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Student Niamh Hughes was celebrating after achieving three As in her A-levels and securing a place at Sheffield Hallam University to study Physiotherapy.

The 18-year-old studied History, Biology and French at Saint Benedict CVA and was thrilled with her grades.

She said: “I had an unconditional offer to study Physiotherapy at Sheffield Hallam but I still wanted to get good grades. I’ve been getting quite anxious about it. It’s been two years of hard work so I’m really pleased with my results and it’s great that it’s paid off. I thought I might get A,B,B so to get three As is amazing. I just can’t believe it. My French exam was really difficult.”

Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy has seen a rise in the percentage of A/A* grades in this year’s A-levels.

This year’s figure for the top grades stands at 14.1 per cent compared to 9.6 per cent last year.

A total of 42 per cent of grades are A*-B and 69 per cent A*-C. The overall pass rate is 98 per cent and the average points score per subject is 31.3.

Headteacher Kevin Gritton said he was pleased with this year’s results.

He said: “It’s great to see an increase in the number of top grades achieved by our Year 13 students and that is a testament to all of their hard work and the support they have received from our dedicated staff.

“We have some notable individual high achievers who we are sure will be thrilled with their results.

“We know how important these results are and many of our students are going on to study at top universities, start Higher Level apprenticeships or employment. We are extremely proud of all of them and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

Twitter St Ben's Niamh 2Twitter St Ben's Niamh 3Twitter St Ben's Niamh 5

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Two Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy students are off to Cambridge University after achieving top A-level results.

Joe Smith, 18, of Belper, scored three A*s and a B while George Lee, 18, of Derby, achieved three A*s.

Both are going on to Cambridge University, Joe will study Natural Sciences while George is taking French and Russian.

George, of Derby, said he couldn’t believe that he had secured a place at Cambridge. He studied A-levels in French, Sociology and English Literature.

He said: “No-one in my family has been to university before so I just can’t believe it. Things like this don’t happen to me, they happen to other people. I can’t believe I’m going to Cambridge.

“I feel like I’ve been in limbo over the summer waiting for my results. I was away on holiday in Norfolk but came back to pick up my results. I really needed to be here to get them. I didn’t even log on to the UCAS website before I came in to see if I had my place at Cambridge.

“I hadn’t even thought that Cambridge as an option until my French teacher, Mrs Galletly, encouraged me. She said I should really think about applying for places like that. It hadn’t even crossed my mind before. It’s just crazy that Joe and I both have places at Cambridge. It’s amazing.”

Joe did A-levels in Maths, Further Maths, Music and Physics.

He said: “I’ve been feeling very nervous and I didn’t really sleep last night. It’s been quite a stressful time and my results have always been in the back of my mind especially as they’ve got closer and A-levels have been in the news. I was as confident as I could be after my exams but I have been running through the worst-case scenarios. When I opened my results I just couldn’t believe it. I am really happy and excited about going to Cambridge. They have a really good reputation for Physics and that’s what I want to go into. My parents are proud.”

Headteacher Kevin Gritton said he was extremely proud of George and Joe.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted to have two students who have successfully achieved places in Cambridge this year with outstanding grades. We are also very proud of all of our students who did so well again this year and wish them all the best for the future.”

Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy has seen a rise in the percentage of A/A* grades in this year’s A-levels.

This year’s figure for the top grades stands at 14.1 per cent compared to 9.6 per cent last year.

A total of 42 per cent of grades are A*-B and 69 per cent A*-C. The overall pass rate is 98 per cent and the average points score per subject is 31.3.

St Ben's - George Lee and his mum (going to Cambridge)St Ben's - George Lee hugging a member of staff (going to Cambridge) Twitter St Ben's 4

Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy has seen a rise in the percentage of A/A* grades in this year’s A-levels.

This year’s figure for the top grades stands at 14.1 per cent compared to 9.6 per cent last year.

A total of 42 per cent of grades are A*-B and 69 per cent A*-C. The overall pass rate is 98 per cent and the average points score per subject is 31.3.

Headteacher Kevin Gritton said he was pleased with this year’s results.

He said: “It’s great to see an increase in the number of top grades achieved by our Year 13 students and that is a testament to all of their hard work and the support they have received from our dedicated staff.

“We have some notable individual high achievers who we are sure will be thrilled with their results.

“We know how important these results are and many of our students are going on to study at top universities, start Higher Level apprenticeships or employment. We are extremely proud of all of them and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

Twitter St Ben's 1Twitter St Ben's 2Twitter St Ben's 3

The two staff teams who competed in last weekend’s Jenson Button Triathlon have smashed their fundraising target of £500 and have now reached £750. The teams pictured below include (left to right) M. Hilton, T. Burrell, D.Reddington, L.Winter, V.Austin and G.Jackson. All the money raised goes directly to the Barnardos children’s charity, if you would like to donate please click on the link below which will take you to our Just Giving page.

