Students Celebrate Further Exam Success at Thomas Deacon Academy
The proportion of students gaining a good pass in both English and Mathematics has improved again this year, rising to 53%. The overall GCSE pass rate has also risen by 3% and the number of top grades achieved has seen a significant increase. For example, the proportion of students gaining the very top grades has tripled in English to an all-time high of 23%. Other subjects performing particularly strongly, securing over 30% A*-A grades, are History, German, Computer Science and Spanish.
For the first time in the Academy’s history, every single student this year has achieved a qualification in English, which is a testament to the hard work of the staff and students across the Academy in developing good literacy. Geoff Walls, Principal, said: “It has been a pleasure to see students and staff celebrating this year’s results. It has been a huge team effort to bring about further improvements across the board at Thomas Deacon Academy this year. The progress we are making as an Academy is fantastic and our staff and students deserve the very highest praise for their achievements.” Emma Taplin, Vice Principal , said: “We are so proud of the achievements of all our students. They have worked very hard this year and this has paid off. The rigour of the new English and Mathematics examinations has been incredibly demanding for both students and staff but we have risen to the challenge and achieved a fantastic set of results.”
Impressive individual performances include:
Leon Kist Chancellor - 2 x 9 grades, 7 x A*
Lara Wade - 3 x 9 grades and 6 x A*
Poppy Richardson - 2 x 9 grades and 6 x A*
Maya Patel - 2 x 9 grades, 5 x A*
Jawad Abbas – 1 x 9 grade, 5 x A* and 2 x A
Tayo Ali - 1 x 9 grade and 5 x A*
Neelam Patel – 1 x 9 grade and 6 x A*
Zulaikha Al-P'neeli - 5 x A* and 2 x A
‘Further significant improvement’ celebrated at Thomas Deacon Academy
42% of students achieved grades A* to B and the overall pass rate improved, rising to 98.7%.
Subjects performing particularly strongly, with more than a quarter of all students gaining the highest grades of A* and A, include Mathematics, Art and Product Design. Equally pleasing was the continued strength of vocational qualifications, with an impressive average grade of Distinction+ across all subjects. Principal Geoff Walls said: “These results represent further significant improvement in the academic achievement of students in our Sixth Form and is a real testimony to the hard work put in by both students and teachers. “It shows the depth of academic rigour at TDA when 52% of students studying Chemistry gained an A*-B grade and 60% of Further Mathematics students also gained an A*-B grade. This represents real academic achievement and is reflective of the ethos and culture in the Sixth Form at TDA.”
Ben Treverton, Head of Sixth Form, said: “The hard work of students has paid dividends with a record number of students getting their first choice place at university. “Students reported that they felt very well prepared for this year’s examinations and this has been reflected in the results at TDA. We are seeking to improve our results year on year and, therefore, students and staff have been very happy with this year’s outcomes.”
Impressive individual performances include:
Misha Folker - A*, A, A in Psychology, Biology and Chemistry
Maddie Wallace - A*, A, A in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics
Thomas Hamlyn - A*, A, A in Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry
Suraj Patel - A, A, A in Biology, Economics and Mathematics
Ellie Twiggs - A, A, A in Politics, History and Psychology
Y10 engineering students attended the A4 Force Capability Day at RAF Wittering to explore engineering opportunities in the Royal Air Force.
The students worked their way around display and demonstration stands that promoted the work of each squadron and highlighted the need for precise planning and communication between squadrons to ensure successful delivery of services in the field.
The stands visited included supply, storage and distribution, Air Traffic Control, bomb disposal and weapons and armoury. In addition to exploring the different engineering career paths the students participated in the action and reaction challenge to test their response rates and the tower building challenge to test their team working and communications skills.
Y8 played in the Peterborough Schools Cup semi-finals against Ken Stimpson this week. The match was competitive from the outset, but TDA were the stronger team taking the score to 3-1 by half time. KS came out fighting in the second half, quickly scoring a second goal but TDA were not going to let the final slip through their fingers. After digging deep, the TDA boys increased their lead to finish the game 5-3. TDA will face Stanground Academy in the finals, Well done boys!
TDA6 Business Studies students have been working on setting up their own business for their coursework. This week we saw the Asian Fashion Show which not only demonstrated the business skills of the students involved but also raised money for charity.
