Message from the Head Teacher


It is somehow fitting that,  as I write, England are in the process of skittling out the Aussies at Lords, Chris Froome is on his way to winning the Tour de France and Andy Murray is reigning Wimbledon man’s champion. All this makes perfect sense in the year when – at long last – The Ecclesbourne School gained a state of the art Sports Centre for our students. The year began with Olympic and Paralympic euphoria and we even took the whole school out on to Wirksworth Road to witness the Tour of Britain cycle by in September. We endured one of the coldest ever winters and all the while work went on to transform our school by building the sports centre and then our new Music, Drama and dining facilities, which are well on their way to being ready in September. If all this were not sufficient to send us into the summer holiday with a spring in our step, the country is enjoying a heat wave.

Sports day this year was a spectacular success with our competitors and Sixth Form House Captains putting on a show to remember. We coped well with the searing temperatures and the speed and efficiency with which the House Captains built our “gazebo city” so that spectators would have sufficient shade was one of the sights of the year. After missing out last year due to the waterlogged athletics field we enjoyed the event all the more. Sports day is an important part of the rich diet of opportunities our students enjoy. As a school we are committed to developing all of our students’ potential and there is something for everyone in our extra-curricular and academic provision. In the same way that our athletes had their chance to shine and be celebrated this last week in the annual Sports Award ceremony, our musicians and actors excelled in the superlative production of “Hello Dolly!”

As ever, we have a busy programme of summer works on site to improve our school facilities and students will return in September to a new Refectory, an improved dining experience and quicker, more efficient service using cashless payments. In amongst the building work, we look forward to examination results which are published for A Level on 15th August and for GCSE on 22nd August. Details are to be found on our website.
Finally, it remains for me to wish you all a relaxing and restorative summer break. I look forward to seeing you all in September – re-charged and ready for another exciting year at Ecclesbourne.


Success In Maths


Putting their statistical minds to the test, a team of four Year 10 students won the 2013 Win at School competition.



Having qualified for the event in an online quiz,  the team joined eleven other schools in a close-fought contest at the Royal Statistical Society’s headquarters in London.

The team, consisting of Sam Pover, Beth Gossling, Natalie Carter and Chris Harris (pictured below) finished the first round in joint third, progressing into the second round of twelve more difficult questions. The group continued to excel and at the end of the round were level at the top with two other teams.  A  nail biting tie-breaker question resulted in Ecclesbourne giving the correct answer, winning the event by nine seconds.

The prize was £2500 for the school to spend, while the team enjoyed the rest of their day in London with Mrs Cotton.
By Chris Harris


Year 7 Maths Challenge


This year, students in Year 7 have taken part in a weekly “Maths Challenge” through which they have solved many unusual and challenging mathematical puzzles. Having not missed a challenge all year and after a lot of fantastic problem solving, this year’s winner, with an amazing 74 points is Joe Leckie (7N) pictured below, closely followed by James Bungay (7S) with 62 points.  Well done! The weekly challenge will be back next year for Year 7 and 8 students.



In addition to this, the University of Liverpool ran a national “Half-Term Challenge” competition in February to keep our mathematicians busy during their holidays.  Several of our students grasped the opportunity to take part with great results. We had success in both the senior and junior categories with 3rd place for Natalie Carter (10H) in the senior competition and 3rd place for George Henshaw (7S) in the junior competition. A fantastic achievement!

In March, a team was entered into the UKMT Maths Challenge Regional Finals at Swanwick Hall School. The team consisted of Lauren Davidson (9E), Hannah Edwards (9N), Maddy Hobbs (8L) and Ben Davies (8L). The team competed against approximately 30 schools and the competition consisted of four rounds: a quiz, a cross-number, a head-to-head and a relay. The students had a fantastic day and were a credit to the school.