The two teams competed in the Team Challenge competing one leg each (swim, cycle, run) and following their successful mid morning race they chose  to enter the Men’s Super Sprint (double distance) final at 2:30pm. Amazingly after 1 hour and 12 minutes competition the team teams finished only a minute apart! This underlined an impressive result given none of the team members had competed in a triathlon before.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/saintbenedictcva

Team Photo

Teams Photo

YEAR 12 WORK EXPERIENCE

Every year our year 6th form students in year 12 are encouraged to find themselves a week of work experience to help them to gain knowledge and transferrable skills that will be of benefit to their long term career choice.

Here is a picture of Kyle Magdales having fun on his placement at Art Core Visual Arts Charity in Charnwood Street, Derby.

If you would like to find out more about Art Core please go to   www.artcoreuk.com

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Post Ofsted update letter KEG

13 July 2017

Dear parents and carers

In February, I wrote to you following the publication of our Ofsted inspection report outlining several of the key areas that inspectors had raised, and our plans to address the areas for improvement identified.

Given that we are now several months further on, I would like to update you on a number of changes that have been happening to improve our school in response to the inspection report, and to seek your feedback on how we are doing and your thoughts on how we can improve further. In addition to this letter, we are also sending you a link to a short survey. The first 12 questions of the survey are the ones that were asked in “Parent View” and we have added a further question so that you can give feedback on your views to our response to Ofsted, with the opportunity to share your thoughts by giving us some written feedback. I would very much appreciate any thoughts or ideas you may have to help us to continue to improve our school. The link to this survey will be sent to you in a separate text within the next 24 hours.

In relation to the points raised by inspectors, I am pleased to update you on the following:-

 

  • Improving the security of the site – we now have full-time supervision at both the front entrance to the school and the crossroads where the footpath passes through the school site. Staff at these points are trained to be welcoming but are also there to ensure the safety of children at all times.  These gates are constantly supervised from 8.30 am – 3.15 pm.  We have upgraded the CCTV cameras at these points and we have installed a security centre, which is also a student services point, at the crossroads. In addition to this, we have recently upgraded our emergency evacuation procedures to include a “lock-down” procedure, which we ran successfully for the first time on Thursday 29 June.

We submitted a bid to the Government for funding for electronic locking gates at the front of the         school last December, but unfortunately, this was not successful. I have written to the Secretary of State for Education and have included their response in the submission of my appeal against the decision.  We will find out the outcome of this appeal during the next 2 weeks.  It is still our intention to fit electronic locking gates at the front of the school, and we will always continue to have a member of staff on duty at the crossroads where the footpath meets the school drive.

 

  • Leadership and Management – following the inspection I carried out a restructure of the leadership team and we put in place new procedures for improvement planning which include weekly monitoring meetings against milestones for improvement.
  • These have proved very successful in supporting us with rapid school improvement. In addition to the two new deputy heads who have started recently, we will have 2 new assistant head teachers joining us in September. Aoife Galletly who is currently the head of our Communications faculty, and Vanessa Hall who is an experienced assistant head teacher from another local authority. In addition to this, new curriculum leaders in Humanities (Jenny Burton) and the Technology faculty (Angela King) have recently joined us.

 

  • Governors – we have conducted a rigorous external review of governance, which has made several recommendations, which include the restructuring of Governors’ committees. We will soon have a new Chair of Governors, and Vice Chair of Governors following the retirement of our current Chair & Vice Chairs.

 

  • Disadvantaged Pupils – Since the inspection, we have produced a new pupil premium support plan and we have created numerous measures to support this group of students in school. We have put in place additional mentoring for the students. In Year 11, we run an additional qualification to support any of our young people who were struggling to pass a full range of qualifications and we have changed the curriculum in Year 7 next year to increase the level of support for literacy and numeracy for this group of students and for all of our students.Analysis of mock examination data in both Year 11 and Year 10 shows that the gap in attainment between these groups is successfully narrowing and that the attendance of these groups of students in school has improved considerably.

 

  • Examination Results – as I mentioned in my last letter our examination results from 2016 at KS4 placed us amongst the 4 highest schools in the City for progress, and post 16 our results were above the national average. The most recent assessment data for current Year 11 suggests that our 2017 results will improve on 2016, in particular the number of students achieving a Grade 4 and above in English & Maths (equivalent to Grade C) shows strong improvement. Mock examination results showed good improvement in results in Science and a considerable amount of work has taken place to support students in the Humanities subjects. Post 16 mock examination results suggest that there will be further improvements on 2016 results.

