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Last week saw the 100,000th positive entry being logged for our students during this academic year and here is the teacher who logged it, Mr Johanson, and Year 10 student Freya, who earned it! Well done Freya!

Positive entries are earned by students for classwork, homework and general conduct. Outside the classroom they are issued for participation in extra-curricular events and going above and beyond the expected. Mr Johanson rewarded Freya for good classwork and effort in Science.


The ‘Class of 2019’ was celebrated at our Presentation Evening.

Subject awards were handed out to last year’s Year 13 and 11 students along with GCSE and A-level certificates.

Deputy Head Mrs Boyce welcomed students and their families followed by Chair of Governors, Mr Wharam.

Mr Wharam said to the students: “Thankyou for the example that you have set to our youngers students and for enhancing this school’s reputation. Thankyou to your parents; a common feature here is the support that students get from their parents so thankyou for the contribution you have made to this school.”

He also urged students to “never stop learning’.

Executive Headteacher Mr Gritton said it was wonderful to have everyone back.

He said: “It’s really brave of you to come back. It can feel quite strange being here but you have been a big part of our lives for the last seven years. Well done, you did brilliantly. Last year’s Year 11 were some of the highest achieving students in the city. We know that’s down to an incredible amount of hard work on your part and dedication from our teachers. You are starting on a journey now. Whatever comes your way just enjoy it. When difficult times come know that they will pass. You are an amazing group of young people and we are immensely proud of you.”

Father Gregory Tobin, Parish Priest at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Derby, was the guest of honour.

He said: “The world at the moment needs change and you are the generation that’s going to bring that change. All of you are going to be strong leaders and you’ve had a great start in Catholic education. Be true to yourselves and follow your instincts. God bless you all.”

Awards were handed out for 100 per cent attendance followed by the subject achievement awards at GCSE and A-level.

A series of special awards was handed out which included The Brendan McGowan Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Sport which was presented to Simeon Perry. Simeon represented the official basketball team for Great Britain when he competed in the U-16 European Basketball Championships in Montenegro in the summer of 2019.

A final vote of thanks was delivered by the school’s Head Boy and Head Girl.

Students in Year 10 collected enough money to buy more than 230 pairs of socks for people who attend a night shelter in Derby.

The socks were handed over to Derby City Mission, which provides safe accommodation and a substantial meal for up to 35 guests each night during the coldest months of the year (December-March).

The money to pay for them was collected by each form in Year 10 during tutor time. Students were asked to put small change into a sock and the money raised was used to buy 238 pairs of socks.

Student Chloe Ridgers said the night shelter was a great cause to support.

She said: “Every year we have a different charity to support and this year the night shelter was chosen. I think it’s a really good cause to support. Each form in Year 10 donated money and that was then used to buy the socks. We did it every day from October and we were just asked to donate small change. We were told about the night shelter in form time. It’s good to know that we’ve helped people who are a part of our local community.”

Alex Dann, from the night shelter, thanked students for the donation.

She said: “Seven different churches in the city join together to run the night shelter. We take donations of food, socks and hats for our guests. It’s good to see young people taking action and making a difference to their community. Often people who come to us have wet feet and to be able to change into a clean, dry pair of socks helps to keep their feet healthy. We also accept cash donations as it costs £137,000 every year to run the night shelter.”

Head of Year 10, Mrs Molumby, thanked students for their support for the Warm Feet for Winter campaign.

She said: “This was a fantastic effort by our Year 10 students who have hopefully helped to make a difference to people who attend the night shelter. Well done to everyone involved.”

For more information about how you can support the night shelter visit


Enterprising students took on a challenge designed to inspire engineers of the future.

Sixty Year 9 students who had expressed an interest in engineering were chosen to work on EDT’s Go4SET programme.

Go4SET offers young people the opportunity to develop skills, inform subject choice and change perceptions about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), raising awareness of how studying these subjects can lead to a rewarding career.

Students were given several briefs to choose from including designing their school as if it was an island, which included details about the energy they would use, the school’s environmental impact and how it would be sustainable. Other briefs included my healthy school and creating an eco-factory.

Erica Stephenson, Go4SET school programmes manager for the Midlands region, worked with the students along with two mentors from a company called Computa Centre.

She said: “Students had one day of planning and design. A lot of the groups chose to design their school as if it was an island so they had to look at how they would get services there.

“The second day involved building a model and creating a display board. They were also asked to prepare a report and a short presentation which they delivered to our panel. There were several awards to be won including an overall award.

“During the sessions they’ve also been able to ask the mentors questions and talk to them about careers. It’s all about engaging with STEM and broadening their horizons so that they might consider a career in engineering.”

