Archive for: 2015

  • UTC Celebrates First NCS Graduates

    Date: December 22nd 2015

    Eight UTC@harbourside Year 12 students took part in the autumn term five day residential leadership and team building National Citizenship Service programme.

    They returned from this experience buzzing after completing a variety of exciting outdoor activities including rock climbing, Jacob’s Ladder, capture the flag and a tug of war! Most stated that it was a great overall experience where they got to take part in lots of activities they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do.

    The second part of the programme was self-developed community projects that students identify and lead themselves. They chose to bake cakes, sell them in school and use the money to fund a money and awareness raising event in aid of the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People – these have now been completed and the UTC has its first set of NCS graduates!

  • Studio Student Shannon Chosen To Illustrate Book

    Date: December 22nd 2015

    Shannon Adams, a 17-year-old sixth form student at Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio, has been commissioned by Danish author Jens Patrick, who lives locally, to provide sketches for his forthcoming book on the Viking occupation of Britain.

    Shannon achieved A* grades in graphic art and digital photography at the school last summer and is now studying A Levels in both subjects, alongside a course in TV production.

    Jens, who came upon the Studio by chance when out in Darwen, said he was delighted to have found such a talented illustrator so close to home. He said: “I’m really excited to be working with Shannon. Her drawings bring the main characters in the book to life and capture their spirit in exactly the way I had hoped.”

    Shannon has ambitions to go on to university and then pursue a career in the creative sector. Ruth Bradbury, Studio school Principal, said: “I’m immensely proud of what Shannon has achieved with us so far, and I’m sure she is destined for much more success in the future.”

  • Darwen Vale Student Saves Dad’s Life

    Date: December 21st 2015

    Darwen Vale student Joe-Jo Nicolson has been presented with a special award from the school after performing essential first aid which saved his Dad’s life following an incident at home.

    12 year old Joe-Jo gave his dad Graeme lifesaving first aid after finding him unconscious at the bottom of the stairs after suffering a suspected fit or stroke. Joe had learnt about this aspect of First Aid at a Super Learning Day at Darwen Vale.

    Joe-Jo was given a special achievement award from the Principal and Governing Body for his exceptional conduct. Fiona Jack, Darwen Vale Community Academy principal, said: “It’s hard to put into words how proud we are of him.”

    See the full story in our News section.

  • Portslade Science Students Reach National Competition Finals

    Date: December 21st 2015

    Portslade Aldridge Community Academy have reached the finals of the National Science and Engineering Competition, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham in March 2016.

    These finals showcase the very best of young scientists and engineers in the UK. The project will be displayed on a stand next to other exhibitors such as GSK, Siemens, Rolls-Royce and BAE systems. The organisers have had a record number of entries this year and the standard was extremely high. Finalists will compete for prizes and experiences including the prestigious titles of UK Young Engineer(s) and Young Scientist(s) of the Year.

    Congratulations to Portslade students Guolin Yang, Harry Smith, Joshua Hassett, Dexter Shepherd and Morgan Pile for putting together an excellent project during the STEM sessions and writing a winning proposal. Their success caps a wonderful year for the STEM team at the Academy.

  • Brighton Teacher Recognised At Safety Net Awards

    Date: December 17th 2015

    Brighton Aldridge Community Academy’s Child Protection Officer Mrs Christine Brady was awarded for Best Use of Services – Referrals Award at the Safety Net Awards Ceremony held to celebrate the organisation’s 20th year of supporting children and young people in Brighton & Hove.

    Mrs Brady’s award reflects the important role she plays in the Academy helping to improve student’s confidence and keeping them safe. Nikki Burke, former student, said “Christine always goes above and beyond to help students.  She creates an atmosphere that feels like a little home.  She would take me to my meeting so I felt looked after and improved my confidence by encouraging me to help younger students with their work.  Christine is excellent at her job and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving for the award.”

  • PACA Receives the Sainsbury’s Games Mark Bronze Award

    Date: December 15th 2015

    On Wednesday 9th December Portslade Aldridge Community Academy teacher Miss Wilson, accompanied by year 10 sports captains Charlie Glover and Oscar Pettit, were invited to Sussex County Cricket Ground where they were presented with the Sainsbury’s Games Mark Bronze award by the Mayor.  The Academy achieved this through all of the interschool tournaments, lunch time and after school sports clubs as well as the numerous sports leagues, cups and tournaments in which PACA are involved.

