Page 1

Tuxford Topics

Ofsted Inspection 2012

Incorporating Essential Read

Issue No. 71 • Summer Term 2012

Tuxford Doodle Winners

Staff returning to work after the May Bank Holiday were soon jolted out of relaxation mode by the unexpected news of a full Ofsted inspection. Under the new inspection framework only short notice is given so the team of inspectors arrived at school on the day after the announcement. Having been classified as outstanding after the 2009 inspection Tuxford School would not have been subjected to a routine assessment during the next three year cycle - but that all changed in August when the school closed and Tuxford Academy opened! Being a high performing school - and a long-established improvement partner of other local schools - should mean that we find an inspection is relatively straightforward. We know that we have excellent systems in place, that we have talented teachers and that our students are well-motivated. But none of that prevents school leaders and staff from becoming nervous. It is only natural to want to impress our visitors on the day. In preparation for inspectors visiting classrooms, teachers had to transfer plans for all their lessons to official forms. School leaders and admin staff had to extract documentary evidence of the school’s good work from computers and filing cabinets for the inspectors’ scrutiny. The inspection took place over two days, Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th May. Many lessons were observed and many discussions took place. Everything progressed smoothly and Mr Lloyd was pleased with the way that everyone rose to the challenge in typical Tuxford style. At the end of the second day provisional findings were fed back to the academy’s Leadership Team. At the time of going to print the inspection report had not been received - but by now it should be on the school’s website.

It was marvellous to see so many students getting involved with the annual Tuxford Doodle competition in February, with a record number of entries from all four colleges and from every year group (over 70 entries in total!). Ranging from pencil drawings to collages and from graffiti art to portraits, entries truly reflected the talent we have at Tuxford Academy. The competition was inaugurated by Post 16 students as a showcase for extracurricular creative arts in much the same way that Tuxford’s Got Talent features students’ wider interest in expressive arts. It is hoped that sixth formers will continue to arrange and curate the event in future. The winning entries this year were chosen by Mr Lloyd and other members of the Leadership Team and are now proudly on display in the Ash reception. Well done to all who took part and special congratulations to the winners:

First place: Jade Rasche (8ODH) Second place: James Black (8WAT) and Rowan Ridsdale (7WAH) Third place: Tempany Johnson (9BPE) and Connor Morrison (8ADG) Connor gave us a little background information on his entry: “I decided to enter the Tuxford Doodle competition because I didn’t last year and I really missed out. I drew a red kite (my favourite bird of prey) because it relates to my twin interests of animals and sketching.” Top: Doodle competition winning entry by Jade Rasche (8ODH) Above, right: Third place entry by Connor Morrison (8ADG)

Tuxford Topics is the official termly newsletter of Tuxford Academy, Marnham Road, Tuxford, NG22 0JH

Tuxford Topics


A Message from the Head of School Welcome to Edition 71 of Tuxford Topics. Yet again, it is full of high quality articles which capture some of the achievements and activities of our students. In this termly publication, it is impossible to report on all that happens at Tuxford Academy but hopefully this publication allows us to showcase and acknowledge at least some of the talents, attributes and skills our students possess. They are a credit to the Academy. In addition to reporting on what is happening at the Academy now, previous publications will become historical documents, reflecting on life in a busy secondary school in the 21st century. We keep copies of Tuxford Topics in our archives and I have no doubt they will be re-read in years to come. Reading this edition of Tuxford Topics, I am yet again impressed with the sporting achievement of our students both past and present. We have former student Amy Needham, gaining her first rugby cap for the England U20’s, whilst Year 13 student Jade Tiller captains the Lincoln City netball team. These activities read in conjunction with others in past copies of Tuxford Topics,

identify how many high performing athletes there are at the Academy, many of them competing at regional or national levels. The number of educational visits and fixtures for our students participating in competitions is another theme which emerges when reading this and past copies of Tuxford Topics. In this edition there are reports on: ‘The President’s Challenge’, Creative Arts Jubilee Project, ‘Shake the Dust’, Extreme Physics, Sewhat Fashion Event, the Drama Residential, Year 8 Gifted and Talented competition and The Delancy UK Schools’ Chess Challenge 2012. All these activities allow our students to work and compete with others and they are always impeccable and represent the Academy proudly. Finally, this term, the Academy will present the musical production “We Will Rock You.” It will involve many students from all key stages supported by staff and I know it will play to packed houses. I am eagerly looking forward to this opportunity to showcase the many talents of our students.

Geoff Lloyd Principal

Current Year 8 to stay on until 18 The Government has confirmed its commitment to raising the “participation age” to 18 by 2015 in spite of the recession. The Education and Skills Act 2008 which increased the minimum age at which young people in England can leave learning will not be amended. Therefore from 2013 students will continue in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 and from 2015 until their 18th birthday. In some respects this is not as simple as raising the school leaving age. Raising the participation age (RPA) does not mean young people must stay in school; they will able to choose one of the following options: • full-time education, such as school, college or home education


Tuxford Topics

• work-based learning, such as an Apprenticeship • part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week

Ever thought of becoming a teacher? If teaching Maths or Science is something you can see yourself doing, why not consider enrolling with the Tuxford Academy and Hibernia College partnership? We continue to look for gifted and motivated candidates to apply for the programme. Key information: • The opportunity to continue working as you train • Access to Subject Knowledge Enhancement • TDA funding available to eligible applicants • Course duration: 2 years • 24 weeks of full-time school experience in two separate schools • One week observation in a primary school • Eight onsite workshops held locally in schools and partner universities

Next intake: July 2012 Come to our drop-in session for full details: Tuesday 19th June, 3.30-6.00pm

For course information see the Hibernia College website.

Tuxford Academy will continue to work closely with both students and parents to ensure an appropriate pathway is found. We are working extremely hard at broadening our current offer within the Tuxford Post 16 Centre to ensure suitable courses are provided for as many young adults as possible.

To book a place at our drop-in session please email James Reid, Hub School Manager:

If you would like any further information on this then please contact Mr Simpson or Mr Cotton at the school.

stating your name, contact details (email and telephone), relevant qualifications (degree, university and class of degree) and probable time of arrival.

