Careers Advice, Science Week, Music Festival success, Flag raising and a superb result for Paige

Over the last two weeks there has been some significant work taking place at the Academy to inform our students and those from primary schools about what work-place and career opportunities exist both locally and nationally. Last week we held a Year 12 Employability Day that involved a series of workshops with local employers in the morning followed up with some mock interviews in the afternoon. All of the local employers that were involved spoke very positively about our young people and the whole day was a success. This week Mrs Chandler (March Cluster lead) organised an exceptional Careers Fair for children in Year 6 and Year 7. Once again the event was huge success and also helped with our transition activities from primary to secondary school. Finally this week the Join the Journey Career Bus was at the Academy offering excellent careers advice for Years 9-13. The bus presence forms part of the Signpost2skills initiative and we are grateful for the support and guidance that was offered to our students.

Last week one of our Year 10 students, Paige Harris did incredibly well in her latest martial arts competition. To be considered for The Pro Martial Arts organisation you have to be selected to compete for the Predator fight squad and attend regular training in Grantham and Newark. Paige was selected and her first major tournament of the year and competed at the Peterborough Open in the Girl’s under 55kg advanced category. Paige put in a very strong performance in her semi-final round and achieved the win that secured a place in final where she defeated a far more experienced opponent. This is brilliant news and we are very proud of Paige.

Continuing a long standing tradition, the Neale-Wade music department led by Head of Music Miss Griffin, showcased its hard work this term with a visit to the Peterborough Music Festival this week. The senior schools of March have been winning trophies in this competition since 1939.This year, the students had the exciting opportunity to perform at the Key Theatre to the international adjudicators Robert Bailey (strings) and Jeffrey Wynn Davies (woodwind and brass).Our first performance was on Tuesday. Mrs Furlong took the string ensemble to perform and they were awarded a distinction for their performance. On Wednesday, it was the turn of the brass and woodwind sections. The woodwind ensemble were competing against two other groups and as well as being awarded a commended for their performance, won the McIntosh Cup. The other Neale-Wade groups were competing for the Cooke Trophy. The brass ensemble gained a merit for their performance. Neale-Wade Concert Band and Orchestra, were both awarded in the commended category. The adjudicator announced the winner this year as the Orchestra, commenting on their excellent balance as an ensemble.In his closing comments the adjudicator noted how well the students had behaved and played, proving themselves able ambassadors of the Academy.Miss Ceri Griffin, Head of Music said, “We are extremely proud of the achievements and dedication of our musicians at the Academy. It was an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to perform on stage at The Key Theatre, Peterborough; our students rose to the challenge and played with great enthusiasm and skill. The commitment of Mrs Furlong and Miss O’Reilly to encouraging music making at Neale-Wade Academy is invaluable”.

Three Year 10 students have represented the Academy at a ceremony to ‘Fly a Flag’ in support of the Commonwealth.The Chairman of Fenland District Council, Councillor Mrs Carol Cox, kindly invited the Academy to send some students to a brief ceremony to ‘Fly a Flag’ in support of the Commonwealth.Commonwealth Day is held on the second Monday in March every year. It is an opportunity for individuals, communities and organisations to promote shared Commonwealth values of peace, democracy and equality, and to celebrate the association’s rich diversity.

The ceremony, which took place at Fenland Hall, was followed by the Single Commemorative Act Marking the Centenary of World War One. In this part of the proceedings, our students read war poems, including ‘In Flanders Fields’.

