Leadership Prefects 2019

Each year in the spring term Year 10 students have the opportunity to apply for a position as a Leadership Prefect.  This is a very important role that most of our students aspire to. Prefects are the face of West Lakes Academy on parents’ evenings and important events as well as undertaking other duties.

We are delighted to announce our new Leadership Prefects for 2019.  Once again it was a tough decision as there were so many quality applications (the most applications ever received). The 25 successful applicants were awarded their prefect ties by Mr Lester during a special presentation in assembly.  Leadership prefects are appointed on their strength of application and interview and have to demonstrate leadership skills, commitment to the academy and wider community.

We are proud to offer a range of leadership opportunities including subject prefects and ambassadors and these are all represented by badges.

Mr Lester Awarded MBE

Congratulations to our business manager Stephen Lester who collected his MBE from Buckingham Palace on Thursday 20th December for his services to education.

Mr Lester said, “It’s been a lovely day. Everyone at the palace was so friendly and giving congratulations to all of the recipients.
As well as us normal people there were a few celebrities including Anthony Joshua, Diane Modal, Monty Don and Kiri Te Kanawa.
Prince Charles presented the awards and he was very welcoming and made the whole day so special.”

Well done Mr Lester, the whole academy is extremely proud of you for this amazing achievement.

End of Term Rewards Day

The academy recently hosted its end of term rewards day to celebrate students’ success and achievements in their first term this year at the academy. Throughout each term, students can earn reward points from their teachers linked to one of the academy’s student values which are; respect, resilience, appreciation, freedom and achievement. The top 5% of students from each year group for each value were invited along to a celebration event.

Students were presented with their certificates and enjoyed Christmas themed cakes and festive treats. At the end of each celebration assembly the top performing students for each value were presented with a prestigious academy rewards badge and certificate. Among the top performers on the day was Year 11 student Ethan Asbridge who received awards for three out of the five value categories and best in year 11 for those values.

Rewards lead, Holly Donaldson commented, “Throughout the year we hold mini reward days at the end of each term so that students have an event to focus on and are motivated to succeed across the academy’s five values throughout the term. Students loved celebrating with their peers in our performance hall, which was decorated for the event with music from Joe Alderson, Christina Smith, Theo Ancell and Chloe Robinson. We are looking forwards to the Easter event so that students can see their achievements being recognised by the academy again.”


Age UK Christmas Campaign

Generous students and staff have donated over 500 gifts and handmade cards to Age UK West Cumbria.

Academy teacher, Andrew Haslop has organised the collection for the past four years to support Age UK with their national campaign to end loneliness amongst older people. Students made Christmas cards with handwritten messages inside alongside donating and wrapping small gifts for elderly members of the community to open on Christmas Day.

Mr Haslop said, “I am amazed by the generosity and kindness of our students. They have shown yet again how much they care for the people in their local community. They have donated around 500 gifts and made Christmas cards. I am extremely grateful to everyone who contributed.”

Students also visited an Age UK social group at Old Customs House, Whitehaven where they chatted to members and played a Christmas quiz.

Mr Haslop added, “Watching the different generations interact, tell stories and playing a Christmas quiz was amazing to see. Age UK staff commented on our students’ brilliant behaviour and said that they were a credit to the academy.”

This year the academy’s student choir also visited two residential care homes to spread Christmas cheer through song. The students visited Castle Mount in Egremont and Wyndham Manor in Cleator Moor to sing carols and deliver mince pies.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Students Win Sellafield Award for Social Impact

Four Year 13 students have won a prestigious award at the Sellafield Excellence Awards. Gemma Lewthwaite, Abigail Pullin, Joshua Hamand and Harry Richardson were nominated for an award for social impact and were confirmed as winners during the recent awards ceremony held at Energus.

The award follows on from the innovative work the students completed during the Engineering Education Scheme that started last year and culminated in a third place overall in the northern section of the competition. The EES links teams of Year 12 students and their teacher with local companies, to work on real scientific, engineering and technological problems. The subject of their project was ‘Solid Identification in Sludge’ and involved designing a system to work in the legacy ponds.

The sixth form students took part in the national scheme last year, and were mentored by Sellafield legacy ponds engineer, Marcus Coupe, who said, ‘I was impressed by how confident they were to describe their project to the people that they met, and explain what they had done.’

