News Stories

Tewkesbury Principal on Greatest Hits Radio

After the education secretary’s  proposal to ban the use of mobile phones in schools, Principal of Tewkesbury Academy Kathleen McGillycuddy was interviewed by Greatest Hits Radio, Gloucestershire.

Click on the link below to find out what Kathleen had to say.

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Students receive insight into NHS career pathways

Year 8 Students at Tewksbury Academy were treated to a theatre presentation this week informing them of careers and opportunities within the NHS.

The show – funded by the ‘We Want You’ careers outreach project from the Integrated Care System, One Gloucestershire – was an informative and fun introduction to post 16 & 18 pathways.

It focused on the different career and training options available within NHS Health & Social Care and the importance of planning for a successful future.

The session is designed to:

  • Increase students’ awareness of the wide range of careers and opportunities within the NHS Health & Social Care, highlighting non-clinical as well as clinical roles.
  • Raise the aspirations and motivate all students to consider a career within the NHS and Health & Social care.
  • Equip young people with the understanding of where to access information, advice and guidance.
  • Highlight the NHS constitutional values and the importance of patient care.
  • Ensure that the ethos of students’ educational input provides the opportunity to overcome socio/economic and cultural barriers to career progression participation.
  • Strengthen progression routes into healthcare vocational courses.
  • Promote the many routes students can take post-16, and how these different routes reflect their preferred learning styles and can all lead to fulfilling careers with the NHS Health & Social Care.

Careers Lead Sarah Baird said: “Students took part in an engaging one-hour interactive theatre presentation aiming to inspire young people to identify their skills and personal interests which can be matched to a future career in health and social care.

“The programme has been designed to raise aspirations and motivate all students to plan for and achieve the highest level they can in education and training. It will also examine the importance of GCSEs, Post-16 options, Post-18 options and staying on in education until 18.”

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Tewkesbury Academy is off to a flying start!

Young academics from Years 7-9 from Tewkesbury Academy were treated to a special visit today from engineers from GE Aerospace representing the Flying Start Challenge (FSC).

This regional STEM competition has been held in the South West of England for a number of years and aims to develop science and engineering skills in young people. The programme inspires students to consider a career in engineering and learn more about the opportunities available to them.

Teams were challenged to design and build a hand-launched glider, culminating in a ‘fly-off’ at the end of the day to see which could travel the furthest. Delegates shared their valuable technical expertise and knowledge with students, giving them useful lessons in design, manufacture and testing.

Budding engineers were then given the opportunity to continue with the programme and progress to a regional final against other schools on April 9.

Lucie Davis, Associate Assistant Principal, and Sarah Baird, Careers Lead, said: “We would like to thank GE Aerospace for providing our students with an exciting insight into the world of aerospace and for the future support they have pledged to give our students to help them in the next stage of the competition.”


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Tewkesbury host annual District B Team Festival

Tewkesbury Academy proudly hosted the highly anticipated annual Cheltenham District B Team Festival, showcasing the talent of over 47 teams from Year 8 to Year 11. This event provided a unique opportunity for students who may not typically secure spots in their first teams, offering them a chance to proudly represent their school in a competitive atmosphere.

Throughout the week-long festival, more than 700 students enthusiastically participated.  The emphasis was not only on competition but also on fostering a sense of teamwork, skill development, and overall enjoyment of sports.

One distinctive feature of the event was the involvement of student referees. Not only did this add an extra layer of student engagement, but it also aimed to cultivate leadership skills among the participants.

David Graham-Kevan, Head of Physical Education at Tewkesbury Academy, said: “It was a cold but very enjoyable and satisfying event to host and be involved with. It was a great team effort by the PE department and the wider extracurricular team.”

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University professor delivers lecture on Natural History GCSE

Professor Ralph Pite from University of Bristol visited Tewkesbury Academy to talk to staff about ‘Literature and the Environment and the Natural History GCSE.

The talk was an insightful, inspiring and memorable CPD event. Present at the talk were members of the Science department, English and Art departments, plus a group of A-Level students.

The GCSE called ‘Natural History’ will be implemented by the Government to start in schools in September 2025. Becci Rowberry, English Teacher and visit organiser stated: “We are all hopeful it would still include Arts and the Humanities, along with Science and Geology, to help teach a new generation of children how to look after the environment, in all its past and future forms.”

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Careers In Music

Tewkesbury Academy’s music department welcomed former student Max Walters to give a careers in music talk.

He spoke to music students in Years 9,10 and 11 about the prospect of working in the live events industry and his experience within the industry over the last two years.

Max left Tewkesbury in 2020 and is currently at university at the Academy of Live Technology in West Yorkshire. He has also had lot of work experience at The Roses Theatre.

