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TuxfordTopics The official termly newsletter of Tuxford Academy

Issue No. 72

Autumn Term 2012

Minister for Schools visits

Design and Technology Superstars!

On Friday 19th October Tuxford Academy was very pleased to host a visit by Lord Hill, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools. The Minister was introduced to representatives from Tuxford’s partners in the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership as well as to some of Tuxford’s students. Two local MPs, Patrick Mercer (Newark) and Mark Spencer (Sherwood) accompanied Lord Hill on his fact-finding visit.

Two of our Design and Technology students have recently received national recognition for their outstanding work. Sixth Former Josh Gillot (Y12) has been awarded one of the prestigious ‘Arkwright Engineering Scholarships’ beating thousands of applicants after a very rigorous application, exam and interview process. Josh has won £600 and in addition he will receive expert support from a sponsor. His success will also benefit Tuxford Academy pupils as the Design and Technology Faculty will receive £400 to spend on equipment.

There is interest at government level in the organisation model being developed by the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership under the leadership of Executive Principal Chris Pickering. Each academy that joins is welcomed as an equal partner with its own proud history and strengths. Expertise is shared across the group and although systems are harmonised to some extent, there is no attempt to impose a single “one size fits all” model of school management and no intention of centralising all services. Every partner is a local school and - as the partnership name signifies - its uniqueness is valued.

To the left of Mr Lloyd is Mark Spencer MP; on the right are Patrick Mercer MP, Mr Pickering and Lord Hill

The minister and members of parliament went on a ‘learning walk’ through English classrooms as part of their programme of activities and later they will enjoy a question and answer session with a group of students: Fraser Ridgway (Y7), Leon Auckland (Y9), Anastasia O’Connell (Y10), Yasmin Odubashy (Y11), Sofia Rodriguez (Y12), James Fletcher

Adams (Y12) and Francis Thorley (Y13). Prior to the visit Tuxford Academy Principal, Mr Geoff Lloyd, was confident that his students would impress the parliamentarians. “The professional politicians will be lucky to get a word in,” he suggested. “We have some very articulate young people at Tuxford and I am sure they will impress our visitors.”

The Arkwright Scholarships Trust administers one of the most prestigious scholarship schemes in the UK and its scholarships

are sponsored by industrial companies, universities, charitable trusts, trade associations, professional engineering institutions and personal donors. Josh is keen to pursue a career in Computer Science and the funding and support that this scholarship gives will help support his ambitions in this field. Josh is the most recent in a long line of Arkwright Scholars from Tuxford, the most recent being Christopher Patuzzo and Alexander Blackburn. James Black (Y9) came 2nd in the 11-15 (Senior Category) of the Daily Telegraph Young Architect of the Year award. Again, thousands of children entered the competition, but his creative design for a dream home (in the Amazon jungle!) wowed the judges. He

won a huge box of Meccano, an amazing architecture book and - to top it off - his design was printed in the newspaper and was featured on the Telegraph website. We are very proud of both of these amazing achievements. Well done!

Tuxford joins national research project

After the visit all three visitors were quoted in local papers praising the Academy. Lord Hill told the Newark Advertiser, “We have a committed group of people here wanting to raise education standards, wanting to work with other schools locally - learning together, helping one another - and that is exciting and should be encouraged.”

Success for Vocational Education

Tuxford Academy is proud to announce that it is engaged in a two-year school-based study aimed at improving the standard and quality of teaching and learning in schools across the country. The school will be collaborating with researchers from Sheffield Hallam University and the Isos Partnership and their work will inform the national research project co-ordinated by the National College for School Leadership. Engagement in research - in collaboration with partners - is an important part of our teaching school role. Teaching schools are a new feature of the education landscape in England and are modelled on the concept of teaching hospitals. They are designated by the National College and their role is to lead the training and professional development of staff by working with other schools and at least one university.

Maggie Farrar, Executive Director at the National College for School Leadership, said: “Schools should be proud of their role in this initiative. Rigorous research like this is key to improving the quality of education for children and young people.

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“The way we teach children and young people needs to be based on good evidence, in the same way doctors use evidence of what works when treating patients. Equally, just as practising doctors based in teaching hospitals drive medical research, so practising teachers should drive educational research.”

Keri Griffiths, project leader at Tuxford is confident that using the latest local, national and international research into what makes ‘great teaching’ can only benefit teachers and their students. “This project will not only improve further the quality of learning in our school, but also in others across the Trent Valley Teaching School Alliance which we lead.”

Tuxford Academy has four groups of teachers investigating four areas which they believe will enhance the quality of learning:

The role students can play in developing good teaching Dialogic teaching Effective feedback How co-operative learning improves student engagement

Interim findings are expecting to be published next year with final reports in 2014.

New Sensory Garden During the summer holiday a sensory garden was created beside the Beech/Oak College entrance into Sherwood Wing. This was the latest in a series of ground improvement schemes, collectively known as the ‘Big Project’. The sensory garden - as its name indicates - is primarily designed to stimulate the senses of all who visit it. It is a place to escape rather than to attract crowds and a refuge for anyone wishing to reflect quietly on the world. Last year Tuxford Academy became an accredited examination centre for the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). In July, 32 students in Y10 successfully passed the RSPH Foundation Certificate in Food Hygiene. Four students, Bethany

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Benison, Chloe Nicholson, Georgia Spring and Courtney Waring, did exceptionally well and achieved Credit level. This valuable qualification is a trade standard and it allows these students to work in any food-related business. Well done to all.

