Page 1

Summer 2011 Issue 6

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

Inside this issue: 3

Fundraising fun


Performing Arts


Out and about

A Church of England and ARK Academy

Boost for

Stories celebrate our success IT is a pleasure to welcome you to the summer edition of The Griffin, our biannual publication, which showcases just some of the highlights of the past six months at Burlington Danes Academy. While achieving outstanding exam results will always be our primary aim, the stories contained here show that life at BDA extends way beyond exams. Our thriving

community offers boys and girls the chance to develop their own unique strengths, whether on the sports field, theatre or science lab. As attention turns to exam results and the new school year, I invite you to pause and reflect on the moments captured in the pages that follow.

Miss S Coates, Principal

Moment of reflection: Principal Miss S Coates.

Bosnia appeal BDA makes headline news IN 2010, visits from the Prime Minister and the Mayor of London put BDA in the news. This year, it’s the achievements of our students and staff. In January, free school pioneer Toby Young said, “local parents are marvelling at the improvements” we’ve made at Burlington Danes, while in March, Principal Sally Coates occupied the education pages of national newspapers after she was appointed chair of the Teachers’ Standards Review Committee. An article in The Guardian in May mentioned the achievements of BDA as an example of the success of academies, citing, “At one school, Burlington Danes, 67 per cent of children achieved five good GCSEs, including English and maths, compared with 41 per cent in 2008.” In addition, as the year was drawing to a close, we received news that we had been shortlisted for the prestigious TES Outstanding Secondary School of the Year award. Meanwhile, Old Danes continue to flourish: Blackpool footballer DJ Campbell was the sixth highest scorer in the premier league, while former student James Alexander was elected leader of York Council.

OUR third annual Charity Week in February raised more than £2,000 for our Bosnia appeal. The fundraising extravaganza included a staff murder-mystery, teacher auction, Fink marathon, a book sale and treasure hunt, and the hugely popular ‘Sponge the Teacher’. The money will be used to fund further trips to our partner orphanage in the Bosnian town of Mostar, where we intend to create an internet café to support the learning of the young people in the orphanage. Principal Miss Coates said: “I’m proud of the collective efforts of staff, students and parents during Charity Week. We raised a significant amount of money, but of equal importance is the fact that we paused to focus on issues beyond our school community.” Well done and thank you to all the students and staff who gave their time, money and energy so generously.

Cakes for cash: Lilya Ayachi and Nahide Yeniturkogullari, Year 10, rise to the occasion.

Ms L Grainger, SENCO

Charity begins at BDA “During Charity Week, I realised how easy it is to raise money when everyone contributes just a small amount.” Lilya Ayachi, Year 9

Mr S Adcock, Assistant Principal


take the lead

ONCE again, it has been an astonishing year for the Academy. Student leaders have been hard at work. As well as their general duties and responsibilities, the team has brought us many special events. These include the Cultural Gala, which brought our diverse community together, and the Student Forum, which allowed every student to have their say. Thanks to their diligence and commitment, the student leadership team is now a driving force within our community. My vision is that they continue to provide an outstanding service so that what may appear to be impossible becomes possible!

Haengeun Chi, Head Girl


An astonishing year: Head Girl Haengeun Chi with the Head Boy, Philip Abrahmam.

“During Charity Week, we helped by selling raffle tickets and collecting money. We also went round school with a giant teddy, charging people to guess its name. A few people correctly guessed ‘Mostar’ – after the Bosnian town visited by BDA students in October.”

Lia Stephenson, Year 9

Welcome contribution: Lia Stephenson and Aliya Mohammed.


A Church of England and ARK Academy

Dance, drama, music – action!

e v i t a e cr curriculum

A truly

IT is a very exciting time for drama and dance at BDA. After the success of Bugsy Malone, we have launched lunchtime dance and drama clubs and an after-school ‘Glee’ club, which all students are welcome to attend. Meanwhile, students with exceptional talents will have the opportunity to showcase these at the Shakespeare for Schools Festival, the ARK Voices gala and regular school events. At BDA, we believe it is important to recognise and develop the talent we have, so in the new academic year, we will be launching a BDA Dance Company, dance and drama exam showcase evenings, and taking outstanding class and extracurricular performances to local primary schools.

Top for talent

A world of entertainment

From starring in the whole-school production of Bugsy Malone to showcasing their vocal and instrumental skills, the Performing Arts give students the confidence to succeed

THE performing arts has witnessed a year of tremendous activity, from high-profile events like the winter concert and Bugsy Malone to smaller and more personal events like the ‘peri’ concert, the A-level plays and the ‘try an instrument’ day for Year 7. We are always looking ahead for new

ways to showcase the skills of our students, and with the annual ARK gala and our own ‘WoodLaneStock’ in July, there will be lots of talent on display. If you want to get involved, there is always plenty to do: join a club, audition for a play, or just come along and practise an instrument.

