased. These have a predicted lifetime of 25 years and look fantastic.
We are in the processing of laying some wildflower turf and then we are hopeful the space will become a haven for nature, students and staff and a unique teaching space.
Students in year 11, following their mock exam results, have been discussing their aspirations for their futures in crew sessions with their crew leaders. Here are some of the amazing aspirations our year 11 have set themselves. We are incredibly proud of all our students in year 11 and the futures they plan to make for themselves. Below is a selection of some of the amazing life goals they have set themselves.
Nadia Kurowska is aspiring for a career as a lawyer or in the police force.
Abbie Percival wants to have a career in journalism.
Kiera Hall aspires to a life in the fashion design industry.
Laura Badley and Sienna Collier both want a career in medicine.
Ebrihima John following college wants to become a music producer.
Adam Howcroft and Luke Dixon are both looking forward to becoming sports coaches.
Alex Pearce has an interest in joining the military police.
Kian Byrne aspires to be a professional footballer after his time spent in the Draper Norton Football Scholarship.
In Crew time our year 8 students have been looking at our crucial anti-bullying agenda. Students were asked to articulate the different types of bullying and the actions that should be taken in the event of bullying occurring. Crew Ulicki in particular focussed on Cyber-bullying through certain scenarios presented to the Crew. They discussed how any issues should be reported to the correct social media platform as well as relevant adults.
Our students were very keen to offer their support to anyone who may experience any form of bullying, and as such we talked about the correct ways to deal with unpleasant events. We continue to be proud of the resilience and tenacity all of our year 8 pupils show, as well as their clear caring nature towards others in the Crews. This is best expressed in our recently installed anti-bullying mural, proudly displayed on the left hand side.
On the 14th of March (or 3.14 as they say in America) we celebrated National Pi Day here at NA. In the weeks running up to this, students from Year 7, 8 and 9 spent crew sessions looking at what Pi is and why it is important. Well what is Pi I hear some of you asking.. I direct you to Eli De Angelis (Crew 7EPE) and Alex Day (Crew 9EMU) who were able to recite a whopping 100 digits of the infinitely long number (3.14159….) winning their house 50 points each! 18 students across KS3 competed in the challenge all showing their spectacular efforts of memorising the digits of Pi. Other finalists included Callum Nixon (Crew 7MBO) with 70 digits, Henry Ferris (Crew 7AWM) with 60 digits and Ema Zaleckyte (Crew 8ADV) with 31 digits. A huge thank you to all students who participated and to Crews for helping us celebrate this. Until next year….
Congratulations to our winners of the Pi competition Eli De Angelis (Crew 7EPE) and Alex Day (Crew 9EMU) who were able to recite a whopping 100 digits of Pi!!
1st place Alex Day (9EMU) 100 digits
1st place Eli De Angelis (7EPE) 100
2nd place Callum Nixon (7MBO) 70
3rd place Henry Ferris (7AWM) 60
All entrants received 5 house points for participating and a star student!
On a very sunny weekend in March the PE department took 67 students on Sports Tour to PGL in Shropshire. The weekend was filled with Football and Netball and of course the outdoor adventurous activities that PGL offer.
There are some amazing moments from the trip from the water sports activities that the footballers took part in to the students who conquered their fears on the top of trapeze. The whole experience really gave our students confidence and worked on team work throughout.
The football group worked on skills with FA qualified coaches while the Netballers played in a tournament. The Year 9 A team got all the way through to the finals and came a very respectable 2nd place gaining a silver medal. A fantastic achievement.
Our wonderful year 9’s have all taken part in CPR training as part of the unit ‘managing risk and personal safety’ in Personal Development. Students had the opportunity to learn and practice the recovery position and also learn on a resuscitation dummy how to perform CPR. We hope that this will give our students confidence to deal with real life emergency situations if they arise - if anything they will all remember the song ‘staying alive’ by the Beejees!
Our year 8’s have been learning about ancient religions and spirituality. As part of their learning they were able to experience both meditation and a sound bath both of which are used by people to understand themselves better, help support positive mental health and also to try and connect to a higher being. This was an experience like no other which our students were incredibly respectful of and insightful.
Year 7 are continuing their study of the novel ‘Refugee Boy’ and focusing on exploring empathy and perspective. In their Write Like an Expert lessons, they have been crafting a variety of fiction and non-fiction writing which builds on the ideas and concepts explored in the novel. Through peer assessment and Read the Books students are showing excellent progress.
Year 8 have been concluding their study of the novel ‘Noughts and Crosses’ and moving into their new unit exploring gothic literature through the playscript version of ‘Dracula’. Alongside these texts, students having been developing and building on their writing of both fiction and non-fiction. They are currently working on crafting and describing their own gothic creatures inspired by Frankenstein’s monster, using a variety of sentence forms and punctuations to establish a gothic atmosphere and exploring the key conventions of travel writing. It has been wonderful to see the imagination and creativity from students!
