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Trust News

County Upper - West Suffolk School of The Year

County Upper - West Suffolk School of The Year

This year West Suffolk held its first ever Sports Awards combining the separate awards previously made in both St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath. Competition was therefore fierce with a large number of nominations in every category.

We were delighted to be invited to the Gala Awards Evening as a finalist. St Edmundsbury Cathedral was transformed for the occasion which was hosted by Lesley Dolphin from Radio Suffolk with Sally Gunnell, OBE as the guest of honour.

It was just reward for County Upper's PE department when it was announced that, out of all the primary and secondary schools across the West of the county, we were the West Suffolk School of the Year for our sports provision. It was acknowledged that we have consistently held the School Games Mark at Distinction and are one of only two schools in the country to have the DFE’s Quality Mark at Distinction.

We were also commended for the breadth and depth of our sporting offer; our success at local, regional and national level; our work with the most able and talented pupils and in engaging those who would not otherwise do sport and our links with community sports clubs.

This news was posted in Oct 2017

The Trust’s Sports Programme goes on

The Trust’s Sports Programme goes on

Highlights from this half term have included three sports festivals to cement the focus on gymnastics and trampolining.  Pupils in years three and four across the primary phase and in years five and six across the middle phase thoroughly enjoyed their respective trampolining festivals at County.  Barrow’s older pupils also had an excellent gymnastics festival.

Meanwhile, our sports leaders at Horringer Court’s campus have been completing their sports leadership award and leading year three and year four lessons at Tollgate.

We thank Mr Marshall and our Trust coaches for another superb half term

This news was posted in May 2017

Our maths team takes the title

Our maths team takes the title

The Trust took a team of four students to compete in the UKMT Team Maths Challenge Regional final at the School of Mathematical Sciences in the University of Cambridge.  

The team consisted of two year 8s and two year 9s; Stella Wilkinson (Horringer Court campus), Felicity Ellis (Westley campus) and Marla Ind and Mario Saenz de Villaverde (County Upper campus).  The Challenge involved a variety of mathematical tasks that required problem solving, along with communication and teamwork skills.  

The team came top in Suffolk and were runners-up in the Eastern Region out of the thirty schools who made the final.  As well as the students who represented us on the day a group of six other students from the Trust’s advanced maths club have worked hard and any one of them would have been prepared to step into the team at any point.

We thank Mr Masterman for running the club and congratulate all who took part.

This news was posted in Apr 2017

Middle Phase Engineering Success

Middle Phase Engineering Success

A team of six students from our Horringer Court Campus claimed first place in the local heat of the Institute of Engineering’s national Faraday competition this half term. The competition, involved designing and building solutions to real life engineering problems alongside coding using the recently launched BBC Microbit.


Joe Bradfield, Imogen Chorlton, Euan Grant, Rebecca Morley, Madison Payne and Stella Wilkinson were credited with their team working skills and confident presentation of their project. We congratulate them on their achievement. Last year our middle phase students also won the competition with a team from Westley campus.

This news was posted in Apr 2017

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

Year seven pupils enhanced their knowledge of space by looking at life on Mars with the help of an expert.  They got the inside view from aerospace engineer, Adrzej Stewart who spent a year with five other astronauts in the HI-SEAS dome in Hawaii.  This simulated living on the red planet.  Pupils emailed Mr Stewart with their questions and had a Skype session with him.   Mr Stewart also sent some videos of his experiments and his experience.  Like the HI-SEAS team, the pupils grew plants in a confined environment and compared their results.

We thank Mrs Korth for making this unique experience possible.

This news was posted in Mar 2017

Two great musical opportunities

Two great musical opportunities

Pupils from the middle phase enjoyed a rock day at County led by their senior guitarists and drummers. All the pupils are well aware of County’s renowned swing band and were keen to develop their skills in the hope of working up to the upper phase standard. The pupils worked in mixed groups and, having enhanced their techniques, put together compositions which they performed to each other at the end. All the pieces were recorded to make a permanent record of a very successful day.

Brass pupils from the middle phase travelled to the Royal Hospital School in Ipswich for a special playing day with their pupils and those from South Lee. The day was entitled ‘Blast off Day’. Specialist brass and percussion tutors led the day which was designed to provide an opportunity for talented young instrumentalists to make rapid progress together. At the end of the day, the pupils played their pieces to an audience of parents and friends.