Mr T Prout, Director of Performing Arts

THE academic achievements of our students are obvious, but the BDA community gathered in April to celebrate the extracurricular talents of our students. The audience was entertained with an eclectic programme, ranging from dance and drama to comedy. Jade Brewer was pronounced the overall winner with an impressive gymnastics performance.

Ms E Hagger, Literacy Co-ordinator

Musical talent: Lewis GreenidgeGayle, Year 7, playing the tuba, with Jorge Pinto, Year 9, Antonio Burrell, Year 8, Mohammed Elkateep, Year 9, Darnell Christie, Year 7, and Ezra Myers, Year 9.

Ms L Yates, Head of Drama and Dance

Join the company: Kaio Macedo-Carriilo, Aminata Blondin-Diop and Derice Radjpaul-Reid, Year 11.

Mayhem, mobsters and molls IN February, the Dennis Potter Theatre was transformed into a 1920s speakeasy, for the school production of Bugsy Malone, featuring a cast of 40 students and a live band of seven staff, who entertained audiences with a lively mixture of singing, dancing and ‘splurging’! Jesse Adarkwa did a great job of guiding the audience through the chaos in the lead role of Bugsy, and Bobbi O’Meara was excellent in the role of the feisty singer Blousey Brown – her solo ballad showcased a natural singing talent. The biggest laughs of the night went to speakeasy boss Fat Sam and his sidekick Knuckles, played by GCSE Drama students Temesghen Kahsai and Kyran Christopher, who had a fantastic rapport on stage and wonderful comic timing. Tallulah, played by Chante Faucher, and her dancing girls brought a real sense of Hollywood to the show with their songand-dance numbers, as did Fat Sam’s gang who displayed the ‘triple threat’- singing, dancing and acting in true West End-style.

Ms L Yates, Head of Drama


In tune with our students I HAVE thoroughly enjoyed my first few months as Head of Music at BDA. One of the highlights has been organising and watching the school’s very first Battle of the Bands competition with students from Year 9. I was amazed at how much progress they have made over the half-term and how confident they were during their performance. Another highlight has been working with the amazing music clubs in preparation for the ARK gala in July. I would like to encourage all students in the academy to get involved in music – we have so much on offer.

All-singing and all-dancing: The cast of Bugsy Malone.

Ms S Clarke, Head of Music


A Church of England and ARK Academy

Passport to Normandy

d geography THE French an April ined forces in jo departments a on ts en ud st 10 to take 30 Year France. in dy an rm trip to No it, students During their vis y of Mont St og ol ge e th studied tising their ac pr re Michel befo ’s e of the region French in som . ts ke local mar Macpherson,

Ms E nguages, and Co-Head of La of Geography ad He , ne Ms L Sto

rule the roost IN recent months, two separate groups of students from BDA have visited Jamie’s Farm in Wiltshire to boost their teambuilding and personal skills. In February, 11 students from Year 9 braved the winter chill to sow seeds, tag chickens and deliver

premature lambs. Then, in April, students from Year 7 arrived as the lambing season was in full swing. In addition, they took part in schooling horses, cooking, building fences, herding bulls, mucking out and feeding the animals.

Ms L Grainger, SENCO, and Ms E Hagger, Literacy Co-ordinator

Trips widen our

horizons City bonus: BDA


The journey .


students enjoy a

bird’s eye view of


Year 13 get set for university STUDENTS in Year 13 are striving to meet the offers they have received from universities up and down the country, including Cambridge, Warwick, King’s, UCL and Bristol. Admission tutors have remarked on the quality of the applications from BDA, even though this is the first year we

Feather in their cap: Stephanie Moutinho and Mahamud Ali, Year 9.

Screen stars

IN June, several Year 9 students got the incredible chance to work with Vital Regeneration, a company who specialise in working with students to create digital media products. Over two days, the students filmed, produced, directed and edited their own music video. The results were displayed on July 4th at the ARK Digitopia exhibition. Special credit goes to Kydie McKenna who choreographed some of the video herself, to Damien Pates and Alex Drpic who were fantastic cameramen, and to Shane Hassan and Demi Huntter for their brilliant acting.

Ms R Davies, Head of Media

An enriched education THE 100 Club provides enrichment opportunities for high ability students. In April, 40 Key Stage 3 students travelled across West London to visit the Natural History Museum. Even BDA’s

brightest brains were amazed when they saw the size of the whale skeleton, which was as big as a London bus!

