Eco-conscious student chats to Blue Peter Presenter

It was great that I was able to talk to him about the problems of plastic.
— Freya

An eco-conscious student from Pool Academy spoke about her plastic concerns when she met a Blue Peter presenter recently.

Freya, the inspiration behind Wally the Whale, met Richie from the show at the Eden Project.

The Year 7 student approached him while they were on a break from filming to tell him about the large sculpture she helped make at school.

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He was so impressed with the whale, made from about 500 plastic bottles and other reclaimed items, that he urged her to write in for a Blue Peter Badge.

Freya’s mother, Kate Waistell, said: “We recognised the presenters. We went over and had a quick chat about plastic.”

She said they showed him a photograph of Wally the Whale on their phone.

Freya made the whale with a group of other students during Curriculum Enrichment week to raise awareness of the importance of cutting down on single use plastic to prevent it ending up on our beaches in the sea.

She said: “It was good to meet Richie. He was really nice. It was great that I was able to talk to him about the problems of plastic.”

She said she was applying for the badge and that Richie had told her he’d ‘kick up a stink’ if she wasn’t given one.

Wally the Whale has had a great response in the media being featured in The Packet and The West Briton. It has also been shown on the Surfers Against Sewage Facebook page which was shared by A shop in Turro and an Art gallery in St Ives, amongst others.

Freya’s mother added: “I was quite shocked how many people liked the post on social media. It is brilliant we have reached so many people with Wally the Whale.”

Former student returns as maths teacher

I know he will be a firm favourite with students, parents and other staff.
— Miss Meakin

A former Pool Academy student is returning to the classroom in September as the school’s new maths teacher.

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Stuart Hood, who believes ‘Maths is an essential building block for many subjects in life’, is looking forward to returning to inspire the current young people here.

After leaving Pool Academy Mr Hood went to work at Cornwall College in the Science department. This was where he realised he enjoyed working with students and supporting them.

He has since taught at Richard Lander School, Cornwall College in Pool, Newlyn Junior and Infants, Ludgvan Primary School, Leedstown Primary School, Alverton Primary School and Redruth’s Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change.

He said: “I am looking forward to returning to Pool where I was previously a student. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to work in a smaller academy with a strong caring, family atmosphere.

“I want to support the continuing development of Maths at Pool, highlighting the links between Maths and real life applications.

“My vision for the future is to continue to enable high levels of learning that inspire learners throughout the school and that Pool continues to play a significant role in the heart of the community.”

Mr Hood said over his teaching career he has taught in all areas of education - Primary, Secondary, 16-19, Adult Education, and has also supported Sports Development.

He said: “In each school I have worked in, I have worked with teams who have become County Champions/ represented Cornwall in a variety of sports including Kwik Cricket, Hardball cricket, Football, Rugby and Tag Rugby. I hope to be able to support students at Pool in this area alongside my Maths teaching.”

Miss Meakin, Pool Academy Principal, said: “We look forward to welcoming Mr Hood to the team at Pool Academy.

“I know he will be a firm favourite with students, parents and other staff."

 

Autism Champion grateful to parents

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Pool Academy’s Autism Champion wants to thank parents who have handed her presents at the end of the academic year.

Vicky Reynolds and the school’s Emotional Wellbeing Dog, Rufus, have both been given treats as a thank you for their work over the last year.

Mrs Reynolds was given a bunch of flowers and a scarf. Rufus was given some dog treats.

She said: “Rufus was lucky to receive some dog treats and I also had a beautiful scarf. I also received some beautiful flowers from another parent as a thank you. It was a big surprise and I was so grateful for them.”

As an Autism Champion, Mrs Reynolds helps to provide social and emotional support to pupils in the school with ASD, liaise with parents and carers, carry out classroom observations and complete referral. She also shares techniques with other staff to help them work more inclusively.

She has ongoing training and support to keep her up-to-date in her role.

Sprocker-Spaniel, Rufus, works with Mrs Reynolds in her office and enjoys meeting the students who come up and visit him from time to time.

Student takes the lead in upcoming production

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Two Pool Academy students are due to take part in an upcoming production of The Little Mermaid.

Roni, Year 7, has been selected to play the part of Prince Eric and his sister Ajai is taking on the role as Mersister.

