Staff and pupils at King Edward VI High School are celebrating after a recent Ofsted inspection judged the school to be “Good”. The school, which 20 months ago had been labelled “inadequate” by inspectors, has been recognised for “rapid improvements in all aspects of the school’s work since the previous inspection.” The report concluded that, “This is a good school”. Her Majesty’s Inspectors further acknowledges that “Effective teaching means that pupils in key stages 3 and 4 now make good progress.”
Headteacher, Jason Christey, praised staff, parents and pupils for their hard work and commitment in raising standards. He said, “We are absolutely delighted that inspectors have recognised the hard work that pupils, parents and staff have put in over the past two years. We have worked tirelessly to help raise standards and believed we had an excellent level of education to offer our young people. It is great to see that this has now been endorsed by the inspectors. This has been an incredible team effort and I am very excited for the future of our school.”
The report, which is now available on the school’s website, said “Relationships are strong throughout the school. Teachers know their pupils well. Pupils trust their teachers and other adults. Consequently, they feel safe and well supported. Pupils now make good progress in almost all subjects by the end of Year 11. Achievement is strongest in the humanities subjects.”
Last year, the school celebrated some of its best ever exam results, with one of the highest Progress 8 scores in Staffordshire, the new government benchmark for measuring school performance.
Mr Christey added, “Our staff and pupils can now go home for a well-earned summer break with their heads held high, proud of their dedication and effort this year.”
Video our latest promo videos about coming to King Edward VI High School in September 2018!
King Edward VI High School has launched a brand new app for smartphones and tablets called "My Ed". The My Ed app shows you up to date information about all aspects of your child’s school life. It allows you to view information and keep up to date with what’s going on in school; it allows you to view key information about your child’s school activity and send and receive FREE messages to and from school via your mobile device. It will be the easiest and best way to find out everything you need to know about your child's performance in school and to get access to some of the most important information.
The app is free to download and can be accessed via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on Android devices. Headteacher, Mr Christey, has said "We are always looking at new ways to keep parents and carers informed about their child's performance in school and share their achievements. This new app will help us do that and will be a fast and efficient method of communication with parents and carers as well as being a source of useful and important information, so you will always be up-to-date with all the great and exciting things going on in school".
To download, visit your app store, search for "My Ed", download the app and follow the instructions. If you are having any difficulties contact our IT Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01785 258546. For more information visit the My Ed website at www.myedschoolapp.com.
Before we finish this term for the Summer break we want to pass on a bit of advice for those of you who play Pokémon Go. We know lots of you will have the App (as some of us do!) and it is lots of fun. Here are some tips to stay safe and uninjured when you play:
1. Keep your heads up! I know it is easy to get glued to your phone screen, especially if there's a rare close by. Please remember the lampposts, pillars and buildings will not move out of your way whilst you chase a Snorlax.
2. Please remember to stick to the rules you've been taught about keeping yourselves safe online and in real life. You won't know a lot of the people who you play alongside or battle with at Gyms. Don't be fooled by a false feeling of safety. Stick with people you know from your day-to-day life (family & friends).
3. Stick to safe spaces and appropriate times of the day. For example chasing Pokémon at 2am is not something we would advise. Please don't go adventuring through abandoned houses, building sites, remote places or out on to the M6 motorway!
4. Last but not least - please have respect for where you are. Stay out of Private Property! Remember not everybody will understand or even care that there's a Pikachu hiding in their back garden. There are places that require quiet and peace so shouting at the top of your voice 'There's a Jigglypuff over there!' will not be acceptable. Similarly avoid places where emergency work is needed to be done - hospitals, fire stations, police stations, etc. Use your common sense in these situations.
Remember these key bits of advice and have fun. I hope you find a Mew or Charizard soon!
Enjoy your summer and keep safe.
"An educational experience of a lifetime" - that's what students wanted and that's what they got in March when 45 students took part in the WW1 Battlefields Tour to France and Belgium with the History Department.
