Volunteer week thank you letters
All year 12 students take part in volunteer week in July and we are very happy to receive letters of thanks such as these.Age-UK-letter Sue-Ryder-letter
Well done to all.
Safapac Assembly review by George Lankfer Year 13
On the 17th of November 2017, Sawtry six form had a fantastic assembly. The assembly started with a business man called Martin Steele who is the co-founder of Safapac Holdings Ltd. This is a company that specialises in industrial chemistry and have recently been making all kinds of products such as fertilisers for crops that they sell to farmers in China and across Europe. The reason they are here is because this company found the school to be outstanding and help fund a lot of science equipment that the school desperately needed.
Martin was an interesting man who had a good story to tell, which was a very good life lesson. He talked about how he only scraped through A-levels however, he was at a party and started talking to people and came across a man who talked about a new company that works in the field of chemistry. He was interested in this company so asked for a summer job, which he quotes “was one of the best experiences of my life”, this is because it gave him a lot of knowledge and understanding within this field of work and business, so much so that he decided to co-found a new company.
Safapac Holdings Ltd. is very successful, and it is all because the company is based on respect, not just with the customers but with other staff members, as well as hard work and determination, which he believes makes you successful in life. He then with Mrs Garrod, called out and congratulated names of hardworking students who in their GCSEs, exceeded all expectations and are now studying science at A-level or BTEC.
The students were; Jake Smith who received the physics award, Megan Childs the biology award, Emma Hunt the chemistry award and Kathryn Paternoster the BTEC Science award. Katie Wright was given the award for achievement against adversity. Each student received a certificate and an award of £100 Amazon vouchers for their fantastic achievements at GCSE. Jake Smith said it was unexpected, but was delighted to have done so well. Megan Childs was very grateful as she was rewarded for all her hard work, not just in science but other subjects such as Spanish. Emma Hunt was also surprised, but was very glad to have all her hard work noticed. Kathryn Paternoster was very excited as the school had notice the achievements she had made. All of them where satisfied and proud of their results and how well they did, but the reward only made it more satisfying. They all truly deserved a reward for all their hard work as they are hardworking and fantastic students.
This assembly showed just how much progress the students make, especially in the field of science, which is the reason why Safapac has given a lot of equipment to this school. This school shows just how amazing it is with every set of exam results revealed and shows the determination and hard work which most of our students have in common.
Peterborough to Punjab, Written by Haran Thandi, Year 12
For my first time ever, on the 14th October, I accompanied my family on an annual trip to India, joined by my friend, Josh Steers. We took an eleven hour flight and travelled to an area called “Punjab” which is located in the North West of India. We had the opportunity to experience several places within the region which allowed us to see a variety of differences throughout the district. This involved visiting the village that my family originate from called Daulatpur and also visiting less rural areas such as Chandigarh where we stayed in a hotel for two nights. This allowed us to appreciate the varied lifestyles within Punjab.
Being a Sikh, which is the main religion within India Punjab, it is seen as an important aspect to visit the area where I had originally come from therefore it was a major cause of why I travelled to India.
During our stay, we witnessed many things which gave us positive and negative perspectives on the country, for example within a week of our visit, whilst leaving the rural area, Nawanshahr to visit the more urbanised area, Chandigarh, we witnessed a fatal car accident which is considered as a normal daily occurrence there due to the lack of traffic laws. Looking back at our previous, initial days in the area, it was the third and most drastic accidents we had seen. Besides that, no other catastrophes occurred but this was a shock to us within our first week, nonetheless it was considered normal by the locals.
This was one of several eye-opening incidents that struck during our stay…
As expected, the overall cultural differences compared drastically to the lifestyle that we are used to here. Starting with the way people dress. Most of the men wore western clothes but the older generation wore traditional attire. Female all wore Punjabi dress, which are loose fitting clothing but does not involve covering the head or face. We wore traditional outfits when we visited the Gudwara (Sikh temple).
We spent most of our visit in Nawanshahr in a town house. This area consisted of small High street business such as food stalls, hairdressers and grocery shops. We had a cook and cleaner who stayed with us throughout our visit in an annex in the garden. The cook worked from about 9am to midnight and was paid equivalent to £10 daily, which is considered a reasonable salary. We had air conditioning and Wi-Fi. In contrast the village house had unreliable electricity, hand pump water supply and no hired help and plenty of insects and reptiles! Village life revolved mainly around farming and the Gudwara. Whilst at the village we were told of a girl who was similar age to us, who had taken her own life due to failing her exams multiple times. This portrayed their view of the importance of education to be able to leave the rural village to find an improved life in the urban towns. The village school was a basic building with teacher and students of varied ages sitting on the floor.
We stayed in a hotel in Chandigarh, which is a large city. This was a complete opposite, with a roof top swimming pool, sauna and five-star restaurant. This was located near a shopping mall which had all the western designer brands and a McDonalds. The contrast to village life was immense.
We visited several Gudwaras as religion is a major part of daily life and as my first village to India I was expected to visit certain temples. The Golden Temple in Amritsar is the most important place of worship and all Sikhs are expected to visit there at least once in their lifetime. We had to immerse ourselves in the water and receive blessed food from the priest.
During our stay, we took part in Diwali celebrations. This involved lots of fireworks, lights and food to rejoice the occasion. Generally, we realised that health and safety is over looked as the fireworks were quite extreme.
Food, like religion is a major aspect of life in India. Wherever you go food is offered and it is rude to refuse. We ate mainly traditional food but familiar takeaways such as Dominos and Subway were also available with their own Indian spin…
We became familiar with the difference in the value of money as 100 rupees was about £1. Products and services were cheaper because of the lower standard of living compared to here. What seemed like a large amount of cash 5000 rupees only worked out as about £50. We had a haircut for less than a pound…
Poverty was the most shocking aspect of our trip. We saw people begging on a daily basis in every area we visited. These beggars varied from the very young to the elderly. Families were living, cooking and sleeping on the road side. We were often approached by beggars and on one occasion we bought food for a group of children as any money given to them would be taken by adults. This was a major contrast to our lives here and very difficult to understand. It made us feel helpless because we were unable to improve these people’s lives.