Ms A Clements, Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator

Learning at leisure A COMBINED business studies and travel & tourism trip to Thorpe Park in April kept students in Year 12 on their toes. It wasn’t just the roller-coasters making their heads spin as students were given rigorous tasks such as analysing the seasonal pricing models.

Mr S Goorah, Head of Business Studies

Barcelona Accent on


DURING February half-term, 29 students from Key Stages 4 and 5 took part in a graphics and languages trip to Barcelona. Immersing themselves in the city’s vibrant atmosphere, the students were given the opportunity to develop their skills in photography

and graphic design, as well as their Spanish language skills. The highlight for most of us was exploring the Roman Catholic church of Sagrada Familia, which is still being built, 130 years after construction first started.

have had students in Year 13. Alongside the support of BDA staff, our students have been given one-to-one support from colleagues at ARK HQ, as well as local charity IntoUniversity. We look forward to seeing the outcome of everyone’s hard work on Thursday 18th August – A-level results day.

Ms K Moule, Head of Year 13

Careers Day is

just the job IN May, the academy was delighted to welcome a variety of blue chip companies and entrepreneurial start-ups to our Careers Day, which was dedicated to helping our students think about life beyond BDA. Students were given the opportunity to explore how people prepare for their working life and to identify the skills they can develop in readiness for the world of work. Ferda Vasija, in Year 11, said: “With just a few weeks before I leave BDA, it was great to meet people who are doing different jobs. I was surprised to hear how many of them said that in their jobs they use skills gained at school, such as maths.” We would like to thank all the companies and organisations that took part, including the Army, KPMG, Teach First, the British Racing School, London School of Beauty, the NHS and Imperial University (to name but a few).

Ms N Okezie, Assistant Principal


A FORENSIC science workshop gave students in Year 9 the opportunity to investigate a mock crime scene using skills gained in the science lab.

Ms H Stanger, Science Teacher

Moving tribute: A Year 9 student at Tyne Cot.

In memoriam

DURING a bitterly cold week in January, students in Year 9 bade farewell to the familiar sights of London to visit the First World War battlefields of Belgium and France. After visiting the cemeteries of soldiers from both sides of the war, the trip culminated at the Menin Gate in Ypres where Mohammed and Nuha laid a wreath on behalf of the BDA community.

Ms R Bedford, Head of History

Mr A Pull, Head of Graphics Forensic evidence: Paul Ozokelie, Year 9, investigates.


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

Editorial team: Mr S Adcock, Assistant Principal. Produced by Words&Pictures. Tel: 01943 854800.

Athletes triumph on the track and in the field BY the time you read this, our annual sports day will have taken place at the famous Linford Christie Stadium, home of the Thames Valley Harriers. The Colossians will be desperate to retain the crown for the third year running, and everyone is looking forward to strong performances from BDA athletes Benny Owusu, Jayvee Mendoza and Chanel Vital.

Sports stars: Year 8 students.

Mr N King, Head of Sport Faculty

Winning streak: The Year 7 rounders team.

Rounders roundup OUR Year 7, 8 and 9 rounders teams all enjoyed victories against local rivals in the spring term. Year 7 beat both Phoenix and Holland Park, while our Year 8 girls won their match against Phoenix, but lost to Holland Park. Meanwhile, Year 9 triumphed in their only match, against Holland Park. The girls showed enthusiasm both in training and during their matches, and the results were even more satisfying as many of the girls had not played rounders before.

Ms J Aitken, PE Teacher

Speakers’ corner THIS year, our regular guest speaker programme has gone from strength to strength. In February, we welcomed Steve Horkulak, a reformed drug addict and high-flying City banker. He reminded us that true wealth is found in family and friends, not financial gain. This was followed in the spring by a visit from Dorcas Erskine,

head of public affairs at ActionAid. Dorcas shared her story of arriving in England as an immigrant from Ghana and her subsequent journey to Westminster’s corridors of power. We also welcomed the world record solo sailor Ellen MacArthur, who led a motivational workshop with our Sixth Form students.

Mr S Adcock, Assistant Principal

Broadcast news

FOR the third consecutive year, BDA contributed to the BBC’s annual School Report. This involves students writing original news stories, which are then published on the BBC website. Naomi Panzout and Yasmine Chaaraoui submitted a thought-provoking piece on knife crime, while Amy Hughes and Yasmin Abubeker lightened the mood with a report on Lady Gaga’s outrageous fashion sense. Their articles can all be found on our website in the News section.

Ms A Clements, English Teacher

The griffin, summer 2011  
The griffin, summer 2011