Headteacher’s Blog 08/03/2019

Important Dates



Year 10 Cookery Students

This week the Year 10 cookery students had a fantastic opportunity to have a tour around Accent Fresh, a food supply company based in Downham Market. Accent Fresh source and supply a wide range of food products to local businesses and aim to keep the products local, fresh and top quality.

The students were able to see the operational areas of the business including the vegetable processing plant, a selection of food storage areas and the packing bays; they were also given a tour of the behind the scenes areas like the accounts and ICT departments.  Accent Fresh also gave them a masterclass on environmental responsibility having a successful ‘nothing to landfill’ waste policy and a lot of environmentally friendly approaches within their business. This was a very valuable opportunity which tied in perfectly with the work going on around careers week, but also gave an insight into where the food we eat comes from before it gets cooked at restaurants, school canteens and other hospitality and catering provisions. We all learnt a lot about our wonderful county and the delicious produce we have available on our doorstep. 


A Level Drama

A Level Drama and Theatre Studies students had an incredibly insightful day at the National Theatre archives. They were able to watch an archive performance of Our Country’s Good which is one of their exam texts and were also able to view the costumes, production notes, rehearsal schedule and directors notes. Students found this extremely interesting, it’s very rare to be able to see the parts which make up and create such a large scale production. 


Insight – Cambridge University Visit

12 Year 7s made the journey by train to Gonville and Caius College in central Cambridge. They have just begun a two year programme where they will receive mentoring and develop different skills to help them develop academically. They also visited the museum of Archeology and Anthropology, where they explored the exhibitions, and they will put the skills of exhibition they learnt into practise as they prepare an exhibit that will be displayed in Kings Lynn.


KS4 Art – Intaglio Printing Workshop

On Wednesday this week, our Year 10 art students and Year 11 printmakers took part in a workshop run by Norwich University of the Arts at DMA. The students experimented with intaglio printing techniques, scratching and inking their designs into an acetate sheet, and then using an etching press to produce their image onto paper. They produced a fabulous range of work to add towards their GCSE coursework. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon of expanding their printmaking skills, and all joined in thanking the visiting tutors. We are very proud of the enthusiasm and skill shown by the students who participated.


National Careers Week

This week has been National Careers Week which has led to a variety of careers related activities taking place throughout the Academy all week.

This has included: a week of careers related lessons in form time: guest speakers in lessons to make the curriculum relevant to the outside world: a workshop led by a charity ‘Future First’ titled “So you want to be a……” which was supported by an inspirational Alumni of Downham High School who now has a senior role at 20th Century Fox – he wowed us all with his stories of celebrity encounters! 

An employee from the Department of Work and Pensions delivered CV workshops to Yr 10 and Yr 12 students, whilst on Wednesday  Year 9 and Year 12 students enjoyed a visit to the Norfolk Skills and Careers Festival where they met over 100 employers and colleges, chatting engagingly with a number of employees throughout the event and collecting career ideas along the way.

On Friday, the RAF delivered an inspirational assembly to Yr 7, 8 and 9 students whilst Yr 10 and Yr 12 students participated in an engineering challenge in groups, learning transferable employability skills including team work, communication skills and resilience, alongside gathering career guidance regarding pathways in the RAF.

Future plans are already underway for later this academic year, including an opportunity to work with the Marines for the day and a visit to CWA in King’s Lynn too. Watch this space!


Brexit Assembly

Next week, students will be given the opportunity to take part in an open discussion about Brexit. Students will be taking part in an assembly, let by the Police, on Brexit and hate crime. Students will then be given the opportunity to discuss this in tutor time. The aim of these sessions is to dispel any misconceptions and deepen student understanding of how Brexit may or may not affect them. If you have any concerns or would like to discuss this further please contact the Academy. 


ITT Visit 27-02-2019

Trainee teachers from Chesterton Community College’s PGCE course spent the day at Downham Market Academy, experiencing a range of lessons from Year 7 to Year 13.

The visiting trainees were able to see the ethos of the school in action, with an emphasis on mutual respect and good behaviour, quality teaching and a clear focus on every student being pushed to reach their potential.

The trainee staff had a wonderful day and many of them found that they enjoyed working with different age groups far more than they anticipated. They have all spoken about how welcoming everyone was and I have noticed that a number of them have chosen to write about the visit in their final reflective journals.


Exam Invigilators

Downham Market Academy are currently looking to recruit Exam Invigilators to start this May. If you are interested in applying please email the Exams Officer (k.coupland@downhammarketacademy.co.uk) requesting an application pack.


Year 8 Trip

We are delighted to be able to offer our Year 8 students the opportunity to attend the world famous Globe theatre in London, combined with a visit to the British Museum.  The visit to the Globe will be tremendously beneficial as all students study Shakespeare up to GCSE and the British Museum provides the opportunity to widen cultural experience and knowledge.  The trip is planned as a whole year group visit, so all students will be attending.

The Globe is a recreation of the theatre in which Shakespeare premiered his plays and occupied as a writer and performer in the late 16th – early 17th century. Students will be taken on a tour of the theatre and they will see an exhibition of the Globe’s achievements, past and present.  It will be a fantastic opportunity to experience the theatre as a Shakespearean theatre goer would have done.  The British Museum is a national attraction, housing a vast collection of art and many special exhibitions covering many aspects of world history.


The trip will take place on Thursday 28th of March, 2019. Our arrival in London is expected to be 1.30pm. We will therefore be leaving school at 11.00 am. We intend to arrive back at DMA for 7.30 pm (traffic dependent).  The total cost for the trip including tickets and travel will be £40.


If you have further questions then please feel free to contact me at school via email at y.griffiths@downhammarketacademy.co.uk or alternatively please contact Dr Nolimal at m.nolimal@downhammarketacademy.co.uk.  


Back Gate

From Monday 11th March the back gate the academy will remain permanently closed. Students will be required to enter via the main entrance at the front of the school.

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