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School Newsletter
Welcome to the first Ercall Wood Digital Newsletter!

We are delighted to share with you what's been happening!

See our latest news
MAY 2020

Welcome to our first Ercall Wood Academy e-Newsletter! We will be emailing you all a copy of our newsletter every half term as a new way of sharing our successes and news with our students, families and the community.

Since starting my work with EWA, I have felt that the school has needed to promote the excellent work it does inside the classrooms and, of equal value, outside of the school environment. The newsletter is our way of doing that, so please share it with others. Our first EWA Newsletter contains lots of information on our Covid-19 response, home learning and key worker activities alongside some of the news from the previous term that we didn’t have time to share before closure.

In my recent letter, I expressed how desperate the staff were to get the children back into the building and after looking at these pictures and reading the news I know you will feel the same about starting school life again.

Yours sincerely,
Mr Paul Roberts
Executive Principal
01952 387300
Update on Coronavirus

For the latest updates from school on the current situation regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) , please click the link below.

School Website

Move Aside Joe Wicks!

Joe Wicks may have been ‘inspiring the country’ to get fit during the lockdown, but Ercall Wood Academy has had its own 'Body Coach' inspiring young people for over a decade. And now Mr Smithson, Head of the P.E Department, has hit back with a new ‘Get Active’ challenge for students and staff alike.

The P.E team are laying down the gauntlet for students and staff by challenging them to commit to a minimum of two activities a week. These can be in the form of a walk (minimum 30 minutes), cycle (minimum 20 minutes) or run (minimum 10 minutes). P.E’s ‘Star of the Week’ will be awarded to the student who walks, cycles or runs the most week by week.

Students can share their distances covered via social media, or email Mr Smithson himself who said, “My team will be joining in with this challenge and sharing our screenshots of our exercise throughout the week. We want to get as many of our students active and try to improve their physical and mental wellbeing at this extremely tough time.”

Students are advised to download an app such as Strava to help record distances accurately, and then upload to Twitter, Instagram or email Mr Smithson. Keep in touch via the P.E’s Twitter feed where you may see a couple of old faces popping up.

Competition Results

Young Artist Rotary Club District Competition Results:

In the Intermediate category, 7 Turquoise’s Sean Jalving came out on top and his entry has now been forwarded to the Rotary National competition. Lauren Cooper, of 9 Blue, respectfully came away with a ‘Highly Commended’ position.

In the Senior category, Isobel Shaw came runner-up to Rebecca Morris’s entry, and like Sean, Rebecca’s work will now join the National competition. We wish both students the very best of luck and await the results with fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, Jacob Ryder of Y11 was runner-up in the Senior Young Photography Rotart Club District Competition. Well done to all.

He Captured the Country's Hearts

Whilst in lockdown, many students have still found a way to express themselves creatively, none more so than Jasmin Clarke of Y9. Jasmin produced a beautifully crafted piece in tribute to Captain Tom Moore, who has captured the hearts of the nation with his fantastic drive and spirit in raising over an astounding £32, 000, 000 for the NHS. 


As a school, we have recently launched GCSE Pod with Years 10 and 11. GCSE Pod is a website that contains pods (short videos) of 3-5 minutes for most GCSE subjects, and can be accessed on any internet enabled device.

The feedback from students has hugely positive as it is a resource they can use on the go, at a time that suits them! Haven't tried it yet? Hit the link above!

Home Learning - The Speech that 'Wowed' us.

Since going into Lockdown, English students have been busy completing their online learning which has included Y7 beginning their journey of ‘Adventure and Travel’, Y8 inspecting their new module on ‘Crime and Conflict’ and Y9 taking trepid footsteps towards their new module ‘Evil’.

Elsewhere, Y10 Language students have been tasked with researching and then creating a speech on a topic close to their hearts. The English team has been delighted with their response, and some of the wide-ranging topics include: climate change, men’s mental health, US military budget, space exploration, gender discrimination, human cloning and the afterlife to name a few. A special mention, however, must go to Deja McGowan who has blown the English team away with her beautifully crafted, emotive and engaging speech on Peters Anomaly – well done Deja!

