Message from the Head Teacher

As we prepare ourselves for the summer holidays and look back over a very busy year the School community may feel justly proud of its achievements. This newsletter is, as ever, packed with exciting events and, as ever, it remains the tip of a very considerable iceberg.
Inevitably when singling out any particular event for special mention one runs the risk of neglecting to give due credit to the wealth of activity that goes to make up the incredibly rich and varied diet our students can expect. However, it would simply be remiss of me not to make special mention this term of the summer whole school production ‘Me & My Girl’.  The hundreds of you who came along to see (and hear!) the play will know what I mean when I say that this was a superlative production even by this School’s very high standards. The students and staff who gave up so much of their time to make it happen will never forget the experience and have learned so much in the process – not least just what can be achieved by a company of people working together collaboratively. And to the many who asked – no the choice of play was not influenced by the Cockney Head Teacher! Although I am giving serious consideration to adoption of ‘The Lambeth Walk’ as the new school song…
And now for some really good news. As you know, our students and  staff have made the best of inadequate sporting facilities for many years. It gives me great pleasure to be able to tell you that we learned this week that our planning application for a new sports complex has been successful.  The new facility, with an anticipated opening date during autumn 2013, will be an important improvement to our provision for the school and the community. The facilities will include a full size sports hall, teaching room, fitness suite and dance studio. Given the already impressive record of sporting excellence at our School we have good reason to expect even better in future years! In addition, the project will enable us to improve our core infrastructure and dining facilities as PE moves out of the centre of the school and into the new sports facilities. It is anticipated that work on site will commence in mid-September.

‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ runs the Latin tag oft-repeated to school children down the ages. A sound mind in a sound body. Our lovely new Sports complex will improve greatly our ability to ensure all students can attain it.

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.
James McNamara
Head Teacher


  Our Olympic Torchbearers

Fiona Donnelly, Year 12
Click here to read Fiona's nomination story

Robert Abraham, Year 11

Click here to read Rob's nomination story 


Unfortunately, due to the weather, the planned Olympic Sports Day involving all our feeder primary schools had to be cancelled.  However, Mrs King would like to thank all of the students who volunteered as leaders to help run the event.  Over 140 Ecclesbourne students were involved in the Olympic Taster Days at each of the primary schools where their attitude, enthusiasm and behaviour was much appreciated be each of the Primary Head Teachers.   Hopefully Ecclesbourne's Olympic legacy to inspire as many students as possible to take part in sport as a participant, leader or official will continue for many years to come.           

 Ecclesbourne Enterprise Construction

Every September and January a group of students enrol at Derby Further Education College for a City & Guilds twelve week course in Construction.

The particular areas covered during this period are :-

Painting and Decorating
Plastering or Brickwork

Four two and a half hour periods are spent in each discipline area, each student collecting units of accreditation towards a final certificate.

Each year Derby College stage an inter school competition in the various trade areas, college staff nominate a student from each school who they think are particularly good in one of the skill areas.

At this point it must be noted that Ecclesbourne students are fast tracked through the various skill areas, where other schools undertake many more hours of training before achieving the necessary required standards.

This year we were very fortunate to have two students nominated for the inter school competition, Ed Rochford in Painting and Decorating and Tom Collins in Carpentry.

Ecclesbourne’s Construction glory arrived this year, our two students came first in their respective discipline areas, each receiving a gold medal and a trophy for the school.


Congratulations Ed and Tom! 


Year 11 Leavers Day




A great time was experienced by all Year 8 students at our annual Health Day in July. The school invited various providers and staff to deliver health related sessions throughout the day. Students enjoyed Zumba which challenged their coordination skills, a Smoking Cessation presentation informed them of the perils smoking and attended Life Saving sessions both in the swimming pool and using manikins. Other sessions included Body Talk, Healthy Food Options and Boxercise training. Students recorded their activities in a booklet which was then evaluated by the PDC team. Our thanks go to all who made this a scintillating occasion and to Chartwell Cars for providing water bottles.