The show saw friends and family come together to enjoy a beautiful range of sari’s and dresses on the catwalk of the drama theatre. This was a really fun way for the students to experience the complexities of running a business and they certainly did a fantastic job raising £200 for Addenbrookes Hospital.
Y9 spent the weekend completing their bronze award qualifying expedition. The weekend didn’t get off the to the greatest start in terms of weather, with the students hiking 10km in rain, then sunshine, then more rain followed by more sunshine. A combination of the rainfall and the subsequent wet environment resulted in majority of the students returning to camp very wet, but still in high spirits. After setting up camp and cooking an evening meal, the students settled down in the hope of getting a good night’s sleep for a second day of hiking.
Day two saw a complete turnaround in the weather with clear blue skies, although rain overnight still meant tents and kit were damp. One by one, the groups set off on their way and despite a few wrong turns here and there all eight groups reached the finish point by mid-afternoon. The look of delight/relief on the faces of some of our students was priceless. Well done everyone.
The Children’s University opened its doors to 40 children from the Junior Academy and Main Academy this weekend.
Y5 and above learned about the Arabic language. They were introduced to the alphabet and the sounds of the letter. They then used playdoh to make the letters of their name in Arabic and practised speaking and listening. The session ended listening to “ Let it go” from Frozen sung in Arabic.
Children from Y3 and Y4 learned the Russian alphabet, they wrote their names in Russian and made name badges. They learned to write and speak the numbers one-ten and played memory games to test which numbers they knew.
Look out for the next CU session where there will be an outdoor activity and members taking part in the Young Pioneers camp at TDA will gain 10 extra learning hours to log in their passports followed by a Summer Tea Party in July to celebrate another successful year of Children’s University at Thomas Deacon Academy.
Parents can drop in and find out more at our Children’s University open afternoon on Friday this week at 3pm in the main academy. Passports cost £6 per child and membership is for Y3-Y9. For more details email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A small group of Y9 students have been taking part in a programme called Sound Training, in which complex words in the English language are explored and broken down through a variety of fun games and activities. The purpose of the programme is to train students to decode complex words quickly and effortlessly improving their reading skills. The results of the programme are very positive, with reading ages improving by several years in many cases.
TDA's aspiring female footballers attended a football trial at Iqra Academy with the aim of securing a place in the combined team for the impending Interfaith National Games in Coventry.
Well done Faiza Rani and Vaiva Stonkute for securing a place in the team and good luck in the games.
Anti-bullying Ambassadors attended Lynn Grove High School, Gorleston to undertake the Diana Award anti-bullying training in support of their roles. Working with several other schools, the TDA team took part in discussions, role play and networking sessions to enhance their understanding of the issue of bullying, the skills needed to identify and address bullying and how to implement an action plan to agree targets and aims for their anti-bullying work.
Five Y7/8 students attended the Oundle Race Challenge last week, to discover more about the world of science and technology in a fun and engaging way.
The students were treated to an excellent talk on streamlining and how to make vortexes, before competing in a paper aeroplane throwing competition using their new knowledge of aerodynamics. The highlight of the day was allowing the students to design their own CO2 powered drag racers. The students created models of these cars and then fired them down a specially designed track at over 100 miles an hour!
The group did very well in the competition and showed excellent team working, leadership and design strategies.
In the initial round of the Longitude Explorer Prize, TDA students Zara Sharpe-, Amber Moore, Bartlomiej Kazala, Ishaq Rahman, and Hassan Ali, known as Team Auxicras, submitted their proposal Panic+ for a chance to win £10,000. Over 60 ideas from more than 220 young people were submitted and we are pleased to say that our very own STEM Team is through to the finals!
Last week the team visited IBM, London to prepare for the final stage of the competition. Throughout the day the students got to spend time with IBM chief engineers, Dale Lane, business mentor, Dominic Nolan and inventors and designers who will support the team to turn their idea into reality.
So what is Panic+? The Team Auxicras’ idea is a button carried by students with a mental health disorder. When clicked it sends a direct signal to a teacher’s wristband, telling them that the student needs to leave the lesson or has a problem, giving them notice discreetly and allowing them to offer the appropriate help.
Good luck Team Auxicras and a huge well done on your achievements so far.
Over the bank holiday weekend, 42 Y8 students attended the PGL STEM trip where they took part in a variety of team building activities, many of which are designed to stretch the students, pushing them out of their comfort zone.
