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MARCH 2009

revision sessions at home would be greatly appreciated. I’m sure you will agree that now, more than ever, our young people must gain as many qualifications as they can in order to secure a financially secure and fulfilling future. Many students have applied for places in our sixth form and numerous Year 13 students now have offers of University places. So, the pressure is on them to perform! As you know last year saw an excellent set of results for both GCSE and ‘A’ level and I believe that there is the potential for this year’s students to match or even beat that record! Please join us in our ‘quest for the best!’ We are far from complacent about our improvements and I chose to invite Local Authority Officers into College to conduct an OFSTED-style inspection for a day at the start of March. The findings are very encouraging and I am delighted to tell you that every officer graded student behaviour as good, as well as many other facets of our work here. We expect an OFSTED inspection in the near future. Although Year 9 will not be taking SAT’s this year, parents can be assured that our regular assessment of all students’ progress enables us to tailor our teaching appropriately and prepare students for further progression. I look forward to seeing you at our combined Parent Consultation and Options Evening between 3.45pm and 6.30pm on 23rd March. Our show, The Wizard of Oz, runs from 17th to 20th March and I hope I will see many of you there and that all of you enjoy reading this newsletter charting just some of our activities from recent weeks.

Wendy Sharp (left) with Sue Hackman, Chief Executive for Schools’ Standards at the Department for Children, Schools and Families at a recent awards ceremony.

Dear Parents I want to thank you for the support you have already given to us in the early months of 2009, with many of you attending Parent’s Evenings for our older students. The weather has challenged our everyday routines and the global economic situation has not given the new year the brightest of starts. However, here at Alfreton Grange our students continue to make us proud. Many took examinations in January and will have their results by the time this newsletter reaches you. Others are preparing for the examination season in May/June and your continued support in encouraging 100% attendance at College and regular


Finally the news that we’re really moving forwards here at Alfreton Grange seems to have been noticed in the community. The level of applications for September’s new Year 7 intake is very healthy, significantly up on the last few years despite the number of children aged 11 declining in the County. I think that’s a very strong vote of confidence on the progress being made here by staff, students and parents alike. Best wishes for Easter.

Wendy Sharp Wendy Sharp Headteacher

profession and supplies industry, all working together to encourage the very best in education.

It’s with great pleasure that we are able to announce that our Headteacher Wendy Sharp, now in her 5th year here, has been shortlisted for a prestigious National Award. She is one of four (from over 100 nominations) in the final of a competition run by the British Educational Suppliers' Association to recognise outstanding achievements in education leadership. The Education Resources Awards highlight the quality and diversity of educational products and resources, excellent educational establishments and the most dedicated members of the teaching

Now in their eleventh successful year, what makes ERA different from other Awards is that they focus on the resources, services and people that create a practical impact on learning and the day-to-day work of teachers in the classroom. Mrs Sharp will be up against teachers from Tower Hamlets, Birmingham and Essex and the winner will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum, in Birmingham, on Friday, March 27th. We wish her good luck in trying to add to the awards received by the college for improvements in results that we reported on in our last newsletter.

ATTENDANCE Well done to these tutor groups for being top of their year groups for attendance from the start of the College year up to the end of February: 7ZS 95.7%

8LT 95.3%

9HH 95.3%

10RF 95.5%

11SB 92.9%

These students can pat themselves on the back – they managed 100% and no ‘late’ marks, so well done to: Y7 Rhiannon Beresford, Kieran Hale, James Minkley and Chloe Smith. Y8 - Abigail Clarke, Laura Cutler, Megan Draycott, Daniel Marriott, Samuel Mee, Henry O’Keefe and Lewis Taylor. Y9 -Aydan Button-Twiname, Arlene Domingo and Bethany Stanley. Y10 - Zoe Bradley, Vickie Harpham, Joe Holland, Cassandra Judson, Robert Lanczak, Bret Shipley, Chloe Siddall, Leanne Smith, Katie Walker and James Wilson. Y11 - Vikki Howitt, and Patrick Rix. The best of the best!

