Previous Transition Events

St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy has very strong links with each of our feeder Primary Schools in the Newman Catholic Collegiate. A range of cross-phase activities and projects take place throughout the Academic Year for both students and staff, details of these can be found in this section. 

The Newman Catholic Collegiate Summer School has taken place throughout the summer holidays, with camps running in our Primary schools for students in Years 1 to 4, and a Transition Summer School at St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy for students in Years 5 to 8.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, our new cohort of Year 7 students may not have experienced the usual transition visits to Margaret Ward Catholic Academy and so the Summer School has provided students with a fantastic chance to meet new friends, to meet some of our staff and to familiarise themselves with the school building. Every child has the right to a quality education, and we truly believe that the Summer School has given our students the perfect springboard into the new Academic Year.

The St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy Summer School consisted of four, fun-filled weeks and was attended by over 450 students. Attendees were treated to a huge variety of activities, which included sports with The Port Vale Foundation, a climbing wall challenge, clay modelling with the Ceramics Biennial, bushcraft with The Wildlife Trust, musical theatre and visits from snakes, skunks and owls. A group of Year 5 students were even given the opportunity to build and drive their own race car! Busy days meant hungry students, and so all students were given a full hot lunch each day. A year 6 student said “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see the school building and to meet the some of the staff. The activities have been fantastic, and I definitely feel less anxious about starting school in September”.

Throughout the past six months we have also been working closely with the Together for Childhood Team from the NSPCC in order to help to make our community safer for children. The Together for Childhood Team led weekly sessions during the Summer School to educate students on keeping themselves safe in the holidays using an interactive map of the local area.

A group of Year 10 students from St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy visited Stanley Head Outdoor Education Centre during the holidays where they developed their resilience and team building skills through various activities including canoeing, rock climbing and water rafting. The students thoroughly enjoyed the day and were very grateful for the opportunity to meet with their friends in a safe, outdoor environment.

Thank you to the 65 staff from The Newman Catholic Collegiate who so enthusiastically devoted time out of their summer holiday to support each and every student in the Summer School.

We feel incredibly blessed to have worked in collaboration with The Hubb Foundation on this project. Their ongoing support for our most vulnerable students throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has been phenomenal and we look forward to planning more transition sessions throughout the Academic Year.

 

A Group of Year students racing up the climbing wall.

A Year 6 student identifies ‘safe spaces’ in the local area.

 

A group of Year 5 students participating in an Art lesson with SMWCA Art Teacher, Miss Leese.

 

A group of Year 6 students enjoying a table tennis session with Head of PE, Mr Pearson.

 

Groups of Year 6 students meet and pet animals from the Zoo.

St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy has been working in collaboration with The Hubb Foundation, The Hygiene Bank and The Port Vale Foundation throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to provide support for our children and their families.

Our work with The Hubb Foundation has continued to grow from strength to strength. Projects have included Easter and Christmas themed holiday activity packs for over 250 families and more recently, a five-day Easter Camp. During the Easter Camp, children were involved in twenty different practical sessions, including a study of the gospels of Matthew, Luke and John, and a discussion about the importance of Eastertide. Other sessions included creating an Ancient Greek tapestry and a Positivity Rocks session where we discussed how to maintain a positive mind-set and then designed our own positive rocks. Children thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and asked for longer days!

The Staffordshire branch of The Hygiene Bank, have shown a real commitment to our school community and have helped us to ensure that no child has been without toiletries or cleaning products throughout the pandemic. In addition to this, The Hygiene Bank recently donated 1400 bottles of hand sanitizer and 4000 face masks.

We feel very grateful to be at the heart of a nurturing, inclusive network of local community groups and charities who are committed to delivering the five core Lasallian values. We are now busy planning events for the Summer term and will endeavour to continue to ensure that no one is left out or behind.

A Year 7 Student baking during the Easter Camp.

Year 8 students with some of the items donated by The Hygiene Bank.

A group of Year 8 students with their positve rocks which they created in the Positivity Rocks session.

Year 7 students playing football, co-ordinated by The Port Vale Foundation throughout the Easter Holidays.