Tuxford wins Teaching School status The National College for School Leadership has confirmed that Tuxford Academy has been chosen to become a national teaching school from April this year. It is one of only about 100 schools in England to be granted teaching school status in the second wave of applications. The designation gives outstanding schools the freedom and autonomy to lead a group of schools, and work with other partners including at least one university, to deliver high quality support for teachers and leaders at all stages in their career. Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the National College, said: “Teaching schools like Tuxford Academy need to be at the top of their game to take on this role - outstanding in their own performance and have a track record of raising standards through school-toschool support. “We now have over 200 teaching schools around the country who are in a position to harness the finest teaching talent in the profession to drive school improvement in innovative

ways, and bring real benefits to pupils and staff.” Tuxford Academy was eligible to become a Teaching School because of a clear track record of successful collaboration with other schools; consistently high levels of student performance and outstanding performances for both teaching and learning and leadership and management. As a Teaching School we have formed an alliance with all our feeder primary schools, six secondary schools, Nottinghamshire County Council and local universities to ensure that high standards in all aspects of education are characteristics of all schools within the partnership. The National College which has responsibility for the designation and quality of the teaching schools programme, is working closely with the Department for Education (DfE), to establish a national network of 500 teaching schools by 2014.

Lottery funding for sensory garden We are pleased to report that a funding application for a Jubilee Garden at Tuxford Academy has been successful. Extended Services Coordinator Nicola Manning learned last month that she had been awarded £9,505 toward the creation of a sensory garden next to the Memorial Garden. Nicola’s concept for the garden is ‘Breathing Space’ - an area especially designed to appeal to those children at school with special needs and groups or individuals seeking a quiet meeting place. The space will be designed to stimulate the five senses but will also be a calming place for students to go to in order to practice breathing and meditation exercises.

Gardening Tips Learn the basics, grow your own and have fun! • Adults with children.

Kaisha receives Courage Award Newark Castle on Monday 19th March 2012, at an award event to honour young people who have shown great courage in overcoming personal difficulties. Kaisha is battling Friedreich’s Ataxia, a condition that causes damage to the nervous system. She experiences problems of coordination when walking, speaking and doing all those everyday activities that the rest of us take for granted.

Year 7 student Kaisha Palmer was recently awarded a Courage Award by The Rotary Clubs of Newark and

As a result, Kaisha is frequently tired and feels stiff and sore, particularly towards the afternoon. She has a wheelchair for use in the school and often needs it to ease the discomfort as she gets around. She uses the lift to save having to negotiate the stairs, and this often causes longer routes to her classrooms. This doesn’t stop her taking part in all her lessons; and Kaisha has the biggest smile of any student at Tuxford.

• Come and learn how to work an allotment and grow your own organic fruit and veg!

Free - new members welcome. After school at Tuxford Allotments, Ash Vale Road, every Tuesday 3.45pm - 5.00pm

Please confirm your place with Nicola Manning, Extended Services Co-ordinator: Tel: 01777 870001 ext. 571 or email

Tuxford Topics


Torch Relay a great success In anticipation of the Olympic Games coming to London, the Bassetlaw Games “flame” is travelling on a torch relay across the district, covering a 90 mile route and linking up 64 schools. It started its journey on Monday 20th February. A former Olympic athlete was the guest of honour as the Bassetlaw Games torch made its way to Tuxford Academy on Thursday 15th March. It was foggy weather as the torch left Tuxford Primary, carried by Myles Downing, Year 14 student. On reaching the academy’s main entrance, the torch was passed to Year 11 student, Jonathan Brannan who ran around the school bus park as students in Years 7, 8 and 9 cheered him on. Welcoming the torch was Mr Brendan Reilly, who took part in the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 and also in Sydney in 2000. Mr Reilly hoped the occasion would work as a real inspiration to students. “This school really is a tremendous place, the students, the facilities - it is all geared up to producing champions of the future,” he said. The school choir performed a special version of Queen’s classic ‘One Vision’, while the school dance group put on an Olympic themed performance before the famous five-ringed flag was hoisted up in front of the school.


Tuxford Topics

Academy Principal, Mr Geoff Lloyd, said “This has been a fantastic day for the school. Thanks to the Bassetlaw Games initiative, we have captured some of the excitement of the Olympics. I am sure that every student will have a personal memory of the event and will always remember the year the Games came to our country.”

The actual Olympic torch will pass near to the school on Thursday 28th June this year as it tours the length and breadth of the country, carried by a number of nominated torch bearers. Two of our students Kate Louise Bagnall 12ACW and Charlotte Peach 10OHD, have been chosen to carry the Olympic flame.

How Izzy improved her French The best way of improving fluency in a foreign language is to practise it over an extended period of time. That was the reasoning that led Izzy Cawthorne of 11AZR to stay with a French family for ten days last summer. She enjoyed it so much that she would recommend others to arrange a similar exchange visit. Izzy loves French. That is why she googled “French exchange” and found a safe website that offers genuine language improvement opportunities for 11-18 year olds. (It is a site used by schools that is School zone approved and funded via PayPal.) They compare the interests of applicants from different countries and send photos/details of a matched person and family for approval. If the applicant is not happy with the selection, they will send another for approval.

Izzy chose a girl from Paris of her age named Constance Balland. Constance came to stay with Izzy first and then Izzy joined Constance and her family on their summer holiday at Quiberon in Brittany. Constance got to spend time at Tuxford School whilst Izzy was on the beach every day! The girls got on really well and they are still in touch now. Both had plenty of language practice as well as an insight into a different culture. Izzy is grateful that the Balland family only spoke to her in English when she really struggled to understand. The big language improvement that she has noticed is a better accent. In the future, Izzy would like to do voluntary work abroad in a French speaking country. She wants to study the language at university and so her enthusiasm for the subject is as strong as ever.

The President’s Challenge Showground. Members of the public were able to question them and team members were excellent ambassadors for the school. Their display attracted a lot of interest. Newark & Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society President Mich Stevenson OBE, had visited Tuxford Academy on Monday 27th February to launch the challenge. After students in Years 8 and 9 gave a brief but enlightening presentation Mr Stevenson said, “I am very impressed by their understanding of the business of growing and saving herbs.”