The groups were invited back to present their design and answer questions regarding the process involved to reach the final design, the students were all able to give very thorough accounts of their thinking, planning and research methods.

All the display boards were judged and the winners chosen, with a cup being awarded to the top three teams.

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More than 25 employers conducted mock job interviews with every Year 11 student.

The one-to-one interview sessions were organised by E4E, an initiative which aims to link employers with youngsters in a bid to create a better understanding about career opportunities and aspirations.

Businesses and organisations attended included HMRC, Derby City Council, Rolls-Royce and the University of Derby.

The students were given verbal feedback and the volunteers completed written feedback for each student.

Holly Dyer, project co-ordinator for E4E, said: “The interview process is quite generic but they are asked to give specific examples to back up their answers. They might be asked what they are most proud of or to tell the interviewer about themselves.

“The interviewer will give them hints and tips. The employers have all been very impressed with the students. They are really confident and polite and very articulate; they’ve got a real spark and know what they want.”

Andrew Lowe, from Marketing Derby, was one of the interviewers.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed taking part in this session. The students have been extremely positive, confident and their answers to the questions were well thought out. They all seem to have quite clear aspirations and ambitions and they know what they want to do when they finish their studies. I hope this has been a good experience for them which has proved useful.”

Lydia Gretton, careers advisor, said: “We would like to thank all of the employers who kindly gave up their time to support our students and E4E for organising the session.

“A lot of our students will never have experienced an interview before so this is a great opportunity to gain an understanding of the process.

“We had some fantastic feedback from the employers and they were incredibly impressed with our students who gain so much from the interviews.

“Even if they are nervous beforehand the feedback they receive means that they leave feeling much more confident and informed about the interview process.”

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Gaelic football, afternoon tea and a Ceilidh were just some of the activities enjoyed by Spanish students visiting Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy.

Twenty-one Year 8 students and two teachers from our partner school, Colexio Guillelme Brown in Spain, came to Derby as part of an exchange trip.

They partnered up with Year 8 students and took part in a fun-filled week of activities and lessons.

The group enjoyed afternoon tea, a Gaelic football session, a Ceilidh and trips to the University of Derby, Pride Park Stadium, Matlock Bath and Alton Towers.

They also toured Saint Benedict and took part in lessons before rounding off the week by working with our students on an idea for a new app. They created posters detailing their designs and these were displayed as part of an exhibition.

Mr Orme, languages teacher, organised the week.

He said: “Everyone really enjoyed the week and we’ve had some fantastic feedback from the Spanish students and their teachers. It’s great for our students too because they make friends with people from other countries and they learn to speak Spanish. I think they tend to think that everyone in Spain speaks English but this helps them to realise that’s not the case and to understand the value of learning languages. An exchange like this also helps them to work on other skills like teamwork, communication and problem solving. They also stay in touch with each other for years.”

Spanish student, Karla Loreley, 12, said: “The week has been amazing, not only because I have known a new city and I have learned a lot of English, but because I have met a lot of new and wonderful people and I would love to see them again in the future.”

Our students will visit Colexio Guillelme Brown in 2021.

Mr Gritton said: “This is the fifth time we have run this exchange programme together and it is always a brilliant experience for our students who learn lots, find a new appreciation for language learning and make long-lasting friendships. Everyone made our Spanish visitors very welcome and we hope that they enjoyed their stay.”

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The Jamaican High Commissioner paid a visit to Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy as part of an official visit to Derby.

His Excellency Mr Seth George Ramocan is Jamaican High Commisioner to the UK and Jamaican ambassador to several other nations around the world.

Mr Ramocan met a group of pupils and staff and was given an extensive tour of the school.

He spoke to the pupils about developments in Jamaica and encouraged them all to be ambassadors for Jamaica themselves in the way that they live their lives at school and at home.

Following the tour of the school Mr Ramocan spoke of the great atmosphere.

He said: “You can just feel the aspiration about the whole school and the ambition of the staff ad pupils. All of the children took great pride in their uniform and appearance and their behaviour in every lesson was impeccable’.

The pupils enjoyed the chance to meet the Jamaican Ambassador and to talk about their experiences in the UK.

Mr Gritton said: “This was a great honour, to have such a distinguished visitor to our school. It was wonderful to hear such positive things said about our school and the atmosphere here. We were very proud of our diverse community with pupils here from all over the world.

“It makes Saint Benedict such a special place to be educated and to work and it helps to give the school such a vibrant and aspirational feel. We are delighted that Mr Ramocan also felt this so strongly.”

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