As part of the Holiday Activity Funding, students in Years 5 to 8 in The Newman Catholic Collegiate had the opportunity to participate in Outdoor Adventure, Tubing and Christmas Craft during the holidays.

Students from Years 5, 6 and 7 in The Newman Catholic Collegiate were invited to St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy for a day of Christmas crafts and activities, followed by a full Christmas lunch. Staff from all schools within the Collegiate came together to provide workshops including Christmas Card Making, Christmas Sports & Games and Christmas Cookery. Students thoroughly enjoyed the day and particularly enjoyed the Christmas lunch which was cooked and served by our canteen staff.

Mr Pearson, Head of PE, arranged for a group of Year 8 students to visit Standon Bowers Outdoor Education Centre for the day. The students had a fantastic time attempting lots of new activities, including riding BMX’s and zip lining.

Another group of Year 8 students had the chance to visit Stoke on Trent Ski Slope where they had fun on the slope tubing down the super steep slope!

Our work with The Hubb Foundation continues to grow from strength to strength and we feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with a charity who share the same core Lasallian values.

 

   

All Year 4 children in The Newman Catholic Collegiate have received their Easter packs this week, which have been created by our staff here at SMWCA. The packs include a variety of activities, the highlight being a wooden Romero cross, handmade by Mr Foster, our Design Technology Technician. We look forward to seeing your creations.

          

Photographs of work produced during Transition 2020

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On Thursday 5th November, Year 4 children in our Collegiate Schools were invited to participate in the Newman Catholic Collegiate Spelling Bee with Mrs Mills. The event took place remotely and children battled it out spelling out some really tricky spellings. Congratulations to our winners, St Mary’s Catholic Academy. We look forward to hosting further Spelling Bee’s in the Spring Term.

                  

Unfortunately, our planned half term transition days could not go ahead this year. However, we did not want our children to miss out on these fun-filled sessions and so delivered the activity packs to our Year 5 & 6 children. Activities included a dough balls recipe card, including ingredients, Arts and Crafts and a home Science experiment.

 During the first week of December, we would usually be welcoming our Year 3 children from the Newman Catholic Collegiate. There is usually an opportunity to meet Santa and to participate in a Christmas performance by our talented Performing Arts students.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this couldn’t happen this year, however our staff have pulled out all the stops to create personalised practical Christmas activities for children to complete either at home or in school. The activities included Christmas decoration making, a French Nativity set-up, the History of Christmas and much, much more!

 

 

Thank you to Miss Frodsham from St Peter’s Catholic Academy for sending in these fantastic photos of your class completing the Christmas tasks.

We hope that our Year 3 children enjoyed using the packs and look forward to seeing more of your creations.

All 210 students beginning their studies at St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy in September 2019 were invited to an intensive 7 week Transition Programme during June and July of 2019. During this time students were introduced to Catholic Life and were taught a range of subjects including Mathematics, English and Science. Students also had the opportunity to study subjects that they had not previously studied before, for example, Food and Design Technology. One student said that the highlight of the transition for him, was making a volcano erupt during a Science Practical in one of our 7 Laboratories. All students were also invited to a Friendship Day where they spent the morning with their form tutors and the rest of their form group, getting involved in teamwork activities.

During the first week of the summer holidays students were invited to the St Margaret Ward Summer School. Activities included Engineering with KMF, Cook & Eat sessions with Nutribox and the History of Gaming where students could play on a range of over 25 games consoles dating back from 1980. Students were also given the chance to go cycling at Manifold Valley and Fishing at Blakehall Fisheries, where fully qualified instructors carefully guided students on the correct technique. Free lunches were very kindly provided by The Hubb for all students.

During the Summer holidays we offered each child from our new Year 7 cohort the opportunity to attend a one week Summer School at St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy. Working with The Hubb Foundation and The SPACE programme we provided Sports and Crafts sessions every day throughout the six-week break. Children particularly enjoyed the challenge of climbing the 10-foot climbing wall. Thank you to The Hubb Foundation for providing a packed lunch for each of the children throughout the holidays.