I enjoyed all of Health Day very much. I learnt a lot about different subjects to do with your health.

In the Boxercise session I learnt a lot of boxing moves which we did to music. The warm up was tiring, but the cool down was lots of stretches which did help me cool down.

Our second workshop was Breathing Space. I learnt lots of facts about smoking and reasons why not to smoke. Some of the facts were really surprising like 50% of people who smoke die prematurely!

Our third workshop was Lifesaving; we learnt how to save people who were in trouble. We created a problem. I had to rescue a person who was screaming and waving their arms around, so I threw a rope for her to catch and then I pulled her in. I learnt that you don’t have to get in the water to rescue someone (unless they are unconscious).

Our fourth workshop was Butty Break in which we had to make a sandwich; mine was a pitta with margarine, houmous, peppers, tomatoes and cress. I called it Caitlin’s healthy herby houmous pitta. It was really good, and I learnt what you have to put in a meal to make it healthy.

Our fifth and final workshop was Body Talk where we discussed what we wanted in a relationship. In my group’s pyramid we had ‘is clean’, ‘doesn’t pressure me’ and ‘respects me’ at the top. We then discussed what isn’t good in a relationship and what to do if your partner is pressuring you.

I liked every workshop but my favourite was probably Lifesaving because I love to swim and it was fun to learn how to save my friends.

Caitlin Pollock, Year 8
 Euro 2012 Primary School Football Tournament
On 27th June The Ecclesbourne School staged the Euro 2012 Primary School Football Tournament. The schools taking part were William Gilbert, Duffield Meadows, Kirk Langley, Little Eaton and Walter Evans. Each team represented a nation from the Euro 2012 tournament. The schools donned their nations colours and also waved their flags as they posed for photographs.

Students from the Ecclesbourne Leadership Academy helped run the event as they refereed matches, organised the teams and took some memorable snaps. The event was well supported by the primary school teachers and the children’s parents, all of whom got captured into the excitement of the tournament. The eventual winners were William Gilbert who were representing Germany. They beat their fellow school mates (William Gilbert 2) who were representing Portugal 2-0 in the final.

It signalled the end of a very enjoyable event for all involved, fun for the children, excitement for the parents and a good experience for the Ecclesbourne Leaders.

A big thank you to all involved.


Another full year of learning experiences for our students of Religious Studies.  On top of the varieties of learning and teaching in lessons and some excellent exam results our students have had opportunities to be involved in exciting and challenging events and experiences.

Our A level students have visited the Buddhist Tara centre at Etwall, Amravarti centre and a young person’s retreat. The fantastic learning experience of first hand contact with Buddhism as a living faith has enhanced our students understanding and experience. Our students also featured in the National RE Today educational published magazine in an article about enrichment learning and the Buddhist faith. Our Year 12 Philosophy students also had a day of learning at Oxford University experiencing an undergraduate Philosophy lecture and student life.

Our year 9 students have had full and exciting enrichment opportunities. They visited Beth Shalom, the Holocaust centre at Newark in November, interviewing a survivor of the holocaust as well as having a chance to walk through an interactive history of the holocaust and final solution.  In February they visited a Hindu temple and Hindu cultural quarter in Leicester. This gave our students the chance to speak with and learn from exemplars of the faith. On that note, the students have been involved in interviewing at least two Christian speakers in the classroom to learn more about the varied nature of that particular religion.


Our year 8 students got married! A favourite with our students is the planning and holding of their class weddings. We were awash with dresses, vicars, cake and excellent speeches. The weddings took place in the Methodist church or St Alkmunds and, even this year, we had an al fresco under the clock at school.

Our year 7 students have had their annual visit to St Alkmunds to reinforce their experience and learning about symbols and places of worship.  They also had a Humanities day at Lincoln where they studied the castle, Magna Carta, Cathedral and Steep Hill. A fabulous day and the follow up projects were exceptional with 7R the overall winners.