Derbyshire Reading Challenge


On the afternoon of Wednesday 22nd May, which was a beautiful summer’s day, Mr Mason accompanied four Year 8 students on a trip to compete in this year’s Derbyshire Reading Challenge.  Together, James Antonov, Oscar Rummery, Gabriel Sibthorp-Quarmby and Henry Tompkinson formed the ‘Quiz RATS’ (the name incorporating the boys’ surname initials).  In the auspicious surrounds of Tupton Hall School, located in leafy Tupton, Chesterfield, the boys acquitted themselves admirably and against eighteen other challenging schools, our Ecclesbourne students set the pace in the early going, achieving maximum marks in Round One!
Throughout the competition, the boys remained on the top-half of the leader-board before finally succumbing to the difficulties posed by the male gender bias within the team, faltering slightly in a picture round which focused considerably on writers like Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy.  The Quiz RATS finished a creditable eleventh, surpassing a two-thirds success rate with their responses to the ninety questions.
HIGHFIELDS’ Bibliophiles were ultimately victorious and prizes were presented by Liverpool poet, Terry Caffrey.  Thanks must go to Janet Pickering who helped to organised the whole event, as well as Ecclesbourne’s own librarian, Mrs Lin Smith, who helped to provide this valuable opportunity to the students, along with English teacher, Mr Mason.  Overall, the day went perfectly, the boys behaved impeccably and an enjoyable experience was had by all.
Below is a picture of the Quiz RATS: (reading from left to right – Henry Tompkinson, James Antonov, Mr Mason, Oscar Rummery and Gabriel Sibthorp-Quarmby): 




Pauline Latham OBE MP welcomed six gifted young students from Derbyshire to the Houses of Parliament, in order to give them an insight into life in Westminster and the role of an MP, as part of International Women’s Day. Georgie Chapman (far right) is pictured with Pauline and the five other students.




On Wednesday 5th June 36 pupils and 3 staff from Kirk Langley Primary School came into the Food Technology department to cook. It was the final part of a ‘Best of British’ project which they have been researching in their lessons.


The students were extremely excited and keen as they  made cottage pie and fruit crumble for their lunch.


It was a most enjoyable morning for everyone involved.





The Comenius Project


On Wednesday 22nd May 12 students and four staff travelled to our Polish partner school, in Boguszów-Gorce, near Wroclaw as part of the Comenius project. For the past year, we have been developing our project entitled “United by UNESCO” where students in Year 8 have been working with students from partner schools in Poland, Austria, Slovakia and Turkey.  For some of our students it was their first time on a plane- how exciting!  After landing, we travelled to our hotel in the small mountain town of Boguszów-Gorce.



It was an early start on the Saturday (4am!).  We travelled five hours to the beautiful city of Krakow, followed by a visit to the Wieliczka salt mine, where we were able to see the beautiful carvings into the rock, including a whole church!   In the evening we transferred to our ski lodge in the Tatra mountains, where we had a horse and carriage ride by torchlight.



The following day we had a tour of the region and visited some of the area’s wooden churches, the ski jump and had some time for shopping. We then took the bus back to Boguszów-Gorce, stopping at the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska religious complex on the way.



The final day was spent in the city of Wroclaw, as well as at the Church of peace in Swidnica.  We then went straight to the airport for our flight back to the UK.    An amazing time was had by all and Mrs DelGaudio, Mrs Walton, Mrs Hayes and Mr Whittaker would like to say a MASSIVE well done to the students who were absolutely fantastic and an absolute delight to take on the trip.  You made us very proud!





‘Hello, Dolly!’ has been a really enjoyable production from start to end. The rehearsals have been fun and hard work but it paid off. The experience has been memorable and it was the perfect opportunity to meet new people.  

Mr Partridge has been a great director; thoughtful, committed, encouraging and always happy.  Miss Softley is a very talented musician and worked really hard with the band which sounded wonderful!

We’ve loved taking part in this lovely show and getting to do the thing we love: performing!    Definitely worth every minute!

by Erin Gibbons, Charlie Mackenzie-Barrow and Daisy Chell (Year 7)





Earlier this year myself, Mattie Green, and Hugh Wood were privileged enough to take part in the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ project. The project is a nation-wide scheme in which two pupils from selected schools across the country are able to take part.

The scheme involved three stages: the first stage was a seminar where we listened to a survivor’s testimony of their experience of the Holocaust, while the second stage was a day trip to Poland to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. The third part of the scheme is called the ‘Next Steps Project’ for which we became ambassadors for the Holocaust Memorial Trust and were expected to share what we had learnt with a wider audience.  As part of the next steps project Hugh and I worked with Chloe Birkett and Sam Ottowell from Woodlands school. We produced a presentation which we shared with an audience in June this year. The evening was a success and since then we have also shared our experience with our peers in Sixth Form assembly.