For three days at the end of March, students embarked on a special journey to the front lines of the First World War in Europe, 100 years since the infamous Battle of the Somme took place there. The visit was organised by History teachers Miss Tickell and Mr Lomas, to support students' understanding of one of the most famous conflicts in recent history. The visit was led by Gesta School Tours and its guide, Steve Jolly, a retired History teacher himself. In three days, students gained a deeper understanding of the war, its effects and consequences and how best it should be remembered 100 years on. The tour had three core themes at its heart; Remembrance, Significance and Personal. All three were explored during the visit and students were left deeply moved by the stories they heard and the sites they saw. This is their story...
DAY 1 - The Somme
Students left Stafford early on the Friday to meet their ferry at Dover for midday and travelled to Calais, where after disembarking, we headed straight for the heart of the Somme in France.
Our first visit was to the Arras Memorial in the Pas de Calais region of France. Here, Steve, our guide, told us the story of Rifleman Reginald Stanley Spencer of the Queen Victoria's Rifles London Regiment. He had been born in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire in 1892 and had lived in Bramhall near Manchester before the outbreak of war, working as an insurance clerk. He enlisted early on in October 1914 training at Crowborough in Sussex and landing in France in March 1915. On April 1st he was wounded and suffered from shell shock. However he soon recovered and returned to the trenches for the Battle of Loos in September 1915. During the battle he had a narrow escape as his trench was blown up and he was buried under debris until a rescue party saved him. He was shipped back to London where he eventually regained consciousness, but suffered loss of memory and shell shock. Nevertheless by October 1915 he was returned to his regiment and by February 1916 was back in France on the front line. Later that year he was wounded again, suffered shell shock in September 1916 and was re-admitted to hospital and convalescence in France until March 1917. He was now the only survivor in his platoon. He returned to a new platoon for a push in April 1917 and this is where he was reported missing on 14th April. The rest of his platoon was wiped out, either reported missing, injured or dead. He was killed in the Arras area of France on 14th April 1917, aged 25. He has no known grave and was one of 35,000 Commonwealth servicemen to be killed between the Spring of 1916 and 7th August 1917.
This story was a moving one, made more poignant by the fact that his name was inscribed on the very memorial we were standing in and the fact Rifleman Spencer was Mr Lomas's great-granduncle.
After Arras, we visited another British cemetery where each of us had a soldier we had to try and locate. Once we had found our soldier and returned to Steve we discovered that each soldier we focused on died on 1st July 1916, the first day of the bloody Battle of the Somme, a 5-month long battle which claimed the lives of nearly a million men.
After a busy day we arrived at our hotel in Albert and no sooner had we settled in than we were back out for dinner at a local French restaurant where steak and fries was on the menu.
DAY 2 - THE YPRES SALIENT & THE MENIN GATE
Day 2 was a jam-packed day. We began by a visit to Hill 60, the site of German trenches and pillboxes overlooking the town of Ypres in Belgium. Here we saw the effect of war on the landscape and learned a little more about what it would have been like for soldier on the front line. Just next door was a large crater, the remains of an explosion of mines which blew up the German trenches during the war. See Chris Austin’s report of his visit to Hill 60 on KEVI TV soon.
From Ypres we travelled to Hill 62 and Sanctuary Wood Museum where we were able to walk through a surviving British trench and learn a little more about trench life and warfare. Here we experienced the true horror of war through stories and hands-on activities. After lunch we visited the re-discovered Yorkshire Trench where we were lucky enough to bump into the Head Archaeologist (of a group called “The Diggers”), Patrick Van Wanzeele, who had discovered the site and was responsible for its excavation. He was able to show us original photographs of the site, which is now slap-bang in the middle of a vast industrial estate.
