On Thursday 13th October we took a group of 30 Year 8 students to Ryde Private School, to participate in the Isle of Wight Literary Festival. The students took part in interactive sessions with Alan Durant, a published children's author, and Sue Bevan, a playwright and performer who has taken her shows to numerous locations across the world, including South Africa and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Our students were superbly behaved and a credit to the Academy, with the external writers commenting upon the 'outstanding spirit and behaviour of Ryde Academy students'.
As part of the All Schools England Rugby programme three students travelled to Reading on Thursday 6th October to take part in a workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to design a Canterbury custom-designed rugby shirt for the Academy.
Canterbury will then make this design and produce a set of 20 unique shirts for our rugby team. Leon Diamond, Edward Humphries and Morgan Stokes all worked together to produce a ‘Shine Bright’ inspired shirt. It incorporates our Isle of Wight heritage by using the Needles lighthouse which shines across the shirt in Ryde Academy colours. We love it!
The shirts will be ready in time for a grand unveiling at the Six Nations in February. We look forward to seeing them progress from drawings to the real thing!
We were delighted to have a professional writer and poet, Amy Mackelden, visit some of our Year 8 and Year 9 English classes on Monday 26 September.
Her visit was part of a prize won by April Egan last year, then in Year 8, for her poem From Alice’s Perspective. The competition was run by the Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network, in partnership with the Agincourt 600 charity, and April was overall winner in the Secondary category.
Amy Mackelden is a writer and disability activist and said “Some amazing writing came out of the day of workshops. Students at the Academy showed just how creative they are when it comes to poetry, and I hope they continue writing and coming up with new ideas”.
During lessons students focused on creative writing and using objects as inspiration for their work. All students produced a piece of writing at the end of the lesson in different forms e.g. poem/postcard/a piece of descriptive writing. It was a great opportunity for students to engage with and share their work with a professional writer.
Principal, Joy Ballard, said “I have a personal love of poetry and I am glad to see that the art of writing poems is alive and well. Students got stuck in with the sessions with Amy and produced some really creative work”
We have loved participating in the first Isle of Wight Day! Students have taken part in a number of activities within lessons in the lead up to the day.
History students studied Victorians and the Romans on the Island as well looking at dinosaurs, smuggling and festivals.
In Geography topics also included festivals as well as wildlife and tourism on the Island.
English lessons were a great opportunity to look at Isle of Wight dialect and using some of the landmarks of the Island in poetry.
Students in Food Technology made salads (both fruit and vegetable) and learnt about food miles and seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Joy Ballard, our Principal said:
'I have always loved the Island and have been enjoying visiting all the attractions since I moved here a year ago. It is important that our students and the wider community have the opportunity to reflect and celebrate everything the Island has to offer and take pride in where they live, study and work’.
We hope that this day is included in the calendar every year as we already have lots of ideas for another celebration of our Island.
Massive congratulations to Daisy McVicar, Year 10, who was presented with an Ogden Schools Physicist of the Year (SPOTY) award at the University of Portsmouth on 13 July.
She was nominated by Mrs Foot and Mrs Allen in our Science Department. They said:
“Daisy is an extremely hardworking and conscientious individual who has shown, throughout the year, that she has a natural aptitude for Science. She is a pleasure to teach and has a good relationship with both staff and her peers. We look forward to seeing her skills in Science develop further and expect her to excel in Physics, and Science in general, in the future”
The awards are a national initiative sponsored by The Ogden Trust, with additional support for the Portsmouth event from the South East Physics Network (SEPnet) and the University of Portsmouth. The Ogden Trust promotes the teaching and learning of Physics using a variety of initiatives.
Year 10 and 12 students from schools across Hampshire were named Portsmouth SPOTY winners, including two from the Isle of Wight. Dr Jen Gupta, the Ogden/SEPnet Outreach Officer at the University of Portsmouth said “The annual Schools Physicist of the Year awards is one of the highlights of our schools outreach programme and it’s brilliant to be able to celebrate the achievements of so many talented young physicists. All of our SPOTY award winners should be proud of their achievements so far, and we can’t wait to see where physics takes them in the future!”
