Discover DMA 16.10.20

Discover More About DMA 16.10.2020

Welcome to the new-look newsletter for parents, carers and wider community in and around Downham Market where we hope to share with you a glimpse of what life at Downham Market Academy is really like.  Do also follow our Facebook page for regular updates and our website is kept up to date with lots of useful information.

Canteen orders for hot lunches and sandwiches

The menu is open for pre-ordering hot lunches and sandwiches please follow this link to make choices and then pay via ParentMail.

If your child is eligible for free school meals, please do still order choices on the above form but do not make payment

PSHE: preparing our students for life in the real world and supporting personal development

In Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) students discover the skills needed to help them manage life now and in the future. Year 7s are focusing on social media and anti-bullying developing skills to navigate online carefully and respectfully. Our Year 8-10’s topic is ‘Hidden Barriers’ with awareness of Black History Month and STEM. Also, Year 11s are learning strategies for self-care during this Mock exam period. 

Meet our new reading & therapy dogs

Hugo and Flo will be joining the Academy staff after half term to support year 7 and 8 students with reading. Both dogs are looking forward to hearing DMA students read and, with a little support from their humans, will be offering advice and guidance.

Newsflash! DMA’s English Department opens up a designer brand tee-shirt store! Quotees – they are all the rage here in Downham. Students created their own tee-shirts by adding the most effective and important quotations to a plain white tee-shirt. An exciting and unique way of memorising quotations in preparation for their up-coming mock exams – those Year 10’s are wearing their words well! 

Now, let me take you on a DMA Memory Walk. We might start under the famous DMA tree where a simile reminds of us that we need to look for the words like or as… Next, we take a hop, skip and jump over to the bike railings where we remind ourselves that we all need structure in lives and our writing: exciting openings; powerful paragraphs; snappy sentences; fragments and we must remember – a POWerful ending to our writing! Running over to the playground circle – to remind ourselves of that circular narrative and even the circle of life! Don’t miss out – join a memory walk soon!

Finally, The name is G-E-A-R-Y, Inspector Geary! Year 11’s were inspected for their synthesis of the 1940’s drama An Inspector Calls. Working in teams with names such as: ‘The Purple Faced Old Men’ and ‘The Gooles’ Year 11’s had to race through the DMA 1912 Titanic Exhibition Art Gallery using all their creative writing skills to come up with a winning narrative opening based on images and physical art exhibitions around the room. They then used their evaluative skills to grade their own and their peers’ creations using mark schemes. Assessments, spiral curriculum, feedback and ‘I am proud of this work because’ was on show for our guests who heard students answering a range of questions, using drama and art in English (as we also work as a cross-curricular school).

Challenging, exciting and purposeful teaching and learning.

Post-16 Pathways for Year 11

Year 11 students are currently making post-16 decisions and are finalising registration for Help You Choose. 1:1 meetings take place on Tuesdays with our external careers advisor Belinda Ladds from Beacon East and next half term we also have planned bespoke careers workshops to support smaller groups with shared career aspirations.  For further information email

iPads for students

The iPads are being prepared by our ICT department ready for distribution. We are very excited to be able to launch the iPad scheme and believe they will be a very important tool in your child’s education.

Thank you for everyone who has been able to make a contribution, if you are still able to do so please click here for the bank details. The contribution needs to be made via a one-off donation or a standing order set up per month – we have suggested 10 per month. This can be done by posting the standing order form to your bank, or using online banking or banking App.

If you have made a donation please ensure you have registered for Gift Aid using this link – this enables your donation to be increased by 25p for every 1 donated.

Finally, please ensure you have completed the Home School User agreement with your child.

Extracurricular Activities

We are keen to offer a wide range of activities for our pupils at DMA. Our current offer includes 17 activities for pupils across years 7-11 and is set to grow over the next half term.

Starting this week, our Student Leadership Team will be involved in organising more activities at lunch times as well as after school. This is an exciting opportunity for our students as they will be working closely with Mr Eastwood and will link with the House Council. 

The Leadership Team includes: Harvey Allen and Maya Iwanika, Ellie Gallagher, Phoebe Langley, Chloe Woodgate, Robert Waring, Finn Samouelle and Bethany Arnold. Congratulations to these pupils for showing outstanding responsibility and motivation!


Last year, we raised over 500 for our charity – The Norfolk Beanstalk – Coram Literacy Support charity andwe aim to raise even more as a house this year! Duffy 1 are already winning the Reward points for our house and the school.  We love that our house is based in J Block – our form tutors are children’s champion.


Despite lots of differences to the normal school day, but in the spirit of James Dyson all members of the Dyson House have taken them in their stride and have adapted. Well done to all of you! The House Council met for the first time and it was lovely to see so many student interested and passionate about making a difference. We have decided to continue to support MacMillan Cancer Trust as the House charity and have come up with lots of brilliant ideas to raise money, so keep your eyes peeled throughout the year for fun activities and events.


The Holmes House student leaders are ready and raring to go with a focus this term on charity & the environment.

Scarlett Cromarty & Kacey Welland, Maddie Zipfell, Charle Cully, Eleanor Shippey, Alfie Barham, Toni Harris, Zander Dunton Wash, Finn Samouelle, Bethany Arnold, Mya White, Ciaran Samouelle & Eliza Ward


Thank you to Peake students for a really positive start to the new academic year. An extra thank you to the students who have agreed to be on the new Peake House Council: Aida Zaayman, Katie-Sue Lambert, Lily-Jo Thompsett, JedaiNompthutsa, Lily Rolfe, Jessica-Mae Napper, Georgina Knapp, Pheobe Langley, Summer Prasher, Albert Honrsby, Ellie Gallagher and Mason Strina.

Year 7

At the start of the term, Year 7 were part of a pilot scheme for a new County presentation on road safety. As a way to keep the ‘safety’ momentum going, our Community Liaison Officer, PC Chandler, has been taking students out each morning to actually put into practice crossing roads and using crossings in our vicinity safely. This is something which I am sure you will agree, will be especially important once the clocks turn back. This has been very successful with lots of student participation.


Upcoming dates
Friday 23 October Last day of school
26-30 October Half term
2 November All students return to school (Week B)
4-6 November Year 11 Art Mock Exam
9-20 November Year 11 Mock Exams
Thursday 26 November Year 9 Parents Evening
Friday 27 November Academy closed



Upcoming dates
Friday 23 October Last day of school
26-30 October Half term
2 November All students return to school (Week B)
4-6 November Year 11 Art Mock Exam
9-20 November Year 11 Mock Exams
Thursday 26 November Year 9 Parents Evening
Friday 27 November Academy closed
Term dates
Term Starts Ends
Autumn 1 7/8 September 2020 23 October 2020
Autumn 2 2 November 2020 18 December 2020
Spring 1 4 January 2021 12 February 2021
Spring 2 22 February 2021 26 March 2021
Summer 1 12 April 2021 28 May 2021
Summer 2 7 June 2021 21 July 2021
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