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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.”



Classes in bold are open to all students.

Intervention classes are for targeted students – invitation letters will be sent out shortly.

Monday 10th April 9am – 12pm Monday 10th April 12:30pm – 3:30pm
Maths intervention – C Goggin R1

Biology B2H revision – F Vause R3

Chemistry C3H revision – M Mistry R4

Tuesday 11th April 9am – 12pm Tuesday 11th April 12:30pm – 3:30pm
English intervention – C Kureczko R1

Biology B3H revision – F Vause R3

Chemistry C2H revision – M Mistry R4

Spanish Foundation – M Jefferson R6

PE revision – M Robinson R2

Wednesday 12th April 9am – 12pm Wednesday 12th April 12:30pm – 3:30pm
Maths intervention (V1) – C Goggin R1

Maths intervention (V3) – A Buxton R2

PE revision – N Mills R6

Biology B1F revision – J Flint R3

RE revision – N Robinson R1


Thursday 13th April 9am – 12pm Thursday 13th April 12:30pm – 3:30pm
English Intervention – C Kureczko R1

English revision (poetry) – R Bushby R2

Dance Intervention – A Simpson Dance

Music revision – J Rowlands M1

English Intervention – C Kureczko R1

Biology B2F revision – J Flint R3

Dance Intervention – A Simpson Dance

Tuesday 18th April 9am – 12pm Tuesday 18th April 12:30pm – 3:30pm
English Intervention (Paper 2 Q5) – M Kureczko R1

English revision (Great Expectations) – R Bushby R2

English Intervention (Paper 2 Q5) – C Kureczko R1


Wednesday 19th April 9am – 12pm Wednesday 19th April 12:30pm – 3:30pm
ECDL – G Rimmer and J Schiavone R71

RE revision –  F Molumby R1

Sociology revision – C Belmore R2

French revision – R Hurley R6

RE revision – C Groom R1


Thursday 20th April 9am – 12pm Thursday 20th April 12:30pm – 3:30pm
English Intervention – M Kureczko R1

English revision – L Kelly R2

Maths intervention (V1) –  K Gritton R6

Maths intervention (V3) – M Shenton R9

Maths revision – C Goggin R10

Spanish revision – R Hurley R11

ECDL – G Rimmer and J Schiavone R71

ICT – A Hagan R701

Friday 21st April  9am – 12pm Friday 21st April 12:30pm – 3:30pm
History revision – A Tomlinson and S Bounds R2

ECDL – G Rimmer and J Schiavone R71

ICT – A Hagan R70

A range of employers, universities and training providers will be at our Careers Fair which takes place on March 28th 2017.

Students from Years 11, 12 and 13 will have the opportunity to look around throughout the day and parents are welcome to attend between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

There will be a range of stands and important information about university, employment, apprenticeships and training.

Representatives from local universities including Derby, Nottingham and Loughborough will be attending along with Rolls-Royce, Boots, Severn Trent Water, Babington Business College, the Army, the National Citizenship Service, the National Apprenticeship Service and Derby Skillbuild and many more.

Lydia Gretton, careers adviser at Saint Benedict CVA, said this was a great opportunity for students and parents to find out more about future options.

She said: “There will be information about employment, training, higher education and apprenticeships so there really will be something for everyone and we make sure that all of our students attend. We would love to see parents in the session after school as they play an important role in the decision making process.”


Girl power is on the rise in our Construction course which has seen a large increase in the number of students – particularly females.

In Year 10 there are 79 construction students and almost half – 39 – of those are girls. An after-school GCSE Construction group has also been set up in response to demand from students and that is currently all female.

These figures go against the trends seen in the subject over the years and teachers believe that this could be linked to companies such as Rolls-Royce, Miller Homes and Tomlinson encouraging more females into the engineering and construction industries.

Ex-student Amy Blackham, who is a quantity surveyor for Miller Homes, visited the after-school group to talk to current students about her job.

She said: “I’m really impressed with the number of girls attending the after-school group. I think at university I was one girl in a group of men. There are lots of different aspects to my job from procurement to managing budgets and trades and I am responsible for three sites at the moment.”

