Hockey players take on the Scot

ESF Pumas 2014 (1)The best young hockey players from three sister schools have teamed up to take on rivals across the border.

Girls from Bede Academy, in Blyth, and Emmanuel College, Gateshead, were joined by players from Trinity Academy, in Thorne, near Doncaster, to form the Emmanuel Schools Foundation (ESF) Pumas.

Each year a fresh Pumas squad goes on tour to play independent schools around the country.

This year’s team have headed to Edinburgh for two matches against Dunbar Grammar School and North Berwick High School.

Natalie Winchester, a PE teacher at Bede Academy who organised the tour, said:

“We had trials back in October with around 30 girls putting themselves forward. From those we selected the squad and we’ve since done some training sessions and played practice matches including winning against the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle.

“It was a good confidence boost for the girls. They will meet some stiff opposition in Scotland as both teams are from private schools and North Berwick has some Scottish national players. It will be a challenge but also a very good test for our girls.”

Mrs Winchester added that this year’s Pumas squad was among the best ESF had put together.

“Some of the Trinity Academy girls play club hockey and some of the girls from Bede have been involved in training with the county. At Bede our Year 10 girls are one of the strongest teams we’ve had,” she explained.

Emmanuel College student Katy Cuthbertson, 14, of Gateshead, said:

“We’ve gelled as a team so I think we will play pretty well.”

Emily Hindmarch, 14, of Blyth, said:

“When we played against RGS the team held really good formation as the ball was being passed so we need to repeat that in Scotland.”

The players and their teachers are staying in a youth hostel in Edinburgh and will also visit the city zoo, go bowling and take a city bus tour during their visit.

Early Easter arrivals at Bede Academy

Chick (1)TINY arrivals have been ruffling feathers at a North East school with students queuing down the corridor for a glimpse of some newborn friends.

Nine chicks have hatched at Bede Academy, Blyth, in a science project designed to help students appreciate the wonders of nature.

One little chick had to be sent away to hospital for splints after its legs splayed while the remaining eight have adopted celebrity status with countless students wanting to see them.

Chick (2)Pupils have also come up with names for the chicks including Kanye Nest, Eggward and Chick Norris.

Head of science at Bede Academy, Dr Craig Sams, said the project had generated a barrage of questions.

He explained:

“We set up a webcam so we didn’t miss the moment when the first chicks began to hatch and ever since the interest from students and staff has been phenomenal.

“It really has been successful in stimulating a massive interest in science across all year groups because the chicks help students relate their studies to the life around them and give them greater understanding of things we often take for granted.”

Apprentice picks up county award

Apprentice of the Year (1)A SCHOOL receptionist has proved to be one of Northumberland’s finest after securing a top award for her efforts.

Helen Barnes, a clerical assistant at Bede Academy, in Blyth, was awarded the accolade after being nominated by her manager Kay Thompson.

The 19-year-old was presented with a glass trophy in the Northumberland’s Finest annual awards run by the county council’s Youth Services to celebrate achievement.

Head of employable skills services Elaine O’Connor also presented Helen with a special certificate.

Originally from Morpeth and now living in Blyth, Helen began working at the academy while studying an NVQ Level 2 in business administration. She also helped out in the special educational needs department as a reader, scriber and student support assistant.

Apprentice of the Year (2)In her spare time she volunteers at the Blyth branch of British Red Cross.

Mrs Thompson said:

“This was a great opportunity to recognise Helen who has gained qualifications and secured a job after so well during her apprenticeship.

“She has brought a great deal to our office and to Bede Academy and we were delighted to be able to offer her a permanent position.”

Helen said:

“I love working at Bede. Everyone is so friendly and I have been offered some amazing opportunities.

“It is lovely to be recognised and I would certainly recommend other young people to consider the apprentice route because it has really worked for me. The fact you are earning money while you learn is great.”

Helen is now looking forward to moving home, taking her driving test and is considering taking further qualifications.