The students worked in their own time for over six months to complete the project including trips to Sellafield and a residential trip to Teesside University. In a second trip to Teesside University the students were required to present to a panel of high profile industrial experts who in turn questioned the students about their designs.

In a review of the students’ work the panel commented:

‘The presentation and Q&A showed that the team were working together positively to achieve a successful conclusion.’

‘We particularly liked the risk analysis of potential hazards; especially when the focus is the nuclear industry.’

‘We predict great careers ahead for all team members.’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools to Headline Leading Learning Conference


On 18th March 2019, Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools (HMCI), will headline the inaugural Cumbrian Leading Learning research conference at West Lakes Academy who are hosting over 25 leading speakers from the world of education.

To link with our theme of research, we will hear, from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, glimpses of the new research-led inspection framework due for release in September 2019 and her views on curriculum and what our children learn. Ofsted is actively engaged in research around a number of areas close to teachers’ hearts such as:

  • science in primary schools, and foreign languages and art in secondary schools
  • how pupils with SEND in mainstream schools can get better access to support
  • teacher wellbeing and workload
  • improving basic skills and knowledge in further education
  • how we develop curriculum knowledge in initial teacher education
  • what it means to a school to be part of a MAT

Head of West Lakes Academy, Mr Jackson, said “It’s difficult to describe how excited we feel that Amanda Spielman is travelling all the way to West Cumbria to talk at our special academy to an audience of Cumbrian teachers. We are immensely honoured and already encouraged that she is prepared to give time to focus on helping us change lives through learning.”

He added “We hope it will be one of those defining moments in the landscape of our county’s education system; something we talk about for years to come. We want Cumbria to lead, energize and represent the pinnacle of changing lives through learning; we believe our country’s success depends on it.”

Mrs Deeks, Vice Principal at WLA said “The conference is aimed solely at those who work every day in schools, leading improvements in learning and teaching. We want those who have the closest link to improving student outcomes across their school to hear research-led, evidence-based strategies that are making tangible differences to the education of children across the world and to minimise the distance between hearing that idea and it impacting on a child’s experience in class.”

The day will see 200 teachers hear a wide range of professionally challenging sessions from some of education’s leading thinkers.

Miss Relph, Vice Principal at WLA, said “I was born, grew up and went to school in West Cumbria and came back from university to teach our wonderful children in our amazing schools and I can’t remember a time when such an impressive list of speakers was gathered together here. The conference isn’t just another CPD event; West Lakes Multi-Academy Trust’s sponsors (Sellafield Ltd., Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the University of Central Lancashire) have supported us to host what is anticipated will be a ground-breaking event.”

She added “We hope that visitors will make new friends and forge relationships that span the geography of our county and beyond; to learn from each other, inspire each other; where those who change lives through learning have their own lives changed too.”

Tickets are on sale now. You must work in a school and be engaged in leading learning across your school. Please contact tsa@westlakesacademy.org.uk

New Speaker Announcement

Leading Learning Conference 2019 – New Speaker Announcement

For more information about the conference please visit http://www.westlakestsa.org.uk/leading-learning-conference/ 

Tough Love Production

All Year 9 students recently attended the Alter Ego Production called Tough Love.

Tough Love’ is an applied theatre project that raises awareness around coercive control and domestic abuse in teenage intimate relationships.  The play is followed by an actor facilitated post-show talk exploring the issues raised.  It tells the story of 15 year old Becka and her relationship with her violent and controlling boyfriend Danny.  How they met, how they fell in love, how the control and violence started and how Becka eventually managed to get help.

This production focused on a real life story of a 15 year old girl who found herself in relationship that turned abusive over a short period of time. The production covered:

  • What makes a healthy relationship
  • What makes an unhealthy relationship
  • What is coercive control
  • What is domestic abuse
  • What is consent
  • Peer pressure/sexting
  • Where to go for help and advice

Over the next couple of weeks students will have the opportunity in their PD lessons to discuss these issues further and reflect on the content that was covered in the production.


Age UK Christmas Appeal

The academy is running the Age UK Christmas appeal again this year. We are asking for small gift donations for elderly members of our community to open on Christmas day. All donations should be wrapped and dropped off at Mr Haslop’s classroom F24C by Monday 17th December. Please indicate if your gift is for a male or female.

Mr Haslop said, “Gifts do not need to be expensive. As an academy, we are constantly showing that we care and think about others in our community and I would like you to show this once again.”


Present Ideas 




Feedback from previous years