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


Deadly 60 star Steve Backshall visits Burbage Primary School

Steve Backshall with Nicola Coupe, Principal Burbage Primary School

There was much excitement (and not just the children!) at Burbage Primary School when one of Britain’s busiest TV presenters, Steve Backshall dropped in to plant the first tree in the school’s new orchard, which will form part of a memory garden and also attract more wildlife into the school’s grounds.

Whilst there, Steve met the children during the afternoon assembly, telling them about some of his amazing wildlife encounters and adventures. Steve was also delighted to hear about some of the fantastic work the children are doing in their ‘Global Goals’ projects. During the course of this year, each class at the school is creating a project related to one of the United Nations Global Goals to develop knowledge and skills and to help make the world a better place by 2030.

Steve is famous for his Deadly 60 programme, as well as a whole host of nature and adventure shows, including Big Blue LiveExtreme Mountain Challenge and BBC Alaska Live. In addition to his TV and adventure pursuits, Steve is a prolific author, having published 13 books including his children’s adventure series The Falcon Chronicles.

Burbage Primary School Chair of Governors, Emma Butler, said: “Steve is very well known by the children for his TV programmes and we were delighted that he brought his enthusiasm for the wild world to our school. He was keen to hear about the way we use our wonderful school grounds to attract and provide habitats for wildlife and the children enjoyed telling him about their class projects to help the natural world. It was an exciting and informative afternoon in school and the tree-planting was a fitting end to the day. The tree will be joined by other trees over the course of the next few months and will create an orchard and memory garden to be enjoyed by all the children.”

St Katharine’s Primary School joins Excalibur Academies Trust

Excalibur Academies Trust is delighted to welcome St Katharine’s C of E Primary School into its family of successful schools. Assisted by Niki Jones Principal of the school since 2014, Gill de Berry, Chair of Governors, a new Year 1 and an ‘old’ Year 6 pupil Dr Patrick Hazlewood, CEO of Excalibur Academies Trust formally launched St Katharine’s as an academy within the trust with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Set in the beautiful and unique location of Savernake Forest St Katharine’s is rated by Ofsted as a Good school. The majority of pupils will progress to St John’s Marlborough so Excalibur Academies Trust’s commitment to all through learning was a key factor in the decision to join the trust. Niki Jones, Principal of St Katharine’s C of E Primary School said “Having undertaken considerable research the Governors and I firmly believe that joining Excalibur Academies Trust enables St Katharine’s to retain its autonomy and individual nature whist working with other schools, both within and outside the trust, to develop best practice and continuous improvement strengthening the school and creating new and exciting possibilities for the whole EAT community”.
Dr Patrick Hazlewood, CEO of Excalibur Academies Trust said “We are very excited about St Katharine’s joining the trust. With our focus on ensuring that every child, from the age of 4 to 18, receives an outstanding education they are a welcome addition to our strong cohort of academies which work hard together to provide an outstanding education.”

German Embassy invites FHS teacher to prestigious award ceremony

On Monday, 12 June, Fairfield High School (FHS) teacher, Sharon Barnes was invited to the prestigious 14th German Teacher Awards Ceremony (organised by the German Embassy) to recognise outstanding teachers of German in the UK. She received a ‘Special Mention’, which is a highly significant attribute for all of her hard work and dedication to the subject.

Sharon Barnes individual awardThe annual German Teacher Award and the ‘Sommerfest’ pay tribute to the work of German teachers across the UK and give guests the opportunity to network. Over 220 teachers and representatives from the education and language teaching sectors, business and media from all over the UK joined this year’s celebrations and followed the announcement of the 2017 winners.

Addressing the teachers in his welcome speech, Ambassador Peter Ammon said that “never before has your mission to teach languages as a gateway to another culture encouraging friendship, trust and understanding across borders been more important than today.” He was delighted to welcome renowned writer John le Carré as the keynote speaker for the event, who once more proved himself a staunch supporter of language learning as the key to understanding other cultures.
After the speeches, Ambassador Ammon and David Cornwell presented the 14th annual German Teacher Awards, recognising outstanding achievements by teachers of German in primary and secondary schools in the UK.
Sharon Barnes was thrilled to receive a “Special Mention” by the German Ambassador and comments:

“I was very pleased just to be nominated, therefore receiving the special mention award from the German Embassy was a great honour. I work hard to promote German and it’s a great feeling to see my students being very enthusiastic about the German language and culture. The fact that my work has also been valued by the Embassy is fantastic. I am grateful to work in a school where German is able to thrive. I am also thankful to have the support of Mr Lewis who gives me the freedom to offer extra-curricular opportunities for students to develop their German skills through projects in Germany. I have been quite taken aback by all the comments I have received from my colleagues, students and their parents, congratulating me on my award and I’d like to say a big “Thank You” to all of you.”

The German Teacher Award is jointly organised by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in London, the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom, the Goethe-Institut London, the Austrian Cultural Forum London, UK German Connection, the Deutsche Schule London, the Departments for Education in England and Wales, the Education Development Trust (formerly CfBT) and the Association for Language Learning.