Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy

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Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Retrospect 2018

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
A welcome from the Headteacher
It gives me great pleasure to present to you the twelfth
edition of the Sandwell Academy Retrospect. I hope
you enjoy looking through this in-depth review of the
achievements of students and highlights of the 2018
calendar year.
2018 was a year to celebrate for examination outcomes.
Despite the many changes to GCSEs, with the majority of
subjects moving to the 9-1 grading system, our students
did extremely well and we saw many of the Academy’s
headline figures improve. I am very proud and full of
admiration for the hard work and dedication of our
students and we were very pleased to see so many of
them staying with the Academy to study in our Sixth
It was also a very good year for our Sixth Form students
with 27% of all grades being either an A or A*. Our Careers
and Guidance Team worked hard to ensure they had the
best destinations with 80% heading to university. We are
also very proud of the first students from the Academy to
move onto degree-level apprenticeships.
These results are achieved on the back of high-quality
working relationships between staff and students. This
was further evident in the summer, when staff and
students rose to the challenge by participating in the
Academy’s ‘The Voice’. A wonderful afternoon where the
efforts of all the participants were truly appreciated by
the audience as they watched the live performances of
bands comprising staff and students.
Throughout the year, the Academy Performing Arts
department has been working closely with the West
Bromwich Albion Football Club on a project to
celebrate Brendon Batson, Cyrille Regis and Laurie
Cunningham, collectively known as ‘The Three Degrees’.
In December, Year 10 Performing Arts students performed
their production of ‘1978: The Ultimate Goal’ to a sell-out
audience. We were honoured to have Brendon Batson,
relatives of the Three Degrees and Darren Moore
from the Club attending the shows.
Many congratulations to everyone involved
in another hugely successful year at the
Academy. A big thank you to all our parents,
business partners and Governors for their
support in ensuring the Academy goes from
strength to strength.
Ian Williams

                                                    2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
The New Build
Science Extension
March 2018 saw work start on the Academy extension. The new build will consist of science
laboratories, classrooms, a new cloakroom and additional office space. The students have
been intrigued watching the build develop and are now looking forward to starting to use
the new facilities. These facilities should be available for use from March 2019. Thanks go to
Baart Harries Newall, IB Construction and the Dodd Group for minimising disruption during
the build.

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy                                                            3
Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
The 1978 Project
The Year 10 Performing Arts students worked with
West Bromwich Albion FC to produce the show “1978:
The Ultimate Goal.” This was the story of the club’s
‘Three Degrees’ and the performance was delivered
to audiences over two nights in December.
More than 40 years ago, our cities and towns were
very different and it fell upon this tiny little corner
of the West Midlands to produce one of the most
memorable and important football teams ever to
grace the national game. It was the presence of
three black footballers - Cyrille Regis, Brendon
Batson and Laurie Cunningham - which provided
the most strikingly visual metaphor for the changing
face of Britain. All three went on to speak candidly
about their experiences coping with the bigotry
and outright racism that existed in the game. West
Bromwich Albion remains extremely proud of their
story and is determined that it shall live on and it
was the students at Sandwell Academy who took
this story to the stage. Initially, there was no script,
merely the encouragement to research the story and
produce their own view of events. Time marches on
and losing Cyrille Regis earlier in the year added even
greater poignancy to the production. The show was
an incredible success.

                                                     2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy   5
Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy

      2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Artist Visit – Oliver Jones
Oliver Jones is a photorealistic portrait pastel
artist. He came in for two days to work with
our Sixth Form during Enrichment week. Using
pastels, students completed a large-scale
portrait from their own digitally manipulated
image. All students created a piece of work of
outstanding quality for their coursework.

Urban Art Trip
During Enrichment week, Art students
travelled to the Digbeth area of Birmingham in
order to study the wide array of Urban Art that
is on display. It will be interesting to see how
this trip will be a source of inspiration for their
own art pieces.

