Year 11 fundraisers have raised £348.55 through fundraising events such as cake sales and photograph money. This was organised by the year 11 team, over years 8, 9 and 10 throughout the year.

A fantastic achievement for a wonderful cause.

Well done to everyone involved!

World Mental Health Day 2018

Let’s get active for World Mental Health Day 2018 was on 10th October, to support this and promote positive mental health among our staff and students we were out all week taking the World Health Organisation’s advice to ‘get active’.

Year 9 kicked the week off followed by year 8, year 11 had the best of it weather-wise with their Wednesday session, when we were also treated to a visit by one of our governors, Suzanne, who popped by to join in.

Year 7 really gave their all for it despite the rain and really enjoyed their laps of the tennis courts and their netball shoot-out.  Lydia from year 7 says ‘it was really fun to get out the classroom and do some exercise in the middle of the day – it really clears your head’.  Isaac said ‘it was good to get out and get fresh air and just focus on the exercise rather than other things’.

West Lakes Teaching School Alliance

Please click here to view our Teaching School Alliance Website www.westlakestsa.org.uk 

WLA Macmillan Coffee Morning

The Academy office team held its 4th annual Macmillan Coffee morning during break time on Friday 28 September.  All of the office staff and their family and friends took by baking or buying cakes and biscuits to sell on the day and all academy staff were invited to come along.

Emma Thornley, one of the Academy’s evening receptionists made a beautiful three tier chocolate cake which was raffled amongst the staff.  The winner of the cake was Mandy Keddie in the Finance Team; she kindly donated her prize to Holly Donaldson.

The total raised was £270.30 which blew last years total of £150 out of the water!

Ready, set, click – WLA student Oliver Hodgson meets Mo Farah at Great North Run

Last Sunday marked a very important day for West Lakes Academy’s (Year 10 student) Oliver Hodgson as he was part of the press team at the Great North Run. Oliver said when he applied for this role in August he “thought nothing of it” – clearly not expecting to receive a letter last Monday inviting him to take part, after which he was “so excited” throughout the week. With a 5:30am get-up, it was undoubtedly a long day, however Oliver was greeted with breakfast in the press tent at the event, which he enjoyed with high-profile media companies, including members of BBC team and from Metro radio.”They were very welcoming” he said, “they were happy to see someone so young taking part.” There were also some Cumbrian organisations at the event such as Visit Whitehaven and Cumbria Media – a proud moment for us Cumbrians who do not usually get much media presence.


Although Oliver did not run in the race, he was certainly run off his feet taking photos as he had access to all areas of the event. “I had the best seat in the house” – a statement I’m sure everyone would agree with as he captured fantastic shots (which with his dedication, he was still editing in the car on the way home) of some elite wheelchair partakers, and not to mention Mo Farah as he crossed the finish line.


In a mix of professional photographers – which was an “awesome experience” – Oliver was the one to follow Mo Farah around the event and eventually meet him. Oliver described him as “so, so nice and was interested to know about my photography” – the pair even got a selfie together (as shown below).


Oliver was overwhelmed with the support both building up to and after the event, an experience that allowed him to practice being independent. WLA’s star student thought he “had no chance” when applying to be part of the Great North Run press team, but is a prime example of how everyone should shoot for the stars. Oliver told us “it was a brilliant experience all round” and that his dad is extremely proud, which is no shock – as so are all of us at WLA.

West Lakes Academy Student Awards Evening 2018!

Parents and carers, students, staff and governors joined together on Tuesday 17 July 2018 at the annual awards event 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 extracurricular activities.

The event had a ‘circus’ theme with the ceremony held in a marquee in the academy grounds. Flowers, balloons and circus décor adorned the marquee and guests were treated to a circus themed treats served by the student hospitality team. The academy’s talented piano player, Year 10 student Joseph Alderson, played for guests alongside our academy choir and guests were treated to a showcase of dancing for our outstanding performing arts students. There was also had an exceptional performance from our magician Matthew Garrett. On arrival to the academy an art exhibition of students’ work was on display and there was also the chance for guests to watch a screening of our recent Rock Challenge winning performance.