In conclusion, we enjoyed the trip as it gave us the opportunity to see the extremes of life on one region. Personally, I appreciate that my Grandfathers made the decision to travel from Punjab and settle in England all those years ago. I would like to visit again because I met some interesting people and there were other areas that I would visit and gain further experiences.
Folder Check by Josie, Travis, Kian, Form Group O-MCM
On the week commencing 16th of October 2017, Sixth Form students worked with the Senior Leadership Team, to look through their books and folders. The aims of this activity were to see whether or not students were managing their time, making progress in lessons and the consistency and quality of the marking that would have taken place with green or red pens.
This week, sixth formers will be receiving support and guidance during registrations and their lessons on how to organise their books and folders in a more efficient and effective way as this was highlighted as the main outcome for students. Students will begin to appreciate the importance of organisation. As well as staff evaluating quality of marking produced from teachers so that students can be make improvements on work so they can understand the subject further with a deeper understanding of the syllabus within the subject. There was a great “two-way” process to support everyone, with students able to gain help on organisation if needed as well as teachers having the ability to understand whether or not they need to challenge their students more or if certain students need more help with the work so they can understand what they have to do better with improvements.
Art Trip to London by Emily
On Wednesday 4th October some Year 12s and Year 13s studying either Photography or Art at A-Level went on a trip to London, accompanied by Mr Terry and Mr Holden. We left Huntingdon train station at 9:00am and once in London we took the Tube to The Courtauld Gallery. From there we went to The National Gallery where we had the option to go inside and look at the artwork, or take photographs around the square, and after that we walked to The Photographers Gallery where Gregory Crewdson’s photographs were being displayed.
Personally, I really enjoyed the trip because it gave me a chance to take some photographs around London which will help me to develop my sketchbook. Additionally, it was a good opportunity to see Crewdson’s work displayed on a larger scale than those of which we had studied in lesson. Everyone I have spoken to said that it was a really good trip and that they have really benefited from the day.
Kite Runner trip by Lexi Lane O-MCM
On Thursday 28th September 2017, some of the Year 13 English students, along with Mr Fraser, went on a trip to Cambridge for the day. We left school in a minibus at 12:30 and arrived in Cambridge at 2:00. The purpose of the trip was to see the Kite Runner, a book studied in Year 12, in the Cambridge Arts Theatre. We all bought our tickets and took our seats in the busy theatre, then the lights went dark and the show started.
Personally, I loved the production because I thought it stuck close to the novel without cutting too much of the storyline out. It was also a very sensitive and emotional re-enactment, making the audience cry, laugh and be speechless from shock. Everyone who went really enjoyed the day out and it was a good chance to refresh our memory of the book in a different and exciting way.
A Level Geography Trip, by Alessio Russo O-GK
On Friday 22nd and Monday 25th of September, the class of year 13 geography ventured to the sea-side town of Sheringham as part of their coursework. Students were given the choice whether to undertake an investigation surrounding human geography or physical geography and gather data for their coursework in the bustling town of Sheringham or at the famous coastline of the town. Under the supervision and generosity of Mr. Pink, the trip took place over a two day period which allowed students to collect all necessary data required for their non-examined assessment.
Although very much a compulsory school trip, the two days were nonetheless enjoyable, with students working together and developing their teamwork skills, organisation skills and their communication skills. They were given the opportunity to work with students who they perhaps had never worked with before, with new friendships arising and experiences emerging. They were to carry out specific fieldwork techniques such as beach profiling for coastal investigations which required teamwork to become successful, and other students were to communicate with some of the locals to gather data for their human investigation. Students were given a sense of freedom over the two days, with time management decided by themselves. Some of the students enjoyed a sea-side classic of fish and chips and ice cream, with a local bakery also engrossing some of the students. The trip was a fantastic mixture between education and enjoyment.
My Sixth Form Experience So Far, September 2017 by Freya Walton O-NF Year 12
I have almost finished my third week here at Sawtry Sixth Form. So far I have found it a different but very enjoyable experience. What I have found to be the biggest change so far is the amount of ‘free’ (private study) periods I have had. To begin with these ‘free’ periods seemed quite confusing; I had no work and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with my time. However now in my third week, these ‘free’ periods have come to much use. It’s clear now as to why teachers call them ‘private study’ periods as I have time to do homework and independent study during school time, not just at home.
Another aspect of sixth form life to mention would be the sixth form café. Here, unlike the main canteen, there is no longer a crowded line to grab lunch or a snack. Hot drinks are also served which my friends and I have been enjoying on our study periods together.
Lastly, lessons in sixth form have become much more amiable. Now I am only taking the subjects I enjoy, therefore I no longer have the dread of going to maths or physics! Since the class sizes are also much smaller, lessons feel a lot more relaxed than what they did in previous years.
Overall, I have been very content with my experience here at Sawtry Sixth Form so far, and I look forward to spending the next two years here.
Freya Walton O-NF Year 12
Welcome new year 12
We are really pleased to welcome our new year 12 into Oak House, students have settled in well and we are all looking forward to the next two years.
Year 12 Charity/ Volunteer Week 10th – 14th July 2017
So many events have been taking place over the course of the week, we are very proud of our students raising awareness and money for charities Macmillan/Caresco/Sue Ryder/Age UK. This week broadens their understanding of the world in which they live and helps develop life skills.
One group has been supporting Age UK by showing off 200 home-made ‘hats’ for smoothie bottles as part of Innocent’s ‘Big Knit’ campaign. Each be-hatted smoothie that gets sold generates 25p to help keep older people warm & well (@age_uk).