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy                     7
Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Business Studies
Dragons’ Den Business Challenge
Year 9 students have been involved in a “Dragons’
Den” style business challenge developing a
product for Unilever. This challenged their
knowledge of unique selling points, target
markets and market research. Ideas ranged from
‘Crazy Milkshakes’ to lactose-free ice cream. The
challenge culminated in students presenting their
pitch to their peers and invited ‘dragons’ who
were professionals from the Birmingham business
world. The feedback received was extremely
positive and students valued the project. Look out
for further challenges in future Business lessons.

Young Enterprise Tenner Challenge
This year, Sandwell Academy entered the
National Tenner Challenge Competition. The aim
of the competition was to make the most profit
from a business that was started with a solitary
ten pound note. Over 30 Key Stage 3 students
participated. Business ideas included car washing,
bakeries and a photo booth. The competition
also consisted of mini challenges, including logo
design, a pitch, a marketing poster competition
and a pop-up shop challenge. It was pleasing
to see the students develop over the course of
the challenge and they definitely enjoyed their
venture into the business world. Who knows, we
may have unearthed our own Richard Branson or
Anita Roddick.

                                                     2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Poet and Author Visits
This year, we have welcomed many poets and authors
to Sandwell Academy to speak to students across all
year groups.
In February, author Harriet Goodwin visited Year
7 and 8 students to celebrate World Book Day. She
discussed her books, gave some great creative writing
tips and even surprised the students with a short bout
of opera singing!
Author Bali Rai delivered a creative writing exam
technique workshop to the entire Year 11 cohort in April,
which proved useful in this element of their final exams.
He visited Year 10 for Enrichment in October, where he
discussed current issues and how he addresses them
in his books. Poet Steve Tasane also visited the Year 10
students for Enrichment and delivered an interactive
poetry workshop. All of the students participated and
the session helped to reinforce the poetry techniques
with which students will need to be familiar for their
Author Joffre White visited Year 7 and Year 9 students
in May to deliver his ‘Power of Words’ show. This was
about the words we use, and how they can affect
others. It also covered
self-belief and inspired
students to reach their
personal goals. Joffre
was able to get some
powerful      messages
across to the students
in a fun way.
In November, author
J.A. Zarifian visited the
new Year 7 students to
talk about her first book
‘Once Upon a Mouse’,
which was inspired by
some of her favourite fairy tales and fables.
Thanks to all our guest poets and authors for inspiring
the students and encouraging so many to visit the
Library and pick up a new book.

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy                           9
Retrospect 2018 - 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Design Technology
Arkwright Scholars
Congratulations to two of
our current Year 12 students,
who have become Arkwright
Scholars. After a gruelling
application    and    interview
process they travelled to
London to accept their awards.
As scholars, they both receive
a bursary to help them through
Sixth Form and are paired with
industry mentors. An excellent
effort from both as only around
50% of applicants get to the
interview stage.

Global Warming
in Year 9
Year 9 students tested their
printing skills in order to produce
environmental awareness posters.
This supported their knowledge and
understanding of sustainability.

                                      2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Creativity at GCSE
For their GCSE Controlled Assessment, students
designed and made household products inspired
by 20th Century Design movements.

Furniture at A Level
For their GCE Controlled Assessment, a number
of students decided to design and make furniture.
Some of the outstanding outcomes are shown below.

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy                   11
Field Trips

La Casa Encantada
The Year 10 Spanish students attended a performance by the Spanish native actors of La
casa encantada (The Enchanted House). The play was interactive and involved the students
at different stages and levels. The actors brought an element of humour and entertainment
to the performance and students were engaged at all times. The story was modern and
the language in the play was very relevant to our Year 10 students. The play was pitched
correctly to match the learning and level of our students. This activity helped our students
boost their confidence. They watched a play in a foreign language, were able to follow the
story, recognised many words and phrases and some of them even used these in their work.

