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  • Tor Bridge High marks World Book Day

    Published 11/03/24

    Tor Bridge High celebrated World Book Day last week (7th March) by putting on a range of crafts, quizzes, games, and competitions! 

    Years 7, 8 and 9 were able to choose a free World Book Day book from school during the week and World Book Day tokens were available to students so that they are able to choose another book for free from venues such as Tesco, Asda, The Works, Sainsbury's and Waterstones!

    The school also organised a book swap and a treasure hunt of Carnegie Medal winning books around the site, as well as transforming the library into a Starbooks cafe - to help students find the perfect blend of book. Displays and activities were on offer to help students pick a book that is right for them; a 'tall' short story, a regular-sized 'grande', or a lengthy 'venti!’ 

    The school library is often a hub of literary action hosting four massive events a year, Harry Potter Week, Book Week, Sci-Fi Week and Marvel Week. Harry Potter Week held earlier in the year saw themed activities arranged from enabling Year 7 students to be ‘sorted’, to making their own wands, taking part in quidditch, experimenting with alchemy and much more. Little Hogwarts was also opened up so that family members and the wider community could come along and join in the magic.

    As part of Book Week earlier in the week, Tor Bridge was delighted to welcome author and actor Joseph Elliott into the school to speak to Year 7 and 8 students about what life is like as an actor and author.  

    Alongside starring in CBBC’s Swashbuckle and writing for programmes such as Horrible Histories, Joseph wrote in secret for years. His debut novel, The Good Hawk, released in 2020, was nominated for several awards and was The Times' Book of the Year. The sequels – The Broken Raven, and The Burning Swift – were released to similar critical acclaim.

    Tracy Stephenson, Headteacher at Tor Bridge High said:

    “I am so grateful to the staff members who work so hard to put our library at the heart of the student and wider community. Getting children to enjoy reading is central to them getting the most out of their education and it’s clear how much fun our students have had this World Book Day.”

        

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  • #InternationalWomensDay

    Published 08/03/24

    Today, we celebrate International Women's Day through the remarkable female leaders within our Trust who inspire us every day with their brilliance and passion. We asked them: What are you most proud of, and who inspires you? Their answers embody our values of how we are brave, kind and stronger together. Let's continue to uplift and support each other as we strive for progress and equity!

    Who inspires you?

    What are you most proud of? 

     

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  • Plymouth schools celebrate World Book Day

    Published 07/03/24

    Plymouth schools have been celebrating World Book Day this week (7th March.)

    World Book Day was created by UNESCO in 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, it is marked in over 100 countries.  The World Book Day charity’s Strategy 2023-27 sets out that its aim is “more children, from all backgrounds, developing a life-long habit of reading for pleasure, benefiting from the improved life chances this brings them.”

    Lipson Academy, part of the Ted Wragg Trust (TWT) family of schools held a ‘design your own book token’ competition as well as running badge making workshops and a literary quiz. 

    Marine Academy Primary, also part of the TWT, has had a book fair running every day this week to encourage children to get reading.  The school have also transformed their classrooms to take on the theme of a book and encouraged staff and students to dress in pyjamas and costumes to take part in some cosy reading.

    Staff across the Ted Wragg Trust have also been taking part in an Extreme Reading Competition where staff have submit pictures of themselves reading somewhere unusual. The winning staff member will be rewarded with a new set of books for a school of their choice. Take a look at the video below. 

    The World Book Day charity promotes reading by celebrating the joy of books, authors, illustrators and reading for pleasure, along with transforming attitudes and changing behaviours by providing content to promote reading for fun.  They also ensure that every child gets to choose a book of their own with the World Book Day £1 books and tokens.

    The National Literacy Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey, recorded the lowest level of reading enjoyment since the trust began its survey in 2005.  They found that just 2 in 5 (43.4%) children and young people aged 8 to 18 said they enjoyed reading in their free time in 2023, the lowest level since they first asked the question in 2005.  The survey also concluded that fewer than 3 in 10 (28.0%) children and young people aged 8 to 18 said that they read daily in 2023. 

    Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Trust said:

    “Reading confidently is the foundation of education and reading for enjoyment is even better!  As such, I am so glad that our schools have made such efforts to mark World Book Day this week. I do hope our students will all be going home with something new to read.”

