Tour de Mont 2017

On Thursday 13th of July, 36 riders participated in the 3rd Tour de Mont. After completing six weeks of skills and fitness sessions under the watchful eye of master coaches Tom and Maddie Leivers, riders lined up for the main event. First up was the Street Sprints involving riders powering through a sharp bending course to earn points for their team. In the morning session, Team Sky captained by experienced rider Eddie Clough took a commanding lead.

Next up was the team time trial where Dimension Data won by 0.25 of a second over a well drilled Sky Team containing local club riders and last years’ Tour of Britain winners Eddie Clough, Leon Beardsley and Sophie Price.

The dreaded skills tests were next with riders having to wheelie, ride over planks and pick up bottles with Jordan Ryan and Connor Heaton leading the way for teams Dimension Data and Lotto Jumbo.

Finally it was time for the main event of the day – the individual time trial. After a very fast start, riders settled in for 11 laps of the Redgras which is a leg burning, lung busting challenge! Connor Heaton, Eddie Clough and Nathan Reay set the pace for the boys with Naomi Brennan, Sam Potter and Sophie Price for the girls. After 12 minutes of torture Connor Heaton finally broke away for the win from Clough after dropping Nathan Reay for a strong finish, Jordan Ryan taking 3rd with Naomi Brennan winning by a margin over second placed rider Sophie Price.

Overall results:-

1st Sky

Eddie Clough

Leon Beardsley

Sophie Price

James Penn

Lance McMinn

2nd Dimension Data

Naomi Brennan

Connor Heaton

Hayden Bound         `

Sam Rowell

Bailey Conway-Moore

3rd Lotto Jumbo

Jordan Ryan

Alice Richardson

James Rowe

Ben Agnew

Diana Wilson

4th BMC

Sam Potter

Nathan Reay

Josh Robinson

Ewan Pringle

Rebecca Smith

In the afternoon another 16 riders took part in the senior event. Returning legends, Trey Davidson, Adam Kirkbride, Wil Jones and the mighty Curtis Hailes were joined by newcomers eager to take their title. Wil jones and Adam Kirkbride performed well in the Street Sprints, both taking maximum points in their races before Trey Davidson, true to form, snapped his chain and mimicked Chris Froome with a run to the finish!

The team trial saw a very strong performance from team Sky, Jackson Law leading from the front and finishing just behind winners BMC, led by endurance machine Lee Fraser.

In the skills section Wil and Adam once again battled it out equalling each other’s points totals and Jack Moore-Brennan scored a perfect 18 points. Thomas Bragg impressed all with his 50m wheelie!

Finally, riders lined up for the individual time trial. This was the centrepiece of the Tour. Zach Singleton, Lee Fraser, Aidan Henderson, Jackson Law, Adam Kirkbride, Jamie Kinnear, Trey Davidson, Travis Short, Ashleigh Dixon, Wil Jones, Mr Simpson and defending two-time champion Mr Price were among the favourites in the strongest field yet.

As Tom started the race five riders immediately cycled off the front to gain a 200m lead. Of these Mr Price and Mr Simpson led the way working well together to try and make the selection. Wil Jones and Trey Davidson responded working their way back to the leading riders. Mr Simpson upped the pace once again breaking free and dropping Wil and Trey who were now working as a team to bridge the gap. Ashleigh Dixon was riding in the third group back and taking long turns on the front in the wind. After the bell rang for the final lap Mr Simpson was leading with Mr Price sitting on his wheel and not far behind Trey was riding with Wil on his wheel. On the last corner, Mr Price took the inside line to beat Mr Simpson winning his third Tour de Mont time trial. Wil Jones took the win for Lotto Jumbo, Trey took 2nd place for Sky and Lee Fraser 3rd for BMC.

Mr Price said, “A massive thank you to British Cycling super coaches Tom and Maddie Leivers who have enabled over 200 pupils to access cycling at the academy and who have travelled every Thursday from Blackpool over the past six weeks. Without these coaches the Tour de Mont would never exist! Congratulations to all of the riders…get ready for the Tour de Mont 12th of July 2018!”

