Headteacher’s Blog 15/11/2019

Important Dates

Awards Evening

On Thursday we welcomed back the class of 2019 to celebrate their GCSE success. All students received their GCSE certificates and 30 other certificates were awarded to a variety of students for outstanding achievement and progress. It was great to see so many family members there to celebrate with us.

Artist in Residence at the Academy

Downham Market Academy has taken a creative step forward with the appointment of our first ever Artist in Residence, local textile artist (and former DMA student) Abigail Frusher. A graduate of the Royal College of Needlework, Miss Frusher will be with the Academy for the rest of this term.

As well as working on her own projects in the Academys Residency Studio at our Bexwell site, Miss Frusher is also leading workshops with selected groups of students. She says: I want to show students that if you follow your passion it leads to wonderful places. Im excited about running workshops with young people, as this is a new experience for me, and might open up other interesting avenues in the future. The Residency is a wonderful idea, and Im proud to be part of it.

Students are already enjoying the Academys Artist in Residence Programme; working with Miss Frusher is giving them new ideas and inspiration. We are very excited to see how the role will develop over time.

Local practicing artists, especially new graduates, may apply to the Artist in Residence programme at Downham Market Academy. The next appointment will be for January-Easter 2020, and applications are being accepted now. All artistic specialisms will be considered. Please contact Rebecca Nicholson on r.nicholson@downhammarketacademy.co.uk for further information.

Sixth Form

Students at the 6th form on Monday 11th November, 2019 watched a presentation and mock car crash demonstration given by The Young Driver Education Team which consisted of the Fire, Police and Ambulance service.

During the presentation students were informed that every year over 400 young people are injured or killed in crashes in Norfolk, and three out of four road deaths are male. They were also reminded of the four fatal negative behaviours which contribute to car accidents, these are: Speeding, Drink and Drug Driving, Mobile Phones and Seatbelts.

After the presentation students watched and took part in a mock demonstration of how the emergency services deal with the aftermath of a road traffic accident. This presentation and demonstration was extremely thought provoking and the message Passing your test does not make you experienced clearly made to Year 12 and 13 students.

History Department

The history department have created a new library in the D-Block, students can access everything from the Penguin collection of historical figures to a range of academic work such as Marc Morris’ The Norman Conquest, which they have been reading from in class, we invite students to stop by the office and take out a book of their interest.


Top of the Bench Competition

Four of our year 9, 10 and 11 students have made it in to the regional finals of a Chemistry Top of the Bench competition. This final round of practical based competitive tasks will take place next Friday at Briar Chemicals in Norwich. We wish them all the best!

Remembrance Day

On Monday at 1100hrs DMA observed alongside the nation a commemorative silence to mark the armistice signing at the end of WWII. Wearing their poppies the pupils and staff of DMA showed their respect for fallen military in WWI, WWII and subsequent military conflicts.

The wreath supplied by the Royal British Legion was placed at the foot of the tree by Ava Forrester with Mrs Driver playing the last post and reveille.


Hospitality and Catering

On Wednesday 13th November two chefs from the Royal Navy came to work with a group of year 10 Hospitality and Catering students. They were treated to a very engaging talk about a huge range of careers within the whole Navy as well as some of the benefits of the catering opportunities they can offer. If anyone is interested in finding out more Mrs Dickerson has a range of leaflets and information available for students to have a look through.

Following the talk, students were involved in an ‘invention test’ cooking challenge where, in groups, they were provided with a selection of ingredients and tasked to make a two course meal in only an hour. It is fair to say the results were astounding.

The students thoroughly enjoyed the session and were pushed to produce incredibly professional outcomes. Well done everyone!

Year 11

Year 11s are one week into their mock exams. They have been working very hard and completed their 4 different English exams amongst their first maths and science exams.

Please ensure they rest this weekend and regather themselves for their second week of mock exams. The work will be marked and graded and this will be turned around quickly for the pupils. Pupils will reflect on their papers in lessons and look for lessons learned. On Wednesday 11th December they will have a results day assembly.


The link between good attendance and attainment at school is clear: higher attendance leads to higher grades. Were really pleased that more students are here for more of the time this year. Good attendance is 96% minimum and this means no more than eight days off in the whole year.

Anti-Bullying Week

Lots of students and staff demonstrated their support of the its ok to be different theme this year by wearing odd socks! We have been looking at bullying and in particular the positive actions that bystanders can have in supporting the victim and reporting the perpetrator. All instances of bullying must be reported so that we can take action to ensure that it stops. The online form can be found on our website.


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