The production is being put on by Centenary Drama group at Hayle Academy from 1st-3rd August.

Roni has been rehearsing for months for the show and is looking forward to opening night.

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He joined the Centenary Drama group about two years ago. During this time, he has performed as Young Caine in The Children of Eden, taken part in nativities held at Centenary Church in Camborne as well as being in other productions.

Ajai has been with the Centenary Drama group for almost four years and has performed in CD Kids’ Throughly Modern Milly, Show Stoppers, The Children of Eden and numerous Pantos and nativities. She’s also attends Bev-Lyn dance school which she started going to when she was four years old.

Lynn Griffiths, the children’s mother, said: “They started rehearsing in May and are very excited to be part of this production.

“The children have been working very hard and it’s going to be very vibrant and colourful show. The ages of the children in the show range from 8 years to 16 years.”

Claire Meakin, Pool Academy Principal, said: “I wish Ajai and Roni all the best for the performances of The Little Mermaid next month. It is incredibly exciting to hear they are taking part. Well done.”

Tickets can be bought by visiting https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/centenary-drama-group-cd-kids

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Year 11 artists praised for their work

I was blown away and left speechless by the magnificent art work exhibited by our students.
— Clive Bramley, Chair of Governors at Pool Academy

Year 11 artists have been praised for their ‘magnificent’ art work after officials and community members visited their exhibition.

Art work by Lucie

Art work by Lucie

The young people, who were in their final year at Pool Academy this Year, displayed their talent in the Pool School Art Gallery.

Parents, officials and community members were invited to a viewing of their work and many left in awe of the pieces created as part of their GCSE Art coursework.

Clive Bramley, Chair of Governors at Pool Academy, said: “I was blown away and left speechless by the magnificent art work exhibited by our students.

Mr Hague, CEO from Crofty MAT and former Headteacher of Illogan school, admiring some past Illogan school students’ work.

Mr Hague, CEO from Crofty MAT and former Headteacher of Illogan school, admiring some past Illogan school students’ work.

“I visit many art exhibitions and this one was outstanding. Our students deserve, and teachers deserve, enormous credit. Absolutely fantastic.”

Mr Hague, CEO from Crofty MAT and former Headteacher of Illogan school, said: “Quite simply, the exhibition was an outstanding display of artistic creativity.

“Staff and students of Pool Academy are yet again setting the highest standards."

Jonty Lees, curator, said: “This year Pool School Gallery has shown work by many well-known artists. 

“We are delighted that the final exhibition before the summer holidays shows work by young people from Pool Academy. 

“The year 11 GCSE exhibition is fantastic.  I am so impressed by the work on display. The range of ideas, materials and creativity is inspiring. 

“Art teacher Mrs Ellis and her team have done a wonderful job. 

“The students, their families and friends can be very proud.”

Mrs Ellis said: “It’s been a very creative and busy year in the Art department this year.

“The Year 11s have worked really hard to complete all the requirements needed to pass GCSE Art and have shown high levels of commitment and maturity to their work.

“The work is very diverse and individual with each student having the opportunity to explore their own interests.

“I am very proud of all the students and delighted that we are lucky enough to display their work in the Pool School Gallery.”

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Pool Academy welcomes new drama teacher

I’m looking forward to working with everyone at Pool Academy.
— Kerensa Crawshaw
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Pool Academy will be welcoming a new drama teacher to the school in the new academic year.

Kerensa Crawshaw says she is looking forward to working at the academy.  She has always wanted to work with young people and both of her parents are primary school teachers. It wasn’t until she attended Aberystwyth University to study Drama she realised she wanted to teach drama.

Her first teaching job was at Lipson School where she stayed for two years inspiring students. She then went to Sheffield for five years and then Liskeard School for 13 years before choosing to work at Pool Academy.

Her proudest achievements include seeing her former pupils going on to become actors and drama teachers. This year she saw one of her students get into the National Youth Theatre.

Kerensa, who went to school in Liskeard, said: “I'm looking forward to working with everyone at Pool Academy and some new creative challenges.”

Geography trip explores UK city

We had a brilliant trip visiting Bristol.
— Miss Conway-Baker

Students visited a UK city as part of their Geography studies to learn about air pollution, earthquake-proof buildings and flood management.

