David Nieper Academy triples student numbers in just 30 months

When Derbyshire fashion business David Nieper took over governance of its local school just 2½ years ago, there were more than a few raised eyebrows. Afterall what does a fashion business know about education?

This academic year the school has tripled its

Year 7 intake, creating the first waiting list for school places in twenty years and is proving to be one of the region’s most exciting and ambitious educational ventures. Alfreton’s secondary school has been at the

heart of the local community for decades. David Nieper is one of the town’s major employers, committed to developing skills and education, so the sponsorship of the new Academy was a natural step to support learning and help raise aspirations. Following their appointment as Academy

sponsors, the David Nieper Education Trust has set about making a raft of changes to breathe new life into educating Alfreton’s young people. A new head teacher was appointed, along with

a new management team and a team of inspirational teachers. Students had a smart new school uniform and moved into a £15 million state of the art school building. The David Nieper Academy was officially

opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex in November 2018, who applauded the step change in the increased involvement of local business support for the school.


3000 children visit Essex Schools Food & Farming Day

On June 5th, 3,000 children travelled to Writtle University College to learn more about their food’s journey from farm to fork. The hands-on activity day was organised by Essex Agricultural Society with financial support from Chelmsford City Council. Pupils aged eight to eleven arrived from more than 60 primary schools

throughout the Essex area. Accompanied by their teachers, they saw, tasted, touched and heard about the exciting work taking place within agriculture. Their first step was to place their handiwork on display; each school was

invited to contribute a scarecrow for the Food & Farming Day’s annual competition. The standard of work was high with entries including an eco- superhero and a giant carrot. Birch Church of England (Voluntary Aided) Primary School scooped up first place, with Great Leighs Primary School coming second and Writtle Junior School achieving third position. Darren Bretton, a teacher from Westlands School, Chelmsford, said: “In

today's society children are not exposed to the local environment like I was as a child. Growing up surrounded by farmland and having a farm labourer for a father, I know where my food comes from. “The Essex Schools Food & Farming Day provided an amazing opportunity

for our children to see first-hand the processes involved in food production. The many interactive exhibits manned by real farmers and food producers really helped the children understand the journey from field to fork. This event added to our pupils' science capital by allowing them to become immersed in the world just beyond the garden gate.”

Forecast is good as the Met Office launches programme for 7-14 years olds

The Met Office is launching a schools’ programme to help young people understand and prepare for the impact of weather and climate on their communities. This long-term investment in education brings to life the Met Office’s expertise and authority in world-leading science and meteorology through resources designed to improve young people’s engagement in maths, science, technology, the arts and humanities. “Weather and climate affect everything from the way we live, to

what we eat, to our personal safety”, said Felicity Liggins education manager at the Met Office. “We want to help bring this context to life through our schools programme and help young people understand the wide-reaching impacts of weather and climate change locally and globally, for people, places and businesses.” The programme’s free set of curriculum-linked resources are based

on insight from Met Office scientists and a cross-nation group of teachers who have created a suite of lesson plans and DIY summer activities. The resources focus on key themes including extreme weather, forecasting and prediction, technology and innovation in weather, weather and climate stories and people in weather and climate. New resources will continue to be added in the months and years to come. The Met Office has taken a fresh approach to cross-curricular

learning by focusing on real-world examples that help young people draw connections through their lives and the world around them. This focus makes the lessons relevant and appropriate to a range of skills. “As well as being designed to help students develop transferable

STEM skills such as spotting patterns in data, making informed decisions and communicating information to different audiences, they cover aspects of the core curriculum and bring each theme to life through fresh, fun and topical new contexts,” said Jenn McEwan, primary class teacher and panel member involved in co-developing the resources. 6 June 2019

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