During the ceremony a talk was given by guest speaker and former student Thomas Heslop, who is aiming to start a masters in the new year. Tom 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 Hollie Morton O’Fee (Year 12) who picked up three awards for excellence in art, Head of Year award and top student in Year 12. Beth Walker (Year 12) was awarded the Zenith Award for the top student, chosen by the Principal. Elouise Weaver (Year 9) was presented with the Apollo Award for ‘Learner of the Year’ for making outstanding progress across all of her subjects.

The event was led by Melissa Relph, Assistant Principal who commented, “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. Congratulations to every one of the students who received an award and well done to all of our performers.”

Beth Walker winner of the Principal’s Zenith Award with Mr Jonathan Johnson

Students performance of a song from The Greatest Showman

West Lakes Academy win second place in the Rock Challenge national dance competition

A talented team of students has scooped second place in the finals of the national dance competition. Students and staff from West Lakes Academy in Egremont are celebrating after their success at the Be Your Best Rock Challenge National Final on July 14 2018.

Out of over 300 schools, including 20,000 participants, the WLA group were awarded the second place position – continuing their title as reining Northern Premier Champions! Nine schools from across the whole of the UK had won through their qualifying events. The national final took place at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. In addition to West Lakes Academy they came from Dorset, Buckinghamshire, West Sussex, Hampshire, Kinross-shire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire

The team’s performance was called Strike. Protest. Revolt. Red October.

‘In 1917 Russia the people of Russia were struggling to survive – brought to their knees by starvation and ignorance of the monarchy. Workers forced to strike. Thousands protested – met with a shower of bullets that only fuelled their anger. Will they be able to force change and end a 300 year dynasty? Or will they die in this bid to survive?’

Rock Challenge lead teacher Jenny Whitaker said she was extremely proud of the pupils.

“I don’t think we would have won if we hadn’t had so much support from parents, staff, people within the community and the dedication of the students,” she said

Speaking after the finals, she added: “We are absolutely thrilled with our National Final success. To compete in the National Final was enough but to come away with second place was the icing on the cake for our 2018 journey. We cannot thank everyone enough for their support all year and also their well wishes and congratulations”

The school also received awards of excellence in: soundtrack, entertainment, visual enhancement, performance skill, concept, set design and function, costuming

The performance was extremely strong and evocative, utilising amazing set choices that fluidly and professionally moved around the stage, creating the backdrop for dramatic performance from the streets of St Petersburg to a recreation of the storming of the Royal Palace. Judges stated that the piece was ‘incredible’ and that they really enjoyed it. They also praised the clear passion within the piece including performers, set and costume. ‘Emotions were clearly high throughout this educated and mature piece all the way through to its empowered finale’

Beth Walker, Year 12 student and main character of the event, said:

‘My highlight of the whole day was probably within these first nerve-wracking minutes– the team found a collaborative voice and channelled our passion and enthusiasm as one person started to sing ‘From Now On’ from the hit film ‘The Greatest Showman’. Before I knew it the entire team, including stage crew, were singing together as a team. After this, everyone was united and ready to smash the rehearsal– and we most certainly did! The standard was so extremely high and we knew that this was going to be a tough competition! Everyone was silent until…”West Lakes Academy!” was called. There was a roar of screams– everyone hugged and cried as were awarded 2nd place at The Rock Challenge National Final! It honestly felt like a dream come true!! I could not be prouder of the team and all of our hard work over these past 9 months!’


West Lakes Academy are U14 Cricket County Champions

WLA were crowned the Under14 Cricket County Champions in dramatic fashion on Thursday 12th of July; this is the first time since the old Wyndham School won the trophy forty years ago.

