Destiny Africa on stage with Academy friends
Children from a Ugandan orphanage won the hearts of students, parents and staff on a two-day visit to Holbrook Academy. The 10-18 year-old members of the Destiny Africa choir stayed with local families and gave two spectacular song and dance performances at the Academy. They also joined in with sporting activities and led an assembly describing life in Kampala.
Frank Anstee-Parry, the Academy’s Head of Religious Education and organiser of the visit, said: “The children played together, ate together and learned together. It was inspiring.”
Academy Principal, Dr Simon Letman, said: “This was a hugely successful visit. The positive outlook on life held by these young people is truly inspirational. We are developing a strong connection with the Kampala Children’s Centre. We have already raised a considerable sum to support their projects and students now intend to do even more.”
Holbrook Academy governors have given the go-ahead for a longer school day from September. The governors approved a proposal from Principal, Dr Simon Letman, to push back the end of the school day to 3.35pm on all five days of the week.
The governors’ decision came after a five-week consultation period, during which the proposal was amended from a 4.15pm finish on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to the even extension across the week.
A motion in favour of the amended proposal was passed without objection.
“I’m grateful for the whole-hearted support of the governors,” said Dr Letman. “A longer day won’t, on its own, give us all the benefits we’re looking for but it will provide the right framework.”
More than seventy parents contributed to the consultation process. The overwhelming majority were in favour.
The chair of governors, Tim Fenton, said: “I’d like to thank all the parents who contributed to the development of the proposal. We realise the change may inconvenience some parents but are convinced it is the most effective thing we can do now to accelerate progress. A lot of good work is being done in the classrooms at Holbrook Academy. There can now be more”.
Holbrook Academy’s spectacular production of the Queen musical We Will Rock You proved a sell-out success. Tickets for all 4 nights were sold out within days.
Students of all ages plus Year 6 pupils from the main feeder primaries took part. Year 8 student Imogen Brown, a singer and dancer in the chorus, said she had found the whole experience “really inspirational” and that she hoped to take on bigger parts in future productions. Sydnee Nicholas from Year 7 said she had learned a lot and thought it had been “the best fun ever”.
Principal, Dr Simon Letman, said: “It was hard work for everyone involved but the benefits for the students are enormous. It’s a show that gives a lot people the chance to shine and everyone here took that opportunity. I’m grateful for the support of parents and staff.”