Seven schools across Nottinghamshire entered the Challenge which we publicised in our last edition, to create an environmentallyfriendly viable business venture. Their entries were judged by an expert panel at the

Newark & Nottinghamshire County Show on 12th and 13th May before a team from Toothill School, Bingham was named as winner. The Tuxford team was present at the

Tuxford teacher Delia Higgins who coordinated the team’s work said she had enjoyed every minute of the Challenge: “This has been a fabulous opportunity to share the work we are trying to do - and it has been an ideal way to focus our work and thoughts.”

Staff training recognition Congratulations to Louise Holland-Allsopp of the school’s support staff who has been awarded the Student of the Term Award by Dukeries College Adult and Community Learning team. This award has been given to Louise in recognition of the hard work and determination she has shown since she enrolled on an Advanced Business Administration Apprenticeship course in March 2011. Louise has achieved her Level 3 BTEC Principles in Business Administration, NVQ Business and Administration, Functional Skills Maths and English.

Louise started work at Tuxford Academy in September 2006; she is employed as a Faculty Support Assistant and provides administrative and any other support required for the 12 teaching staff of the Humanities Faculty. Louise is hoping to progress to Level 4 Business and Administration next academic year. If anyone would like to follow in Louise’s footsteps and complete a recognised business administration course, contact Jennie Griffiths on 01623 836796.

Tuxford Topics


Tuxford Another busy term... • Students from Gnienzno Liceum in Poland visited Tuxford as the return leg of the Polish exchange. We are already planning next year’s exchange. A week in Poland for approximately £95! (The earlier we book flights, the cheaper it should be.) This is a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into a friendly country with beautiful cities and a rich history.

Tuxford student plays netball for Lincoln City Jade Tiller has a place at Leeds Metropolitan University next year to study physical education. However, she already has an impressive CV that includes experience as a professional lifeguard and as a tap dance teacher.

17 year old Alex MacDonald has yet to pass his driver’s test, but he is now fully qualified to fly an aeroplane. In fact his first solo flight was taken two weeks after his sixteenth birthday. For as long as he remembers he has had an ambition to become a commercial pilot so it comes as no surprise that he chose Netherfield Airfield near Worksop as his work experience placement. When he leaves Tuxford Post 16 Centre, he hopes to go to Oxford Aviation Academy to turn his ambition into reality.

• A group of Post 16 students produced this year’s excellent Tuxford’s Got Talent contest. Weeks of planning and auditions demonstrated the fantastic leadership skills of many of our students.

• Head of Post 16 Paul Simpson has been impressed in recent weeks by the number of students who are clearly working hard on their revision. Starting early, “little and often”, can help calm exam nerves, rather than leaving it to the last minute. As ever, the support of parents and carers is essential in this crucial time.

Important Year 12 dates Formal lessons for Year 12 students ended on Friday 18th May 2012, except for students on BTEC courses. However, lessons start again on Monday 18th June when ‘A2’ courses will start; attendance at these lessons is one of the conditions for a place on the A2 course in September. University and vocational careers preparation begins with a series of sessions on Fridays. It is an expectation that students attend these sessions.


The only family connection that Alex has to flying is that his father was in the RAF during the Second World War - as a mechanic. Alex too learned a little about how planes worked during his work experience, but also was given the opportunity to go up for a flight as a passenger. He made enquiries about gaining his licence and was offered a trial flight from Gamston Airfield. “It was brilliant - and I would recommend it to anyone,” he remembers. “You get the chance to fly over your house usually - and I went all the way to the Humber Bridge and back.” Since his first flight at the controls in July 2010, Alex has logged his flying hours because flying experience is a major element in qualifying for the licence. He had to complete 45 hours in the air, three of which had to be experience of flying solo and five of which had to test his navigation skills. The plane he learned in was a Cessna 152 two seater.

DALP ‘Share Wars’ competition success

School will end on Friday 13th July for students not on the University of East Anglia trip and on Thursday 19th July for students who are on the University of East Anglia trip.

The ‘Share Wars’ competition open to all Post 16 students at Tuxford Academy and National Church of England Academy in Hucknall, is a brilliant opportunity to find out more about trading shares. It is sponsored by Clarke Associates of Edwinstowe. The students had to apply in writing and shortlisted students were then interviewed by Ian Clarke of the company.

We advise that all students continue to study all subjects until their examination results are known.

The competition ran for eight weeks with the students trading a ‘virtual’ £100,000 in FTSE 350 companies. We had four teams

Tuxford Topics

When asked for the secret of her success, Jade replied that she used to be a keen

Alex gains Pilot’s Licence

• In a separate trip, two students were able to take part in the Lessons from Auschwitz project in which they visited the infamous concentration camp. This is a scheme run by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

• Many students are already receiving offers from universities. They are working hard to ensure they achieve the required number of points. Several students have also been successful in being accepted on to apprenticeships.

Jade, who lives in Newark, attended William Robertson School, Welbourn until the age of 16. There she learned to play netball and found that she was good at the game. She played for the school and in due course became the school’s netball captain. In her spare time she joined a Newark netball club and one day the Lincoln City First team captain saw her play and was so impressed that she invited Jade to a trial for the Lincoln club. Three years later Jade was made the first team captain for City, which is quite an honour for an out of county player.

of two students in each at Tuxford and there were three teams of two at National. Each week representatives from Clarke Associates went to the schools to meet with the teams. The leaderboards were given out each week and information given about things that had happened during the week or were likely to happen in the coming week that would affect the markets and share prices. Students could make as many trades as they wished during that time, although they could only buy a maximum of £15,000 shares in any one company. Joe Heathcote and Charlie Eatough from Tuxford, emerged as winners by a

gymnast so she has built her strength, speed and stamina. She needs all three because she plays as a centre and so does much of the running during games. As team captain Jade has to arrange matches and umpires because netball is a fiercely amateur sport. The training sessions are now held at Priory Witham Academy. All players are under 20 but there is never a shortage of players and many Lincoln University undergraduates apply to join. At Tuxford Jade is one sports leaders so she students as part of her (Higher Sports Leader

of the school’s coaches Year 7 work for HSLA Award). She is

committed to coaching disabled and older people to give her a breadth of experience. Thanks to placements at St Giles School, Retford, and the Charlotte Hamilton Dance School, Balderton she is making good progress towards the qualification. As paid employment, Jade is a lifeguard at Grove Leisure Centre, Balderton. She currently works all day on Sundays and Tuesday evenings. If everything goes according to plan, Jade will be teaching PE in a secondary school in future. Netball will continue to have a place in the curriculum if she has anything to do with it.