 

  • Learning Environmentan extensive programme of painting, along with the addition of many new notice boards around corridors and classrooms have transformed our learning spaces. They have made the learning environment and the corridors more pleasant spaces to be and both classrooms and corridors are full of creative and colourful displays with some wonderful examples of studentswork.

 

  • Quality of Teaching & Learning, and Assessmentour deputy head teacher Martin Brailsford has continued to work closely with staff across the school, and leads our very rigorous programme of quality assuring the work of our teachers.   We have seen significant improvements in the quality of student presentation and written feedback, but these will continue to remain areas of focus for us over the year ahead. We have improved the way we share information about disadvantaged and SEN students to ensure that all teachers can plan effectively to meet the needs of children in their classrooms and we regularly assess the quality of this through learning walks, and by looking at the quality of work in students’ books. Teachers have been working hard to ensure that every child has high expectations of themselves and is challenged in their work.

 

  • Attendanceour deputy head teacher Matthew Shenton oversees attendance and has been working with our team of directors of house, achievement managers, Education Welfare Officer and tutors to improve student attendance. A number of new initiatives were already being brought into place prior to Ofsted and have continued to have an impact in this area. Our overall school attendance is now above the national average and the percentage of our students who are persistently absent (have attendance below 90%) is now better than the national average.

 

  • Behaviour for LearningSince the inspection we have introduced our new behaviour cards, which are now carried by all students and have led to big improvements in the quality of uniform and appearance. We have increased Leadership presence around the school during lesson times and have increased the level of staff supervision at break times, lunch times and lesson changeovers. Our students have responded extremely positively and enjoy the opportunity to be rewarded for good behaviour, being smart, and punctual. In so many ways, they are a great credit to you, and to us. On the rare occasions where we identify low-level disruption around the school, we are quick to intervene to support teachers. We have also managed to significantly reduce the amount of supply teachers we have in school.

 

As a result of a lot of this work, the number of exclusions this year has dropped by over 25%. Also, since myself and one of the deputy heads personally collect any child who has received a C3 during the school day, for their after school detention, the number of C3s received by students (punishment for disruptive behaviour) has reduced significantly. If anything, I am keen to further increase the level of staff visibility around the school to support our teachers and our children with their learning.

Despite these actions, we know there will still be plenty of other areas where we can improve. I would therefore very much appreciate you taking just a few minutes to complete our survey when the link is sent to you in the 24 hours, to share your comments and ideas to help us improve further.

Our Parents’ Forum meet regularly to discuss many of these and any other issues, and it is a great opportunity for you as parents to meet with the Headteacher and discuss issues that are important to you. If you are interested, please email mmcminn@saintben.derby.sch.uk.

I also take this opportunity to thank you for your consistent support throughout these last few months. As difficult a time as it has been, it has also been a time when my staff and I have been over-whelmed by the support and loyalty of our parents and our children. We very much appreciate your support.

Yours sincerely

Mr K Gritton

Headteacher

Creative students displayed the results of months of hard work at an annual Art exhibition.

Exam pieces and controlled assessment units from students in Year 11 and Year 13 was on display for staff and families to view.

Helen Sharpe, Subject Leader Visual Arts at Saint Benedict CVA, in Duffield Road, Derby, said she was extremely proud of all the students and the standard of work that they had produced.

She said: “The students have put a lot of hours in and when I saw it displayed at the exhibition it made me feel very proud to be their teacher. Some of the work on the theme of detail was truly intricate; I don’t think I’ve ever seen such detail. Another theme was ‘all creatures great and small’ and students used photographs and different textures and mixed-media to create their final pieces.”

Olivia Bonner, 16 is a Year 11 GCSE Textiles student.

She said: “I chose detail as one of my themes as I knew that I could do a lot with that and I also took inspiration from butterflies as I do like nature.

“For our controlled assessment unit we were given a starting point and it was about how we researched artists and then explored and developed ideas. I carried out observations and found my own images. It was about being creative, which I really enjoyed.

“It was a lot of hard work and you need to be prepared for that if you take this course but it’s definitely been worth it. I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m very proud of what I’ve done.”

Sally Moore, 16, is a Year 11 GCSE Textiles student.

She said: “One of the themes I chose was architecture and I focused on iconic buildings. For my other pieces I was inspired by sea shells, birds’ nests and I also took inspiration from other artists. It’s been two years of hard work and overall I’m really pleased with it. I used to sew things and sell them so I knew that this was a GCSE that I wanted to take.”

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