Year 13 students from the academy were rewarded with a graduation ceremony in Leeds having completed a course designed to help them make the right choices once they move onto the next stage of their education or enter employment.
All the year 13 students had studied for a course called the Progression Module last year, which was delivered by post 16 progress leader Isobel Perrings who explained: “The Progression Module is a programme run in partnership with Leeds Beckett University and Huddersfield University that is designed to develop research skills about employment and university, encouraging students to make an informed choice.
Modules also cover student finance, asking students to evaluate the benefits of studying at home or away at university, as well as covering areas such as presentation skills and interview experience with staff from Leeds Beckett.”
Ms Perrings added: “The programme has enabled our year 13s to make really informed decisions about their futures. The majority of students in 2016 accepted courses at Leeds Beckett ranging from Law to Sport Science. However, other students began apprenticeships, preferring to enter training and employment.”
The graduation ceremony was held in The Gandhi Hall at the university in Headingley, Leeds.
Students were presented with their certificates in front of other secondary school students from across West Yorkshire.
This was a great opportunity to encourage girls and women to speak to one another and initiate conversations on matters that are often difficult to approach.
The girls met with BBC Radio One presenter, DJ Gemma Cairney. She talked about her views on feminism, confidence, body image, the highs and lows of the online world and her thoughts about her book- OPEN. The girls took pictures with Gemma and had a question and answer session with her- Gemma also signed a book for us.
Family and Community Worker, Nadia Majid, said: “This was a great opportunity for our girls to recognise their capabilities and to encourage them to see that they can overcome any barriers and obstacles in their lives.”
The girls looked at different stereotypes in society and learnt that women are not just housewives, they play an important part in the future and always should always be proud of themselves. The girls also learnt that women should be treated the same way as men, both genders are equal no one gender is superior.
The girls finally learnt a rap to help inspire them- ‘ Who runs the world, Girls!’
A great time was had by all.
Students from year 6 of Eastwood Community Primary School joined us at the academy for a special oracy event on 7th November.
Performance poet, Imran Hafeez who has been working with the academy via the Literacy Trust’s Bradford Literacy Hub, led the workshops which focused on boosting the youngsters spoken language skills.
They took part in energising vocal exercise first to get their brains active before learning a quick tongue twister poem. They then went on to compose a group poem though a process of thinking about keywords- friendship, identity and aspiration. The sessions ultimately led to the youngsters performing their own poems in front of each other.
Academy spokesperson said: “The student clearly had fun learning the tongue twister and some of the thoughts they brought to the group poem about identity and aspiration were really quite profound. You could see their confidence growing throughout the session so that by the end they were happily reciting poems to the each other and the group.”
Students from the academy have again been given a taste of army life, taking part in the second of a series of special youth ‘supercamps’ at Catterick Garrison.
During the three-day event, they tackled everything from cooking and making a shelter in the field to using camouflage. The youngsters were also joined by top kickboxer Ruqsana Begum, the current British and World Kickboxing Association Muay Thai champion.
She led a warm-up session before accompanying the students on a military assault course, and later spoke to the group about the challenges she had faced and overcome during her life.
Organiser, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hunter, said: “The feedback has been very positive from both students and staff, not only in terms of skill development but also for giving them the opportunity to do something they would not normally have the chance to do. When the students return home they have a better understanding of what the army does.”
He added: “The army has many roles. A lot of people are surprised to hear that we have dealt with hurricanes, Ebola and floods – it is not just about combat. The young people have heard about the benefits of becoming a member of the Army Cadet Force youth organisation, the Officer Training Regiment if they go to university, or a possible army career in the future.”
UAK is celebrating the outcome of its recent visit from Ofsted, where inspectors recognised that pupils are making better progress since the last inspection. This recognition follows UAK recording its best ever GCSE results in the 2017 performance tables. The report acknowledges that the academy is no longer a school causing concern and has removed it from its category less than 18 months since it was placed in serious weaknesses in April 2016.
Inspectors commented that “The principal and governing body work collaboratively and have swiftly taken decisive action” since the previous inspection. They commended the pupils for being “respectful of their school. They keep it clean, tidy and free of graffiti.”
Bernie Addison, principal at UAK since April 2016 said: “We are delighted that the school had been moved out of a category of concern in such a short space of time.” She added: “I’m delighted that Ofsted have recognised the rapid and significant improvements at UAK over the last 18 months and I see this as a stepping stone to achieving our ambition of being an outstanding school for Keighley families. Governors, staff and the local community have all worked together to achieve this for our pupils. There is so much more we want to do at UAK and this is really a positive step in the right direction.”
Joanne Marshall, chair of the Governing Body, stated, on behalf of the sponsor, the University of Bradford that: “This is very welcome news and comes on top of the excellent results achieved this year both in GCSEs and levels of progress. The school, staff and pupils should be extremely proud of all that they have achieved.”
View the published report.