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Russell Brand pays special visit to Hathaway Academy

HOLLYWOOD star Russell Brand dropped in on his old school last week as a special treat for all the students. Russell went to the school a few years ago, when it was called Grays School.

Thurrock youth receive awards in Jack Petchey night

THE event honoured Achievement award winners aged 11-25 who received medallions to go with their framed certificate and a cheque for £200, already presented. They were nominated by their peers and leaders, winning awards for a variety of achievements but mostly for doing their best.

Biology students at Palmer’s blitz highbrow exams

Both students were entered into the Society of Biology Olympiad 2014 just before Christmas and had to undergo a series of tests including a 90 question test online, completed in less than two hours, under supervision. A2 student Emily was awarded a bronze medal for her efforts and has been invited to a classy awards ceremony at the Royal Society of Biology where she will get to meet Professor Alice Roberts, known for presenting BB2’s Wild Swimming and The Incredible Human Journey.

Hathaway Academy bosses “banned” from opening any more schools.

THE SPONSORS responsible for Hathaway Academy, formerly Grays School, have been barred from opening any more schools, because of serious concerns about the education being provided to children. They have been told they can’t open new free schools or academies until they prove that pupils at their existing colleges “get a good education”.

Literacy boost in South Ockendon

The older students from the Erriff Drive school talked to the younger children about their favourite books and guided them through the quizzes and games. Prizes were awarded for the highest marks in the book quiz and all the Bonnygate students left with stickers, bookmarks, pens, and a range of information for parents to help them improve their reading.

Education Alliance to promote even more independence for schools in Thurrock

THURROCK’S schools will be taking ever-more control of the borough’s education and schools following agreement at Wednesday (19 March) evening’s council cabinet meeting. Members were discussing how recommendations from the Education Commission had been moved forward in recent months.

Ockendon Academy downgraded by Ofsted

MANY critics believed that schools such as Ockendon would find it impossible to retain their “Outstanding” status under the new reporting arrangement. Schools such as Passmores Academy in Harlow, made famous by the TV show “Educating Essex” had an almost identical report late last year.

Gable Hall’s Sam takes his invention to the House of Commons

STEPHEN Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, met with Gable Hall student Samuel Partridge at the We Made It! awards ceremony in Parliament to congratulate him on winning the local round of the manufacturing competition. The We Made It! competition encouraged school students up and down the country to submit designs for […]

School Places: Wrong…Do it again!

AN increasing number of parents are not ensuring their children have the widest choice of secondary school because they don’t fill in the admissions correctly.
Thurrock Council’s education portfolio holder, Leader Cllr John Kent, said on Friday (7 March): “When I saw the admissions figures I was initially shocked by the fact that around a hundred were classed as ‘unplaced’.

Hassenbrook Academy ranked bottom of first choice bids

AS you may or may not have noticed, we do tend to take an interest in school admissions numbers. The reason is (and we could be wrong) is that we suspect that a possible consequence of the schools increasingly acting like businesses is that, there is a risk that, the laws of supply and demand may come into play and one many end up closing due to, amongst other factors, simply not attracting enough custom.

Labour motion praising Treetops School passed at council

A MOTION praising the work of Treetops School was passed at full council last night (Wednesday). The motion was proposed by Stanford councillor Terry Hipsey and seconded by Stifford Clays councillor, Angie Gaywood.

Football: Thurrock girls shine in victory over Dorset

STARTING the game off with an attitude to win, the girls dominated the pitch and forward Miagh Downey had three shots on goal inside the opening 15 minutes. Leading up to half time, there was no score on the board until Clarke decided to ensure the team’s hard work paid off by sliding the ball past the goalkeeper into the bottom of the net after a one-on-one thanks to a fantastic through ball from Captain Emily Baker.

William Edwards to perform with London Sinfonia

KEY to the success of First Time Live – Youth is putting young people at the centre of the project and giving them responsibility for creating a major orchestral concert for their peers. This includes selecting concert repertoire, scriptwriting, sound and lighting design, video projection, stage management, writing press releases, blogging, photography, concert presentation and even conducting. Through empowering Young Producers, the events generate high levels of engagement and enthusiasm amongst participants, both in the audience and on stage, including the professional musicians.