A voice of distinction Reaching Grade 8 standard in music is, roughly speaking, the practical skills equivalent of an A level for anyone studying an instrument or singing. You don’t gain Grade 8 unless you are both talented and dedicated. That is why we are delighted to record that Olivia Caputa of Year 13 has just gained Grade 8 recognition for singing. In fact she did better than that because it was awarded with Distinction. This is an incredible achievement by Olivia so everyone at school is immensely proud of her. Olivia started having singing lessons in school at the age of 12 and she has just completed her A Level course which included a final recital as well as a large element of performance throughout. At 13 she auditioned for the famous Cantamus Girls Choir that is based in Mansfield and was accepted into the training choir. She is now senior girl in the main choir and so every Friday and Sunday she has a three hour rehearsal and in addition she has an hour lesson with a singing teacher. There are just under 40 girls in the choir and Olivia has a few solo spots in a repertoire that is always changing.

Alex says he will always remember his first solo flight. “I was excited yet shaking with fear at the same time,” he recalls. His instructor had advised him that he was ready to take this big step, but Alex wasn’t so sure. However everything went well and Alex’s confidence grew. “I hadn’t expected the plane to handle so differently when I was alone,” he says. “With less weight on board it was much faster off the ground and the controls were more responsive.” To gain his licence Alex has taken and passed seven theory exams. His average score was an impressive 93%. The pass score is 75%.

narrow margin. Despite difficult market conditions they managed to increase their £100,000! They each received £300 as a prize: £150 in cash and £150 as shares in a company of their choice. Charlie Eatough commented,“I thoroughly enjoyed my time during Share Wars and I am very interested in pursuing a career in the share market after taking part in the competition.” Joe Heathcote also valued the experience. He said, “I would like to use the knowledge learnt

in carrying out future transactions in the stock market”.

The Cantamus Girls Choir has an international reputation so during her time with it Olivia has performed in Malaysia, Singapore, Germany and Ireland. The performance venues are invariably large concert halls. Olivia is a mezzo soprano at present, but her voice won’t set until the age of approximately 25 so it could change. That is one of the reasons why she intends to take a gap year before progressing to higher education. She hopes to join a London music conservatoire, such as the Royal Academy of Music, rather than going to university, and her voice will have matured a little further by the time she starts her course. She will audition for music colleges in the autumn. At the end of her studies, Olivia hopes to become a professional opera singer. She is taking A Levels in Drama and English as well as Music to help prepare her for the acting side of the job. You will get your chance to hear Olivia sing on 12th, 13th and 14th July when she takes part in the Tuxford Academy summer production ‘We Will Rock You’.

Tuxford Topics


Sewhat Fashion Event

On Wednesday 28th March a group of Year 9 and 10 girls attended the North Notts Community Arena in Worksop in order to take part in the ‘Sewhat’ fashion show. This is the ninth year of the show organised by Focus on Young People in Bassetlaw and Tuxford has been represented at each one. Young people from twelve different schools, colleges, and other young people’s organisations from all over Bassetlaw showed off garments and creations they have produced.

The Tuxford group arrived at about 4.00pm in time to have a practice on the catwalk aided by professional choreographer Jay Pollit. After much straightening and curling of hair and applying of makeup, everyone was ready. The show began at 7.30pm and was presented by students from North Notts College. Tuxford students gave two performances. The first showcased garments made by Year 10 and Year 11 students and the

second featured a mixture of Year 11 GCSE and Year 13 GCE coursework. The show was watched by an audience of around 300 people and was well received by all who attended. The girls involved were Meghan Dyer, Jemma Whitby, Chloe Gresswell, Kayleigh Lowe, Tempany Johnson, Roberta Harness, Hannah Slack, Olivia Timms, Elisia Seaward, Amelia Wood, Georgie Pilkington and Charlotte Allen.

PTA annual quiz gets great results On Saturday 28th January, 16 teams with almost 80 participants took part in Tuxford Academy’s annual Quiz evening organised by the PTA. The quiz was held in the school hall with Quiz Master Mr Philip Baker, Assistant Principal, assisted on the scoreboard by Paul Creighton, the school’s Data Manager.


Tuxford Topics

A tasty supper was provided by Julie Hethershaw and a team of willing PTA helpers. The evening was a great success and raised £590 which goes into PTA funds and staff and students can apply for funding for projects. The main objectives

of the PTA are to give practical support for school events, to undertake fundraising to improve school resources and to organise social events to bring parents, staff and governors together. Please see the school website in the ‘Parent Portal’ section for PTA news, forthcoming events, etc.

Jubilee Arts Project The latest collaboration between Tuxford Academy and Rufford Craft Centre has been themed on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Gifted and talented Year 9 students have been given the opportunity to work alongside James Sutton, the local sculptor and practitioner, to create works in a 3D media. In order to generate initial responses Tuxford students and teachers met Mr Sutton to delve into a range of ideas for the topic. Over the following ten weeks project the students gained valuable knowledge from the artist and improved their ability to work in a team. Their journey from initial ideas to completion enabled them to be more ambitious with the scale of their work and also knocked down fears and barriers about working in a 3D medium. The Jubilee Arts Project exhibition showcases a range of different ideas ranging from the traditional to the kitsch. It runs at Rufford Arts and Craft Centre to Sunday 10th June.

Beth dances for Adidas this year, she played Maid Marion in the Society’s production of Babes in the Wood.

By popular demand...