We congratulate all who took part in these events and thank Mr Jermy, our all-through music co-ordinator, for organising them

This news was posted in Mar 2017

The Golf Academy

The Golf Academy

Our Trust Academy has had a very successful programme of coaching from Steve Hall and, former County Upper student, Adam Trett who are both based at The Suffolk where they teach professionally. We are very grateful to them for offering a winter training programme to prepare pupils for the summer competitions at both Western Area and Suffolk level. Coaching will continue weekly during the second half of this term. 

This news was posted in Feb 2017

Maths, Maths, Maths!

Maths, Maths, Maths!

One hundred and seventy-seven pupils from years four, five and nine across the Trust met at our Horringer Court campus for some challenging problem solving.  Pupils worked in teams of six, mixing up those from years four and five and from all the campuses.

Year nine students from County acted as mathematics leaders, guiding the younger pupils.  The topics chosen were multiplication, co-ordinates, logic and space and shape. The level of team work and collaboration to solve the problems was very high and there were some excellent mathematical discussions around all the tables.

We thank Mrs Crichton for organising the event and all the maths staff who supported her.  Well done to all the pupils who took part. 

This news was posted in Feb 2017

More computing coding success

More computing coding success

Across the campuses, the ‘hour of code’ continues to go really well and pupils are developing their skills on many levels.  This term saw another CoSpace regional competition day and pupils from Horringer Court and County represented the Trust.  Horringer Court won the event for their age group and the three County teams took the top three spots in their competition.

We congratulate all who were so successful. 

This news was posted in Feb 2017

Clare takes first prize!

Clare takes first prize!

Our All-Through Trust has the World Class Schools Quality mark.  As such, we were eligible to enter its inaugural essay competition.  The title was set by Cambridge University and, following several stages of judging, we were delighted that Clare Hole in year ten at County Upper won!  She was presented with her prize at Queen Mary College, University of London at a special ceremony in December.

Well done, Clare!

This news was posted in Jan 2017

All the Music for Christmas

All the Music for Christmas

Alongside performances at our individual campuses, the Trust was pleased to provide music for the regional EACH Carol Service held in St Edmundsbury Cathedral where Westley’s choir and singing choir together, with County Upper’s chamber choir, were extremely well received.

During the annual Christmas Fayre, choirs from Tollgate and Horringer Court, along with County’s swing band, were also complimented on their excellent performances. The following was typical, “I happened to be in both the Cathedral and in town when your Trust’s music groups were performing. They were so good and I heard lots of lovely comments from the audiences. I don’t know the teachers’ names but please pass on my thanks.” We certainly will and we congratulate all who took part.

This news was posted in Dec 2016

More dance success

More dance success

A number of the Trust’s dancers took part in the Suffolk Festival and enjoyed huge success. Held across two weekends in November, students competed in a range of solo, small group and troupe classes with lots of first, second and third places in classical ballet, modern theatre and tap dance.

We especially congratulate Daisy Barker, Leah Barker, Millie CookeWharton, Holly Pryke and Megan Warnock who were presented with trophies for outstanding performances.

Twenty-two dancers from years nine, ten and eleven performed a specially choreographed piece entitled ‘belonging’ as part of the primary phase’s day on the theme of ‘together’ held at Tollgate campus. The two sets of students then worked with each other in a workshop.


We congratulate all who took part and we thank Mrs Stoten for all she does for dance.

This news was posted in Dec 2016

The Rotary Master Chef finals

The Rotary Master Chef finals

With the heats behind them and everything to cook for, Westley campus hosted the final of this year’s competition organised by the Abbeygate Rotary Club.  

The final four were all from within the Trust.  The judges from Maison Bleue and Greene King judged the competitors on a three course meal which they had planned and cooked.  Well done to the winner, Lois Thompson, runner up, Ben Templeton as well as to Fabianne Brinkman and  Mario Saenz de Villaverde who were highly commended. 

This news was posted in Dec 2016

The Shakespeare for Schools Festival

The Shakespeare for Schools Festival

This national event, supported by the Royal Shakespeare Company and many prestigious actors, gives schools the opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s works through a series of professional workshops.  

