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That’s a result!

Today students up and down the country are picking up their GCSE results.

Pupils have been nervously opening their envelopes to find out if they were as successful as they had hoped to be. Pass rates fell in England this year admit the introduction of a new grading system but pupils in the Just Regional area have been celebrating.

North Walsham High School’s high-profile drive to improve standards has scored an early success with this year’s GCSE results, with the school achieving a 60 per cent level four pass rate in both English and maths – a continuation of the upward trend which last year saw the former measure of five GCSE passes at A*-C including English and maths jump from 43 per cent to 58 per cent.

Head Neil Powell, who has been forthright about his plans to drive up standards at the school, said the good results were vindication of the hard work which students and staff at the school had put in during the past 12 months.

“It has been no secret that his has been a year of transition at NWHS.  However, our focus has always been on raising standards, and this year’s GCSE results are a good step in the right direction, and evidence that our approach has been effective. I am confident that we are now in a good position to build on this success, and deliver even better results next year.”

NWHS GCSE students celebrating their success on results day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Aylsham High School there were tears of joy as students opened their results.

Pass rates were up this year in the core subjects. Year 11 pupils Luca Wedge-Clarke and Juliette Kelly were among those who received three 9s in their results. The new grade replaces the old A* in the core subjects of English and maths.  With regard to his success Luca said: “The 9s were a big surprise that I had not seen coming but I’m relieved the hard work paid off.”

He was not the only one to enjoy great success, Luca’s classmates James Schute and Joshua Tovell also passed with flying colours. All of the boys will be off to college in September.  James described results day as “nerve wracking and a lottery” but for he and his classmates they drew a winning lottery ticket.

Under the new system coursework has been scrapped in favour of exams. This was a big change for students to get used to, Joshua said: “The change from coursework to no coursework was a big shock and took time to adapt to. But it worked out in the end for us.”

At the school 75% of students achieved Grade 4+ in English and maths.

Executive headteacher Duncan Spalding said: “We are incredibly proud of our students’ achievements this year and during their whole time at Aylsham High School. They have done extremely well in their GCSEs and we are extremely proud of them. Our headline figure of 75% achieving 4+ in English and maths is excellent and reflects the hard work of our students, and our English and maths teams. However, this paints only a fraction of the picture of the rich and varied curriculum we offer to our young people. Our students have also done extremely well across a wide range of subjects and I thank our committed teams of subject teachers who continue to strive for excellence for all students. We wish the class of 2017 well in the next stage of their life adventure wherever that may be. I know that they leave us as confident, caring, capable, and well-rounded young people.”

He praised his students for their hard work and doing the school proud.  He took the time to give a special mention to subjects such as history, geography and languages where they saw improvements in their marks over the previous year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheringham Sixth Form students once again produced some stunning results as all got the grades to go to their chosen universities and colleges.

Seventy percent of students achieved A*-C grades and 100% achieved A*-E.

In a climate of exam volatility and change, students sustained the college’s high achievements of the last 21 years. With 100% pass-rate, seven Norfolk Scholars and over a third of results at grade B or better, Year 13 students’ hard work and commitment paid off. “The results also reflect the dedicated professionalism of our staff and the continued support of our parents. Particular congratulations should go to Meghan Jarvis and Ally Smith who both achieved A* and two A grades,” said director of sixth Ramin Keshavarz.

One especially great story was that of Naomi Platt who is seen here celebrating with her father as she receives her B,B,C grades at A Level and is off to her chosen University to read History. But when Naomi started at Sheringham High in Year 7 she had been diagnosed with dyslexia and dyscalculia which were having a profound effect on her progress and wellbeing.

Headteacher Dr Andrew Richardson said, “We wish Naomi every success. She has said it all; it’s a team effort and what a team we’ve got here at Sheringham!”

At GCSE 75% of Sheringham students achieved their 4+ grade in both English and maths, placing SHS in the top five in the county again.