Thank you NHS!

Meanwhile, some students of key workers are still coming into school and they decided to spend some time writing letters of thanks. The English Department's Miss Evans came up with the idea which was enthusiastically taken up as the letters were posted out to The Princess Royal Hospital, local G.P Surgeries and care homes as students expressed their admiration for the hard-working heroes of Telford.

We were delighted to receive some correspondence back from the staff of Priory Nursing Home who really appreciated the efforts of our young students, in particular, Ella Norgrove.

Star Student

And finally, each week in English, the team nominate students from their classes who have produced an excellent piece of work, put in great effort or demonstrated a positive approach. Praise letters are then sent home to parents congratulating their child on their achievement. Students who earn two praise letters in the same term go into a prize draw and the winner of the Spring Term is…..Zoya Nadeem! Well done Zoya! Zoya will receive her book voucher on our return to school.


Students have kept their German speaking and listening skills sharp with a host of activities including: researching Easter traditions on German speaking countries, listening and reading activities as well as independent writing and translation pieces. Some students have even gone as far as conversing in German via Show My Homework leaving the MFL Department suitably impressed; sehr gut!

Star students of the week are Charlotte Black (Y10) and Natasha Barnes (Y8). Well done girls!

Performing Arts
Memories To Last A Lifetime

There is no escaping that this global pandemic has changed our lives to varying degrees and wrought turbulence in all corners. Nevertheless, there are sparks, glimmers and whole rays of light coming from the students at Ercall Wood who have shown resilience and their true colours from the embryonic stages of the school closure and Lockdown.

That spirit is exemplified none more so than the Y11 Drama students who had to accept, adapt and perform their practical exams earlier than anticipated. Although most GCSE examinations were cancelled by the Government, some coursework and practical exams still went ahead. Miss Bowater explained: “I really wanted all the hard work they had put in to be counted towards their grades”. Students were given special dispensation from their regular school timetable to refine their performance, working closely with Miss Bowater. “I got to spend some real quality time with a fantastic bunch. They were enthusiastic (without exception), calm (almost without exception) and an absolute joy”.

Although Y11 students were given a special ‘goodbye’ on the final day of school before its closure, it came much earlier than expected. Miss Bowater went on to say: “They have been the back-bone of my drive to establish Drama at Ercall Wood. They have been in all the productions. They have been a constant presence in the department. They have smiled when I needed a smile, and worked when I needed them to buckle down. To say I will miss them when we return is an under-statement”.

Since then, we as a school, have witnessed that continued resilience and spirit across all year groups with students adapting to the ever-changing circumstances but still managing to flourish and lead the way.

Don't I recognise that face?

The next time you walk into school, you may notice a few changes around the corridors and find yourself saying, ‘Don’t I know them?’.

The Performing Art’s production of Noughts & Crosses proved such a hit, Miss Bowater has had a hand in a ‘re-design’ of the pictures along the corridors and thinks you look “fabulous!”. She went on to say “Everyone who enters the building will know just how proud we all are of your achievements. So, hold your head up high and walk with pride because you are now officially part of Ercall Wood history!”.

Miss Bowater has also revealed the school’s next production will be a musical, so get practicing your singing, dancing, playing and acting!

Sports Round-Up


The Year 7 football teams had contrasting fortunes back in March as the A team came out on top in a topsy-turvy encounter against Charlton, winning through 4-2, whilst the B team lost out to HLC A Team, 7-0 in the Telford Plate. Both teams showed exemplary sporting attitudes, but special thanks must go to Y9 OCR students Euan Riddell and Harry Flack for officiating.


On Thursday 5th March, the Y9 boys football team booked their place in the final of the Shropshire Presidents Trophy, thrashing Shrewsbury Priory by an astonishing 10-3 score-line. Chace Clifton bagged 5 goals whilst Charlie Cooper got in on the action with a brace.

Celebrating their semi-final dramatics to '£1 Fish' – talk about team spirit!


And finally, Ercall’s Y10 B team were pitted against a strong Telford Priory side in the Telford Plate competition, eventually losing out 7-3. Great effort, lads!


