iPads for Learning Scheme 2017/18

On Tuesday 23 May we held an information evening for parents and carers of incoming Year 7 students about our iPads for Learning scheme. The details of what the scheme entails, and, most importantly how to sign up and become a part of it are located on the iPads for Learning page.

We understand that after reviewing this information you may have more questions to ask. If this is the case please do not hesitate to contact us again.

-Barry Simpson (Assistant Principal) 01946 820356





Posted May 24th 2017

Proud to be Cumbrian Day

Students and staff have been celebrating being Cumbrian with a day of fun activities looking at the Cumbrian accent and dialect.

Students spent the morning researching features of the Cumbrian accent Vs Standard English before writing and performing their own Cumbrian raps. Video messages were recorded for the students by academy staff with the reasons why they are proud to be Cumbrian.

The students also spent time creating their own Cumbrian dictionaries and acting out role play scenarios of varying formalities practising switching between standard and non-standard English.

In the afternoon the academy welcomed Jeff Thorpe in to talk about the role being Cumbrian and speaking with an accent has played in his success as a footballer and now as a lecturer at the University of Cumbria.

Proud to be Cumbrian Day was hosted by the academy’s English department to not only celebrate the Cumbrian accent and dialect but to equip students with the skills to switch to Standard English in the right context.

English teacher Carly Macleod organised the event, she said: “Last year’s Proud to be Cumbrian Day was a huge success with our pupils spending the day appreciating the local accent and dialect, realising that it is a valid form of language in appropriate situations. Pupils also learnt the importance of switching to Standard English in more formal contexts. As well as this, pupils heard from successful Cumbrians in order to inspire them and show them that your postcode shouldn’t affect your chances of success in life. We ran the day again this year as we believe it is important to celebrate who we are. We want our pupils to be confident in themselves, aim high and realise that the way you pronounce ‘path’ shouldn’t determine yours!”

Posted May 04th 2017

North Lakes Foodbank Collection

The West Lakes Academy Student Council recently joined forces with Miss Stabler’s tutor group to donate an impressive 98 kilos to the North Lakes Foodbank.  The academy’s local foodbank is based in Egremont Methodist church, right opposite the academy and is managed in conjunction with the Trussell Trust who work nationwide providing support for those who need it.

Miss Stabler started the collection with her Year 9 tutor group as part of the principal’s ‘charity challenge’. The council believe it is important to support the local community more and got on board by asking all students to donate. The academy has been donating just over a month and are really looking forward to expanding the level of support for the community by having a permanent foodbank in the academy.


Posted May 03rd 2017

Professor Brian Cox to headline science festival at West Lakes Academy

Brian Cox, BBC broadcaster and Professor of particle physics at The University of Manchester, is today (Wednesday 3 May) announced as the headline act for Infinity Festival, a new groundbreaking science programme for secondary school students, to be held in Cumbria.

The first event of its kind for Cumbria, Infinity takes place on 28th September at the newly OfSTED-judged ‘outstanding’ West Lakes Academy, Egremont and features 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.

Infinity Festival will be attended by more than 200 13- to 14-year-olds from across Cumbria and is set to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through motivating talks and exciting hands-on experiments and workshops.
“I am delighted to be a part of this event. Britain needs more scientists and engineers and I urge the young people of Cumbria to sign-up to join the festival and experiment with science. I look forward to meeting everyone on 28th September.” says Prof Cox.

Infinity festival is being hosted in partnership with the Science Summer School, an annual event held at St Paul’s Way Trust School in London. Co-founder, Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, said: “In July 2016 we were thrilled to host a group of young people from West Cumbria at the Science Summer School. We were so inspired by the levels of enthusiasm that it was decided to hold a similar event in Cumbria. The event in London has been running successfully for 5 years and our research has shown that the event has not only built confidence but has enabled 50% of pupils, many on free school meals, to gain places at Russell Group Universities. In addition, around 50% have gone on to study STEM subjects. This event is a great opportunity to promote Cumbria, the massive investment in new energy generation, other advanced technology development and associated job opportunities, and to demonstrate to a national audience that Cumbria is a fantastic place to live and work.”

