Trying out the computers in Careers and Personal Development are visitors (seated) Olivia Hicks and Spencer Whitby (both 10) mentored by Somercotes Academy Year 11 students, Amelia Allen, Gabby Jeffrey and Abi Paine at the Open Evening.
More than 400 people enjoyed a range of demonstrations which showcased the fantastic facilities and courses on offer at Somercotes Academy as it opened its doors to visitors for the first time in two years.
The easing of COVID restrictions meant that the Year 6 event could take place face-to-face, but safety measures remained in place, including social distancing, one-way tours and hand sanitising.
During a number of presentations in the Academy Hall, Principal Frances Green told parents and prospective pupils that the Academy, which is a member of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, is passionate about inclusion and opportunity. “We try very hard to find all of our children’s strengths and talents,” she said.
Mrs Green said that the Trust had invested more than £500,000 in upgrading the facilities at Somercotes Academy so far, and investment continues with further plans for expansion of classrooms.
She reminded parents that in 2019 Somercotes Academy was listed in the Top 10 schools nationally for improvement in the progress of its pupils, and its GCSE results continue to improve, with 88.6% of students achieving grades 9-4 in English this summer.
Mrs Green said the Academy makes no apologies for upholding high standards of uniform and urged parents to support this. She said students wore their uniforms with pride.
Year 8 student Harry Lee spoke to parents about his experiences of the Academy. He said: “It is really exciting and everyone is very welcoming here. There are so many subjects to enjoy and so many different sports to play in PE.”
Year 7 student Tiffany Hodson, who only joined the Academy a fortnight ago, also spoke confidently to parents. She said: “It is bigger than primary school but I got used to it right away. I came here with some friends from primary school and I have made some new ones already too.”
Visitors were treated to a number of demonstrations during the Open Evening and were able to sample the fantastic facilities for themselves. These included the fully-equipped Fitness Suite, Science Laboratories, Music Suite, Modern Foreign Languages Labs, and ICT classrooms complete with banks of desktop computers and graphics tablets. The Design and Technology, Art and Textiles Departments proved exceptionally popular too as students demonstrated the equipment. In Maths and English there were interactive games for pupils to take part in.
Afterwards, visitors were invited to sample a range of the delicious school lunches in the canteen.
Principal Frances Green added: “We are so proud to be able to show off the Academy to visitors again. We have some tremendous facilities, resources and teaching staff here, and we thank everyone for coming along tonight. We look forward to seeing many of the children here next September.”
Monty Unsworth (10) gets a quick lesson on the ukulele at the Open Evening with Miss Ellen Barlow (Curriculum Leader for Music at Somercotes Academy).
Frances Green (Principal) welcomes visitors Jason and Jaxon Palmer (10) to Somercotes Academy Open Evening.
Year 9 students Harry Carr, Jack Turner, Mia Stubbs, Immy Jeffrey and Lotte Scaman show off the assortment of wartime helmets in History.
Interactive games in Maths. Students Elissia Daff (Year 9), Grace Russell (Year 11), Paige Thomas (Year 8) and Emily Richardson (Year 9) chat with visitor Phoebe England, left, (10).
Nevey Carter (9) does some drawing on the Graphics Tablets in ICT.
Dominic Kelly (10) and dad John try out drawing through the mirror in a demonstration of reflections in the Science Department at the Open Evening.
Riley Zwart (11) gets some rowing instruction from PE Teacher Miss Amie Wright and Year 10 student Joshua Taylor in the Fitness Centre.
Visitors Edward Bell, Rebecca Brickwood and Jacob Brickwood (10) with Miss Emily Hamilton (English Teacher).
Tyler Stevens (Year 8) gives a demonstration in Science to visitors Adam, Adele and Leo Elder (10).
Leon Warnes demonstrates the frett saw in Design and Technology.
Year 8 students Jake Keal and David Lingard demonstrate the sewing machines in Textiles.
Miss Samantha Lyons (Curriculum Leader for Art) shows off one of the displays of students’ artwork to her Year 6 daughter Ellie Lyons (10).
Visitor Kaitlyn Stokes (10) gets some printing advice in the Art Department from Year 11 students Lacey Wright and Eleanor Atwell.
Sharing their experience in Design and Technology are Somercotes Academy Year 9 students, Leon Warnes, Maisy Campbell, and Nathan Moss, with visitors Alfie Cartwright and Elle Smith (both 10).
Frances Green (Principal), Tiffany Hodson (Year 7), Harry Lee (Year 8) and Stewart West (Assistant Principal) gave a presentation to visitors at the the beginning of Somercotes Academy Open Evening.
Frances Green, Principal of Somercotes Academy, addresses visitors to the Open Evening before they tour the site. Social distancing measures were in place to protect everyone. There were four hall presentations to accommodate all of the visitors.
Visiting pupils try out the Graphics Tablets in ICT. They are (l-r) Sienna Stones, Nancy Carter and Nevey Carter (all 9).