The Y7 Rugby team learned some valuable lessons as they came up against two strong sides in Wrekin College and Meole Brace. In the first match, Ercall lost out by 5 tries to 1, but the second match was a much closer affair, only decided by 3 late break-away tries. Well done lads!


After going a try down to Telford Priory School, Ercall’s Y9&10 Rugby team showed real determination to come back and seal their place in the next round of the County Cup, winning by 12 points to 5. Morgan Lother and Oliver Cottam with the break-through tries and Jake Peachy adding a well taken conversion.


Meanwhile, the Y10&11 Rugby team played host to HLC in a friendly match, which was contested in fine sporting spirits with a great deal of technical abilities on display. This was the last opportunity for some of the Y11 students to represent their school, and it looks as though they made the most of every minute.


Competition Time!

Explosive Competition

Having impressed the Geography team in recent weeks with their work on tectonics, Y7 are being given the chance to win a £10 voucher. Students are being asked to put their new-found knowledge to good use by designing and creating their own volcano.

Miss Rickerby is encouraging students to get creative with this task and has suggested students could:

  • Bake a volcano cake
  • Paint, draw or make a sculpture of a volcano from materials around your house
  • Make a volcano from things you can find in the garden

Photographs of your vivacious volcano should be sent to Miss Rickerby ( no later than Sunday 31st May. The winning entry will also be posted on the school website. We wish you a 'laval' luck!

Rainforest Animal Competition

In recent weeks, Y8 have been creating their own rainforest animal. Now the Georgraphy Department are challenging you to go one step further and bring your design to life!

You could:

  • Bake a cake or loaf of bread in the shape of your animal
  • Paint or make a model/sculpture of your animal from materials around your house
  • Make your animal from things you can find in the garden

The deadline for entries is Sunday 31st May, with pictures being sent to Miss Rickerby ( The winner will receive a £10 voucher and see their work proudly displayed on the school website.

Show Your Colours

A sunny afternoon on Friday 13th March saw the inaugural Ercall Wood colour run take place at school with more than 150 students and staff taking part in order to raise money for several charities. A fantastic effort was made by all students taking part, but notable mentions must go to top fund raiser Katie Wear who raised a massive £200 as well as Gus Smith who raised £100; a brilliant effort by both.

The Students completed laps of the school field navigating their way around various obstacles such as tyres, crawling under nets and jumping over numerous hurdles all whilst being pelted with a variety of powdered paint colours by staff members! Overall, more than £2000 was raised which is a phenomenal effort and will go a long way to supporting some amazing causes and everyone who took part should be really proud of themselves.

How will you celebrate VE Day?

Friday 8th May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of The Allies' (Britain, USA and Russia) victory over Germany and The Axis (Italy and Japan).

Having been at war for 6 years, Germany's surrender on the 8th May sparked several days of celebration in Britain, permitted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which then became known as 'Victory in Europe' day or, 'VE Day'.

As a nation we should have had a bank holiday this Friday 8th May as part of the nations’ celebrations to recognise 75 Years of peace in Europe; 75 Years since the original VE Day but Covid-19 has effected that. 

However, Mr Hatch would like you to mark the occasion by doing something to remember our freedoms, and think about the day when after the Lockdown those freedoms will be restored. Some of Mr Hatch's suggestions include; designing a badge or bunting, making a cake or poster which could proudly be displayed from the window of your house.

If you do celebrate the day, please take a picture of your creations and email them to Mr Hatch by the 25th May:

The History team will collate everyone's work to display on the screens around school ready for our return.

'When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today' (Kohima epitaph).

Science Week

Just before going into lockdown, we celebrated National Science Week in the Science Department. The theme this year was ‘Our Diverse Planet’. As part of Science Week, Year 7 and 8 were invited to design a poster based on this year’s theme. Below is a selection of some of the entries to the competition. There was a range of interpretations to the theme, including animals of the world, the planet in the solar system and other cultures on the planet.

After a lot of consideration there were two winners chosen; Zayyan Mohamed 7G and Sean Jalvig 7T. Both of their designs were colourful and engaging. The judges commended Sean on the focus of farming and Zayyan for the use of so many different languages and people. 