        

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  • Exeter schools celebrate World Book Day

    Published 07/03/24

    Exeter students have been celebrating World Book Day this week (7th March.)

    World Book Day was created by UNESCO in 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, it is marked in over 100 countries. The World Book Day charity’s Strategy 2023-27 sets out that its aim is “more children, from all backgrounds, developing a life-long habit of reading for pleasure, benefiting from the improved life chances this brings them.”

    The day went off with a bang in Ted Wragg Trust schools across Exeter, at St Lukes there was a book swap and cake sale in the library with money raised being donated to The Children’s Literacy Charity. The school also held a ‘big read’ challenge, where the whole school read a short story over the course of the day, as well as a ‘Guess the teacher’ tutor quiz with chocolate prizes for the winning tutor group.

    Over at the Whipton Barton Federation they celebrated with the theme, ‘Books we love to share’ and gave out prizes for the most creative costumes. They also held a competition to design a new bookmark for the federation, including the school colours and logo.

    Isca Academy put on a book sale and staff delivered lessons wearing costumes from their favourite books.

    Queen Elizabeth’s School held a range of quizzes and activities, including identifying a shredded book in a jar from visible text.  They also held a ReadingZone Live's author event, Writing Thrillers and Horror with SJ Wills and had author Sarah Crossan into the school to talk about her book Where the Heart Should Be.

    Exwick Heights also welcomed an author in to talk to pupils, Anne Parsons-Bryce author of the popular ‘Archie’ series came in on World Book Day itself and stayed after school to sign copies of her latest book. 

    Staff across the Ted Wragg Trust have also been taking part in an Extreme Reading Competition where staff have submit pictures of themselves reading somewhere unusual. The winning staff member will be rewarded with a new set of books for a school of their choice. Take a look at the video below. 

    The World Book Day charity promotes reading by celebrating the joy of books, authors, illustrators and reading for pleasure, along with transforming attitudes and changing behaviours by providing content to promote reading for fun. They also ensure that every child gets to choose a book of their own with the World Book Day £1 books and tokens.

    The National Literacy Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey, recorded the lowest level of reading enjoyment since the trust began its survey in 2005. They found that just 2 in 5 (43.4%) children and young people aged 8 to 18 said they enjoyed reading in their free time in 2023, the lowest level since they first asked the question in 2005. The survey also concluded that fewer than 3 in 10 (28.0%) children and young people aged 8 to 18 said that they read daily in 2023. 

    Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Trust said:

    “Reading confidently is the foundation of education and reading for enjoyment is even better!  As such, I am so glad that our schools have made such efforts to mark World Book Day this week. I do hope our students will all be going home with something new to read.”

       

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  • Ted Wragg Trust shortlisted for MAT Excellence Award

    Published 04/03/24

    The Ted Wragg Trust, a family of 16 schools based across Devon has been shortlisted for a prestigious Multi Academy Trust (MAT) Excellence Award.

    The Trust has been shortlisted for the Staff Development Award. To succeed in their mission to ‘transform lives and strengthen communities to make the world a better place’ our family of schools knows they must ‘grow great people’ as the teachers and co-professionals across schools are the ones who support, inspire and help unlock the potential of children across their school communities every day. 

    At the heart of the Trust’s people strategy is a commitment to ensuring that all employees enjoy high-quality development and this commitment is embedded across all schools. All trust employees have access to enabling and transformative development, excellent leadership development programmes including Future Headship programmes, outstanding networks and regular and supportive instructional coaching for all teachers to support their continual development.

    The MAT Excellence Awards give trusts across the UK the opportunity to celebrate their achievements and allows trusts to showcase their expertise and share their knowledge with peers. The awards ceremony will be held later this year. 

    Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Trust said:

    “I am delighted that the trust has been shortlisted for a MAT Excellence Award, it’s amazing to see the efforts we have put into making the trust a brilliant place to work being recognised. We want to be one of the best employers in the South West and know that empowering our staff to be the very best they can be, means they are doing their very best by our young people.”

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  • Exeter students celebrate LGBT+ History Month

    Published 28/02/24

    Exeter students have been celebrating LGBT+ History Month this month and are taking part in LGBT+ History Month runs for the whole of February that was first celebrated in 2005. The overall aim of LGBT+ History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public.  This is done by increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT+”) people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community. 

