Monday, 22 June 2015

Whitley students pay their respects at Normandy

Written by our student travellers
Everyone arrived bright and early at 6.30am on the morning of the 22nd, except for the teachers (blame Mr Anderton!!). By 7am, the parents were beginning to leave after being told that they were cramping the students’ style. Off we went, waving our fond farewells and then the sweets started to be unwrapped and consumed in their vast quantities!!
After a relatively calm ferry crossing where Ricky and Matthew purchased numerous toy cars to amuse themselves, we arrived safely in France to begin our four hour trip across to Normandy. We were treated to an authentic French dinner, with of course an extra serving of grumbling from the students. Following dinner, rooms were allocated and students had the chance to strut their stuff on the dancefloor prior to going to bed at 10.30pm, tired but excited for the adventures ahead.
On Saturday, the group was extremely busy as we soaked up the beautiful sights of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mont St Michel. There was some free time to buy gifts and to appreciate the atmosphere of this beautiful place – there was even time for a tour of the abbey and its cloisters.
On Sunday, we paid respect to the D-Day landing beaches, visiting firstly Juno, the Canadian beach, then Gold at Arromanches where we watched the 360 degree cinema film ‘100 days of Normandy’; lastly we moved on to Omaha beach, the American beach and the cemetery at Colleville sur Mer, an experience which will remain with all as a very poignant and memorable afternoon. We returned home exhausted after a long day of sightseeing where the majority of us collapsed into bed following an opportunity to play Frisbee and football on the beach and walk into the local town of Merville.
On our penultimate day (Monday), we went to the Bayeux tapestry and to the British War Memorial, where we laid a wreath in respect from the Academy – our students were respectful and excellent ambassadors for our school. After another tiring day in the sunshine, and some shopping in the city of Caen, we returned to the hotel for our final meal of the week and a presentation of certificates for both educational and amusing reasons.
On our final morning we were up and ready (albeit bleary eyed) at 8am sharp for our final room inspections. After a leisurely breakfast we loaded up the coach with suitcases that were twice as heavy as they were coming over thanks to some impressive souvenir collecting. We set off on our long trek home at 11am. We stopped off at a hypermarket to use up the last of our Euros, (as well as providing certain members of staff the opportunity to re-stock their wine cellars!). The ferry trip and coach journey back up to Coventry was relatively uneventful as we relaxed and watched DVDs all the way. At 9.30pm we were reunited with our relieved parents, tired but happy after a thoroughly enjoyable trip!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Whitley triumphs in first RSA Academies Sports Day

On the 9Th June 2015, Whitley Academy hosted the first RSA Academies Sports Day for all the schools within the Family of RSA Academies. On the day, Whitley Academy, Holyhead School, RSA Academy Arrow Vale, Ipsley Academy, and RSA Academy all turned up with full squads, ready and raring to go for a fun, competitive, and action packed day.
After a quick introduction and explanation of the prizes and records on offer, all the schools made their way out on to the Whitley Academy playing field to start the rounders tournament. Each year groups (Year 7, 8 and 9) had their own tournament, with each school playing each other with 24 good balls to a game. In the Year 7 tournament, there were some very close games, but Ipsley Academy came out on top. In Year 8 and 9, Whitley Academy won, with Ipsley Academy pushing them in Year 8, and RSA Academy in Year 9.
The Family of Academies then returned to the Sports Hall for lunch and refreshments, with pupils enjoying the chance to socialise along with the staff.
After lunch, the athletics started in a competitive nature, with the boys taking to the track, and girls to the field. There were plenty of excellent individual performances for Ipsley Academy and RSA Academy, but overall, Holyhead School seemed to dominate the sprinting events. The boys and girls then swapped over and the atmosphere and competitive nature of the event really came out, as the pupils and staff realised it was going to be a tight race to the RSA Academies Sports Day Shield!
The final event was the long awaited ‘Tug of War’. The boys and girls from each school joined forces in each year group to show their strength and determination. In the Year 7 event, Ipsley Academy proved too strong for the rest, and romped home with the win overall, closely followed by RSA Academy. In Year 8, RSA Academy showed the most might, with Whitley Academy coming in a close second. With the score tight, and the last chance to win points for their school, the Year 9’s did battle. After a hard fought and very tight run of fixtures, Whitley Academy won overall with RSA Academy following in second place.   
As the day came to a close, the scores were calculated up. Overall winners of first RSA Academies Sports Day were Whitey Academy (255 points), followed closely by RSA Academy Arrow Vale and Ipsley Academy (250 points). In third place were Holyhead School (203 points), and trailing by only 1 point was RSA Academy (202 points).
Along with overall winners, there were year group medals available. Year 7 winners were an impressive Ipsley Academy (86 points), Year 8 winners were Whitley Academy (87 points), and Year 9 winners were Whitley Academy (85 points), by a small margin of 4 points.
Whitley Academy would like to thank all the staff and pupils that were involved. We would also like to extend a special well done to the participants who showed great attitude, determination and sportsmanship throughout the day.
Records have now been set, medals given out, and the RSA Sports Day Shield has been sent to get engraved. Onwards and upwards for next year, as the RSA Family of Academies celebrates its current and future sports stars!

View the Telegraph report here