The Ecclesbourne School
Christmas Newsletter 2013




Message from the Head Teacher


It is one of the more agreeable aspects of life as Head Teacher of The Ecclesbourne School that it can take a great deal longer to walk from one side of the school to the other than mere geography would suggest. A simple walk along the corridor last week involved being stopped no fewer than four times by colleagues who all had one thing to impart. ‘Have you heard about the Year 11 Performing Arts event last night?’ ‘You simply must see it.’ Dutifully I arrived at school at the allotted time thinking to drop a couple of things off in my office before we got under way. Outside the door was a crowd of 60 or so students and parents and before I could reach for my key, out burst a student in costume:

"Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life."

What followed was a magical performance of “Romeo and Juliet” in promenade, using various locations around the school as the cast hurried us along behind the breathless action: “Come with us, quickly, there’s no time to lose…’   The students were word perfect and utterly convincing. The musical accompaniment was imaginative and skilful and from now on the Boiler House will always be Friar Laurence’s Cell in my imagination. This was an example of how talented our students and staff are and how the very highest expectations of what can be achieved result in experiences for our students (and for those lucky enough to work alongside them) that change lives and our perception of what we are able to do.

At a great school it is not just knowledge that is acquired, nor even the shadow of lost knowledge that I currently rely on when attempting to help my son with his Year 8 Maths homework but, most importantly, the arts and habits that last for a lifetime.  At The Ecclesbourne School we are just as focused on developing character and nurturing the qualities of tolerance, confidence, self-reliance, integrity, tenacity and service to others as we are in our proud academic achievements. As you read this newsletter I hope you are able to get some flavour of the wealth of curricular and extra-curricular experience available to our students.

It has been a packed and eventful term and one in which we have been getting used to the transforming effect of our fabulous new sporting, dining and musical facilities. We began the term by celebrating outstanding achievement at both GCSE, where 92% of students gained five or more good passes and 87% did so including English and Mathematics, and at Advanced Level where 33% of all grades achieved were A* or A and 83% were A*-C.  At half term we were informed that The Ecclesbourne School is the 8th best non-selective state sixth form in the country in terms of average point scores at A Level. We remain fiercely ambitious for our students and what they can achieve and we are proud of our academic success. My experience with Shakespeare and our wonderful Year 11 students last week remind us all that this school is about a great deal more. I hope you enjoy the contributions from students and staff below and wish you a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.
James McNamara



Staff in the Spotlight and Ecclesbourne Alumni
James Marriott



I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ecclesbourne as a student and I am equally happy now that I am employed by the school. The PE facilities have changed dramatically since my time as a student. The new Sports Facility has transformed the department and the options that are now presented to the current students allow them to participate in a range of different sports and activities.
I left Ecclesbourne at the age of 16 and embarked on a Sports Science course at South East Derbyshire College, after which I decided to continue down the Sports Science path and attended Derby University to complete a BSc Honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science.

During my time at University I ran the 2007 London Marathon and raised £2000 for MacMillan Cancer. This was one of the greatest experiences of my life and also one of my proudest moments.
Following my three year course I was uncertain as to which route I wanted to follow within the sports industry. The field of sport offered many options, one of which was the coaching industry. I was lucky enough to have the fantastic opportunity of spending a summer in America, after I finished my degree, to coach football or soccer as it is known across the Atlantic. I was based in North Carolina, a beautiful state with fantastic weather, and met some lovely people who I still keep in touch with today.
When I returned from America I was fortunate enough to be offered a job with a very successful coaching company. The role suited me well after my time in America as I found that coaching sport and working in schools was something I was very passionate about.
After a few years I had a golden opportunity to become the School Sports Coordinator at The Ecclesbourne School.  The thought of working in the school where I spent five of the best years of my life appealed to me immensely.

Towards the end  of my second year at Ecclesbourne I was successful in my application to become the School's Sports Development Manager. Ecclesbourne's mission statement is "Learning together for the future" and it applies equally to staff and students. I am not unusual in coming to do one job and being trained and developed to tak on an internal promotion. Now that the new sports facility is complete it seems like I have found my dream job. Working day to day in such an incredible facility, with exceptional colleagues and students alike makes The Ecclesbourne School a great place to be.




Prize Day
Friday 27th September 2013


A time to pause and celebrate the success of our students.




