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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.”

Students don shirts in memory of Bradley

Big-hearted high school students in North Walsham have raised £367 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation, by wearing football shirts to school on the day of the six-year-old’s funeral.
Students at North Walsham High School answered the call by Bradley’s family to don football shirts on the day of their son’s funeral to show that ‘cancer has no colours’, donating £1 each to the charity, which aims to help other children facing neuroblastoma cancer.
Bradley’s battle with the disease, and the support his family has received from Sunderland and the wider football world, have inspired people across the country, with thousands of people turning out for his funeral on Friday.
“The bravery of Bradley has inspired many young people, and our students wanted to show their support by taking part in the ‘Wear your football shirt’ day which was suggested by Bradley’s parents,” said NWHS head teacher Neil Powell.
“We are delighted to have raised £367 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation, money which has been given directly by our students. We have seen shirts from many different teams here at the school today, which reflects the united feeling within the sporting world which Bradley’s battle has brought about.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the Bradley Lowery Foundation can do so by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bradleylowerysfight.

 

Half-term fun outside and in

A host of children’s activities will be on offer at Cromer, North Walsham and Stalham community sports centres over the forthcoming May half-term.

The sessions offer youngsters aged between four and 12 the chance to take part in football fun days, shooting, skating and street-dancing, as well as summer sports days and multi-sports events.

The events will take place between Tuesday, May 30, and Friday, June 2, at the North Norfolk District Council-managed centres.

As well as these activities, there are countryside events taking place in Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, North Walsham. The fun on offer includes shelter-building, a look at amphibians, reptiles and lizards and the chance to build and launch a water rocket.

All-day activities are priced at £10 while shorter sessions are priced between £2 and £3.50. To make things easier for parents, there is the added option of arranging early drop-offs and late pick-ups for just £2 at some of the events.

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure, health and wellbeing, said: “These sessions offer great fun for children while keeping them busy and healthy.”

To download a brochure with more details, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/sports

To book the sports-centre events, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/book. Booking is not required for the countryside events at Holt Country Park and Sadler’s Wood, but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. For further details of these activities, email anne-marie.gedge@north-norfolk.gov.uk or call 07920 576634.

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.

Glowing report for Cromer Academy

School inspectors have given Cromer Academy a glowing report, praising the school’s family atmosphere and high standards.
Ofsted gave Cromer Academy the top “outstanding” ranking in two of four areas – leadership and pupils’ development and welfare – with an overall ranking of “good”.
The top scores come hot on the heels of last summer’s record GCSE results, which were the academy’s highest since opening in 2011.
A team of four inspectors visited the school in December, spending time in 40 lessons and meeting students, parents, and staff.
Their detailed report praises principal Dr Geoff Baker’s “inspirational leadership” and quotes repeatedly from parents supporting the school’s “transformational” senior team.
One parent is quoted as saying: “The teachers really will go the extra mile because they know and care about each and every child.”
The report says that pupils and parents are a “powerful force for change in the school”, with the student council making a real difference.
It says pupils “are rightly proud of their school, work hard and are courteous, tolerant and respectful to adults and each other”. Inspectors said the academy’s curriculum was well-planned and effective. They noted that GCSE grades continue to increase. The Ofsted inspection is the first since the academy joined the Inspiration Trust family of schools in September 2013.
Dr Baker (pictured) said: “This is a tremendous and powerful report that really captures everything that we have been working for at Cromer Academy.”