In his talk, Max mentioned events and artists he has worked with including the Grøn Koncert in Denmark, Kendrick Lamar, Coldplay, Hozier and The Arctic Monkeys. Head of Music, Rhiannon Felton said: “It was great to welcome Max. He spoke about how Tewkesbury School and Kev Howlett (his Music Technology teacher, featured in the photo) had specifically sparked his interest in what he wanted to study and what is now his career.

“He wanted share his experiences and inspire other Tewkesbury students who may be considering the many opportunities within the live music/events industry as a future career. We wish Max every continued success.”

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Skating to Success!

Congratulations to Amelia (Y8) who won gold for Level 1 Novice for her age group in the ‘Virtual Worlds Inclusive Skating Championships 2023.’

These world championships broke their record for the most international entries, with skaters entering from all corners of the globe, including Australia, Jamaica, Latvia, and Sweden!

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Tewkesbury students visit Palace of Westminster

Three Sixth Form students and an associate member of staff from Tewkesbury Academy have completed a prestigious visit to the Palace of Westminster.

Dylan Ruscoe and Vladslav Yatsyna from Year 13 and Rhys Markey from Year 12, along with their Design and Technology technician Jerry Brown, were invited to attend an all-party Parliamentary Engineering Group (APPEG) in the Palace of Westminster.

The students listened to inspiring presentations from Professor David Balmforth, Ayo Sokale and Dr Alalea Kia, who spoke about their role as civil engineers and their involvement with engineering for clean water. The speakers addressed to a large group of students from some of the prestigious colleges and sixth form schools around the UK.

Tewkesbury Academy is very fortunate to be one of the few academies to be invited to the event, which is sponsored by businesses including Safran, a local aerospace supplier, ICE, EDF and Thales.

While there, the group also met with Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson, who was hosting the event, and his wife Annie, who kindly took the Tewkesbury visitors through to the house and into the public chambers of the House of Commons. There the sixth formers listened to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Victoria Atkins, present the second reading of the Media Bill, giving students an insight into how the parliamentary system works in the UK.

Jerry Brown said: “This was an incredible opportunity for our sixth form students to be invited to and attend. For many, this is the first opportunity to visit the house of Parliament and even London and to see British democracy first hand.

“The opportunity to listen to three leaders in their own engineering roles and hear about their journey getting them to the position they now hold is inspiring for the youth of today and our engineers of tomorrow.”

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Students join innovative leadership course

A group of 95 Year 12 students took part in an innovative self-leadership programme delivered by the College of Policing.

The course – known as Boost – has been created by Gloucestershire Constabulary. It was launched with an initial 13-month pilot in July 2020 before the programme was rolled out in full in Gloucestershire in September 2022.

It’s the first time Tewkesbury Academy has taken part in this peer-to-peer initiative, which has the ambition to build resilience and self-leadership in students. It is designed to equip Year 12 students who took part with the skills to act as mentors to Year 7 students.

This hard-hitting course addressed topics such as crime prevention, child sexual exploitation and abuse, drugs and alcohol, and ethics and values.

The aim is to encourage all young people to choose to be positive and effective personal leaders where they feel their voice is heard, that they feel valued, and they can thrive with confidence even in environments they can’t necessarily affect or alter themselves.

The students who deliver this programme receive a certificate signed by the chief constable and the police and crime commissioner.

Tewkesbury Academy’s Head of Year 12, Paul Warren, said: “Our Sixth Form students are a real asset to the Tewkesbury Academy community and their participation in this project will further embed our core school values into the daily lives of our young people.”

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Tewkesbury remembers

Staff and students at Tewkesbury Academy held a poignant Remembrance Day to pay their respects to those who lost their lives defending the country in wartime – including a former pupil.

It was with pride that the whole school community, joined by the Boys’ Brigade, Scouts, Guides and Air, Army and Sea Cadets, observed an impeccable silence. Students conducted themselves in an exemplary manner throughout the occasion.

Head Student Archie recited We Will Remember Them in the presence of Mrs Stuart – mother of former student Matthew. Matthew died in the Falklands War in service of his country. Each year a small group gathers at the tree planted in his memory and this year Ellena, Tewkesbury’s second Head Student, laid a wreath at his tree. Guests were particularly moved by Helen Walters of Tewkesbury Town Band’s playing of The Last Post – sombre notes that represent so much for so many.

Principal Kathleen McGillycuddy said: “You would be humbled and immensely proud of the children and young people of Tewkesbury as all of them plus colleagues observed the ceremony in respectful silence. Mrs Stuart was moved to tears by our students and the event itself.

“As I said last year, our freedom as a country has been reinforced and secured over the years as a result of the sacrifice of many young service men and women. Today we remember them. Today as we see lives shattered in Israel and in Gaza we hope for peace, we hope we learn the lessons of the past and we remember those who gave their lives for us.”

Photos: thanks to Jack Boskett/Nick Jones.

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