Probably the most significant part of the visit was our trip to the Tyne Cot Cemetery on the site of the infamous Battle of Passchendaele. It is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world and commemorates nearly 35,000 fallen soldiers from the Great War. It was here we discovered some very personal stories. Two former pupils of King Edward VI High School are remembered here; firstly Trooper Harold Miles Averill of the Household Battalion, a former student of King Edward VI Grammar School (our predecessor), who died on 12th October 1917 and had lived in Middle Friars in Stafford. Also remembered was Private J E T Lloyd of the Lincolnshire Regiment who was killed on 26th September 1917, aged just 37, son of Joseph and Sarah Lloyd, of Stafford. Oscar Harte laid a poppy cross on behalf of the school in their memory.
In another part of the cemetery was another personal story for one of our students, Eve Mace, who has recently completed a family history project on relatives who fought in war. After weeks of research, she was able to find out more about her ancestor, Ernest Pickering, one of three brothers killed in World War One. Ernest William Pickering of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action in 1917 and he is remembered on the wall at Tyne Cot, his body (like so many soldiers), never being found.
Before our venture into Ypres itself we had just enough time to visit Langemarck German Cemetery, a very different experience from our previous cemetery. Whilst the British & Commonwealth cemeteries were grand and imperial, the German cemetery was much more simple and smaller, yet it is the resting place for 44,000 German soldiers, 24,917 buried in a mass grave. Over a tenth of the German soldiers who fought in the Battle of Langemarck were students and schoolboys.
In the evening, after celebrating Mr Malone’s birthday over dinner (and the obligatory trip to the Belgian chocolate shop) it was time for us to take part in the focal point of our visit, the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in the centre of the town of Ypres. This vast memorial arch has hosted a remembrance service each evening since 1928 (except during World War Two). Three of our students; Sophie, Freya and Annie, were privileged enough to lay a wreath during the service on behalf of King Edward VI High School. Sophie said, “It was a very moving experience, made more significant by the fact that we had learned about the war, seen the sites and heard the personal stories of the soldiers who lost their lives. I was very honoured to be able to lay a wreath on behalf our soldiers from Stafford who died”.
DAY 3 - THIEPVAL AND PALS BATTALIONS
On the final day we visited the Somme Museum in Albert and then to the Sheffield Memorial Park and Serre Road Cemetery where we learned about the PALS Battalions; groups of friends who signed up together and fought and died together. From here, our last visit on the itinerary was to the famous Thiepval Memorial, a huge towering memorial in France, dedicated to the memory of the missing soldiers of the Somme; men who have no known grave. Here again was a personal connection for one of our group, Freya Mills, whose ancestor, Private Alfred Holder, of the South Staffordshire Regiment, is remembered. He was killed on 29th September 1916 and his body was also never found.
Tour Organisers Miss Tickell and Mr Lomas said, “The whole experience was a very moving one. The students learned so much about the conflict, its impact and its significance. Due to this year’s success and the impeccable behaviour of our students on this visit, we hope to run it again next year for more students. Well done to all students involved and a big thank you to Steve for such an excellent, engaging and moving educational experience."
"THE STUDENTS WERE OUTSTANDING"
"I can say without any doubt that it has been a privilege to work with your students. Quite simply they were outstanding. Their attitude, behaviour, engagement and curiosity were by far and away the best I have seen."
Tour Guide, Steve Jolly, said in a letter to Headteacher, Mr Christey, “As you will hopefully be aware by now the trip with GESTA was a success and one in which your students gained a great deal both academically and emotionally. As a teacher, albeit one now retired, I can say without any doubt that it has been a privilege to work with your students. Quite simply they were outstanding. Their attitude, behaviour, engagement and curiosity were by far and away the best I have seen. Having worked with schools across the country from a range of backgrounds, King Edward VI High School will take a lot of beating. From the moment we met on Friday morning until we departed late on Sunday night your students were incredible. Both myself and the coach driver thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. At no point did any student ever stop wanting to learn. These are attributes that the school, parents and carers should take pride in. There were many moments that stood out; the three proud students laying wreath at the Menin Gate and young Chris Austin proudly carrying out his reports for KEVI TV are but two. I have no doubt there are some very tired students in school today who will for days ahead, and hopefully weeks, speak enthusiastically of their experience. They will tell of the moment they realised that many men from North Staffordshire were all killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, they will speak about their exploration of Hill 60 and the moment they followed in the footsteps of soldiers through the trenches at Sanctuary Wood. I very much look forward to seeing the photographs and reports on KEVI TV.