Here is the full match report:

Playing at Keswick Cricket Club, WLA lost the toss and were put in to bat by Nelson Thomlinson. We made a fast start, with openers Matthew Harrison and Olly Wilford putting on 73 for the first wicket. Matthew fell, caught at cover for 43. Olly steadied the ship, played a captain’s innings to make 46 and was only out in the very last over. He was ably supported by Ewan Campbell, who made 15, and the big hitting Lewis Baker who scored 20 not out. Oldham took 3 wickets for 17 runs for Nelson Thomlinson. WLA finished with an impressive 157 for 6.

Then the rain came, for nearly an hour and as a consequence it was agreed that the overs should be reduced and Duckworth Lewis used to calculate the total.

Nelson Thomlinson were set a winning target of 105, with it being agreed that 104 would be a tie.

The innings commenced, NTS started brightly but were pegged back by a quick and aggressive spell of bowling from Matthew Harrison who took 1 wicket for the loss of 14 runs in his 3 overs. Lewis Hunter also bowled a tidy spell; 3 overs for 20 runs. Captain Olly Wilford managed the field well. The Nelson Thomlinson Captain, Johnstone finished 54 not out, a superb knock in the circumstances.

NTS needed 11 to win off the final over; Greg Wilson from WLA bowled it. NTS almost made it, finishing with a 2 off the final ball and scoring 10 to tie the scores.

Following a further discussion led by the umpire, a super over was to be bowled. This is a single over for each team, with the highest score winning.

WLA won the toss and elected to field. Matthew Harrison bowled the over. The scoring was 2 from the first ball, 1 from the second. The third ball was a wicket, the middle stump knocked from the ground. 1 was scored from the fourth ball. Nothing from the fifth. Wicket from the sixth, caught behind by the keeper, Wilford. Total: 4 runs for 2 wickets.

WLA needed 5 to win. First ball was a wide, so 1 scored. Second ball was edged by Harrison, past the keeper, WLA scampered 3. Wilford on strike and he calmly as ever nudged the ball into a gap and ran 1. Scored 5 from three balls.

West Lakes Academy crowned U14 Cricket County Champions.

A huge thanks to those who have supported the team throughout: Egremont Cricket Club for hosting our matches, Keswick Cricket Club for hosting the final. Chris Allason for all his hard work in running the competitions. The two umpires; Mr Johnstone and Mr Houghton. Finally, David Stubbings, our volunteer umpire, minibus driver and scorer.

Team in full: Olly Wilford, Matthew Harrison, Jamie Martin, Lewis Hunter, Ewan Campbell, Greg Wilson, Lewis Baker, Ben Blythe, James Messenger, Edward Clough, Josh Pennington, Owen O’Neil, Jack Pollard.

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Student council magazine- Collaborare

Introducing our student council magazine Collaborare all content was chosen and written by the student council. Enjoy!

Collaborare Magazine 

Year 11 Prom

West Lakes Academy’s prom took place at The Red Admiral in Gosforth, with 147 guests in attendance to celebrate the end of year 11 and the end of their exams. The evening started with students arriving in an array of different vintage cars and tractors. The atmosphere was electric with hundreds of students, friends, family, staff and the general public congregating at the academy to see the students on their way.

The prom committee demonstrated amazing teamwork thought-out the year to ensure the prom would be something they would be proud of. The elegant woodland theme they had envisaged, really did come to life all around the marquee.

From the very beginning the students were up dancing and didn’t stop until the end, all thanks to DJ Paul Seath. A special awards ceremony was held during the evening where the students were awarded for their special talents and achievements. Toby Corrie was awarded ‘Prom King’ and Mia Lightfoot ‘Prom Queen’, and the best dressed girl and boy went to Tara Doran and Jake McBride. The night was captured by former student and photographer, Ailsa Cowen.

Head of Year 11, Holly Donaldson commented, “The evening was stunning from beginning to end. It was an absolute delight to see the students celebrating the night away. They all looked stunning and to see them looking all grown up was emotional. It really was a fabulous night”.

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