Our staff continue to be involved in the training of other professionals in the RS field and education itself, from leading a day at Eton school, to Monmouth Independent Schools Group and head teachers in Lancashire on assessment.

We look forward to our combined RS and Textiles educational visit to New York In October.


 We have thoroughly enjoyed another fabulous year and we hope our students have too.

 Me and My Girl

This year I was part of Me and My Girl, Ecclesbourne's summer musical.   The show, set in aristocratic society at Hareford Hall, was based around finding the heir to succeed the Earl of Hareford who turned out to be a cockney costermonger.

The show started back in November with Mr Partridge (Drama) directing/producing and Miss Softley (Music) as musical director.  The audition process began and all the characters were hilarious.  We worked on script extracts and perfecting our hooray Henry and cockney accents.   The cast was divided into three sections to allow each cast member more of an opportunity to shine.  The sections were the Servants, led by Charles the Butler; the Aristocrats (bored Londoners holidaying at Hareford) and Pearly King and Queen cockneys of Lambeth.  Each group had two numbers from the chirpy dancing of 'The Sun Has Got His Hat On' to the armour-clad ancestors in 'Song of Hareford'.

As a cast everyone felt involved.  The verve and enthusiasm from Mr Partridge and Miss Softley were amazing and encouraged us all to strive further.  The choreography never ceased to amaze us and each week a new scene or dance would fall perfectly into place.  By the end of the process everything was in place and the cast members were tingling with excitement to perform.

Me and My Girl has been an unforgetable experience for me, I have enjoyed every second and have never been part of a cast so raring to go.  I have also never been directed by people so enthusiastic, dedicated and occasionally hilarious before.  We have had a fantastic time and are looking forward to auditioning again next year!


Max Raynor, Year 9

Click here to view/purchase the professional photographs available from Me and My Girl
Username:  meand
Password:  mygirl



On the Tuesday 12th June a group of students, who will be taking Textiles for GCSE in Year 10 next year, went to London for Graduate Fashion Week.  At 1pm we went to a fashion show featuring many different styles of textiles. It was an amazing experience for everyone. While we were waiting to go into the Fashion Show and afterwards for a while we looked around the stalls of the universities promoting their Fashion and Art courses. There were lots of universities there including Nottingham Trent, Bath Spa, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Cleveland, Lincoln and many others. We all had an amazing time and would love to go again. It has really inspired me and helped me to look at future universities and careers.
Bridget Harborough, Year 9


On 21st June the Year 12 textiles students visited Sir Paul Smith at his design studio in London. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to explore all aspects of his studio. He spoke to us about his work and passion for designing and gave us career advice which will help us for the future. It was an honour to meet such an inspirational person who is so passionate about his work. It was an amazing experience we will never forget it!
Sophie Cook & Emma Kingscott

Language Faculty Trips

On Sunday 15thApril 49 Ecclesbourne students, from Years 10 and 12, flew to Nice for a week of language immersion and cultural visits. Students and staff stayed in pairs with host families in the beautiful resort of Nice on the Côte d’Azur. On arrival our hosts met us at the airport and took us back to our place of residence for the week.


The following day lessons began at the Alpha-B Language School. Classes were conducted totally in French and, initially, this proved quite a challenge. Students also had to use their initiative to find their way to the Language School and back home at the end of the afternoon’s activities. We were very impressed with the way they coped with this difficult task. By the second day everyone had got their bearings and began to feel more confident in understanding and speaking French.

Afternoons were spent visiting Nice and the local area. A highlight was the trip to Monaco where we saw the preparations for the Grand Prix due to take place in May.


Throughout the stay the atmosphere amongst the group was friendly and supportive and the attitude of every student was exemplary.   Mrs Firth would like to thank Mrs Clark, Mrs Buckley and Mr Firth for giving up their time to accompany the trip. She would also like to thank the students for their unfailing enthusiasm and courtesy during this very memorable visit.