Once again many thanks. You have indeed some very talented young people: a credit to the teenage generation, a credit to their school, a credit to their town and a credit to their parents and carers.”
Headteacher, Mr Christey, said “It is very pleasing to see that our students gained so much from this experience and it makes me very proud to receive such praise from the Tour Guide, Steve Jolly, of our students. He confirms what I, the staff and parents/carers already know, that we have a very talented, dedicated, creative and mature group of students at this school and I am very proud of each one of them for their conduct and their commitment on this visit. Well done to all students and staff involved, especially to Mr Lomas, Miss Tickell and Mr Malone for leading this special visit.”
Students will be publishing their photos, videos and memories of the tour on the forthcoming KEVI TV (our new school TV channel) and hosting a special event in the Summer term where they will share their experiences with parents and the community and pass on what they have learned as part of the government’s Legacy 110 project.
You have indeed some very talented young people: a credit to the teenage generation, a credit to their school, a credit to their town and a credit to their parents and carers.”
Look out for "Private Chris"'s news report and the official WW1 Battlefields Tour 2016 video on KEVI TV - coming soon!
To all students, parents, carers and staff,
I would like to take this opportunity on the last day of a long and busy term to thank you all for your hard work and support this year.
There have been many achievements in sport, House competitions, academic success and extra-curricular activities of which I have been incredibly proud as Headteacher.
The school has seen many changes and developments throughout the year which has involved a lot of hard work and effort from our excellent students, dedicated staff and supportive parents.
Our students have continuously risen to the challenge and proven what makes a King Edward VI student so special. You have worked incredibly hard and your school is immensely proud of you. You all deserve a restful Summer.
I would like to thank all staff for their work this year, especially those who move on to new challenges and developments. We all wish you the best for the future.
Thank you finally to parents and carers for their support to the school community throughout the year. You have played an important part in life at King Edward's and we look forward to welcoming new parents, students and staff to our community in September.
I wish you all a relaxing Summer break and look forward to seeing you in the new academic year.
As the country gets set to take to the polls this week for the General Election, students and staff at King Edward's have been taking part in their own elections for Head Boy and Head Girl.
Sixth Formers Brandon McEleny and Frances Bishop have been voted in as the new Head Boy and Head Girl from September 2015. They will replace the outgoing Sixth Formers Frances Critchley and Luke Acton who were elected last year and have served in the role this academic year as ambassadors for the school and organisers of the School Council.
Headteacher, Mr Christey, congratulated the students on their election and wished them every success in their new roles. He also thanked Fran and Luke for their "hard work in representing the school at major events and representing the student voice in the school."
It is that time of the year again where the exam season looms and our students and staff take time for a well-earned rest whilst also preparing for the exams which follow. As you will see from our website there are a number of revision sessions taking place over the Easter break and I would urge all Year 11s, 12s, and 13s to attend as many as possible to support them with their revision and exam preparation.
Having held honours assemblies all week it has been encouraging to see so many students with high progress points earned through event logs, house points, merits and excellent effort in class, and beyond; and all of these should be congratulated for the hard work and effort they put in to their education.
It has been a successful term at King Edward's and we have seen yet another fantastic Business Enterprise Challenge. Well done again to the winning group, we shall watch your progress with enthusiasm. The term has seen our Year 8s success with the Maths Masterclasses, two of our students taking part in the WW1 Battlefields Tour, Ruby Murphy recognised for her role in a local theatre production, Beth Jones coming top in a regional gymnastics competition, 8RKK's successful bake sales to raise money for charity, Readathon and World Book Day organised by Miss Lambe, our rugby, football, basketball, indoor athletics and gymnastics teams proving successful, Year 10s running their own Valentine's messaging business in school and our KS4 and KS5 attending a youth debate with local politicians, Mrs Gibbs and the sports leaders leading some successful sporting events for our primary schools and much more.