To read more about this project please click here



Fridays at Broomfield


On Friday mornings Matthew Shipley, James Heath, Josh Buxton, Arthur Harling, Dan Lacey, Chris Cooper and Glenn Hilbert set off for Broomfield Hall. They attend college to study their Level One Certificate in Land Based Studies which offers both practical and theoretical units. The group study Animal Health, Feed and Watering and Handling and Restraint. Wearing their personal protective equipment, the group carry out animal checks, observe animal behaviours and evaluate appropriate feeding systems for animals including Californian king snakes, continental giant rabbits, sugar gliders and lizards.



Comments about the course from the group include….” I have really enjoyed handling the animals. The unit staff are really friendly too.”
 “It is good to come to college and I hope to come here when I leave school. It has given me a taster for what job I want to do.”



Community Tea Party



On the 15th July 2013, a group of Sixth Form Community Ambassadors held a tea party for 25 elderly citizens from in and around Duffield.

A good time was had by all as the guests chatted and were entertained by students performing songs from the musicals and Simon Marshall read ‘Waiting for Summer’, a piece written by him for the occasion.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the students who performed and helped organise the tea party, and an especially large ‘Thank You’ to Mrs Smyth. 
Alice Vincent 12M




Year 6 Induction Days



On the 24th and 25th June, Year 6 had their first taster of life at Ecclesbourne when they attended Year 6 Induction.

Throughout the morning they immersed themselves in a variety of lessons that included; Science; History; English; Maths; Drama; Geography; German; Religious studies; Music; I.C.T and Technology.



Following an epic treasure hunt at lunchtime that took them to top secret locations around the school, they settled down for an afternoon of storytelling with the fantastic Alec Williams. Alec shared tales of adventure, ghosts and magical horses. The day concluded with each of the students receiving a book and a passport to reading. Students will use the passport to record their reading over the summer so that when they start in September they can share their literacy adventures with staff and their new classmates.



News from the Library


Kicking off with the Derbyshire Literature Quiz in May we have had a very bookish summer in the Library this term.  Some members of the Reading Group went on the first ever visit to the Hay Literature Festival.  They spent the day talking to students from other schools and met a couple of very important visitors who were also there on the day.





In June we welcomed author Joseph Delaney, author of the Spook’s series (pictured below left) and this month gave us the opportunity to hear a talk from Dan Freedman (pictured below right).  Dan has created a series of football stories and brought his friend (a film producer) along.  Besides talking to over two hundred year 7 and 8 students the visitors showed us a sneak preview of the TV pilot and were keen to gain feedback from their young audience.



Ecclesbourne’s reading for the Carnegie Medal gave us the largest group we have ever had shadowing the Award.  Over 120 students read up to eight books between Easter and the end of June.  We voted for our choices on a warm afternoon after a lively discussion with students from Swanwick Hall School . Book gift prizes were awarded to students who had made a real effort to read as many of the titles as possible.


2013 has been an exciting and enriching year for the Languages Faculty.


In March 2013 a group of 30 Year 10 and 12 students spent a week engaged in Language Immersion at the Espanole Valencia Language School in Valencia. Highlights included visits to the Oceanografico Sea Life Centre, and a walking tour and exploration of Valencia and it’s old town as well as opportunities to sample life in Spanish speaking homes and tango taster session.



In May 2013 students in Year 8 spent three days in Barcelona during the half term break.

Among the delights were visits to the Nou Camp football stadium, the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and the Picasso Museum . Students also experienced the infamous Ramblas by day and night and Barcelona’s extensive beach and marina Spanish was eagerly practised at every opportunity whilst buying souvenirs and even ordering tapas in local cafes.


In June 40 students from Year 10 and 12 visited Nice as part of their French GCSE and A-level studies.



This trip allowed students to be completely immersed in the French language. They stayed with French families and spent their mornings speaking and learning French at the Alpha B language school in central Nice.

The afternoons were spent exploring the region with a walking tour of Nice, a visit to Monaco and the aquarium, an afternoon spent getting out of the sun with a trip underground to Nice’s recently opened crypt, a trip to Cannes with a tour on the tourist train and a visit to Eze and the Fragonard perfume factory.


Students returned to the UK buzzing with new-found confidence, particularly in their spoken French, and a real appreciation of why the Cote Students returned to the UK buzzing with new-found confidence, particularly in their spoken French, and a real appreciation of why the Côte d’Azur region attracts millions of tourists each year.


Year 7 trip to Lincoln


On Monday 17th, Tuesday 18th and Wednesday the 19th June, the Year 7 classes visited the beautiful city of Lincoln. Its small gift shops and little sweet shops make Lincoln a lovely place to visit.