'When it comes to getting an award, it is not about showing how smart or talented you are, but the commitment and effort put in to getting to that level. Being committed to coming into school every day is no exception. When you receive an award it makes you feel good about yourself and it shows that the effort you put in was noticed. When I heard I was getting this award, as with several others, I felt I did something to show that people can do these things when they try, rather than not bothering.'
Calem Eley, 9N
Lower School Attendance Prize Winner 2013



"It was good to feel appreciated, especially by Dr Rowe who helped me tremendously throughout my GCSE year."
Jessica Wade now Year 12
11R Form Prize



“I felt very happy when I won the prize. I really didn’t think I would win it.”
Jacob Macefield
8E Form Prize


'I was very happy that I won the merit prize for Prize Day.  Also, my family were really proud.  With my £5 book token, I brought a Malorie Blackman book, which I am currently reading at the moment.'
Molly Ward, 9N
8N Merit Prize


'I felt extremely proud upon hearing the news that I had been nominated for the ‘Outstanding Academic Progress’ award for AS level. I felt as though my efforts had been recognised, and the award has also indirectly given me a boost to work even harder in order for me to achieve my long- term goals.'
Jamie Barlow
Year 13


'This year has been fun and I am happy I have got this prize.  As with everything I achieve I attempt to make our school even better, although that is very difficult'
Fabian Van-Heerden
Chantry House Prize


"When I won the 8L academic prize it meant a lot. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and proved to me that all my hard work had paid off."  Thank you.
Madeleine Hobbs
8L Academic Prize



'Santas on the Run'
for Rainbows Children's Hospice

The chill air of Elvaston Park was not enough to extinguish the festive cheer of Ecclesbourne's twelve intrepid 'Santas on the Run'.  The amazing team, consisting of Harry Davies,


Iris Harwood, Patrick Meredith, Ruby Harwood, Sophie Close, Paige Monahan, Sophia Shaw, Logan Martin, Sam Kelly, Annabel Henley, Evie Bryan and Ed Phelan, accompanied by Mrs Bell and Mr Basey, ventured from the warmth of their Sunday sofas to dress as St. Nick and run a 4.4 mile charity fun run in aid of Rainbows Children’s Hospice.

Rainbows is the only children’s hospice in the East Midlands. Its staff work tirelessly to ease symptoms of very ill young people and to offer invaluable support to their families. Members of the Ecclesbourne Running Club who took part in this event did not only don their running shoes and give up their Sunday lie in, they also fundraised tirelessly for this event. Every pound that they have raised will allow the hospice to continue its wonderful work and will make someone else’s life that little bit better. They should be very proud of their efforts which exemplify our School Motto "Integrity, Tenacity and Service".



After a festive warm up and nerve wracking countdown, our terrific twelve crossed the line sporting full Santa suits, beards and hats. The course was a flat double loop of the beautiful country park, but spare a thought for our toasty little Santas - it’s not easy to run in all that garb! But they did it, all finishing and receiving a medal. Sam Kelly had a particularly good run, choosing to run the longer route and being the first Ecclesbourne student home.

A massive well done to all who took part and a huge thank you to parents who provided transport and much needed cheers.

It was a brilliant event which was enjoyed by all.

Rumour has it that Mr Basey was so full of the festive cheer that he wore his Santa suit all day and changed his middle name to Rudolph…

The Ecclesbourne Running Club are a brilliant bunch of students who are always keen for a challenge. If you know of a charity race event that you think would benefit from our support, please let Mrs Bell or Mr Basey know.

Well done to all of Santa’s little helpers from Mrs Bell!
To read more about the Rainbows Children's Hospice please click here.



Expedition for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award September 2013



In September, 25 students from Year 13 undertook an assessed expedition as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award. 

The four groups walked around 60 miles during the four day expedition in the Yorkshire Dales. Their routes, campsites, equipment and food were all planned by themselves, being supervised en route by staff from the school. They were monitored by assessors from the Yorkshire Dales National Park who checked their navigation and camp craft skills alongside how well they worked as a team.

The chosen place for the expedition is classed as “wild country”, which encompasses areas which are desolate and have high altitude and open moorland.

Some of the groups climbed all of the three peaks in the Yorkshire Dales; Whernside, Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough and every group ascended at least one of them. A great achievement!

In addition to all this they were totally self-sufficient throughout carrying all food, camping equipment and clothes needed to be on their own for four days.



All students successfully completed the expedition and the assessors were extremely pleased with their approach to the challenge and their positive spirit throughout.