Students pictured from left to right: Scarlett Cordall, Hannah Reilly, Chloe Nicholson, Emily Taylor, Fagan Champion Lane, Lucy Marvell, Elliot Mann, Jade Rushby, Declan Williams, Beth Saxby, Katie Smith.

The garden, jointly funded by the Big Lottery and Tuxford Academy PTA, was conceived and developed by Nicola Manning, the extended services co-ordinator of the Tuxford family of schools.

The Sensory Garden was officially opened by Academy Principal Geoff Lloyd and Year 7 student Seamus Morrison. The following students were guests at the opening to represent the student body as a whole: Alice Hopkins, Lewis Hutton, Claire Berry, Sophie Hunnam and Vicky Hargreaves. Mr Lloyd told them that the garden not only reflects the school’s rural heritage but also its commitment to building an ‘inclusive’ community. He and Seamus cut a ribbon to declare the garden open. Tuxford Academy gardener, Mr Alan Hardy, will be responsible for maintaining the garden and its plants.

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Tuxford students at Olympics Opening Ceremony

Kate Louise and Charlotte run into history

loads of Olympic athletes could be seen walking around. We met the Women’s Australian water polo team and a Brazilian judo athlete and had our pictures taken with them. Just after lunch we made our way to the Olympic Park entrance and got taken through security. Our guide came to meet us and along with 7 other schools we started the tour. Among some of the things we saw were the Olympic stadium, the aquatic centre, the Velodrome, the Orbit and the athletes village. After the long walk around we were given lunch. Each school group had its picture taken with the official Olympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, and we were given out guard of honour shirts.

Tuxford group in front of the Olympic stadium Tuxford Academy was one of 250 schools selected to send students to London’s Olympic Park to form a guard of honour during the Opening Ceremony. Throughout the build-up to the Games Tuxford had been an active member of the Get Set Network. It developed a twinning relationship with a school in Brazil and so was invited to give a special welcome to the Brazilian athletes making their way from the Olympic Village

to the Stadium. Natalia Smith 10OJE and Sophie Dawson 9BKG gave us their impressions of their historic day at the Olympics. It was an early start: arriving at school at 6.30 in the morning. There was the coach journey to London and then a tube journey to Stratford station before we spent some time in Westfield Shopping Centre where

At 8.30pm we made our way to our position lining the route of the athletes’ parade as they walked into the stadium. We were given blue lanterns as it was getting dark. Tuxford was supporting Brazil so we held our Brazil banner as the parade began. A lot of athletes came to talk to us and to sign our shirts. We stayed until we saw Usain Bolt. However we managed to hear a lot of the opening ceremony and saw all the cast walking back and forward to the stadium and their changing rooms. Then it was back to the coach for the long journey to school - where we got picked up at 3am! All in all it was a long day but an amazing experience!

Matt Waters races at Olympic velodrome Since we last featured the cycling prowess of Matt Waters in these pages he has been asked by Gary Coltman, the British Cycling Junior Talent Coach, to work with Jack Garner [16 years of age] who lost his sight when he was 12. Matt agreed to become Jack’s pilot on a tandem and to enter competitions with him. Matt had never ridden a tandem with anyone before and neither Jack nor Matt had ridden a track tandem with a single fixed gear and no brakes. Matt and Jack trained over a very short period before as a pair they competed for the East Midlands team at the UK School Games in May 2012. They raced at the Olympic Velodrome in London and were one of the first tandem teams to ride and race the boards. Jack was the only rider without any sight and this meant he had no visual idea of the transitions in the very steep bankings. They competed admirably

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and had two podium places although the Gold medal eluded them on this occasion. Matt enjoyed the experience of being part of such a huge event with over 1600 athletes from all over the country competing in many sports. Matt and Jack continued their partnership after the Games riding at local time trials. Each time they raced over a set distance against the clock they finished with a personal best time, eventually clocking a very quick 23minutes 3 secs for the 9.25 mile course. They competed at the senior National Paracycling road circuit championships at Birkenhead, Liverpool and received a Bronze medal and then competed at the Inter Regional Track Championships at Newport in Wales in the paracycling track competition. In the standing start 500 metre time trial they won Gold - and set a new Championship record of 37.853 seconds.

Charlotte’s supporters cheer her on her run

Kate Louise with torch in school

Tuxford’s Olympic Moment did similar publicity stunts. Four torch-bearers were assigned to the Tuxford stage of the national tour: 25 year old Ben Gibbons from Lincoln (running for his brother Adam who died in 2008) would bring it to the outskirts of town. 25 year old Jason Hazard (selected for being a very dedicated member of the community) would also have his turn. However the two runners I noticed were 29 year old Rachel Brown from Nottingham, a police officer who was shot at from point blank range whilst on duty in 2006 and 19 year old Jade Phillips from Retford who has been struck low by liver disease since the age of 12.

Familiar faces in the Tuxford crowd

Next Matt and Jack rode at the National Junior Track Championships at Manchester. Here they won a gold medal in the flying 200 metre time trial (setting a new championship record) and a second gold in the standing start one kilometre time trial. To finish their racing season Matt and Jack rode as juniors in the Senior National Paracycling Track Championships, again in Manchester, and took the bronze medal in the kilometre time trial against some very senior competition including paracycling Olympians.