                                                   2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Global Cyber Day - October
In the knowledge that cyber security awareness is
more critical now than ever before, KPMG devised an
initiative to visit and educate students about topics
such as social media, online identity protection, cyber
bullying, online gaming, and cyber threats. Global
Cyber Day was in October and reached over 30,000
students from more than 31 countries, which included
our very own Year 7 ICT students! The students
enjoyed showcasing their fantastic knowledge of
internet safety in many discussions and activities, as
well as asking some really insightful questions. The
Computing Department looks forward to inviting
KPMG to visit more Sandwell Academy students in
the near future.

National Museum of Computing
As part of Enrichment Week, Year 11 Computer
Science students were invited to Bletchley Park in
Milton Keynes, which was once the top-secret home
of the World War II codebreakers. Students had a
guided tour around the museum to view the Colossus
computer and the Turing-Welchman Bombe.
Students also took part in interactive workshops
to develop an understanding of the task faced by
codebreakers during the war. Our Year 11 Computer
Scientists really enjoyed the opportunity to be
immersed in history and showcase their incredible
programming talents.

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy                         13
Our House

This year, a cast of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students worked to produce a fantastic
performance of the Madness Musical, ‘Our House’. There were three leading casts, who all did
an amazing job on the three nights of the performance. Even the arrival of snow did not put the
students off, attending additional rehearsals and a rearranged final night. The final production
was truly outstanding with three sell-out performances.

                                                     2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy   15
Awards Evening
The Achievement Awards Presentation Evening takes place each year in July. This year
we celebrated the successes of many students across all year groups for their attainment,
progress and effort in subjects. The awards were presented by Mr Clive Tonks, Chair of
Governors, who handed out all of the awards and prizes to the deserving students.

                                                 2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy   17
Business Engagement
Industrialist of the Year
Mr Rob Dolan – Sandwell & West
Birmingham NHS Trust
Rob Dolan was awarded Sandwell Academy’s
Industrialist of Year award this year. This is due
to his ongoing support, positive nature and
his commitment to going above and beyond
to source numerous NHS work experience
placements for our students. The Careers
Department have been working with Mr Dolan
for many years and he has secured a wide range
of placements for our students, which has made
a significant impact on their development and
their opportunities in terms of applying for
universities or apprenticeships.

Birmingham Crown Court
Year 10 and Year 12 students have visited
Birmingham Crown Court this year. The students received a talk from one of the court
ushers about their role and the daily activities within the court. This was followed by a
talk from one of the high court judges, who shared his career trajectory and day-to-day
role. From here, the students attended several different trials, having the chance to observe
examinations by prosecution and defence lawyers, witnesses answering questions, and a
defence lawyer’s closing statement. The cases they saw ranged from theft and fraud, to
possession of weapons, and even murder.

Work Experience
All Year 10 and Year 12 students have had access to high quality work experience thanks
to the efforts of our Careers Department and the support of local companies. Students
have been to a wide variety of placements and have taken part in bespoke weeks including
Finance Week, Medical Week, Higher Education Week and Apprenticeship Week. Particular
thanks go to the Dodd Group, KPMG, Sandwell Homes and Tesco who have all continued to
actively support the work of the Academy.

                                                     2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
HE & Apprenticeship Careers Fair
As part of Higher Education Week, the Academy
hosted a HE & Apprenticeship Careers Fair. All
Year 12 students attended a series of workshops
in the morning, including Personal Statements,
Apprenticeship Overview, Social Media and
its Dangers, Self Esteem and Motivation,
and a Pecha Kucha session featuring six
organisations. The afternoon session featured
a traditional careers fair and was supported by
universities, training providers, FE colleges and

Liberty Project
Year 10 students were involved in a STEM
project with Liberty Accles & Pollock Ltd,
internationally known for metal tubing and
machining processes. The
Go4SET         challenge     gave
students        an    outstanding
opportunity to liaise with
experienced         professionals,
such as Harbinder Sandhu,
every week, tackling real-life
problems within the Liberty
Factory in Oldbury. On the
final day, students had to
present in front of the Liberty
staff judging panel. The staff
were really pleased with
the students' outcomes and
enjoyed seeing the journey
they had made from their
initial visit in July 2018.