The programme culminates in a performance in a professional venue and the Trust contributed seven pieces across two evenings at The Apex.  The three excerpts chosen by the middle phase were ‘Hamlet’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Twelfth Night’, while County Upper contributed ‘Hamlet’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’.  In the primary phase, Tollgate treated us to ‘Romeo and Juliet’ while Barrow pupils had a prominent role in the whole Trust performance of ‘Twelfth Night’.  This was devised by the year thirteen Drama Captains and included pupils from across the Trust.

We congratulate all those who took part and thank all the staff who prepared them for two very successful evenings.

This news was posted in Dec 2016

Clubs, clubs, clubs!

Clubs, clubs, clubs!

The Trust’s regular all-through clubs have continued this term with everything from Latin to Warhammer and the usual wide range of sports.

The musicians have worked on their jazz while the most able and talented dancers have focussed on ballet in their workshops.

Years 3 and 4 are combining forces with these dancers as part of the Trust’s contribution to the national Shakespeare Schools Festival. We thank all the Trust staff who give so freely of their time for these activities. 

This news was posted in Nov 2016

The European Computing project returns to Bury

The European Computing project returns to Bury

The Trust was selected for a unique Erasmus computing project with students from Austria and Germany. Following the visit by Trust pupils to Innsbruck last Easter, their European partners came to Bury St Edmunds this half term.

One of the highlights was a special MicroBit workshop during which students wrote programs in the Python programming language and “flashed” the code to the Microbit.  The group also explored the capabilities of the MicroBit and its sensors.

We thank Dr Hughes and Mr Balaam for organising this special experience.  

This news was posted in Nov 2016

Term starts by celebrating the new science award

Term starts by celebrating the new science award

The primary and middle phases of the Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust came together to celebrate having been awarded the new Primary Science Quality Mark for their outstanding science provision. Staff and pupils at the Horringer Court, Tollgate and Westley campuses gained the silver award which recognises their commitment to the teaching of science and highlights the quality of the teaching, range of provision in and out of the classroom and the excellent results.  Both staff and pupils benefited hugely from the support from County Upper who were the first in the country to receive the Gold Secondary Science Quality Mark. Nadine Payne at County said, “through our work as the Science Learning Partnership for the whole of Suffolk and Norfolk, we were able to provide a lot of staff training and exciting activities for pupils. They were incredibly enthusiastic and enjoyed working together.” Mrs Payne, who is leading the development of the new County STEM Academy, added that this was just the sort of programme which would help students choose their preferred route through the upper phase when the time came.

This news was posted in Sep 2016

The Faraday challenge

The Faraday challenge

Students from across the middle phase joined forces at the Howard campus as they became real-life engineers for the day.  Their task was to research, design and build solutions to real-life engineering problems using the BBC micro:bit.  This is a small, programmable tool designed to introduce young people to the world of coding.  The day was run as part of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Faraday Challenge Day.  Pupils impressed with their sales pitches for their products and two in particular were very successful.  These involved devising a combined thermometer and compass for people who get lost and designing a device for monitoring dehydration levels during physical activity.  These two are being considered for a national final later in the year.  We congratulate all the pupils from Horringer Court, Howard and Westley.

 

This news was posted in Sep 2016

A special matinee performance of ‘Oliver’

A special matinee performance of ‘Oliver’

County’s annual music is staged at The Apex every other year and July saw three excellent evening performances of ‘Oliver’, each of which ended with a standing ovation.  On the Friday morning, there was a special matinee showing for year six pupils across the Trust.  They and their teachers really enjoyed it and it showed the younger pupils what they can aspire to in the upper phase.

This news was posted in Jul 2016

The Chinese New Year Celebrations

The Chinese New Year Celebrations

As this year is the Year of the Monkey, pupils from Barrow and Tollgate explored the story of China’s endangered Golden Snub-Nosed monkey and enjoyed a range of creative craft and food themed events. The children made a dragon and monkey masks, they drew Chinese letters and sampled Chinese foods.

The pupils were delighted to welcome the Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Councillor Patrick Chung who handed out traditional lucky money envelopes in a special assembly. All the children enjoyed their day and were complimented by the Mayor.

Read the full Bury Free Press coverage

This news was posted in Feb 2016

Master Chefs at Westley!

