• Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use
    to change the world
    Nelson Mandela


John O’ Gaunt School in Hungerford joins Excalibur Academies Trust (EAT)

Launch photoJohn O’ Gaunt School (JOG) in Hungerford joined Excalibur Academies Trust (EAT) on 1st October.

David Wilson, Chair and Catriona Mangham, Development Manager of the Excalibur Academies Trust formally launched JOG as an academy within the trust by welcoming Principal Alan Henderson at the school in Hungerford.

JOG will be the third secondary school in the trust and has been selected because of its strong community ethos in addition to the belief that it is on the path to be outstanding.

JOG has undergone many exciting improvements over the past year, including a £1.25m investment by West Berkshire Council. This culminated in its students producing the best GCSE results in its history. These outstanding results illustrate that students not only achieve the very best grades, but they also make outstanding progress. The conversion to an academy will enable the Hungerford school to become more innovative and provide a strong support network that will help to reach its ambitious goals.

Lynne Doherty, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Education Services said: ‘We are proud to have supported JOG to this pivotal stage. We wish them the very best in their new venture and feel confident that they will continue to provide an excellent learning environment for local children.’

Alan Henderson, Principal at JOG said: ‘I am hugely excited about our partnership with Excalibur Academies Trust. Working alongside such high achieving primary and secondary schools can only help us build on our great successes and enable us to provide a world class education for all our students, giving them a launchpad to achieve their life dreams.’

Dr Patrick Hazlewood, CEO for EAT said: ‘I am proud that John O’Gaunt School is one of our International Academy group. It has an outstanding record of adding considerable value to every student’s education in a vibrant community where all are inspired to achieve. We are equally eager to learn from each other and share good practice.’

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Teaching School opens for business

Nicky Edmondson, Principal, St Johns Marlborough with Maths PGCE student Malcolm Hay and Sarah Frame, Director of Excalibur TSA

Excalibur Teaching School Alliance, based at St John’s in Marlborough is now offering primary and secondary school teacher training courses, starting in September 2017.

The one year graduate School Direct training programmes are run by Excalibur Teaching School Alliance (TSA), a partnership of primary and secondary schools across Bristol, Reading, West Berkshire and Wiltshire, in collaboration with Bath Spa University and Bristol University.

Following its designation as a National Teaching School Alliance in March, Excalibur TSA is accepting applications for its exciting new teacher training programme and is looking to recruit talented trainees at both primary and secondary level from across the region.

The School Direct training programme is open to recent graduates and to people looking for a career change, and offers the chance to be part of a teaching team from day one, by combining teacher training with on-the-job learning.

Successful candidates will be eligible for a tax free bursary or a salary, and will have the opportunity to train alongside experienced teachers in some the best primary and secondary schools in the country.

Trainees in secondary schools will be able to opt to work with either Bristol or Bath Spa University. The primary programmes are being run in collaboration with Bath Spa.

Sarah Frame, Director of Excalibur TSA sees the Teaching School as a huge opportunity for potential teachers in the area, saying: “If you want to help children and young people in your area to realise their ambitions and you feel you can inspire them to fulfil their potential, we want to hear from you.

“We are accepting applications from people who believe they have the potential to be brilliant teachers. Working in partnership with Bath Spa University and Bristol University, School Direct enables us to customise training to meet the needs of both the school and the trainee, who will gain practical experience from day one.

“It is a great way both to learn and qualify to become a teacher and many successful candidates quickly progress into leadership positions.”

St John’s Marlborough is holding regular information events to enable potential trainees to find out more about what is involved in becoming a teacher, and how to apply. The first event is on Friday 14 October, from 10:00-14:30 and places can be booked by emailing [email protected]

More information on how to book is on the Excalibur TSA website: http://excalibur.org.uk/excalibur-tsa/

There is a lot of support available nationally for people considering moving into a teaching career. The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is on hand to help people through the application process. Kim Mitchell, a Teaching and Leadership Adviser for NCTL, explained: Teaching is a fantastic career – it offers a competitive salary, flexibility and great opportunities for people seeking career progression. With the bursaries and scholarships on offer this year, more talented graduates will have the opportunity and support to become teachers and help young people reach their full potential.

“School Direct allows individuals to learn alongside some of the best teachers working in our classrooms today, and be part of the team from day one. By offering bursaries in key subjects, or a salary, together with outstanding training and development, schools are attracting the very best new teachers.”

Around 30,000 trainee teachers need to be recruited every year. To help with this, NCTL runs an annual recruitment campaign which plays a key role in attracting high-quality new entrants to the profession.

In addition to bursaries, the government also offers teacher training scholarships for the most gifted maths, physics, chemistry, languages, geography and computing trainees, in partnership with highly respected professional bodies – the Institute of Physics (IOP); the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA); the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC); the Royal Geographical Society British Council; and the Chartered Institute for IT (BCS).

For information on the routes into teaching, including School Direct, go to: http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching or contact the Get intoTeaching Line on 0800 389 2500.

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FHS celebrates its best results ever!

GCSE EXAMS 2016Sixty per cent of students at Fairfield High School (FHS) achieved five or more GCSE passes at grade C or above including English and Maths. This headline figure is up eight percentage points on 2015 and has risen 13 points in two years.

Students at FHS continue to make better than expected progress on a range of measures, including the old-style value added and the new Progress 8. The latter shows that students on average achieved a grade higher in eight subjects than might have been expected.

GCSE EXAMS FHS 5FHS students’ levels of progress in both maths and English in 2016 are above the national average. Seventy per cent of students got an A*-C in English and 69 per cent achieved those grades in maths. The figure for those who gained C or above in both English and maths was 62 per cent. Science was also highly successful, with 89 per cent of candidates gaining two passes.


Catriona Mangham, Executive Principal, said:

“We are so proud of our students. These fantastic results are down to the hard work and dedication of all staff and students and the excellent support we have received from the Excalibur Academies Trust over the past year. We wish all our students well as they move on to the next stage in their lives.”

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