AgeUK put on their Facebook page:
“It’s wonderful that so many people and communities are being inspired to take part. Students at Sawtry Village Academy have sent us a magnificent assortment of 200 little hats. Thank you so much for joining our challenge and fundraising for us. You have been very creative and sounds like you’ve had great fun. Thank you for sending the photo and your lovely thoughtful comments too:
We enjoyed knitting the hats very much as we were able to knit with family and friends, which also spread awareness of the charity to everyone who helped us. I knitted with my nan. I also liked that the people who helped us knit were able to be so creative and do whatever design, pattern or theme they wanted. I wanted to help this charity because I feel that Age Uk is a brilliant charity helping the elderly. I feel sometimes we take the elderly for granted and just by helping them, makes the world of difference. I thought of my nan and that I would want her to get some help, or have someone to talk to if she was alone.
We took part in knitting the hats because it is going to a good cause. In total we made 200 hats, so with Age UK donating 25p for each hat, we’ve helped raise £50 to support and keep the elderly warm and well throughout the winter, which in my opinion is pretty impressive. What we enjoyed the most about helping to knit the hats, is we could make it different and wacky, we made animals, food, bobble hats, character hats and so many more. The different colours and styles should really help grab people’s attention when shopping for their drinks, and so they will help raise money for the elderly throughout the UK.
I enjoyed making the hats as it was a different way of raising money. We had a huge variety of designs and patterns from food, to animals, to traffic cones. I feel this was a new, creative way of raising money and it was a great success”
Another group has been selling doughnuts and making milkshakes in support of MacMillan and there have been bake sales galore!
Rhys Leggett, Jessamy Bufton, Ciara Pilkington and Emily Lowe held a staff charity football match, raising money for Age UK. They raised a total of £27.50 with only a charge of 50p to watch. 55 paying students crowded around the astro to watch the teachers battle it out. Despite the poor weather both staff and students had a fantastic time. Rhys said, “We hosted a staff charity football match because we had never seen another group do it before and through the support given it seemed to be very popular. We captured some action shots from throughout the game with the non bibs winning 5-3 even though one of their players (Mr Howlett) spent most of the time on the floor”.
Another group has been holding a ‘name the teddy competition’, the name will be drawn on Friday and the lucky winner will be announced.
Friday, the final day of charity week, saw most groups in school doing activities. Ben volunteered for a head shave and helped his group raise over £100 on that one event alone, so well done to him! Another group organised a water games event for year 7 in their PE lesson, it looked a lot of fun.
Lab techniques inBTEC Science June 2017
In BTEC Science, we are currently studying Unit 11; Genetics and Genetic Engineering. The unit involves performing an experiment and writing up the results and how we performed it.
During a recent experiment, we performed a gel electrophoresis, which is used by forensic scientists to analyse DNA from a crime scene and compare it to a suspect’s DNA. In order to be able to do this, we had to learn how to use a micropipette to measure out very small volumes of enzymes and DNA samples (down to the microlitre!), as well as using a centrifuge to separate out mixtures in order to prepare the samples for the electrophoresis.
It was a very enjoyable day as we learnt many new lab techniques, how such a technology can be used in the real world and how the techniques we learnt can be used in the rest of our course.
by Robert Peden
Subject ambassador for BTEC Science.
Sixth Form Induction Day for year 11 Students Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th June 2017
The sixth form team has had a great couple of days meeting all the potential year 12 students who will hopefully be joining us in September. Students were able to attend taster lessons over the two days for all the subjects they have chosen, and for ones they may be considering. Tommy, Head Boy and Jess, Oak House Leader gave a talk about sixth form life and all Sixth Form Senior Students were on hand all day to help and offer advice. There was also a presentation on the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which we hope many students will choose to study. We wish all year 11 students a happy summer and look forward to seeing them on results day.
Pledge Day 23rd June 17
Year 12 students are starting to think seriously about their future Post 18. With that in mind, the focus of the Pledge Day was on future careers.
Fifty students stayed at the Academy and took part in a ‘UCAS’ day. The day began with a presentation about how to write a personal statement from a university advisor, it was an excellent session enjoyed by all. The remainder of the day was centered around filling in the UCAS Apply form, starting to write a personal statement in a workshop, and thinking about what type of university and course the students want. All students commented on how useful the day had been.
Other students choose to attend the Careers Fair hosted at the East Of England Showground. This is what it was all about:
“The East of England Arena was buzzing on Friday as record-breaking numbers of young people from across the region found inspiration for their future careers. Now in its fifth year, the Mission Possible Careers Show is the biggest and most exciting skills and careers event in the East of England, attracting over 6,000 visitors and 230 exhibitors.
Organised by Opportunity Peterborough’s Skills Service team, the annual Careers Show aims to showcase the wide range of career opportunities on offer in the local area to 14-24 year olds, providing the chance to try out different skills and talk to employers from all sectors. Activity highlights included a Force India F1 simulator with a ‘Top Gear’ style leader board and Cambridge Science Centre’s COSMOS roadshow encouraging a love of science.
Exhibitors from all sectors were split into ‘Experience Zones’ ranging from ‘Creative’ to ‘Business’ to ‘Lifestyle & Wellbeing’, providing a huge amount of careers information under one roof.
XL Displays were one of many businesses advertising live apprenticeship vacancies on the day and the ‘Enterprise’ Zone was filled with hands on advice for CV writing, career progression routes and support for setting up a business.
Steve Bowyer, Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said:
“The atmosphere at the 2017 Careers Show was incredible and I was delighted to see so many young people being inspired by this fantastic event. I would like to thank all of the exhibitors who gave up their time to support the Show and help to make it such a huge success once again.”
Polly Davison, Global Talent Management Leader for Cummins UK who exhibited in the ‘Engineering, Construction & Manufacturing’ Zone, summed up the experience by saying:
“It was such a good day. The future is bright, great students, great schools.”