It certainly looks like the students had an amazing time, taking part in raft building, climbing the high ropes, abseiling, archery and much more.
It is fantastic to hear of their adventures and even more satisfying when the students give such positive feedback on their experiences;
'I feel like I can do anything now!’ Alice Hodson (abseiling)
Y5 took part in their first Peterborough schools hockey tournament (Y5/6) this week. TDAJ entered two teams and both teams came 5th out of 6 in their pools, which is a fantastic achievement considering the teams they were up against were all in Y6!
The students played with determination and kept their heads up in the face of defeat. The experience has been great preparation for next year, which they are already looking forward to.
Xidus Pain, rap artist, urban music tutor and hip hop spokesman has been working with Y9 to explore how music can encourage the use of a wider vocabulary and greater expression in their writing. After listening to some tracks and writing down how the music made them feel, where the music had taken them and how they felt listening to the track students were given the opportunity to write their own rap. The students were fully engaged throughout, actively participating in the activities.
The Smallpeice Trust spent the day in the Academy yesterday, delivering the Smart Technology Challenge, sponsored by Arc 20:20. Y9 worked in small groups to undertake the challenge but before they got started they took part in the warm-up challenge to build a weight bearing, paper tower using nothing but ten A4 sheets of paper. The winning tower was the one that stood the highest, holding 100g of weight for a minimum of ten seconds. Well done to the winning team who reached 74cm.
Following the paper tower challenge the students moved on to the main event, smart technologies. The challenge was to design, test, build and market a new water filtration technology that is designed to sit on the roof of buildings to collect and re-use rain water. The main objective was to build the most efficient device both in terms of usability and cost to maximise the sale potential (and achieve more points from the judges).
Using a variety of materials including glue guns, soldering irons, water pumps and light circuits the students were free to create their own design. The teams worked to produce their water filter before presenting their project to the judges. The functionality of the filters was tested using water and teams were marked on three main elements – the water is filtered to remove all debris (beads), the water level light works and the pump is functional. The teams were judged on their team work, communication, design, functionality, cost, construction and aesthetics.
The annual Battle of The Bands concert took place at TDA last week. With over 300 tickets sold in advance and more sales on the night, the Atrium balconies filled with students while the atmosphere filled with anticipation. Each band performed according to the running order defined by the band draw and after a night of fantastic live performances from the House bands and the staff band, the winners were announced.............................well done Castle, you are BoTB champions 2017. More photographs can be seen in the Gallery.
Guvna B delivered workshops to Y7, 8 & 9 and performed a mini gig in the Atrium to an audience of very excited students. The purpose of the workshops was to deliver the very important message of fulfilling individual potential and living by the values and behaviours you would expect to see from others. Guvna B told the story of his childhood and school life and how, at the age of 15, he found himself with a choice…..taking the right path or the wrong path. After some soul searching and positive mentoring, Guvna B chose the right path and decided to become who he truly was and not what he thought people wanted him to be.
The Y9 Football team played against Stanground ‘B’ team in the Plate Semi-final last week. TDA were too strong for Stanground’s reserve side and came out comfortable 8 – 2 winners. This also allowed Mr German to rest key Y9 players for large parts of the game, giving the reserve players time to shine. Goals were scored by: Efraim Co-Romanoes x 3, Kyle Rowell, Cameron Scott, Khafil Tafir x2 and Owen Dalliday. Now we shall wait, in anticipation, to see who we will meet in the final.
After several weeks of training, nine Y5 students attended the annual Soke Relay cross country event. In teams of four, each student ran a mile individually, in relay style, before running a final mile as a team. The students performed incredibly well considering this was the first time they have competed in an event like this. The students demonstrated excellent team work skills along with sheer determination, supporting each other as well as cheering on other teams at the event. Their behaviour was fantastic and a credit to the school which was commented on by other parents and marshals at the event.
Ten young pianists from the Junior Academy performed at the Peterborough Music Festival on 16th March. The week long festival, held at the Key Theatre, saw students from across Peterborough, Stamford & surrounding areas compete in a variety of instrumental, ensemble & choral classes. Eight of our Junior College pianists performed in the Elementary Class to a packed Studio, delivering wonderful, well-rehearsed & accomplished performances. We gained six ‘Commended’ and two ‘Distinction’ certificates & were all thrilled when Aakash Patel in Year 5 was awarded overall winner of the class.