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.

Pete Woolaghan, from the React Foundation and festival organiser, said: “This is the first festival of its kind to be held outside London and it’s an amazing opportunity for Cumbria’s young people. The energy sector in Cumbria is due massive investment in coming years and we want local young people to make the most of these opportunities. We believe that the whole community of Cumbria needs to encourage and support our young people to be inspired to become the next generation of world-class scientists and engineers and to be supported to study, and succeed, in gaining the necessary qualifications.”

The festival has been created by The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, working closely with the REACT Foundation. It is also supported by a range of industries and academia including: NuGen, who will support via their award-winning Bright Sparks education programme, the National Nuclear Laboratory, Sellafield Ltd, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the University of Central Lancashire, the University of Cumbria and West Lakes Academy. The event is also actively supported by the Well Whitehaven initiative, working to improve health and wellbeing by realising the potential of people and communities.

The full programme will operate year-round and will provide networking, support and professional development for science teachers and support staff in Cumbria as well as in-depth research projects for pupils. Schools will be contacted in early May and pupils asked to sign up to join the festival. The full line up of speakers will be revealed in the coming weeks.


Engineering Education Scheme Award

Year 12 students from West Lakes Academy have won an outstanding achievement award for their involvement in a national engineering scheme.

The Engineering Education Scheme in England is a programme which links teams of four Year 12 students and their teacher with local companies to work on real scientific, engineering and technological problems. The scheme provides the students with an in-depth experience of STEM subjects that will enable them to make informed decisions about their future studies and career.

During a six month programme students gain experience working on a project set by a local company. The project enables them to take part in a site visit, work with professional and graduate engineers and take part in a three day university based workshop.

The West Lakes Academy team (Keiron Hodgson, Sam Nugent, Faris Redza and Amber Whyte) have worked with Ian Wills and Nick Kennovin from the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) on a project entitled ‘Container Grout Curing Process’.

The team competed against over 30 teams from across Cumbria and the North East to present their project and final solution in a formal presentation and written technical report to a panel of senior professional engineers. The team were delighted to find out that they had been awarded the Nissan Trophy for the best overall performance at the celebration and assessment day held at Newcastle University.

West Lakes Academy science teacher, Dr Sandie Dixon commented: “The students have worked diligently on this project for the last six months, coping with both their school work and the demands of the project after school. They have impressed me, the LLWR engineers and the Newcastle University technicians with their enthusiasm and professionalism. Our team went on to win the Nissan Cup for the best overall performance at the Celebration and Assessment Day at Newcastle University, in competition with over 30 teams from Cumbria and the North East. This is a tremendous and well deserved achievement. I am so proud of the students as the standard of project work on display at Newcastle University was incredibly high.  Their success reflects the extraordinarily high standards of their verbal and written presentation skills as well as their science and engineering abilities.”

Ian Wills, head of nuclear safety cases at LLWR said: “It was a pleasure to work with the students from West Lakes Academy, their team spirit and hard work paid dividends and they were very worthy winners. Over the course of the project they visited the LLWR site and looked at various ways of investigating how reactive metals are affected by encapsulation. By carrying out a number of experiments they were able to transfer the theoretical learning into practical solutions.”

Posted April 27th 2017

Manchester City Experience

Football fans from years 8-10 recently took part in a three day football development experience at Manchester City. The group of 49 students were given the opportunity to experience a professional sporting environment and train in some of the best football facilities in the world.

Pupils enjoyed a full behind the scenes tour of Etihad Stadium and took part in three training sessions in the Manchester City Football Academy with official academy training coaches. The group were treated exactly the same as MCFC first team players and even had their lunches in the training ground canteen. They also had the chance to watch the Manchester City vs Hull City Premier League fixture and play a match against a local football team.

Match results

WLA Year 10:     9 -0   Benchill U15s. (Reuben Butterworth MOTM scoring a hattrick.)