The group of Year 10s spent two days exploring Bristol and the Somerset Levels. They also visited Airhop, Cabot Circus and the Temple Quarter regeneration projects.

Josh, Keeleigh , Olivia and Carrie on the Bristol trip  .

Josh, Keeleigh , Olivia and Carrie on the Bristol trip

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Kirstie Conway-Baker, Geography teacher, said: “We had a brilliant trip visiting Bristol which is our case study of a UK city.

“We studied how urban growth has created opportunities and challenges and it really helps students to actually visit the places we talk about in class.

“We also got to witness first-hand the traffic congestion and therefore air pollution that is one of Bristol's biggest challenges.”

Miss Conway-Baker said this year the group visited the We Are Curious science museum to revise their physical geography knowledge.

She said: “It involved designing and building earthquake proof structures which were then tested on an earthquake simulator. One group managed to create a building which withstood 1.3G, one of the best they have ever had.

“On the way back to Pool Academy, we stopped at the Somerset Levels to have a look at the new flood management strategies in place. 

“All in all, it was an amazing couple of days.”

Pool Academy girls invited to engineering day

A group of girls from Pool Academy were invited to take part in the International Women in Engineering day.

More than 200 students from 13 schools across the county took part in the event which took part at Truro High School for Girls. 

It was hoped that by taking part in the day the girls would become inspired into aiming towards engineering as a future career. 

Organisers said ‘many of the girls remarked on how they arrived knowing nothing about engineering and left with many different and exciting possibilities to explore’.

Claire Giles, science teacher at Pool Academy, said: “It was wonderful to take our students to the event. They took part in several tasks throughout the day including, building an oil rig out of white chocolate and designing a wind turbine.

“They were a credit to the school. All girls put 100 percent into every task. I look forward to guiding their interests towards engineering in the future. A special thank you to Fiona Osman which organised the event at Truro High School for Girls.”

Karate student gets brown belt

“I had to work hard to get my brown belt but it was worth it.”

A karate student has been handed her brown belt after successfully completing a gruelling day.

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Alisha, Year 7, practises Doryoku Ryu Karate Jutsu four days a week in Camborne and Redruth.

She recently travelled up to Plymouth to take part in an examination to gain her brown belt, which is one belt away from the top black.

Two judges watched her complete hours of tasks before awarding her the qualification.

She said: “I went to Plymouth to get my brown belt.

“We left at 9.30am in the morning and arrived home by about 5pm.

“It took three or four hours to complete the tasks to get the belt.

“I had to do sparring and lots of push ups.

“I did it in front of two judges. I was nervous.

“My mum is really proud of me.

“I had to work hard to get my brown belt but it was worth it.”

Alisha is now working towards her black tag, the next step towards a black belt. She hopes to get this in six months’ time. After getting two black tags she will then be able to try and get a black belt in two years’ time.

Alisha has been taking part in classes for over a year and has also been taking part in a number of tournaments too. In the past she travelled to Saltash where she achieved a silver medal.

Smart suits and gowns at Prom

Smart suits and glitzy gowns were on show as Year 11s dressed to impress for this year’s prom.

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Pool Academy school leavers were invited to the event which took place in St Ives recently.

Thanks to months of fundraising the young people had an array of treats lined up for them when they arrived at Tregenna Castle. There was also a photograph booth and a sweet cart.

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Teacher Kirstie Conway-Baker, who helped the Year 11s organise this year’s prom, said: “The Prom was brilliant. The students all looked amazing and the weather was very kind to us.

“The room at the castle was decorated with sunflowers and there were lemon and grey chair bows.

“The students danced all night and there wasn't a time when the dance floor wasn't full.

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“I was very proud of the effort the prom committee put in to planning and fundraising for the prom they wanted.

“It was a night we will never forget. We have to thank Emily Rose Events Hire who worked with the prom committee to make their ideas into reality.”

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Pupils dig for valuables

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Pupils were invited to Pool Academy to learn what life is like for archaeologists.

The children were encouraged to get down in the dirt and dig for treasure as part of the fun history lesson.

