This page enables us to showcase the academic and extra-curricular achievements of our students and staff.

Pineapple Dance Studio Open Day - July 2017

posted 18 Aug 2017, 05:30 by Nat Admin   [ updated 20 Sep 2017, 03:02 by T Petty ]

It looks like the students who attended the Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden had a great time.

Miss Seaton and the seven students from years 7-10 took classes in classical technique, contemporary dance and Jamaican dancehall whilst the two 6th Form students attended classes in jazz, ballet and salsa. All the students were actively encouraged to try styles outside of their comfort zone (dancehall and salsa) as well as refine existing skills to broaden their movement vocabulary and appreciation for cultural dance.

The event was attended by hundreds of dancers of all ages and abilities but the elite team danced with confidence and were selected to be featured in Pineapple’s promotional video footage and Instagram story. Miss Seaton also used the day as an opportunity to coach the students on audition and class etiquette in preparation for upcoming auditions.

Dance Talent Heads North

posted 8 Aug 2017, 04:29 by Nat Admin

Miss Seaton recently secured a scholarship at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance for one of our talented dancers, Louis in Year 9. He wrote:

'My time at Northern School of Contemporary Dance was amazing! Everyday was a new challenge. I really enjoyed the choreography and was learning all the time. I made some amazing friends and it boosted my confidence. We had a technique class every morning into a creative class which we learnt for the performance that was shown on the last day to family and friends! I was immensely privileged to have Miss Seaton travel up to watch my performance! I want to say thank you to Mrs Ballard for supporting me and making this happen, and of course Miss Seaton for her tremendous support, always! However, I can't leave out my mum for taking me up to Leeds and being there no matter what!!

His choreographer from NSCD, Anna Watkins, said the following about Louis:

"He's a fantastic dancer and was a pleasure to work with!"

West End Star visits the Academy

posted 16 Jul 2017, 23:46 by Nat Admin

West End star, Layton Williams, has made a return visit to Ryde Academy.

Layton played the lead role in Billy Elliot in the West End, and Stephen in BBC3's 'Bad Education' also starring in CBBCs 'Beautiful people' and 'School for Stars'. He was previously a member of Matthew Bourne's 'New Adventures' dance company and has toured with 'Lord of the Flies' where he helped prepare novice dancers for professional performances nationwide. Most recently he has finished playing ‘Angel’ in the revived musical ‘Rent’ and subsequently have been nominated for an IARA award for ‘Best Dance Act 2017’. He is now resuming his role as Seaweed Stubbs for the hit musical ‘Hairspray’.

Following his first workshop with us in 2015 Layton returned to work with dance students. The first session involved students from Years 7-9 and was in the style of musical theatre and jazz. The second workshop targeted the schools most promising dancers who were taught a commercial routine. Both sessions really challenged students and exposed them to movement vocabulary that they rarely encounter. The second group were then treated to a Q&A session where they received industry advice regarding auditions, rehearsal etiquette, networking and how to cope with the demands of the professional dance industry.

Hilary Seaton, Teacher of Dance said ‘It was fantastic to have Layton back working with our students and sharing his knowledge and experience of dance and being a professional performer. I received a lovely email from him after the workshop which said ‘Thanks so much for another great workshop! Was nice to be back. You’ve quite clearly had an amazing effect on these students as that level of dance is unseen at most secondary schools that I visit. You should be super proud and I’m sure you are’.

Science Fair

posted 6 Jul 2017, 02:21 by Nat Admin

Year 9 Scientists have been working on a range of experiments which culimanted in an exhibition attended by their parents and staff on Tuesday 27th June.

Ryde Mayor, Henry, and his wife, Val, opened the fair and then spent time talking to the students about their experiments and findings.

Investigations carried out included finding out the effects of sugar on the body, whether sound affects the taste of food and what makes bubbles last the longest. Many of these experiments were demonstrated to the visitors during the afternoon.

Visitors were then given the opportunity to vote for their favourite team. The winning investigation was conducted by Charlie Ashley, age 13, and Mateusz Banachowski, age 14, with their investigation into the speed of light. Their challenge was to find out if the density of a material affected the speed light travels.

Head of Science, Catherine Foot said, ’It was a fantastic afternoon. Students were given the challenge of investigating an area of science that they found interesting, and over the past few weeks they had carried out experiments, collected data, and presented their findings. They were able to develop not only their scientific skills, but also those of teamwork and presenting. The projects were amazing, and the afternoon a great success.’

Students perform with X Factor winner Louise Johnson at Wembley

posted 19 Apr 2017, 05:48 by Nat Admin   [ updated 30 May 2017, 06:27 ]

Students had a chance in a lifetime experience when they performed with X Factor winner Louise Johnson on Saturday 8th April 2017. In total 1300 students from schools across the country took part.