WLA Year 9:      0 – 0   Benchill U14s. (Owen Thompson MOTM. WLA win 7-6 on penalties.)

WLA Year 8       0 – 5   Winsford U14s. (Will Derbyshire MOTM. Saved a penalty.)

PE teacher, Mr Stubbings said:
“The trip was a once in a lifetime experience that I hope the boys will remember for years to come. We wanted to provide the opportunity for our students to train in and experience a professional sporting environment, from match day, to meals and training. We wanted to raise aspirations and try to instil the mindset that ‘this could be you, you could be walking in to work here!’

I hope that all of the students involved can now see a pathway to elite sport, as a player, coach, nutritionist or in any other capacity. In the words of some of the students the trip was; ‘epic’, ‘unforgettable’ and ‘just awesome’.

Everybody who came into contact with our group from the hotel staff to the stadium tour leaders were hugely complimentary of the respectful and courteous students on the trip. They were mature and sought to take the most from the experience as possible. The boys also performed extremely well in the training sessions, the City coaches were full of positive feedback for me to pass on.

I would also like to pay thanks to the supporting staff on the trip: David Stubbings, Alistair Mawson, Alex Price and Steve Bonney, and finally to InspireSport who made it all possible.”

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Posted April 21st 2017

Spring Term Attendance Reward

Congratulations to our spring term attendance reward winners who have each won a Love to Shop voucher. All students in years 7-11 who achieved 100% attendance with no late marks from 27th February to 7th April 2017 were entered into a prize draw.

The following students were successful:

Year 7

Karrina Slater Rodwell
Harley Dunn
Aidan Brogdan White
Grace Walker

Year 8

Grace sisson
Jake simcock
Oliver Scott
Katy Watters

Year 9

Tilly Whitehead
Toby Banks
Libby Heywood
Owen Thompson

Year 10

Aaron Mason
Katherine Mann
Gemma Finley
Brandon Jenner

Year 11

Hannah Coulthard
Adam Baker
Agata Kobylnik
Liam Bennett

Poster winner

Well done to Year 7 Mollie Springett who was the winner of the attendance poster design competition. Mollie was presented with her prize by Year 7 student Sophie Baillie.

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Posted April 12th 2017

West Lakes Academy Receives Outstanding Ofsted Report

West Lakes Academy Full Ofsted Report 2017

Verbal feedback from Ofsted 


West Lakes Academy is celebrating an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report. The academy was awarded the highest possible rating in all five key areas of assessment –Leadership and Management, Teaching and Learning, Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare, Post-16 Provision and Outcomes for students.

Following the academy’s ‘Good’ rating in 2013, Ofsted inspectors recently carried out a two day inspection and found that the academy has made improvements across the board. In a report published by the education watchdog, inspectors made the following key findings:

