Tickets Now On Sale For Our Upcoming Musical Production “In the Heights” – see flyer below.
Don’t forget our Post-16 Options Event taking place 4.30 – 7.30pm this evening. A good opportunity to find out more about studying at our outstanding Sixth Form.
See flyer below.
Huge congratulations to Sixth Former Ella Newbould who is studying A Level Art at King Alfred’s. Ella has been accepted onto the highly competitive Fashion Marketing Course at the London College of Fashion. This is a very prestigious course – the fashion equivalent of Oxbridge!
Well Done Ella!
One of our three excellent debating teams, comprising Lizzie Ratcliffe and Ed Record, are through to the Finals of the Oxfordshire Schools’ Debating Competition!!!!
There were 59 other teams competing, with the majority being from independent schools.
Congratulations to all of them – and good luck Lizzie and Ed in the finals!
On Monday, 7th January several sixth-form students from King Alfred’s Academy, the Downs and St Helen and St Katherine’s Schools attended an A Level Study Day on 18th Century studies organised by the Vale and Downland Museum of Wantage, in collaboration with the Universities of York and Leeds, the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities, and with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The day was also attended by research students and lecturers from Oxford Brookes University.
The keynote speech was given by Dr Joanna de Groot, Senior Lecturer at the University of York, who wove a fascinating interconnecting web of global history across the 18th Century, arguing that it is not possible to make sense of European history without considering its global aspects, and illustrating her talk with dozens of anecdotes and potted individual histories that supported this argument. She finished her talk by urging the students to consider viewing the world from different global perspectives and so decentre European history.
With heads buzzing with new ideas, the students then rotated their way through three main seminars, each run by different pairs of Academic Researchers from the two participating universities. One seminar, on medical humanities, considered the rise of the “man-midwife” and its cultural and political ramifications (led by Rebecca Simpson, York); and evaluated the role of children’s sleep in the 18th Century (led by Frances Long, York). Another seminar explored 18th Century literature, discussing the use of diaries and other life-writing works in the study of history (led by Holly Day, York); and the evolution of the epistolary novel (led by Helena Senior, York) with a focus on gothic novels. The third seminar questioned the ethical and cultural impact, both at home and abroad, of the practice for young gentlemen to go on a “Grand Tour” of Europe before settling down to their responsibilities (led by Lilian Tabois, York); followed by a discussion of the “Etruscan” style and Neoclassical Design, and how these patterns became incorporated into 18th Century Design (led by Hannah Kaspar, Leeds).
Hosted at the museum, the day was well supplemented with teas, coffees and delicious cakes, as well as a generous buffet lunch that allowed the students time for informal chats with the academics, as well as to engage in some academic networking.
The consensus at the end of the day was that it had been a truly fantastic event, which was supported by the discussion and calibre of the questions emerging from the students. Year 13 student Katie McDonagh commented at the start of the third seminar: “This has made me even more excited about going to university. I have loved all the discussion we have sparked off one another.”
Pam Stokell, Head of Academic Enrichment at King Alfred’s Academy, enthused: “This is yet another example of the invaluable education work done by our local museum, to the huge benefit of our students and consequently the community of Wantage. It is not without reason that the museum has, before now, been referred to as a gem at the heart of Wantage.”
At the day’s end, Mel Rowntree, Learning Access Officer for the Museum and the driving force behind the event, commented: “We were extremely fortunate to have an incredibly innovative and rigorous team of academic researchers led by seminal historian Joanna de Groot. We are so grateful to the speakers for travelling such a distance to share their time and expertise.”
The board of Vale Academy Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Richard Evans as Chief Executive in succession to Simon Spiers who will retire in April 2019. Richard is currently Director of Education at GLF Schools Trust, a multi academy trust with 7 secondary and 23 primary schools across the south of England and he is also the Chief Executive of the Oaks Multi Academy Trust based in Surrey.
Joe Pillman, Chair of Vale Academy Trust, said “We are delighted to have been able to recruit someone of Richard’s calibre to succeed Simon in delivering the Trust’s vision of securing an outstanding education for children across the Trust’s schools based in South Oxfordshire. Richard brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm and we look forward to the next exciting chapter in the Trust’s history with Richard at the helm.
We were fortunate to have a very strong field of applicants to choose from and are confident we have attracted a strong new leader for the Trust”.
Paying tribute to Simon Spiers, Mr. Pillman said “Simon has given his all to the Trust since playing a major part in its inception in 2013 and as former Headteacher of King Alfred’s and a National Leader of Education. We, and the local community, have benefitted enormously from his vision, his unbounded enthusiasm and his dedication to our young people over many years. We thank him and wish him well in his retirement.”
Commenting on his appointment Richard Evans said “I am very much looking forward to working with the staff, students, parents and the local governing body of each school within the Trust to celebrate what is going well and help each school continue to grow and develop.
The Vale Academy Trust has many strengths brought about by Simon and his team, and I hope to be able to build upon these in the years to come.”
We were delighted that, once again, King Alfred’s students were invited to join Wantage Church Choir for the annual community Christmas Celebration at Wantage Parish Church last Wednesday. Choir Conductor Jon Cox visited the school to help rehearse the choir for their performance. It was a delightful evening with some wonderful singing, getting everyone in the mood for the Yuletide festivities.
Well done to all the singers who participated in this special community event.
See below for just a sample of the amazing Christmas Cakes made and decorated by our talented KS3 student bakers from a range of fabulous creations – always a difficult decision to choose a winner!
Well done to all the students who entered – and a Happy Christmas to all!
106 dancers from across the year groups performed in two shows on Wednesday 5 December in King Alfred’s Christmas Dance Show.
The programme featured both group and solo performances in a variety of styles including contemporary, ballet, hip-hop, Irish and jazz.
Jess Honess, Lead Teacher of Dance, said “I was so proud of all the students – they put on two incredible performances and the audiences really appreciated the work that had gone into all the routines. “