Master Chefs at Westley!

After heats in each campus, six talented young chefs came together at Westley to showcase their skills in a contest to cook a three course meal for two people in just two hours, spending a maximum of £15. The event was hosted by Abbey Rotary and the students impressed Pascal Canevet, Head Chef of Maison Bleue and Stuart Needham from Thomas Ridley who judged the competition. Mayor, Councillor Patrick Chung, and Rotary President Richard Curtis were on hand to present the certificates and prizes.

Isaac Wallace from Westley was the Trust’s winner, with Jack Bowyer and Daniel Wilson (County), Emily Waller (Horringer Court) and Mario Saenz (Westley) as worthy runners-up.

This news was posted in Nov 2015

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize

The Rolls-Royce Science Prize

A very special ceremony was held at The Science Museum on a November evening to present the awards for 2015. Guests included Mr Warren East, Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce, who was there with several of his senior staff, government ministers, representatives of universities, other science and engineering companies, the National Science Learning Centre and STEMNET. The Trust was represented by Mrs Payne, Dr Hanfrey, Dr Hughes, Mr Price, Mrs Neale and Mr Forbes from R C Treatt. It was amazing to see pupils from the Trust on the  big IMAX screen, to hear the guest speaker, Dr Sandy Magnus, talk about her experiences in space and to see Mrs Payne collect such a prestigious award on behalf of our Trust.

This news was posted in Nov 2015

Science teaching in the Trust
Watch the science video now!

Science teaching in the Trust

Nadine Payne, a Science teacher at County Upper, runs one of the most successful Science Learning Partnerships in the Country. This led to some of the Trust campuses being asked to contribute to a video on the Impact of Professional Development. Every campus in the trust, from primary through middle to the upper phase, benefits from this partnership by having access to high quality professional development.
 
A team from the National Science Learning Centre came to Tollgate Primary and County Upper in the summer term. They interviewed staff and students of both schools. They also filmed Tollgate's Science Club, as well as some lessons at County Upper School. Lots of this footage is shown in this video.
 
The children all-through the Trust, benefit greatly from having science teaching of such a high standard that it is recognised at the national level.

This news was posted in Sep 2015

Exciting New Development for Education in Bury

Exciting New Development for Education in Bury

Following a bid to the Department for Education (DfE), the Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust is delighted to announce that we have progressed to the ‘pre-opening stage’ for a new Technical Academy in Bury St Edmunds.

The Trust has long advocated the need for fresh approaches to different routes in education, all with equal parity. Through the Technical Academy, the Trust will seek to create one such route by embedding teaching within a vocational context, developing the skills young people need for the modern workplace. Within a broad curriculum, the focus of the academy will be on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects which are the key to the success of the UK economy. Our bid has been supported by many local and national companies including ARM, Bosch, British Sugar, Claas UK, Marshall’s, Microsoft, Rolls Royce, Treatts, UK Power Networks and Vitec as well as the University of East Anglia and the Suffolk business partnership.

All students will be members of our All-Through Trust with access to its extra-curricular opportunities. At age 13, students will be able to opt for either the STEM academy or County Upper with the flexibility to move at 14 or 16.

We now have a short period to develop our plans further, particularly with regard to the site and physical resources required for the new Technical Academy. During this period the Trust will be working closely with the DfE, our industrial supporters and other stakeholders, particularly parents and the local authority, to ensure that we realise this very exciting new initiative to provide an outstanding option for Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk.

This news was posted in Sep 2015

Red Nose Danceathon

Red Nose Danceathon

More than 500 pupils from across the Trust wore red noses and danced together to raise cash. The danceathon took place at the Trust's Horringer Court campus and involved pupils from across the All-Through Trust.

The dance was devised by Horringer Court pupil Chloe Smith, who is in Year Eight, and was performed to music with 'red' in the title. Susie Fowler-Watt from Look East was also at the event and it was featured on the BBC News bulletin on Red Nose day. Over £340 was raised for the Red Nose charity.

This news was posted in Mar 2015

Teaching boss hails Trust schools

Teaching boss hails Trust schools

The man responsible for teacher training across the country visited the Trust on 6 March and described us as a "beacon of good practice".