The students hope to finish the other sections of the award by Easter and will then be invited to London to receive their full award.

Well done to them all!

 To read more about the Gold Award please click here.



Congratulations to Jack Ramsden

Jack has been chosen for the Great Britain Climbing Team (Bouldering).  He will begin training with the squad early in the New Year.



Maths News


Senior Team Maths Challenge
In November, a team of mathematicians from Year 12; Katie Burke, Aidan Goth, Stan Clifford and Sam McKenzie represented the school at the Senior Team Maths Challenge at Derby University. After a shaky first round, they settled into their stride achieving the top score in the final round and being placed seventh overall. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to spend a whole afternoon solving problems and taking on schools and colleges from all over the Midlands.

Problem Solving Course for Sixth Form Students
The Ecclesbourne School is one of the top ten non-selective schools in the country in terms of successful Russell Group, including Oxbridge, applications. An important part of this is preparing the students for the selection process.

Sixteen Year 12 and 13 students participated in a maths problem solving course, where they experienced the type of questions being asked at interviews with the top universities and questions that appear on STEP Oxbridge entrance exam tests. It was certainly a challenging but rewarding and enjoyable day.

Anyone who thinks they can tackle such questions could try answering
“How many zeroes will there be in the answer to 100! Which means 100x99x98x97x96x…x1?”



Design that logo…


As a part of the Comenius project Year 7 students were asked to design a logo for the project "United by UNESCO".  

Eacher Year our Sixth Form students perfrom a valuable service to the younger children by training and working as peer mentors.  As part of the peer-mentor sessions, with Year 12 students, Year 7 forms designed a logo to represent the project.

Students were given a brief to design a logo which brings together UNESCO sites from the four countries involved in our project: UK, Austria, Poland and Slovakia and some amazing logos were designed.


The Winning Logo

Emily Pearce, 7C designed the overall winning logo which will feature on all of the literature for the project in all four countries.  Her design was a shield to show a united front and incorporated the UNESCO sites of Giants Causeway (UK), Salzburg (Austria), Auschwitz (Poland) and Jasovská Cave (Slovakia).

In addition to the prestige of winning the project Emily also received 10 merits for such incredible effort.

More information about the Comenius Programme can be found by clicking here.



Kosice European Capital of Culture 2013


The trip to  Slovakia was a very enjoyable experience: lovely weather and people. We travelled from East Midlands Airport to our Polish partner school, in Boguszów-Gorce, near Wroclaw where we spent the first night of the trip.  

The following day we travelled for thirteen hours by coach to the European Capital of Culture 2013 Kosice in Slovakia.  At our partner school in Haniska we were greeted with an opening ceremony of traditional Slovakian singing and dancing from children and adults.




During the next three days we visited Jasovska cave in the Slovak Karst National Park; the Hammer Museum in Medzev; the Spis Castle;




the breathtaking High Tatras Mountains.




and Bardejov city in the Beskyd Mountains, where we spent the day having a guided tour of the medieval town centre.



Monday saw the students in lessons during the morning, followed by an Olympics themed afternoon and a BBQ and disco in the evening.

Mr. Whittaker, Mr. Martland and Mrs. Hayes would like to say a MASSIVE well done to the Year 9 students who were absolutely fantastic and an absolute delight to take on the trip. You made us very proud!

The students all enjoyed it too.



Five Year 11 Duke of Edinburgh Award volunteered to work  in the Secret Garden at lunchtimes

Matthew Ashworth, Danny Brown, Jed Brown, Will Goodwin and Louis Worth have endured all sorts of weather to work on the construction of the pathway from the gates at the rear of the sports field to the garden area. Their task involved constructing a wooden framework then in-filling it with wood chippings recycled from trees felled on the school premises.

Thanks so much to the group for your hard work.




Basic Skills Quality Mark 2013
The school was again awarded the Basic Skills Quality Mark in July 2013. The assessor was most impressed with the learning walk she undertook and overwhelmed with the portfolio of evidence which clearly demonstrated the commitment of the school to ensure that all students make excellent progress, whatever their starting points, and that they have access to a variety of provision designed to deliver basic skills.