Overall Results:-

1st Dimension Data

Adam Kirkbride

Trey Davidson

Thomas Bragg

Jamie Kinnear

2nd Lotto Jumbo

Travis Short

Wil Jones

Roan Spour

Thomas Sloan

3rd BMC

Zach Singleton

Curtis Hailes

Ashleigh Dixon

Lee Fraser

4th Sky

Jackson Law

Aidan Henderson

Harry Hughes

Jack Moore-Brennan


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Posted July 19th 2017

Year 11 Prom

The Year 11 Prom was recently held at The Red Admiral in Gosforth with 126 guests attending the evening to celebrate the end of school and the end of exams.

The theme of the evening was an elegant summer floral theme and was hosted in a marquee on the grounds of the venue with a disco provided by ‘Ultimate Sounds’.

Bret Fairclough was awarded ‘Prom King’ and Louise Kelly ‘Prom Queen’ and the ‘best dressed’ went to Shelby Mounsey and Sean Aspinall.

Head of Year 11, Holly Donaldson commented, “The evening was stunning from beginning to end. The evening began with hundreds of students past and present, parents, staff and the general public turning up at the academy to see the students off. Students arrived in style by a dodge drag car and limousine. The students all looked beautiful and to see them looking all grown up was emotional. The atmosphere was electric and the students had a wonderful time dancing and singing the night away. The venue, photographer (former student Ailsa Cowen) Ultimate Sounds and the Prom Committee all did an outstanding job. A fabulous night was had by all!”

All of the photos from the evening have been uploaded to our Facebook page. 

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Posted July 13th 2017

Annual Awards Evening 2017

Parents, students, staff and governors joined together to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our students over the past year.

Over 250 guests attended the prestigious annual event, which honours students for a range of achievements including; academic achievement, student leadership, overcoming adversity and involvement in extra curricular activities.

The event had a ‘garden tea party’ theme and for the first time the ceremony was held in a marquee in the academy grounds. Flowers, balloons and vintage crockery adorned the marquee and guests were treated to a delicious afternoon tea served by the student hospitality team. The academy’s talented pianists, Eli Hughes and Joseph Alderson played for guests and singers Leahmae Garbino Lawlor and Izzy Faulkner also gave outstanding performances.

The Year 10 band played for guests on arrival and an art exhibition of students’ work was on display around the academy. There was also the chance for guests to watch a screening of our recent Rock Challenge winning performance.

During the ceremony we heard from guest speaker; former student Stephanie Crossley, who joins the London based law firm Slaughter and May in the new year. Stephanie spoke to the students about making the most of the opportunities on offer at the academy and how to achieve your goals.

Notable winners from the evening include Amber Whyte (Year 12) who picked up four awards for academic excellence, overall achievement, achievement in Year 12 and top student in Year 12. Neve Richardson (Year 10) was presented with the Apollo Award for ‘Learner of the Year’ for making outstanding progress across all of her subjects.

Assistant Principal, Melissa Relph commented, “This year we decided to change the way we run our annual awards as we believe that it’s really important that our students’ achievements are given the credit they deserve. The event was joint effort from across the academy community. Staff and students came together, working hard for weeks to make sure that the event was a huge success. We have been inundated with feedback from parents and students about how special the event was and how much they enjoyed themselves. Well done to all of the students who received an award.”

For all of the photographs from the event please visit our Facebook page.


Blue Peter Badge Winners

In English lessons this term, students have had the opportunity to apply for a Blue Peter badge. Blue Peter offer different badges for children to apply for, such as a green badge for writing to them about environmental issues, and a purple badge for viewers who write a review of a Blue Peter episode. This fitted in with English lessons this term as Year 7 have been learning how to write a review of a play, and Year 8 were learning how to write a campaign and persuade their reader to be involved with an environmental issue of their choice.