    At West Exe School, part of the Ted Wragg Trust family of schools, Year 8 and Year 10 have been learning about gender identity and equality though the West Exe Baccalaureate and displays have been put up around the school highlighting the contributions the LGBT+ community has made to medicine, science and health care.

    Students in Years 7 to 10 are taking part in a competition to design the official LGBT+ History Month badge for 2025, the final entries from each year group will be selected to represent West Exe School in the nationwide competition.  The winning design will be made into the official badge for 2025 and sold across the UK, each year there is an official badge for LGBT+ History Month which helps raise awareness and funds. 

    Teachers at the school are taking time out of their lessons to encourage discussions on certain individuals that have made an impact on their subject areas, for example, in History students have learnt of the challenges and impact Alan Turing made during World War II, in Geography, students have learnt of Mary Anning’s groundbreaking work in palaeontology and in Maths students have looked at Cecil Belfield Clarkes mathematical formulas for medicating children safely.

    At Queen Elizabeth’s School in Crediton, also part of the Ted Wragg Trust, students have had assemblies and undertaken activities to aid in the understanding of the different key terms and some of the history behind the creation of LGBT+ History month. 

    Surveys have shown that pupils in schools with strong positive messaging about being LGBT+ have drastically improved wellbeing and feel safer – regardless of whether they are LGBT+ or not.

     Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Trust said:

    “At the Ted Wragg Trust we pride ourselves on our inclusivity and as such I was delighted to hear about the effort several of our Exeter schools have put into raising awareness of LGBT+ History Month.  It’s absolutely right that schools should be raising awareness and advancing education on matters affecting the LGBT+ community.”

      

     

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  • Plymouth pupils celebrate LGBT+ History Month

    Published 22/02/24

    Plymouth pupils have been celebrating LGBT+ History Month this month with children from Marine Academy Primary’s Academy Parliament leading a LGBT+ assembly for Key Stage 2. 

    LGBT+ History Month runs for the whole of February and was first celebrated in 2005.  The overall aim of LGBT+ History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public.  This is done by increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT+”) people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community. 

    The Academy Parliament pupils at Marine Academy Primary, which is part of the Ted Wragg Trust family of schools, did a brilliant job leading the assembly and they wore brightly coloured clothes to show their respect towards the LGBTQ+ community. The assembly helped raise awareness about what is meant by LGBTQ+ and they spoke about inspirational people such as Elton John, Sam Smith and local diving hero, Tom Daley. 

    Nicola Keeler and Georgina Reid Co Headteachers at Marine Academy Primary said:

    “We are so proud of our Academy Parliament pupils for the impressive and inspirational way in which they delivered the LGBT+ assembly.  It’s so important for young people to learn all about others who may be different to them and it’s been brilliant to discuss this during LGBT+ History Month.”

     Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Trust said:

    “At the Ted Wragg Trust we pride ourselves on our inclusivity and as such I was delighted to hear about the LGBT+ assembly conducted by children at Marine Academy Primary.  It’s absolutely right that schools should be raising awareness and advancing education on matters affecting the LGBT+ community.”

        

          

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  • Local students take part in national philosophy competition

    Published 22/02/24

    Several students from West Exe School, part of our family of schools, recently took part in Philosothon UK.

    A Philosothon is a friendly “competition” between small teams in which students participate in a series of “Communities of Inquiry” and are judged by the quality of their participation. Students are asked to consider open-ended questions which require an extended response and typically involve appeal to more than one discipline. 

    Students are asked to have a conversation in mixed age group teams about a clearly defined philosophical or ethical issue. They are judged by professional philosophers from local universities on the level of their engagement with the topic and with each other.

    Following on from their impressive performance in the University of Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition, Mia Wyatt and Amelie Walch in Year 10, joined together with Year 11s Poppy O’Neale and Evie Kane and Year 9s Flo Richardson and Klara Oczko to represent West Exe School at Philosothon UK. 

    The whole team was amazing, making some really insightful comments and respectfully challenging or questioning the views of the students from the other competing schools. At the end of the evening, Evie came second in her age-range scoring a fantastic 77/100, agonisingly missing out on finishing joint first by one point.