Kate Firth


During half term, 30 year 8 students and 5 staff set off on a 3-day adventure to France. Despite sitting in traffic resembling the royal flotilla we finally made it past the jubilee celebrations and arrived at the Eurotunnel just in time! After checking that we couldn’t see any fish outside the window, we soon popped up in France with Mr Walton and driver Alan navigating us towards our hotel in the village of Albert. We finally arrived, despite finding ourselves at one point in a farmers’ back garden…but we’ll blame it on the sat nav….

The hotel and village proved to be an excellent base, and we were lucky enough to be able to eat at the local restaurants every evening- one night even in the company of Michael Portillo, who of course took the time to say how wonderful our group were! We’re still not sure what he was doing there, but sadly we didn’t catch a glimpse of him riding “Zeus’ Thunder” at Parc Astérix.


Day 2 was the much awaited trip to Parc Astérix.  A special award goes to Joe Whittingham and Oli King who jointly hold the record for going on the most rides…thankfully no one was ill!

The next day we set off early for our day trip to la belle Paris. Starting at the beautiful and bohemian Montmartre, expertly guided by Mrs Walton, we were able to sample some laid back Parisian life, buy a crêpe or two and take a look around the stunning Sacre Coeur - not to mention the breath-taking view over the city. Next we travelled across Paris, traversing the Place de la Concorde,  where we boarded our bateau mouche for a tour along the Seine. On board we sailed down river taking in the sights of Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Museum d’Orsay, countless beautiful bridges and the Eiffel tower.  Finally - the piece de resistance - a trip up the tower itself. And what a view - well worth the terrifying (for some) journey in the lift! Indeed Mr Walton looked no bigger than an ant as we watched him guard a pile of bags from the top.  With the weather closing in, our driver Alan faced the free-for-all that is the Champs Elysees and we were treated to a final sightseeing tour of Paris, including the Arc de Triomphe and La Défense as we returned back to our base - just as the heavens opened!

One the final day we left our hotel to begin our journey home - but not before we stopped at the pretty seaside town of Le Touquet to play a colossal game of beach rounders. There’s an England cricketer in the waiting with our very own Alex Slade-Walker- some quality catches, Al!  After spending our remaining Euros at the up market chocolate shops - fantastic French from Holly Moorcroft and Leah Pilling - we finally boarded the coach for the long journey back to Ecclesbourne.

A massive well done to all our students who were a fantastic group to be with and who behaved absolutely brilliantly -  you gave everything a go, tried out plenty of French and even managed to make your beds by the end of the trip! Of course we also have to say a grand merci to Mrs Walton for organising such a fantastic trip.  A fabulous time was had by all and we simply cannot wait to go back!





Staff in the Spotlight!

The Exams Office
As we are nearing the end of this year’s exam series we can report that, yet again, this has been our busiest season so far.  This summer we have made a total of more than 12500 entries for 1038 internal students and nearing 150 entries for 36 external students.  The School continues to attract a large number of private candidates as we remain one of the few in the area to still offer this service to external students.

The logistics in themselves are no mean feat, taking into account concessions, exam clashes plus the extra demands of school calendar events, and so to report a successful ending to the season is a rewarding accomplishment in itself.

The post script requests are becoming a bigger task year on year and the January 2012 requests were no exception, totalling approximately 120 individual applications.  This included a proportion of GCSE requests which in turn makes this a much more complex task than in previous years.

We now find ourselves in the midst of preparations for the forthcoming results days and the culmination of yet another academic year, although no sooner is one season completed than we are looking ahead to the next season!  This is the time of year we begin informing the exam boards of next years’ estimated entries and so on to the next season which may prove to be another demanding year due to the new GCSE proposals. 

Mr Roger Brown (External Assessment Coordinator), Miss Gaynor Smith (Examinations Officer)


Very best wishes, from all at Ecclesbourne, 
to Miss Smith for her wedding on 4th August.

