News Update 3rd Feb 2017

Focus on Attendance

90% attendance is the equivalent to 1/2 a day of school missed every week. Over a school year, that equates to 4 whole weeks missed, which through a secondary school career is the same as missing half a year.

Research suggests that 17 missed days of school a year will show as a grade drop in achievement.

Less than 60% of students who miss an average of between 10 and 12.5 school days a year will gain 5 or more grades A-C at GCSE. So 90% attendance may not be quite as good as it sounds!

Sometimes you may feel that you need to talk to someone about the reasons for your absence. There are plenty of good listeners at Ansford. Make your first approach either through your Form Tutor, the Attendance Officer or your Head of School.

Lots of students feel inclined to take time off in the run up to tests and coursework deadlines. Don’t! The problem just grows. Catching up with missed work is important. A missed day shouldn’t mean missed work. Being well organised can help relieve stress. Keep an intelligent planner and always look ahead. Don’t be too hard on yourself though– do take the chance to celebrate a piece of coursework handed in, revision completed or a topic learned.

If you can improve your attendance by 1%, you will see a 5-6% improvement in attainment.(Department for Education and Skills)

Ensure your attendance is above 95% and achieve your potential.


Congratulations to Cameron Craig who won a Bronze medal at the South West division of the British Youth Fencing Championship at Millfield school on 29th January.

This competition involved fencers from the entire South West region, with players from Wiltshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. The win enables Cameron to compete in the British Youth Championships, to be held in Sheffield over the May Bank Holiday, where all other qualifiers from around the country will compete. Good luck Cameron! We’re all rooting for you!

Poetry Live

On Thursday 26th January a group of Year 11 students visited Bath to participate in Poetry Live. At the event the Year 11s got the opportunity to watch the poets read their poems and ask any questions they had about them.

Poetry Live was an excellent way to gain a greater understanding of the poems that the students have been studying for their exams and the poets’ reasons behind them. Mostly the poets performed a selection of their own poems, before taking questions about them. There was a range of personalities and inspirations, so this was a brilliant opportunity for students to get to know the poets better.

The students also got to listen to a GCSE examiner and learnt many really useful tips from him on how to answer poetry questions in the exam. The examiner focused mainly on the unseen poetry question – the hardest one in the Year 11 exam. He went through an example poem and explained the best sequence of things to do when given a poem as well as some tips for answering the question.

Exchange Host Families

We are really excited to confirm that arrangements have been made for 20 students and 4 teachers to visit us here at Ansford Academy from Kunskapsskolan Saltsjöbaden School in Sweden between the 15th and 19th May 2017. This will be a marvellous opportunity to share experiences with our exchange school. We are still looking for families to host some of these students and would be delighted to hear from you if you are able to accommodate one or two. For more information please contact Verity Smith at

The Addams Family by CATs

A new musical comedy, containing all the characters from the well-loved family film. The story is based around Wednesday Addams desperately wanting her totally unconventional family to appear ‘normal’ to her new boyfriend & his typically conventional parents after she invites them over for dinner.

If you are looking for an evening of light relief and amusement, this is the show for you as it is packed with great characters, catchy musical numbers & hilarious scenes with some extremely funny lines. There are a number of Ansford students, past and present, in the cast including 2016 leaver Elena Morgan who will be playing Wednesday Addams. Elena is now thoroughly enjoying her drama course at SPACE in Taunton where she’s played Matilda in a cut down version of the West End musical and has been involved in creating and performing educational theatre pieces for Years 9 to 11 with the rest of her class mates.

Ansford’s Aspirationals

Jess Nurse - Year of 2016

Jess Nurse - Year of 2016

Jess is currently studying for a Level 3 BTEC at Bridgwater & Taunton College based at Cannington. She currently lives at the college during the week. At the beginning of the year she reached the finals for the Dairy Crest Awards for Somerset, Dorset, Devon & Cornwall and was the youngest of the 5 finalists, some of whom were already at university and working in the industry. She had to be interviewed by a panel of 5 experts and had some very tough questions concerning the dairy industry. Whilst she didn't win, she still received a generous bursary from them to help towards her study costs. She has also received a bursary from the Royal Bath & West and The Studley Trust, all of which were given to her based on her application and experience of agriculture.

Tele handler Jess is absolutely loving the college life, she finds the course fun and interesting and loves the independence of living away from home. She has met a whole new group of like minded friends. Her latest achievement was to pass her Tele handler course. The course involves a work experience placement which is giving her great experience in the workplace and is developing her abilities to work with others, even grumpy farmers!!

They have recently had a careers day at the college and Jess was very inspired by a large agricultural company who offer a management development programme, which could be her next step after college, or she may further her education at university. Wherever she sets her sights, it is fantastic to hear that Jess is doing so well and we wish her continued success and enjoyment.

Cormac Pike - Year of 2016

Whilst studying at Ansford Academy, Cormac was also playing football for Bristol Rovers Academy from the Under 13 age range through to the Under 16s, having previously been with the Yeovil Town Under 12s.

Cormac played Somerset Schools County football at U15 and U16. It was when playing for the County that he came to the attention of Millfield School and they invited him to attend a Scholarship day. He was very fortunate to be offered a Scholarship, but he needed to obtain certain grades at GCSE. He worked extremely hard to achieve this and after securing 5 A’s and 3 B’s he was accepted by Millfield, where he is studying A Levels in Sports Science, Economics and Geography.

Since being at Millfield Cormac has established himself in the school football 1st team and has been selected to play representative football for ISFA (Independent Schools Football Association) recently playing his first international fixture against Australia.

earnCormac has always worked hard at both his football and school so it is great to see him deservedly relishing the fantastic opportunities and challenges that he has earnt for himself, and we wish him many more successes both at Millfield and beyond.

If you know of any success stories of students past or present that we should be celebrating, please

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