    Well done to all of the students who are committed to those clubs and teams, and the teachers and parents who support them.

  • Saffron Appointed #iwill Campaign Ambassador

    Date: December 9th 2015

    Darwen Aldridge Community Academy student Saffron Ball met HRH Prince Charles this week after she was one of just 50 young people appointed an ambassador for the national #iwill campaign, which aims to make social action a part of life for as many young people as possible by 2020. The Aldridge Foundation and each of our schools have pledged to support the campaign.

    The campaign is being co-ordinated by the charity Step Up to Serve and as an ambassador, she was introduced to the charity’s patron Prince Charles at a special event in London in December.

    Saffron was put forward for the award by the Franklin Scholars programme at the academy, which involves year 10 students who give up their time to tutor and mentor younger students. She said that having a mentor when she was younger would have been invaluable, and that’s why she wanted the experience.

  • DACA Awards Evening Celebrates Best GCSE Year On Record

    Date: November 26th 2015

    Darwen Aldridge Community Academy Principal Brendan Loughran congratulated students that the Academy’s recent GCSE results were the best on record despite tougher standards at the school’s annual awards evening. Among the award winners were Nicola Topping, who received the SJ Bolton Award for Most Promising Young Writer, and Lydia Buckley, who won the Chris Wilford Award for Mathematics.

    The Sue Johnson Award went to Danielle Cromer and the Aldridge Foundation Pegasus Award for Entrepreneurship was given to Lewis Partington.

    Mr Loughran said: “The GCSE class of 2015 achieved great exam results.”

    Picture courtesy of the Lancashire Telegraph

  • Stephen Selected For England!

    Date: November 9th 2015

    Congratulations and good luck to Brighton Aldridge Community Academy cross-country runner Stephen Ferroni has been selected to run at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)  international meeting in Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain. He will be flying out to Madrid with the team on Friday 13 November for the weekend meeting.

  • KAA Year 8 Footballers Reach Round 3 of the English Schools’ Cup

    Date: October 27th 2015

    Kensington Aldridge Academy’s year 8 football team came from behind twice to beat Kew House School 5-3 in the second round of the English Schools’ Cup. A brace of hat-tricks in as many games from Bilal El-Harrak, one from Tyrece Carter and one from Bilal Bakali saw KAA comfortably through to the third round.

  • BACA’s Dace Reizupa Shortlisted For National Student of the Year Awards

    Date: October 26th 2015

    Congratulations to Dace Reizupa who was shortlisted for the Business and Society Award at the recent Student of the Year 2015 awards. Dace, a year 13 student, was nominated for her excellent commitment to developing her business and entrepreneurial skills throughout her time at BACA 6th Form. She successfully applied for a work experience at CPJ Field, became Deputy Head Girl, attended the First Generation Scholars programme with Sussex University and also fitted in studying A-level Maths, Creative Media, Business, Sport and Dance Academy. Dace also took part in the Global Social Leaders 2015 programme at Wellington College this summer.

    Dace attended the awards ceremony in London on Friday 25th September 2015 with her mother and her teacher, Mr Collett. After enjoying inspirational speeches from Kate Robertson (advertising executive and social entrepreneur), Tim Campbell (social entrepreneur and winner of The Apprentice) and John Humphreys (TV and Radio presenter), a 3 course lunch and sparkling conversation, we were inspired by the great work the shortlisted students had done. Although, Dace did not win, all the shortlisted students are an inspiration for others and will lead future change in the world we live in.

  • DACA Alumni Kushna’s Art On Display At Oxford

    Date: October 26th 2015

    In 2013 Khushna Sulaman-Butt became the first student from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy ever go to Oxford or Cambridge Universities when she secured a place at Ruskin College, Oxford to read Fine Art.

    In her final year now Sir Rod recently visited Kushna and was shown one of her superb pieces that’s currently on display in the College.

  • BACA Teacher One Of 3 in England to Win Adobe Award

    Date: October 12th 2015

    Tom Misenti, Teacher of Creative Media and English at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA), has been awarded with the Adobe Youth Voices Creative Educator Award. Individuals from 50 organizations around the world were awarded with this prize, and Mr Misenti is one of only three teachers in England to receive the award.