Beth attends Rebecca’s Dance Studio in Carlton-in-Lindrick four times a week. On Saturdays she is a student dance teacher there working with juniors and toddlers. Among the venues where Beth has performed are Buxton Opera House and Blackpool Opera House.

Beth pictured (above, at front) with fellow dancers

In school Beth Platford enjoys Maths and Science. She would love to go into science research and help to develop medicines for a big multi-national pharmaceutical company. Out of school Beth is a dancer, performer and athlete. She is a member of Worksop Light Operatic Society and has appeared in its pantomimes since she was 8. In January

In 2010 Beth was chosen by Adidas to appear in its launch show for Worksop Adizone, one of several outdoor gyms being sponsored by the company all over the country. Climbing walls, parallel bars and all kinds of non-powered fitness equipment are provided to encourage more people to become fit so the company hired a top choreographer to work with local dancers for the launch. Beth is developing her athletics skills as a member of Worksop Harriers. Last year she was ranked as 8th in the country for her age group in triple jump, but she also competes in long jump, hurdles and running events to 400m. In March of this year, she competed in the East Midlands Area Indoor Athletics Championship and was placed 2nd overall in the Under 15 girls age range.

Tuxford Academy PTA Saturday 6th October

Wine Tasting Evening


Over 18’s only

Tickets £12.50

Contact Tuxford Academy PTA on: Email: or Tel: 01777 870001

Tuxford Topics


Olivia wins Tuxford’s Got Talent came with banners, stickers and badges in support of a performer. They booed Mr Cox’s bad jokes but otherwise, everyone on stage felt encouraged and supported. The evening was compèred by charismatic Post 16 students Andrew Newell and Ruth Colclough, a fabulous combination, talented enough to challenge Ant n Dec themselves! Following a heartfelt and powerful performance of the Jessie J song ‘Who You Are’ Year 8 student Olivia Bennett was voted the winner of Tuxford’s Got Talent 2012 at the Final held on Tuesday 27th March. This year, the annual talent competition was organised by Year 13 student Grace Cook and a small group of Post 16 helpers. The

During the counting of votes, performances were given by compère Ruth Colclough, who sang a wonderful rendition of ‘Somebody To Love’ from the musical ‘We Will Rock You’ which the school will be performing in July, and Harlee Howarth, one of the competition’s judges, played her guitar and sang ‘Stronger Than Me’ by Amy Winehouse. Tuxford members of the Global Student Forum also sold refreshments during the

sang ‘Soul Sister’ by Train and in third place was Year 12 student Cameron Ashley, who played his guitar and sang a montage of songs including the classic ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’. Jack Bennett, Olivia’s brother also entered and also got to the final. Nick Cox, school’s head of Drama, praised all the finalists. “It was a truly amazing night and everyone deserved a place in the spotlight.” “It was a brilliant night - well worth the £5” commented Emily Dutton,Y8 student. Councillor Kath Sutton was in the audience and gave us her impression: “Tuesday 27th March saw a lively and packed audience waiting with some anticipation for Tuxford’s Got Talent to begin. We were not

Above, left to right: Winner of Tuxford’s Got Talent: Olivia Bennett, Year 8; runner up Theo Drabble, Year 8; and third place Cameron Ashley, Year 12. Inset, top right: the panel of judges.

competition, based on the popular television format, began in October last year with open auditions, in which surprising talent was discovered from all year groups. At the semi finals in February, the acts performed in front of their peers before the final 12 were chosen. This year the finalists were all musicians, singers or dancers. A trick unicyclist experienced technical difficulties so didn’t go through and there was a noticeable lack of comedians and jugglers. Singers mostly had taped backing tracks. The audience attending the Final had a large student presence. The panel of judges comprised Nick Cox Head of Drama, Year 12 student Harlee Howarth and former student, Oscar ConlonMorrey. Each judge gave the finalists feedback on their performance and at the end, the audience members were able to cast three votes by completing voting slips. The slips were then counted to reveal the winner. Some of the audience


Tuxford Topics

interval to raise money for the White Ribbon Alliance, a charity helping with maternal mortality in the third world. Olivia had no idea she was going to win. She was not confident at all and she was so impressed by the others that she was certain they would do better than her. Before she went on stage, she was really nervous and tearing paper cups to stay occupied. As she walked on and saw all the faces, she was trembling but when the introduction music started, the confidence returned and she was relaxed enough to notice her surroundings. Olivia saw someone eating an apple. At the end someone winked at her to indicate she had done well. Halfway through the song she had stomach pains and held herself but no-one seemed to notice. Olivia was given £100 for winning plus £100 to give to her chosen charity, ‘Leukaemia Research, Sheffield.’ Runners up were Year 8 student Theo Drabble who

disappointed! Senior students had organised a smooth running and well balanced evening with two most able compères, three truly entertaining judges - with Simon Cowell ‘bad guy’ counteracting the comments of the two more discerning judges. “Talent ranged from singers to a dancer, to body popping, a flautist and guitars. At times it was magical with a hushed audience enthralled by the artist. At times the audience showed its sensitivity in encouraging a student whose confidence appeared to wane. There was a delightful atmosphere full of fun and laughter - a real feel good factor evening. “Voting was hectic but finally three most worthy winners were chosen, though in truth all the students were winners with their sincerity, commitment and with the pleasure they gave everyone. “I look forward to the next such evening!”

Drama Residential 2012 For two days during February half term the Drama department took 50 GCSE and A Level students to London. However, there was no time for sightseeing as we had so much to cram in! The trip was designed to offer students

the opportunity not only to experience professional live theatre, but also to work with professional actors and gain a further insight into how a West End production is staged. As always, Tuxford students were impeccable and represented

the Academy proudly. We travelled to London on Wednesday 15th February and in no time at all we found ourselves at the world famous Pineapple Dance Studios for a practical workshop with some real West End actors! Students and staff worked with three actors currently playing the lead roles in the hit musical ‘Blood Brothers’. It was a fantastic experience and students can now say they have worked with professional actors! After an evening meal at Planet Hollywood we made our way to the Phoenix Theatre to watch the longrunning musical ‘Blood Brothers’. The following day after a good old fullEnglish, we made our way to the National Theatre for a back-stage tour. Students gained an invaluable insight into how a production is created and were also able to go into workshops and prop stores to see all the elements required to bring a show to life. After some shopping time and lunch in Covent Garden we went to see the theatrical version of ‘War Horse’. Both staff and students were in awe of the special effects and staging of the show and would thoroughly recommend it!