First we went down Steep Hill, apparently the most visited shopping street in the country. Most of us visited the old-fashioned sweet shop, Goodies, too. Soon after that we walked to the castle. Its picturesque views and historic monuments add to the scenery of the castle grounds. The castle is also one of the only surviving castles with two moats.


The entire group then had to pile into a prison chapel cell and stay there until the teacher had finished telling us that people had stood there to listen to readings from the Bible. It was so claustrophobic ! Our group started to walk to the cathedral after that.

We were given a booklet with a quiz and we had to walk in small groups around the cathedral finding clues to the answers. At one point, my group got a bit lost and walked into a gigantic room with a colossal column in the middle. Another of my friends made me jump by hiding behind the column and jumping out! After that we did not enter that room again.

When we finished with the quiz our teacher told us that we could have an ice cream! I had a honeycomb and Lena had mint chocolate chip. They were delicious! Then we went home. I slept like a log that night.
By Lauren Phillips and Lena Hardingham


Maths Faculty Working in Partnership



We have been delighted this year to build on the strong links already established with our partner primary schools to develop subject specific developments. In the first instance these have involved Ecclesbourne delivering half day training sessions for staff from our partner primaries. These sessions have been tailor made for our local context and planned in collaboration with the maths coordinators to meet an identified objective. Particular thanks to Fiona Dembovski (Maths Coordinator, Little Eaton) for her help with planning the level 6 algebra event.
We have run four sessions so far and they have been extremely well received and the Shape and Space session culminated in Ecclesbourne’s students being commissioned to produce “pull up nets”, to aid understanding of 3D shapes at Key Stage 2
Our work was the basis of a presentation at the national SSAT conference in London in June, which was jointly presented by Moya Weighill (Head of Maths, Ecclesbourne) and Lisa Tipping (Maths Coordinator, William Gilbert). We have extended the project to include paired observations across Key Stage 2 and 3.
Our next planned event will focus on developing conceptual understanding of decimals and place value. We hope that this work, in the longer term, will ensure a continuous learning journey within mathematics from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4.



Sport Round-up


The Derbyshire School Games



Ecclesbourne qualified for the U13 Tennis and the U14 mixed rounders finals at the Derbyshire School games held at Trent College on 9th July 2013. This was a fantastic celebration of sport for primary, secondary and special schools across Derbyshire. The under 13 tennis team were winners of the event and are Derbyshire champions.  Pictured from left to right): Rhodri Waters, Charlie Spurr, Grace Cooper and Lauren Scullion

The under 14 mixed Rounders team were placed 2nd to a very strong West Park team.
Well done to all involved.


Girls Under 13 County Cup Football Finals



The Year 7 and 8 Girls Football Team were the winners of the County Cup Football Competition. This is the first time a school has retained the cup, having won it last year too.

In the qualifying rounds the girls won matches against Ripley Mill Hill, Friesland and Dronfield.  The final, which was played at Hatton Sports and Social Club, started with an excellent goal scored from a corner kick by Maddie Taylor and ended up 3-2 to Ecclesbourne.

Congratulations to the girls and thank you to Cathy Williamson for coaching the girls all season and to Mr Tozer.


Olympian Visit


Ecclesbourne were very fortunate to be able to welcome back Drew Sullivan, a professional Basketball player and captain of the Great Britain team at last year’s Olympic Games in London.

Drew’s visit enhanced a project which has been running in school, trying to get more students involved in sport and leadership.  Drew also spent time coaching a Year 7 PE group as well as delivering a motivational speech to students who have represented the county at their chosen sport.



Primary School Football Tournament



Duffield Meadows School hosted the annual Ecclesbourne Feeder Primary School Football tournament. Teams from Duffield Meadows, William Gilbert, Kirk Langley, Curzon and Mugginton took part in the event, with Ecclesbourne Leadership Academy helping to run the event.

Each school was allocated a nation to represent and they donned their nation’s colours for the tournament.  The hosts ran out winners in the end beating Curzon on penalties in the final – Well done Duffield Meadows.


Amber Valley Primary School Football Tournament at Pride Park


The Ecclesbourne Leadership Academy was asked to help officiate at the annual Amber Valley Primary School Football tournament at Pride Park.

Four leaders attended the event and refereed the primary matches on the pitch. This was a great experience for all involved as the playing surface was in an immaculate condition and it gave everyone a real insight of what it would be like to play football in professional surroundings.  