The after-school group was created after a handful of girls asked Mrs Molumby, Director of Bakhita House and teacher with responsibility for Key Stage 4 options, if they could still study Construction even though it didn’t fit in with their options.

Students are now developing hand-tool skills that they can use in real-life situations such as painting, bricklaying, carpentry and using a range of power tools and equipment.

The after-school group meet once a week for one-and-a-half hours to complete practical tasks and study the WJEC Level 1 / Level 2 Award Constructing the Built Environment.

GCSE Construction results in summer 2016 were the best yet at Saint Benedict CVA with 27 of 29 pupils achieving A* – C 93%, of those A* – B 79% and A* – G 100% attainment success.

Their practical work is internally assessed during the course and externally moderated in Year 11. There is an exam taken on-line that is externally set and marked by the awarding body.

Student Charisma Talabucon, 14, attends the after-school Construction group.

She said: “I am interested in the different aspects of careers in the construction field. I’m enjoying the course; it’s really good. It’s great that it’s so practical and you can see the results of what you are doing.”

Student Keeley Nagra, 14, also attends the after-school group.

She said: “I think it’s great that so many girls are doing it; it’s all about empowerment. It’s a subject that you can get a lot out of in terms of useful life skills and going forward thinking about a career. I would be really interested in an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce.”

Construction l-r Bozenka Stojke, 15, Keeley Nagra, 14


Extreme reading, dropping everything to read, a quiz and dressing up were just some of the activities on the timetable for World Book Day.

Staff and pupils were encouraged to submit photos of themselves reading in unusual places for a competition while form groups took part in the launch of DEAR – a Drop Everything and Read initiative, which will be ongoing in school.

Each form group was given a box of books, which were distributed by Year 9 and 10 literacy ambassadors, and encouraged to read a book they wouldn’t normally choose.

Staff dressed up as book themed characters and stood next to displays promoting different genres of books for a special event at lunchtime.

We are also encouraging students to submit entries for our popular We Are Writers book which gives every student the opportunity to see their work in print. There is also a competition running to create a cover design for the book.

Year 13 students went on a trip to Derby Theatre to watch Educating Rita, there was a word for the week and thought for the day was a chapter or section of a member of staff’s favourite book.

Dr Tracey Burrell, librarian and learning centre manager, said: “We realise the importance of reading to develop the students’ literacy and have been promoting a number of new initiatives in school.

“The activities that took place on World Book Day will help raise pupils’ awareness of what we are trying to achieve, whilst having a bit of fun.

“Hopefully we will have inspired some of them to pick up a book and get reading.”

World Book Day 2017extreme reading 2extreme reading 5Extreme reading 16


Students from Year 10 will take to the stage at a showcase of the best youth dance talent across Derby and Derbyshire.

They were selected after performing at Deda Derby along with other dancers from schools and youth groups across the city.

They will go on to dance along with 13 other schools and youth groups at the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield in March in Deda Derby’s Interface 17 event.

Katie Russell, Dance teacher at Saint Benedict CVA, said she was extremely proud of the students.

She said: “Initially we had two Year 10 groups and they performed for staff who chose which group would dance at Deda Derby.

“They’ve all been working extremely hard on the dance and rehearsals have been taking place since September last year.

“They did a fantastic dance at Deda Derby and were thrilled to be selected to perform in Chesterfield. We are so proud of them all.”

Deda Derby said the Interface 17 event would showcase the best youth dance talent from schools and community groups across Derby and Derbyshire and promised to deliver an evening of inspirational performances, as young people aged 11–19 demonstrate their energy, creativity and skill on a professional stage.

Interface 17 is a Stage 2 U.Dance Platform, framed within a national programme ran by One Dance UK, which enables young people in England to take part in an annual dance performance. It is presented in partnership with Derbyshire School Sports’ Association and Dance 4.

The best groups will be selected to go on to perform at the wider national event, U.Dance, held in July in Birmingham.

Tickets for the Pomegranate Theatre event, on March 6th, cost £9, £7 concessions, and are available to buy through the Chesterfield theatre’s box office. Booking fees apply. Call 01246 345 222 to book.

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