Latest news

A student at Saint Benedict CVA is set to be pictured by a celebrity photographer as part of a campaign to promote beauty in diversity after she appeared in Vogue Italia.

Kimberley Leech was diagnosed at birth with albinism which means there is an absence of pigmentation in her skin, hair and eyes and she is registered visually impaired.

The 15 year old is keen to raise awareness of the congenital condition and has been invited to take part in a campaign which is to be shot by photographer, Nicola Favaron, to promote beauty in diversity.

Nicola has photographed stars including Dua Lipa and Keith Flint, the Prodigy singer who recently passed away, and has worked with brands such as Adidas and MTV and magazines including Rolling Stone.

The invite came after Kimberley appeared in Vogue Italia as part of a series of articles to tie in with International Women’s Day.

The teenager, who is studying for her GCSEs, said she felt overwhelmed when she saw the images of herself.

She said: “The photos in Vogue came about after I signed for a modelling agency called Zebedee Management, who only represent disabled people.  I did a portfolio of photos and a couple of jobs came up which I couldn’t do because I was busy with exams and other things.

“Then I was asked by a photographer, Sophie Mayanne, to do some photos.  I later found out that it was to do with a project called ‘I am the woman I am’ with Fantabody, of Milan, in collaboration with Vogue Italia.  Sophie came to my house and we did the shoot there.  We did some shots in my living room, back garden and on my driveway.  It was great because she made me feel at ease and the shoot showed me the hard work of modelling and getting the lighting right to get the right shot.

“After that, Sophie emailed my mum and said Fantabody wanted me to do an interview and that I was the youngest person they had used for the campaign.  I was surprised about it and couldn’t believe it was for Vogue Italia.  I was shocked.”

Kimberley said she couldn’t believe it when she saw the photos of herself online.

She said: “I checked the Vogue Italia website and it was all in Italian so I couldn’t understand it so I kept scrolling and when I saw the photos and my interview I rang my mum and cried I just couldn’t believe it!  I was then invited to London for a photoshoot with Nicola Favaron who has taken pictures of celebrities like Dua Lipa and worked on campaigns with Adidas.  All I know is that he would like me to be on a trampoline outside against an evening backdrop.

“I was diagnosed with albinism at birth and it is my goal, as a model, to raise awareness of this condition as it is very misunderstood.”

Kimberley is planning on studying A-levels at Saint Benedict CVA sixth form before attending university and her ambition is to become a journalist as well as continuing to model.

Mr Gritton said everyone was proud of Kimberley.  He said: “Kimberley is a fantastic student who is working extremely hard towards her GCSEs and we know that she will be an amazing ambassador for albinism.  The campaign with Vogue Italia at such a young age is incredible but she has taken it all in her stride.  We are sure that she will go on to even greater things.”

Kimberley’s mum, Debra, said: “I’m so incredibly proud of Kimberley and how professionally she handled the photoshoot with Sophie and her inspiring and honest answers in her interview regarding her albinism.  This opportunity has done wonders for her confidence which has been rock bottom at times in the past.  Whilst she’s making a fab model she’s still my little girl that needs to unstack the dishwasher!”

2 (1 of 1)

Students and staff  celebrated World Book Day in style and incorporated the theme of empathy this year.
Staff dressed up as their favourite book characters and organised a number of activities and displays in the library at lunchtime.
Every form took part in an anagram quiz and students decorated leaves using the theme of empathy and the leaves were used to decorate an empa-tree.
Dr Burrell, Librarian and Learning Centre Manager at Saint Benedict CVA, said: “This year we have linked World Book Day with the theme of empathy. Books that promote empathy can give students a window into understanding the lives of other people, which may be so very different from their own. It can enable them to comprehend the consequences of their actions, develop compassion and value life. In essence it can establish their own moral compass.”

4 (1 of 1) 9 (1 of 1) 3 (1 of 1)

A group of Year 10 students attended a Healthcare Insight Day provided by and delivered at the University of Derby.

The students were able to choose two workshops from the following occupations: Diagnostic Radiotherapy;  Biomedical Health; Mental Health Nursing; Adult Nursing and Occupational Therapy. There were talks from lecturers from those disciplines and the students were able to visit the interactive nursing suite. The students also had a general tour of the Kedleston Road Campus.

Before the visit 30% of the students were considering a career in Healthcare, after the visit this rose to above 80%.

Here are some of their comments:

“It really expanded my knowledge of the NHS field, I now know that I would like to go to University.”

“I think that it was very interesting! I loved it and now I know what I want for my future!”

“I think that it was a good decision to go to this opportunity and I learned things I didn’t know before.”

More than 100 students are acting as wellbeing ambassadors as part of a focus on mental health.

Teacher Mrs Heyes came up with the idea to run a wellbeing scheme in school and ran assemblies asking for students to volunteer to become ambassadors.

Now there are over 100 across the whole school and they have taken part in three training sessions since the start of the year.

Mrs Heyes said she was proud of everyone who was involved.

She said: “The programme sees students trained up in key area like mindfulness, meditation, stress reduction and emotional literacy. They will then get a badge to wear and a certificate.

“My goal is to have at least two wellbeing ambassadors in each class to serve as positive role models and advocates for good mental health.

“So far ambassadors have taken part in a guided meditation session and we played self-esteem Jenga when we looked at how we can build each other up.

“What we wanted to do was broaden the understanding of mental health. In one of our sessions we talked about was what we would do in school if someone is in crisis, would we know who to go and see and a lot of people weren’t sure.”

Every wellbeing ambassador wears a badge so that their fellow students know they can approach them if they want to talk. The ambassadors also attended a recent Year 9 parents’ evening to talk about their role in school.

Ambassador Chelsea Croft said she thought the scheme was a great idea.

She said: “I think sometimes it’s easier for young people to talk to their peers rather than someone older so in that sense I think having wellbeing ambassadors is a good idea.”

Mr Gritton said: “We are proud of our wellbeing ambassadors and would like to thank Mrs Heyes for introducing this wonderful scheme.

“Mental health is an important issue and hopefully by having wellbeing ambassadors in school this makes it easier for students to talk.”



Two of our students have been selected to take part in a trip of a lifetime to Morocco with World Challenge.

Kyi Asumang and Blaine Crawford are among 20 students from across the city who have been chosen.

The trip is being organised by World Challenge in partnership with DANCOP and it will take place during the 2019 Easter break.

DANCOP is the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme, a partnership between the local Higher Education providers including universities and colleges.

Students will spend 10 nights in Morocco and during the trip they will complete a community volunteering project in a school as well as a trek through the Atlas Mountains and a trip to Marrakesh.

Kyi said they were both happy to have been offered a place on the trip.

He said: “We had an email to say we’d been selected and we were really pleased. It’s an opportunity to do something different. We have already had a training weekend and we made friends with students from other schools who are going on the trip. We learnt about cooking outside and health and safety outdoors.”

Aofie Galletly, assistant headteacher, congratulated the boys on being selected.

She said: “We are immensely proud of the two boys for the work that they did to apply and be accepted onto the World Challenge and for the way that they have seized the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that has been presented to them.”