June 28th 2012, the day that the Olympic flame lit a path through Tuxford, was always going to be special. For Tuxford Academy, it meant normal lessons beginning after 11.00 to enable students to view the torch relay if they wished. For the village it was a moment of pride because it had been selected to host the relay and to play a part in a national event that would be remembered for years to come. Andreas Georgiou, Y13, was there:

On another note Matt has also taken up Penny Farthing racing in 2012 and competed at the IG Nocturne in London that took place around Smithfield Market in front of an enthusiastic crowd in excess of 12,000 people. Matt finished a very credible 10th out of 32 entrants some of whom are very experienced Penny Farthing racers from around the world.

The first people arrived on Eldon Street at around 8.45. At this point there wasn’t a large crowd, only around 300, but the masses were journeying in to glimpse the Olympic torch. At 9.15, Eldon Street was getting close to capacity, with around 1,500 people waiting in anticipation. Promotional teams started arriving from sponsoring firms such as Coca Cola, Samsung and

Lloyds TSB. They were soon handing out promotional merchandise such as Coca Cola tambourines, Lloyds TSB flags, and Samsung inflatable clappers. These items were given to most of the crowd to try to create as much noise and buzz as possible. There were a few traffic problems at the beginning of the event. Between 9.10 and 9.30 there were still cars driving through the village even though the roads were supposed to be shut. However this issue was soon solved. By 9.35 the anticipation and excitement were palpable. Two and a half thousand people were in attendance when the Olympic torch relay bus drove up the street to signify that the flame had arrived. A Coca Cola truck boomed music onto the streets to pump up the crowd and the promotional team handed out free bottles of Coke. Both Lloyds and Samsung

As Rachel Brown finished her brave run, the Olympic flame was handed over to 19 year old Jade Phillips. Moments before Jade received the flame I spoke to her and asked for her exact feelings: “I am really excited, this is just a once in a lifetime moment for me,” she told me. Seconds after this, Jade began her Olympic run and carried the flame out of Tuxford. I spoke to Lesley, a lady who has been in and around Tuxford all of her life, to ask what the event meant for her. She replied: “This is one of the biggest events Tuxford has ever seen. I’ve brought my 11 month old Grandson to see this.” As the flame, the music and the trucks moved off into the distance life got back to normal. On this day, the citizens of Tuxford had witnessed an event to remember for the rest of their lives.

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We Will Rock You

A Message from the Head of School This year yet again we have witnessed record breaking examination results with 98% of our Year 11 students achieving 5 or more A* to C grades at GCSE and 77% achieving this measure including both English and Maths. The 2012 results continue the upward trend of recent years and considering the results in 2011 were outstanding the increase of 11% and 7% respectively on these measures was staggering. At Post 16 we witnessed some excellent results too - and thoroughly deserved by our hard-working students. The average point score per entry increased by 5 points compared to last year and there was an 8%

increase in the higher grades of A*, A and B. Although we are proud of the achievements of all our students, we continue to challenge complacency as we develop and flourish. One way this will be achieved is to respond appropriately to the Ofsted “key issue”. As you know, we were judged by Ofsted to be outstanding in May 2012 for the second time and, as with all inspections, in their report the inspectors have to identify a key issue which will ensure a school will continue to develop. For Tuxford this issue was ‘effective feedback’ and we have aligned our planning processes for 2012/13 and possibly beyond to ensure this is being addressed. We are now at the stage of

undertaking our first evaluation to make certain our actions are impacting on pupil progress. Finally, on the Friday before half-term we were delighted to host a visit from Lord Hill of Oareford, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools accompanied by Patrick Mercer, MP for Newark, and Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood. It was a pleasure to show them our school and they were suitably impressed by the fantastic facilities, the high quality learning and of course by our outstanding students.

Mr G D Lloyd Principal

Shake The Dust

Over one thousand people attended performances of the Academy’s summer production, ‘We Will Rock You’. It was an ambitious production with seventy students on stage ably supported by a live band comprising musicians from Years 8 to 13. Head of Music, Jeff Evason admitted that a lot of hard work had gone into staging the West End musical written by Ben Elton to feature the music of Queen, “This was a significant undertaking given the complex nature of the music involved. Both singers and instrumentalists came through the test with flying colours - and to hear songs such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Somebody to Love’ sung in full four part texture was astonishing.” For Year 9 student George Bartlett this was the first production he had been in. “Rehearsals began way back in January when I had no idea of what was to come. Over the months the whole experience was a challenge, but gradually, week by week, more and more of

the show started to come together.” Asked whether this would also be his only production, George answered emphatically, “I am certain it will not be my last! When I was told I was to play the role of Britney Spears, I have to admit I was a little nervous until I found out it was in fact a man. I’ll never forget the feeling in the pit of my stomach each night when the curtains opened. The process was made a lot easier as everyone worked as team. I particularly felt that the older members of the cast played an important role in encouraging us all, lending support and leading by example.” Mr Evason was quick to emphasise that the production was a collaborative effort. He praised the part played by his colleagues from the Arts Faculty and the contributions of a wider team of dedicated volunteers, “The set, sound and lights were unbelievable and this production saw the Academy break into new territory with regard to standards across every element of Music Theatre performance.

