A student at Bedminster Down School has been making the headlines in more ways than one.
Fourteen-year-old Zakoor, a refugee who fled Afghanistan at the age of ten, is a great sportsman and has broken school records for sprinting and shot putt.
His success was featured on local TV and caught the attention of retired RAF engineer Chris Reynolds, who attended Bedminster Down School more than 50 years ago.
Chris heard that Zakoor, who lives with a foster family, had ambitions to be a pilot, so he offered the teenager a flight in his light aircraft.
Zakoor’s first time in the air - he came to the UK in the back of a lorry - was also captured by BBC Points West, as was Chris’s first return visit to the school he left in 1967.
Dan Goater, PE teacher, said Zakoor was a brilliant sportsman who showed great resilience. “He is an inspiration and a pleasure to teach,” he said.
Pictures: BBC West
Having considered the views of parents and other interested parties, following a listening period that ran for 5 weeks from 23 October to 27 November 2018, Ministers have now made a final decision to close The Bath Studio School at the end of the summer term 2020.
Thursday 14th February 2019
Wellsway School’s production of Grease took place last week, with four nights selling out within four hours of going on sale! It was a huge success with 120 students taking part either acting, in the band, backstage, technical support and costumes. Each main part was double cast, playing two nights each, in order to showcase as many students as possible.
Hannah Davies, Director and Subject Lead for Drama and Ingrid McLean, Musical Director and Assistant Team Leader for PE and Performing Arts said: “We’re extremely proud of the hard work and commitment shown by every member of the cast and production team. The rehearsal process has been highly enjoyable for all and the reaction from the audience has been fantastic.”
The first masterclass at IKB Academy gave invitied Year 11 students from other schools the chance to investigate the world of particle physics.
IKB’s principal Debbie Gibbs, a passionate physics teacher, led the day, which included a series of activities and presentations, culminating in the group making their own cloud chamber to see the tracks made by cosmic rays from space.
Mrs Gibbs said: “Even though the tracks were quite elusive, the students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see how inspiring A-level physics can be.”
Participants’ comments included: “It was lots of fun and I enjoyed the dry ice”; “It was relaxed and fun and I also learnt interesting stuff”; “It was very informative and interactive”.
IKB, which has a science and engineering specialism, is planning a series of masterclasses to showcase its range of A-level and Btec Post-16 options, in which students are achieving great success. These include product design, maths, engineering and biochemistry.
If you are in Year 11 at any school and would like to attend a masterclass, please contact IKB Academy for an invitation.
Wellsway Multi Academy Trust primary schools are celebrating some excellent results for children of all ages in 2017-18.
The provisional figures received from the Department for Education show strong outcomes in the tests taken by pupils at the age of 11, known as Key Stage 2 SATs.
All four schools saw an overall performance above the national average, with many improvements on 2017. A number of individuals made exceptional progress.
Saltford Primary School maintained its very high standard, with 84 per cent of children reaching or exceeding the expected standard for their age in reading, writing and maths combined. Its figures for the separate subjects were reading 93, writing 96 and maths 93.
St John’s Primary achieved 73 per cent combined and Chandag Juniors and The Meadows both hit 62 per cent. Chandag Juniors improved outcomes in all areas except reading while St John’s and The Meadows saw substantial improvements. At The Meadows, the writing result rose from 57 to 83 and maths from 69 to 85.
Younger children also performed well against national benchmarks, with Saltford and Chandag Infants again leading the way at reception level, where 82 and 85 per cent of children respectively achieved a Good Level of Development.
Phonics screening and Key Stage 1 Sats outcomes were strong at all the schools too.
Final results will be released in December when they have been validated by the DfE.
Director of Primary Dr Matthew Cottrell congratulated school leaders, staff, parents and most of all the children on their success, which he said was a reward for hard work throughout the year. “We are seeing the benefits of working closely together as a group of schools, sharing best practice and utilising the skills of our subject-specialist leading teachers,” he said. “I look forward to this close collaboration and the development of our Trust’s Teaching School leading to even more success in the years to come.”
TV and film students from Bath Studio School have recorded an introduction to an acclaimed film about pollution in our oceans. Michael Pitts, who was director of photography on A Plastic Ocean, visited the digital media and film academy ahead of a showing of the film at Babington House in Somerset. He told the students about his work with the BBC and Blue Planet and the effect that plastic was having on the wildlife across the planet. Michael’s talk was recorded to help promote the movie. It gave the students information about careers in TV and film - but also informed them about environmental damage and inspired them to action. Camera operator Harmony Leask said: "The presentation was extremely motivating and encourages you to think about where plastic comes from and difficulties in breaking down the components."
BSS creative director Sam Dare said: "Michael is truly inspirational and an extremely skilled cinematographer. The students were so enthused by his presentation that they were left wanting to do more to limit their use and the school’s use of plastic. They have started to get together a committee to start tackling the problem. They are encouraging students to use refillable drinks containers and identifying areas that we can improve around the school site such as plastic cups and cutlery."
Andrea Arlidge, chief executive of Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, has been named a national leader of education (NLE), and Wellsway School has become a national support school and a national teaching school.
National leaders of education use their knowledge and experience to provide additional leadership capability in other schools in need of support.
Teaching schools work with partner schools in an alliance to provide teacher training and professional development.
Mrs Arlidge said: “We are delighted that the strength of Wellsway School and our multi academy trust has been recognised in this way. We are looking forward to developing our work as a teaching school, supporting school staff and new entrants to the teaching profession to make a difference in their schools and trusts.”
Schools Minister Lord Agnew said: “I’d like to congratulate Wellsway School and Andrea Arlidge on being appointed as a teaching school and a national leader of education. They should be very proud of this achievement.
“Teaching schools and national leaders of education are supporting other schools, attracting and training the best new teachers and developing the next generation of leaders.”
Children from 11 primary schools visited SBL Academy to hear a talk by the author-illustrator Cressida Cowell.
Cressida wrote the bestselling children’s series, How to Train Your Dragon, and is touring the UK to promote her new novel, The Wizards of Once, a magical adventure story of the warring worlds of Wizards and Warriors.
Nearly 600 children were welcomed by SBL principal Dean Anderson and many were inspired to hear about Cressida’s writing career, the inspiration behind her books, and her childhood spent on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. She also enthused staff and students alike about her new campaign #FreeWritingFriday, which encourages children to write creatively and independently.
Several of the schools that attended decided to initiative #FreeWritingFriday, in which each child is allowed to write whatever they want for ten minutes.
Cressida said: “Every child should have one notebook that no one corrects, in which the child writes and draws purely for the joy of it. Children are naturally creative and imaginative thinkers, but can get put off writing by the corrective red pen. In this one notebook, spelling, grammar and neatness should be completely irrelevant – what’s important should be the ideas, and that it’s fun.”
SBL librarian Laura Richards, who organised the visit, said: “The students that attended the event were impeccably behaved and asked some really insightful questions. We were very proud of our SBL Student Librarians and Book Club members who helped out and represented our school. They also got the opportunity to come and chat with Cressida while she signed books, and ask her questions about her work. We all had a fantastic time.”
The highly qualified and experienced team who have been running camps around the South West since 2001, will be at Wellsway between 26th-28th March, and SBL between 3rd-5th April.
Booking is highly recommended due to demand, please visit www.pro-coaching.co.uk for more details and to secure your place.