Welcome to the second edition of our Academy Newsletter. I am incredibly proud of our students and staff and what they have achieved together during a short but intense half term period, and pleased to be able to share some of their successes with you.
Following 18 months of turmoil and challenges, presented to us as a result of Covid, I am very pleased to see students getting back into enrichment activities and projects at school. We are proud of our enrichment offer and it is my ambition for all students to take on as many enrichment opportunities as possible. Developing skills and knowledge beyond the classroom is vitally important to helping young people become confident, well-rounded individuals. Students can sign up to enrichment opportunities using our online application form which you can find here.
The next 10 weeks is a very important period for our year 9, 11 and 13 students. Year 9 students will begin to select their GCSE options, helping them to shape the next part of their learning journey. This is an incredibly exciting period for children and families but one where there will be lots of questions and where guidance around the process is needed. To that end, we look forward to welcoming our year 9 families into the Academy on Thursday 23rd March. Here we will provide you and our students with a clear overview of how the GCSE options process will run but also with an opportunity to talk to subject teachers, helping you and your child to make well informed decisions about course selection.
Year 11 and 13 students have been excellent so far in regards their commitment to classroom learning and independent learning. As our students continue to prepare for the upcoming examination period I wanted to express to parents and carers that we are here to support. Should your son/daughter feel there is more that we can do to support them please don't hesitate in getting in touch with us. The pressures of examinations can affect students in very different ways. We will continue to work hard to support them through this period and value your input in achieving this ambition, working with you to ensure all students feel ready for examinations with everything around them they need to achieve their potential and ambitions.
Finally, thank you to those parents/carers who have been in touch to express an interest in joining our Families Forum group. I am keen to involve families in our school improvement journey and pleased to be at a point where we can finally invite you into school to commence this work with us. We will be in touch very soon with those parents who have expressed an interest. If you are keen to be involved but haven't yet been in touch to express your interest please email Karen Barber to do so: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you enjoy this edition of our Academy Newsletter and I look forward to welcoming parents and carers back into school very soon.
In Communications, students have been crafting PowerPoint presentations about an interest of theirs and then presenting to the whole class. Y7 and 8 students have been extremely brave and resilient with this and produced some amazing work. Lucie crafted a presentation about bees, which was informative and presented with confidence.
It has been fabulous to welcome Ellouise (Year 7) to the music department to begin violin lessons. Ellouise is a talented and natural musician who has made a fantastic start in Academy music.
Ellouise is hoping to improve her playing quickly and has already applied to join our Academy orchestra!
Well done Ellouise – great to have you on board!
Alice (Year 9) has made a tremendous start in studying the flute and to her credit, is already studying music at Grade 1 level. Alice has proved she is a natural and very gifted musician who brings lots of positivity to her playing.
Alice is a very organised and efficient learner in all she does and has been able to apply her excellence to her flute playing. Alice is a truly valued member of our Academy Orchestra and flute section.
Excellent work Alice – you are a superstar!
Emily (Year 8) is a super player and great violinist. She has led our Academy Orchestra brilliantly whilst mastering her own skills as an instrumentalist.
Emily is currently studying for her Associated Board Grade 1 examination which she hopes to take in the summer term.
Emily arrives punctually each Thursday morning for her violin lesson and enjoys practicing her own music and some of the exciting pieces performed in the Orchestra.
She is exceptionally good at playing the music of James Bond!
Well done Emily!
Kiva is very welcome at Newark Academy and has already got involved in a number of musical opportunities. Kiva is one of our year 10 GCSE Music students and is an extremely talented guitarist and drummer to boot! Kiva enjoys composition and is currently developing aspects of his coursework ready for submission.
Kiva is getting more involved in music opportunities at the Academy and as he looks to year 11, will undoubtedly take a greater role in some of our enrichment opportunities.
A brilliant start Kiva – very well done.
Tuesday mornings are for guitar and Eli and Lewis (Year 7) certainly have all bases covered! They have each made a great start in their guitar pursuits with reports from our resident guitar teacher, Mr Trynor being nothing but brilliant!
The boys are tackling grade 1 level music and impress everyone who sees and hears them. Typically, they ensure they bring a very positive attitude to learning, which coupled with our Academy GREAT values sees them succeed each week.
Fabulous work Lewis and Eli. You are guitar superstars!
If you need a talented trombonist, look no further than Paige in Year 7…she is an exceptional player and fabulous musician. In celebration of her expertise and skill, Paige has been awarded the furthering talent instrumental award from the Inspire Music Hub.