  • Teaching is outstanding because teachers receive excellent training, they know their pupils extremely well and work collaboratively with teaching assistants to make sure that no pupils are left behind.
  • The school’s five core values: appreciation, respect, resilience, freedom and achievement, pervade all aspects of school life. These values bind pupils together and give them a strong sense of belonging and pride in their school. Pupils arrive at school resolute to work hard and as a result they flourish in a caring and inclusive culture.
  • Pupils currently in the school are making rapid and sustained progress across all subject areas.
  • The principal, governors and senior leaders are highly ambitious for every pupil and student in the school; they have communicated a clear vision that makes high-quality teaching and learning the number one priority.
  • The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Behaviour is exemplary both around the school and in lessons. Pupils show a high level of respect for each other and are polite and well-mannered to adults and visitors to the school.
  • Sixth-form students are a credit to the school and their families. The excellent progression rates to university and apprenticeships are testimony to their outstanding achievements at school.
  • The school takes good care of its pupils. The vast majority of parents who completed Ofsted’s online questionnaire agreed. Many cited the extent to which teachers go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that their child fulfils their potential. The view expressed by one parent that, ‘it is an absolute privilege to tell people that my child attends West Lakes Academy,’ is a sentiment expressed by many others.
  • Pupils overwhelmingly report that they feel safe in school. This was echoed by parents and staff in their responses to the online questionnaires they completed during the inspection.
  • Teachers are enthusiastic and talented. Their passion for their subjects pervades their teaching. This is often infectious for pupils who are then eager to immerse themselves in learning. Teachers want nothing but the best for their pupils who are equally aware of their teachers’ high expectations.
  • The quality of work seen in pupils’ workbooks was exemplary. Homework is given regularly and the work set provides plenty of opportunity for extended and purposeful writing.
  • The overall attendance rate has increased year on year since the last inspection and was well above average in 2016.
  • The high standard of presentation of work in pupils’ books shows that they care about and have pride in their work. Behaviour in lessons is purposeful and collaborative; pupils move with ease between different activities whether directed by adults or by groups they are working with. Learning is very rarely disrupted.
  • (Sixth-form) Students make a major contribution to the positive ethos of the school. They are charismatic, engaging and confident young people and therefore excellent role models for younger pupils.
  • The quality of careers information, advice and guidance is outstanding. Pupils and students make choices that are well informed because of the contribution made by employers, governors and other professionals at key points.


West Lakes Academy Principal and Chief Executive, Jonathan Johnson said:

“Our success is the sum of everyone’s efforts that have been repeated day in day out over the past eight years. It’s taken time and required patience but more importantly it required people to have faith that while it was never going to be easy, it was most certainly going to be worth it. Though being ‘Outstanding’ has been worth it, it doesn’t define us. What matters more is that the current and future students are able to achieve the grades they want; that’s what drives us and so we “keep pressing forward” – Philippians 3:14.”


Chair of Governors, Adrian Thompson added:

A two day Ofsted inspection is a rigorous scrutiny of any school and an Outstanding rating is a judgement that has been achieved by few schools over the last twelve months. I would particularly like to thank the contributions of all staff who have enabled this achievement and especially those who have been with the academy since its inception. There are so many people to thank for their part in our journey but a special word of thanks should go to the sponsor organisations. They have always acted as the custodians of a vision to deliver the kind of educational experience that enables us to give students a preparation for life. Few other institutions excel at this preparation.”

Posted April 07th 2017

Parent Newsletter – Spring Term


(please click to enlarge document) 

For previous parent newsletters please visit our parents’ section.


WLA ready for Rock Challenge showcase

Students are preparing to showcase their brand new Rock Challenge performance at the Carlisle Sands Centre on Friday. The academy retains its position in the competition’s premier division following their successful performance in 2016, which means they are already qualified for the Northern Premier Final at Grimsby in July.

Mrs Whitaker said: “Our Rock Challenge theme for 2017 is based on a book by Laline Paull called The Bees. The story enters a whole new world within a beehive. Our 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.”

“Rehearsals and preparations are going extremely well and the whole team is working tirelessly to make sure our piece is ready for our Carlisle showcase. As this showcase is one month earlier than in previous years we have really felt the pressure in the run up to the event, holding some extra rehearsals and drafting in more people to work on set and costumes.”

“Our fundraising this year has been extremely successful. We participated in a bag pack in December at Tesco in Whitehaven raising over £1000. We also ran a sponsored 12 hour dance-a-thon in January that raised over £1700 that we hope to repeat again next year. We have also hosted a prize bingo night raising nearly £500 and we also held a variety show which raised over £950. We also have another bag pack organised for April at Tesco, Whitehaven.”

Mrs Whitaker added: “The whole Rock Challenge team would like to say a huge thank you to students, staff, parents and all members of the community that have contributed in any way to help make this all possible. Without this continued support we would not be able to participate in such a worthwhile event. Our fundraising allows us to enter the students into the competition as well as buy costumes and props for our team of 80+. It also supports the building and transporting of our set to and from both venues, provides transport to and from the venues in Carlisle and Grimsby and the overnight stay before our premier competition.”


Posted March 15th 2017

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