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Summer 2009 Issue 2

The news magazine of Burlington Danes, A Church of England and ARK Academy

Inside this issue: 4-5

Success across the school


Musical inspiration


Dancers delight

Share in our success IT has been a really thrilling year with several highs: Ofsted, the Diocesan inspection, the opening of the Stanley Fink Building, visits from various high-profile people and the building of the Performing Arts Centre. But by far the most exciting thing for me has been the transformation of student attitudes. Students share the staff belief that the academy should always be questioning itself in order to advance forward. Everything moves on – there is no end point. I believe that if you stand still, inevitably you will go backwards. This year and next is about delivering an outstanding education within an outstanding environment and Christian ethos where each child, individually, is able to achieve the highest possible academic outcomes. This magazine charts our progress. I hope you enjoy sharing in our success.

Miss S Coates, Principal

A Church of England and ARK Academy

Bin it, don’t sling it! LITTER, sadly, is on the increase! This follows the refurbishment of the Burlington playground, the provision of fantastic new meals in the canteen, and the addition of table tennis, table football and street gym. All of which means that the area is now more popular than ever! However, the BDA ‘Green Team’ is out in force every break and lunchtime. Armed with their litter grabbers and black bin bags, the students have volunteered to pick up litter around the playground. “I’m thrilled with their commitment,” said Miss Coates. “They wear their green sashes with pride, and are easily recognisable as willing volunteers.”

Mr G Moore, Assistant Principal

Teaming up: Benjamin Currie and Carly Manners, Year 9.

Moving forward: Principal Miss S Coates.

New Sixth Form on schedule AFTER a year of meticulous planning and preparation, we are delighted and proud that Sixth Form students will be starting at the school in September. With well over 100 applicants studying a range of courses, from Philosophy to Physical Education, we can’t wait to get started.

‘Somewhere over the rainbow…’

In early 2010, our Sixth Formers will move into the new Sixth Form and Performing Arts Centre. The facility, which will house a 300-seat theatre and a state-of-the-art recording studio, marks the final stage in the transformation of the BDA campus.

WE’VE pipped Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber to the post after finding our Dorothy to fill the ruby slippers in this summer’s fabulous musical, The Wizard of Oz. Year 9 student Mickaela Campbell will be playing the role made famous by Judy Garland, and the whole cast is excitedly getting down to rehearsals in preparation for the July production.

Mr S Adcock, Head of Sixth Form

Ms C Matthews, Performing Arts Department

Cultivating ‘the whole student’ IT is an honour and a privilege to be part of the transformation of Burlington Danes. Working with young people has to rank as one of the most important jobs that exists. Young people are our future leaders. I have been delighted to see the academy make progress academically alongside the all-important development and growth of the whole student: personal, social, moral and spiritual. It makes the academy a very special place. Mr S Fink, Chair of Governors

Visiting MP sings our praises MICHAEL Gove MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Children, was among the illustrious visitors to the academy earlier this year. He was impressed and eager to discover more about the use of assessment within the academy, and the transformation of the academy under Miss Coates’s leadership. Since his visit, Mr Gove has cited the academy in several speeches reproduced in the national press, stating that Burlington Danes is a fine example of “comprehensives in working-class communities transforming the lives of children who were once forgotten…[concentrating] on eradicating illiteracy and ensuring a sound base of mathematical knowledge”. Mr M Ribton, Senior Vice Principal

‘A strong Christian vision’ IN March the academy was inspected by the Diocesan to evaluate how distinctive and effective it is as a Church of England school. Overall, Burlington Danes obtained a ‘good’ rating with ‘outstanding’ features. As the report, published in March, states:

Working together: Year 9 students and parents at the Parents Learning Evening.


together IN January, parents of Year 9 students were invited into lessons to experience the teaching and learning process alongside their children. It is our philosophy that, for children to achieve their targets, teachers and parents must work together. As well as helping parents with their children’s education, the Year 9 Parents Learning Evening was designed to help them become aware of what a normal day at school is like for a Year 9 student at Burlington Danes. Both parents and students enjoyed demonstration lessons in mathematics, English and science, and the feedback from all parents was very positive. Mr L Wilson, Assistant Principal


Dramatic performance: Mickaela Campbell and Jack Kenny, Year 9.