Paige takes her place in our Academy Orchestra each Tuesday and is a great team player. She routinely ‘rolls her sleeves up’ and helps with the setting up of equipment, which is all part of what makes our orchestra run efficiently.
A brilliant start Paige – congratulations!
Chloe (Year 10) is an extremely talented vocalist and musician. She is well placed as part of our GCSE Music course and is seen here recording a vocal solo as part of her ongoing preparations.
Chloe always adopts a can-do attitude and will always do all she can to guarantee success. This can be seen in the vocal masterclass lessons Chloe continues to undertake with our Vocal professional and visiting teacher, Mrs Perkins.
Chloe is a focussed learner and superb performer. She is currently preparing for our summer concert where she will perform to a packed theatre and in doing so, show how very talented and skilled she is.
Chloe’s dedication and focus leads her clearly to the path of success. Fabulous as always Chloe – well done.
You may have seen Tayla (Year 7) with her trombone. She carefully organises her daily routine allowing her to cycle to school and bring her instrument. Tayla is the custodian of the ‘Furthering Talent’ award from Inspire and receives extended lessons along with participating in numerous external musical events.
Tayla loves playing in the Academy orchestra and has a firm place in our trombone section. Despite only recently joining the Newark Academy, Tayla already has her eyes fixed on pursuing GCSE Music.
Superstar – its that simple! – well done Tayla.
Henry (Year 7) has hit the ground running, making a fabulous start in all things Academy music. Henry is a very talented and skilled drummer and trombonist and takes lessons each week.
Henry’s musicianship shines through in the classroom where he enjoys tacking both music history and keyboard playing with ease.
Henry is a key member of our Academy Orchestra, driving the music forward with pace and energy. Henry is a precision player with his accuracy and musical focus underpinning everything he plays.
Congratulations Henry – you are tremendous!
Over the past two weeks, Year 11 Health and Social Care students took part in a basic first aid course with the Newark Community First Aiders as part of their GCSE course. Students learnt about CPR, the recovery position, spinal injuries, bleeding and choking and then had the chance to practice their skills. They all showed excellence throughout both mornings and proved what an asset to the school they all are. Well done to all!
School of Sex education
As part of the SRE commitment we have to deliver sex and relationship information to students. We have had a wonderful company join us called ‘School of Sex Education’. They are young, dynamic and forward thinking and have really connected with our students. In January our year 9’s took part in sessions covering a wide range of important topics such as consent, media influence on body expectations and relationships, safe sex and SDI’s. It was great to see confidence and knowledge improve over the course of the day as students were skilled up ready to flourish later in life. We are welcoming them back into the academy next term to run sessions with our year 10 students
Last term as part of our Personal Development curriculum all of our students learnt about abuse and bullying, the importance of tackling this, reporting and also supporting others and themselves to be upstanders. Our year 7’s finished their learning by taking part in a whole year art project using the medium of decoupage. In class students decorated their letters with images of anti-bullying and peace, which became apart of a larger mural with our new school motto ‘we unite against bullying, we stand up for victims’. We are very proud of this community project and the message it sends to all who enter our academy – what a fantastic legacy to leave at Newark Academy one day!
During a recent visit from our local police one group of students were able to have an extra session 1-1 with both officers. This was a fantastic opportunity to discuss local strategies for keeping us all safe, what a day as a police officer is like and more importantly (for some!) how fast the cars can drive and what weapons they are allowed to carry. It was really good to see our students engaging with our local police officers and breaking down barriers to understanding their role. Our students walked away knowing that if they are ever in need they can call 999 and also if they see any police officer in Newark to say hello!
As the deadline for UCAS applications has just passed, the X13s are now nervously anticipating the return of offers from various universities. With their futures just beginning to take shape, there are a broad range of plans and an even broader range of universities they’ve applied to, so we spoke to a few students about their ambitions as their time at NA6 comes to an end.
One of said students is Lily Grant, who desires to pursue a career in law. Wanting to remain local, she applied primarily for courses close to home, offered at institutions such as Nottingham Trent and Lincoln University. She found the UCAS process to be stressful but not too difficult, advising future applicants to prioritise their personal statements and do their research. To help manage this, she suggested shortlists to help keep track of potential courses whilst remaining organised.
Aspiring to enter the field of journalism, Matthew Hough wants to relocate down South in order to immerse himself in the political scene. He’s particularly interested in ethics, philosophy and politics, applying to universities such as Exeter and UCL as they’ll give him more freedom to study a combination of the three. After reflecting on the application process, his advice was to send in applications quickly to avoid missing deadlines, the importance of time management being heavily stressed.
