News & Media

Year 6 pupils from across UCAT graduate with the University of Chester - 21/06/2018

The achievements of Year 6 pupils from across the University of Chester Academies Trust (UCAT) throughout their time at primary school were celebrated at a special graduation ceremony. Tuesday, June 12 marked the end of an era for pupils from University Church Free School (UCFS), University Primary Academy Kidsgrove (UPAK) and University Primary Academy Weaverham (UPAW) as they attended their farewell graduation ceremony at the University of Chester. The day began with a performance from the educational theatre group ‘2Engage’, who deliver a range of interactive arts-based projects. The pupils watched a performance called Moving Up, a play that follows the journey of two primary school leavers who are about to embark on the next steps from primary school to secondary school. The performance aimed to settle some of the anxiety pupils may feel when starting high school, as well as dispelling myths along the way. Pupils were then given the opportunity to hear from University students themselves as they took part in a student-led campus tour. The tour was designed to give pupils an insight into the life at the University of Chester and allowed pupils to ask important questions about studying, accommodation and the on-site facilities available to the students. To celebrate the festivities of the day, pupils worked with the University’s Outreach Team where they were tasked to create their own graduation mortarboard using their own interests and career aspirations. Pupils also had the opportunity to discuss life at university and explored a range of career choices that require a university graduate degree. The children also took part in a Pathways workshop, an engaging session that focused on a pupil’s timetable in secondary school. Pupils were given a school timetable where they were tasked to find their lesson before exploring a range of exciting subjects including Modern Languages, Geography, English, Mathematics and Science. The graduation ceremony took place during the afternoon where pupils dressed in their cap and gown to receive their certificates in front of their parents, families and teachers. The ceremony opened with a welcome from David Cumberland, Chief Executive Officer for UCAT, before receiving their certificates and having their individual graduation photographs taken. Mr Farrington, Principal at UCFS, said: “The Graduation day provided a brilliant opportunity for the children to have a taste of University life. They were delighted to visit the main campus of the University of Chester and the day left them inspired and motivated.” Ruby, Year 6 pupil at UPAK said: “I really enjoyed being part of the Year 6 graduation day at Chester University. I particularly liked having the opportunity to wear graduation robes and a mortarboard just like a real graduate would wear. I also loved the challenge of the math and science activities we took part in” Mrs Maxfield, Teacher at UPAK, said: “This was a great day for the children to take part in. It inspired a number of children to think about their futures and the steps they need to out into place to reach them. We encourage all of the children to reach for the stars.” Kyle, Year 6 pupil at UPAK, said: "I thought it was a great day. This trip has got everyone to think about the future jobs they could have when they leave school. We all learnt what a mortarboard was and I was fascinated by how big the campus was and what there was there. There are lots of opportunities!" Miss Armstrong, KS2 Leader at UPAW said: “The children were given an opportunity to experience a day at university and discover what university life is all about. They particularly enjoyed wearing their caps and gowns during the ceremony.” Luke, Year 6 pupil at UPAK said: “It was fun throwing the mortar boards in the air and we all had a really great day!”

UCEA named Team of the Year 2018 at Cheshire School Awards! - 20/06/2018

Year 10 Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) students at University Church of England Academy (UCEA) are celebrating after being declared Team of The Year at the prestigious Cheshire School Awards. On Tuesday June 19, finalists across four separate categories represented the Academy at the awards, which were held at the Queen Hotel in Chester. The Cheshire Schools Awards, sponsored by Trinity Mirror and Excell Supply, are presented to acknowledge the outstanding achievements within schools across Cheshire. Both primary and secondary schools come together in celebration, sharing their success stories and achievements. UCEA was proud to make the finals in four categories this year: Team of the Year; Support Staff of the Year; Secondary School of the Year and School in the Community. Presenter Dianne Oxley, from BBC North West Tonight, hosted an exciting and uplifting presentation, celebrating the hard work and dedication of schools across the county and the important role teachers play. Students from the Academy cheered on their neighbouring schools and fellow nominees as the winners were revealed. Despite extremely stiff competition in each category, the highlight of the event for the Academy was David Bolam’s STEM Team winning the Team of the Year Award for 2018. The team of Year 10 STEM students have been working closely with University of Chester academics at Thornton Science Park. The goal was to design, build and race a green powered car as part of a competition hosted by Greenpower Education Trust. Later in the year, they will then have the opportunity to race it against other cars from schools all around the country, on a real racetrack. The group has visited the Mechanical Engineering workshops at Thornton once a month, and has made significant progress since the project began in January. The team has been developing the car to make it as efficient as possible, to meet the challenge of ensuring it has the longest endurance. David Bolam, a Teacher of Technology and Engineering at UCEA, said: “I am extremely pleased and honoured to receive this award on behalf of our Year 10 STEM Green-Power Car Challenge Team, led so ably by students Jamie Cavanagh and Marcel Kurcharski. The award is for Best Team or Class in Cheshire and I want to highlight that this was a team effort. Without the full cooperation of all 10 boys, and the support of Mr Ian Dykes, this would not have been possible. In addition, the support from Angela Lupton, Bobby Manesh and their team from the University of Chester, based at Thornton Science Park, has been unwavering. Without their help, expert knowledge and sponsorship this project would not have been possible. I am proud of the team who have come together over the many months and worked so hard to be the best. I feel privileged to be part of the team and although we are proud of the work done so far and of course very pleased to receive this recognition; we feel this is just a start of our journey, as from September we will start racing the car!” Angela Lupton, HE STEM Coordinator at the University of Chester added: “This is excellent news for the school and for the University team supporting them at Thornton Science Park. It’s great to see the students using their science and engineering skills and I’m pleased that their team work in creating this alternative energy motor has been rewarded.”