Winning entry: Zayyan Mohamed

Winning entry: Sean Jalvig

Also, as part of Science Week, most classes were given the opportunity to design different houses that would survive a flood.

Normally, this is based on societies far away, but after the flooding in the local areas, particularly Ironbridge and Shrewsbury, the students had a much greater understanding of the impacts of the floods.

Each material used was to model a different material, for example plastic straws were bamboo sticks and aluminium foil represented steel sheets. Students had to cost up their designs and consider the value for money before testing them by pouring water on to their houses for one minute.

The final section of Science Week was to deliver a presentation to the rest of the class, those that did take part in this were impressive in their presentation skills, especially as it is not always easy to talk in front of your peers.

Home Learning

Since entering Home Learning, Y7 were given the task of writing a report about Wind Power, this was following the topic that many had been studying in school. Y7 are now working through an Ecology unit.

This is the perfect opportunity to explore the different areas of any outdoor space you may have access to. You can look out for any small insects and other creepy crawlies!

Looking ahead to June, the Wildlife Trust do an activity called ’30 days Wild’. They have adapted the challenges and activities for this year’s challenge so that they can be completed closer to home. For more information click the link .

Y8 have also been working well at home and they were given the task of considering if zoos have a place in the modern world.

This did require a lot of research and deep thinking as part of the task. There were a lot of detailed and interesting reports, but we would like to take this opportunity to say a massive Well done to Sam Haywood in 8E1 for his report (which can be seen below).

You may have already seen that some of our local zoos are doing activities on their websites, for example Chester Zoo are doing virtual zoo days on their Facebook and YouTube pages.

Latest News

We are excited to share with you some great news around our Careers department! These last few months have been very busy. Not only have we been on lots of great trips and experiences pre lockdown, we have also moved into the new Careers Hub.

The Careers Hub is based on the ground floor where Resources used to be. We have lots of careers information, computers for your use with advice and guidance on offer. Call in and say ‘hi’ to us. Mrs Meiklejohn, Head of Careers, Mrs Hasenauer Head of Life Skills, Mr Austin from Future Focus and Miss Smith ,our post 16 Transition Coordinator, are all based there and on hand to support you.

ready seen t

We have also created a whole new Careers section on the Ercall Wood website. You can reach it via the Student tab and then Careers.

There is so much information on offer allowing you to explore post 16 pathways, colleges, apprenticeships, BTECS and much more. You will also find useful information about local colleges and training providers, Universities, the world of work, employability, Labour market information and helpful videos to offer you tips and guidance. Check it out and contact us should you want any further information or help.


We are now using START, an online careers tool to support you in making careers decisions. Letters have been sent out to all parents with full instructions on how to sign up, there is also information about start and our school code on the Careers section of the website. Sign up and check START out. Any issues let us know and we can help get you registered.

Social News

Despite the school closure, we have been busily finding new and more efficient ways in communicating with the whole school community, particularly during such strange and testing times.

We are proud to announce Ercall Wood Academy’s own official Instagram page, which can be found at: @ercallwoodacademy or, if you don’t have an account or the app, can be found here:

We will now only have one Instagram account for the Academy.

In addition to Instagram account we have set up a new section on the Academy website titled ‘Covid-19’. This section of the website will be used for us to communicate with you as a community. Here you will find support pages, the latest information, messages from staff, competitions and lots of “stars of the week”. This can be found here and is best viewed on a laptop.

Take a look at our “Miss you” video which has been very kindly designed and developed by Miss Morris (our Head of English) and Mr Cooke (IT Technician). The whole school are grateful for the thought and effort which has gone into this heart-warming message.

As always we will be continuing to add communication to the school Twitter account: @ErcallWood.

Don’t worry if you do not have a Twitter account as you can find all the posts on the front of our webpage.

Stay safe and healthy, Mr Andrews (Assistant Headteacher).

website twitter instagram
Ercall Wood Academy

Golf Links Lane, Telford, TF1 2DT

01952 387300

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