Mrs Freestone said, “All students were set the task of writing a letter to Blue Peter and I posted them in the hope that some of our students would be awarded with the badge. I’m delighted that such a large number of both Year 7 and 8 students have gained a badge. Pupils were excited to receive badges and they are proudly wearing them on their blazers. I’m jealous that I’m now too old to be able to apply for my own badge!”


Posted July 06th 2017

Windermere Sprint Triathlon

Sixth Form students, Dylan Connor, Isabel Postlethwaite and David King recently took part in the Windermere Sprint Triathlon team event and won.

Mr Price said, “They beat 25 other teams to be crowned inaugural winners. Isabel Postlethwaite set an excellent pace swimming the first leg under 35 minutes before Dylan Connor obliterated the field on the bike section, averaging over 19mph on a very hilly course. David King then finished with a strong 10k run completing this in 48 minutes. All three competitors have been training extremely hard whilst completing their final exams. Well done!”


Posted July 05th 2017

Young Physicist of the Year

Well done to Faris Redza (12AM) who has been presented with a Young Physicist of the Year award from The Ogden Trust at an event held at Lancaster University.

The Ogden Trust promotes the teaching and learning of physics. Each year they award promising young physicists with book tokens and entry into the trust where they can apply for events and other programmes.

Dr Dixon nominated Faris for the award, she said, “Faris has made a very positive start to his study of Physics and contributes enthusiastically to our lessons. He approaches new opportunities for learning head on and pursues challenges through to successful completion, always looking to expand his knowledge. Faris is particularly inspired by astronomy and cosmology and hopes to follow his interests by undertaking a Physics degree at university. Faris is part of our winning Engineering Education Scheme (EES) team who will be representing the North at the national Future Industry Leaders Awards (FILA) final in London later this year.”


Rock Challenge Champions


West Lakes Academy wowed judges on Saturday night at the Rock Challenge Northern Premier Final. The premier team, made up of over 100 performers and stage crew travelled to Grimsby to compete against ten other premier teams in the final.

The academy performed their eight minute piece based on a book by Laline Paull called The Bees. The story enters a whole new world within a beehive, main character Flora is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen.

Judges awarded the academy first place naming them the Northern Premier Champions of 2017. The team also scooped all 14 awards of excellence including accolades for choreography, concept and stage crew alongside the coveted ‘performers’ choice’ award chosen by the other schools.

Mrs Sunter said, “The competition this year was the strongest we had ever seen. We knew we were competing with the best when we saw the standard of the others in the rehearsal. That’s why this award feels so special. Proud doesn’t seem like a strong enough word to describe how I feel towards the Rock Challenge team. We call ourselves family and that’s what we are.”

Mrs Whitaker added, “We are all extremely pleased with our performance on Saturday. To see our students perform on stage was enough, but the overall result was definitely the icing on the cake. The whole team has worked tirelessly since September to create a piece that would make West Lakes Academy and Cumbria proud. Thank you to everyone that contributed in any way.”

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The atmosphere at Grimsby was absolutely electric. The students watched all of the other schools rehearse excitedly. They cheered and clapped for each school showing true Rock Challenge spirit. Some students were even pulled on stage, during the crew dance, as they had taken the time to learn the routine. When the team got on the stage to rehearse they performed as though it was the actual competition. Other schools shouted and cheered. A student from another school even snapchatted it and said ‘Rock Challenge goals’.

It’s a very long day, but the students didn’t let this affect them. Everyone talked about how polite, supportive and professional they were.

The team commented that the competition this year was the strongest they had ever seen. We knew we were competing with the best when we saw the standard of the others in the rehearsal. That’s why this award feels so special. It still doesn’t feel real. We are all so proud of each other that we are all close to tears when we see each other. Students’ comments to each other, to staff and on Twitter show so much love for each other and what they do. They also show maturity, respect and love towards all of the other teams.