‘The Head Teacher and SLT have developed and refined their own sophisticated tracking system, enabling all groups and cohorts to be tracked efficiently, in turn, ensuring all students have the best chance for at least good progress with personalised learning in place. The SLT have an overview of all learning in Basic Skills and one Deputy Head ensures all groups are effectively tracked. The system allows tracking in terms of ‘value added progress’ per student enabling staff to set appropriate targets. Targets are not only linked to progress but also attendance and effort. Formal monitoring happens three times a year, the skilled pastoral team ensure support is given with homework when needed.’



Congratulations to Megan Davies for winning the

National Historical Association Essay Writing Prize

for her work on
the history of Cromford.

Megan was part of a Year 8 trip that studied the site in light of the contribution made to the Industrial Revolution. She won £100 in book tokens and a book on the Second World War.


The History Department have already run another Year 8 trip to the site and looks forward to improving the link between the school and Cromford with GCSE coursework, analysing the rich vein of information on our doorstep in 2014 and beyond!




Having competed in a number of debates over various lunchtimes, I looked forward to the challenge of facing other Houses in a battle of wits, humour and intellect. My fellow House Captains and I assembled a team of confident speakers and guided them through the process, fulfilling our roles as determined representatives of Brindley. The final loomed ahead, but our win over Nightingale had strengthened our team. We would be opposing the motion ‘Mankind is Nature’s Greatest Mistake,’ so I fervently set about detailing what was great about our species, only realising when my word count had vastly outnumbered my English coursework, that it was probably time to stop.

The role of Summing-Up in the debate allowed me to criticise our opponents, Flamsteed, as well as put forward our own case. I was the final speaker, and so had the advantage of the last word. My speech meandered between discussing my Grandma, and William Shakespeare or ‘Shaky Billy, as I like to call him, because I think it lightens the mood,’ before arguing that Mankind is in fact Nature’s Biggest Fan. Whilst Flamsteed spoke, I furiously took notes, and then proceeded to publicly undermine their arguments with only a hint of enjoyment on my part. My speech overran my time limit somewhat, but the smiles on the faces of the crowd and my teammates informed me I’d said enough.

Brindley’s victory was a wonderful moment, as speaking in front of the whole of Year 12 and 13 can be rather daunting (credit to the Sixth Form Office, who do so on a regular basis) but we had prevailed. The trophy for Best Speaker came in the form of a used Pepsi Max bottle taken from Flamsteed, which I gratefully received, feeling a personal sense of achievement, and that staying up writing until half 11 the night before, had been worth it after all.
Simon Marshall   13AW




In November, the students of Year 9 visited a Hindu Mandir (temple) in Leicester for half a day.
Having taken our shoes off, we had a tour of a tranquil prayer room and learnt the story of Swaminarayana (to whom the temple is dedicated to) and how the Hindus worship. We then completed a worksheet with various questions on Swaminarayana and the Hindu faith.
When lunch came we were all very hungry and enjoyed a beautiful curry made on site that day by volunteers. We had a slightly spicy potato curry with chapattis and a sweet rice pudding (which I ate with my main as I thought it was just plain rice)
Everyone was so friendly and really made us feel welcome.  We had a fab time and learnt a lot. 
William Abbott 9L





In October half term, 17 Sixth Formers, accompanied by Mrs Clark and Mrs Firth, took the Eurostar to Paris. The aim of the trip was to experience as much of this splendid city as possible so we did not always follow the classic tourist trail and soon got used to jumping on and off the crowded tro to our destinations.

Our first day was spent with a visit was to the Mémorial de la Shoah, a poignant museum which stands as homage to the 76,000 French Jews who were deported from France during the Nazi Occupation. We also explored the Marais district with its narrow streets and trendy shops. That evening we dined at Flunch next to the Centre Pompidou and, despite the rain, enjoyed a visit to Montmartre.

The following day was spent at the Paris Mosque, built in the 20s as recognition of the sacrifice of the North African Muslims during the First World War. After a guided tour in French we ate couscous in the mosque’s restaurant – a welcome contrast to the menu at Flunch. The afternoon visit to the University of the Sorbonne was a delight with the attentive Serge as our guide!

The final day included an early start to visit the Assemblée Nationale, in the centre of Paris, which has been the seat of the French parliament since 1789. We then took the Métro to St. Denis in the northern suburbs of Paris. After lunch,   in the bustling market, our final visit was to the Stade de France, built for the 1998 World Cup. Then, sadly, it was time to return to the Gare du Nord for our train back to London and then on to Derby.

The students bonded extremely well as a group and were interested and positive the whole time. They were wonderful company and certainly made the most of this amazing experience.