Fifty students stayed at the Academy and took part in a ‘UCAS’ day. The day began with a presentation about how to write a personal statement from a university advisor, it was an excellent session enjoyed by all. The remainder of the day was centered around filling in the UCAS Apply form, starting to write a personal statement in a workshop, and thinking about what type of university and course the students want. All students commented on how useful the day had been”.
20th June 2017
UCAS Convention at the University of Bedfordshire
On Tuesday 20th June, a coach full of year 12 students attended the UCAS Convention hosted by the University of Bedfordshire. Students had the opportunity to talk to admission tutors from all the universities across the country, attend subject based seminars and hear about student finance. There was also plenty of entertainment, food stalls and a chance to have an accommodation tour.
This is what Emily had to say:
“On the 20th of June, a group of year 12’s and myself, all travelled to Bedford University for a UCAS Convention, where about 150 universities all gathered from up and down the country to be there. During this convention there was multiple seminars all about the majority of subjects that the universities offered, from Sports to Teaching to NHS and textiles, and many more. These seminars where extremely helpful to me, especially as I want to be a special needs teacher, as I have never done it before, so by hearing other people be so enthusiastic about being teachers and what they have done for the children was so inspiring and super helpful.
Also whilst you were not in the seminars you had the time to talk to all the different universities about the course that you want to study, about the history of the University and the atmosphere and mood around the campus in general. I found this extremely helpful as I was able to get an idea of what the university was like just by talking to the people who were representing their university.
I found this day incredibly helpful as it really helped me to fully realise what I want my career to be a special needs teacher”.
Tom’s review of the day:
We started off by going on a tour of the campus to allow us to see what student accommodation is like and to talk to students to gain information about what University life is like. Following this tour we went to seminars about the various course we were interested in studying to gain a wider understanding of the opportunities available to us at university and after we leave University.
Finally Chloe also had a great time:
The UCAS Convention in Bedford was a really useful event for me as I didn’t know whether I wanted to go to university or to go and do an apprenticeship, through this event I have found that I really want to go to uni to get a degree in something which I know I will really enjoy and to also have an experience I won’t forget. I was able to collect as many prospectuses as I could from the universities which had the courses I wanted so that when I got home I could look in more detail and see what uni was right for me. Another thing that I found beneficial from the convention was that you could speak to people that either work there or that are past/present student to see what their experiences are like at the unis that I was going to be considering.
Election Fever comes to Sawtry.
Sixth Form Students had the chance to vote for the leaders of each of the parties represented in the Sawtry constituency. Sixth formers took shifts as the polling clerk throughout the day. The results were as follows:
Thursday 27th May 2017
NHS Discovery Day
A small group of sixth form students spent time at the Anglia Ruskin University, Peterborough Campus to find out about careers in the NHS before being given a tour around various departments around the hospital. Behind the scenes tours took place around the Pharmacy, Pathology, Diagnostic Imaging and Radiotherapy.
The day was organised by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Collaborative Outreach Network and Anglia Ruskin University, with the aim to promote awareness of alternative careers within the NHS and raise aspirations for young people regarding applying to universities.
Joanna Bainbridge, Deputy Director of HR and Organisational Development, said: “Today has been a fantastic opportunity for our staff to show students what potential career choices are available not only within the Trust but in the NHS as a whole. We hope that the students feel inspired to pursue a career in the NHS and potentially one day they may work for us.”
Sixth Form Senior Students
It has been a pleasure this term to successfully fill all the senior student roles of Head Boy & Girl, Senior House Leaders and Subject Abassadors in the sixth form. The senior student team take on specific responsibilities and we have high expectations of them. General roles include attending the Sixth Form Open Evening, Presentation Evening and Induction Days as a representative of the school and sixth form.
We are very much looking forward to working with the students over the coming year and would like to say thank you and farewell to the outgoing team.
9th May 2017
Are you exam ready?
This morning, the focus of the sixth form registration activity was ‘Are you exam ready?’. Here is a photo of what Mr Kennedy’s form came up with as their top tips.
Some good advice, well done O-GK!
January – What’s happening this month by O-DM form
Life in the 6th form currently is focused on the upcoming mock examinations. We have had lots of guidance on how to make revision plans which take into account the other commitments we have from our form tutors and we have had assemblies covering the importance of preparation for these exams too. Now all we have to do is our best and see what we can learn from the experience!
Year 13 students have been going on interviews for university places and many of us have been really happy with the offers that have been coming in. Quite often it has been our first choice university that has made us an offer of a place so we are relieved and now know that all the time and effort we spent on our personal statements and UCAS applications has paid off.
Year 12 had a visit very recently from CASUS-Cambridgeshire child and adolescent substance use service. The talk was about drugs that are commonly misused by our age group. We learned about the effects of the drugs both in the short and long term and also the legal situation surrounding the subject. We also had the opportunity to ask any questions that we had of our own. It was really informative and gave us a much better understanding of the topic.
Our experiences of CASS (Class and School Support) by Britany and Tyler O-VB
I do CASS with a year 7 French class. Every lesson I go to the class and the teacher really appreciates my help and I enjoy doing it. Some lessons I work with an individual student, but others I work with the whole class. I love being able to do something different in the class every week. By Britany
For my CASS, I go to a Year 7 boys PE class. This term their sport is swimming. At the beginning of the term, three boys couldn’t swim. I mentored the boys over the course of the seven weeks and now you wouldn’t notice the boys once couldn’t swim. The CASS programme not only benefits the pupils, but also the sixth form student themselves. By Tyler
Business Gold Dust Enrichment Programme
On the week commencing the 28th November, the Business Gold Dust Team led a focused pitch analysing bids towards a hypothetical business scenario. The team presented this on Friday 2nd December, in front of senior management including Mr Parsons and Mr Bridgeman. For several weeks the team have been preparing and analysing business data, to form a SWOT analysis based presentation. In the weeks commencing to the pitch, we were supplied with the initial business background knowledge, from which we had to use in order to form a judgement on the given proposals to result in a decision. From this, following the presentation the team received valuable feedback that will now be used to prepare for the official event in March 2017, where we could be entered into a National Competition.