    BACA students will benefit from Mr Misenti’s achievement as the educators who won the award each receive an Adobe Creative Cloud lab donation of 25 one-year licences for students to use, worth £7,000.

    To qualify for the award Mr Misenti successfully ran the Adobe Youth Voices programme in 2014-15 with year 10 students. The programme culminated with BACA students displaying the short films they produced at the British Film Institute Southbank. Mr Misenti continues to demonstrate his passion for teaching media, and innovation in the field, as he is a key team member for BACA’s recently launched Brighton Digital Media Academy.

    The Adobe Foundation and EDC team said, “Your thoughtful application, your experience leading Adobe Youth Voices programmes, and your commitment to continuing to support young people’s creative capacity though media making embodies what the award is all about. Thank you for your work, passion, and investment in young people.”

    Mr Misenti said, “It is an honour to win this award. I could not have done it without my students’ creativity throughout the Adobe Youth Voices programme last year and their continued growing intrigue into the world of media. I’m delighted that we are now able to offer our students the latest creative technology to help them advance their skills as they work towards careers in media.”

  • Portslade Academy Wins STEM Club of the Year

    Date: October 7th 2015

    The winners of the 10th annual STEMNET awards were announced at a ceremony at the House of Lords on October 6th, 2015 – , honouring the UK’s most dedicated and inspirational people motivating young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

    Awards were presented in six categories by BBC Journalist Steph McGovern and STEMNET’s CEO Kirsten Bodley to winners from across the UK, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council is providing the winners with an exclusive visit to CERN. Winners will fly to Geneva in December, where they will have the opportunity to see cutting edge science in action, as well as meet with top physicists and engineers from across the facility.

    Portslade Aldridge Community Academy won the STEM Club Award. The judges citation recognised that: “PACA STEM Club took part in a huge range of STEM activities but through their STEM Ambassadors they took a particular interest in Astronomy and coding. The Club has also offered activities for students with widely different interests including, developing a cosmetics business, Green power racing and Dr Who themed science writing.”

    The news follows PACA winning the Coast to Capital “STEM Club of the Year” award at the South East Big Bang show in June and the Gatwick Airport Electronics Prize for the 3D Periodic Table project. This project reached the TeenTech Grand Final and PACA came a very close second.

  • Darwen Academy Named UK Entrepreneurial School 2015

    Date: September 10th 2015

    Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, the first school to be sponsored by the Foundation is one eleven schools from eleven countries across Europe which have won the Entrepreneurial School of the Year Award 2015, a national and European recognition of the best schools championing entrepreneurship education.

    The awarded schools have been selected based on diverse criteria, such as the inclusion of a vision and strategy in entrepreneurship education, specific resource allocations, teachers’ training, or the engagement of the local community and business sector. These criteria follow the objectives of Europe 2020, the EU’s growth strategy for the coming decade. It notably aims to enhance creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training.

    Academy Principal Brendan Loughran said; “We are delighted to receive this international recognition for our work. We know from our experience that building an education around an entrepreneurial mind-set based on developing positive attitudes makes a big difference in schools. The achievement is testimony to the dedication and commitment of everyone who has worked with us in creating what is widely recognised as a very successful school.”

    Full story

  • BACA’s Dace Shortlisted In National Student of the Year Awards

    Date: September 7th 2015

    BACA student Dace Reizupa was shortlisted for the Business and Society Award at the recent Student of the Year 2015 awards. Dace, a year 13 student, was nominated for her excellent commitment to developing her business and entrepreneurial skills throughout her time at BACA 6th Form. She successfully applied for a work experience at CPJ Field, became Deputy Head Girl, attended the First Generation Scholars programme with Sussex University and also fitted in studying A-level Maths, Creative Media, Business, Sport and Dance Academy. Dace also took part in the Global Social Leaders 2015 programme at Wellington College this summer and is pictured here with Honor Wilson-Fletcher and colleagues from other Aldridge schools who took part,

    Dace attended the awards ceremony in London on Friday 25th September 2015 with her mother and her teacher, Mr Collett. After enjoying inspirational speeches from Kate Robertson (advertising executive and social entrepreneur), Tim Campbell (social entrepreneur and winner of The Apprentice) and John Humphreys (TV and Radio presenter), a 3 course lunch and sparkling conversation, we were inspired by the great work the shortlisted students had done. Although, Dace did not win, all the shortlisted students are an inspiration for others and will lead future change in the world we live in.