Year 9 are working hard on their Spoken Language Endorsements currently as well continuing their journey through literary heritage. They have been modelling writing on key literary moments including Chaucer, Shakespearean tragedy, Romanticism and Dickens. Students have been producing a wide range of text types which showcase their fantastic writing.
Year 10 have begun their exploration of the Shakespearean tragedy ‘Macbeth’. They have been studying the historical context of witchcraft in the Jacobean era, the importance of ambition as Macbeth’s hamartia and the role of kingship and governance within the play. Furthermore, they have been continuing in their analysis of their Power and Conflict poetry anthology.
Year 11 continue to work extremely hard since their mock exams to respond to and improve through targeted Read the Books DIRT lessons for both Language and Literature. The response of students and their desire to improve has impressed all the English department immensely. We look forward to working with and supporting students as they continue to push in the final weeks. Students continue to show improved resilience using our pink for think and green for go live marking.
The year 11 Vocational Business group have been working hard at preparing and presenting their business pitches to a panel of experts, as part of their final unit of coursework. Their challenge was to design a hat based on market research that they carried out earlier in the year and they then had to create the brand for their designs for their chosen customer profile based on their wants and needs.
We saw some amazing examples of creative and innovative pitches, where students really took on the role in bidding for investment in their hats and brand. They showed confidence and tenacity in pitching their ideas and all were very passionate about why we should invest in them.
Some future budding entrepreneurs in the making!
Our Year 9 music students are continuing to enjoy and explore our music curriculum and in particular, African Drumming. Students have enjoyed ‘hands on’ opportunities with drums such as, Djembes, DunDuns and Congas, all of which continue to prove a real highlight in our learning.
Daniel, Finley, Joseph and Jacob have been busy incorporating various techniques, such as ‘bass, tone, slap’ into their composition. Working in musical groups not only supports students’ musical development but also encourages leadership skills to be used effectively to help coordinate a performance.
Noa and Crystal are certainly making great progress in their weekly guitar lessons. Mr Tryner, our Inspire Music Professional, is delighted with the work both students are completing and how quickly they are developing as guitarists.
Crystal and Noa recognise that ‘practice makes perfect’ and frequently visit the music department outside of their lesson to spend extra time revisiting what they have been taught during their lesson.
Brilliant work both, well done!
Our Academy Orchestra string section is certainly growing. Sophie and Isabelle (cellos) are always busy either practicing duets together or digging deeper into our orchestral music, whilst Emily and Ellouise (violins) are working on establishing a secure position and hold of their instruments. All the work our students are completing will allow them to become more rounded and able musicians of the future!
Our string students enjoy their lessons each Wednesday, however these are not the only lessons that take place in our busy week of music. Brass instruments, such as trumpets and trombones are covered each Friday morning which precede our wonderful woodwind players. We also have some fabulous drummers who receive their lesson each Wednesday morning, all of whom are currently preparing to perform in our summer concert(…date to be confirmed!)
Studying music at GCSE is a new and exciting opportunity available at Newark Academy. Students following the course are required to compose a free composition along with a further piece of music, set to a brief stipulated by the examining board.
Kiva (year 10) is a talented composer who thoroughly enjoys our Wednesday morning classroom sessions which provide a regular opportunity to update and develop musical ideas using the latest music software.
Henry (year 7) has certainly ‘hit the ground running’ since joining the Academy in September. Henry is already an advanced musician who enjoys Drum and Trombone lessons each week. Henry is a key player in our Academy orchestra and enjoys organising all aspects of the percussion and rhythm section, As the principal percussionist in our Academy orchestra, Henry ably organises all aspects of the percussion section.
Henry thoroughly enjoys all aspects of music and live performance. He frequently attends west end shows and other live events across the country. Henry has enjoyed performances at the London Palladium and has recently experienced the Cirque du Soleil.
Lucy (year 7) is thoroughly enjoying studying the flute. She is making tremendous progress in her weekly lessons and Mrs Whitehead, our visiting woodwind teacher, is also delighted with how committed Lucy is to her own development. Lucy is a founder member of our Academy orchestra and flute section.
Lucy is hoping to undertake her Grade 1 flute exam in the next couple of months which is an outstanding feat, especially given the short time she has been studying the flute. Aside of her flute playing, Lucy is a particularly busy member of our orchestra, helping to manage our growing music library. Well done Lucy – superb work and use of our GREAT values.
Rehearsals for this years school production of Romeo and Juliet are now in full swing. Students are working exceptionally hard to bring one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays to life, with a modern-day and comedic spin!
The production, which will be coming to the Newark Academy stage on the 13th and 14th of July, stars Jack Bailey (Y12) as Romeo, opposite Sienna Brown (Y10) as Juliet.