Warwick university maths talks by George Year 12 O-AK
On the 23rd of November a group of year 12 and 13 maths students embarked on a trip to Warwick University to attend their annual maths talks. These maths talks are aimed to inspire children of our age to pursue their passion in the field at a higher level. This meant that the talks were engaging, fun but also gave an insight into areas of the subject we never knew existed, an example of this would be James Grime who talked about code breaking throughout history. Apart from the talks the students got a taste of the university’s campus and university style teaching.
All of the students agreed that the day was informative and engaging, and we would recommend the trip to anybody in the future with an interest in the subject. Overall the talks opened our eyes as students and allowed us to explore the boundaries of mathematics.
NHS Discovery Day by Anna Year 12
On the 17th of November I attended an NHS careers day run by Anglia Ruskin University, along with several other students from year 12 and 13. The day was focused on individuals who are interested in a job within the health sector. The day began with a few talks about what some jobs entail, specifically nursing. We also heard a first-hand experience of what a nursing degree involves from a student attending the University. It was quite a unique experience to hear directly the highs and lows of the degree from someone who’s actually gone through the process. The morning session was very worthwhile as we all gained skills on how to write a personal statement and adapt it to the degree we’re applying for, and also the skills we need to possess to stand out against other applicants. Additionally there was a skills lab where we were able to perform CPR on practice dummies, learn the correct way to wash hands in a hospital environment and make up a hospital bed. These were all valuable skills that will be required in a nursing career.
Later on in the day we visited Peterborough City Hospital to be given a tour of a chosen department. I personally chose to be shown Pathology. It was extremely interesting to see behind the scenes of a hospital. The sheer amount of work that is needed to be completed, thousands of blood tests each representing one individual, gave a completely new perspective of how a hospital actually functions. I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in the health sector to attend a taster day, you learn so much and really get an insight of what it takes to work in the NHS.
Remembrance Day 2016
Today staff and students at the academy observed a 2 minutes silence as part of our act of remembrance. In addition we were proud to host our own memorial service, with representatives from the local community, British Legion and nursery groups. Our own students, who serve in various Cadet units did an excellent job in leading the parade and they were supported by others who gave readings. Well done to Sixth Former Molly, who lead the parade.
Cricket Tour of South Africa by Connor O-LH
As a member of the Huntingdonshire Country Cricket team I had the opportunity to tour South Africa in October 2016; this was a life changing experience that has created memories that will stick with me for many years to come. We spent a week in the Johannesburg region before flying to Cape Town where we spent another week. Although the tour was cricket-based, it was packed with many excursions which gave me a wonderful insight into South African culture and lifestyle.
On the cricketing side of things, we played five matches with one being abandoned due to heavy storms the previous night. All of the games were of a shorter format, which enabled us to do other activities on the mornings of games. We played against a mixture of school and club sides, with the quality of opposition being of a very high calibre, and the conditions took a bit of time to adapt to. As a result, it helped to develop my cricketing skills – being out in the middle and experiencing first-hand the South African way of playing the game.
From an educational perspective, we visited the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. We were able to visit and take pictures of the exact prison cell Mandela had stayed in which gave a fantastic insight into South African history.
One further experience that will stay with me for a long time was a trip into the Mbekweni Township to teach some cricket at a school. The delight on the children’s faces was clear to see and I was amazed at just how much natural talent these children had, considering the extreme circumstances they lived under.
A further great experience I had was the opportunity to stay with two different host families. This was a fantastic opportunity to experience the South African way of life and share many stories with the families; I hope to stay in touch with them for years to come.
We also had the chance to see a lot of South African wildlife. In Cape Town, we visited a Crocodile Farm, a Lion Park and a Chimp Sanctuary on various days but for me, arguably, the best experience of the whole tour was going on a safari at a private game reserve in Johannesburg and staying there overnight. Being somebody who is scared of almost every living animal, I was rather apprehensive when I arrived. This was not helped when I walked into my room to find two monkeys sitting on the windowsill trying to get into the room. As I looked out of the window I could see there were at least ten of them swinging across the branches of the trees located out of my bedroom window. At this point, I was wishing I’d stayed at home and the safari had not even begun!
The safari itself actually turned out to be a truly amazing experience and something I never thought I would see. From lions to zebras, and giraffes to buffalos, I had the chance to see a number of incredible animals up close in their natural habitat – a completely different experience to seeing them behind a fence at a zoo!
Other notable trips included taking a Cable Car up to the top of Table Mountain (one of the recognised seven wonders of nature on Earth) and going to Newlands and Centurion (two of the biggest cricket grounds in South Africa) to watch matches. Overall, the tour was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that gave me many great experiences and memories that will remain with me for the rest of my life.
Connor Parnell (O-LH)
Thoughts on applying to university
Applying to university has been more time consuming than I originally expected especially accompanied with the amount of work that comes with starting year 13. However, the professional help received made the process a lot easier as it was reassuring to know what was good and what needed improving in my personal statement. Many students are excitedly discussing universities and going on open days, often not quite believing it’s happening so soon. The general feel of year 13 is much different to year 12 as there is now an almost tangible goal which does add pressure but also makes the work and effort feel more meaningful.
Hannah, O-MAS Year 13
Sixth form so far, September 2016
Well, my third week of sixth form is nearly over. The past three weeks have gone by like a blur. Yet, my first day seems ages ago at the same time. Sixth form is a lot different to anything I’d experienced before. The limitations of school evaporated and at first it was hard to cope.
On my first day I had only one lesson! Well, technically I had two, but form time was extended into period 1 to give out timetables etc, so I had three frees. I had one question, what am I supposed to do? I had been given no work, so I was lost. All these wonderful free lessons in the first week and not a lot of homework yet, I did the only thing that I know to do, I sat and read. The funny thing was, by the end of the week I was exhausted. I thought a lot about the sixth form over the weekend and all the changes to the school site since I left in June.