Grays Convent tops table in number of students taking on “traditional” subjects

GRAYS CONVENT tops the Thurrock schools league in the percentage of students taking on a full tranche of traditional EBACC subjects. The Ebacc subjects are: English, Maths, a Humanity, a Science and an IT subject. Government education boss, Michael Gove has pushed for more emphasis on traditional subjects after concerns that some schools were playing an exam game, a game that, some say, was making the GCSE “a debased currency”.

Inadequate teaching at Hassenbrook Academy highlighted in Ofsted report

INADEQUATE teaching and poor behaviour have been highlighted by Ofsted in their latest inspection at Hassenbrook Academy in Stanford-le-Hope. The overall report has informed the school that they “require improvement “. This is the second such report in under two years. If the school are judged to require improvement again then they may be placed in special measures.

The end of an era as wrecking ball hits Ormiston Park Academy

OR should we say Aveley Comprehensive or Belhus Park Humanities College? Whichever school you identify with, the old school building was being demolished and with it, for many people, many happy memories. Of course, it should be said, that as the old school is being demolished, so the bright new academy is up and running. […]

Intrepid Lewis charts a passage to India

PALMER’S student and air cadet Lewis Coble spent over two weeks helping to renovate a remote school in the Thar Desert, north-west of India.

Lewis, 16 from Grays raised almost £1600 alone to help fund the trip by taking part in a range of fundraising activities including bag packing at his local Asda store, a yard sale and a sponsored trip to every underground station as quickly as possible. 


Gable Hall student wins local round of gadget competition

SAMUEL Partridge from Gable Hall School has been announced as the winning pupil from South Basildon and East Thurrock in the local round of a national school manufacturing competition. The We Made It! competition invited 11 – 14 year olds throughout the UK to let their imagination run wild and design a brand new product or gadget.

Pupil Referral Unit: Planning, absences and teaching standards criticised by Ofsted

“ALL the leaders here are pleased their work to improve the service has been recognised and they will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the improvements accelerate as a result of the inspection.” While the report recognises the service’s strengths, it says work still needs to be done in some areas of teaching standards, lesson planning, absence management, and publishing information online.”

Spy cameras in Hassenbrook Academy hailed a success

SPY CAMERAS in a Stanford-le-Hope school have been hailed a success. Last year, Big Brother Watch released the results of a Freedom of Information request. It revealed that Hassenbrook Academy were one of over 200 schools in the country that had cameras either in toilets and/or changing rooms. However, in a report on their website, technology providers, ClearView Communications have published a review that highlights the success of the installations.

Popular former Grays school deputy head passes away

A MUCH-LOVED former deputy head of Grays School has lost his battle with leukaemia. Simon Viccars was the principal of Sir Herbert Leon Academy in Bletchley in Buckinghamshire. He had been principal there since 2004. He passed away on Thursday (November 14th). But Simon was best known in Thurrock when he was deputy head of […]

Under-fire head of Grays Convent set to quit

THE HEADMISTRESS of Grays Convent school is set to quit at the end of the year. Ann Marie Brister has been head of the school since 2008 but in that time has seen it struggle to maintain its once lofty position. Schools, by their own volition, promote their school through statistics and some statistics do not look kindly on the College Road school.

Major education report: “lack of aspiration” in Thurrock schools

THE most surprising “disparity” comes from Harris Academy (Chafford Hundred). Its harshest critics have seen it as some form of Orwellian exam machine whilst others see it as a shining beacon of aspiration. The school has seen a meteoric rise in its GCSE results. Going from 59% in 2008 to a peak of 93% this year. However, in 2012, only 10% of students entered the Ebacc subjects and only 9% achieved a pass.

Hundreds attended Royal Opera’s chance to dance

STUDENTS from across Thurrock attended demonstrations by dancers from The Royal Ballet on Thursday 3 and Friday 4 October. The demonstrations were part of one of the Royal Opera House’s Learning and Participation programme, Chance to Dance.

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