Bits of pottery, coins and other artefacts had been buried in a section of the school grounds ready to be unearthed, washed and catalogued.

History Leaders from Pool Academy were on hand to help the youngsters in their quest to find as many pieces of history as they could find.

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Mr Turner, History teacher at the academy, said it was a great opportunity for children to learn independence and meet their future teachers if they choose to come to the school.

He said: “The pupils were learning what it is like to be an archaeologist. They were allocated history leaders from Pool Academy.

“The pupils have to find the artefacts, clean them, catalogue them, record and bag them.

“The event gives history leaders independence teaching the children what to do and facilitate the instructions.”

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Mrs Wyatt, from Treloweth Primary School, said: “The event was amazing. The children showed independence and great collecting and were really excited by the artefacts they were fading.

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The big dig linked well with our roman topic.

“It was a fantastic event.”

Mr Turner said the event had been organised for primary schools in the area.

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Student rewarded for help at art gallery

A Pool Academy student has been rewarded after helping out at an art gallery during work experience week.

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Sophie Ratcliff, Year 10, impressed the curator so much that she has even be asked to come back when she is 16 and sit on the board of Trustees.

Sophie would like to use her creativity as part of her future career so when she was invited to work at Pool School Art Gallery for a week she agreed.

During her time with Jonty Lees, galley curator, she met a number of different people and helped out with a selection of activities. She also designed and made the new sign for the building which Mr Lees hopes to install soon.

Sophie said she worked with young people and older people on a number of different projects over the week.

She added: “I had a good time at the gallery. It was a really fun and creative experience. Working with Jonty was really good too.

“When I am older I would like to do something creative.”

Mr Lees was so impressed with Sophie that he rewarded her with a prize of art-related goodies.

He said: “Sophie has been fantastic.

“We are thinking about getting young people on our board of trustees and when she is 16 she could be on the board. She could play a really important part of that.”

Expert to give Effective learning and revision talk

Students in Year 10 are being invited to attend an evening talk with an expert on the topic of effective learning and revision.

Dr Martjin van der Spoel is a chartered psychologist who specialises in using the mind as a tool for learning.

He plans to talk to students about how they can learn to balance focus, use motivation and study behaviour. He will also offer ways in which parents can guide and support their children through creative and constructive guidance.

The talk will take place on Wednesday 10th July in the main hall at 6.30pm.

Nigel Williams, a teacher at Pool Academy, said: “As our Year 10 move toward their final GCSE year, many students will feel under work pressure. It is important that such pressure does not cause undue stress, or revision become counterproductive.

“Some student can find revision emotionally and practically challenging.

“The presentation has a significant, but accessible, emphasis on the psychology behind the strategies of learning. Both students and parents should leave the sessions not only with the ‘how’ but also with the ‘why’ of effective learning.

“We do hope your child will be able to join us.”

Students have already had guidance from subject teachers but the academy is keen to further ensure students to know how to use strategies and revise steadily and effectively.

Water sportsman to visit Pool Academy

A British water polo player who took part in the Olympics will be teaching a group of students from Pool Academy.

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Craig Figes, who was team captain of the men’s team in 2012 for the London Olympic Games, will be visiting on Tuesday, July 16th.

He will be playing some water polo with a group of students in Year 7 and 8 at Carn Brea Leisure Centre.

Students have not played much Water Polo in the past so Tom Ford, PE teacher at Pool Academy, believes this will be a great introduction to the sport.

He said: “The PE department and I are very excited to meet Craig in a couple of weeks. It'll be an amazing opportunity for our students to meet such an accomplished athlete.

“It is also a great opportunity for students to complete a Water Polo session at Carn Brea Leisure Centre taught by Craig himself.

“This will be a wonderful way to reward some of our most hardworking students in Year 7 and Year 8.” 

Craig is working with Pool Academy as part of the school’s partnership with YouthSports.

Over the years he has taken part in the European Nations cup, the Commonwealth Games, the Australian National League and has been the Great Britain National Champion in 1995-1998, 2001,2007 and 2011.

Students battle the war on plastic by creating whale sculpture 

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Students have created a large plastic whale sculpture out of plastic bottles and reclaimed items to illustrate the effects waste has on our oceans.