It’s odd how little I’ve seen of the school before sixth form. Since being here I have barely left the Sixth Form Centre, History block, Café and Library, it’s surreal in a way as these were unexplored parts of the school to me from years 7 to 11.
I’m getting used to the ‘laid-back’ ness of the sixth form. At the start this freaked me out, the funny thing is I missed shuffling from room to room and doing five lessons day, every day. Of course, I don’t now, I do regular work and study and a period of student support each week.
Week two was even better, now I understood what the heck was going on and I had two lessons on Monday, so it wasn’t so odd. I knew my way around the Sixth Form Centre and now realised it wasn’t dominated by scary year 13’s.I felt more comfortable, my second week was great fun. I like how the teachers treat us like adults in the lessons and as the group sizes are small, the lessons feel more like a conversation than a lesson. Sixth form really is fun, I enjoy buying food in the café, it’s different to the canteen and I’ve made a few new friends including one from Czechoslovakia. I now am getting more homework which finally filled those ‘free’ periods. It’s a bit like time paradox if you will, the same thing week in, week out. It’s a fun paradox though.
Week three has been pretty much the same as week two, nice teachers, nice lessons, fun times in the sixth form centre, nice food and some grit and zest (which I’m not keen on yet). I like it, maybe a relaxed routine, but it is one. And it is nice that the only subjects I do are the subjects I want to do, instead of confusing mental maths or science. It’s like a burden of rule and control has been lifted which is a fine exchange for the burden of the hard work and eventual A Level exams that lie ahead.
I’d say the ‘free’, sorry Mr Carpenter, the ‘private study’ periods are the best part. At first they freaked me out, but I like the fact that I can use them to do my homework in them.
So after three weeks, I can now clearly see why Ofsted believed that the sixth form was good over the past few years, as I think it is the best part of Sawtry Village Academy.
Thanks for reading this article and going on the sixth form website.
Billy O-STP Year 12
Thoughts of a sixth former who joined Sawtry from another sixth form
My first attempt at sixth form didn’t go to plan (not at Sawtry). Sawtry allowed me to join them and start my A’Level studies again. Since then I have gone on to get massively improved grades, I was really pleased with my AS results and hope to further improve next year. They’ve been very supportive in order to get me to a stage where I feel happy with my progress and the work I produced. If anybody was looking to re-sit year 12 then I’d recommend coming to Sawtry as they will put the time in to make sure you improve.
The sixth formers had a very enjoyable silly sports day today. We had a sack race, obstacle course whilst carry a ladle of water, connect 4 with hoops and of course a game involving water bombs. After break we had a game of rounders which was a very enjoyable end to an amazing year.
Cambridge University Visit
On Thursday 14th July, ten year 12 students went to visit St. Catharines College, Cambridge University to learn more about the application, interview and teaching process. Chris Waugh, the schools liaison officer, gave an informative presentation on the steps taken for a university application, what entry requirements they look for, how the interview process works and what admissions tests there were. This information was useful as it could also be applied to other university applications, not just University of Cambridge. He gave us a tour of the college, looking at the bar and library. Dr Nora Berend gave a taster lecture on medieval history, which demonstrated the style of teaching in the majority of universities. Overall, the day was quite useful and informative, especially the information about the application process and personal statements and he suggested that 80% of your statement should be focussed on academic achievements and which subjects you chose.
St Catharine’s College library and bar & Kings College, Cambridge.
Volunteer Week 11th – 15th July
We are very proud of our sixth form students for the way that they are embracing volunteer week. This year we are supporting Age UK, Macmillan, Caresco, Sue Ryder and Destiny Africa. All the year 12 students have chosen which charity they would like to support this week, and they have planned and organised all the activities they will take part in themselves. Activities planned range from leaflet drops, cake sales, BBQ’s, rounders matches, form competitions, sponsored cycle rides, bucket collections to a school fete on Friday.
We think it is very important to raise the awareness of helping charities whether that’s by fundraising, raising awareness of the charity generally or helping out in other ways. The group supporting Caresco for instance are helping out with their Vintage club http://caresco.org.uk/?page=daycentre&m=activities on one of the days which we are sure will be rewarding for the students and attendees alike.
Volunteer week is a good opportunity for students to use skills such as event management, how to communicate effectively, maybe with groups of people they are not used to talking to, team building, being organised, how to promote an event effectively, dealing with unforeseen problems, time management, to name a few. These transferable skills enrich our students and we hope that the things they learn this week will stay with them as they prepare to leave the academy at the end of year 13 next year. Above all we hope that by helping others, they will have fun whilst being a good citizen.
Here are a few photos from the week so far.
Sixth Form Pledge Day 5th July 2016
This Pledge day Sixth Form spent the day at sessions teaching us about budgeting and finance. In the first session we played a board game on budgeting, whereby you had a set amount of money and had to start by paying off bills and then roll the dice, picking up debt, credit or choice cards as you play the game. It gave us a taster of what it’s like to have to decide where your money goes each month, and choose between going out and having fun or, for example, fixing a broken boiler. For our second session we had to prepare a list of food that suited a certain price range and the food had to provide us a week’s worth of meals. Many found it tricky to have to cut down on what you would really like to eat so that a small amount of money could last the whole week. Next we had an informative talk on credit cards and how they work. This involved calculating how much interest you would get charged by credit card companies in certain situations. Our last session had us working out what type of person we are with money; if we like spending it easily, buying what we need, or saving. This was followed by a talk on student finance and researching how much money we would be likely to require for university including accommodation, university fees, shopping and a social life. Overall it was a useful day preparing us for the difficulties that come with budgeting!
UCAS Fair at Bedford University 21st June 2016
Year 12 were given the opportunity to go along to a UCAS fair which was held at Bedford University. The fair was arranged by sixth form staff as they hoped it would inspire and educate us to make possibly one of the biggest decision in our lives so far… which course and university to attend? On our arrival we were met by a student who attends the university and she gave us a warm welcome to the event whilst scanning our tickets and handing us lanyards and wristbands.