UCEA Students experience “Pain, Pus & Blood” Workshop - 13/06/2018

During a recent trip to the Thackeray Medical Museum in Leeds, over 40 students studying History in Year 9 and 10 took part in two workshops exploring the gruesome medical procedures which took place during World War 1. Students used the visit to develop their source analysis skills about World War 1. A particular highlight was the “Pain, Pus, and Blood” workshop, where students were even able were able to smell the sensations of an operating theatre during war time and handle some genuine surgery tools, including a guillotine for tonsils! Mrs Pierce-Wilson, a teacher of History, commented: “This provided students with a wonderful opportunity to further their knowledge for the medicine unit of their current GCSE studies. We have had an unique and exciting day to say the least!”

Students have their ‘first taste’ of what Geography has to offer at Cadbury World in Bournville - 23/05/2018

Year 7 students from the University Academy Kidsgrove (UAK) had their ‘first taste’ of what Geography has to offer as they plunged into a virtual bowl of liquid Dairy Milk and took to the skies at the enchanting Cadbury’s World in Bournville. The Year 7 Learning Programme explores different types of businesses and how they make a profit. This culminates in students coming up with their very own business plan, and what better way to be inspired than by visiting a multi-national confectionery company? Upon arrival, students were ‘whisked’ away to the museum’s renowned 4D cinema experience. Students were then ‘dipped’ into a virtual bowl of liquid Cadbury Dairy Milk, before riding the Crunchie Rollercoaster, and then taking to the skies in a Cadbury Creme Egg airship, piloted by the Caramel Bunny. Cadbury World offers a unique experience that gives a fascinating insight into the rich heritage of the famous chocolate brand. The museum offers a number of attractions and interactive experiences including: the demonstration and manufacturing of popular Cadbury products; an advertising avenue, exploring the marketing history of the company’s popular brands; the origins of the cocoa bean, which is set deep in an ancient tropical rainforest, and a visit to Purple Planet, a state of the art interactive experience for students to enjoy a world of digital delights. Students then travelled back in time to the museum’s recreation of the Victorian Bull Street where they ‘met’ with Quaker entrepreneur, John Cadbury, to explore how the business began over 200 years ago. The Cadbury manufacturing business was born in 1831, when John Cadbury decided to start producing on a commercial scale and bought a four-storey warehouse. By 1842, John Cadbury was selling no fewer than 16 varieties of drinking chocolate and 11 different cocoas. Then, in 1847, the Cadbury brothers’ booming business moved into a new, larger factory in the centre of Birmingham. John Cadbury not only built the factory but the whole of the Bournville Village; complete with houses, sports centres, hospitals, schools, shops and churches.

STEM Ambassadors bring to life Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - 23/05/2018

STEM Ambassadors at UCAN are volunteers who develop and promote exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related activities throughout the Academy on a regular basis. All About STEM do amazing work with schools and businesses to promote exciting and rewarding Science, Technology Engineering and Maths opportunities that are inspiring for young people across the North West. All About STEM work on a variety of different projects to bring to life Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects to schools across the region, linking them with business and industry expert volunteers inspiring the next generation of STEM specialists. Year 9 STEM Ambassadors are: Lewis G, Alex T, Rachel M, Nicole F, Alex H and Mason L. Year 7 attendees are: Cameron M, Kaitlyn L, Oliver S, Leona D, Emily J, Ethan P, Jay H, Danny Z, Kayla H, Chloe K, Charlie J, Zak B and Malada C. Year 7 students have completed their 6-week programme including researching and investigating balloon rockets, soapy stress, bath bombs, made robots, whoosh bottles and students have also explored a range of different slime recipes. STEM Club regularly takes place during Academic Review in Room S3. Miss Higgins, Science Teacher at UCAN said: “The year 9 student s have independently run STEM activities to engage and inspire Year 7 students with STEM based activities.

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