Partnership work with Little Eaton Primary School


We have come to the end of this year’s very successful partnership with Little Eaton Primary School.  Over the year students from Little Eaton have experienced taking part in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ten students were selected be involved in a CDT project to produce a Christmas decoration, a second cohort made puppets and learned sewing and dyeing techniques whilst the final group cooked a variety of dishes from soup to cakes. Skills involved working together, taking responsibility for their own learning and working in a more directed atmosphere.  These skills they took back to the classroom.  Our 6thform students worked with the various groups in order to gain valuable experience in working with younger children.   The partnership was enjoyed by all who took part.  

Year 13 Business Studies   
A class of  Year 13 Business Studies Students organised an Easter Fayre 
to raise money or the Teenage Cancer Trust.  
Altogether they raised £869.  

From left to right:  Jacob Oakden, Robert Saunders, Emma Thompson, James McNamara,
Chelsea Sharman, George Burrows, Matthew Mayer, James Sheldon, Donna Young (East Midlands Fundraiser for Teenage Cancer Trust), Charles Percival, Joshua Lambert, Ross Duncan
and Karen Borrington (Business Studies teacher)
Denmark 2012

Reflective memories are made from enjoyable experiences. Copenhagen with its churches, castles, art and experimental museums, boat trips, shops and crown jewels and wonderful host families all make the annual exchange visit to Denmark a special unique experience for each of the students.
The photos below provide a sample of memorable times!

Congratulations to....
Emilie and Richard Carr on the birth of their daughter Edith Susan.

Sue and Tristan O'Boyle on the birth of their daughter Scarlett Agnes.


As another school year draws to a close I’d like to thank all the people that have supported the PSFA throughout the year by both volunteering their time and by coming along and enjoying the events. 
Recently we’ve had some busy evenings running bars for the excellent fashion show in May and the highly professional four night production run of Me and My Girl in June.  The bar committee had a hectic time ensuring stock levels were maintained and many people gave up their time to serve drinks and provide interval refreshment service.  Hard work at times, but also really good social events that have raised money for the school.  
The funds raised by PSFA are used to fund or co-fund items for departments throughout the school; some examples from this year being book tokens and cinema vouchers for Prize day; a TV/DVD player for Enhanced Learning; a Visualiser for the English department; contribution to the cost and upkeep of the Science department pet bearded dragon; and 29 sets of colour coded chopping boards for the food technology department.
We were also pleased to have been able to help in a small way with the costs of the saddle cloth embroidery for the Ecclesbourne equestrian team; who went on to have great success with two class victories.
Looking forward to the new academic year; I’d like to invite all parents to our social evening on Wednesday 19thSeptember.  In an informal environment with a complimentary glass of wine, this is a great opportunity to hear more about the school from Mr McNamara and Mrs Williams. The PSFA Annual General Meeting then follows with brief summaries of our annual activity. Whilst we have willing volunteers for all committee positions we welcome anyone interested in becoming involved with the PSFA.  Whether you can come along and help just once a year or would like to be actively involved on the committee; please have come and have a chat with us.
A few more events to put in the diary for the autumn are Rags to Riches on October 5th; the Quiz and Chips night on October 19thand the Christmas shopping night on November 21st.  The Quiz and Chips nights are traditionally very popular so watch out for when tickets go on sale next term. As always the full events list is available on the school website.
Finally, despite the lack of sunshine and summer temperatures, I’d like to wish you a happy holiday on behalf of the Ecclesbourne PSFA and we look forward to seeing you at future events.
Kind regards
Nigel Britton
Ecclesbourne PSFA Chair


Sam McKenzie, Year 10 has been recognised for his mathematical talent in 3D graph drawing that began when he was in Year 8.

