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Students constructed radar towers, built aircraft models and programmed a robot during a day of hands-on learning activities with the Royal Air Force.

The whole of Year 9 was given the opportunity to take part in the workshop organised as part of EDT’s First Edition programme.

First Edition provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) curriculum enrichment taster experiences for young people aged nine to 16.

These hands-on activity days are designed to excite and enlighten young people on how STEM is fun, interesting and results in a rewarding career.

During the day students worked in teams to construct a ‘radar tower’ using only paper and masking tape, which is capable of supporting weights at two heights. They investigated the strength of different shapes in structures and the most efficient use of materials.

Next, students built and tested their own aircraft models, which had to achieve a specified distance along a runway using only elastic power. They were asked to investigate the impact of mass, friction and aerodynamics on the movement of their model.

The final task saw students programming a small robot in order to successfully navigate a ‘disaster zone’ course and reach stranded survivors. Accuracy, teamwork and planning were all essential factors in this challenge.

Teams earned points for successfully completing the challenges and there was a prize-giving ceremony at the end of the day.

Head teacher Kevin Gritton said this was a fantastic opportunity to bring STEM to life for students in Year 9.

He said: “This was a great hands-on learning experience which hopefully left our students feeling inspired and enthused about STEM subjects. There are a whole range of possible careers involving STEM and a workshop like this really opens students’ eyes to what is out there.”

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A 14-year-old Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy student will represent Wales in an international football tournament.

Will Russ has been selected for the Wales under-16 squad for the Victory Shield, which is an annual tournament competed for by the under-16 teams of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

This year’s competition is being staged in Northern Ireland from October 22nd to October 27th, with all games being played in Belfast and Bangor.

In the past, the under-16s version of the home international championship has showcased several up and coming stars including the likes of Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.

Will, who is a striker, played for Wales under-16s for the first time last month in a warm-up game against Gibraltar ahead of the Victory Shield. Wales won 6-0 and Will scored the first goal after nine minutes.

The teenager used to play Sunday League football in Derby before signing for Chesterfield FC in May last year.

He said: “I was excited when I was called up to play against Gibraltar, that’s the first time I’ve been selected to play for Wales. I was born in Wales but my parents are English so it would be possible to play for England too if I was called up. When I was told that I was in the squad I thought there was a good chance I might play because there were only two strikers.

“At Chesterfield I’m involved in the youth set up and even though my age group is the under-15s, I play for the under-16s and under-18s.

“I train on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and have youth team and academy games at the weekend. Life pretty much revolves around football.”

Head teacher Kevin Gritton congratulated Will on being called up by Wales.

He said: “Will is clearly an extremely talented footballer and being called up to play for Wales under-16s at the age of 14 is an incredible achievement. We wish him all the best for the Victory Shield tournament and for the future.”

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Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy Alumni returned to give Years 11, 12 and 13 the benefit of their experience.

Ex-students who are now at university or completing apprenticeships came back to the academy for its annual Meet the Undergraduate and Apprentice event.

Students were given a booklet containing questions they might like to ask along with a list of the ex-students attending and the courses they were studying or details of their apprenticeships.

Areas covered included Apprenticeships, Healthcare, Veterinary Science, Education, Architecture, Criminology and Law, Psychology, Maths, Science and Engineering, English, English and French, Art and Theatre.

Fran Vause, Director of Learning for Science and Sixth Form tutor, organised the event.

She said: “This is an extremely useful event for our current students and gives them the chance to find out more about the possible pathways they could pursue after they finish school.

“We encourage them to ask questions about why ex-students chose an apprenticeship or university, the application process and their first impressions of the course they have chosen.

“Hopefully the event leaves them feeling inspired and informed and goes some way to helping them decide if they want to go to university or pursue an apprenticeship, what course they want to study and the kind of preparation that they need to be doing.”

Ex-student Ashley Mpofu, 21, is studying to be a children’s nurse at Birmingham City University.

She said: “I love what I’m doing. I decided I wanted to be a children’s nurse because I like working with children and young people. My advice to the current students would be that if something doesn’t work the first time you should always have hope because there are other options, look for gaps in the industry and also listen to your parents’ advice.”Meet the Undergrad 2017 3Meet the Undergrad 2017 4Meet the Undergrad 2017 5Meet the Undergrad 2017 1

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Students in Year 7 celebrated their first day at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy with a balloon release.

Each Year 7 student was asked to write down their fears about secondary school on a tag which was tied to a balloon.

The whole of Year 7 then released the balloons, which are bio-degradable, on the school field.

Before the balloon release, deputy head Mr Shenton talked to students about bullying and how it is not tolerated, how it can be reported and how it is dealt with.

Students can email their concerns anonymously to staff or write them down and post them in a box which is in school reception. Along with fully trained members of staff, older students also act as anti-bullying ambassadors.

Tracey Woodings, House Achievement Manager and anti-bullying ambassador, said there was plenty of support available for all students at the academy.