Finally, Kassia Chapman shared her aspirations to become a historian, with a focus on the early modern and imperial eras. Liking the smaller, more local cities, she applied to universities such as Lincoln, Warwick and York, and hopes to work in a castle as well as write her own book.
The distinctly different directions these three students have chosen to pursue reveal how diverse the goals of X13 really are, and we wish them good luck as they take the next step towards the rest of their lives.
Some excellent enrichment opportunities being provided for students in the Cooking and Nutrition recently with generous supplies of mussels and wild Alaskan pink salmon. All being provided by MJ Seafoods, The Food Teachers Centre and Wild Alaska Pink Salmon Co. The initiative is part of the Fish in School Hero campaign that aims to ensure that every child gets a chance to prepare, cook and eat fish before they leave school. With fantastic produce being gifted this is beginning to happen within Newark Academy.
The first masterclass for “Mussel Power” was made available to all KS4 classes and a masterclass after school that was hugely popular, creating classic Moules Mariniere but also a Thai infused style which went down a storm!
The second opportunity saw the creation of a Wild Alaskan Salmon tart served with tomato concasse and rapeseed oil mayonnaise. We hope that the scheme not only allows the KS4 groups the chance to practice and prepare a highly skilled dish for their forthcoming practical examinations in Hospitality and Catering but also gives them a real sense of trying something they perhaps wouldn’t have thought about creating.
Two U13 Girls Football teams were selected to go and represent Newark Academy at the Forest Sports Zone in Nottingham. This Years event saw 13 teams participate. Winners go on to represent Nottingham Forest Community Trust in the Area Regional Grand Final at Wembley Stadium in April 2022. Everyone who participated from Newark Academy gave it their all showing tenacity and excellence and came 4th overall! Not managing to win this year but a great goal and aspiration to set for next year.
The school library has had a huge task in organising all the books into genre order and with the support of our amazing library assistants and NA6 we managed to complete the task quicker than expected. A massive thank you for all their hard work and support. We pulled together as a team and demonstrated real tenacity.
The Science Technicians have been working hard to rejuvenate the Newark Academy Conservation Area to become a place for wildlife and nature but also fieldwork and scientific studies.
We’re making a space for students and staff to enjoy in lessons or for quiet relaxation.
The Woodland Trust have donated 345 plants for us to extend the conservation area and boost its impact.
They will arrive in February so we will keep you posted on how to get involved with the planting.
Crew 7 Charter & Pledge
During this half term Year 7 have spent one active crew session a week debating the topic, social media. These engaging sessions were focused on students developing and encouraging their responses using our whole school oracy strategy of SHAPE (sentences, hands away from mouth, articulate, project and eye contact).
Bringing relevant critical topics to these sessions allowed students to understand different views and express their opinion relating to matters they deal with on a day to day basis. Social media being highly influential to our young people, we ask our students to debate; ‘is social media a force for good or bad?’
As part of this task, students have developed their planning skills as they work in groups and look to break down the pros and cons using a whole school proforma. Key vocabulary relating to debating such as: for, against, evidence, agree, disagree has been reinforced and encouraged when conducting their debate. Students all got opportunities to articulate their opinions using their planning document and expressing themselves in a confident articulate manner. These skills will be an essential foundation to build upon and prepare our crew members for the wider world.
Crew 8 Charter & Pledge
At the beginning of this half term the entire Year 8 year group worked in crews to create a unique “pledge” that each Crew aim to adhere too. There were some fantastic examples which incorporated our school’s five GREAT values as well as our “Work Hard, Be Kind” ethos.
“As a crew we understand that we have 35 opportunities to make a positive contribution in lessons. We aspire to achieve 17 or more positives each week for making the right choices.” (Crew Williams)
Each Crew member was also asked to add their name to a Crew “Charter”. This is a set of expectations specific to their Crew. It was brilliant to see the hard work and unity of each Crew when creating these Charters and as a year group we are excited to see our pupils living up to their very own high expectations.
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place each year on January 27th. This day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. It is a day to remember those affected not just by the events of the second world war but those whose lives have been impacted by genocide across the world. During this day, students looked at a recent genocide which is currently taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan. They then looked at the story of Faiza, an inspirational woman who is from a poverty-stricken region of Darfur. She went to university and became a successful lawyer, however this success meant she had to fleeing for her life. Since then she has campaigned against hate crimes and has won awards for this.
Year 9 students have engaged superbly well in what has been a very enlightening yet challenging topic and as a result have developed some very important transferable skills and knowledge.