“There is an overwhelming view, from governors, students, staff and parents, that the last year has seen a transformation in the academy.” “[The] Principal has a strong

Christian vision for the academy… Her leadership is outstanding.” An established strength is the “sense of community and mutual respect in the academy and the harmonious way in which students from diverse backgrounds relate to each other.” “The effectiveness…[and] leadership and management… of religious education is outstanding… The quality of teaching is at least good and often outstanding.” Mr M Ribton, Senior Vice Principal

Fledgling reporters make the news BURLINGTON Danes Academy was one of three schools in Shepherd’s Bush to team up with the 21st Century Classroom (21CC) in London and Salford for BBC News School Report Day. We spent the day in the 21CC Centre, the BBC’s digital learning centre, working with BBC staff. Meanwhile, in school, students worked together to produce interviews and reports for the school website.Their results are on the BBC news website,

Ms A Clements, English Teacher and Assistant G&T Co-ordinator

Live on air: Ms A Clements with Gianina Graham, Fred Gill, Gytis Linkevicous, Kyran Christopher, Esmail Jakiny and Katherine Schandorf, Year 8.


Celebration of our achievements

A Church of England and ARK Academy

Thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of both our students and staff, Burlington Danes is enjoying unprecedented success in subjects across the curriculum Accomplished in the arts OVER the past few weeks, there have been some exciting developments in the art department, as well as some fantastic projects. Studio time after lessons on Thursdays is popular with both academy and Wood Lane students. After the refurbishment of the kiln, many students have branched out into ceramics: Year 8 have been firing the first letter of their names in clay and students in Years 10 and 11 have been working on various clay structures. Students are also beginning to think more spatially, resulting in the creation of murals, and students in Year 10 have begun painting a Manga design, which they hope to complete next term.

Ms K Towse, Head of Art

Artistic talents: Meriem Mohammedi and Hibo Omer, Year 10.

Excellence in


ENGLISH students at BDA have reached consistently high standards in their daily lessons through hard work and dedication. Among those deserving special recognition are Sahra Warsame, Year 9, for creative writing, Nuha Yeniturkogullari, Year 7, for work on advertising with Ms Davis, and Shamsa Ali, Year 11, for outstanding commitment to the subject. Students have had many opportunities

to enrich their learning in English this term: The Poetry Live and Romeo and Juliet trips; Mr Marciano’s The Times Spelling Bee; Ms Hagger’s Reading Challenge group and Ms Kemp’s First Story Club have all enabled students to fine-tune their reading, writing and speaking skills. As Ondraya Morris, in Year 7, said: “I’m not good at expressing myself through art so I use English to express myself through writing.” We look forward to the Year 8 Literacy Summer School and the SSF (Shakespeare’s School’s Festival) in the autumn term.

Ms L Morris, Head of English

Outstanding achievement: Soleil Silva, Aminata Blondin-Diop, Nahome Emerab, Bahga El-Sayed Katamesh, Sarah Hamrahan and Rumana Miah, Year 9.

RE’s ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report IT’S official; the outcome of our recent section 48 inspection has found that religious education at our academy is ‘outstanding’. This is the highest grade that can be awarded by Ofsted. Asked by the inspector how they would describe their experience of RE, students said it “opened my mind and made me think” and “it has helped me understand other people’s points of view”. The RE department’s strengths included “above average standards achieved by students” and “the outstanding contribution of the subject to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students”. As Head of Department, I want to say thank you to my team, the academy staff and, of course, our students, who have made this achievement possible. Mrs K Moule, Head of RE/G&T Co-ordinator

Book launches new chapter in creative writing WITH the help of First Story, a charitable organisation that aims to celebrate and foster creativity and literacy in young people, and visiting author Rafaella Barker, students in Year 11 have written a stunning anthology of short stories. Entitled Chandenance, the book was launched at an ‘open house’


evening in May, during which students read extracts, received certificates and prizes, and signed copies of their new book. Guests included families, friends, teachers and representatives from First Story and ARK.

Ms J Kemp, English Teacher

Word perfect: Iman Toxow, Oleyemi Odinusa, Ondraya Morris, Olewunmi Odina and Daniel Ayme, Year 7.

Top marks: Jose Pereira, Year 8, Jouman Al-Hassany, Year 9, Basant El-Sayed Katamash, Year 8, and Bhaga El-Sayed Katamesh, Year 7.