In support of this year’s theme ‘Growth’ students in year 7-9 participated in a planting scheme to support the development of our conservation area.
Over the week students managed to plant a staggering 365 saplings around the site that will establish and become part of our Newark Academy environment, providing habitat and food for wildlife and potentially our students.
Our ponds are filling with frogspawn so we’ll be monitoring the growth of the tadpoles into frogs in the weeks to come.
If anyone has any surplus native pond plants we can add, to encourage more wildlife like newts and dragonflies, donations will be gratefully accepted.
In Y7 and 8 we are providing a new lesson and curriculum titled Communications. This subject is developed to support students in basic IT functional skills alongside communication skills such as oracy, teamwork and leadership.
This term has been centered around students becoming more engrained and supportive of their local community, engaging with various causes such as running an activity day for our local elderly community, supporting local charities and inviting feeder primary schools in for a 'fun day' to give them a taste of secondary school life. These days are run by Newark Academy Year 7 and 8 pupils who have worked in teams to create and prepare for.
On Monday 21 March we had a local residential home visiting us, along with grandparents of our students who were entertained throughout the day with refreshments, performances and various other activities.
On Thursday 24 March, we invited 200 primary school Year 4 and 5 pupils who took part in activities organised by the Year 7 and 8 students, such as crafts, learning karate, dancing and cookie decorating.
Students showed incredible excellence and tenacity in their preparation for these activity days.
“My highlight was seeing smiles on peoples faces. It made it great”
“Everyone was kind and got along with each other”
“It helped me be more confident and talk a bit more because I am shy”
“I was a bit awkward at the start with such a big age gap, but at the end I felt really confident talking to them”
“My highlight was seeing the elderly visitors laugh and smile because of us”
“Oh my, I had such a great time and the effort that yourselves and the children put into that event - you should be so extremely proud of the outcome. The activities were brilliant, the lunch was really lovely (spoiled us) and the children’s hospitality really shined through.
- Sandra, grandparent of Y7 and Y9 students
A select group of year 7 and 8 students have had the opportunity over the last term to take part in sessions from ‘Freedom Foundation’. These sessions have been aimed at using songs and lyrics as a form of expression and have helped our students to develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their emotions and how to build their confidence as young people. It’s been fantastic watching them blossom over the last term and hear their creations!
Students in year 8 and 10 welcomed to school an up and coming singer called Natalie Gray. Her music was fantastic, her voice indescribable and her message really clear. Natalie used the medium of music to share some key life stories and important messages around mental health and the LGBTQIA community. Sadly Natalie was a victim of a gang shooting in London where a man picked her at random to kill, she survived this attack because the bullet got stuck and she uses her experiences of overcoming trauma to help students to reflect on their own mental health and how to support it.
Henry Chater was selected this year by Mrs Willis to receive the Newark Rotary Club Award for Courage.
Henry was a very nervous recipient but after Mrs Willis made her speech to the room, he went up to receive his award, grabbed the microphone and made his own speech of acknowledgement .
We are very proud of this young man and how he has survived his time at Newark Academy. School has been tough for him but he has stuck with it and is about to sit his GCSE’s so he can move onto college to study his passion of media.
Fin Cranidge, a very talented year 7, has raced BMX since he was 6 and competes at both a regional and national level. He is a member of the Nottingham Outlaws BMX Club and in 2020 was sponsored by Bunneys Bike to race for their team.
Last season he finished 4th in the regionals and 35th in the nationals. He has also just competed in the Nottingham Outlaws Winter Series which consisted of 6 rounds and has finished in 3rd place. The 2022 series is just about to start with his first national race taking place at the Manchester Indoor Cycling Centre.
Well done Fin!
This half term we have been very pleased to open our doors yet again to all of our stakeholders who wished to join us for the first Family Forum event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was wonderful to welcome everyone back to this format and have our Quality of Education School Leader, Yvonne Elsey, deliver to our families about all of the amazing work that has been going on throughout the curriculum, in order to provide each and every student with the opportunities to succeed they richly deserve.
Our next Family Forum meeting will be held on Monday 16th May. If any additional parents/carers would like to join us for this, please email Andy Athey on the email below and have yourself added to our mailing list.
The ASDAN students attended Community First Aid training with Newark Community First Aid at the beginning of March. They covered incident management, 999 calls, primary survey, minor bleeding, severe bleeding and shock, burns and scalds, adult choking, and the recovery position. They all contributed, participated and listened excellently.
PC Sally Cartwright, as part of the police outreach work for the local community, has delivered sessions across the whole school aimed at helping support our student’s wellbeing and personal development. Currently students are looking at how to manage risks and personal safety and PC Cartwright was a trusted and supportive source of information to help our students understand sexting, consent, county lines and the impact of crime in our local area.