Headteacher’s Blog 06/12/2019

Important Dates


We are excited to announce that Downham Market Academy Sixth Form is changing its name to Athena Sixth Form College.    


We are hoping that this change will reflect how the sixth form serves from a wide variety of local secondary schools.  This also gives us a chance to define the sixth forms ethos more clearly in its own right. 


You can see the new look website here.




Students can apply directly via the website, or using the Help You Choose site. It will take a while for all branding to be updated so students can apply via either the old name or the new, it will all come through to us in the same way.



KS3 students will be soon be completing their speaking assessments in French / Spanish. Please have a look here for some handy tips and hints on how to perform well and be confident in communicating. Remember to show off, it’s your time to shine !!



Fantastic Opportunity

Full-time Progress Support Worker position available at the Academy. If you would be interested in supporting students at DMA please contact our SENCo Natalie Paine for more information on n.paine@downhammarketacademy.co.uk  



After school this week some specially selected adults were invited back to school to create festive treats with their son/ daughter/ grandchildren. We all had a lot of fun making mince pies from scratch (mincemeat and pastry) and it was wonderful to see the different generations working together with such enthusiasm. We hope this will inspire you to do more cooking together over the holidays. If you weren’t invited this time keep your eye out for the next round of invitations in the new year!


Post 16 Applications

Year 11 students must now be considering their next steps, post-16. Applications are being accepted now, at post-16 providers. Applications to destinations in Norfolk should be made using www.helpyouchoose.org – this is Norfolk’s central system for all post-16 courses in Norfolk, so making applications via this site will enable students to quickly submit applications to more than one Norfolk destination, if they wish. This includes applications to our own Athena Sixth Form College.

Should students be considering Apprenticeships, many local vacancies are also published on this site too.

Students will need to register onto Help You Choose to begin the application process. This is being supported in school, with weekly tutor sessions. If you have any queries or issues accessing Help You Choose, please contact j.dickerson@downhammarketacademy.co.uk

If students are unsure about their next steps, support is available from form tutors and from our one-to-one careers adviser, who has also been proactively meeting with Yr 11 students to discuss career pathways with groups of students with similar aspirations. 

If parents would like to meet with our Careers Adviser, then do get in touch for additional support. 

Our aim is for all Year 11 students to have their post-16 plans confirmed before the Christmas break to allow students to prioritise their studies in the New Year.



Duke of Edinburgh

During the recent Presentation Awards evening for Year 11 Leavers we had the privilege of awarding Silver DofE Award to a number of very hardworking students who had been successful. In celebration assemblies at the end of this term we will be handing out many Bronze Awards to successful students. It is very important that the students login to eDofE and add their final pieces of evidence to ensure they complete the Award and our presented with these at the end of the Term.



We are proposing to lower the published admission number from 270 to 240 from September 2021. If you have any comments to make please email n.gillprice@downhammarketacademy.co.uk.


Technology Tournament

19 x Year 9 pupils took part in the Rotary Technology Tournament at Downham Town Hall against other schools in the area. The students were presented with a design brief on the morning of the competition and had until 2pm to work as a team to produce a design portfolio and make the actual model that was asked of them and then present it for testing. Downham were runner’s up in the KS3 category with a fabulous design and received medals and a trophy. All who participated received certificates and hopefully took away some valuable skills that can help their work in and outside of school.


Locker Rental

We are introducing lockers at the Academy from February half term 2020.  The lockers are owned and maintained by Secure Locker Rentals and are available to rent on an annual basis at a cost of 30 per academic year (September to July). However, the first year cost will be pro rata at 15 due to the scheduled February half term installation.


Locker booking is now available at www.locker.rentals. 180 lockers will be installed initially so allocations will be filled on a first come first served basis. Book early to avoid disappointment. Payment can be made by Paypal, Debit or Credit Card by visiting www.locker.rentals. On receipt of payment the combination for the lock is sent to you via text or email.


Yr7 playground lockers are exclusively available to year 7 students.


All rentals are subject to our terms and conditions which are available during the booking process.

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