Charlie Taylor, the chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), visited our County Upper and Barrow Campuses. NCTL is an agency sponsored by the Department of Education, created in 2013 and oversees the training of teachers in the UK.

County Upper headteacher Vicky Neale explained the visit came out of blue after they received an email last week: "He said he was very impressed. After speaking with our head students they convinced him that if he lived in the area, this is the school he would send his children to. He toured the whole school with me and said the atmosphere was productive but not tense. It was a very positive visit and the fact that he chose us to visit on his day in Suffolk, and no where else, is an honour."

Helen Ashe, the headteacher at Barrow Primary, said: "He was very positive about what he saw here and I think he went away impressed with the way our schools work together. He described both of the schools as a beacon of good practice in East Anglia."

This news was posted in Mar 2015

Trust declared World Class

Trust declared World Class

The Trust has become one of only eight organisations in the country to have been recognised with a World Class Schools Quality Mark.

Headteacher of County Upper, Vicky Neale, said the trust was thrilled to have been given the award. She added: "The mark recognised that we are never complacent, always aspiring to do the very best we can for all the young people in our care and that this is reflected in the excellent standards we achieve.

"As part of a stringent assessment process, World Class Schools’ assessors spent a lot of time with our students and found them to be inspirational. Our country’s education system is often subject to international comparisons and we are so pleased that our Trust is now officially classed as one of the very best in the world."

"Our All-Through Trust is thrilled to be one of just eight inaugural recipients of the World Class Schools Quality Mark, recognising as it does our forward-looking approach and the truly impressive all-round education it is providing for young people aged from four to 18."

Miranda Perry, co-director of the awards body, said the trust was a "truly collaborative" organisation, which is "uniquely effective" in improving the life chances of young people. She added: "They join an elite group of only eight UK schools to have successfully attained world class status and we look forward to working with them to share their expertise in schools and colleges internationally."

East Anglian Daily Times

Bury Free Press

This news was posted in Mar 2015

EADT interviews Vicky Neale

EADT interviews Vicky Neale

As a parent, the EADT’s Liz Nice is worried about the changes to education in Suffolk. Is she right to be? She spoke to headteacher of ‘outstanding’ County Upper School, Vicky Neale. Liz found that 2-tier and 3-tier is already out-of-date:

“It’s all about one tier now, or ‘all-through’ as we call it,” Vicky Neale says. “As far as we’re concerned, that’s what we offer here. One set of governors. One set of values across all the age groups. We have such close links with our primaries and middles that the children are coming here (to the upper school) all the time, so when they do eventually join us at 13, they don’t feel daunted in the way they might have done in the past.”

Liz also found out that performance dips, as a child's education suffers when moving from one school to another, can be a thing of the past:

"Some evidence suggests that children’s education is affected by a move and that they can take up to a term to recover, but Mrs Neale says that with the new trust this is no longer the case, because the curriculum and assessment in every subject is planned from 4-18. She shows me the plan for Spring Term: science morning at Barrow, speaker day at Howard, maths morning at Horringer, concert at the Apex and art display for all… The programme reads like one school because, Vicky argues, it is."

The real problem will be with the number of places. “Horringer and Westley are already full in years 5 and 6 and many parents of younger pupils tell us that they are going to make the move,” Vicky says.

The wider picture

Liz also looked more generally at the future of education. “The new GCSEs and A-levels are exceptionally hard,” says Vicky. “We are going back to the ’60s and ’70s, when only 5% of pupils got A-levels, only nowadays we need to get a far higher percentage of pupils through. Whilst it is good to challenge the very bright, many pupils will find it very hard indeed. Our system is designed for those who can do the academic side but it completely ignores the practical. Which is why industry, the CBI and Government are crying out for more engineers and practical skills.”

Vicky believes the future lies in proper technical education; not at separate technical colleges, where children can get stuck if they make the wrong choice, but within a trust of schools, so that schools can offer two pathways and children can move between them if necessary until they find the right path for them.

Read the full EADT article

This news was posted in Jan 2015

DfE Commends Trust

DfE Commends Trust

The new Regional Commissioner for the Eastern Region hosted a reception at Downing College Cambridge for successful Trusts across North East London, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk, Peterborough and Suffolk. The trust was extremely pleased to be one of those selected and to receive our commendation from the Master of Selwyn College, Roger Mosey.