The students, from across the year groups, supported the popstar at the launch of Derby Day - Saracen’s annual fixture which this year saw them take on their London rivals Harlequins - in front of a crowd of 72,324 spectators.

In preparation they spent months working on dance routines which they performed with Louisa before the kick off.

Jack Millward, a 6th Former at Ryde Academy, was given a press pass so he could film the performance from the pitch side for event organisers Pro-Excel. You can see it on our YouTube channel.

Dance teacher, Hilary Seaton said: ‘I am beyond delighted at the success of this new partnership between Ryde Academy and Pro-Excel. Whilst we have an established and highly successful dance department at the Academy this opportunity has encouraged many students to participate in extra curricular dance for the first time.

As we exited the players tunnel, the dancers faces lit up in disbelief as they cast their eyes on Wembley Stadium and any signs of nerves turned to excitement. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and I know this will create lifelong memories for the dancers and the families who travelled up to watch.

As a dance teacher, I am a massive advocate of how dance can enrich a young person's life and educational experience. This opportunity has allowed students to gain confidence, make new friends, show perseverance, work hard, display discipline and gain work experience. I could not be prouder of what they have achieved’.

The Academy’s dance partners, Pro-Excel have been producing similar shows at major stadiums across the UK for over 15 years and are incredibly proud to be working on the Isle of Wight for the very first time.

‘The students at Ryde Academy have clearly demonstrated that there is a vast wealth of talent on the Island and it's a real privilege for our organisation to be invited here. Our show at Wembley Stadium is the biggest mass-movement dance production in the UK and this year is no exception with over 1,300 students from 23 schools and academies taking part.

For us it’s all about creating lifelong memories and we hope we can do this for the students, staff and parents of this wonderful Academy.’

If you would like to get your school involved in any of Pro-Excel's major stadium dance projects please email or message us via our Pro-Excel Facebook group:

You can see all the photos from the day on our 'Ryde Academy in Pictures' page.

Chutney Soca - Mardi Gras 2017

posted 15 Mar 2017, 00:22 by Nat Admin   [ updated 17 May 2017, 03:38 ]

In February some of our Year 9 and 10 students took part in a music project run by The New Carnival Company and “T-Hop” (a community development organisation) to create a song for the Island Mardi Gras Parade being held on Saturday 1st July 2017.  The song will be performed by 1000 primary age children from across the Island.

The workshop was held over several days and started with a history lesson about the style of music they would be using (Soca - Spirit Of CAlypso, mixed with the Indian Bollywood genre).

Three days of song writing culminated in four verses which were then added to a chorus and bridge section written by Christ the King students. On the third day the demo track was recorded which was followed by final recordings and production on days four and five.

One of the participants, Thomas Brunton, Year 10 said:

This was my first experience of a music workshop, and in the five days that we spent doing it, I loved it. I learnt new things throughout the project, for example about Chutney soca music, which I found interesting to learn about as it was something that I knew nothing about.

My favourites parts about the project were creating and recording our lyrics. I enjoyed doing these two the most as they are both something I love doing. Singing a song that you have created has a different feeling to singing a song that was made by someone else. The leaders of the project were both helpful and encouraging which made the project more enjoyable for everyone’.

All students involved in the creation of the song have the opportunity to perform in the Mardi Gras Parade and will be going out to some of the primary schools to help them learn the song. 

Archeology Workshop

posted 9 Feb 2017, 07:09 by Nat Admin   [ updated 17 May 2017, 03:39 ]

To coincide with Futures Fortnight, an annual event at the Academy which focus on further education and careers, the History Department welcomed Kate Cambridge, a local Archaeologist from Timetaxi, to work with a selected group of AMAT (Academically More Able and Talented) and enthusiastic Year 7 and 8 Historians.

Students had the opportunity to dig for artefacts which they then had to date accordingly, they learnt how to wash artefacts and prepare them for cataloguing. Finally they put their artistic skills to use to produce accurate drawings of archaeological finds.

The Head of History, Joelle Dorman said 'The students had a fantastic afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed taking on the role of trainee archaeologists. This was a wonderful opportunity for them and will hopefully result in some future career choices in the field of History and Archaeology'

Sam Year 8 said ' I really enjoyed the session, I loved trying to make up stories about where each artefact came from - I also learnt the difference between an Archaeologist and a Paleontologist'

Poppy Year 7 'It was great to wash and clean the finds and then try to work out what they were'
Overall a fab afternoon!

Literary Festival - October 2016

posted 18 Oct 2016, 05:35 by Nat Admin

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'.

Image courtesy of Ryde School

Students design their own Rugby Shirt

posted 7 Oct 2016, 05:59 by Nat Admin   [ updated 1 Dec 2016, 05:09 ]

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!

Visiting Poet

posted 29 Sep 2016, 02:42 by Nat Admin   [ updated 1 Dec 2016, 05:11 ]

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”

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