Mentoring the next generation
At Newark Academy we strive to support and encourage our students to be active role models within the Academy. This term we have successfully established the Year 10 Mentoring scheme, where our students are able to guide our younger Academy members down the path to achievement. Those selected are responsible for supporting Year 7 and Year 8 students with literacy, numeracy and verbal communication. They undergo a structured developmental programme which is facilitated by Mrs. Brown, our Careers And Pastoral Leader for NA6.
Controlling their experiences
As half term 3 comes to an end, Year 10 welcome the incredible Learning Journey that takes them from the Academy to our Local Community and beyond. As a Crew, Year 10 have successfully attained over 95% of Work Experience placements which commence in March. Their determination and eagerness to gain the vital skills for their journey beyond Newark Academy is one of the many ways our students demonstrate their aspiration to achieve all that is possible
One student in particular who welcomes this experience is Libby Fraser who successfully attained a position with Chuter Ede;
“ I have ambitions of becoming a English Teacher, I used to help out at Chuter Ede, supporting younger year groups and I wish to continue this.”
Year 11 Revision & wellbeing
This term students in year 11 have spent one of their crew sessions each week on revision planning and exploring the importance of wellbeing in the run up to their next round of mock exams week commencing 28 February and to the final exam season.
As part of this task, students have been exploring strategies to aid them in this process including timetabling revision planning into their day, mind mapping techniques, revision clocks, flashcards and the online platforms available to them that offer a variety of techniques and resources to make all students be able to become successful in their exams.
Students have been collaborating as part of their crew program to identify ways in which all students can stay well during revision and the exam season and coming up with ideas as to how this can be shared in a supportive manner to the whole year group.
KS3 Inter-Crew Competition
At Newark Academy, reading is at the heart of our daily routines. Students at KS3 engage in DEAR (drop everything and read) to ensure all students receive a consistent diet of reading for at least twenty minutes per day, to encourage all to develop a love for reading. This term KS3 students have been participating in our inter-crew competition to design and create their own unique bookmarks, to help inspire those to take great responsibility in their DEAR reading books. Students have been given the challenge to create a bookmark that fits into one of the following categories: their favourite book; their favourite author; their favourite literary quote; their favourite genre of book. In which, there will be a first prize winner for each category and a bonus prize for Crews with GREAT participation. There have already been some amazing entries across KS3 and we look forward to announcing our winners next term.
During this half term we have relaunched our house system with all students throughout the academy. After stakeholder consultation last year, we made the decision to move away from our old houses of Kenilworth, Ludlow, Pembroke, Richmond, Stirling and Warwick in an aim to bring our houses a little closer to home. This has also allowed us to streamline the houses and start to build a new legacy for the students of Newark Academy to take forward.
Unfortunately this is not a process that is done overnight and we are working hard behind the scenes with a range of stakeholders to ensure the new House system at Newark Academy is 100% right for the school community.
This half term we have launched the first stage of the system with students by placing each of them, along with their crew members, into houses. The names of the houses are still yet to be confirmed, so for now the houses are identifiable by colour; red, blue, green and yellow.
Students throughout this half term have therefore been working hard to secure points for their houses in the first of many competitions that we will run throughout the year. Students in Y7 have participated in a Spelling Bee, ran by our English Department and wonderful NA6 students, and students in Y7-Y9 have competed in the 2K run in their PE lessons this half term with points awarded for this too. More information about these events and an updated leader board for the Houses can be found below!
Y7 - Spelling Bee
It was a wonderful atmosphere and so great to see the NA6 students and years 7s work side by side in our Y7 Spelling Bee House Competition. This Y7 competition was held during crew time and streamed live to the rest of the year group for all to see the excellence and aspirations on display. A big thank you to all of the students who took part!
1st place - Zak -- Green House
2nd place - Maisie -- Blue House
3rd place - Louis -- Blue House
4th place - Emily and Max -- Red and Yellow House respectively.
Y7-9 2K race
A big thank you once again to all of the students throughout Y7 - Y9 who took part in the 2K race this half term. There were an overwhelming number of students completing the challenging course set out by our PE department with some truly incredible times. Our PE department set a benchmark of 17 minutes to complete the course. All students recording a time under this achieved points towards their house. Over 100 students managed this! -- Well done everyone!
Our overall winners of the 2K race were Jay Charles and Jasmine Braithwaite, both members of the Yellow house! Congratulations to all students once again and please keep a look out next half term for more opportunities throughout the school to get involved with our house competitions.