The fair was spread around the campus with over 150 different institutions to explore and discover. There were 2 different areas covered by the different universities that be on the sports field and in the sports hall, where there were onsite members of staff to usher and direct us around.
When walking around the stands the university representatives were friendly to approach and enthusiastic to talk to you about your decision of the course and to answer any questions you may have. They would also provide you with their university prospectus and guide you to your subject of choice and spend around 5-10 minutes discussing the topic with you, and make sure you grab the freebies as some of them are pretty cool! As well as there were university seminars to attend which took half an hour long talking briefly but going into detail about the subject you are considering to take. I found this opportunity to attend a seminar in a lecture room was a valuable experience.
Going around the different university stands developed a mixture of different emotions. I felt excited to be there and to be able to explore my future and to see it start revealing itself. I enjoyed the atmosphere as there were a lot of people the same age as us from Sawtry also attending from other sixth forms, so it felt busy and claustrophobic at times however we were all in the same boat as each other. I also felt overwhelmed at some points especially when speaking to the different universities and finding out the best route for me and what each route offers. So from this I began my own research into the universities, I advise speaking to your parents is good too as well as reading through the prospectuses.
I would really recommend this trip as I felt I benefited from it and was a successful day as it answered a lot of my questions and also made a lot of new questions.
Almira and Emily getting advice from one of the many university admission tutors that attended the UCAS Convention held at Bedford University.
Cambridge University Application Process Presentation
On Tuesday 12th April 2016, the Schools Liaison Officer for St Catharine’s College Cambridge, Chris Waugh came in to give some Year 11s and 12s an insight into applying for Cambridge and what to expect and include within the application and interview process, as well as sharing some of his experiences on the road to Cambridge and university life.
During the presentation, the entirety of the application process for Cambridge University was explained in a clear and thorough manner. In particular, the presentation explained what information Cambridge University requires from its applicants, followed by explanations of what each of these areas was needed for. In particular, there was a detailed explanation on the information that should go into a good personal statement for Cambridge; this was something very useful to know, not least because of the fact that this stage of the application process seemed to be general enough to be applicable to any University which someone may be considering applying to. The same was true for other stages of the application process, in particular how the interview stage of the application process works, with Chris helping to expose some myths which have been created over interviews at Cambridge.
Chris also told the students some useful general information on applying to university and spoke about the courses that he studied with some general insights into university life. He also gave students an opportunity to ask questions, answering all the questions in a thorough and informative manner. Overall, the presentation was worthwhile and informative, explaining the stages of applying to Cambridge in some detail, which were also applicable to other universities, hence making them useful to those who don’t want to go to Cambridge, while also providing some useful and interesting points on university life.
Luke Suckling and Daniel Tortoise
Careers evening by O-MAS tutor group
Sawtry Village Academy hosted their annual options and careers evening for upcoming GCSE students and any students looking to go to university or college. An informative assembly was delivered to parents to answer any queries by our helpful staff. The huge variety of career stands allowed students to receive a broad understanding of the different future pathways available to them. These included Cambridge universities, Stamford College, National Services and even the Police Force; the NHS were also represented.
The GCSE options, such as PE, Media Studies and Social Sciences, enabled students to receive a wide range of knowledge about each subject. Previous student’s work and course experiences were displayed to give students a more visual perspective on what they will experience during the course of the two years.
Interactive activities were available for students to familiarise themselves with the content that they will be studying on the course. Each subject made their display unique to attract students. For instance, Technology exhibited handmade colourful clothing related to their course.
One parent stated she appreciated the big banners that were set out for each individual subject, in addition brochures were offered to anyone wanting to know more information about their interested subject. All in all, it was a very informative evening.
Review of recent events by Josh Tustanowski
Army drop in.
The sixth form was very fortunate to hold a drop in session for army careers, they covered all aspects imaginable, to name a few topics: how to cope with life away from home, how the immersive camp life will build resilience and lifelong friendships, coupled with a career that’s truly worthwhile and what it’s like to serve during war time. There truly is a job for anyone in the army. I was particularly interested in the scientific opportunities available to me in the Army, and I was surprised to see how many options there were. The two personnel who were at hand today were very helpful, friendly and well informed, many students had a chat with them as they were interested in the military as an option.
In summary, today was a very rewarding experience as it opened up possibilities to numerous students about possible career paths.
Pledges day report:
The school has run another successful, and engaging pledge’s day this month; I was situated in Archers helping Saints students with their service pledge. They ran a personalised easter egg design shop which was an excellent opportunity for students to express themselves creatively by decorating eggs and to gain confidence through having to sell the product. The day was truly worthwhile as it enriched the students personal development in parallel to their studies, by immersing them in new environments to build valuable new skills. It’s crucial to learn to appreciate your community and knowing what you can do for it, so days like these teach valuable lessons.
Thomas Cook – Apprenticeship scheme
Last Friday we had a successful ex-student, Jamie come in for a lunchtime drop in session to discuss what apprenticeships are available within the Thomas Cook franchise. He was discussing how you can apply for an apprenticeship and more importantly why you should apply and what you will get out of it. A while ago Jamie came in to deliver an assembly about how you should be proud of yourself and chase your goals no matter the cost. The session seemed very informal and informative, from some other students opinions they found the session to be a great help.
15th January 2016
Mock Exams, by Lisa Sample O-AK
At Sawtry Village Academy the mock exams are taken very seriously. There is a reason for this, as a year 13 student I can confirm the importance of the mock exams.
Mocks allow you to work on the following:
- Time Management – Can you write fast enough, can you actually complete the paper?
It’s best to find out now, so you can work on this for the real exams in the summer, after all, practice makes perfect.
- Organisation – Are you ready? Do you know what room/ seat you will be in? Are you punctual, do you have the correct equipment?