Headteacher: W.A. Sharp B.A. (Hons) M.R.S.C. C.Chem Telephone: (01773) 832331


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Ours students and hosts at County Hall

DERBYSHIRE READING DEBATE A number of our students recently had the honour of debating in the hallowed chambers of County Hall. Year 10 Student James Wilson takes up the story….

PARLIAMENTARY PUPIL Year 7 student Daniel Siddall was a recent visitor to the Houses of Parliament. He travelled with his Mum, Alison, to see Amber Valley MP Judy Mallaber to give support on World Diabetes Day. Daniel and Mum told Judy of the support received by diabetes sufferers at Alfreton Grange Arts College from Mrs Wragg and other staff and they visited Westminster to support other children who don’t receive such levels of support. Jane Orrey of Diabetes UK explained; “For every child with diabetes who doesn’t receive support at school, a whole family suffers. We know that Daniel, Judy and Alison outside Parliament the health and well-being of 83% of children with diabetes is in jeopardy if they don’t achieve recommended glucose levels and schools have a vital role to play in changing this frightening statistic.”

We entered County Hall half an hour earlier than the other schools, which meant we could see what we were up against! We were all nervous but we had a few laughs to take our mind of it.

As a specialist college in visual and performing arts, the teaching and learning of music is central to our ethos and gifts such as the one you made enable us to allow more students to hone their skills in these areas which are so vital to improving self-esteem and confidence.

Three of our members went for a photo, then we entered the chambers. We were all assigned areas to sit in. The motion was 'This house believes that all books should have an age restriction.' We had to argue for the motion. We did brilliantly and a few comments later showed that we impressed a lot of people there - from our new uniform to or vocabulary!


It was a great day, which helped us to build confidence in public speaking. Our own Debating Society, that meets every Friday, will be inviting other schools to join us for a debate in the summer term. I can't wait!

MORTS RE-UNION New staff member Simon Hill is currently organising a school re-union for students that attended Mortimer Wilson School from September 1979 to July 1984 (or 1986 if they attended the sixth form). He’s also keen on receiving photographs and memorabilia from this time so if you, any of your relatives or friends attended the school at this time, the event is being held at the Cock Hotel in Ripley on 14th June 2009. Feel free to contact Simon at the college if you wish to attend or indeed just want more information.

ADVENTURES IN DYSTOPIA All Year 8 students have experienced a presentation entitled Adventures in Dystopia, organised by Mr Gander. None the wiser? Dystopia is the opposite of Utopia, so it’s not so good! The production and subsequent workshops, run by the Speakeasy Theatre Company and sponsored by Derbyshire County Council, presented students with a world in the future that resulted from a misuse of resources and a failure to recycle, reuse and repair. We hope the day will spark the imagination of students to consider ways the college can contribute to a more eco-friendly future.


Many thanks to B&Q at Somercotes for donating £100 worth of gardening equipment that has allowed Mr Soar and his students to carry out some new work in our woodland area. The kind gift would not have been possible without the work of Miss Adani, so thanks (and well done) to her as well.

Additional thanks go to Alfreton resident Jim Fairclough who contacted us and donated a superb Roland keyboard that will enable us to further develop our arts ethos and enable us to allow more students to hone their skills in areas which are so vital to improving self-esteem and confidence. Can anyone else out there match B&Q and Jim’s generosity? Contact Mr Tooley if you can!

SHIRLAND’S DOCUMENTARY MAKERS We welcomed a class of Year 5 students from Shirland Primary School recently to use our excellent GTV filming facilities to enable them to make documentaries. They’d chosen crime as the theme for their films and each team had camera operators, interviewers, police, criminals and witnesses to put into life the excellent story boards they’d prepared in advance. The offer to use the facilities is open to all of our feeder primary school, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Recycle or Rubber Face!

Alfreton Grange Arts College MARCH 2009

Year 5 students making movies

RESPECT AND PROTECT World Aids Day is celebrated annually on 1st December. The theme of the most recent World Aids Day was ‘Respect and Protect’. At Alfreton Grange, we held assemblies and lessons in which we discussed the global impact of HIV and Aids. The Day inspired every one of us to respect and protect the health and well-being of ourselves and those around us through knowledge, action and consideration. We wore the Red ribbon (the symbol of World Aids Day) with pride! Through staff and pupil donation and activities, such as sponsored silences, Alfreton Grange raised £79-37 for the National Aids Trust. A huge thank you to everyone who got involved.

Organiser Mrs Worthy with students and Aids cheque

In addition Mrs Worthy organised a collection of goods and money for the Schools for Africa appeal and we filled our allocated 20 boxes for Africa with useful items such as toiletries, toys, exercise books and other treats that were sent to an orphanage in Kenya. We even helped some other local schools fill their boxes. Our original target was to raise £103 but we more than doubled that! You can get full details of this project via a video report on our college website. It’s well worth a look.


Our excellence in engineering was again recognised when it was featured in the latest edition of the Aim Higher Derbyshire Newsletter. Read the full article at


The Rotary Club of Alfreton has continued its welcome support of the college by donating dictionaries and continuing its sponsorship of the John Townsend Memorial Music Award. President Roger Stevenson and fellow Rotarians are pictured with Headteacher Wendy Sharp (above) and Director of Arts Russ Singleton (below).

JAMMIE DODGERS AND JIM-JAMS Sixth formers have chosen Educate for Life ( as their chosen charity for this year. Their charity week, organised for the week as we were just going to press, involved making and selling cakes and being sponsored for coming to college wearing their pyjamas! News next time on how much they raised – we’re still counting!

Cake selling – just what the office ordered!

Alfreton Grange Arts College MARCH 2009


Since our last newsletter there have been plenty of things to concentrate our mind and here we demonstrate three events that shaped the life of the college in one way or another. The Big Amber Valley Soundclash, organised by Derbyshire Police, Graham Jarrett in particular, featured bands, singers and rappers from schools all over the Amber Valley and was hosted here at Alfreton Grange. The event was held on an awful night but a large crowd fought through blizzard like conditions to attend. Indeed the snow caused havoc across Derbyshire and we lost some valuable school time here, but the weather gave us some memorable images which we share with you here. Just before Christmas we held our traditional Carol Concert and a packed Alfreton Grange Arts Theatre sang along and watched, occasionally with a tearful eye or two, as our young people (and plenty of old staff!) produced one of the events we’re renowned for.

There are videos of all three events on our website, take a look!

KATIE HAS THE X-FACTOR Well done to our very own Y13 student Katie Marsden who was voted as the winner of the Big Amber Valley Sound Clash involving bands from Alfreton Grange, Swanwick Hall, Aldercar, Belper and Mill Hill schools who all provided stunning acts for judges Trevor Middleton (Amber Sound FM), Matt Liddy (Derbyshire Police) and Music Promoter Alex Croft to deliberate over. Swanwick Hall band Front Line were worthy runners up. Becky Gee was our other performer on the finals night, she and Katie won our own auditions but it would be unfair not to mention those who sang at the preliminaries, namely Amy Key, Tiffany Johnson, Kayleigh Matthews, Sarah Askew, Emma Hobson, Chloe Smith, Charlie Howe, Leanne Hardy, Laura Haslam, Natasha Thompson, Emily Shemwell and Angus Mackintosh. They all were terrific and gave our own judges, Mr Tooley, Mrs Boots and Mr Singleton a tough task. Katie wins a stint at a professional recording studio and 500 CD’s for her performance. The police were so bowled over with our hospitality that they’re looking to use the college to host other events in the future.


Alfreton Grange Arts College MARCH 2009

WINTER WONDERLAND The wintery weather caused all sorts of travel havoc and we had to take the unusual steps to close the college on a couple of occasions and limit attendance to just Year 11 and the sixth form on another day. Whilst the snow and ice may have made walking and driving treacherous, it did create some wonderful images, particularly around our fishpond where the fountain’s gentle spray saw ice build up to make some beautiful scenes. Enjoy!

