29 March 2019
Dear Parents & Carers
It has been a fantastic, if very busy, Spring term at the Academy, with lots going on, much of which can be seen on the Academy Website, Facebook and Instagram pages.
Our Year 7 students have been making big strides in their academic progress over the Spring term, culminating in completing their first set of formal examinations this week. Prior to this, Year 7 have continued to excel both in and out of the classroom, with students working hard to complete their ‘Passport to Success’, continuing to engage in a high number of extra-curricular clubs and contributing to life across the Academy.
Year 7 and Workington Academy have also recently celebrated their first ever ‘Word Tri-Millionaire’. Dylan Walsh, has now read over three million words within the Accelerated Reader programme, which is a phenomenal achievement!
In February, thirty of our Year 7 students went on a ‘UniVenture’ to Newcastle University, to find out more about higher education. At the beginning of March, our Year 7 Workington Academy Radio Station club members completed the BBC Young Reporters programme, taking on the roles of journalists for a day, broadcasting and recording their own news bulletin.
The Year 8 students have had a positive term so far. We had a very successful parents evening that was very well attended. It was lovely to hear the positive comments and achievements shared during the evening. Year 8 have been extremely successful on the sporting front this term with extra-curricular participation levels rising to 53%. A high number of students in Year 7, 8 and 9 have represented Workington Academy in a range of sporting events, matches and competitions this term, including: netball, football, rugby, badminton and sports hall athletics, with our female rugby league players being crowned County Champions in Year 7, 8 and 10 and Year 7 netballers being crowned league champions. Our fantastic ‘U Dance’ team also performed at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick as part of the Cumbria Secondary School U Dance festival and will soon be performing again at the Carnegie Theatre in Workington on 18 April.
The Year 9 students have been busy this term selecting their study options for Key Stage 4; more information about subject choices will be communicated after the Easter break. A number of Year 9 boys experienced life at university through the Young Men into Further Education program. This was an enjoyable day for the boys who took part experiencing life at the University of Cumbria. Many of these boys are now considering this as a potential option for the future. Many of the Year 9 students have taken part in the Step into Sport Young Leaders event, the Rugby League Young Leader’s Award and several are now qualified Rugby League Referees. A special mention must go to Aiden Fryer and Ethan Frazer who were selected to referee the girls County competition.
As part of National Careers Week students explored career pathways in both their tutor groups and within their academic subjects. As part of this initiative all Year 7, 8 and 9 students were able to participate in The Tenner Challenge competition. The competition has been a great success; students are tasked with developing a business plan based upon an initial investment of £10 in order to make a profit. We have had a number of stalls in school with eager students selling their products. These have ranged from homemade soaps to key rings and Mother’s day mugs. Some students have completed their work outside of school setting up dog walking businesses and car washing for friends, family and neighbours. Currently all students are set to make a profit, with some in excess of £100. A special mention is required for Eldon Taylor in Year 7 who has donated all his profit, £103 to The Workington Academy Radio, an area in which he is heavily involved, to help purchase some state-of-the-art equipment.
Year 10 have taken part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities aimed at broadening their experiences and building character and skills. A small group of Year 10 students are working alongside graduate interns from the Hello Future team who aim to widen participation of higher level study. The students are developing their own project that they will research, write up and present to an audience. Research has shown that the skills they will develop will have a significant positive impact on their GCSE, A level and higher level studies. I look forward to seeing their presentations! Year 10 have also been preparing themselves for the world of work by securing their placements for work experience, writing letters of application and creating CVs. All of these skills will prove essential to them in later life.
Year 11 are already looking to the future and we were delighted to interview so many of them for Workington Academy Sixth Form. Our Careers Service has also been supported by the work of INSPIRA who have given guidance to the students about the next stage of their educational journey. If anyone is still unsure of what their next step, post 16, should be, then they can contact Mrs McAllister, Head of Sixth Form and Careers Leader.
The Spring term has been a particularly productive one for Year 11 as they have been involved in intensive coursework completion and tailored intervention sessions. Intervention sessions will continue to run during the Easter break and the timetable can be viewed on the school website. These final few weeks are always a pressurised period for students and we appreciate your support in ensuring that they participate in all of the opportunities available to them.
Within the Sixth Form many of our students have been busy attending university open days, interviews and masterclasses. A group of students recently attended the University of Cumbria masterclass in Psychology in the Real World where they explored the topic in depth at the university. 86% of our students have applied for university and each one has received an offer, some at highly prestigious universities including Durham, Warwick and Leeds.
Another group of students visited St James’ Park earlier this half term for the Oxford and Cambridge Applications Conference. The students attended a range of talks and lectures on the subjects offered at these universities and were offered tips on how to make applications to these world class universities.
Two of our Year 12 students were selected for the Dream Placement scheme, a high quality work experience placement organised by the Centre for Leadership Performance. The placement took place during February half term and the students were awarded with a certificate at a presentation evening last week. Harriet Dempsey worked with Dooson Babcock and Nikki Smith worked with Allerdale Borough Council, both girls really enjoyed their placements and valued the experience, gaining key employability skills and developing their knowledge of key leadership and management skills for the future.
Leah Stoddart, a Year 12 art student, had her work showcased as part of the Young Cumbrian Artist of the Year 2019. Competing against students across the county, including university art students, Leah succeeded in having her work displayed at the centre of the gallery.
Workington Academy netballers also enjoyed a recent rewards trip to Manchester, where they visited Inflatanation, the Trafford Centre and attended a live Super League netball match – Manchester Thunder vs Wasps.
This year Comic Relief asked the nation to come together and make a difference to people’s lives, both here in the UK and overseas.
At Workington Academy there was a rowing challenge to see if staff and students could row the distance between every school within the Trust, a distance of 108 miles. Students and staff occupied three rowing machines throughout the day and managed to row a total distance of 109 miles! Also, on the day, students were given the opportunity to take part in ‘Teacher Takeover’. This activity went down an absolute treat with staff and students. It allowed groups of students to make a donation towards comic relief so they could take over the lesson and teach their peers. I observed, first-hand, some of the wonderful activities planned and delivered by students throughout the day which is testament to the diet our students are receiving every day at the Academy. To top things off, there was a cake sale at break and lunchtime. The Workington Academy community raised a massive £611.30!
On a staffing front we have been busily recruiting more teachers to begin work at the Academy in September, as it has been confirmed that we are to receive the largest number of new Year 7 students in the history of the Academy. We are delighted with the sharp increase in popularity of the Academy.
I wish all of our school community a happy and restful Easter break. The Academy will re-open to all students on Monday 15th April at 8.40am.
Mr D Bird