“We are very proud of our students’ results in a year of syllabus and grading change. Nearly a quarter achieved 4 or more A and A* grades which is outstanding. Sheringham students are resilient and committed to their learning, and are supported by outstanding teaching, care and career advice. Staff, students and parents just get on with the graft and pleasure of learning no matter what the means of assessment; the focus being the individual Sheringham learner and preparation for sixth form, college or apprenticeships,” said Dr Richardson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broadland High School had 68% of GCSE students achieving a level four or above in English and maths.

Head Aron Whiles said: “We are very proud of our Year 11 cohort this year and their achievements in this summer’s GCSE examinations. Our 2017 GCSE results once again show that Broadland High School continues to provide an excellent all round education for its students and the local community it serves. Everyone associated with the school would like to congratulate our out-going Year 11 students on their GCSE results and wish them every success in their future endeavours.”

At Hellesdon High 64% achieved a ‘good’ pass in English and maths (9-4) and 39% achieved a ‘strong’ pass (9-5).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cromer Academy principal Dr Geoff Baker said of this year’s results: “These are phenomenal grades and show how our school community has really pulled together and focused on achieving some excellent outcomes for our Year 11 class of 2017. This is the third year in a row that we have achieved the highest grades in the school’s history, with year on year improvements in our headline figures. I am incredibly proud of our students and our dedicated staff who have supported them.”

Aylsham students boost their business experience

Story and pictures by Ella Hawes and Caitlin Stursberg

Aylsham High School played host the future Alan Sugars of the world as they took on a series of challenges with one aim, to win over as many investors as possible.

The business BOOST (Building On Our Skills Together) day on July 12 saw each team being given a different trademark brand and an unexpected target audience. There was Lush for men, Primark for the rich and PlayStation for girls.

The event was organised by AHS Young Chamber and involved a collection of business enthusiasts, all students at Aylsham High School. The day is held annually for Year 7 students who have shown excellent participation and interest in business and enterprise, to work together and engage in a marketing task supported by older students, with people from local businesses acting as mentors.

Each team had to create a campaign using different media platforms to attract their target audience, and then pitch their ideas to the investors. There was a 15-minute window to address their pitches to the investors, all businessmen/women from the local community.

Chaos reigned as all the teams tried to get the investors’ attention. Standing in the middle of it all, the students came up with a variety of ideas to attract the investors and their target audiences; there were teams who made branded T-shirts, there were loads of people holding up posters for their campaign and one team created their own app.

They were all desperately trying to get the investors to listen to their pitch and give them the coveted investors’ cards they need to win. At the end of the day the team with the most investment cards would win. The winners were the Baby Dragons with their budget range of Nike sportswear.

One investor, Sabina Rospedzihowska, said it was great to be able “to mentor the kids and watch their ideas grow”. And the students certainly had lots of ideas and things to say when we went round to speak to them.

On the PlayStation team Sophie Baker said how she was “experiencing what it’s like to work with others”. They had to pitch PlayStation to girls and had come up with an idea called PlayStation Light that involved apps on phones, educational gains, parental conscriptions and many other things. This team had also designed two posters to go with their campaign.

The Primark team were pitching for the top end of the market and had made T-shirts, bags, purses and accessories all made out of top-quality material. Naomi Ives said: “This will be good for our future.”

But Emma Lucy Auber, head of business studies at the school said the day was also about having fun and “bringing business to life”.

The students had to tackle problems which occurred within their campaigns, and how solving one problems often led to another making it hard to pitch the perfect campaign.

The team of older students, though, were on hand to encourage the younger students and help them to develop their ideas.

Lights! Camera! Action! for Eaton pupils

Sixty Year 6 students from Eaton Primary School hosted a special screening at Cinema City on Wednesday, June 21, that featured a series of the children’s adverts, music videos and short films made in conjunction with City College Norwich’s creative media department.

The 10- and 11-year-olds invited their parents to watch the work that was produced during a week-long project with 30 Level 3 creative media production students from City College Norwich. After a pre-production day at Eaton Primary School, the young pupils spent three days working with the students in the college’s virtual television studio and media editing suites to put together their final projects.

The aim of the project was to give the Eaton Primary School children a taste of media production and to also open their eyes to the opportunities open to them beyond school.