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy                   19

             2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy   21
St. Johann Ski Trip
During February half-term, 24 students from
all year groups travelled to St. Johann in
Tirol, Austria to experience five days of ski
instruction as well as a range of evening
entertainment activities. Throughout the
week, the group had access to 43km of piste,
which was in perfect condition for skiing.
As well as the skiing opportunities, students
witnessed the breathtaking views and
scenery whilst also experiencing Austrian

During the summer term, 13 Sandwell Academy Year 12 students took part in the Prudential
RideLondon. These students were amongst thousands of riders taking to the start line for
the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46; riding 46 miles in the world’s biggest cycling festival.
Students took in the sights of the capital on completely traffic-free roads. The ‘Ride’ also
created opportunities for the group to develop their team building skills and road safety

Game of Our Own
In July, six Year 8 girls were invited to represent Sandwell
Academy in a new sporting initiative from the Youth Sport
Trust: ‘Game of Our Own’. The girls took part in a range of
activities during the day, from leading their own sporting
sessions to creating and delivering a presentation that would
highlight girls becoming more powerful in sport. The students
met Jade Windley, a professional tennis player, and Danielle
Waterman, a professional rugby player, who was part of the
winning World Cup team in 2014.

                                                    2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy

The Brain Tumour Charity
On Saturday 8 September, a Year 11 student and his family hosted an inspiring fundraising
event at Wednesbury Town Hall. A grand total of £3,700 was raised to share between
two chosen charities. The Brain Tumour Charity was gifted £2,375 to continue helping the
lives of people and families affected by a brain tumour. The remainder was donated to the
Birmingham Children’s Hospital, who supported the student and his family through recent
operations and recovery.

Race for Life
During the final week of the summer term, over 500 students from Years 7 to 10 participated
in a 5 kilometre sponsored Race for Life event that raised money for Cancer Research UK.
Armed with their sponsor forms, students worked extremely hard to raise as much money
as they could from family and friends. On top of this, students donated £1 each of their own
money to run the race. As a result of this amazing effort made by our students, we raised a
total of £5,015 to support Cancer Research UK.

Sky Dive
A daring Sixth Form student raised £4,000 for
the Khalsa Sanctuary in India. This is a charitable
organisation that provides shelter and educational
opportunities for children from deprived families or
who have no family.

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy                                                         23
Hannah Escott Visit
During the Summer term, Year 7 had a special visit from
GB 4X champion Hannah Escott. She delivered her ‘Dare
to Achieve?’ presentation to the year group, in which
Hannah explained how she dreaded PE at school, yet
went on to become a GB Cycling Team Racer in 2015, and
in 2016 became Women's World 4X Mountain Bike Series
Champion. A group of students were then selected to
take part in a coaching session delivered by Hannah. All
students committed to the challenge to complete obstacle
courses where they picked up new skills and displayed
great determination.

ESFA Premier League National Elite Cup
Champions 2018
The Year 11 Boys Football team competed in the final of
the ESFA Premier League National Elite Cup against
Ravenswood School from Kent. The final took place on
Thursday 10 May at the Bet365 Stadium, home of Stoke
City FC. The Sandwell team put on a dominant display,
controlling the match throughout and finishing 3-0 winners.
The Year 11 boys became the first team in Academy history
to win back to back National Cup titles.

                                                     2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy   25
U13 Girls Sandwell Indoor Athletics Winners
U13 Boys Sandwell Indoor Athletics Runners Up
U14 Girls Sandwell Cup Winners
U14 Girls Black Country Games Winners
U14 West Midlands Cup Runners Up
U14 Staffordshire Chance to Shine Runners Up
Year 7 Sandwell Cup Winners
Year 7 5-a-side Sandwell District Winners
Year 8 Sandwell Cup Winners
Year 8 West Midlands Cup Winners
Year 9 Sandwell Cup Winners
Year 10 Sandwell Cup Winners
Year 11 Sandwell Cup Winners
Year 11 West Midlands Cup Winners
Year 11 ESFA National Cup Winners
U18 West Midlands Cup Winners
U13 Girls Sandwell Winners
U13 Girls Black Country Games Runners Up
U18 Boys Sandwell Champions
U18 Boys Black Country Games Runners Up
Girls Football
U14 West Midlands Cup Winners
U14 Girls Sandwell Winners
U14 Black Country Games
U14 National Finalists
U14 Girls Sandwell Winners
U14 Girls Black Country Games Winners