The certificate recognises our ‘passion, commitment and determination to raise standards, to improve the education of pupils in this region and ensure excellence becomes the norm’. It was presented to Vicky Neale on behalf of the Trust.

This news was posted in Jan 2015

Tollgate Headship Appointment

Tollgate Headship Appointment

Alison Earl has served as Tollgate Primary's executive head since March to help bring 'rapid improvements' and has now been appointed permanent headteacher.

She recently oversaw the school's move to academy status which allowed it to join All-Through Trust. The move follows the departure of Tollgate head David Hicks and sees her leave her role as head at the 'outstanding' rated Barrow Primary, which is also part of the Trust and is now led by acting head Helen Ashe.

It was just two years after her first headteacher appointment that Mrs Earl scored a double 'outstanding' by leading Barrow CEVC Primary School from an Ofsted rating of good to one of outstanding, as well as achieving an outstanding for the Church inspection too.

"Everyone at the school and indeed in the wider village community were absolutely delighted to be outstanding. I have no doubt that Mrs Earl's passion for educational excellence will mean that Tollgate Primary will make very rapid progress in raising its standards too. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with Mrs Earl, as the new headteacher, at one of our All-Through partner schools." said Dr Viv Hughes, Chair of Governors at Barrow School.

Mrs Earl said: "I've loved my time at Barrow so I'm pleased that the two schools will be working closely together in the All-Through Trust. I firmly believe that there is a moral purpose in helping every child to achieve their potential. I look forward to a partnership with the local community to lead the school so that it becomes a flagship for outstanding teaching and learning."

She is joined by new deputy head Georgie Bateman, who comes from Westley Middle School, and three new class teachers. Tollgate was taken out of special measures when it became an academy on July and Mrs Earl said they expected an inspection by Ofsted in spring or summer.

John George, chairman of governors, added: "Securing outstanding leadership is another step towards the goal of achieving higher standards and increasing pupil progress. Since we've been working with the all-through trust we've already made many significant changes."

This news was posted in Oct 2014

Rolls-Royce Science Prize 2014

Rolls-Royce Science Prize 2014

Six English secondary schools have been chosen for this prestigious prize which is awarded following an extremely rigorous selection procedure. This year the successful schools are: Bishop Challoner Catholic College, Brit School, Lancaster Girls Grammar, Simon Langton Girls Grammar, The Judd Grammar School and the All-Through Trust led by County Upper for this project.

As a result we have significant funding to provide a range of events across our All-Through Trust throughout the year when one overall winner from this year’s six prize winners will be selected.

Rani Gill, Rolls-Royce Project Manager, Science Prize, said “Rolls-Royce has long advocated science teaching in schools. Now in its 10th year, the Rolls-Royce Science Prize has encouraged teachers to improve science teaching and inspire children with exciting, intellectually stimulating and relevant science education. The Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust has risen to the challenge and has put forward an excellent proposal. I wish them the very best in the competition.”

We thank Mrs Payne for overseeing this. The first event was organised for our year eleven triple scientists this month. They used £10,000 worth of equipment in a cutting edge biotechnology project.

Read Bury Free Press article

This news was posted in Oct 2014

First Trust Sports Event of 2014

First Trust Sports Event of 2014

As well as numerous weekly coaching sessions and clubs in all six schools across a range of sports, cross-phase days also feature again in this year’s Partnership programme. The first one involved eighty year four and five pupils from all our schools working with year ten leaders from County. The pupils enjoyed archery, dance, trampolining and a climbing wall which also involved abseiling from the top! All the pupils had a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable day. We thank and congratulate our sports leaders who did a superb job as well as the Partnership Co-ordinator, Mr Marshall for organising it.

This news was posted in Oct 2014

Multi-skills sports festival develops leadership

Multi-skills sports festival develops leadership

Pupils from the Trust showcased their sports talents during a multi-skills festival to culminate a year of collaboration. Fifty leaders in Year 10 ran the event at the County Campus with pupils from across the all-through trust choosing their sport.

The Trust has used the Government’s sports funding towards specialist coaches, an all-age extra curricular programme and twice weekly specialist teaching for primary pupils. Each month’s teaching has focused on different sports and ended with festivals in those areas. It also enabled sports leaders to develop their skills.