Organisation is the key to success, get ready and be prepared.
- Pressure – Can you handle the many pressures exams create? The mocks are the best way to find out if you do struggle, you have until the summer to learn techniques to help you.
Learning to stay calm and not panic, could make a big difference to your performance.
- Are you on course? Again, the mocks will reveal this. In doing so, it will enable you to create or adapt revision timetables and will give you another chance to attend any extra sessions that you will benefit from.
These are just a handful of aspects the mocks will test you on, let alone the criteria for certain subjects. What matters is you and your efforts, treat the mocks as if they were the real ones and YOU WILL benefit from the experience in more ways than you imagine.
3rd December 2015
Members of Mrs Barnsley’s form group are obviously enjoying their form time, which is good to hear!
O-VB is a newly created form group, yet we have had unrivaled success amongst the OAK sixth form house; we came first in the house Christmas Tree competition where we went the extra mile to create a unique stylish design from pipe which went on to be featured to the public to the local Parish church. We also have successfully embraced the PALS programme where we have designed fun and interactive activities to enrich the lower years. We’ve also had an insight into how hard a teacher’s job is, creating a structured activity, delivering it and marking them! As a form we are also very successful at partaking in debates where things get heated in our supportive environment where minds have been opened and changed. Overall O-VB has been an extremely successful and rewarding form to be a part of – and we look forward to winning more competitions!
11th November 2015
Armistice Day at Sawtry Village Academy, by Tom Jackson, year 13
Today at Sawtry Village Academy we honoured the fallen heroes of all wars from 1915 to the present day. During this myself Thomas Jackson Year 13 a Private in the Army Reserves for 200 HQ Squadron of 158 Royal Logistics Corps lead a Armistice Day ceremony at the Academy accompanied by Cadets in all year groups in the Academy, consisting of Army, Sea and air cadets. We marched from one of the car parks in the Academy and halted at the flag pole. I then proceeded to march and halt at the flag pole and salute, then proceeded to lay a wreath at the base of the flag pole. I then saluted and returned to my position in front of the parade of cadets. We then honoured the fallen with The last post and a 2 minute silence followed by a reading by Mr Rothwell. I then proceeded to march the cadets back to the car park. We then returned back to the flag pole where we had photos taken by the Academy in separate houses, units and corps.
October 2015, Friday Enrichment Assemblies
We have welcomed representatives from several organisations to our sixth form assemblies over the last half term.
On Friday 2nd October, Mark from A Star Future came in to talk to sixth formers about the pros and cons of studying abroad. He outlined what different countries have to offer and what can be gained by studying at a university outside the UK. It was a very interesting insight into an HE option that maybe a lot of students hadn’t considered previously.
On 9th October, Kate Hurley from Huntingdon Regional College spoke about apprenticeships to the sixth formers. We have a number of students who were interested in this option as opposed to going to university and they found the talk very informative. A number stayed behind after the presentation to discuss it further.
Following on from this, Aimee Regan from 3aaa Apprenticeships gave a lunchtime talk to interested students. Aimee’s role involves supporting schools to develop pathways for young people interested in accessing apprenticeships as a progression option at the end of their study. 3aaa specialises in technology based apprenticeships, which includes; IT, Digital marketing, Business and Administration. So many students attended, we had to find a larger room!
On the 16th October we welcomed a representative from the National Citizenship Service (NCS) spoke to the sixth formers about what they offer. See their website for details http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/
Tuesday 29th September 2015
Our McMillan coffee morning took place on Tuesday 29th September, all of the Sixth Formers got together and baked as many cakes as possible to be sold in the café for everyone to give a donation of a minimum of £1 to buy a cake, overall we raised a total of £99.77 to go towards the support for the people in need.
Lorna Parmenter, year 13 student
Wednesday 9th September 2015
Drive to arrive for year 12 Students
The students got a lot out of the day which was run by the Fire Service. This is what some members of Mr Kennedy’s form have reported;
“We learnt a lot about road safety from the perspective of the driver. We learnt this through a variety of 30 minute long activities led by staff from the Cambridgeshire fire brigade and other agencies. We went into a car to do a car crash simulation in which we were shown a video of a car crash caused by someone texting. This along with other videos about the consequences of drink driving were particularly good to develop an understanding of these things”
“It was pretty good, the braking distance exercise was interesting. It turns out I was way off, I would have killed people everytime! The actor was good and I enjoyed the reaction machine”
“We learnt about the dangers of driving and how to stay safe on the road. The most interesting thing I learnt was that a car travelling at 30mph will take 23m to come to a stop. There was a reaction test, which I did not score very well on, but it was enjoyable and interesting”
“I found it to be an eye opener as to the severity of the potential risks of being careless on the road. I know that when I take to the roads, I will be taking much care to ensure the safety of those in the car and out”
16th July 2015
We received this email yesterday from Debbie Howland, Age UK. It reaffirms how valuable the volunteer week is to our students and all those charities that they are supporting:
“Please find attached a couple of photos of Daniels group that helped at one of our Friendship clubs yesterday. I hope they enjoyed it as much as the club members enjoyed having them there, they were delightful and a massive help!”
Community Fundraiser for Age UK
Raising local funds to help local people
14th July 2015
Year 12 students are wholeheartedly embracing raising money for their chosen charities. Today saw car washing and cake sales in school. All the students have enjoyed themselves and raised lots of money in the process.
July 2015, Preparations for Volunteer Week (13th – 17th July) are in full flow.
All Year 12 students are working with one of the following charities; Age UK, Sue Ryder, CARESCO and MacMillan.
Age UK’s vision is for a world where everyone can love later life.
Sue Ryder supports people with complex needs and life-threatening illnesses throughout their pathway of needs across the UK. The charity supports people living with conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, dementia and stroke.
CARESCO is a charity based in Sawtry. It focuses on providing daytime activities for the elderly, housebound and socially isolated.
MacMillan Cancer Support is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer.