About All-Through Education in Bury St Edmunds
Tollgate Primary, Horringer Court, Westley and County Upper are part of Unity Schools Partnership. The Partnership shares our vision of a strong all-round education for all and we are delighted to be part of this wider network of schools. Within this partnership, we continue to provide our very successful all-through approach to education in three phases. These phases cover the 4-9; 9-13 and 13-18 age ranges and fit more naturally with the personal development of the overwhelming majority of young people, so enabling them better to reach their potential.
The close working of our four schools ensures curriculum continuity and provides a huge range of extra-curricular experiences, including all-through subject days, a sport partnership and our big arts events at The Apex and the Theatre Royal. We are renowned for the supportive, happy, nurturing communities we foster, the high standards we achieve and the forward looking education we offer from nursery through to ‘A’ level.
Any student who is not already in our system, can move into our schools, especially at years 5 and 9 and for sixth form. To find out what you need to do and how to get an application form visit the admissions page. If you would like to discuss our approach and to meet us in person, do contact us. We look forward to welcoming you.
The merger with Unity – All-Through Education goes from strength to strength!
The Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust joined Unity Schools Partnership in July 2020 and are delighted to have widened our network and our relationships with other schools while we continue to promote the all-through approach to education across Tollgate, Horringer Court, Westley and County Upper.
Our close working continues, both to ensure curriculum continuity and to provide a huge range of extra-curricular experiences, including all-through subject days, sport and our big arts events at The Apex and the Theatre Royal. We all are renowned for the supportive, happy, nurturing communities we foster, the high standards we achieve and the all-round education we offer from nursery through to ‘A’ level and beyond.
We know our vision is shared by Unity Schools Partnership and that is why we are looking forward to working closely with Unity schools while also sharing some of the secrets of our success at the same time.
Comments from the Headteachers
On joining Unity, our four heads commented:
“We have a lovely community feel and we are fortunate to be so close to County Upper, so, for instance, we have some of their staff teaching music, drama and PE at Tollgate. All four schools have a close working relationship that really benefits all our pupils We are really excited to be joining Unity Schools Partnership as we continue to promote Tollgate and our all-through approach.” (Hannah Brookman, Tollgate)
“We offer high quality education with specialist staff and facilities to children from across a wide area of West Suffolk. We are caring, inclusive schools and we want our children to be the best they can be, academically, socially and morally. I believe joining Unity will ensure the sustainability and approach of our four schools.” (Steven Palmer, Horringer Court)
“I have been a headteacher in both primary and middle schools and I’ve taught secondary school age groups. I have seen all sides of the educational spectrum and I believe the vision of Unity Schools Partnership really fits into my own vision for Westley.” (Ian Kearns, Westley)
“The excellence of our teaching and results over so many years is the result of hard work, partnership-working and a very special spirit between staff, students, families and the local community. We know our vision of providing an all-round education is shared by Unity and that’s why we are excited to be joining them.” (Vicky Neale, County Upper)
If you would like to discuss our approach, the benefits we see from working within Unity Schools Partnership and to meet us in person, do contact us. We look forward to welcoming you.
Internet Safety Day
Across the Trust, we keep parents and students informed in a variety of ways to help ensure children and young people stay safe online. This month the annual internet safety day was held nationally and we used it to reinforce the important messages. At Tollgate, parents and pupils learned how to ensure their children can play ‘Minecraft’ and use ‘TIKTOK’ safely. In the middle phase, the focus was online privacy and the ‘digital 5 a day’ concept. While at County Upper, the latest age-appropriate materials from internetmatters.org were used and parents were given resources at the parents’ evening this half term.
The Chinese New Year
We marked this across the phases with an assembly in the upper phase and a range of activities in the first and middle phases. At Tollgate, pupils spent a week looking at Chinese culture and how the New Year is celebrated. They ended the week with a dragon parade. In the middle phase, year seven students organised a variety of activities to celebrate the year of the rat. The made lanterns and book marks and held a chopstick race in some very well organised lunchtime sessions. Everyone enjoyed learning about a very different culture and took part enthusiastically. Well done!
The Modern Languages Day
County Upper was praised by the British Council last term for its uptake and results in languages, being one of the top fifty schools nationally. This is shared in various ways across the Trust including German lessons taught at both Horringer Court and Westley; a weekly Latin club for the middle phase and a shared languages group across the schools. This half term students from Westley and Horringer had a taster day learning some Japanese, Latin and Spanish. The activities were prepared by our sixth form captains of languages and Wilf Harvey helped with their delivery. The pupils picked up the languages very quickly and all received certificate to mark how well they had done. We congratulate them and thank Mrs Browning, Mr Goodchild and Mr Hopkins for an excellent experience.
News from the Sports Partnership
Alongside all the regular specialist teaching and clubs, there have been four major events this half term.
Years seven and eight in the middle phase enjoyed an excellent rugby festival at Horringer Court. Both Horringer and Westley are known for their strong rugby and pupils of all abilities were able to enjoy playing and developing their skills. We thank Mr Kent for making it possible and congratulate all who took part on their enthusiasm, their sense of fair play and the standard reached.
Year five pupils at Horringer Court have enjoyed coming to County Upper weekly for a trampolining club this half term. On the big trampolines with qualified coaches, they have made excellent progress as well as having a lot of fun.
We believe strongly in encouraging leadership skills and the sports leaders’ programmes are an excellent vehicle for that. Alongside our other schemes, we have launched two programmes accredited by the Youth Sports Trust. Students develop their confidence, resilience, communication skills, creativity, self-management, teamworking and a range of other skills that will help them with their wider learning and development as young people equipped for the modern world. Year ten students at County Upper have embarked on the Bronze programme while we have launched the ‘Go’ leadership scheme with year eight pupils across our middle phase. We remain very grateful to the PE staff across the Trust for the excellent sport we enjoy both as part of the curriculum and as an important part of our wide extra-curricular offering.
Specialist teaching across the Trust is a real strength and our pupils of all ages benefit from this. Two recent successes highlight this. Firstly, William Russell at Westley became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Royal School of Church Music’s; ‘Voice for Life’ Gold Award. Westley choirs and instrumental ensembles go from ‘Strength to strength’ under the leadership of Mrs Hart. We were also delighted that the quality and quantity of music at County Upper and its impact on our wider trust has been further recognised with another national award in January from the UK Association for Music Education in conjunction with Arts Council England. We congratulate the music staff and students at County Upper.
One of our Trust values is to help those less fortunate than ourselves. At Christmas, as we reported in our December edition, Trust pupils took part in a number of civic performances to raise money for a variety of local charities. In addition, each campus engaged in different activities designed to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Tollgate pupils wore ‘something spotty’ and involved themselves in the ‘Children in Need’ day. At Westley, pupils collected donations for Gatehouse and were pleased to send a lot of goods to be used over the Christmas season. Meanwhile, both Horringer Court and County Upper held their annual Charity Campaigns. Horringer Court raised a fantastic £5,632, while at County Upper students raised £15,764 taking the total through the £350,000 barrier since the charity weeks began.
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