‘Rank Order’ wins national recognition STUDENTS at Burlington Danes Academy are assessed in every subject every six weeks. A ‘Rank Order’ data spreadsheet is then produced showing the position of each student in every subject – in two categories – attainment, and effort. Students are then informed of their overall position in their respective year group. The spreadsheets are displayed around the academy to enable students to analyse their progress. This assessment policy is fast becoming well known around the country. It has many merits, and a marked impact on students’ commitment to their learning. The policy was also commended by the Shadow Secretary of State, Michael Gove, who visited the academy in March this year.

Mr L Wilson, Assistant Principal

Maths results on the rise THE maths department has witnessed a rapid improvement in results over the past five years. Key Stage 3 results have increased from 56 per cent to 75 per cent. Similarly, grade A*-C GCSEs results have increased from 42 per cent to 60 per cent, and we are hoping to further improve on these results in the summer. Some individual students deserve a special mention. These include Haengeun Chi, in Year 10, who is studying for her GCSE in one year and has achieved 100 per cent on her first two modules. In addition, Year 9 students Bahga El-Sayad and Khasbold Ginjbold have completed their GCSE exams two years early. Mr T Magezi, Head of Faculty of Mathematics


A Church of England and ARK Academy

Links with the community

Laptops for gifted learners OUR Gifted and Talented students have impressed both the academy and the wider community with their abilities. Their achievements have included Salah ElAshaal’s speech on ‘Change’ in the ‘Speak Out Challenge’, and Mohamed Abubaker’s speech on ‘Credit Crunch Romance’ in the ‘Financially Speaking Competition’. Meanwhile, Mr Preston’s Latin group has been so successful that Latin is returning to the curriculum next year, and Sabrina Omar’s taster week as a medical student at St George’s Hospital was, in her words, “life changing”. With such commitment to success from our most able, the competition to win one of the five laptops to be awarded at the summer term Gifted and Talented Evening is steep.

Academy hosts special sports day IN April the academy was delighted to welcome more than 30 students from many of the borough’s special needs primary and secondary schools. The Hammersmith and Fulham event provided an opportunity for the young people to take part in a variety of sporting events and, perhaps, go on to represent the UK in the Paralympics. A second sports day took place in June when students at Burlington Danes had the opportunity to run some of the events as part of their sports leaders award.

Mr N King, Head of Sports Faculty and Extended Day

Fun and games: The sports day was a success.

Fundraising is fun OUR first annual charity week began with the academy awash with red as students made a donation to Comic Relief in exchange for swapping an item of school uniform with a red equivalent. Other activities included Monday’s ‘Movielicious’ event, a parents v staff quiz, lower school disco, talent show and charity trip to Thorpe Park. The week culminated with more than 50 students and staff taking part in the Bridges to Africa sponsored walk, which raised over £800 for PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools).

Partnership with Penair

Mrs K Moule, Head of RE/G&T Co-ordinator

Gifted students: Sara Shokir, Year 11, Marcella Cilia and Gianini Graham, Year 8, and Sabrina Omar, Year 11.

Thanksgiving in Nairobi

Exercise aids exams

FOUR students – Edward Sutton, Fred Gill, Nadia Bennett and Janine Nesmyth – have visited Nairobi in Kenya to take part in the 50th anniversary of the Starehe Boys’ Centre in Nairobi. The President of Kenya is expected to be among the guests. They will form part of a choir that will sing a specially prepared song that will feature in the thanksgiving service on founder’s day. During their stay, they will also take part in a three-day safari and undertake some voluntary work.

Ms N Okezie, Director of Student Leadership

OUR link with Penair School in Cornwall began in earnest in March when eight Year 8 students from the academy and Penair took part in an RE/ citizenship project based on identity. The joint venture began with students from Penair joining us for an exploration of identity in art at the National Portrait Gallery and a theatre visit to see Wicked. Afterwards, the students created portraits that explored the identity and backgrounds of both sets of students. We look forward to our return visit to Penair.

Mrs K Moule, Head of RE/G&T Co-ordinator

African adventure: Fred Gill, Year 8, Janine Nesmyth, Year 11, and Edward Sutton, Year 8.

Ms N Okezie, Director of Student Leadership and Progression Choices

IN May, 144 students in Year 11 took part in a special revision session, entitled ‘Space Learning’, prior to their GCSE religious studies examination. The session included visual and audio prompts, interspersed with short bouts of physical exercise. The theory is that this activates both sides of the brain, helping

students to retain more information. The RE department delivered a series of slides on a variety of subjects, including peace, war and prejudice, while Mr Jerred led the physical activities. We look forward to receiving the examination results in August so that we can assess the impact of this innovative strategy.