Hellesdon children get hands-on with rubbish

Children from Kinsale Infant School recently got hands-on with rubbish, in a session designed to help them learn about recycling.
Waste and recycling officers from Broadland District Council visited the school in Hellesdon to talk about what happens to our rubbish after we put it in the bin. And 50 Year 2 children found out what you can and can’t recycle, where they had to separate a mix of correct and incorrect items into recycling and rubbish bins during a practical sorting exercise.
The children found out that that items for recycling need to be clean (without food or liquid remains), loose (not in bags) and correct (accepted for recycling by the council). They looked at items such as envelopes, foil and clean plastic trays, which can all be recycled, and crisp packets, sweet wrappers and plastic food wrapping which need to be placed in the general waste bin.
They also learned about where both rubbish and recycling goes once it leaves our homes, and how it is better for the environment to reuse and recycle where possible.
The children were given quiz sheets to take home, with activities and games to test their new knowledge, and the chance to win a prize of a recycled stationery set if they complete the worksheets.
Lesly-Ann Coughlan, class teacher at Kinsale Infant School, said: “This was an informative session and the children took a lot of new knowledge home about the type of things that can and cannot be recycled.”
John Fisher, Broadland District Council’s portfolio holder for environmental excellence, said: “It’s great to see schoolchildren getting involved in something as fundamental as recycling. We hope that they’ll become recycling champions and encourage their families to recycle correctly at home.”
Find out what you can and cannot recycle in Broadland at www.broadland.gov.uk/recycling

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North Walsham students to spend freezing night outside

Up to 100 North Walsham High students are set to brave freezing temperatures to highlight the plight of the homeless and raise money for local and international charities,  spending a under the stars on their school playing field.

They are mounting their Freeze Over on Friday, when temperatures are set to drop close to freezing, according to weather forecasters.

The students will be raising money for four charities – Cromer Foodbank, which provides emergency food supplies for people in crisis; The Benjamin Foundation, which provides a range of services and support to people across the county; The Children’s Acute Transport Service, which takes the skills of a paediatric intensive care unit on the road to the bedside of critically ill children throughout East Anglia; and Save the Children.

“The idea for the Freeze Over came from a group of students who are working to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Award, and it has really caught the imagination,” explained Daniel Mullen, head of geography at the school, who is co-ordinating the sleep-out. The students wanted to get a sense of what it feels like to be out in the cold, and by choosing December to undertake this challenge, they are certainly going to get that.”

Year 9 student Holly Edens, one of those who dreamed up the idea, said: “We were learning in geography about different people’s situations, and how bad it could be to be homeless – and we wanted to do something to help. Lots of other students were well up for joining in, so we now have around 100 who are going to spend the night on the school field.”

Fellow student Amelia Hennigan added: “We are all excited about it, although I don’t think we will be getting much sleep.  I have only ever camped in my back garden before, so this will be a completely new experience.”

Twenty-eight staff from the school have volunteered to be on hand to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the students.

As well as raising awareness of the plight of homeless people, the students are being sponsored, and hope to raise around £2,500 to be split between the four charities.

 NWHS students Holly Edens (left) and Amelia Hennigan get ready to spend a freezing night under the stars.


NWHS students Holly Edens (left) and Amelia Hennigan get ready to spend a freezing night under the stars.

School library book returned, 63 years late

A rather overdue library book has been returned to a North Walsham school library 63 years after it was borrowed – by the student who took it out in 1953.

The anonymous former North Walsham High School for Girls student, now in her 70s, discovered the book – a 1929 copy of Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes by Robert Louis Stevenson – when clearing out clutter in her house, and was shocked to find it stamped with a 1953 return date.

She returned the book to North Walsham High School, which replaced the girls’ high school and Paston Grammar when they were phased out. The former site of the two schools is now Paston Collge.

Now, present-day students can enjoy the author’s tales of travelling in southern France with his donkey companion.

The school library is appealing for anyone else who might have a long-overdue book to return it – and are promising that no late fines will be levied.

“We don’t charge overdue fines at the school library, and whilst we don’t lose many books, there must have been a few which have been inadvertently retained by students over the years,” said school librarian Liz Sawyer. “It would be really nice to get some of them back, especially older books which we might not have on the shelves today. The lady who brought back the Robert Louis Stevenson book apologised for not returning it sooner – but better late than never!”

Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes is Robert Louis Stevenson’s account of his 120-mile solo hike through the sparsely populated Cévennes mountains in south-central France in 1878.  His only companion was Modestine, a stubborn donkey with which he has a difficult relationship, but eventually grows fond of.

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    NWHS librarian Liz Sawyer with the overdue book from 1953 which has been-returned. PICTURES: ANDY NEWMAN

    NWHS librarian Liz Sawyer with the overdue book from 1953 which has been returned.
    PICTURES: ANDY NEWMAN