Above all I got the impression that the audiences couldn’t quite believe what the students had managed to achieve.” George was able to confirm audience appreciation, “My parents as well as other friends and family, were certainly surprised as to how professional and fantastic the show was. All of the hard work and time was definitely worth it and I was so glad to be a part of it all.” “The teachers involved were also brilliant, he added, “and the show wouldn’t have been anywhere near the standard it was without all the extra hard work and time they put in.” Performances were staged from 12th to 14th July to packed houses. George remembers them well, “Finally, it got to performance week - and everyone was nervous but excited at the same time. I highly recommend it! Anyone out there who is interested in musical theatre definitely should get involved with the next production.”

The story so far... our last edition reported that a Tuxford team was preparing to perform onstage at Nottingham Playhouse in the East Midlands regional heat of a national ‘poetry slam’ competition. The good news is that the team won and so went on to perform at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in the final. We caught up with two members of the team to find out more. Charlotte Brindley explained how she first heard about the competition: “It was in assembly that we heard our English teachers were looking for students from Years 8 to 11 to write and perform poetry. At first I wasn’t particularly interested, but as we were told more and learned that it was performing rather than reading poetry I thought I would give it a try - and then I got caught up in the competition and the determination to do well.” The initial pool of about one hundred students was narrowed to twenty to attend a series of lunchtime workshops in school with two professional poets. “We each wrote lines on a common theme then offered these to the group to combine into poems which had a rhythm and a beat as well as a meaning,” explained Oliver Baker. “We

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worked on techniques to improve expression and performance impact. We had to work on using our voice effectively and conveying emotion.” After the workshops eight team members were chosen to represent the school. On Saturday 9th June they had technical rehearsals at Nottingham Playhouse before

the competition began. The eight students performed as two groups of four, one before the interval and one after. They all sat in the auditorium with competitors from other schools and their supporters until they were called on stage. Charlotte spoke to some of the others and formed the impression that most of the schools represented were from city schools. “There was an urban edginess to their performances,” she suggested. “I

was nervous as we went on stage, but I soon forgot my nerves and the surroundings when we began.” When asked why they thought they had won Oliver and Charlotte agreed that it was because both Tuxford groups did well and they had two very different pieces. “We were told our performances had been consistently strong and our team work impressive,” said Oliver. The London final was not just a competition. The team travelled down on Thursday 5th July for a three day programme of workshops and shows from professional poets. They stayed in student accommodation and learned a lot about writing and performing. The Saturday Final had the same format at the Nottingham heat: they sat in the auditorium and the two groups performed separately. Team members were delighted to see Mr Lloyd in the audience. He approached them to wish them good luck. Team members were pleased with their performances. Some feedback was given and it was positive although on this occasion they didn’t win. The main message was that everyone at the final was a winner because it had been a tough competition to get there.

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Postcards from Rome

We had a ridiculou sly early start to the day. After arr iving at the airpo rt in Rome we went straight to the ho tel and dumped our bags, ready to beg in sightseeing. We did lots of shopping an d travelled places on the metro. While shopping, the street sellers’ favourite saying seemed to be “shack a lack a boom boom” which also made us laugh. We heard from Mr Gr iffiths that wet-w ipes solve everything, and that water is yo ur best friend and tha t you should alway s pay for air-condit ioning - it’s worth it!

On the 11th July a party of Year 10 students flew to Rome. This is what Catherine Saddington and Ellie Drabble wrote of the experience.

ially the nice, espec e it u q is visited Our hotel fast. We k ea r b t a g Trevi croissants e, includin om R in es c bs and loads of pla e Vatican, Catacom had h T ide Fountain, . Our Catacombs gu ll m u us a the Colosse y laugh that made k rant ea a really fr night at the restau ery g - from giggle. Ev ill somethin Griffiths sp o t e g a n Mr we ma to water. se ee s in h c n a Rome stay parmes in s en p p a at h walk’. tells us wh y his ‘bagll ia ec p es Rome -

Open Evening 2012 Open Evening this year was earlier than usual - on Thursday 27th September. Over five hundred people came along to find what Tuxford Academy has to offer - and they were all impressed. We can make this bold statement because

Holly joined the Womens Royal Voluntary Service in Worksop in September 2011. She had been interested in doing some voluntary work for some time so she joined the WRVS ‘befriending scheme’ after hearing about it on the radio. This involved a commitment to make a 30 minute telephone conversation once a week with an elderly resident in the Worksop area. Holly was the youngest volunteer with Worksop WRVS and she befriended 72 year old Carole Moorhouse. Each week Holly would ring Carole without fail

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One Year 6 student wrote: ”I loved it and I really want to go to Tuxford.” Asked how the evening could be improved someone suggested that more time to see the large number of displays would be appreciated. Someone else asked for: “More time around your wonderful school.”

Tuxford Topics Tuxford Academ y Marnham Road Tuxford Newark Notts. NG22 0JH

opics Tuxford T ademy c Tuxford A oad R m a h n Mar d r o f Tux Newark Notts. H NG22 0J


Learning outside the classroom In the ‘Good Old Days’ students were perceived as empty vessels waiting for teachers to fill them with Knowledge. In these more enlightened times, we realise that modern young people bring considerable experience, well nurtured talents and a range of skills into school. As educators, our job is made easier if we can harness the enthusiasm within everyone.