Eaton Primary School pupil Poppy Dawson, 11,said: “We’ve learnt how to use cameras, how to act and how all the technology works. My favourite bit was filming all the different types of shots with the cameras. Our film was about ninjas kidnapping the Queen and I was very excited to see the final product at Cinema City. Having our film shown on the big screen felt really weird because I was the one filming it so it made me feel kind of important.”

City College Norwich media production student Mia Dann, 18, said: “I’ve enjoyed seeing how enthusiastic the children are about the project and it’s been great to see how passionate they are about something that I’m passionate about too. Having our work shown at Cinema City has been really good and it was really nice to actually see our project being played on a bigger screen.”

Cara MacDonald, creative media production lecturer at the college said: “We’ve been doing this project for a few years now and have found that both sets of students get so much out of the experience. The children from Eaton Primary School have been so creative throughout the project and have produced some excellent quality work. I’m really impressed with the work that they have produced and was so proud to see their final edits on the big screen at Cinema City.”

 

 

Public consultation over Paston merger

Paston Sixth Form College in North Walsham is launching a public consultation to seek views from members of the community on plans for a proposed merger with City College Norwich.

The two colleges have been in talks to work together since the start of the year, as part of the Area Review of Post-16 Education in Norfolk and Suffolk led by the FE Commissioner, Richard Atkins.  Due to the success of these discussions, and following a recommendation from the Area Review, there is now a proposal that the colleges merge by December 2017 and a formal consultation about that  plan is being announced today.

The consultation invites students, parents, staff, local employers and the wider community to express their views on the proposals which aim to expand the choice of post-16 education options in North East Norfolk.

Overall, the plans will result in the creation of a “resilient and financially sustainable organisation that will widen the educational offer for existing and prospective students, employers and the community in North East Norfolk”. The merger will also “ensure a skilled future workforce for the local area”.

The final decision  will rest with the governing  bodies of each college.

Kevin Grieve, principal of Paston Sixth Form College, said: “This is all about growth. By becoming one institution, we want to work together to become an even stronger educational force than we currently are. We have a proud history and we are determined to build on this history by joining with City College Norwich.”

Corrienne Peasgood, principal of City College Norwich said: “We are very excited about the proposal and are looking forward to hearing what members of the local community think of our plans. Both institutions have a strong history and it is our aim to maintain, develop and celebrate their individual strengths and specialisms following the merger.”

A document setting out the full proposal and the consultation arrangements (with details of how to make your views known) is available at: www.pastonccn.co.uk or on request via email (pastonccn@gmail.com). It can also be obtained from FOUR Agency, Hill House, 20 Hill House Road, Norwich NR1 4BE.

The principals from both institutions will be available at Paston Sixth Form College to discuss the merger with members of the public 1-6pm on Thursday, June 22, Friday, June 23 and Monday, June 26.   Please report to the college’s reception at the Griffons site in North Walsham.

Replies to the consultation need to be received by midnight on Saturday, July 22. Both colleges will consider all responses received by that date and will publish a summary of the consultation and its outcomes by September 23 (to be available at www.pastonccn.co.uk).

Kevin Grieve and Corrienne Peasgood.
PICTURE: CCN

Paston and City College merger plans

Paston Sixth Forma and Norwich City College are in discussions on closer working to widen choice of courses available in North Norfolk.

The proposal for a merger between the two colleges is a recommendation arising from the Area Review of Post-16 Education and Training in Norfolk and Suffolk, which has been led by the FE commissioner, Richard Atkins.

The aim is to provide young people in North Norfolk with a greater choice of courses at 16, with less distance to travel to access these opportunities.

The colleges, both of which have recent ‘Good’ ratings from Ofsted, will begin a public consultation in June working towards a merger. The final decisiowill rest with the governing bodies of each college. If given the go ahead, a new partnership between the two colleges could be in place by December 2017.

A joint statement from Paston Sixth Form College and City College Norwich, said: “We are exploring opportunities for a potential merger, in order to increase and enhance the choice and breadth of A-level, further education, apprenticeships and degree level courses.

Our objective is to better serve the needs and aspirations of young people and ensure a skilled, local workforce for both emerging and established industries and in the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership priority sectors. Our approach has been to look at where we can complement existing strengths, and enhance provision, particularly where there are identified gaps.