Headteacher Vicky Neale said: “It was a great success and both leaders and participants were excellent.”

See Bury Free Press article

This news was posted in Jul 2014

Tollgate joins the All-Through Trust

Tollgate joins the All-Through Trust

Tollgate Primary converted to Academy status on 1 July 2014 following approval from the Department of Education and joins our All-Through Trust.

In a letter to the school’s governing body confirming the new funding arrangements, Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “Tollgate School will now have the opportunity to benefit from the freedoms and flexibilities of academy status, to share best practice and work with others to bring about sustained improvements to all schools in the area.”

As a result the school will maintain its current four to nine age range, will not be part of Suffolk County Council’s move to two tier education in Bury and is no longer in special measures.

John George, chairman of governors at Tollgate, said: “The support we’ve received from the All-Through Trust has really made a difference. We are all 100 per cent confident that this is the way to secure a brighter future for all the school.”

The school community marked the conversion day with a big picnic lunch and a balloon release which coincided with its annual sports day. Guest of honour was Suffolk sporting star Louise Jukes, an international handball player who represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

Read Bury Free Press article

This news was posted in Jul 2014

Science Learning Partnership

Science Learning Partnership

We were delighted when County was appointed to lead on science education across Norfolk and Suffolk when we were selected as the Science Learning Partnership for the two counties. Sixty schools were selected across the country and the Department for Education has just completed a formal evaluation of how well each has done in its first year. We were delighted that County has been selected as the top performing in England and Wales.

As a result, Mrs Payne, was the guest speaker at the National Conference in York and impressed, amongst others, the Schools’ Minister, Elizabeth Truss. Well done to Mrs Payne and all our staff in the all-through Trust who have worked so hard for pupils across our region.

This news was posted in Jun 2014

County Upper Wins Co Space

County Upper Wins Co Space

Co Space software has been developed by Singapore Polytechnic and allows robots autonomously to be programmed to perform a simulated rescue mission. Students programme their robots to use sensors to find and collect objects in the environment, avoiding traps, so as to deposit the objects where they are needed. County Upper sent two year nine teams to the BT competition at Adastral Park where they finished first and third. They are now continuing to develop their computing skills in the weekly club ready for the UK Championships later this year. We congratulate Westley Middle School who represented the Academy Trust in the junior competition and also finished with two teams in the top three.

This news was posted in Apr 2014

Science Learning Partnership Takes Off

Science Learning Partnership Takes Off

The Department for Education and the Wellcome Trust have funded a new approach to providing training for science teachers and technicians. Ten regional hubs have been chosen to work with the National Science Centre in York. Suffolk and Norfolk is one hub and The Academy Trust schools, led by County Upper, have been selected to lead it. The first two courses in an exciting programme were run this month and both were oversubscribed. We were priviliged to have Alison Redmore, Director of Science Learning East and Mark Bruhin, Regional Officer with us. It is testament to our tremendous reputation that we have been chosen and we congratulate our 4-19 science team, and especially Mrs Payne, on our selection. It will mean our students and all the pupils across the Trust will benefit from continued high quality teaching which will keep apace with all the national changes. They will also have access to all the modernequipment we are allowed to purchase to keep ahead.

This news was posted in Mar 2014

Our Patron of Reading: A Worldwide Storyteller

Our Patron of Reading: A Worldwide Storyteller

We are delighted that Pat Ryan, who is a storyteller and writer based in London and America has agreed to be the Academy Trust’s Patron of Reading. He writes for the BBC and participates in national projects with schools. Our link began this month and will see work across all the Trust schools in the coming months. We thank Mrs Loughton and Ms Thomas for this scheme.

Patron of Reading...

Patrick Ryan...

This news was posted in Feb 2014

World Class Schools Quality Mark

World Class Schools Quality Mark

We were delighted to learn this month that our all-through Trust is one of eight schools in the country selected to be the first recipient of a new award for "exceptional schools, rivalling top schools internationally that are innovative in their ability to develop world class students." We will attend a special event at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in February to celebrate our success.

