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Year 9 student Reuben Litherland was awarded a Head’s Commendation by Mr Gritton this week for his work to raise awareness of the issues facing young Deaf people, which included an appearance on The One Show on the BBC. Well done Reuben – very well deserved!

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Employers, universities, apprenticeship and training providers offered students from Years 8 to 13 with advice about their futures at our annual Careers Fair.

Representatives from local universities attended along with Babington Business College, Bombardier, the Army, Derby City Council, Derby College, Derby Skillbuild, the Prince’s Trust, Tomlinson’s and the National Citizen Service. The event was opened up to younger students for the first time and there was an even wider range of providers than in previous years.We would like to thank everyone who came along to talk to our students, hopefully they went away feeling inspired!

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Students and staff celebrated World Book Day in style this week.

Teachers and staff dressed up as characters from their favourite books and students were treated to a series of literary themed activities throughout the day.

Students and staff were invited to take five minutes of their lessons to share extracts from popular teenage fiction. Titles were chosen specifically for each year group and were received with great enthusiasm, they included: Moondust by Gemma Fowler for Year 7; One by Sarah Crossan for Year 8; Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence for Year 9; THUG (The Hate U Give) by Angie Thomas; and Release by Patrick Ness for Year 11.

Our Year 9 text, Orangeboy, was deliberately selected to encourage participation in the Derby Book Festival competition and has now become a shared book in our Reading Club.

Dr Tracey Burrell, Librarian and Learning Centre Manager, said: “As part of our World Book Day celebrations we wanted to join in with the campaign to get the nation reading stories from breakfast until bedtime.

“Reading out loud can make a real difference to students’ outcomes and is something they really enjoy.  It also helps to expose them to stories that they may not have come across before and young adult fiction in particular deals with contemporary issues and challenges that our children face in today’s society.

“The books selected dealt with many of these issues and are all available in the school library.

“There were also displays of the collaborative initiatives that the library and English Department run, such as the Reading Competition for Years 7 and 8, ‘We Are Writers’, Book Club and the Poetry Recital.”

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Year 9 student Reuben Litherland was a smash hit with viewers when he appeared on The One Show on the BBC.

Thirteen-year-old Reuben Litherland was on the show with mum Jacinta and sister Maisie, 12, who is also a student at Saint Benedict CVA, on Friday.

Reuben has been Deaf since birth and he talked about how he copes with every day life and footage of him filmed throughout the school day was also shown.

After his TV appearance Reuben was trending on Twitter and at one point he was one of the top five stories trending nationally, with his name being mentioned in more than 1,800 tweets.

Many viewers congratulated Reuben for raising awareness and he was described as ‘inspirational’, receiving particular praise for running a British Sign Language class in school for his peers.

The teenager has also been invited to visit Rolls-Royce in Derby after he told presenters Ore Oduba and Alex Jones that working for the company was his ‘perfect dream’.

Reuben said he had been overwhelmed by the response to his TV appearance.

He said: “When I arrived at the BBC I felt very excited and wasn’t nervous at all. It was amazing to meet Alex and Ore and to be sat on the famous sofa. The rehearsal went really well and I liked seeing all the behind the scenes stuff.

“We went back downstairs to the dressing room and the nerves started to kick in as I realised it would be live. The interview started with my mum. I began to relax, knowing I would be able to answer their questions. I was pleased with my responses and answered them with ease. I wasn’t scared. After we’d left the sofa, I couldn’t believe I’d actually been on national TV.

“I felt like a celebrity! On the train home, I watched the show on my phone. People had started to contact me and I heard that I was trending on Twitter. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked by the comments and remarks left for me and I spent the next half an hour replying to people and thanking them for their best wishes.

“I really need to say a big thankyou to all the people who have helped me, especially everyone at Saint Benedict CVA who supports me.”

Mr Gritton said he was extremely proud of Reuben.

He said: “I know that Reuben is passionate about raising awareness of the issues facing Deaf children and I am delighted that his TV appearance has had such a big impact. He has a fantastic attitude and we are proud to say that he is one of our students.”

As the only profoundly Deaf child at Saint Benedict CVA, Reuben attends all mainstream lessons with his communicator Rebecca Tuckwood.