Mrs Firth, Assistant Head of French




On Wednesday 20th November 2013, Year 10, 12 and 13 Textiles students visited the Victoria and Albert Museum and Harrods in London. 

The purpose of our trip was to visit the "Club to Catwalk" exhibition, which featured London fashion from the 1980s, an era when London was put firmly on the fashion map and which saw the rise of the designer label.

After our visit to the museum we carried out inspirational research on luxury brands in Harrods, which, of course, involved a spot of shopping before coming home! 


Jess Wade & Christie Berry
(Year 12)




On 27th September World Tourism Day (WTD) was celebrated for the first time at The Ecclesbourne School.

In support of United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, WTD 2013 was held under the theme “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future”. 

The 2013 theme highlighted tourism's role in water access, shining a spotlight on the actions currently being taken by the sector in order to contribute to a more sustainable water future, as well as the challenges ahead.

In celebration of this “Thought for the Day” was undertaken in morning registration for Years 7 to11 and Sixth Form students had an assembly which consisted of a quiz and some water saving tips. Throughout the day some spectacular images of key landmarks around the world were broadcast throughout the school, from Machu Picchu in Peru to the Golden Rock in Myanmar.

Also, in collaboration with the Comenius Project, a competition was held for Year 7 students which asked them to plan their own European tour, including how to get there, where to stay and what attractions to visit. This produced some fantastic results and produced a winner and runner-up from each of the seven forms.

Mr Whittaker, Teacher of Leisure and Tourism and our Comenius Schools Partnership Coordinator said “Creating awareness amongst students of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value is  important. The Year 7 students have clearly gained a great deal of knowledge from producing their European holiday tours. I am exceptionally proud of them. A big well done to all involved!”

We are looking forward to hosting the 2014 World Tourism Day when the theme will be “Tourism and Development in the Community”. 

World Tourism Day 2013




In October, Year 13 Psychology students visited Chester Green Police Headquarters to attend a presentation, given by CID Training Officers, on recognising faces and how to interview witnesses to crime. (Followed by a trip to Pizza Hut!)

In November, they attended a conference in Sheffield at which they heard presentations given by world-renowned Psychologists. The subjects included Compulsive Hoarding Disorder, the Evolutionary Significance of Babies’ Laughter and Psychotic Predictors in Childhood. (Followed by a trip to Nandos!)

"The trip to Sheffield was very informative and it was especially interesting to learn about the ways in which a degree in Psychology can be used as a career path. Thanks to Mrs Larkin for organising the trips for us, and for making sure we were well fed!"  Elliot Spencer-Keyse, Year 13

A good time was had by all

To learn more about careers in Psychology please click here.




French Trip, October Half-Term



We set  off from Ecclesbourne at ridiculous o’ clock on 26th October and began our travels to Albeit.   The journey on the Eurotunnel made our blood boil and steam come out of our ears, but it was worth it when we took our first breath of French air and began to take in the beautiful surroundings in bright sunshine.  The journey was long and tedious as many journeys are but we finally arrived in France.

Activities during our stay included going up the Eiffel Tower (the structure is so stunning and breathtaking) and going to Parc Asterix, which in my opinion was the best and most exhilarating as I had never been on rides before. We also went to Montmartre and The Louvre.

I had a great time and I know everybody else who went on the trip did too. It was really worthwhile and we learnt a lot.

Archie Playdon (8S)




Year 8 Quiz

The annual Year 8 Quiz had all Year 8 students pitting their wits against each other during form time on Prize Day.  This was followed by an Inter-Form Challenge Quiz for the chance to represent the School at the Midlands heat of the KidsLit Quiz held in Coventry in November.  Two teams of boys competed in a hotly contested competition coming in 14th and 19th place amongst 32 teams from all over the Midlands.

The buzz in a room of literary minded students has to be felt to be believed and as the organiser of the world event, Professor Wayne Mills, frequently says “the sport of reading can be just as demanding as other exercise!”.  Congratulations to Joe Leckie, Mr Mason and Mrs Smith who all won spot prizes during the event.



As members of the SSAT (Specialist Schools and Academies Trust), Ecclesbourne had the opportunity to gain a Specialism Quality Mark, based on the work already undertaken in our specialist subjects.


In order to gain this accreditation we were required to compile evidence of how our subjects achieve the current standards and why, in many cases, we are transforming and leading in this area of our work.