Extreme Physics Residential Three days of physics during the Easter break? Most students probably wouldn’t think of this as fun, but four Tuxford students had a good time taking part in the 2012 Extreme Physics Competition run by the Institute of Physics. William Chapman, Isaac Higgs, Joseph Watson and Declan Williams competed against rival schools from across the region in Rugby. Highlights of the three days residential included an indoor sky diving experience and climbing walls!

Talks in the evenings from top physicists outlined current university research in astrophysics as well as the development of non-lethal weapons such as Tasers. Our team was marked during its series of challenges and awards were given at the end of each. Achieving a total of eight rosettes, our team’s most notable attributes were their superb teamwork and creativity in tackling problems. This was clearly demonstrated in the climax of the event, where teams delivered a four

minute presentation on a physics topic assigned to them. Not only did they work superbly together but also produced one of the best presentations on the day. This was even more impressive considering that our team contained three Year 9s who had one year less physics education than most competitors. Overall, the team of 2012 represented their school well. They were fantastic examples of all the students here and came back with awards to be proud of.

Former International Boxer talks to Year 11 students On the Tuesday 28th February Dermot Gascoyne visited the school to talk to Year 11 students. As a former international heavyweight boxer he made rapid progress winning numerous titles as an amateur before signing as a professional fighter with the country’s leading manager and promoter Frank Warren. Although he never won a professional title he holds victories over British, Commonwealth and European Champions, the most prestigious of which

was his victory over the British Champion that took just 70 seconds! In his five year career as a professional Dermot boxed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues and was regularly employed as a sparring partner by amongst others Frank Bruno and Lennox Lewis. Following his retirement from the sport he spent some time as a bodyguard working with some of the world’s most famous pop stars!  Dermot now works as a mentor and visits secondary schools. In Tuxford he gave a motivational talk to some of our Year 11 students in preparation for their

upcoming exams. His motto is ‘It is better to try and fail, than to fail to try’. The students thoroughly enjoyed listening to Dermot and had plenty of questions for him at the end! Miss Leathem-Pugh, Head of Beech College, said of the presentation, “Dermot gave a very inspiring talk to the Year 11 students. His drive and encouragement will help to spur the students on to achieve their full potential over the next couple of months.” Making the most of his time at the school Dermot also gave a short presentation to some of the Support Staff covering topics such as ways to engage students and how to deal with challenging behaviour.

Tuxford Topics


Elle walks 95 miles! Elle Hawley 9BTT, spent six days of her Easter holiday walking the West Highland Way in Scotland to raise money for charity. Twenty eight members of her family or their friends walked at least part of the route, but only six including Elle completed the full distance. The walk was organised by Elle’s grandfather, Geoff Supple, in support of a cancer charity because his brother died from cancer. A remarkable total of £6,000 was raised. The walkers stayed overnight in local B and Bs and whenever possible, they enjoyed pub lunches, but in between

there was some serious trekking. They averaged 16 miles per day although actual distances varied between 13 and 23 miles. “It rained most days,” recalled Elle, “and on the day it didn’t rain, it snowed!” The route is clearly marked and is dry underfoot but the snow made the route much harder to follow. It was also deep in places so the effort of walking was much harder. Elle is justly proud of her achievement in completing the trek - and she is proud of the family for making a significant contribution to its chosen charity.

Gifted and Talented Challenge On Thursday 23rd February Year 8 “gifted and talented” students took part in team tasks including bridge building at Gainsborough. One of the students, Thomas Boulby, wrote this report for Tuxford Topics: All in all it was fun and a worthwhile educational trip out for us all. We got a chance to socialise with the students from different schools as well taking part in the events. Our first task was to create an invention that would change the world. Different groups came up with great ideas. Our invention was a 3D printer. After making it we had to present it to our audience. After this we were told about our next task... bridge building! It sounded difficult but after lunch we started building our model bridge. I am pleased to report that within half an hour it was made!

A Polish Perspective

We were very pleased to receive the following message from four Polish students who attend our partner school, Gniezno Lyceum: We are members of English exchange. Our English friends came to Poland on 13th October 2011 and everybody here was very excited. Their first day was on our official National Day of Education. In the evening, we all went to Gebarzewo to get to know everyone better and eat some good sausages. During their time here, we showed our English friends a few interesting places in our country. We saw a museum and churches in Poznań. We were in Toruń and


Tuxford Topics

there we baked gingerbreads and saw a big part of this town. We went to Inowroclaw too and there we had good fun. Our friends also came to our school and were taking part with us in Polish lessons.

Natural History Museum and Science Museum. It was a really long day, but we saw a big part of this old city. In Tuxford School we went to a few lessons. They were very interesting and we enjoyed it a lot.

It was really good fun having guests in Poland and we have a lot of memories connected with this visit.

For us this exchange is a really good opportunity to improve our English and it busts myths. It is good to get to know a new culture. We were trying new tastes, learning new words and just having fun being in the United Kingdom. Best wishes to you all.

On 5th March we came to England. In Newark, we saw a horror film called ‘The Woman in Black’. We saw the old town hall and a great museum where we got to know a lot about the history of this town. Next day we went to London. The capital of England is really beautiful. We visited the

Katarzyna Kabzińska, Zuzanna Lukaszewska, Pauline Kabzińska and Fabian Barszcz

New mentoring scheme A new peer mentoring scheme starts at Tuxford Academy in September. This will involve students in Years 10 and 11 acting as mentors to some of the new Year 7 students - to support them with issues such as bullying, arguments with friends or other things that may be troubling them. Some research into the peer mentoring is going to be carried out by Caroline Haynes as part of her training to be an educational psychologist.

