Headteacher’s Blog 05/07/2019

Important Dates




Big Bang Competition; Eastern Regional Heats

Four students in Year 8 spent the day on Thursday at Hertfordshire University representing the Academy and presenting their Scientific investigation to judges for the Eastern regional heats of the Big Bang Competition. Evey Cornelius, Alys Barney, Ksenya Hanslip and Kacey Welland did a fantastic job explaining their project work and although they didn’t come away with a prize, had a fantastic experience with lots of hands on displays and stands to explore throughout the afternoon.


Transition lunch held for new students

On Thursday 4th July the SEND team at the Academy hosted a transition lunch to support vulnerable students joining the Academy in September. Students from primary schools across the region joined staff and students from the Academy for lunch and took part in various team building games to get to know each other.


Spectroscopy in a Suitcase is coming to Sixth Form

On Friday 12th July Spectroscopy in a Suitcase, a joint initiative between the Royal Society of Chemistry and the University of East Anglia, will be running a workshop for all current and upcoming Y12 chemistry students. This should be a great opportunity where students can develop their practical knowledge of spectroscopic techniques


Duke of Edinburgh Awards

A very DofE intensive week! 26 Yr 11s have dusted off Prom fatigue and completed their Silver DofE expedition in the hills and valleys of the Peak district. They have completed 3 days worth of hiking and and 2 evenings and mornings of setting up and breaking down camp. They have been excellent and all have successfully passed! They overcame very tired bodies and lots of midges, all with smiles on their faces!

This Saturday Yr9s are out on their Bronze assessment expedition in Thetford Forest. They were excellent on their practise and so they’ll be looking to put into practise what they have learnt so far. 

In September there will be fresh opportunity for Year 9s to sign up for Bronze, and Yr10s to sign up for Silver and Yr12s to sign up for Gold – watch this space!


Peer Mentoring

Some Year 9 and Year 10 students had training yesterday in setting up a peer mentoring programme that will run next year at the Academy, led by our new Anti-Bullying Champion, Mrs Harrod.  Everyone worked really well together and we are excited to see the programme develop next year to support all students.


Year 6 Transition


Members of our Senior Leadership Team have been visiting primary schools this week to speak to Year 6 students about the upcoming transition days.  We have a really fun timetable planned and are excited to meet all of our new students


Downham Tandoori Trip 

On Wednesday afternoon a group of 30 yr 9 and 10 food students were treated to an Indian extravaganza courtesy of The Downham Tandoori. The lucky students had the opportunity to experience an engaging workshop based on traditional Indian music and dance which was hosted by some influential musicians brought over from India. Following a session listening and learning about the music and dance the students were fed a delicious feast of lamb koftas, chicken samosas and vegetable pastries with yogurt and mint sauce and salad. Students then were given the opportunity to get up and involved in learning some actual dance moves and some traditional singing before returning to the academy. It was a very entertaining afternoon and we thank the organisers at Downham Tandoori very much for having us.  


DMA Art Exhibition

You are invited to join us at the end-of-year exhibition of GCSE and A level art work.

On Friday 12th July (4-6.30pm) we will be hosting the exhibition at the Academys Sixth Form Art Studio on the Ryston Campus. It will be a celebration of students work, and is a must-see for parents and friends of this years leavers.

It is an inspiring display, and will be especially interesting to students already studying GCSE or A level art or preparing to start the course in September. To attend, please RSVP to r.nicholson@downhammarketacademy.co.uk by Monday 8th July. We look forward to welcoming you there!


Post-16 Decisions

Year 10 students need to begin the process of making decisions regarding where they will study in

Year 12 and 13. Applications for post-16 places open with colleges and sixth forms on 1st October 2019, just a few weeks away, and we are looking to support our Year 10 students in making applications before the end of December 2019, to allow them to focus on GCSE preparation through the rest of Year 11.


Our plan to support students began this week when, on Monday 1st July, students spent a day at our Sixth Form site to sample A levels. 

To further support students and parents, a post-16 event will be hosted in the Assembly Hall at the Bexwell site, on Thursday 18th July 2019.

The careers-style event will bring together a wide variety of post-16 providers which includes: Downham Market Sixth Form College, CWA, Easton College, Norwich University of the Arts, UEA, Cambridge Regional College, Steadfast Apprenticeships, the Army, the RAF and Barclays Bank.  

Support around planning for University, from choosing A levels to student finance, will be available from an organisation called NEACO. A representative from DWP will also be present, running a CV boot camp, where students can gather advice on how to construct an excellent CV. If students already have a CV, they should bring it along for feedback and advice.


There will also be an opportunity to meet with our one to one careers advisor, Mrs Sue

Downing, should students and parents need guidance on the next stages of their child’s careers. 


Year 10 students will access the event during the course of the afternoon before the event then opens to all students, parents and carers from 3pm through to 6.30pm. This will allow time for all students to attend, even those on the art visit, also on the same day. 


Further information and advice can also be found on-line, via Norfolk’s central application system called www.helpyouchoose.org  This website contains details of all courses and apprenticeships available to young people across Norfolk, as well as details of college & sixth form open days. Students will be required to use this website as the platform for making their post-16 applications to all Norfolk-based providers. Information about this website can also be gathered on 18th July.


We will be supporting our students with the process of registering onto the Help You Choose website on the last day of term – Tuesday 23rd July. This will then make the process of submitting applications to post-16 providers during the autumn term a quick and efficient process, once students know where they would next like to study. On this day, we will also be surveying student aspirations, to enable us to target the right post-16 support and guidance to those who feel they need support and guidance.


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