He has produced exciting pictures that can be seen on the 
Autograph website  (a mathematical graphing package)
, one of which is below:




Mr Nigel Hitchin
Ecclesbourne 1957 - 1964
  • 1957-64 Ecclesbourne School, Duffield, Derbyshire
  • 1965-69 Jesus College, Oxford; BA Mathematics (1968)
  • 1969-71 Wolfson College, Oxford, Diploma in Advanced Mathematics (1969); D.Phil (1972)
  • 1971-73 Research Assistant, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
  • 1973-74 Courant Institute Instructor, New York University
  • 1974-77 SRC Research Assistant, Oxford University; Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College
  • 1977-79 SRC Advanced Research Fellow, Oxford University; Research Fellow, Wolfson College
  • 1979-90 Fellow and Tutor in Mathematics and CUF Lecturer, St Catherines College, Oxford
  • 1990-94 Professor of Mathematics, University of Warwick
  • 1994-97 Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, Cambridge University; Professorial Fellow, Gonville and Caius College
  •  1997- Savilian Professor of Geometry, Oxford University; Professorial Fellow, New College

We very much look forward to welcoming Mr Hitchin, as our guest speaker, 
at the Sixth Form Prize Giving Ceremony in September. 

Duke of Edinburgh 2012


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme continues to go from strength to strength. There were 58 students from Year 11 who successfully completed their practice and assessed expedition for their Bronze Award in April and May.   It was fantastic to see such a wide range of students taking part with some never having walked in the Peak District or been camping before. They all came away with some amazing memories and will hopefully look back with fondness on the challenges that carrying a heavy rucksack, getting lost and climbing the hills created. They are now completing their skill, volunteering and physical sections of the award and have all successfully gained an Emergency First Aid at Work qualification which lasts for 3 years

Year 12 are now undertaking their Silver Award with the practice expedition taking them to the Roaches near Leek in July and the assessed expedition taking them to Mam Tor and Edale in September. They have also undertaken a First Aid course after school and are rapidly completing their other sections of the award. In January, 15 students undertook a winter challenge where they started in Edale, climbed up Grindsbrook onto the Kinder plateau, over to the downfall and then back down Jacobs Ladder. This gave them a more challenging environment to hone their skills ready.

On the 4thth July the School hosted the Year 7 Technology Day promoting Maths, Science and Technology.

The day was great fun and included learning experiences in the area’s of Textiles Printing, Electronics, and Gliders, Forensic Science, a stained glass workshop and Science Experiments.



Work Experience

240 students undertook work experience in July 2012.  Their placements covered a wide range of jobs from farming to animation. Students tell us that they learned a great deal from this week in industry, particularly how exhausting work can be.  Many now know what career they want to have in later life and are more focused in school. The School would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who gave our students such valuable experience.

On Tuesday 10thJuly Year 9 were involved in  International Day, where students took part in workshops designed to raise their awareness of the wider world  and to help them recognise what it means to be a global citizen.

After a morning assembly with guest speaker from the University of Nottingham’s department of Languages and Cultures, the students were able to try a variety of activities with an international theme. All were given the opportunity to experience a language taster session in Italian, Japanese, Russian or Welsh where they were able to learn to read and write a few words and phrases, as well as engage in some cultural activities, such as origami making! Fabulous kimono, by the way, Miss Simpson!
Other activities included a tutor group learning the Hakka-who I hear are now going to be employed by the school to ward off trespassers over the summer holidays (!) -Chinese cultural sessions, where students produced their own Chinese calligraphy scrolls, mime in drama, aboriginal spinning toys and international food tasting.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the morning and we had great feedback from staff and visitors about the interest and engagement that the students displayed.  An enormous well done must therefore be said to Year 9- you were fantastic- and I know they will join me in saying a huge thank you (or should that be “grazie!” “arigato!” “spaseeba!” and  “diolch!”) to the staff who gave up their time to plan and deliver the various workshops which made the day possible.
Sara DelGaudio 
A Level Results Day - 16th August 2012

Year 13 A2 results may be collected from 10am onwards
Year 12 AS results may be collected from midday onwards

GCSE Results Day - 23rd August 2012
Year 11 GCSE results may be collected from 10am onwards

Year 10 GCSE Maths results may be collected from midday onwards
(all other Year 10 module results will be available in September)

With very best wishes for the summer holiday
from all at
The Ecclesbourne School