“Students, parents and staff in both institutions can rest assured that each college remains committed to maintaining and developing our recognised strengths and distinct specialisms.”

Employers encouraged to shape next generation in North Norfolk

Employers will be given the opportunity to help youngsters increase their understanding of the world of work via a series of events organised by North Norfolk District Council.

Held in partnership with the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network, they will crteate an opportunity for employers to meet staff from the district’s schools and colleges.

The events – which are free – will explain to businesses how to become an Enterprise Adviser, promote and highlight the benefits for businesses that work with young people, and build on the skills and enthusiasm of North Norfolk’s young people.

Businesses that want to find out how to prepare and shape the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs can book a place and then head along to The Atrium in North Walsham tomorrow (April 25), Cromer Academy on Wednesday (April 26) or Fakenham Academy on Thursday (April 27). All three events are at 4.30pm-6pm, and refreshments will be provided.

There will be the opportunity to network with businesses that are already working with schools in North Norfolk, and learn about the activities that businesses can deliver. These range from work experience and workplace visits – which will suit larger businesses – to mock interviews, mentoring and talks, which any business can offer, including small businesses and the self-employed.

Enterprise Advisers are volunteers who use their strategic knowledge and experience to help senior staff in schools draw up a careers delivery plan for students aged 11-18.

To find out more or to book a place, please contact the Economic Growth Team at economic.growth@north-norfolk.gov.uk or on 01263 5166009.

New head for North Walsham school

St Nicholas House Prep School in North Walsham has welcomed a new head to take the school into the future.

Philip Oldroyd has taken over the helm of the independent school and is “looking forward to leading St Nicholas House into its next exciting phase of growth and development”. The appointment comes after headmaster Martin Castle decided to leave his position to enable the school to move forward to the next phase of its life.

Philip lives in Horstead with his wife, Niki and two sons, Dan (17) and Tom (19). The family moved to Norfolk from Sevenoaks, in Kent, six years ago to be closer to Niki’s parents. Philip is a graduate of Leeds University with a BA in PE and business studies and gained his PGCE from the University of Surrey.

His career in education has spanned 28 years, 10 of which as a head eacher. He successfully led Sevenoaks Prep, a co-educational school for children from nursery to Year 8, for seven years and more recently, was headmaster of Langley Prep School. Under his leadership both schools flourished, growing in both numbers and reputation.

Currently, Philip is head of the lower school at Langley, in Loddon, where he has the responsibility for both the pastoral and academic education of the children in Years 6 to 9.

Outside of school, Philip enjoys sports coaching and spectating, having “hung up his boots” a few years ago.  He has coached at both Sevenoaks and North Walsham Rugby Clubs for the past 12 years and cricket for Otford CC until his move to Norfolk.

“I am very excited to be joining such a fantastic school,” he said. “The children clearly benefit from being members of a small community and the family feel of the school is evident Small class sizes allow for more individual attention from well qualified staff who spend quality time with every child.”

There’s a chance to meet the new head at the school’s open day on Saturday, March 18.

Will elected as first student president

A 14-year-old student from North Walsham has followed Donald Trump to be inaugurated President after a close-fought election campaign – and he will now represent the town’s high school students for the next year.

Year 9 student Will Symonds became the first student president of North Walsham High School this week in an election which saw every student at the school cast a vote.  Following his inauguration, he has appointed a vice-president – Megan Robson – and a cabinet, which will work with the school’s senior leadership team.

Cabinet portfolios include teaching and learning; behaviour, welfare and safety; outcomes; special educational needs and disability (SEND), curriculum and business.  President Symonds has also appointed a special anti-bullying task force.

He styled himself ‘The Asian Guy’ during his election campaign, and in hustings speeches in front of his fellow students he tried to inject an element of fun into the process to engage with his electorate.

NWHS head teacher Neil Powell commented: “I am delighted at the extent to which students really engaged with the process of electing a student president, the first time we have held such an election.  I look forward to working with Will and his team to continue the whole school improvement with a strong student voice.”