Aylesbury Vale Academy students get great GCSE results

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THE Aylesbury Vale Church of England Academy, sponsored by the Diocese of Oxford has achieved great GCSE results. Click here to read the full report from the Bucks Herald.

More great results at the Chiltern Hills Academy

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STUDENTS at the Chiltern Hills Academy in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, which is sponsored by the Diocese of Oxford have been congratulated after 51 per cent achieved five or more GCSEs at A* to C including English and Maths. These statistics for those achieving five or more A* to c grades is now up to 75 per cent.

Principal, Mr Kevin Patrick, said: “We are very pleased with the GCSE and BTEC results. I am proud of the hard working students and I do appreciate the dedication of the staff in helping our students to achieve their potential. We are an academy that is academically successful and underpinned by clear values and ethos.”

Outstanding GCSE results were achieved by many students, the following should be particularly highlighted for achieving three or more ‘A*’ or ‘A’ grades at GCSE:

Delores Andrade (1 A* and 3 A grades), Rachel Beaven (4 A* and 6 A grades), Jaye Chassebi (3 A grades) Connor Craven (four A grades), Sarah Cross (three A grades), Samanthaa Dixey (four A grades), Urukai Jambawo (eight A grades), Sophie Newton (eight A* and 1 A grade), Hannah Warren (three A grades)

Over the last year at Chiltern Hills the £10 million building works have been underway and students and staff have been fantastic in working around the building works. This is now all coming to fruition, with carpets being laid and painting underway in all of the new buildings. The purpose-built Sixth Form was opened in July as was the new sports hall and changing facilities.

Teachers are looking forward to seeing many of last year’s Year 11 students, together with students from other schools, as they enrol for their Sixth Form courses. The sixth form at Chiltern Hills has a range of course opportunities for both traditional A Levels and vocational courses. With a relatively small sixth form, students are nurtured and encouraged in small teaching groups to achieve their very best whatever their interests and aspirations might be.


Oxford Academy staff and students congratulated as GCSE results soar

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Alfie Rushden receives his results.

Alfie Rushen receives his results

CELEBRATIONS are taking place at The Oxford Academy after a huge increase in the number of students achieving the Government’s floor target in their GCSEs. The Academy saw the number of students achieving five A* to C grades including English and Maths rise from 26 per cent in 2012 to 41 per cent in the 2013 results. This represents an improvement of 50 per cent from last year and makes the academy the most improved school in Oxford.

Anne Davey, Education Director for the Diocese of Oxford, said: “This is the encouraging news we were hoping for. I am absolutely delighted for the students and staff. We have worked hard with the senior leadership team and our co-sponsors and we are confident that attainment levels were rising. We remain committed to working intensively with the Academy to support continued improvement in the future.” The Oxford Diocese, along with Oxford Brookes University and the Beecroft Foundation is one of the main sponsors of the Academy.

David Brown, Executive Headteacher, said: “I congratulate students on their achievements and want to praise staff for the inordinate amount of hard work they have put into supporting students as they prepared for these exams. I was confident we could raise standards and I am over the moon with these results. We now have practical measures in place across the Academy to ensure that standards rise even more and this is also reflected in our Year 10 results. I would also like to thank parents and carers for their continued support of The Oxford Academy. It is in unison with students, parents, staff and our local community that we will continue to make such progress.”

82 per cent of students achieved 5 or more A*-C grades, which is a 32 per cent  increase on last year. 5 A*-C passes including English and Maths increased by an exceptional50 per cent to 39 per cent and students have achieved a 100 per cent pass rate of 1 A*-G. Compared to national predictions for these students put forward by the Fisher Family Trust, The Oxford Academy has improved its predictedrate by 77%, demonstrating that it is making a significant difference to students’ learning across the ability range.

Four students have exceeded all expectations gaining 5 A*-A with a total of 35 students gaining at least one A* or A.

Alfie Rushen, 15, was one of these students gaining two A*, one A, three Bs and four Cs. Alfie commented; “This is my proudest achievement to date.  I’m coming back to the 6th form in September because I’d never get the support I have had anywhere else.  I’ll be studying Maths, Art, IT and Performing Arts. I then hope to pursue a career in Graphics or IT.”

Ema Begum, 16, also achieved one A* along with one A, two Bs and two Cs. She said: “Staff here really pushed me to achieve my goals. I want to go to university to do a degree that I like, probably science.  I’ll be doing Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Psychology A Levels.”

When asked what advice she would give younger students she said: “If they are going to do something, do it properly, otherwise there is no point in doing it.  I think The Academy is really good. The teachers are always encouraging you and you have to take advantage of all of the support.”

Students on vocational courses continue to excel and the top performing BTEC subjects include Applied Science, Health and Social Care, Sport and ICT.  Liam Witherwick, 16, has a clear idea of what his future holds after gaining a Distinction in his Construction BTEC, passing his Applied Science and ICT BTECs and achieving two Bs in his Maths and Resistant Materials GCSEs.  Liam said; “I’m going on to study construction in the 6th form for two years then plan to go to university and my ambition is to become a site manager.  I put in lots of effort to achieve my grades as have the staff – they supported me through around 200 hours of additional after school sessions just for Construction!”