The assessor met with staff and students and we received superb feedback, which made specific comments on our staff and students and the general feel of the school.  

As a result of the verification visit on 22nd July 2013 Ecclesbourne School has been awarded the Specialism Quality Mark at the highest level of Transforming and Leading in Two Specialisms, Technology and Arts.

It was said that the evidence presented by the school, staff members and students was comprehensive, clearly indicating how  the specialist areas  have an invaluable impact on whole school development , contribute to learning in local schools and  the wider community  and, most  importantly, stimulate  excellent pupil  engagement, achievement and enjoyment.

This is a significant achievement in these two areas of excellence and our success will be recorded and displayed within a database on the SSATUK website.

A huge thank you to all staff and students involved.
Mrs Barson, Leading Edge Co-ordinator 2012 to 2013



To climb, to challenge to endure... and then to write about it.


Author Matt Dickinson was the first of several guest authors we plan to host over the year.  Matt started his career working with the BBC and has made films for the Discovery Channel in all sorts of challenging environments.

Sixth Form students were treated to his first-hand account of climbing Everest and all that such a gruelling expedition entails. His pictorial account (including frost-bitten fingers) showed what an inhospitable challenge the mountains present and there was so much information in Matt’s talk it was easy to understand why 70% of the fatalities which occur happen on the descent and not on the way to the top!



Matt also talked to Years 7 and 8 about his "Mortal Chaos" series of books for young people.  These are significant in that they happen in real time and have concise chapters.  Perhaps this is an author bringing a film-maker’s discipline to writing? There were certainly plenty of students keenly queuing up to buy his books when the hour was up.



Finally, during the afternoon, Matt worked directly with the Year 11 Creative Writing Group offering them hints and tips and strategies to improve their own writing.




This year we visited Brussels, Strasbourg and Rheims looking not only at how Europe influences British business but also the process of parliamentary debate.

In Brussels we attended the European commission and Bank to look at the development of Europe and the new member states as well as the opportunities and threats to British business. Brussels also offered the opportunity to try the Belgian cuisine and see the ever changing face of this busy multicultural city. We can thoroughly recommend the Hard Rock Café in the La Grand Place.



At the parliament in Strasbourg we were able to listen to interesting discussions of policies on infrastructure development and protecting the name of existing products from new entries to the wider Europe. A talk from the education team and Roger Helmer helped students to have a better grasp of our place in Europe. Infrastructure changes influenced all our journeys and the improvements to the road systems will be fantastic when they are finished, supporting businesses trading across the whole of Europe.



News from the Sixth Form


It’s been a typically busy and exciting term in the Sixth Form with the highest number of UCAS applications ever processed in one session, including 14 applicants to Oxford and Cambridge Universities.  We wish all of our Year 13 students our very best for the gruelling selection process. 

We were delighted to welcome Dr Snowden, Dr Wilkinson and Dr Nandwani who put our medical and dentistry school applicants through their paces in preparation for medical school interviews.  We are always looking for professionals and experts from a variety of disciplines to support our students in this way, with a range of post 18 plans, including applying for apprenticeships, so if you know of anyone who would be able to offer their services, please do get in touch with Mrs S DelGaudio, Head of Year 13.

In November we received the wonderful news that The University of Oxford have accredited us with being one of England’s top 20 Sixth Forms for 2013 against two measures; Average Point Score (APS) and Average Point Score per Entry (APE).  Of course, we knew just how well all of our students achieved in the summer but external verification is always welcome.

Other events this term have been equally successful; from the House Plays to the opportunity to provide a service to the local community provided by the Community Tea Party. Our Sixth Form students continue to thrive and energise us all.