CHRISTMAS CHEER There was the usual mix of festive readings, singing, dancing, fun and frivolities at our annual Carol Concert. From ‘Walking in the Air’ delivered beautifully by Year 7 student Chloe Smith to a belting rendition of The Darkness song ‘Christmas Time’ by exstudents along with Dancing Santa’s and the now legendary ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ this event was a joy to behold. If you weren’t lucky enough to snap up one of the highly coveted tickets, here’s just a snapshot of what you missed!

Alfreton Grange Arts College MARCH 2009


PLANNING FOR WORK We’re just beginning to put together our programme for work experience week for current year 10 students, though the week will be in October (19th – 23rd) after they’ve moved up to Y11. We always encourage students to find their own placements but this year a combination of a big year group and the current economic climate makes us think we may have to work a little harder to ensure everyone benefits from this vital learning experience. Therefore if, where you or your friends and family work, you feel you may be able to place a student, please contact Mrs Boots here at the college and she’ll then ensure the necessary health & safety checks are carried out and we’ll endeavour to match places and students as best we can. Here’s what some of our current Y11 students, from 11GIW, said about their placings earlier in this academic year:

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how oyed learning I really enj problems with to fix various d which tools to phone lines an e problems out. th use to sort e fact that I I also like th around to was travelling es. I went to a different plachomes, industrial cattery, care s and a mental m estates, far . w o d re ea nt e M c e health Whit ng Working at ial ic ef en b Daniel Bunti each) a as nr pe O Furniture w T g B in (at t th es b e h T e. ienc

exper all the was meeting g ple and seein different peo ey rent jobs th all the diffe in the ed do. I work e the sales er r offices wh materials afte reps ordered om s fr taking order ie Place Abb customers.


Alfreton Grange Arts College MARCH 2009

GANDER’S GUYS & GALS If you see any students doing any outdoor stuff (other than PE) chances are Mr Gander’s got something to do with it! Here we look at Y12 problem solving and the ongoing Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme. As part of their PSE programme, students have experienced a range of problem solving tasks. They were designed to promote team building skills, opportunities to demonstrate leadership and show initiative. The exercises are all used by professional management training organisations to promote efficient task completion in the work place. We now have 11 students registered with the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and they’re progressing well towards the Direct Silver Award. The students are Jordan Stapleton, Chris Woods, Eddie Cheetham, Remi Martin, Jake Simpson, Ben Coupe, Robert Cole, Richard McCarthy, Rachel Easom, Alice Wright and Cheryl Twigg. Congratulations to all of them for making such a commitment. Some students are now beginning phase two of expedition training having completed Phase 1 in the Peak Park. The registered students are now in a position to record their achievements to progress towards completion of this prestigious award that is well regarded by employers. Mr Gander is looking for nine more recruits, so if it’s something you fancy, give him a shout.

CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES The college has now got a whole host of extra curricular clubs and activities. Some have been disrupted a bit due to Wizard of Oz rehearsals and the show itself but they’ll all be back to normal now. A reminder of what we do at lunchtime or after school: Day / Activity Monday Y11 Maths Drop-In Manga Club Circus Club Netball GTV News 6th Form Dance



Room 12 Room 18 Arts Centre Gym Room 21 Dance Studio

Break & Lunch Lunchtime Lunchtime Lunchtime 3pm-4pm 4pm-5pm

Tuesday French Grammar Music Tech Y10/11 Girls Gym Geek Club Rugby Try-Out Warhammer Y8/9 Dance

Room 18 Room 20 Gym Room 52 Sports Field Study Centre Dance Studio

Lunchtime Lunchtime Lunchtime 3pm-4pm 3pm-4pm 3pm-4.30pm 3pm-4.15pm

Wednesday Circus Club Y7/8/9 Girls Gym Y10/11 Girls Trampoline Chess Club Knitting Club Geek Club Y10/11 Dance Seniors GTV News Rock School Art Club Mask Making

Arts Centre Gym Gym Room 11 Room 11 Room 52 Dance Studio Room 21 Music Block Art Block Art Block

