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News and Letters

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  • Weekly Parental Newsletter

    Published 24/05/24

    Please see the Parent/Carer Newsletter for the week ahead. If you would like the newsletter in an alternative format, please contact us. See attached for Urdu/Slovak translations. 

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  • Letter to Families - 07/03/24

    Published 07/03/24
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  • Consultation to reduce the PAN

    Published 06/12/23

    We are wishing to reduce the Published Admission Number from 300 to 240 and are asking you what you think

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  • First Story Students at the Bradford Literature Festival

    Published 05/07/23

    On Tuesday 27th June a number of the First Story students attended the BLF Poetry Day event held at St. Georges Hall as part of the Bradford Literature Festival.

    The first section was introduced by Wakefield born poet Matt Abbott who explored the diverse forms and styles of poetry, treating us to his sonnet Heinz 57 in praise of baked beans on toast. Our students each wrote a haiku.

    The Slam poet Michelle Scally-Clarke taught us performance techniques, she talked about her early life and our students wrote an ‘I am…..’ poem under her guidance.

    After a break for lunch where we visited the famous Story Bus in City Park and had a look around the BLD venue tents we returned to the hall where the award-winning poet Antony Anaxagorou explored the place poetry has in society today, the politics of writing and how poetry can shape our understanding of contemporary issues.

    The last section of the day was with testament, the Guinness world record holding beatboxer who delivered a session outlining rhyme, rhythm and flow, exploring the links between hip-hop, poetry, rap and the inspirations behind the people who championed these art forms. He finished with a rousing rap using a selection of audience selected word suggestions.

    It was an exciting, informative day and has hopefully inspired our students to be even more creative in their writing.

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  • Magna Museum​​​​​​​

    Published 23/05/23

    Year 8 explored the Magna museum. The museum was split into four very exciting pavilions, fire, water, air and earth.  In each pavilion students learnt scientific facts and saw science displays.  By far the most amazing display was the Fire tornado which left us all flabbergasted.  Later in the afternoon students took part in a workshop, where they built their very own rocket, they designed it carefully to maximise the distance it travels by understanding the science of aerodynamics. Students made links between maths and science. The rockets effectiveness was determined by the speed at which it travelled and therefore knowing formulas such as speed is = to distance/time naturally came into action.

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  • Year 7 Virtual Parents Evening | Thursday 27th April 5pm- 7pm

    Published 17/05/23
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  • First Story Writer Festival – Cambridge Trip 2023​​​​​​​

    Published 12/04/23

    In March some of our students travelled to Downing College, Cambridge University to attend the First Story Young Writer Festival.

    The guest author was Manjeet Mann who took part in a question and answer session where some lucky students were able to put their questions to her before the floor was opened and everyone was invited to speak. Manjeet answered everyone’s questions in great depth, providing us with glimpses of her life as a child, her journey into becoming a writer, via acting and scriptwriting and she told us what influences her stories, she also handed out some sage advice for budding writers.

    Our morning workshop was hosted by the British born Cypriot poet, Anthony Anaxagorou. Winner of the SLAMbassadors UK rap poetry competition and founder of the Out-Spoken, a monthly poetry and live music night based on the Southbank in London. We spent the morning writing poetry based on a collection of words given by Anthony.

    Anthony was impressed with the resulting poem from one of our students and she was invited to perform on stage at the Showcase event.

    After lunch Manjeet Mann singed our books and had a chat with each of our students before we went to have a tour of the university and the grounds.

    The afternoon workshop was hosted by Kerry Drewery, the author of the award-winning Young Adult series ‘Cell 7’ along with a number of other novels. Kerry helped our students write a detective novel, including inventing a character name.

    At the showcase event many students were eager to read out the work that they had produced that day. A competition for all attendees was announced which is sponsored by Quentin Blake, the world renowned artist and author.


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  • Attendance Half Termly Rewards​​​​​​​

    Published 04/04/23

    As a part of the ongoing attendance rewards used to help improve attendance at the Academy, a total of 54 students from years 7 to 11 received either a £20 or £100 Amazon or Food voucher for their improved attendance.

    Pictured are two of our year 11 students, one who received a £100 voucher for the most improved attendance from HT2 to HT3 and the other who received an Easter Egg incentive and is still in the running for the £500 reward for maintaining 100% attendance throughout the academic year. Well done to all 54 students!! 

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  • Author Visit from Anthony McGowan

    Published 23/03/23

    The author Anthony McGowan was invited by the Opus Book Awards students to visit the school and talk to the about his novel ‘I Am the Minotaur’ which is one of the 12 books the group are reading this year. We were joined by Opus Book Award students from Co-op Academy Priesthorpe.

    Anthony read an exciting extract from the novel and told us how he was inspired to write this scene based on a real life experience after having had his bike stolen.

    Students were given plenty of time to ask questions about ‘I Am the Minotaur’, along with his other novels and general questions about writing and publishing. 

    Later in the morning we were joined by some First Story students for a creative writing workshop, before which Anthony gave a very practical demonstration, using some students, of the 5 Stages of the Freytags Pyramid, how the action rises and falls within a story. He gave everyone some tips on how to start a story and hold the readers interest. Students were given the opportunity to read out their work at the end of the workshop.

    Anthony took time to speak to students on a one to one basis, sign autographs and take pictures. The students had a great time meeting and talking to him and there’s been many positive comments about his visit.  

    If you are interested in reading one of Anthony’s novels please come to the library and speak to Mrs Blashill.


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  • World Book Day 2023​​​​​​​

    Published 14/03/23

    Our World Book Day big event this year was the ‘Footy Booky Quiz’ where students answered questions about football and books posed by footballers and authors.

    Competition was fierce and staff had to be encouraged not to get too excited and shout out the answers. Our winner took home books, a chocolate orange, an electronic dictionary and a football.

    Runners up were given books, chocolate oranges and electronic dictionaries. We also had some Big Book Bonanza quizzes and a ‘design a book cover’ competition in the library.

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  • First Story – Our Anthology

    Published 14/03/23

    We are at the time of year when we need to find a name for the 2022-2023 Anthology of the First Story work, a culmination of all the prose and poetry that we have written this year.

    Pictured are our students hard at work thinking up names and titles for the collection of work. It was a fun, noisy evening as everyone put forward suggestions and debated them.

    We were joined by the new Programme and Partnerships Manager (Yorkshire), Ali Johnson who said “It was great to meet the cohort, what a fantastic bunch.”

    We have decided on the title ’Silence is the Loudest Sound’. Watch this space for further updates and the launch date.

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  • Students Librarians​​​​​​​

    Published 09/03/23

    On the 1st March four of our students started their journey towards becoming School Library Association Student Librarians, a nationwide recognised training course.

    They are training for the First Award, which includes desk duties, shelving resources and customer services.

    They all have a blue shield shaped badge, so when you come into the library and need help you can easily recognise the official Student Librarians.

    Each student has a Pupil Librarian Toolkit where they can record their progress and achievements.

    Mrs Blashill said “These students all work incredibly hard during their own time, their help towards the smooth running of the library is invaluable. I am sure they will be celebrating achieving the first level very soon.”

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