    Julie Fossey, Headteacher at West Exe School said:

    “I am so proud of every student who represented West Exe at Philosothon UK, they did fantastically well. The critical thinking aspects that philosophy promotes are relevant to all sorts of issues and careers in modern day life and it was lovely to see our students taking part in this competition. 

    At West Exe we know it’s not just what you know that’s important but your ability to question information and come to your own conclusions and embracing philosophy is a great way of promoting that.”

    Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust said:

    “It’s brilliant to hear how well the students from West Exe did at Philosothon UK, everyone at our Trust is so proud of their efforts and achievements at this national platform.”

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  • West Exe students visit local primary schools to teach children about mindfulness ​​​​​​​

    Published 16/02/24

    West Exe School celebrates it’s Student Wellbeing Ambassadors this Children’s Mental Health Week

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  • Local school shines a light on the work of their therapy dog this Children’s Mental Health Week

    Published 05/02/24

    Children and staff at Isca Academy in Exeter, part of the Ted Wragg Trust family of schools, have been marking Children’s Mental Health Week by shining a spotlight on the work of their therapy dog, Missy.  Missy is a 70kg St Bernard and may be Britain’s biggest therapy dog!  

    Children’s Mental Health Week runs from the 5th to the 11th of February and this year’s theme is “My Voice Matters.”  Now in its 10th year, Place2Be, the children’s mental health charity, launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week back in 2015 to highlight the importance of young people’s mental health. One in six children are likely to have a mental health problem and the awareness week is designed to empower, equip and give a voice to all young people in the UK. 

    Missy has been on a mission at Isca Academy over the last 16 months, to transform lives and make the school one of the best schools for any child to attend in Britain.  Missy belongs to Isca’s Headteacher Vicki Joyce, they started their journey together at Isca in September 2022.

    Since then, Missy has become an incredibly popular ‘staff’ member, boosting the wellbeing of staff and scholars across her school.  With rave reviews from children, parents and staff alike, she has even been described as a “Godsend” by one mum whose 11-year-old has been nurtured through anxiety into settling into ‘the big school’.  

    New Year 7 scholar Ellie, 11, who started in September, said:

    “It makes me want to come into school even more and then sit with her, stroke her, and give her treats and Missy helps a lot. I think more people should have that too”.

    Ellie’s mum Eadaoin said: 

    “Actually, if it wasn’t for Missy, half the time Ellie wouldn’t come in. She struggles quite a bit with it and has done for a while so Missy has been an absolute Godsend.

    “As soon as she gets through the door and sees Missy her whole demeanour changes and she says ‘I want to go in and see Missy.’”

    Missy aids those struggling with anxiety to come into school, greets the 1000 scholars into their classes, helps boost reading, literacy, and learning, and even eases any worries for those sitting exams.

    The popular pooch is just one of many ways the school is striving to put the wellbeing of their young people at the forefront of everything they do, starting with the joyful and musical welcome children get each morning by staff and continuing with appreciations and celebrations throughout their lessons. Isca’s core values of Inspiration, Success, Community & Ambition are at the heart of all they do.  

    Missy is an integral part of living out these values, but she is supported by a wide team, including elected Scholar Health Ambassadors that work with staff to improve wellbeing even further, so that every child feels safe, happy, and supported on their Isca journey. Most recently this has involved wellbeing drop-in sessions in response to student feedback.

    A Lincoln University research paper into therapy dogs concluded that dog-assisted interventions can reduce stress levels in school children, with effects lasting over the school term.  It is hoped that their findings will provide a basis for widespread changes in educational practice, including public policy change so that more children benefit from therapy dogs such as Missy. 

    Mrs Vicki Joyce, Headteacher at Isca Academy said:

    “Missy has been an absolute star. First thing in the morning she will greet and meet children and parents. She then has break and lunch duty enjoying time with many of our children.  We have reading and literacy sessions, so she is able to develop children’s literacy skills. There is also a lot of sleeping that goes on as well!

    “Missy is a big dog with a massive heart, making a huge positive impact across the school with calmness off the scale that makes everyone feel relaxed. As a school we take our scholars’ mental wellbeing very seriously and she is boosting wellbeing in so many ways.”

    Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Trust said:

    “At the Ted Wragg Trust we take children’s mental health seriously all year round and it’s brilliant to hear about everything Isca Academy is doing to support students in this area.  School dogs are a wonderful addition across a number of our schools and we have found their presence to be hugely beneficial.”