Work week goes Work Experience as an educational entitlement for all older (Key Stage 4) students has now ended due to changes in the national education strategy. Consequently Year 11 work experience will not be taking place next year (2012/13).

As part of this research students in Years 9 and 10 may be asked to complete a short online survey about their personal qualities during ICT lessons. Caroline may also look at some data the school has about individual children, such as their predicted grades and whether they are eligible for free school meals.

At Tuxford we have always valued work experience as preparation for working life. There is little doubt that at its best a work placement helped students to clarify their thoughts of career prospects and contributed significantly to the maturing process. We will continue to offer a small number of placements to selected students only but the re-branded careers service is also offering parents the opportunity to purchase work experience during school holidays too. Please see the advert in this edition of Tuxford Topics if you are interested.

The data will be used by Caroline to identify students to take part in the research project. You will be contacted if your child is selected to take part. If for any reason you do not wish Caroline to use the information from the survey, or if you have any questions about the research, please contact Mrs Nichol or Mrs Burton at school.

Michelle Lee of the school support staff deserves some recognition at this point. She has done a tremendous job over the last eight years in arranging placements, completing all the administration (to satisfy health and safety regulations to name but one aspect) and coordinating staff supervision.

Work Experience Offer If your son/daughter would like to do a work placement during the school holidays, then Futures will be able to offer this provision. Their offer of a 10 day Work Experience placement at a cost of £150 will include: • A full Health and Safety and safeguarding risk assessment of the placement • A risk assessment of the young person undertaking the placement • Ensuring that the necessary insurance is in place • Monitoring of welfare and progress during the placement • A Certificate of Achievement, endorsed by the employer For further information, please visit the Futures website: or contact: 0115 960 1571

English Faculty News

In February we ran an English Curriculum Day where students across KS3 worked with their learning group on a variety of activities with a media focus. Groups became publishing houses for the day, editing and creating their own magazines, writing features, conducting interviews and designing their publications. Special guest was former Tuxford student, Sam Kirk who now hosts the breakfast show on Lincs FM. He visited classes and helped Charlie Ferris, Georgina MacPhail and Annie O’Connell (pictured, above, with him here) to prepare and record a radiostyle piece on the day’s events. You can listen to their piece on the school website.

Last term too, we entered a team in the 2012 Times Spelling Bee; an activity now in its third year. The Year 7 students competed against other schools in the Midlands in March and they met once a week to practise. Anyone interested in improving core skills can visit to practise online. Students from Years 8, 9 and 10 have been working in a series of workshops in preparation for the regional heat of ‘Shake the Dust’, a national ‘poetry slam’ competition. A core group of 20 students completed 6 workshops last term with professional poets Michelle Hubbard and Ioney Smallhorne. They created their own

unique poems with an Olympic theme. The final team of 8 has now been selected; on Saturday 9th June it will compete against other groups from the East Midlands at Nottingham Playhouse for a spot in the final in London. They will present three original poems. Michelle Hubbard, the lead poet at the workshops was impressed by the Tuxford students: “We have been amazed at the students’ creativity, enthusiasm and commitment!” The photo (above, right) shows poet Ioney Smallhorne with some members of the team (left to right) Martha Raymer, Charlotte Brindley,Amy Chambers, Oliver Baker, Michelle Hubbard, Isaac Higgs, and Charlie Ferris.

Tuxford Topics


TFC Update

TFC Website • East Markham Primary has received £7,800 from Big Lottery for 10 laptops and the setting up of an ICT Homework club. • Muskham Primary has received £500 towards new playground equipment from Lincolnshire Co-op. The team is currently working on a bid for ICT equipment for North Clifton School.

Have you visited the Tuxford Family Collaboration website recently? The Extended Services Team based at Tuxford Academy is responsible for keeping it up to date. You will discover lots of information on our Family of Schools, activities/clubs, parenting support, community information and childcare. The website address is:

Since the report in the last edition the Extended Services team has helped to raise more money for our feeder primary schools.

The family of schools is finalising a plan for celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee in June. Activities will be different for each school, but ideas include red, white and blue non-uniform days, and Jubilee badges or t-shirts to be given out to the children.

Delancy Chess Challenge

Lessons from Auschwitz Matt Riley, Year 12 and Emma Wray, Year 13 visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, the infamous concentration camp, in February. Alongside students from other East Midlands’ schools they were taking part in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lesson’s From Auschwitz project. Prior to the trip they attended an orientation seminar where Holocaust survivor Ziggy Fisher spoke to them about overwhelming personal experiences so very different from their own. “The vast camp where 10,000 people were methodically killed each day was almost impossible to take in,” Emma told us. “Stark chimneys from burnt out barracks, standing like a lifeless forest, somehow emphasised the unfathomable crimes that took place.”

Across the country over 63,000 students were entered for the Delancy Challenge in 2012. They represented 1900 primary schools, secondary schools or clubs. Several players were entered by Tuxford and there were some notable successes. In the first round of the competition players from within the school were matched against each other. They had to play seven games in seven weeks to decide their rankings. Elliot Lewis (pictured here) was awarded a trophy after emerging as winner of the first round. He and Dominic Eng of Year 8 won all seven of their matches.


Tuxford Topics

Both students remarked on the paradox that their complete lack of comprehension of events somehow increased their understanding of how horrific the holocaust was. Being there made it not only more real, but also more personal. Emma explained that she was more aware that systematic killings have continued to occur in the modern world - in Bosnia and in Darfur to name just two. She felt that she now had a firm conviction to speak out: “We should endeavour to help those, who, like Ziggy, have had to endure oppression.” For further information call Nicola Manning, Extended Services Coordinator on 01777 870001, Ext 571.

Golf Charity Day 18 holes of golf • Prize Presentation • Tea/coffee & bacon rolls • Executive Buffet

Wednesday 11th July 2012 at Rufford Golf and Country Club £40 per player 4 players per team

Contact Tuxford Academy PTA on: Email: or Tel: 01777 870001

Tuxford Academy Production 2012: ‘We Will Rock You!’ Tuxford Academy’s 2012 musical production is the West End hit show ‘We Will Rock You’. The musical, now in its 10th successful year, has recently enjoyed an extensive UK tour as well as gaining a number of theatrical awards.

involved in the production and staff from all areas of the Academy. Rehearsals are currently underway and ‘We Will Rock You’ promises to be our biggest and most spectacular production to date!