Worksop Guardian praises community service by former student Former student Holly Higgins has recently started university in Bradford, but before moving away she was presented with a Guardian Rose - an award for outstanding service to the community. Holly’s work for the WRVS was featured prominently in the paper in August.

we conducted a survey this year and noone scored the event as less than good. Comments received praised staff for being very approachable and praised the students present for being so eager and keen. One adult asked if he or she could come back to school!

and always had an interesting conversation with her. “Holly is a very good listener and good conversationalist,” Mrs Moorhouse told a reporter. “Her phone calls to me each week mean such a lot and something for me to look forward to as I don’t get out very much. I have learnt much about iPads and computers - something I knew little about before.” There was a 50 year age gap between Holly and Carole but they were never short of conversation. “I enjoyed hearing all about Carole’s poetry and creative writing. She is a very interesting lady and we had really good chats” said Holly. “I would definitely recommend it to other people of my age. It is great for younger people as it is something you can do from your own home and help other people at the same time.”

Picture courtesy of the Worksop Guardian WRVS is always looking for new volunteers. Videlle Hamlet, WRVS Service Manager, said “You need to be a good listener with half an hour a week to spare. WRVS pay any expenses back and full training and support is given.” Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the WRVS on the befriending scheme or, in any other way, please call 01909 484437 or email:

the country. Steam enthusiasts are a tight knit community and Abi and her family are a well-established part of it. The rallies often feature a stage area so the crowds can enjoy entertainment other than pressure gauges, pistons and cogwheels! Dancers, singers and instrumentalists are hired - and this

In the pages of Tuxford Topics, we like to celebrate the achievements of students, both in school time and outside. We hope the published profiles help to stimulate similar accomplishments in others. In this edition, it is the turn of Abi Ragsdale in the spotlight. Abi has her own traction engine. Just imagine how she can put that ownership to good use in lessons. The possibilities in Art, in English and in Technology are significant. Abi’s brother James - who has just left the Academy - is currently building another traction engine so Abi can call on much engineering knowledge in her family.

year Abi has taken to the stage to be one of them; she sings modern songs to prerecorded backing tracks. Her performances have been well received so Abi has grown in confidence as a performer.

Every year Abi attends steam rallies all over

Abi’s latest venture is to record a professional

quality CD of some of the songs in her repertoire to give as Christmas and birthday presents to family and friends. She is recording the album at Studioshed in Gainsborough with the help of recording engineer, Gary Manson. He was discovered via his website and Abi has been very grateful for all the help and expertise he has provided. So far she has laid down four tracks. The other main interest in Abi’s life is wildlife, especially dolphins. She has seen them up close many times during her trips to Florida. This interest has brought the work of wildlife photographer Doug Allen to her attention. He is very well known to anyone who studies the natural world and among the people he has worked with is David Attenborough, the television natural history documentary maker. Doug has invited Abi to one of his talks in November and he is encouraging her interest in wildlife. Abi brings a wealth of experience and prior knowledge to school. She is also an enterprising person who is willing to have a go at something new. We have a lot like her at Tuxford.

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Sports Day

University success


60 students were successful at getting into their first choice university this year. 4 students took up their insurance offer and 6

students went through clearing. 18 students have gone to a Russell Group university. We wish all of them the best possible success.

This year Sports Day was held on 29th June. The weather was fair and the competition fierce. One of the memorable moments was in the Yr 8 boys long jump when David Mafullul jumped 5.50m, beating the previous record of 4.93m which was set in 1983!

activity was indicated. There was a definite gender imbalance in health levels and it was hoped that the Olympics and the publicity for high profile female medal winners could provide a prompt. Maybe the results of this initiative can be the catalyst for future initiatives.

An Olympic theme was introduced at the start when an Opening Ceremony was held: each learning team (form group) paraded around the track to represent a country. It added a bit of colour and a greater level of participation.

Health Assessment Service In July, the Post 16 students (and some staff) took part in health and fitness assessments, in conjunction with Annurca. Each participant received a frank assessment of fitness; for some this was a wake-up call to improve health through changing exercise and eating habits. This initiative provided an invaluable insight into the health and wellbeing of a group of young people. As expected, the results collectively

reveal higher levels of health and fitness than in the general population. Surprisingly the data revealed that Tuxford students were also healthier than other learners of a comparable age from the Further Education sector. Although the collective health of the tested Post 16 students was above average, several individuals could be healthier. The need for more female students particularly to participate in sport, exercise and physical

The overall winners were Beech College (again!). Best Boy was Jack Hyde; Best Girl was jointly awarded to Charlotte Peach and Beth Platford. Two other records broken were in Yr 9 boys high jump and Yr 10 girls 800m. Matthew Parkin jumped 1.73m beating the previous record of 1.63m set in 1990. Charlotte Peach ran the 800m in 2m 36s, beating the previous record of 2m 38s.

The student involvement in this project was extremely positive and the re-tests are eagerly awaited.

Student Clothes Show As part of the induction programme for Year 12 High Street retailers, Debenhams, brought a clothes show into school on 4th September. It proved to be a popular event, so much so that Debenhams hopes to take similar shows into other sixth forms.

Y9 Crime Prevention Day Year 9 students attended a series of workshops run by the Prison Me No Way Trust on Friday 6th July. The Trust was supported by representatives of the Fire Service, Police, St John’s Ambulance and prison service. Through role play, mock-ups, demonstrations and discussion students learned the importance of making positive life choices and the impact that poor choices

The show was intended to demonstrate what is meant by the term “smart casual”. Students freed from the restrictions of a uniform needn’t go overboard in expressing that new freedom. The sixth form is a work environment and selfrestraint is called for.