As part of Science Week students have undertaken a range of lessons and attended themed events based on the British Science Week topic of change. We have looked at how the lesser known key scientists have influenced change through their developments in tutor time and science lessons. Science Club this week, led by Mrs Martin have been looking at chemical change in the form of volcanoes with some impressive geological structures being produced.
Year 9 scientists went to the Big Bang science exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham where they had the chance to control robots through virtual reality goggles, participate in robot challenges, fly drones, design structures, meet military engineering teams and find out about careers in science and engineering from leading British companies such as Rolls Royce, JCB and British Aerospace.
Glenn Jarvis in Year 9 was impressed with the size of the NEC and how it was filled with so many British companies that were showcasing their scientific roles.
Also, during Science Week, students from years 11-13 attended a lecture at Cavendish laboratory, Cambridge University on the Gaia satellite. This fascinating lecture informed us on the history of mapping our galaxy, the launch and the information that the Gaia satellite is currently revealing about our understanding of the Milky Way galaxy.
Continuing the week the Cambridge Science festival have a range of exhibitions, talks and performances that celebrate science throughout March. More information can be found at www.sciencefestical.cam.ac.uk

Last week I tweeted my thanks to all of the local sports clubs that provide competitive opportunities for our students and today I was delighted to see that a former student, Connor Porter scored in the local Rugby Union derby game against Wisbech Wildcats. Connor played representative rugby for Cambridgeshire during his time at the Academy and I am delighted to see that he is representing his home town.

On Thursday the year 10 boy’s football team continued to dominate the Isle of Ely league with a convincing 7-2 win over a good Ely College team. The first half Neale-Wade struggled to get their foot on the ball and Ely made the game very compact and difficult for the midfield to play, Neale-Wade twice took the lead with Ely twice drawing level. At half time a few changes were made and Neale-Wade starting to move the ball into the wider positions with Jordan Palmby getting more possession on the left wing where he was able to run at the defence. The 3 central midfield players of Sam Smethurst, Jordan Smith and Ben Darrington started to control the game winning the first and the second ball. With a much better 2nd half performance the boys were convincing winners 7-2 with goals from Tom Fender, Jay Rout with four goals, including a well taken chip over the keeper and Jordan Smith with a brace. Man of the match performances came from Jordan Palmby and Sam Smethurst.

Miss Bywater has reported on a Year 11 and Sixth Form Netball fixture;
On Thursday 16 March Neale-Wade Academy hosted Witchford Village College in a friendly netball game. It was great to see the female students from Neale-Wade Academy wanting to participate in competitive sport outside of school.
The game was played in a competitive, but friendly, manner and it was fantastic to see our students from KS4 and 5 collaborating together. In particular, it was fantastic to see a year 11 student, Coran Ford, playing for the academy in her first ever netball game. Coran played with confidence, composure and scored 5 goals during the match, but this could not have been done without some superb passes into the shooting D by Katie Ingram and Beth Jenner. Dulcie Asher, Megan Bradshaw and Erin Powell all fought for loose balls, whilst they consistently marked their opposite player. It was an exciting game, but it was excellent to see our students all playing with a smile on their faces and enjoying playing netball! Well done!
Woman of the match: Brooke Anderson.
Final Score: NWA 13 – 1 Witchford
1. Skye Leigh
2. Erin Powell
3. Brooke Anderson
4. Megan Bradshaw
5. Beth Jenner
6. Katie Ingram
7. Lucy Chapman
8. Hana Howsam
9. Coran Ford
10. Amy Smith
11. Lauren Dixon
12. Dulcie Asher

Additionally, our young netball umpires, from Years 8-10, were given an opportunity to put what they are currently learning at Netball Umpiring club, into practice. Sophie Smith, Amey Wilson, Hela Seeking, Sophie Hunt, Mille Edwards, Sophie Hunt and Danielle Garner overcame nerves and confidently umpired their first official netball game. They were clear, firm and confident when calling decisions, whilst many of them demonstrated clear arm signals to support their decision. Furthermore, Skye Whytock, Ella Mason, Caitlin Baker, Geroge Clarke, Jessica Carse, Sophie Tanner, Caitlin Baker were all consistent with their scoring and verbally informed the umpires and instructed them whose centre pass it was. This shows outstanding understanding and application of the rules and their role as score keepers.
Well done to our netball umpires

As you can imagine it has been a fantastic week to be the Executive Principal of the Academy and tomorrow I will be with Mr. Gaskins (Head of Littleport and East Cambs Academy) as we attend a tour of the new school along with members of the local Littleport community. A good week all-round.

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