                                                2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy   27
Duke of Edinburgh
This year, 56 students participated in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, 14 in the
Silver Award and five students embarked on the task of completing a Gold Award. For
each award, participants have to complete different phases, including developing a skill,
partaking in physical activity, involvement in volunteering and participation in an expedition.
These included some amazing activities: learning a language, swimming, martial arts and
working with animals. This year’s cohort have shown immense dedication, determination
and commitment. We look forward to next year where a new group of intrepid explorers will
take on the challenges of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. We are also pleased to announce
that two of our students went to St. James’s Palace to receive their Gold Awards. Well done
on all of your great achievements.

Army Cadet Force
The Army Cadet Force is one of four Cadet organisations sponsored and supported by the
Ministry of Defence, the others being the Combined Cadet Force, the Sea Cadet Corps, and
the Air Training Corps. Sandwell Academy’s ACF Cadets meet twice weekly during Session
3 to learn a combination of drill practice, first aid, shooting and fieldcraft. Weekend camps
are offered as an integral part of Cadets to develop military skills and train with Cadets from
other local detachments. Parades are held on occasions such as the anniversary of World
War One to honour those who sacrificed their lives for us. We are also looking forward to our
first group of Cadets attending a summer training camp and tour in South Africa in August

                                                     2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Results Days
GCSE Results
Sandwell Academy celebrated an excellent set of GCSE outcomes after Year 11 students
achieved a fantastic set of results.
68% of students achieved pass grades or better in English and Maths, with 82% achieving a
pass in either English Literature or Language.
78% of all results were graded A*-C or the new 9-4 across a range of subjects. Outcomes
were especially high in Science, Religious Education, Physical Education, Business, Art and
34% of students achieved the English Baccalaureate gained by achieving grade 4 or better
in English, Mathematics, two Science subjects, Geography or History and a Modern Foreign
86% of students achieved five or more GCSE qualifications at grade 9-4 (A*-C), with every
student achieving success in at least one Level 2 course combined with other vocational

Superb Results for Sandwell Academy Sixth Form Students
In Summer 2018, Sixth Form students achieved another excellent set of A Level examination
results. Outstanding outcomes included 27% A*/A grades and 75% A*/C grades.
The new, tougher A-Level and BTEC courses have proved challenging; however, Sandwell
Academy students have consistently led the way in Sixth Form performance in the borough
since it opened in 2006 and this year’s results demonstrate the hard work of students and
staff at the Academy.
All students should be rightly proud of their achievements but amongst the outstanding
performances were James Nock who achieved A* grades in Physics and Mathematics and A
grades in Further Mathematics and Computer Science.

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy                                                        29
Awards Evening

                     Selected Winners
                  Business Enterprise Specialism
                           Lois Williams
                    Sports Specialism Award
                          Trinity Parkes
                    Outstanding Attendance
                        Rebecca Andrews
                          Joshua Harper
                         Leah Thompson
                         Jodie Wheatley
                      Outstanding Progress
                         Stephanie Blake
                     Academic Achievement
                           Mia Ashfield
                      Personality of the Year
                         Bradley Burton
                       Student of the Year
                         Leah Thompson

             2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy
Year 11 Awards
 In November, the Year 11
 class of 2018 came together
 again to receive their GCSE
 certificates and celebrate their
 achievements over their five
 years at Sandwell Academy.

2018 in review @ Sandwell Academy   31
Sandwell Academy
Halfords Lane, West Bromwich, B71 4LG
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