Students across all three key stages are

Tickets are available now. To reserve tickets complete the booking form from the school website and email it to Payment can be made by personal callers to main reception or by post to Box Office, Tuxford Academy (at the usual address) or by students leaving sealed envelopes in trips boxes at college receptions. Cheques should be payable to Tuxford Academy.

DALP Sports Day

What a biscuit!

One hundred competitors from each of the three schools in DALP will take part in the first joint Sports Day on Tuesday 17th July. Retford Oaks Academy is to host the event this year. Athletics competitions will take place in the afternoon whilst the morning will be devoted to fun competitions such as tug of war, rounders and boccia.

In February Year 8 and Year 9 members of the STEM (science, technolog y, engineering and maths) Club used a Curriculum Day to make monster versions of snack food. It was a genuinely educational challenge to scale up familiar products successfully to several times their normal sizes - but retaining the appearance and solving all the associated technical issues.

Written by Ben Elton and based on the music of the rock band Queen, it is set in the future. Globalisation is complete, everywhere the kids watch the same movies, wear the same fashions and think the same thoughts. It’s a safe, happy, Ga Ga world. Unless you’re a rebel. Unless you want to Rock.

The Diverse Academies Learning Partnership aims not only to promote an enjoyment of sport across member schools, but also to give the students an opportunity to build a sense of community and to celebrate being part of the same innovative educational enterprise.

y adem


Ac d r o f ux

ERh June 2012 pm


9t .30 Fri 2 until 11 cademy m dA 7.30peld at Tuxfor h

Tickets - £22.50

g Dinin ing c n a D r Ba le Raff uee q r a M Contact: Tel: 01777 870001

In addition to the jammy dodger shown here the members produced a gigantic Jaffa cake and an enormous Wagon Wheel. Food Technology teacher Mel Hogan was very pleased with the results: “What an achievement to produce such authentic looking pieces of outsize edible art! It was a very enjoyable project and real technology problems were solved using maths skills and food science knowledge.” A month later the jam biscuit was featured on ‘Pimp That Snack’ website. Mrs Hogan commented, “This is a huge honour to those in the know.” Visitors to the site were able to vote for the snacks that impressed and there was a lot of interest in Tuxford’s ‘jammiesaurus’. Unfortunately we have no record of how the jammy dodger tasted. Perhaps the makers were so proud of it that they couldn’t bear to try it.

Diary Dates JUNE 2012 04 - 08

Half term holiday


Y8 residential to Paris


Y7 Trip to Lincoln

18 - 22

Y10 Academic Tutorials


Y12 ‘A2’ courses start


PTA meeting in school - 6.30pm


Y11 Prom/P16 Prom


Sports Day


Tuxford Academy PTA Summer Ball in school: 7.30pm - 11.30pm


P16 Reunion

JULY 2012 02 - 06

Y6 Transition week


Y6 parents meeting


P16 Induction day


Year 8 Trip to Lincoln


PTA Charity Golf Tournament at Rufford Park Golf Club

12 - 14

School show ‘We will Rock You’

15 - 18

Y7 camp


DALP Sports Festival

16 - 19

Y12 UEA residential


Last day of term


Admin day - no students in school


Yrs 7, 11 & 12 in school first day of new term (Y12 course sign up)


All students in school (Y13 course sign up)


School photos


Friendship photos


Open Evening


Inset day - all DALP schools

Tuxford Topics


Former student plays for England Former Tuxford student Amy Needham is making a name for herself in women’s rugby. Amy, who was a student here between 2005-2010, went on to Moulton College, Northampton for an AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sport Excellence) course and helped Moulton to win the HSBC National Sevens competition for schools and colleges at Rosslyn Park - beating a Welsh team. Amy, who is about to embark on a Sports degree course, was spotted at the age of 14 by a community coach at Tuxford School whilst playing tag rugby and recommended to join a rugby club. She briefly joined Retford Rugby Club and then went on to join Paviors Rugby Club in Arnold. She soon received her Three Counties call-up and went on to be chosen for the Midlands division. In April 2011, she was asked to trial for England U20’s squad so her big break had arrived.

second half and played for 35 minutes getting her first cap for the England U20’s. On Saturday 12th May, she went to the England trials for 2012-2013 and hopefully she will play for England for the whole year. She is the only girl this year from Three Counties, only one of two from the Midlands division, to be selected for the England U20’s squad. Amy loved her time at Tuxford School and would like to thank everyone who taught and supported her during this time. It was her dream to play rugby and that dream is coming true.

Unfortunately, in a friendly match, she broke her fibula, dislocated her ankle and tore a ligament in her leg which meant two operations so it wasn’t the break she wanted! She was determined to get back playing and by October she was.

Last Term in Brief JANUARY 04

Inset Professional Development Day


Curriculum Day


A2 Progress Evening


Year 13 students Bag Pack at Asda


PTA Annual Quiz Evening


Year 9 Academic Tutorial Week


Student Forum Conference


Post 16 Curriculum Pathways Evening


Valentine Disco


Curriculum Day


Year 8 Gifted & Talented Trip


Primary Dance Festival


Year 11 Academic Tutorial Week


Dermot Gascoyne (former heavy weight boxer) speaks to Year 11 students


In January this year, she was selected for England U20’s squad for a match in Paris on Sunday 11th March. Amy went on the pitch 5 minutes into the


World Book Day


Polish Exchange return


Year 11 Support Evening


Sewhat Fashion Event

Tuxford Academy Presents...

Tuxford Academy Excellence Through Teamwork


Tuxford Topics

It is now possible to follow Tuxford Academy on Twitter. The link is:

12th - 14th July 2012

designed and produced by dactyl publishing tel: 01427 884998

Tuxford Topics issue 72  
Tuxford Topics issue 72  

Tuxford Academy News magazine summer 2012