Post 16 Dress Code Whilst there is no requirement for students to wear uniform, it is important that a smart image is portrayed at all times as Post 16 students are role models for younger students and ambassadors for the school. A small number of female students are sometimes dressing inappropriately. Please remember that midriffs should not be exposed, and that shorts or skirts worn over skin tight leggings must be of a suitable style and length.


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would have on their lives, both now and in the future. The No Way Trust is a national educational charity set up in 1995 by prison officers who wanted to make an impact on the lives of young people and turn them away from crime. Its innovative educational programmes are enjoyed by students.

I am Learning update All students

Female students

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At all times clothing should follow the idea of smart casual and should be appropriate for the school learning environment. Smart denim jeans are acceptable. No offensive slogans on T-shirts or revealing clothing.

Trousers - smart jeans, trousers or shorts (leggings or jeggings may be worn under skirts and dresses). Skirts and dresses should be of an appropriate length and fabric. Smart sweater/jacket as appropriate.

Male students


• •

• Shoes or trainers. • Smart open toe sandals may be worn during the summer months.

Casual shirt or smart T-shirt with sweater/jacket as appropriate. Trousers - smart jeans, trousers or shorts worn at waist level.

The I am Learning website not only provides a fun and engaging way to learn, but it is also proven to raise results for learners studying at GCSE and Key Stage 3. A recent official IAL Impact report found that students who used the website regularly experienced an 8% improvement in exam performance and this rose to 13.5% for those who used it for more than one hour each week.

I am Learning is an online games-based revision system used by over 400,000 users worldwide. Tuxford Academy subscribes to the website to promote independent learning through effective homework, revision and exam practice.

Feedback from Tuxford students has been extremely positive and many have praised its motivational aspects and say that it is “much more fun and engaging” than other online learning websites. Now in its 3rd year at Tuxford Academy, our usage figures continue to improve and we are ranked as the 5th highest (October 2012) performing

school in the UK. Teaching staff at Tuxford Academy may set homework through the website but more importantly, students are actively encouraged to use the site as a tool for independent learning. A reward structure is in place for those who access the site on a regular basis (from the 1st November 10 hours = Principal’s Award). To access students should input the following details which are specific to them: School ID: tung22 Username: studentsfullname Password: DDMMYYYY (student’s D.O.B.)

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A fantastic frolicking vacance en France

It happens every year to a different set of people, but how do we write anything original about the Year 8 week in France? The answer is that we asked Abi Draper, now in Y9, for her memories of the 2012 experience. You start your journey on a coach with all your friends. You watch films on the journey and stop off for lunch at motorway services. You then travel through the Eurotunnel to France. The journey takes most of the day so when you get to the school all you want to do is unpack and get settled in before going

down for dinner. However, that is when the excitement really begins. All the formal information aside, you spend time with the people you want to. You stay in a French boarding school room with four people of your choice! The school has a canteen which provides breakfast and dinner, and you’re able to use the facilities all over the grounds such as basketball courts and quad. You visit many famous attractions including the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre. You also visit a typical French market where you can buy traditional

Ben receives England call up

French items and test your French while you haggle with the market stall owners! Many exciting things happen. All the teachers relax and join in with the fun even Mr Baker smiles! The Paris trip is one of the best trips you’ll ever experience in your Tuxford lifetime. OK, there are educational visits - but they are to Disneyland along with many other attractions and theme parks. It is such a good laugh and you can soon find out whether your French lessons are paying off. If you do go, you’ll really enjoy it. We did.

Ice hockey player, Ben Ward of 8OAB, has been selected to play for the England U13 team in Quebec, Canada in the new year. The tournament is in February, but prior to flying out with the squad, Ben is to attend the England training camp at Slough for pre-tournament team building.

Telford, etc. and he grew in confidence.

Ben has been watching ice hockey for as long as he can remember because his grandfather took the whole family to watch Nottingham Panthers on Saturday nights. When he was 9, he went to an ice hockey taster session at Nottingham and was asked to try out for goalkeeper in the Nottingham Sabres (the U10 team). He was given encouraging feedback about the speed of his reflexes so he decided to give it a go. He had to attend a training night every Friday, but he enjoyed these sessions and he was accepted into the team. In his first season, he played teams from Hull, Sheffield,

Ben is now in the U14 team at Nottingham (the Tigers). It should be a good season if the opening match is an indicator: they beat Telford 18 - 0!

In the next season, Ben was in goal for the Tiger Cubs (U12 team) and the team won the league. Ben personally was so successful that he was picked for the U11 Midland Conference side.

It was in June that one of his coaches suggested that Ben should try for the England slot. He made it to final selection after attending trials in Nottingham, Sheffield and Bradford. Ben had another memorable experience in June when he was chosen to take part in the Olympic Gala Event at Nottingham Ice

Armed Forces Careers Exhibition weapons. Louise New 10WCH felt it had helped her to make some important career choices. Michael Kerry 11WCH thought the best thing about the day was learning how to shoot a pistol. Amy Moir 10WAT summed up the value of the trip, “It has given me lots of information on different trades in the forces and what the trades consist of. Everyone was very helpful and all activities were great fun. I would like to attend next year.”

Finance Manager Appointment duties included administration for the school minibuses, bus passes, trip monies and accident forms. Prior to working in school she had experience as a hotel receptionist in Manchester and Nottingham, a bookkeeper in Ireland and an accounts clerk in Southwell.