Daisy, her parents and Mrs Allen travelled to the University of Portsmouth for the awards ceremony where Daisy and the other winners each received a certificate and a £25 book token.
Last year Aaron Gould, the in Year 9, was also presented with the award.
Awards were presented for each subject for ‘Highest Achievement’ and Best Progress’. Awards were also given out to students with 100% attendance.
The following students were awarded Governor's Award by the Chair of Governors, Lesley Holmes.
Keiron Haigh age 12
Megan Irwin age 13
Teagan Sibbick age 14
Matthew Churches age 14
Jack Millward age 16
The Governor Award is given to students in recognition of efforts they have made.
Kaitlyn Croxall was presented with the Principal’s Award for services to the school. As well as a glass trophy she was also given a vase with our slogan ‘Shine Bright’ etched on it.
Parents and staff were also treated to two student performances; Year 10 singers performing ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and Anna in Year 7 singing Birdy’s ‘Not about Angels’.
The Rt Honourable Dame Janet Paraskeva was the guest speaker for the evening. Dame Janet has held a variety of roles including as Chief Executive of the Law Society and at the Serious Organised Crime Agency. She was also appointed as the first Civil Service Commissioner in 2006. She began her career as a Science and Maths teacher.
Joy Ballard, Principal, said:
‘I was so proud of our winners and it was very moving to see the delight on their parents’ faces. Ensuring children do well at school relies on a strong partnership between school and parents and it it was such a pleasure sharing together the success of our students’
Photos from the evening can be seen under our Ryde Academy in Pictures page on the website.
Students from all the year groups were given the chance to vote in their own referendum on Thursday.
All week students had debated the issues.
The Student Council collected voting slips during tutor time and 6th Form Citizenship students counted the votes. They also created some of the resources students used to debate the issues.
Having heard arguments on both sides, students voted 58% in favour of remaining in the EU.
Mrs Merrett said “We felt that we should run this referendum in school, because, whilst our students aren't old enough to vote, the outcome of the referendum will affect them and it is important that they understand the arguments on both sides. Students have also looked at democracy and British values."
We have previously mentioned Charlotte Morris who is a year 7 student and a talented competitive shooter. Her dad recently sent us an update on her progress which includes attending the biggest DTL shoot in Mid Wales in May. There were nearly 500 shooters, but this did not phase Charlotte, who shot her personal bests across the weekend. Her parents say that Charlotte is emerging as a young star, excelling in the trap discipline arena. They are very proud of her progress, ability and confidence, in what is still a very male orientated sport, and it is great to see colts/juniors and ladies coming through the ranks. Mrs Ballard said I met with Charlotte following a previous competition and she is a lovely girl with lots of talent. Well done Charlotte.
Molly Mackinnon, Year 9, was recently nominated, and won, the Young Carer category of the Isle of Wight Radio’s Child of Wight Award. Her grandad, who nominated her, said that ‘she is his little ray of sunshine’.
He goes on to explain “At the age of 9 she became a sister to Sophie who was born prematurely with many difficulties including cerebral palsy, and severe brain damage. Sophie is now 4 and has undergone many brain operations. Molly is now 14 years old and has been an amazing power of strength to the whole family, whilst Sophie has been back and forth to Southampton Hospital with her parents. Molly is described as a born carer wanting to learn how to help her sister. This includes her feeding tubes, her medication and giving Sophie her nebuliser, even going along with Sophie during her treatment at a London clinic to understand the specialist care that she needs.
She has also given up her own time to train with St John Ambulance and going on events to help the public. She is also a model student. Grandad said ‘She is very positive, supportive and selfless and he wishes he could give the full picture yet feels that this is only the tip of the Iceberg’.”
Mr Hine, our first aider, and Area Manager at St John Ambulance, said “I am so pleased that she won the Young Carers award which she truly deserves. I am proud to say that Molly is not only a student at Ryde Academy but also a volunteer within St John Ambulance and hope that this amazing young lady can inspire more young people to follow in her foot steps and become the person that makes a difference to someone in their lives or local community.”