     

      

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  • Exeter primary pupils tackle sports and secondary transition at West Exe tag rugby festival!

    Published 05/02/24

    Pupils from six local primary schools have taken part in a tag rugby festival at West Exe School, part of our family of schools, thanks to the school’s Primary Sports Offer. 

    The primary schools taking advantage of West Exe’s Primary Sports Offer are Alphington, Exwick Heights, Ide, Bowhill, St Gabriel’s and St Thomas. Each school is invited to participate in six festivals across the school year, these involve a wide range of sports from cross country and multi skills to tag rugby.

    Each school also takes part in a Year 6 Competitive sporting league in football and netball, with the Cowick Cats Netball Club delivering a free coaching session for all primary students involved. All events are assisted by West Exe Sports Leaders who help plan, organise, and deliver each event.

    On Monday 29th January West Exe held their last week of the Year 6 Netball league. They had teams from Alphington, Bowhill, Exwick Heights, St Gabriel’s and St Thomas, each school played each other over the course of 4 weeks and the league consisted of Year 6 students playing in a seven a side format.

    Aside from the clear physical and mental benefits of taking part in sports, it is hoped that allowing the primary children to experience the surroundings and atmosphere of a secondary school will make the transition when leaving primary school easier. 

    The Primary Sports Offer means that there is an opportunity for each primary student to visit West Exe for a sporting activity in each year of the primary education from Year 1-6, meaning they develop strong links and familiarity to the school, which is especially helpful for those joining them for their secondary education journey.

    On Tuesday 30th January, West Exe held a Gymnastics Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshop at Bowhill. Teachers from Bowhill and St Thomas took part in the session which was delivered by Lianne Johnson who is a gym specialist with extensive knowledge and expertise in gymnastics. A West Exe student assisted with the session to very ably demonstrate the skills and supports needed.

    Julie Fossey, Headteacher at West Exe School said:

    “I am so proud of our Primary Sports Offer here at West Exe, not only does it encourage children to try out new sports and form a positive relationship with exercise, it also helps them become comfortable in a secondary school environment.  

    “Forging strong links with the other schools and teachers in our local community is very important to me and it’s brilliant to be able to offer them training sessions from some of our expert sports leaders.”

    Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust said:

    “I am delighted that West Exe provides such a strong Primary Sports Offer, part of the Ted Wragg Trust mission is to make sure we benefit and strengthen our local communities, and this is an excellent example of that.”

          

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  • Marine Academy Primary pupils watch webcast with Holocaust survivor Hedi Argent MBE ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    Published 31/01/24

    Year 6 pupils at Marine Academy Primary in Plymouth, part of our Trust, have watched an inspiring webcast with Hedi Argent MBE,  organised by the Holocaust Education Trust and hosted by Natasha Kaplinsky OBE, where Hedi provided a testimony of her survival during the Holocaust.  The children found the session incredibly moving and it complemented their History learning about Civil Rights and 20th Century Conflict effectively.

    The webcast was designed to have them learn more, and reflect on, the holocaust after Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) on Saturday the 27th of January.  The 27th of January marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp and the theme of this year’s HMD was the fragility of freedom.

    Hedi Argent was born in 1929, and lived in a suburb of Vienna in Austria, the anti-Jewish laws and backlash that accompanied Hitler’s annexation of Austria in 1938 were something Hedi remembers very well.  She remembers seeing Jews being made to scrub the pavements and having stones thrown at them. Hedi’s family arrived in England in 1939 and stayed in a safe house.  After the war, Hedi and her parents wrote to the Red Cross to try and find their extended family; they found out that most of their other family members in Europe had been murdered during the Holocaust.

    The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide, they promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day  to remember the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and during more recent genocides. 

    Nicola Keeler and Georgina Reid Co Headteachers at Marine Academy Primary said:

    “It’s really important for children to learn about the Holocaust and understand the history of our society.  It is of course a sensitive topic, but children are resilient, and it was helpful for them to hear Hedi Argent’s inspiring story, which they clearly found incredibly moving.”

    Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust said:

    “It’s only right for schools to take action to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and I was glad to hear that Marine Academy Primary made sure to educate their children about this in a sensitive and reflective manner.”

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