Liz Boneham (left) and our new Finance Manager, Anita Farnworth (right) Tuxford Academy’s new Finance Manager is Anita Farnworth who previously held a similar position in Meden School. We welcome her to her very responsible role and hope that she has an enjoyable and fulfilling career as part of the Tuxford team. Anita’s predecessor, Liz Boneham, retired at the end of September after 21 years service to the school. She started work here as a clerical assistant in June 1991 and her


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The role that most Tuxford colleagues will associate with Liz is her responsibility for employment contracts, salaries and personnel records. She had an encyclopaedic knowledge of conditions of employment, on costs, pay scales, entitlement to leave, etc. so she was a valued adviser to three headteachers and a long line of senior managers. She was also confidante and adviser to the majority of Tuxford staff who would ask for help in interpreting pay slips, tax issues, selfcertificating after illness, etc. Everyone was given expert advice and all enquiries were handled with tact and patience. Liz had a reputation for being thorough

and conscientious. If a job had not been completed she would stay until it was finished even though she would be working unpaid overtime. It was typical of her that she agreed to supervise her successor’s induction for a month after her retirement was due to begin. As Finance Manager Liz managed much of the transition from county school to independent academy. Working with colleagues from partner schools within DALP she had to decide which bank, finance administration system, payroll service provider and auditor we would move to. This was a mammoth undertaking involving much training and re-setting of systems. Liz and her team worked long hours to ensure that finances within school were functioning as normally as possible during a time of upheaval. Liz’s departure was a low key occasion at her request. She didn’t want a fuss or speeches. Nevertheless all her colleagues at Tuxford are sorry to see her go and we wish her a long and happy retirement.

Stadium with Torvill and Dean. He had to perform to a packed stadium in his ice hockey kit. He had one of the largest cheers of the evening as he moved an imaginary puck around, and pretended to pass it.


Over 30 students in Years 10, 11 & 12 attended the Armed Forces Careers Exhibition held at Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell on Tuesday 24th April. It was an interesting and entertaining day raising awareness of the career opportunities available across the three Services. Interactive stands allowed students to gain an insight into the equipment that is used on a modern battlefield from Apache aircraft, Challenger 2 Tanks through to specialist engineering and communications equipment. Students were able to talk to members of the Armed Forces and become more informed about the role and responsibilities of the three

Services. The day allowed students to gather extensive career information on apprenticeship and sponsorship opportunities available. Ashley Higgs 12OJT told us, “I have gained a lot from today. I got to meet people who are doing the job that I want to do and found out about what training and deployment is like as well as general life in a unit. Their circuit training was a good laugh and other activities were great as well such as paintballing.” Other students explained what they had enjoyed too. Jack Higgs 10BNC most enjoyed talking to the servicemen and using

Annual Quiz Evening

Saturday 26th January 2013 • School Hall

Please check the school website for further details.

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Saddle sore but proud

Year 11 Prom 2012

DALP update

The first day from Whitehaven to Penrith was 54 miles across the Lake District. When we set off we didn’t know what to expect. After two minor crashes and the weather turning in the afternoon, we were all pleased to reach Penrith. The second day, Penrith to Rookhope, started wet. We were a little tired but soon got back into the swing. The day’s highlight was the hill climb to Hartside Cafe 1903 ft, passing the horses and carts on their way to Appleby. All five of us made it without any stops, but were grateful that our parents’ vehicles escorted us - with hazard warning lights flashing - due to the bad visibility and safety concerns. We only had a short time to celebrate because five similar hill climbs lay ahead of us before that day’s challenge was complete.

During the summer half term break five Tuxford students gave themselves a punishing physical challenge for a good cause. Their intention was to complete a sponsored bike ride from the north west coast of England to the north east coast. Four of the boys were in Year 10 and the fifth was a year younger. Harry Newman of 11WML gave us this account of how they got on. Approximately one year ago I suggested the idea of cycling across England “coast to coast” to four friends, Oliver Meakin aged 14, Jack Jackson Savill, Jack Levick and Laurie Smith all aged 15. All agreed and actually seemed very up for it. We felt that the Jubilee week would be the ideal time so the date was set, 5th - 7th June.

Training commenced with several rides to Lincoln, Rutland Water and of course the hills of the Peak District to test our hill climbing abilities. To give ourselves a further incentive we decided to obtain sponsorship for a good cause, the ‘Forget Me Not’ charity in Tuxford. ‘Forget Me Not’ supports people suffering with dementia and their families. My grandma suffers with dementia and has benefited so much from this charity so I was pleased that the other riders felt they wanted to help it too. By the time the summer holidays arrived we felt thoroughly prepared for our big adventure, but being up at 6 o’clock in the morning, working hard all day then going to bed at 9 o’clock at night still came as a shock to us.

The final day’s schedule was to cycle from Rookhope to Tynemouth. We would pass through Consett and Newcastle before following the river Tyne to Tynemouth. We had seen some stunning countryside and now we were to experience the industrial heritage of the North East. I am pleased to report that everything went according to plan and we made it to the end. A big thanks from me to my four special friends. I couldn’t have done it without you. We raised the fantastic amount of £2,300 for ‘Forget Me Not’ and made our parents proud. Thank you to everyone who sponsored us. The ride was definitely a challenge but we did it. We all had a fantastic experience and saw some wonderful sights - in between the rain, wind and mist!