This news was posted in Feb 2014

Access a world of learning, collaboration and cult

Access a world of learning, collaboration and cult

Open a window onto other cultures and bring the world to your classroom with the British Council’s International School Award. Form a partnership with schools overseas to teach your pupils about life in other countries and develop them as global citizens. Taking part in the Award:

  • links your school with others around the world
  • teaches your pupils about other countries and cultures
  • provides an internationally recognised accreditation for your school’s international work
  • enhances teaching standards through sharing best practice from other countries.

Read more on the International School Award...

This news was posted in Jan 2014

Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science

Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science

September 2012 saw the launch of the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science. This initiative is supported by The Department For Education, OCR, CPHC, Microsoft and Google. As the government and other industry leaders and educators call for more Computer Science in the school curriculum there is a need to raise the confidence level of existing ICT/Computing teachers to embrace Computer Science, if they are not already doing so.

The DfE have supported the application made by CAS/BCS to continue and expand the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science (NoE). The heart of the programme is to build a high-quality, sustainable CPD infrastructure at low cost. This will be achieved by nurturing long-term, bottom-up collaboration between employers, universities, professional bodies, schools and teachers.

Read more on the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science...

This news was posted in Jan 2014

Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science

Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science

September 2012 saw the launch of the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science. This initiative is supported by The Department For Education, OCR, CPHC, Microsoft and Google. As the government and other industry leaders and educators call for more Computer Science in the school curriculum there is a need to raise the confidence level of existing ICT/Computing teachers to embrace Computer Science, if they are not already doing so.

The DfE have supported the application made by CAS/BCS to continue and expand the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science (NoE). The heart of the programme is to build a high-quality, sustainable CPD infrastructure at low cost. This will be achieved by nurturing long-term, bottom-up collaboration between employers, universities, professional bodies, schools and teachers.

Read more on the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science...

This news was posted in Jan 2014

Trust plans to open technical vocational style sch

Trust plans to open technical vocational style sch

The Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust could open a technical vocational style school to provide practical courses for teenagers, it has been revealed. The Trust says it would work with West Suffolk College and local businesses to aim to open the new school for 2016 - in the style of a University Technical College or Career College - which would take pupils from the age of 13.

Read more on the Trust plans for a vocational school...

This news was posted in Jan 2014

Bury schools argue for All-through system

Bury schools argue for All-through system

ITV Anglia News paid a visit to the Academy Trust on 18 November 2013 to see a Science lesson combined with Barrow Primary at Horringer Court Middle.

The media coverage was due to to ongoing discussions surrounding the change to schooling in Bury St Edmunds. The Trust held a consultation meeting at the Apex that same evening.

View ITV Anglia News coverage...

View slides from the Apex meeting...

This news was posted in Jan 2014

County Upper School retains ‘outstanding’

County Upper School retains ‘outstanding’

Bury St Edmunds County Upper School has retained its ‘outstanding’ rating after it was caught in the recent blitz of inspections by watchdogs.

The school, in Beeton’s Way, which is part of the town’s all-through Academy Trust, received top marks from Ofsted across all levels with headteacher Vicky Neale hailed as ‘visionary’.

Read more on this Ofsted visit...

This news was posted in Dec 2013

Horringer Court School is the first to adopt Trust

Horringer Court School is the first to adopt Trust

Pupils at Horringer Court School are dressed to impress with a new uniform - in the first step towards creating a unified look in the Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust.

The school’s threads now boast a navy blue jumper, blue and purple tie, white shirt and black trousers and skirt.

Read more on the new uniform...

This news was posted in Nov 2013

County Upper Students 100% GCSE pass rate

County Upper Students 100% GCSE pass rate

At County Upper School, in Bury St Edmunds, 83 per cent achieved five or more A*-Cs with 77 per cent including English and maths while the overall pass rate was 100 per cent.

Head Vicky Neale said: “We firmly believe that a strong all-round education produces excellent results and this year eleven has certainly proved us right.

Read more on the exam results...

This news was posted in Nov 2013

Students at County Upper School among the high ach

Students at County Upper School among the high ach

Among the top performing schools for A-level success in West Suffolk was Bury St Edmunds’ County Upper. The school, in Beeton’s Way, scored a 100 per cent pass rate with 92 per cent at A*-C out of 103 candidates. 71 per cent at A*-B and 39 percent at A*-A.

Read more A-Level results...

This news was posted in Nov 2013