  • Students Celebrate GCSE Results

    Date: August 25th 2015

    Congratulations to Year 11 students at all of our schools for their GCSE results on Thursday 20th August.

    Portslade Aldridge Community Academy students had much to celebrate as their combined results represented the best that the Academy has ever seen. 60% of students gaining 5 A*-C grades at GCSE including Maths and English*. Zenna Atkins, the Chair of Governors, commented: “We are delighted with the number of A and A* grades and would like to congratulate the pupils and staff for this fantastic achievement”.

    Some notable achievements include Daisy Holland who obtained nine A*-A grades including six A* and three A grades, Eva Lloyd-Ghale who secured nine A*-C grades with two A* and seven A grades and Phoebe Palmer who achieved nine A*-C grades, eight of which were A grades.

    After recording its best ever A Level results in 2015, students at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy also produced strong GCSE results, with a large number of Year 11 students gaining GCSE grade A*/A passes and  30% of students making better than expected progress in both mathematics and English.

    Overall, the provisional headline results were that 57% of the students have achieved 5 or more GCSEs at A*-C grade EM*.

    Academy Principal Brendan Loughran said “After the success of this year’s results in the Sixth Form, we are pleased that our students have achieved another very good set of GCSE results. Once again, in mathematics and English our students achieve well above national averages, consolidating three years of very good results since our last inspection.”

    Nearby Darwen Vale completed its first year since conversion to academy status with a strong improvement in GCSE results. The overall percentage of students obtaining 5 + GCSEs at A*-C  EM* was up by 11% points – again with a significant rise in the numbers of passes at the top A* and A grades.

    Principal Fiona Jack said: “I’m delighted with the jump in our overall results and particularly pleased with improvements in the critical core subjects of maths and English.”

    On a day when so much media focus is on the straight A* students the success of those who have worked to overcome a difficult start to their educational lives, or not thrived in circumstances where fellow students do, can often be overlooked. Students from Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio talked about how their lives have changed since joining the school as they collected their results.

    James Hull said: “I wasn’t doing very well in my old school. I was failing in all of my tests, I had fights most of the time, and swore at teachers. I knew wasn’t going to get any of my GCSEs. I needed a fresh start to get myself back on track.”  Jake Deakin agreed: “At the Studio School, I got on with all the teachers, and got more help with my work because there were fewer students. I am treated like an adult, and that has made me behave like one.”

    James and Jake are now celebrating a combined total of fifteen GCSEs at grade C or above, and are looking forward to taking their next steps on the route to success. Theirs are just two stories from a number of successes at the Studio School whose work with students, a significant proportion of whom face difficulties which would probably have resulted in them not remaining on roll in Year 11 in other schools, but who now have GCSEs, deserves recognition.

    The significant journey from levels reached at primary school to 5 A*-C GCSEs for many of its students remains one of the challenges for Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, where 30% of students achieved 5+ A*-C including English and maths.

    This year a record number of BACA’s year 11 students are staying on to BACA’s sixth form, and on the basis of BACA’s 100% success rate at A-level last week, these students are expected to leave in two years’ time with the qualifications they need to secure their places at university, further education or employment.

    Peter Kyle, Chair of Governors for BACA, said, “Whilst being proud of the progress students make from joining us out of primary school, we fully recognise that we still have some way to go to get to the position where our students, irrespective of the start that they have had, consistently achieve GCSE results comparable with students from schools at the top of the league tables in the city.”

    “We believe that our students and community deserve the same chances as every other in the city, and are committed to continuing to improve wherever we can to ensure that translates into the league table performance parents look at and schools are judged by, as soon as possible.”

    As at BACA, English was a top performing department at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy. Joint Interim Principal Rob Russell said, “Although our English department continues to buck the trend and secure very good results with 19% of students getting the top A*and A grades we still have work to do in other areas. The support of our parents and carers has been and remains an invaluable component of each and every student’s success”.

    Amongst IPACA students celebrating their GCSE results was Hannah Preston, who scooped four A*s, seven As and one B and especially delighted with a 100 per cent mark in one of her English Literature exams.

    GCSE results day is a time to congratulate both students and staff on the results achieved, but for Darwen Academy Pastoral Manager Alex Fort the congratulations were double. Mum-of-two, Alex also sat the GCSE maths paper at the academy and achieved a grade C.