Lunchtime Lunchtime Lunchtime Lunchtime Lunchtime 3pm-4pm 3pm-4pm 3pm-4pm 3pm-4.30pm 3pm-4.30pm 3pm-4.30pm

Thursday Sing Out Choir Y10/11 Boys Gym Y7 Dance Geek Club Animation

Arts Centre Gym Dance Studio Room 52 Art Block

Lunchtime Lunchtime 3pm-4pm 3pm-4pm 3pm-4.30pm

Friday Y11 Maths Drop-In Y7/8/9 Boys Gym Y7 Writing Debating Society

Room 12 Gym English Block Room 17

Break & Lunch Lunchtime Lunchtime Lunchtime

There’s a reminder of all of these activities on our website along with links to some activities hosted at the college that are run by other organisations. Find out more about Junior Football (ADASC) who meet here on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, Tae Kwon-Do (Monday & Wednesday evenings) and the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy who meet on Wednesday’s in the early evening. Well worth a look.

COLLEGE COUNCIL We have an active Council made up of representatives from each year group and they regularly meet, under the guidance of Miss Woodland, to discuss the issues that affect students. For example the Year 7 meeting, next due on 18th March, will discuss; Feeling Safe & Happy at college. Anti-bullying campaigns, Peer Listening and Peer Mentors plus Helping students who feel lonely. Year 8 councillors next meet on 25th March to discuss; ensuring we can feel good about achieving. Minutes of meetings are posted in the library and on the college website, so take a look at the good work that’s being led by our students.

CONGRATULATIONS To two of our Y13 students who’ve already received offers for places at University. George Rogers did himself proud by getting an offer from Cambridge whilst Lisa Scott has had an unconditional offer from Nottingham. You should be proud of yourselves!

Alfreton Grange Arts College MARCH 2009



GRANGEGLOBE GTV ON THE WEB GTV is going from strength to strength as we develop more home grown content (and talent!). We now have college news read by Y10 students on every day and we were proud to put Y8 student Dylan Dixon’s animated film on the channel, the first wholly student produced work to feature. New videos are added regularly and the bonus is you can see them all via our new GTV Player that’s now a feature on our excellent college website at We’ve already had THOUSANDS of surfers view our video content as well as look at photographs and the latest college news.



Take a look at the Big Amber Valley Soundclash (in two parts) and the Christmas Carol Concert whilst you can also download (for free!) the terrific songs recorded by students at the songwriting workshop we held in the Autumn. It really is Alfreton Grange across the Globe!

The availability of this newsletter will coincide with the start of this year’s show The Wizard of Oz which has been in rehearsal for several weeks. Tickets will be limited now but it’s worth checking with the box office on 01773 832331 just in case there are any left. The show runs from March 17-20. The show this year will involve students from several primary schools as well as our partner secondary school, Aldercar. All of the music will be played ‘live’ by an orchestra and it promises to be yet another memorable event.

Tickets are £7 adults and £4 students. Rehearsals have been going on, flat out!

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Tues 17 - Fri 20 March Wizard of Oz

Mon 23 March

Y9 Options and Consultation Evening

Tue 24 March

AS Level Graphics exam

Thur 2 April

Y9 Ballet Workshop

Fri 3 April

College Closes

Mon 20 April

College Re-opens

Thur 23 April

Practical Drama Exam

Mon 27 April

Art GCSE (2 day) and Textiles A Level (3 day) exams

Mon 4 May

Bank Holiday

Tue 5 May

Start of French Oral exams GCSE

Wed 6 May

Graphics A Level (3 days) and Art A Level (3 Days) exams

Mon 11 May

Written exams start at GCSE, AS and A Levels

Fri 22 May

College Closes

Tue 26 May

St Martin’s Church Fashion Show

Mon 1 June

College Re-opens

Fri 26 June

Exams finish

Sat 27 June

Armed Forces Day Celebrations (Organised by Judy Mallaber MP)

Thur 20 August

AS and A Level results

Thur 27 August

GCSE results

Alfreton Grange Globe March 2009  
Alfreton Grange Globe March 2009  

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