He was asked to be part of the show after gaining a role on the Youth Deaf Advisory Board for the National Deaf Children’s Society.

He was one of hundreds of young people across the country who applied for the role and is working with 19 other Deaf youngsters from all over the country, attending seminars and residentials in cities across the UK and Ireland.

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Please click on the link below to obtain the document ‘Reviews of Marking’ – The information will also be listed under ‘Information’ and ‘Exams’

Reviews of marking

Reviews of marking – centre assessed marks  (GCSE controlled assessments, GCE coursework, GCE and GCSE non-examination assessments)

Saint Benedict CVA is committed to ensuring that whenever its staff mark candidates’ work this is done fairly, consistently and in accordance with the awarding body’s specification and subject-specific associated documents.

Candidates’ work will be marked by staff who have appropriate knowledge, understanding, skill and training.  Saint Benedict CVA is committed to ensuring that work produced by candidates is authenticated in line with the requirements of the awarding body.  Where a number of subject teachers are involved in marking candidates’ work, internal moderation and standardisation will ensure consistency of marking.

  1. Saint Benedict CVA will ensure that candidates are informed of their centre assessed marks so that they may request a review of the centre’s marking before marks are submitted to the awarding body.
  1. Saint Benedict CVA will ensure that candidates have access to marking criteria during the controlled assessment process.
  1. Requests for reviews of marking must be made in writing to the Exams Officer, who will inform the relevant Raising Standards Leader.  The request must be received by the Exams Officer no later than two weeks before marks must be submitted to the exam board.
  1. The review of marking will be carried out by an reviewer who has appropriate competence, has had no previous involvement in the assessment of that candidate.  This will ordinarily be the head of department.  Where the head of department is the original assessor, the reviewer will be another teacher in the school with appropriate competence and no previous involvement in the assessment of that candidate.  Where no appropriate reviewer is available within Saint Benedict CVA, an external reviewer will be found.
  1. Saint Benedict CVA will instruct the reviewer to ensure that the candidate’s mark is consistent with the standard set by the centre.
  1. The candidate will be informed in writing of the outcome of the review of the centre’s marking.
  1. The outcome of the review of the centre’s marking will be made known to the head of centre.  A written record will be kept and made available to the awarding body upon request.  Should the review of the centre’s marking bring any irregularity in procedures to light, the awarding body will be informed immediately.

After candidates’ work has been internally assessed, it is moderated by the awarding body to ensure consistency in marking between centres.  The moderation process may lead to mark changes.  This process is outside the control of Saint Benedict CVA and is not covered by this procedure.







After several attempts to clear the school site and very careful consideration we have decided that Saint Benedict will remain closed on Friday 2 March.

Unfortunately high winds and freezing temperatures have meant that snow has been drifting on the site, continually blocking paths and access routes. As a result, we still have a substantial amount of snow and ice around the school site. Tomorrow’s forecast is for continued freezing temperatures.  We wish to ensure that safety of all pupils is paramount and so do not feel it is safe to open the school tomorrow. In addition to this, we have a number of teaching and catering staff who live in outlying areas and will likely be unable to travel safely to work.

We expect to be open as normal on Monday and the forecast is for temperatures to rise towards the end of the weekend. We will keep you updated through the school website and social media updates. We will have a snow plough on site first thing on Monday morning in order to clear the bus bays.

In the meantime we expect all pupils to try to make the most of some independent study time. Those preparing for exams can continue with revision (all in Year 11 have full sets of revision guides) and should set time aside for this tomorrow. Students will also have homework to complete and can access resources online where this is possible. Many of you may want to take the opportunity to spend some quality time with a good book  – this is a rare opportunity to spend some valuable time reading (on World Book Day, which we will still celebrate next week).

GCSE Dance and Food students who have assessments planned will have these rearranged. Practical sessions will take place as soon as is possible. 

Thankyou for your patience and understanding and apologies for any inconvenience this will cause.

Kevin Gritton,


Due to the poor weather conditions and forecast school will be closed today. This decision has not been taken lightly. The safety of our students and staff is paramount.

We aim to open the school as normal tomorrow, weather permitting.

The GCSE Dance exam which was due to take place today will be rescheduled. Apologies for any inconvenience.