    Alex said: “I lacked confidence in maths and always wanted to improve on the GCSE grade that I got when I was at school. The academy agreed for me to sit in with a GCSE class and follow the course with them in Year 11.

    “It was great to experience the challenge of the GCSE with the students. I was able to understand and empathise with what the students were going through, and when I stood in front of them and took assemblies they all knew I was going through a similar experience.”

    “I wanted to prove to them and to myself that it could be done and today has been great getting the results we all deserve.”

  • A Level Success

    Date: August 25th 2015

    Congratulations to Year 13 students at all of our schools for their A-Level results on 13th of August..

    Sixth form students at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy celebrated another year of record breaking A Level results. The 2015 A Level pass rate and vocational equivalent pass rate at the academy are both at 100%. At A Level only, academy students achieved new record results of 26% A*/A grades and 50% A*/A/B grades.

    Head of the academy’s Sixth Form Howard McWilliam said: ‘These are our best ever results and we have a new record-high number of students from DACA applying to study at university. The indications from the results are that it is highly likely that all of our students will secure their first choice of a place at university.”

    Brighton Aldridge Community Academy maintained its 100% success rate for A Level passes at A*-E or equivalent, with 42% secured at A*-B or equivalent, a significant increase from 4.2% last year, 24% being at A*-A or equivalent (also up from 4% last year) and 42% of all BTEC grades achieved were the top Distinction* or Distinction.

    Additionally, all students were successful in securing their apprenticeships, university places and careers for the future. Head of 6th Form, James Collett said, “Students and staff worked extremely hard and deserve their successes. These are fantastic results and we are proud that more students are achieving the highest grades. We are also thrilled at the continual increase in the number of students who are choosing to study at BACA 6th Form. It’s an exciting place to be and to achieve!”

    In its first full year of A Level results Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio students celebrated after confirmation of a hundred percent pass rate in flagship specialist subjects. Students who studied Creative Media Production, Photography, and Business, Finance and Law, are now looking forward to taking their next steps at University or in the workplace.

    Sarah Jane Singleton, 18, has been accepted at the University of Bolton to study animation.  She said, “The small group sizes and personalised approach at the Studio have really made the difference for me.  Some people think that I took a risk by coming to a new school, but I could see from the beginning that the professional ethos really suited me, and I am so pleased that I made the decision to join.”

    Portslade Aldridge Community Academy saw a rise in both the overall pass rate and A*-B rate. The combined A2 and equivalent pass rate was 99%, an improvement from last year, and the A*-B is 55%, an impressive 26% increase on last year’s results. The Science Dept. had particular cause to celebrate with 100% of A Level students in Chemistry achieving A* – B grades.

  • DACA Yr 8’S Win Local Cup

    Date: July 27th 2015

    Darwen Aldridge Community Academy Year 8s  defeated Queen Elizabeth Grammar School on their home pitch in difficult conditions on(4th May). DACA played the better football throughout the game making the most of the flat playing surface at Lammack Road. Jack Prince who was lively throughout scored direct from a corner kick after a mistake from the QEGS goalkeeper. QEGS made it 1-1 not long after with a volleyed finish direct from a corner. DACA continued to press and were rewarded with a penalty just before half time after the ball was handled on the line. Ralf Walsh expertly converted the corner to make it 2-1 going into half time. DACA continued to attack in the second half and could have made it 3-1 from the penalty spot had it not been for a fine save from the QEGS goalkeeper. Not long after the game was over after Ethan Makinde tapped in a fantastic team move to make DACA Champions.

    The win topped off a fantastic year in which the year 8 team secured a league and cup double as well as finishing Runner’s Up in the Lancashire Cup Final.

  • PACA Wins STEM Club of the Year

    Date: July 15th 2015

    At the recent Big Bang Show, Portslade Aldridge Community Academy was delighted to win the Coast to Capital “STEM Club of the Year” award. All of the students were fantastic in showcasing their STEM projects but it was the Natural Cosmetic Beauty Range Project that impressed the judges the most. The enthusiasm of the students also shone through. The Big Bang is the biggest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths in the UK and is designed to bring science and engineering to life for young people.

    PACA also won the Gatwick Airport Electronics Prize for the 3D Periodic Table project. This project reached the TeenTech Grand Final and PACA came a very close second.