She said: “This was a lovely way for our new Year 7 students to end their first day and hopefully they went home feeling confident that there are a number of different ways that they can report any concerns to us.”

Head teacher Kevin Gritton said: “We are delighted to welcome the new Year 7 students to our wonderful school community and the balloon release is a great celebration of their first day. We know that the move from primary to secondary can be a little daunting so this is just a way of reassuring them that we do not tolerate bullying and there is plenty of support in place for them.”

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Student Santiago Castro was thrilled to achieve top GCSE grades including a 9 in Maths.

Santiago also picked up four As, two Bs, a C and a 7 and is staying at Saint Benedict CVA Sixth Form where he is planning to study A levels in Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Further Maths.

He said: “I wasn’t that stressed out about getting my exam results because I was confident after my exams. I was just hoping that I got the grades I needed. I got a job over the summer so I’ve been busy working in a call centre and my results weren’t even in the back of my mind. I’d like to go into engineering and when I’ve finished my A levels I’m thinking about applying for a Higher Apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce.”

The percentage of students at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy achieving a grade 4 or above in English and Maths has risen to over 60 per cent.

A total of 61.4% of students achieved 4+ in English and Maths (the equivalent of a C and above), compared to 54% last year. Several students achieved the new top grade 9s in English and Maths.

The academy’s Attainment 8 score was 42.84 compared with 41.19 last year.

Santiago Castro Santiago Castro opening his results

Student Will Hardy Fraser praised his teachers when he picked up his GCSE exam results today.

Will, 16, achieved four A*, three As, a B, a 7, a 4 and a 9 in maths.

He will be staying on at Saint Benedict CVA Sixth Form to study maths, further maths, chemistry and biology.

Will said: “When I opened my results it was great. I was a bit confused at first because I couldn’t work out what my grades were but then I’d realised I’d got a 9 in maths and I was really happy about that.

“I’d put a lot of work into maths throughout the year and I hadn’t left everything to the last minute. I’m not sure what I want to do career wise yet but I do want to go to university. I’ve not always been into maths it was in Year 11 when it really clocked thanks to the help from my teachers.

“I was really pleased with my English Language grade which was a 7 because I’d struggled with that and Miss Kureczko gave me some extra help. I would go and see her at lunchtimes once or twice a week and she got me on the right track.”

The percentage of students at Saint Benedict CVA achieving a grade 4 or above in English and Maths has risen to over 60 per cent.

A total of 61.4% of students achieved 4+ in English and Maths (the equivalent of a C and above), compared to 54% last year. Several students achieved the new top grade 9s in English and Maths.

The academy’s Attainment 8 score was 42.84 compared with 41.19 last year.

Will Hardy Fraser

A student who completes the majority of her lessons in Braille is celebrating a set of top GCSE results today.

Sophie Paul, who is blind and is part of the Enhanced Resource Base at Saint Benedict CVA, achieved one A*, two As, three Bs, two Cs, an 8 and two 7s.

The 16-year-old is staying on at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy Sixth Form to study A levels in English Literature, Maths and Sociology.

She said: “I didn’t know what to expect to be honest so I was quite relieved when I read my results, which I received in Braille. I have been worried for the past few days and I’ve been feeling nervous since the start of this week.

“It’s hard to say how my exams went. I just really wanted to do my best. I attend all mainstream lessons and apart from maths all of my lessons are in Braille. There are features on my laptop which means it can talk and there’s a special bar on it that converts the study resources into Braille. I’m staying on in Sixth Form but I’m not sure what I want to do after that yet.”

Sophie is one of a number of high achievers at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy, where a total of 61.4% of students achieved 4+ in English and Maths (the equivalent of a C and above), compared to 54% last year. Several students achieved the new top grade 9s in English and Maths. The academy’s Attainment 8 score was 42.84 compared with 41.19 last year.

Kevin Gritton, head teacher, said he was pleased with this year’s results and congratulated Sophie.

He said: “We are pleased to see progress being made here at Saint Benedict and we are delighted for Sophie who has worked extremely hard and never lets anything stop her. We are looking forward to welcoming her back to our Sixth Form where we are sure she will go on to be just as successful.”

 

Sophie Paul 1

The percentage of students at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy achieving a grade 4 or above in English and Maths has risen to over 60 per cent.

A total of 61.4% of students achieved 4+ in English and Maths (the equivalent of a C and above), compared to 54% last year. Several students achieved the new top grade 9s in English and Maths.

The academy’s Attainment 8 score was 42.84 compared with 41.19 last year.

Kevin Gritton, head teacher of the academy, in Duffield Road, Derby, said he was pleased with this year’s results.

He said: “We are pleased to see progress being made in the core subject areas and there have been improvements across the board. There are some fantastic individual success stories with several students achieving the new top grade 9s.

“Our students have worked incredibly hard and so have the staff who have supported them and we would like to thank them all for their efforts. We wish our Year 11 students every success in the future and we look forward to seeing many of them returning to attend our high-achieving sixth form.”

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