Staff in the Spotlight



Adrian Brown

RE specialist and Assistant Head of Sixth Form for 32 years


My late great colleague and friend Terence Copley averred that I would always be a ‘lifer’ at Ecclesbourne.  He was right. This school has been all but four years of my teaching career, which began in Reading where I taught physics.

Coming here, reinvented as a RE specialist and Assistant Head of Sixth Form, was an interesting move.  The reasons I have stayed have been various.  Mr. Brown is a deeply conservative animal at heart, with a small ‘c’. Paradoxically, there is a maverick non-conformist side to my character too.  At Ecclesbourne I have been able to do it my way, largely unhindered by the silly winds of change that beset education, and alongside colleagues who largely understand that the best way to teach is to be yourself.  Thankfully we are all unique individuals who are expert at doing their own thing, not least being themselves. This has integrity. The school motto also enjoins us to tenacity and service. The stickability implied by the former seems to fit, and it has been a pleasure to serve the thousands of pupils and students it has been my privilege to work with since 1982.  As for my colleagues, I could not have wished to be alongside a finer bunch of people.

I will be back to do some part time next year and to keep the Chess Club going.  But the rest from the responsibilities associated with my full time role will create space to write more, to attend more conferences, to read, relax and discover the next, as yet unknown, adventures. My own school motto was ‘Adventure On’ and this seems appropriate encouragement to offer you all by way of signing off!
Adrian Brown


Also leaving us at this time are:



Sue Millard

Spanish/French Teacher and Head of Year 9 
with 26 Years Service


Karen Allsobrook;  Sally McCormick;   Hilary Smith;   Georgy Wilban;   Fiona Rowe  and Kathryn Green.


Thank you to everyone for your service to Ecclesbourne and Best Wishes for the Future.



PSFA News – Summer 2013


As another academic year draws to an unseasonably pleasant hot and sunny finish; here are a few words about the Ecclesbourne PSFA and its recent activities.
The PSFA; Parents, Staff and Friends Association of Ecclesbourne School work throughout the year to support School events and activities, and to arrange fund raising and social events.  A regular team of dedicated volunteers give their time to organise and run these events.  Most recently providing a bar service at the four evening performances of Hello Dolly. A little more challenging to organise than usual due to on-on-going building works but with bar takings of between £150 and £200 per night they still proved very popular with the audience.  Thank you to everyone that helped plan and run each evening.
Whilst most people will be thinking about the forthcoming summer holidays; looking ahead to the autumn term, here are just a few dates for your diaries. 
Rags to Riches on Friday 20th September is a great opportunity to bring any unwanted clothing, bedding etc. into school in the morning to be re-cycled whilst raising cash for the school.  So please don’t have a summer clear-out, wait until September and bring it along to Rags to Riches.
We have our annual AGM on Wednesday 25th September; everyone is very welcome to attend and it’s always great to see new people getting involved.  We have volunteers willing to stand for committee election so you can come along in the knowledge that you won’t be ‘encouraged’ into anything you don’t feel comfortable with!  This year the evening will start with the opportunity to tour the newly built Sports Facility and see first-hand the investment being made in Ecclesbourne School. As in previous years Mr McNamara and Mrs Williams will be providing commentary on school performance and future plans.  As a final bonus the PSFA will be happy to provide you with a complimentary glass of wine on the evening. 
The final date to note is Friday 18th October when the next PSFA Quiz and Chips night will be held at the school; the last event in March attracted 23 teams, each of typically 8 people enjoying a very sociable evening.  As usual we have called on the services of our quiz master Ben Walton to provide the brain taxing part of the evening; the PSFA volunteers will then provide a well-stocked bar and deliver a chip supper mid-quiz.  These events are always popular so keep an eye out for ticket sales and buy early.
Monies raised through all the PSFA events and activities are spent by the school for the benefit of your children; some examples of recently funded items are: new tents and stoves for the Duke of Edinburgh Expedition; netball sports kit and saddle cloths for the equestrian team.
Most importantly, many thanks to all the parents, relatives and teachers who have come along to our events; without your support and generosity we would not be able to help the school as much as we do.
If you’re interested in getting involved with the PSFA in any way and helping it to continue to support the school we’d be very pleased to hear from you; contact details are on the Ecclesbourne School website; or come along our AGM or one of our regular PSFA meetings, again details of meeting dates are on the website.


The Building of the Sports Hall


October 2012



November 2012




December 2012



January 2013



February 2013



March 2013



April 2013



June 2013



July 2013



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