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Students had the opportunity to meet author Christopher Edge as part of Derby Book Festival.

Year 7 and 8 students listened to Mr Edge talk at the University of Derby. His most recent books are family centred stories with an emphasis on Science.

Dr Tracey Burrell, Librarian and Learning Centre Manager at Saint Benedict CVA, said: “Students listened eagerly to the Science behind the stories, astounded by the fact that there are eight trillion atoms in something the size of a full stop. They also had the opportunity to have their books signed by the author as a permanent reminder of a special experience, reinforcing the message about the importance of reading.”

The talk was followed by a question and answer session from Dr Ian Turner and students asked Mr Edge questions about becoming a writer.

Year 8 student Vanessa Zuva said: “We all learnt a valuable lesson here that loving books can inspire you to do great things.”

Mr Edge’s first Science book ‘The Many Worlds of Albie Bright’ has been nominated for prizes including the 2017 Carnegie Medal. His latest novel is called ‘The Jamie Drake Equation.’

Christopher Edge 1 Christopher Edge 2 Christopher Edge 3


This year our summer Fayre will take place on Saturday 8th July from 1-4pm.

Flier new

As a school community we are very proud of our fundraising for good causes through our House charities and our special events. The Summer fayre is the only event in our school calendar which raises money for our school community. The money that we make is used to improve facilities which benefit our students directly.


The day promises to be great fun whatever the weather. We have games, inflatables, live entertainment, lots of food and drink from posh coffee to a local brewer, sweets, ice cream, craft and gift stalls and activities for the whole family!

As a valuable part of our school community we’d love to see you there and of course if you are able to help us we’d really appreciate your assistance.


If we all do a little we can help a lot.


How can you help?

Before the event we would welcome donations of good quality pre loved toys, games, books DVD’s etc. for the bric- a-brac stall. Please send items in with your child or contact the school to arrange to drop off larger items.

Donations for the Bottle Game. This can be anything in an unopened bottle such as soft drinks, alcohol, bubble bath, sauce, etc. Please DO NOT send alcohol in with students.

Donations for Raffle prizes/ stall prizes.

On the morning of the event we would love to hear from anyone who is available between 10am and 12 noon to help to move tables, chairs and equipment, to help to set up for the Fayre.

We will also very gratefully accept donations of cakes and biscuits for the refreshment area on the morning of the fayre.

During the Fayre we need adults to assist with the running of activities such as the refreshments, bouncy castle and Raffle. You don’t have to be involved all day even an hour would be a great help.

Afterwards the great clean-up is always hard work and many hands make light work. If you are able to assist after the Fayre with the moving of equipment, please do let us know.


Whatever you can do to support this great day and our team effort would be very much appreciated and we guarantee you’ll have fun being there.

A student at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy scooped eight medals at the East Midlands Swimming Championships.

Charlotte Hall came home with two Gold, two Bronze and a Silver in individual events, and two Gold and a silver in the relay team races.

The 15-year-old is now East Midlands Champion in 15 years 800 Free and 14/15 yrs 800 Free after coming first in those events.

She won her Silver in 15 yrs 200 Free and the Bronze medals in 15 yrs 400 Free and 14/15 yrs 400 Free. In the relays, Charlotte and three other team members won two Gold (4 x 100m and 4 x 200m Freestyle) and one Silver (4 x 100m Medley Relay).

The teenager has also qualified for the Amateur Swimming Association National Championships in July and August. Charlotte will be competing in 2 events in the British Summer Championships at the end of July, followed by 4 events in the (English) National Summer Meet at the beginning of August.

Charlotte is part of Derventio eXcel’s National Squad and trains eight times a week.

She said: “It’s great that my hard work paid off in the East Midlands Championships. Sometimes I train twice a day; on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have to get up at 4.45am to be in the pool for 5.15am and I train until 7am and then go to school. I go back to train again between 5pm and 7pm. I don’t really feel tired and I’m ready to learn when I get to school because I’ve already been up for a while by then. My dream is still to swim at the Olympics one day.”

Charlotte took part in a training camp with Derventio in Fuerteventura in February and she won the Brendan McGowan Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Sport at an awards evening for students at Saint Benedict CVA.

Kevin Gritton, head teacher, said he was extremely proud of Charlotte.

He said: “Charlotte deserves every success because she works so hard. We are so proud that she is one of our pupils and we wish her the best of the luck at the national championships in July.”

Charlotte medals


Two sisters at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy are celebrating a series of dancing successes.

Elisabetta and Luciana Fois dance with Dancebeats in Derby up to five times a week and recently performed in a show at Derby Theatre and took part in a cheerleading competition in Manchester.

The sisters were part of the Db cheer squad from Dancebeats who competed against squads from across the country at the ICE Extravaganza contest.

The squad picked up several trophies, finishing in first, second and third place in a range of categories including stunt groups and lyrical jazz.

Luciana, 15, and Elisabetta, 12, also performed in Cats at Derby Theatre recently, playing twins.

Elisabetta said: “We auditioned for the parts and we were dancing but we did a bit of speaking and singing too.

“I wasn’t really that nervous because I’m used to performing on stage although I’d not really done any acting before. The singing went well and I really enjoyed being part of the show.”

Luciana has also secured a role in Phantom of The Opera at Derby Theatre in December.

Both girls are now looking forward to the British Cheerleading Association’s next competition in the summer and another BCA competition in Blackpool towards the end of the year.

Cats girls


Hundreds of students will see their work in print in a unique book designed to showcase their writing talent.

All students are given the opportunity to contribute a piece of writing – which could be a story, recipe, poem, diary entry – to a book published by the academy called We Are Writers.

Contributions from 280 students are included this year, with some students submitting three or four entries.

Dr Tracey Burrell, librarian and learning centre manager, said she was thrilled with the standard of the work in the book.

She said: “We Are Writers has become an established literacy tradition within school and is the literary initiative most recognised by students, with the writing reflecting all aspects of our school community.

“We ask students to send us a piece of writing that they would like to see published, so it could be a story, a diary entry, a poem, a play script or even a recipe.

“We try to put a different emphasis on the book each year and this year we have included the speeches produced by Year 11 students for their GCSE, so that they can reflect upon their writing in years to come.

“Students are always very excited to see their work published and there is always a real buzz around the school when the book arrives.”

Student Leanne McJannet, 12, won a competition run by the academy to design the cover of the book.

She said: “I started off by thinking about Harry Potter and it just went from there. I was surprised to win but I feel very proud.”

Students Tafara Chikwakwa, 14, and Azami Reid, 13 came second and third respectively in the cover design competition.

Picture: Ian Hodgkinson / Picture It

Picture: Ian Hodgkinson / Picture It


A student at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy has been offered an Elite Player Performance Plan scholarship with Mansfield Town Football Club.

James Tague will train at Mansfield and study at college for two years from July before he finds out if the club want to offer him a professional contract.

The 15-year-old, who is in Year 11 and taking his GCSEs, is a central midfielder who was on Derby County’s books until Christmas 2016.

During his time with the Rams he was also one of 30 boys selected for a series of England Under-15 training camps.

He has already attended an induction day at Mansfield Town, during which he had a look around and sat exam papers.

James said he was looking forward to proving himself at Mansfield.

He said: “I think this will be perfect for me. I was released by Derby after eight years because they didn’t think I was physically ready for their U18 squad but football is all about opinions. Of course I was disappointed but they developed me and made me into the player that I am today and for that I will always be grateful.

“It’s a bit of a waiting game now as I just have to take my exams and I’m going to try really hard to get good grades.

“Mansfield have offered me an EPPP scholarship which will work like an apprenticeship so I’ll be training and studying a sport or coaching related subject. It’s quite rare to be offered something like this so I’m really pleased. I’ve had a look around the accommodation as I’ll be living there Monday to Friday.

“My ultimate aim is to be offered a professional contract.”

Kevin Gritton, head teacher, congratulated James on being offered the scholarship.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for James who has clearly worked hard to be in this position. We wish him the best of luck, with his GCSEs and the scholarship.”

James Tague 2

Students showed their love for literature at an English Poster Symposium.

Year 9 students were asked to create a display connected to either their favourite book or genre.

The work was exhibited and Year 8 students were given the opportunity to view it and ask Year 9 students questions about their displays before voting for their favourite.

Carolina Kureczko, Head of English, said she was thrilled with the standard of work that had been produced.

She said: “Initially students were asked to work on their own and read a challenging book, be it something modern or classic, and they were given the chance to compare the books.

“We then asked them to work in groups to create their displays and they could focus on a book or genre that they were passionate about.

“The work was amazing and it’s obvious that the students took a lot of time over this. As well as supporting their reading, this project also helped them to learn how to work in a team and it was also about sharing good practice with Year 8 students and inspiring them.”

Ellie Wood, 14, created a display about Pride and Prejudice with her friend Kerys Mather, 13.

She said: “I’ve read all of the Jane Austen books and I love them. I like to push myself when it comes to reading and I love psychological thrillers too.

“With Pride and Prejudice I was looking at how people have to give a part of themselves up to fall in love with each other. I think I’ve read the book four or five times and seen the film about 20 times.”

Symposium 2 Symposium Ellie Symposium 5

A sixth former is celebrating after securing a place at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Harriet Russ, 18, sings in an operatic style and she will study the Bachelor of Music programme at the college in Manchester.

She said: “I actually wanted to study Psychology up until about two years ago and had never thought that I could sing as a career.

“My degree is a four-year course and then I will be looking at a postgraduate course. At the moment I practice for about an hour and 35 minutes every day. I would love to perform in an opera, usually opera singers don’t make it onto stage until they are in their thirties.”

Harriet, who is in Year 13, recently came second in the Student Award category at a competition organised by the Dalesmen Male Voice Choir, winning £150.

Jo Rowlands, Subject Leader for Music and Media, congratulated Harriet on her achievements.

She said: “Harriet has been a big part of the Music department since she started here. She has always joined in with our choirs and represented the school at many events with her singing.

“She has a fantastic voice and we are looking forward to seeing her singing career flourish. She has done so well to secure a place at the Royal Northern College of Music and thoroughly deserves it. We wish her all the best for the future and we are sure she will be incredibly successful.”

Kevin Gritton, Headteacher, said Harriet should be proud of her success.

He said: “Harriet has an amazing voice and works extremely hard. We are very proud of her and wish her every success in the future.”