A strictly business trip to Alton Towers Despite several decades as a theme park, Alton Towers still draws in the crowds, in no small way to the sophisticated marketing that it carries out. It was to discover some of its business secrets that Year 10 Business and ICT students travelled to Alton Towers last term - honestly! The Business Studies students focused on Marketing at Alton Towers and within the Merlin Group; the ICT group learned how technology is used within the park. Of course it was only right, after the research and talks, that the students had the opportunity to see all of this in action. Did you know… • only 3% of visitors to the park pay full price for their tickets


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• • •

the original ‘Rollercoaster’ was dismantled because the computer that ran it was the size of a room and had no display screen. If the ride broke down, engineers had to follow the electric cables to search for the problem. there are hundreds of sensors on every ride that ensure safety - if any one sensor is triggered the ride is shut down Alton Towers has bought the rights to the music which is played on the adverts and around the park. It is

called ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ • the ride ‘Th13teen’ cost £15m to develop and build; Simon Cowell’s ex-bodyguard was employed to protect the secrets of Th13teen before it was launched • based on feedback from customers, Nemesis Sub-Terror was closed for a week in order to make improvements • 3 short adverts played throughout one commercial break are called ‘blipverts’.

East Leake Academy formally joined the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership at the beginning of November. For the benefit of new readers, the partnership now consists of four secondary academies; Tuxford, National C of E Academy in Hucknall, Retford Oaks and East Leake.

Over two hundred students and twenty staff attended this year’s prom at Blackburn House, formerly known as Boughton Pumping Station. The venue changes yearly, but the event is now firmly established in the Tuxford Calendar. It is a rite of passage marking the end of compulsory education and the assumption of personal responsibility for the future. Inevitably it is an occasion of nostalgia for the five years spent at Tuxford and a celebration of friendships and achievements. Highlights of

the evening include the grand entrances of all present from many varied forms of transport, the revelation of ball gowns and tuxedos, a two course sit down meal, and dancing. This year the music was provided by local DJ Andrew Channing. Josie Baugh and James Ragsdale were voted Tuxford Academy Prom king and queen. James Jordan-Noble and Daisy Beall were voted the best dressed students. Students were entertained by Pogo the clown and a candy floss machine proved to be very popular.

Tuxford Academy Junior Town Council The Junior Town Council has had a great year and continues to go from strength to strength. The group of 12 students aged 1118 meets once a term with representatives from Tuxford Town Council to debate local issues and to put forward suggestions on behalf of the young people of the district. Local issues the group has discussed include: the turning on of the town’s Christmas lights and associated activities, the development of the Gilbert Avenue playing field and cycling safety around Tuxford.

Nicola Manning, Extended Services Coordinator at Tuxford Academy, attends the meetings too and she had this say about them: “The Junior Town Councillors have matured as a group and have become much more confident in discussing local issues.” The Town Council has been so impressed with the Junior Council that it has offered a student adviser position to two of its members. The scheme will enable the two students not only to attend council meetings but also to take part in meetings and express an opinion.

Many schools throughout the country have converted to academies and all aim to drive up standards, but their organisational structures differ significantly. Here at Tuxford we are very pleased that the DALP model allows schools to retain their individuality whilst working together to raise achievements in all academies for the benefit of our students. The partnership website is

LRC News At the end of the summer term well known poet Paul Cookson came to visit. He led a hilarious performance to all Year 7 students followed by a series of poetry writing workshops for selected classes. With over sixty titles to his name, Paul has sold well over three quarter of a million books since he began work as a poet in 1989. His performances are always memorable, lively and extremely funny – and this year was no exception. The LRC hosted a Book Fair for a week in October, giving Year 7, 8 and 9 students the chance to see, browse and buy the latest children’ fiction books at very competitive prices. Hosting the fair also provides free books and resources for the school.

‘An Inspector Calls’ Year 11 students made a trip the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield on Tuesday 24th April to watch ‘An Inspector Calls’ as part of their study for GCSE literature. After reading through the play in lessons the students were interested to see how the play was interpreted by professional actors. Harriet Tomlinson explained why she went, “It gave us a chance to watch it how Priestley intended.”

Members of the Tuxford Academy Junior Town Council - Andreas Georgiou, Chairman; Matthew Riley and Loucas Georgiou with Lisa Hill, Clerk to Tuxford Town Council

Josie Baugh assessed the evening for us, “Everyone enjoyed it. The play and production were brilliant - A*s all round!”

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Marnham Road Tuxford Newark Nottinghamshire NG22 0JH

Tel: 01777 870001 Fax: 01777 872155 Email:

A Warmer Reception The school now has an attractive and spacious lobby area at the front of the building. It means that arctic blasts will no longer freeze our receptionists and visitors every time someone enters the school during winter. Before the new school was opened there had been a concern about the draught and


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heat loss implications of having external doors opening directly into reception. In the old building there had been outer and inner doors so there was an effective buffer against the wind; in the new building we were promised a curtain of warm air around the entrance but it proved to be inadequate. The new porch not only rectifies a design fault but also blends in so well

architecturally that it looks as though it was always intended to be there as a distinctive entrance. Balfour Beatty managed the tendering and project management process. The contractor was Goldcrest Developments Ltd. Most of the work was completed during the summer holiday.

designed and produced by dactyl publishing tel: 01427 884998

Tuxford Topics issue 72  

Tuxford Topics issue 72

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