Life beyond the classroom

As well as giving students at West Lakes Academy the best education possible, we also want them to  really enjoy school life and develop confidence, social skills and a wide range of interests. There are lots of opportunities to engage in physical activities such as athletics, dance and football to name just a few. Pupils can also experience residential trips and school
exchanges from trips to Derwentwater for our Year 7 pupils, to Sixth Form exchanges to Tanzania. There are lots of opportunities for positions of responsibility including Head Boy and Head Girl, Prefects and membership on the Academy Student Council.

Pupils can also take part in the national performing arts competition ‘Rock Challenge’. In 2017 the academy
won the Northern Premier Final in Grimsby and collected all 14 awards of excellence including the ‘performers’ choice’ award chosen by the other schools.

All this helps to develop students so they leave the academy with the will and ability to play a successful part in society.

There are frequent trips, visits and opportunities for students. There is field work in geography, theatre visits in English, study visits linked to languages, pastoral awards trips and many other activities arranged by academic departments. Every week many departments run their own lunch time/after school club or study session and the library is open at break, lunch times and after school Monday to Thursday to students from all year groups. We have a wide programme of music, performing arts and sports activities at lunchtimes and after school.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is a challenging programme of activities which are completed outside of the academy day. There are three awards to try for: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Usually, students start off with the Bronze Award in Year 10. Staff volunteer to support this and students thoroughly enjoy the experience.

There are many opportunities for students to be involved in extra-curricular activities and many opportunities for students to perform throughout the year including our Christmas concert, whole school production, young musician of the year event and our annual awards evening.

The academy has an outstanding reputation for the art and you will soon appreciate why. Please speak to Mrs Dale the Head of Music if you are interested in arranging lessons through the music service.

We have a wide range of academy sports clubs, which are held during lunch times or after school. Many involve inter school competitions and the opportunity to represent Cumbria, we have even had students represent England. PE staff are committed to providing opportunities and engaging with all students.

Students and parents are able to view and sign up for after school clubs online using SIMS Activities.

We also support many charities and hold a range of events to help our local community. In the 2016/17 academic year our students raised nearly £3843 for three local charities by completing a sponsored walk (The Dent Dash). The academy also donated almost 500 Christmas gifts and cards to elderly members of the community in association with Age UK West Cumbria. The Academy Student Council also launched a permanent foodbank collection point and donated 98 kilos in the first few weeks.

There are also opportunities to take part in national initiatives such as Comic/Sport Relief, Children in Need and Christmas Jumper Day.

SIMS Activities

We are pleased to let you know that  West Lakes Academy will be introducing a new method of signing up to extra-curricular activities. The new online portal will provide you with quick and easy access to all extra-curricular opportunities available at the academy, such as after school clubs, homework club etc.

Using this new online portal, you can:

  • View all available activities in one place
  • Instantly sign up to activities or provide consent
  • Keep track of what activities you have signed up to
  • Be notified of any updates to activities , such as delays, cancellations and any changes to activity details

For the academy, it would help us to reduce the amount of time spent administering and communicating activities, and it will provide greater visibility of the range of activities pupils are taking part in.

Further information and your individual secure access details will be provided to you soon.  The system will be available to access from the academy’s website from Wednesday 1st March 2017.

We hope that you will find this to be a much more convenient way of signing up to and keeping track of activities at West Lakes Academy.

SIMS activities – how to guide for parents and pupils