This is the first time that WLA has won the Northern Premiership. Next year anything could happen, there will be a national competition potentially in Milton Keynes. We would love to make it there again.

One of the judges performs in the West End and he said that our performance was easily up to that standard. We were presented with every award of excellence, but the one that meant the most was Performers’ Choice. This is awarded by the other schools and they chose us. That meant the absolute world.

Awards of excellence

Stage crew
Performance skills
Set design and function
Visual enhancement
Stage use
Performers’ Choice


Posted July 04th 2017

Lawn Bowls Competition

Students from West Lakes Academy recently took part in a lawn bowls competition at Egremont Bowls Club. Ryan Corkill (Year 9 ), Lewis Glen (Year 7) and Jaden Gill (Year 9) took the top three spots in the individual competition. Mr Barber edged out Mr Price to win the adult competition with Fletcher Creasey (Year 8) getting the shot of the day.

The competition was hosted by Melville Cowin,  Egremont’s club secretary who provided refreshments, coaching and advice for the students.

Mr Price said, “We will be going back to the next open competition and will expect to bring some silverware back. It was an excellent introduction to a sport that is not really viewed upon as a choice for youngsters but everyone had tremendous fun and some pupils have already been back for more!”

Posted June 30th 2017

Pupils selected to attend Infinity Festival

The organisers of the Infinity Festival today confirmed that 210 students from across the county have been selected to attend the ground-breaking science programme being held in Cumbria in September.

All secondary schools were invited to attend the first event of its kind, which is headlined by Brian Cox, BBC broadcaster and Professor of Particle Physics at The University of Manchester.

To mark the milestone announcement, HM Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman, today visited the newly OfSTED-judged ‘outstanding’ West Lakes Academy in Egremont which is the location for the festival to meet with pupils selected to take part and some of the 44 student ambassadors from the school who will have supporting roles at the event.

Jonathan Johnson, Principal at West Lakes Academy welcomed the visit: “We are honoured to receive the Lord Lieutenant. The visit of a historical and significant regional representative of the monarchy will bring focus to the work of our school system to raise student aspirations and improve their life chances.”

HM Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Claire Hensman said: “I am so pleased to have been introduced to the Infinity Festival. It is a marvellous opportunity to open students’ eyes to the enjoyment of STEM subjects and the possibilities for their own careers. There are already many exciting jobs in science, engineering and technology in Cumbria and more to come in the future. I want to see local people with the skills to fill them. I hope the Festival will inspire the students to say “Yes, this is an area I am going to consider studying; it is offering very good prospects for my future”.

To be selected to take part, students aged 13-14 had to go through an application process which asked them to articulate why they wanted to be involved; what they will bring to the role and what they hope to gain from the experience. Each school then selected who would go forward to represent them at the event.

The event is set to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through motivating talks and exciting hands-on experiments and workshops. It will feature a stellar line up of international superstars in the world of science, technology and engineering including experts in robots, insects, crime mapping, aircraft design, nuclear reactors, and a host of other exciting fields. Other speakers are due to be announced in the coming weeks.

The festival programme will also feature employment opportunities, training options and career paths. The evening reception, will include interviews with scientists and pupils by Prof Cox, engaging with parents to ‘get them on board’ supporting pupils to aspire to a future with no limits.


Posted June 28th 2017

Goodbye Year 11

Goodbye and good luck to our amazing Year 11 students. You should all be extremely proud of everything you have achieved during your time at WLA. We wish you every success for the future, you’re all superstars!

Photos from today’s assembly and shirt signing have been added to the academy’s Facebook page. 

Remember, you will need to wear your uniform if you are coming back into the academy for friendship photos or if you have been invited to the Year 11 Awards Evening on Tuesday 20th June.

You can collect your GCSE results from 10am on Thursday 24th August. If you are unable to collect your results and wish for someone to collect them on your behalf (including family members), you must write a letter giving authorisation of the collector. The note must be signed and dated by you, the student. No results will be given out by telephone under any circumstances.


Posted June 16th 2017

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