A big thank you and well done to all students and staff for their hard work and effort this term. I wish you all an enjoyable and rewarding break and look forward to seeing you after Easter.
Mr J Christey
Report and interviews by Olivia Rose and Megan Dashfield
Two of our students from Year 7, Beth Jones and Ruby Murphy, have participated in two events within the community, for which teachers have praised them for - Beth Jones has won first place in a gymnastics competition, and Ruby Murphy has played a leading role in a recent performance at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre.
Beth Jones came first out of 49 competitors in the West Midlands Regional Gymnastics Grade 4 Championships that took place on 7th March. She started gymnastics because she liked it and thought it looked interesting when she was 5 years old- she has currently been training for over 6 years, and practises a whopping four times a week! Even though she enjoyed the entire day, her favourite part was her floor routine, which she also came first in.
Ruby Murphy was part of the play that was recently showed at The Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, and originally joined because her mum thought it would be good if she took part in it. Out of the entire performance, her favourite part was her costume, and is only been doing it for a year!
The school is very proud of these two for taking part in activities outside of school, and we hope other students will continue to do so.
Headteacher, Mr Christey, said "Ruby and Beth are excellent role models for other students in their year group. On top of their school work they have devoted their free time to demonstrate their unique talents. To come first our of 49 worthy competitors is a huge achievement and Beth should be proud of her hard work and training. Similarly to get a leading role in a theatre production and to demonstrate your talents to a large audience is challenging yet Ruby has achieved this through her hard work and dedication to her interest in drama. Well done to both of you on your achievements. The Governors, your school and I are incredibly proud of you both and wish that your success continues into the future."
Leader of Year 7, Mrs Harte, added, "Well done girls, what an incredible achievement. You have both proven yourselves talented young people. You are an asset to your year group, your school and your community."
Dear Students, Parents and Staff,
As the final day of term approaches I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work this year and to wish you all a pleasant Summer.
It has been an incredibly busy year, but also an exciting one with many achievements to boast of. From success in sports with the football and rugby cups to academic excellence shown across all year groups and subjects throughout the year. Just by browsing through the School News archive as far back as Easter it is clear to see how much has been happening this term. We have had the launch of our new website, the election of a new Head Boy and Head Girl, the school appearing on Stafford FM, Science pupils taking part in energy workshops and engineering workshops as well as having the opportunity to study real moon rock; the success by our budding Mathematicians in the UKMT Maths Challenge; over £1000 being raised in Readathon; the rugby team reaching the County finals; the football teams reaching District and County Cup finals – and winning some of them!; our visit by the former Education Secretary Estelle Morris; Hannah Taylor’s nomination for the Children of Courage Award; the Year 8 visit to France, the Year 9 visit to Barcelona; the successes of our young athletes; our participation in the Capital FM competition; the school production of Bugsy Malone, the Dance Show; Maya and Amy's successful campaigning against FGM alongside Jeremy Lefroy MP and much much more! I look forward to the many exciting and rewarding opportunities already being planned for 2014-15.
We have had another successful end to the academic year with our school proms last week, our whole-school visit to Alton Towers on Wednesday and finally our scorcher of a Sports Day yesterday. Well done to all the students who participated and represented their form groups, and special congratulations to 8LAJ who were the overall winners of the competition; an impressive performance!
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to those students and staff who are leaving us at the end of this year and wish them all well in the future. I look forward to seeing Year 11 and Year 13 on their respective results days in August and at the presentation evenings in the new academic year.
Thank you to all our outgoing staff for everything you have done for our students and for all you have contributed to life at King Edward's. We also look forward to welcoming new members of staff to our school in September.
Just a reminder that school reopens for all students on Wednesday 3rd September at normal time and that A Level Results Day will be on Thursday 14th August and GCSE Results Day on Thursday 21st August.
I wish you all a very pleasant and restful Summer break and look forward to seeing you all, and greeting our new Year 7 classes, in September.
Mr J Christey
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