Afternoon of Festive Cheer went down a Tea

Tea, biscuits and lashings of good cheer were enjoyed by all on the afternoon of Tuesday 3rd December at Ecclesbourne’s annual Christmas Tea Party. Hosted by Mrs Bell and her team of fantastic Community Ambassadors, consisting of: Leah Hollingsworth, Alice Vincent, Beth O’Driscoll, Amy Williams-Marshall, Oliver Eley, Nathan Cooper, Becky Crowley, Becky Wilkinson, Abby Close, Simon Marshall, Jade Roberts, Chris Handley, Victoria Wan and Hannah McIntyre, preparations for the afternoon had begun weeks earlier; with our refreshment station overflowing, an array of snazzy table decorations and hearts full of festive tidings,  we flung open the doors at 2.30 pm and were delighted with a record breaking turn out of over forty five guests.
However, the afternoon would not have been the resounding success that it was without the superb entertainment supplied by Miss Softley and a range of Ecclesbourne students. From the Chamber Choir’s gracefully beautiful performance of “Sing Lullaby”, showcasing an excellent solo from Becky Wilkinson, to Max Raynor’s, Felix Mackenzie- Barrow’s and Sam McKenzie’s cheeky yet sublime rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s “Pretty Lady”, the entertainment of the afternoon was top-notch. A huge thank you goes out to the performers: Amanda Bonsall, Polly Wilkinson, Emma Ford, Jess Lawley, Ellen Horner, Becky Wilkinson, Lucy Mabbit, Sarah Berry, Katie Young, Ella Hernon, Alex Smith, Ella Page, Jenny Davies, Millie Butcher, Jemima Rex, James Antonov, Ben Watts, Max Raynor Felix Mackenzie-Barrow and, without doubt, to the brilliant Miss Softley who put together the excellent repertoire for the afternoon.
Ecclesbourne Community Ambassadors would like to thank all our guests for attending our festive tea party and warmly invite you to attend our next event, which will take place in the summer term.

With best wishes for a wonderful Christmas from Mrs Bell and the Community Ambassadors.



Year 11 Young Enterprise Company



This year, OMNIA, a Year 11 Young Enterprise company headed up by Alex Chapple have undertaken a variety of activities including football competitions, organising a party, catering for parents evenings and selling candy canes.  The catering business has been a particular success with tea coffee and refreshments being sold at every parents evening and at a number of other events such as house plays.  Students have used the school canteen to sell refreshments and food to parents and have really shown some excellent enterprise ability.



Leisure and Tourism students brave The Smiler at Alton Towers



On Monday 7th October 2013, Year 10 and 11 GCSE Leisure and Tourism students departed at 9.00am sharp for Alton Towers Resort.  

After the short journey to Alton students were taken directly to the Education Centre for two 45 minute talks on Customer Service and Marketing.  Following this the Year 10 students were free to explore the park to gather information for their coursework while Year 11 students prized themselves away from Rita and Thirteen to attend a talk on business operations in preparation for their end of year exam. 

The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all - roller coasters, getting soaked on the water rides, eating at the many restaurants, more roller coasters and constantly unwinnable games. The weather proved to be in our favour throughout and everyone dried off quickly from the water rides! There were those who spent the day running between all the main rides over and over again and others who wandered around at a more leisurely pace.

The trip certainly showed we have many daredevil students who are not scared by rides such as Oblivion, Rita or Smiler!



The textiles department has held a Year 10 Christmas competition to design and make a quality piece of bunting.     



The winners are:  Debbie Macnab,  Emily McIlroy,  Rosie Blenkinsop,  Lydia Edwards,  Becky Corby and Kyla Fenton





On behalf of the PSFA I would like to thank everyone who came along and supported our events throughout 2013; an incredible total of around £9000 has been raised for use within the school. 

Over the year the PSFA have supported a variety of school activities, including furnishing of the new sports facility and reception area; prize day books; dress making mannequins; Duke of Edinburgh expedition camping equipment and riding team saddle cloths. 


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the PSFA for their on-going hard work.  As well as spending a lot of time planning and running the social events they also support Parent's Evenings and provide bar services at numerous school events throughout the year.  A lot of the work is behind the scenes but ensures that the events are a great success. Many thanks to you all.

The PSFA will be holding our annual meal and social event on Friday 17th January at the Chevin Golf Club in Duffield.  Please see the School website for ticket information. All welcome! 

Looking further ahead into 2014 we have our next Quiz and Chips evening on Friday 7th February, tickets will be on sale very soon; this is always a very popular event so purchase early to avoid disappointment! The last Quiz and Chips in October raised approximately £1700 and was attended by a record number of teams competing for victory in the newly opened refectory, an excellent new venue. 


We also have a ‘Race Night’ planned for April, a new event for the PSFA and we hope that you’ll come along to back a winner, eat some food, frequent the bar and have a great social evening.


All PSFA events along with our regular meeting dates are posted on the school website.  If you’d like to be involved with the PSFA in any way please come along to one of the meetings; new faces are always most welcome.


Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas.


Nigel Britton

Chair of The Ecclesbourne School PSFA





From all the Staff, Students and Governors of The Ecclesbourne School


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