Former Olympic rowing cox and Science teacher at The Academy, Caroline O’Connor, had extra reason to celebrate this year’s results. Caroline said; “Since retiring from elite rowing, I now want to focus on my teaching career.  I have been working closely with a group of students who have excelled themselves.  Lee Davenport (16) and Bobby Boyce (15) are among this group and achieved seven A*-C GCSE equivalents.  I want to make a real difference to students and the boys’ results prove that hard work and determination, two of the attributes I certainly needed when coxing the Women’s Eight at London 2012, pays off.

In line with the Academy’s long-term growth strategy, we are extremely pleased that not only have our students achieved the best results ever as The Academy, but also that the expected rates of progress are similarly impressive.  Both English and Maths achieved 60% expected rate of progress, rising from 38% and 57% respectively last year.  This demonstrates the Academy’s commitment to the successes of each individual student.

It is particularly pleasing to see strong results from our Year 10 students. Cian McCormack, 15, took two GCSEs a year early and gained an A* with a 98.5% pass mark in Maths and a B in Physics, showing that improvement also extends across year groups.  He said; “Maths comes naturally to me and I guess I listened a bit more in class.  I am hoping to get a football scholarship to play for Oxford United, but I am also considering doing my A levels and going to university.”  When asked what advice he would give to younger students, Cian said: “Don’t mess around in class.”  He would recommend The Oxford Academy because he says that as behaviour has improved, everything else in the school has improved.”

Head of Sixth Form, Katie Screaton, said: “We are delighted to be able to cater for every one of our Year 11 students in the 6th form this year. The Oxford Academy will be making each student a post-16 offer following the release of these results. This means a boost to our post-16 provision realising our continued strategy to grow the 6th form. Furthermore, the number of students from the Academy who are accessing university has increased this year, showing that the Academy is making a real contribution to students’ futures.”

The Oxford Academy is also celebrating specific subject success. Alongside our continued strengths in Maths and now English – experiencing a 70% rise to a 46% GCSE A*-C pass rate, Physics has been the most successful GCSE subject this year with a 70 per cent A*-C pass rate.



Mosaic Madness at Coleshill CE School

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ColeshillFAITH, love and stewardship were the Christian values at the heart of a mosaic created by children from Coleshill CE School in Amersham, Bucks.

David Bowers from Mosaic Madness worked with pupils on the mosaic that incorporated the values from the school badge. Jenny Earp, headteacher, said: “Everyone had a wonderful time producing the mosaic and it enabled the whole school to focus on the important values Jesus gave us to help us all enrich our lives and those around us.”

Children hit the headlines with ‘grow your own’ wheat

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PUPILS at Garsington CE Primary School in Oxfordshire are growing their own wheat to turn into a wheatsheaf loaf for their Harvest Festival.  They have sown the seeds, watered and weeded them and the plants are thriving in the beautiful weather. The aim is to hand-harvest the wheat in September and take it to Wheatley Windmill for milling. The children will then turn the flour into bread.

Last year the children presented their harvest loaf to the vicar at the school harvest festival. The children were so proud of their work when the vicar blessed the bread and placed it on the altar. The loaf was shared with the congregation at the village Harvest Festival. This year’s project has already been featured on BBC Radio 4 Farming Today, BBC Radio Oxford and this week the children have been filmed for BBC South Today. The children are learning more about where food comes from and how much work it takes to make a loaf of bread. It also helps them to understand what is happening in the fields around them. The media interest has definitely added to their enjoyment and pride in their crop.

Bishop John welcomes new commitment to RE

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Bishop John at a service for Year 6 children in Oxford this week

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, who chairs the Church of England’s Board of Education, has welcomed Michael Gove’s public endorsement of church schools and his commitment to look again at the place of RE in the syllabus.

The Education Secretary was taking part in a seminar at Lambeth Palace on “Church of England: Education and our Future” hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and attended by Bishops and chairs of Diocesan Boards of Education from across the Church of England.

In conversation with Archbishop Justin, Mr Gove praised the standards and popularity of church schools and urged a continuing partnership.

Afterwards, Bishop John said: “I was delighted to hear the Secretary of State’s enthusiasm and admiration for church schools today. He reminded us that his own two children attend one of our schools and he applauded the Church for being prepared to work in places where others fear to tread.

“At the same time he set us a challenge to raise our game. This echoes our own determination to make a real step change in the way we serve our communities, working to the highest standards.”

In the questions and answers, Bishop John challenged Mr Gove on the position of RE. Recent experience had been “demoralising”, he said. Mr Gove agreed that it was time for the Department of Education to talk again to the Churches.

Bishop John said: “I was pleased to hear his public commitment to re-opening the conversation with the Churches on the future of RE and his recognition of its importance within the curriculum.”

Before the seminar, Mr Gove acknowledged the role of the Church and called for continuing partnership.

“We would not have so many great state schools in this country without the Church of England,” he said. “I know the Church does a wonderful job helping to raise educational standards and in providing a safe and loving environment for hundreds of thousands of children.

“However, there is much more we can do together. I want the Church to recover the spirit which infused its educational mission in Victorian times and support more new schools – especially academies and free schools – to bring educational excellence to the nation’s poorest children.”

The seminar marked the launch of a new document, A Diocesan Board of Education for the Future.

At the same time, the Department for Education has announced that it will now be possible for dioceses to set up mixed Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) which means that it is possible for community schools to become part of diocesan MATs, while retaining their own character and admissions policies.