 

 

Year 5 & 6 International Schools Quiz

Year 5 and 6 children in our Collegiate schools have been busy completing the International Schools Quiz. Children faced questions on topics such as Foods of the World and Leaders of the World. Thank you to Miss Eardley for creating the quiz and to our Year 5 & 6 teachers for delivering the session. Keep a lookout for updates on the website for a league table of results. We will be inviting the top ten teams to St Margaret Ward in the Spring Term for the Final Round.

Maths Revision Day

On Monday 9th March, over 50 Year 6 children from the Newman Catholic Collegiate took part in a Mathematics Revision Day. Revision sessions were taught by Mrs Mortimer and Mrs Munden, followed by an exam question relay. Well done to the team from St Wilfrid’s who won the relay with 28 points!

Hubb Foundation Transition Day

On Friday 21st February over 70 students from The Newman Catholic Collegiate attended a transition day, funded by The Hubb Foundation. Activities included pizza making, Engineering with KMF, Multi Sports with the Port Vale Foundation, puppet making, arts & crafts and Harry Potter Maths. Students had a brilliant time and we look forward to welcoming them back during the Easter holidays.

Year 5 Spelling Bee

Spelling is a vital life skill which we constantly strive to improve at St Margaret Ward.  We recently extended our promotion of spelling by holding a Spelling Bee for members of Year 5 from across the Collegiate.  The pupils were well and truly put through their spelling paces, having to spell some very tricky words from memory without the aid of pens or paper.  We were astounded by the level at which the pupils performed and were delighted to see such enthusiasm and skill.  We are hoping to make this a regular event with even more challenging spellings!

Christmas Party

During the Christmas holidays, St Margaret Ward hosted a Christmas Activity day for children from our feeder primary schools and children currently in Years 7 and 8. The day involved garland making, Christmas card making and the children even produced their own Christmas performance. We then had a full Christmas lunch cooked by our brilliant kitchen staff and then children were treated to a Christmas gift. Many thanks to The Hubb Foundation and the staff at Synectics Solutions for their generous donations of gifts.

 

Alice in Wonderland Series

Over the Autumn term, all students from Years 4 and 5 from our feeder Primary Schools have been invited to St Margaret Ward for an Alice in Wonderland themed session in our Library. The sessions have involved poetry recital from The Jabberwocky and students have created their own pictures of the Jabberwock and the Tum Tum Tree. Students were then treated to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party while they presented their work. Thank you to Mrs Heath and Miss Barnett for delivering the sessions.

 

Basketball Event

We have recently hosted 50+ fantastic boys and girls from our collegiate primary schools. Throughout the evening students engaged within different basketball drills, then later applied their basketball skills and knowledge into a mini tournament.

All students involved were fantastic and showed outstanding knowledge and understanding of the rules whilst working together displaying fantastic team work skills and resilience throughout the games.

We look forward to welcoming the students back later in the year to compete in another Basketball tournament!

 

Santa’s Grotto

During the first week of December, all children in Year 3 from the Newman Catholic Collegiate were invited to St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy for our Christmas Extravaganza.

The children and their teachers were greeted by our elves who escorted them to our Christmas Production, which was produced by our Year 9 Performing Arts group. All children then had the opportunity to meet Santa, to find their name in the Naughty or Nice Book and to get a present! The feedback from the week has been overwhelming positive, children reported that it was “The Best Day Ever” and that “The Elves were Amazing”.

Santa and his elves have now returned to the North Pole to get the presents ready for all of the other boys and girls. Thank you to everybody who supported throughout the week and we can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Mathematics Challenge

On Thursday 21st November, over 60 Year 6 students visited St Margaret Ward for their first Mathematics Challenge Session.

Students worked in pairs to complete an investigation about Consecutive Chains and then worked in teams of four to battle it out to score the most points in a Fractions exam relay.

Feedback from the session was really positive; students described it as “Exciting, Thought Provoking and Interesting.”

Well done Year 6! We look forward to seeing you for Challenge Session 2 in January.

020 Dance Performance

The Dance department have been busy welcoming Y5 & 6 dancers who have been taking part in dance workshops every Tuesday.  The workshop involves creating a dance piece to for their 020 Dance performance at the Regent Theatre on January 27th 2020.