Ms A Downey, Assistant Principal

Singing sensations TWENTY-TWO Year 7s joined a total of 500 students at the Royal Festival Hall for ‘Sing Inspiration’, an evening of gospelinspired music. Preparations included a whole-day rehearsal at the Indian YMCA in London,

where they had the opportunity to meet some of the other schools that were taking part. Many of the students had never been to such a large venue as the RFH, and everyone was in high spirits. It was a long, but very enjoyable day. Ms J Smith, Acting Head of Performing Arts Faculty On song: Year 7 students took part in ‘Sing Inspiration’.

Maths puzzle: Pupils from local primary schools.

Masterclass in mathematics EVERY week this year, students from primary schools across the borough have been engaged in a variety of exciting maths lessons. These have included discovering sequences, enlarging shapes, and learning quick and efficient ways of calculating complex problems. The programme culminated in a suspense-filled competition where teams of parents and students had to answer a series of perplexing problems in a maths-style relay. The event was a huge success, and we look forward to greeting the next group of up-and-coming mathematicians next year.

Ms A Piper, Maths Teacher

Joint venture pools resources


Linking up: Marcella Cilia, Fred Gill, Anton Langaigne, Jemma Smith, Gianina Graham, Lia Stephenson, Chantelle Creary and Emmanuel Chaaraoui, Year 8.

OUR nearest neighbour, Wood Lane School, now has an Outreach Room in the Stanley Fink Building. The two schools are collaborating on a number of initiatives, including a joint reading programme aimed at raising achievement across the two communities.

In addition, targeted students from Wood Lane can experience lessons and extended day classes at Burlington Danes. A joint day trip to France has been planned for later in the summer term.

Mr G Moore, Assistant Principal


Burlington Danes Academy Wood Lane, London W12 0HR Tel: 020 8735 4950 Fax: 020 8740 5659 Email: Website:

Editorial team: Mr M Ribton, Senior Vice Principal. Produced by Words&Pictures. Tel: 01943 854800.

Gym’ll fix it THE new ‘Street Gym’ was installed in the Burlington playground at the start of the summer term. The equipment includes machines that work on both cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. Students can use the exercise bikes, cross trainers, lateral pull-down, chest press and leg press before school, during breaktime, lunchtime and after school.

Ms J Aitken, Director of Learning Year 8

Keep fit: Year 8 students try out the street gym.

Invitation to dance Fancy footwork: Members of the Year 9 girls’ football team.

In the premier league THE Year 9 girls’ football team has won the North London Football League after remaining undefeated throughout the season. Captain Kelle Tarawalie led the team from the back, with outstanding support from Zeta Nkrumah, Abigail Asante, Chantel Carraghan and Roybn Emordi. Talisha Reid-Clemenston, Nancy Baker and Veronica Fagbola scored more than 40 goals in total. In addition, the Year 11 and Year 10 football teams were crowned borough champions in the Hammersmith and Fulham League. Team managers Mr Carnegie and Mr Jerred spoke highly of the players, who demonstrated excellent team spirit and consistently produced excellent performances throughout the competition.

Ms L Butts, PE teacher

Trophy triumph for Bobcats

On court to win: BDA Bobcat team members Virgilio Mendoza and Errol Rivera, Year 8, and Binoof Ali Abdullahi, Year 9, with Mr A Croucher.

THE BDA Bobcats have won the inter-borough league basketball finals for 2008-09. Team captain Edward Noel (11U), Mohamed Said (11R) and Mark Abrigo (11U) demonstrated significant effort throughout the season to attend training, and have been the backbone of the team, both offensively and defensively. As their coach, I firmly believe that “there is real potential for young men like these to take basketball to another level in west London”.

Mr A Croucher, Learning Support Assistant

THE academy’s dance troupe was invited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall to kick off the Dunlop Table Tennis Masters Tournament. We arrived, quickly got changed, and began to practise our routine. When we went out onto the dance floor, the television cameras were tracking our every move, which

increased the pressure on us to dance our best. We soon realised what the instructors meant by looking up and keeping our movements big, because the hall was so enormous. However, it was really fun, and an amazing experience.

Performance to remember: Jahsiah Callixte, Year 8, Roisin Williams, Year 9, and Quddus Akinwule and Jordanna Phillips, Year 10.

Jahsiah Callixte, 8B

The griffin, summer 2009