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Eco-friendly student Freya Johnson, from Pool Academy, dreamt up the idea after collecting such a large amount of food and drink containers.

She wanted to raise awareness of the importance of cutting down on single use plastic to prevent it ending up on our beaches in the sea.

Affectionately named Wally, Freya hopes the whale will be used as an educational tool with fellow students and primary school pupils.

It was created out of reclaimed items. The frame was made from reclaimed chicken wire on an old table. About 500 plastic bottles were wired on for its body and a broken surfboard became its flippers. Old water piping, ducting and insulation was also used.

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Freya said: “The finished sculpture is better than I imagined it would be. It is definitely worth all the hard work. I hope it will help stop lots of the plastic use in the community.”

The sculpture was created during Curriculum Enrichment Week and Freya’s mother, Catherine Waistell, helped with the designing and creation of the whale.

She said: “Wally the Whale is all about the message on plastic which is something, as a family, we are passionate about. The message is we are looking to recycling but this should be the third stage. Initially we need to think about reducing and reusing before recycling.

“Freya was talking about doing something at home and she asked Pool Academy and they said it could be done in CEW week. I came in and gave a hand.

“It was hard work doing all the wiring. The children were brilliant drilling the holes in the bottles and taking part.

“It is the first time I have ever done anything like this. Once the mouth was on it took shape. 

“Wally is so lovable.”

One student who saw it said: “It is amazing.”

Another said: “I love it.”

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Mr Sidwell, DT teacher at Pool Academy, said: “They have done a really good job. They started with bottles and a pile of rubbish. It has got character.” 

Freya’s whole family are eco conscious and make their own soaps, cleaning products and do what they can to try and avoid using plastic.

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Footballers play in Germany tournament

Students from Pool Academy travelled to Germany recently to represent Cornwall in an under 13s tournament.

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Ned, Year 8, was selected to represent Cornwall Youth Football Select Under 13s squad. Finley, Year 10, was part of the Under 15s Youth Select squad.

The pair, and the rest of their teams, took part in a two-day competition in Ibbenburen.

The under 13 team did well ending in first place on the first day of the event. On the second day the games proved harder but they fought hard and came away sixth overall.

Rachel, a parent, said: “The Hawks fought hard and came away 6th overall. 
“It was a great achievement out of 25 teams. 
“Ned enjoyed the opportunity to play other countries and an experience which was fantastic, making new friends for life.” 

Ned said: “They play differently to this country. It was really fun. It was a good experience and I would love to do it again. I learnt lots of new skills.”

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The Under 15s team came fourth out of 30 teams.

Natalie, a parent, said: “They played well and got through to the semi-finals.”

Ned and Finley had to take part in a number of trials to qualify for the West Cornwall Under 13s squad. He played against 290 others to secure his place as a left wing player.

In the past Ned’s team have played against Plymouth Argyle Under 13s in Yeovil.

Finley recently represented Plymouth Argyle Centre of Excellence in the ME cup in Majorca against teams from Barcelona, Manchester City and Inter Milan.

Lots of fun on CEW adventures

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Animals, art, sunshine and walking were just some of the highlights from this year’s Curriculum Enrichment week.

Students from Pool Academy have been off on trips all around the country to explore and learn new skills. 

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There has been surfing, football, performing arts, creative activities, walking, visits to the zoo, skating and scootering, horse riding and much more.

In school a group of students have also been busy constructing a large whale out a hoard of plastic they collected from the community. They hope it will help to illustrate the effect the plastic waste has on the oceans. 

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Freya, Year 7, said: “We enjoyed doing the project. It is good fun. We couldn’t wait to see what it looked like when completed.”

Another group helped with the school’s sensory garden and also built an outside area with a hut, balance bar and more.

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Trips out included the art group visit to St Ives. Here they were treated to a look around St Ives Tate and the Barbara Hepworth sculpture garden.  It inspired them to have a go at making some art pieces for themselves.

One Year 9 student said: “It was fun. I liked the Tate gallery, it was good. I liked the piece of art work that looked like fireworks. It is something I would like to try myself.

Another Year 9 student said: “The gallery was fun and entertaining. My best bit was a sketch I saw at the Tate.”