Mrs Page has had the help of the Y9, 10 and 11 Dance leaders who are working very hard towards their level 1 dance leaders’ qualification.

 

The Y5 & 6’s are creating a piece based on the theme of 1920’s.  We have decided to look at the aftermath of WW1 and the way society rebuilt itself coping with the return and loss of friends and family. Students have been learning contemporary dance, contact work and how to use props to create their phrases and have enjoyed every minute! We can’t wait to see the students perform in January – tickets can be purchased from The Regent Theatre on the night of the performance.

 

Times Tables Rockstars!

On Wednesday 13th November over 80 Year 4 students from each of our feeder primary schools visited SMWCA to battle it out to become the quickest Times Tables Rockstar.  There with 2 rounds followed by 30 students making it through to the final round.  Well done to the top 10 students who have made it through to the Grand Final which will take place next year!

On Thursday 12th February over 60 Year 5 students competed to become the quickest Times Table Rockstar. Students battled through 2 rounds to make it through to the Final Round. A special well done to St John The Evangelist Academy who had 3 students in the top 5! All students were fantastic and we were blown away by their re-call of Times Tables. 

Primary Team Building Event, November 19’

We had 60 fantastic primary students – varying in age in school for a team building event.
Students took part and completed various team building and problem-solving activities, where they had to show great team work, communication, problem solving and resilience. Some students were pushed out of their comfort zone working with students they didn’t know from other feeder primary schools.
Students showed great determination and motivation throughout the night and represented themselves in a positive light.
It was a huge success and students had a fantastic time!

 

Mathematics, Science and English Cross Phase Pedagogy

Mathematics and English teachers from St Margaret Ward and each of our feeder Primary Schools have been involved in Cross Phase Observations. These are ongoing and involve Primary teachers observing Secondary lessons and vice versa. Teachers have commented on how valuable this has been on giving them an insight into life in a Primary/Secondary school and most importantly, sharing of pedagogy. The observations are taking place alongside termly cross phase moderation in all core subjects.

Science teachers from St Margaret Ward have been delivering practical Science sessions in our feeder Primary schools to Year 4 and 5 students. Mr Delves was demonstrating a dissection!

Summer Transition 2019

All 210 students beginning their studies at St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy in September 2019 were invited to an intensive 7-week Transition Programme during June and July of 2019. During this time students were introduced to Catholic Life and were taught a range of subjects including Mathematics, English and Science. Students also had the opportunity to study subjects that they had not previously studied before, for example, Food and Design Technology. One student said that the highlight of the transition for him, was making a volcano erupt during a Science Practical in one of our 7 Laboratories. All students were also invited to a Friendship Day where they spent the morning with their form tutors and the rest of their form group, getting involved in teamwork activities.

During the first week of the summer holidays students were invited to the St Margaret Ward Summer School. Activities included Engineering with KMF, Cook & Eat sessions with Nutribox and the History of Gaming where students could play on a range of over 25 games consoles dating back from 1980. Students were also given the chance to go cycling at Manifold Valley and Fishing at Blakehall Fisheries, where fully qualified instructors carefully guided students on the correct technique. Free lunches were very kindly provided by The Hubb for all students.

 

Mathematics and English teachers from St Margaret Ward and each of our feeder Primary Schools have been involved in Cross Phase Observations. These are ongoing and involve Primary teachers observing Secondary lessons and vice versa. Teachers have commented on how valuable this has been on giving them an insight into life in a Primary/Secondary school and most importantly, sharing of pedagogy. The observations are taking place alongside termly cross phase moderation in all core subjects.

Science teachers from St Margaret Ward have been delivering practical Science  sessions in our feeder Primary schools to Year 4 and 5 students. The photos below show Mr Delves demonstrating a dissection!

Mr Foster, our Design Technology Assistant, has worked incredibly hard over the Lockdown period to create 225 Half Term activity packs for families across all nine Collegiate Schools. Mr Foster weighed out i

ngredients for 1350 shortbread biscuits and handmade 225 wooden butterflies! This project was in collaboration with The Hubb Foundation and we hope

to deliver more activity packs throughout the Easter holidays.