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Anna, Year 9, said: “It was exciting to go to St Ives. I liked the Barbara Hepworth gardens.  I liked seeing the art outside. The trip inspired me and I want to use more clay now.”

Other students went On Safari, visiting a number of animal attractions around the Country.

Teacher Lisa Warwicker said: “When we spent the day at Cotswold Wildlife Park the wolves and lemurs proved amongst the most popular animals.

“We spent a night in Cheddar and then went to Longleat. The students were very good but the naughty monkeys stole the bus badge and some bits off of the wipers.

“Over the week the students enjoyed the safari drive through, a train and boat ride, and lots more.” 

The Law and Order week was a success with students getting to sit inside emergency vehicles and learn about the Coastguard and Fire and Rescue Service.

Football crazy also offered a week of skills and games in the well-loved sport.


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Students handed art awards

A group of young artists have been given prizes to celebrate their efforts over the past academic year at the academy’s Gallery.

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Jonty Lees, curator of Pool School Gallery, held a special event for students working towards their Bronze Arts Award with him at the gallery.

Parents, school governors, students, teachers and other officials were invited to attend the celebrations which ran from 3.30pm until 6.30pm.

The sun shone and a student had baked cakes especially for visitors to share. Students were all presented with prizes in the gallery’s garden.

During the event visitors were also able to view the students’ artwork on the walls as well as seeing Frisky, a sculpture by Sir Jacob Epstein.

Mr Lees said: “The exhibition went really well. We had lots of parents visit and our youngest support was nine months old.

“A student made some wonderful cakes and we gave out prizes. All the children received prizes.

“The afternoon event was a celebration of the arts award which they had started in September.

“It was brilliant and they all did really well.”

Mr Lees said after gaining the bronze award the students can start working towards their silver and then hopefully, gold. He hopes more students will start studying their arts award at the gallery in the next academic year.

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New books galore at Pool Academy

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Stacks of new titles have arrived to boost shelves in the school library after Pool Academy were named winners of a competition.

Students are excited to get their hands on chart-topping books including The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter. There are also stories by Michael Morpurgo and Benjamin Zephaniah.

The Big Book Giveaway competition was run by Scholastic and the prize was a haul of around 50 new books.

Sandra Hampton, school librarian, said: “I think it is fantastic to get these books. It is brilliant to win the competition.

“We had to say why we deserved to win. I told them I had been going to market places in my own time to buy top titles for the school library to cut costs. I told them how I was able to get books by David Walliams and The Wimpy Kid series. The judges chose us as winners so they must have felt we deserved the books.

“I asked students which books they would like to see in the library and ordered a selection which included what they wanted.”

Mrs Hampton said she hopes to see the books on the shelves, ready to be borrowed, as soon as possible.

One student said they were excited to see the new books and was looking forward to reading the Harry Potter series.

Lisette Neesham, Vice Principal at Pool Academy, said: "It is wonderful to see so many new titles. Reading is a wonderful past time that can whisk you off on a number of adventures whilst still sitting in the comfort of your own chair.

“I hope as many students as possible will browse the shelves of the library and choose one of the new, exciting books."

Buzz plans his latest adventure

Pool Academy mascot Buzz the Bear is coming back out of retirement to venture out into the oceans in a little capsule.

A new group of students from the secondary school are meeting twice a week to plan the small bear’s excursion. They hope that by sending him out to sea they will be able to discover where the currents will take him.

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The plan is to place Buzz and a small tracking device into a vessel and set it out from the shores of a nearby beach. They will then use high tech equipment to see where it drifts.

A Year 7 student said: “We are going to make a little capsule for Buzz to go in so he can go where the current takes him. We are going to use solar panels to give the capsule lots of energy.”

Students believe tracing his path along the calm and stormy seas will also show them the path waste is also taken. They hope this will show people why it is important not to litter and to recycle correctly.

Another Year 7 student said: “We are doing this experiment because we would like to see where plastic ends up if it is left at the beach.”

Phil Jones, who is helping steer the students on the project, said: “One of the main reasons for carrying out this project is because we want to know what happens if you leave plastic bottles on the beach. Where do they end up?”

Buzz the bear has been on many adventures as part of school experiments including being taken to the edge of space and going deep down a Cornish mine.