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Gorleston Ormiston Venture Academy students ‘head and shoulders above the rest’

PUBLISHED: 16:11 25 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:11 25 January 2014

ormiston venture academy. From left: Cresta Muckute, Brogan Lawes, Principal Simon Gilbert-Barnham,  Gresham Scolar Jade Munro, chairman of the Ormiston Trust Peter Murray, Kendra Caine and Danyelle Hodds.

ormiston venture academy. From left: Cresta Muckute, Brogan Lawes, Principal Simon Gilbert-Barnham, Gresham Scolar Jade Munro, chairman of the Ormiston Trust Peter Murray, Kendra Caine and Danyelle Hodds.


Teenagers were described as shining examples at a Gorleston academy’s celebration evening.

The Ormiston Venture Academy class of 2013 wore red gowns and gold tassel mortar boards for their graduation, watched by proud parents and family, and teachers, who cheered and applauded each one as they received a certificate from the academy’s principal, Simon Gilbert-Barnham.

Several pupils also received gold sashes in acknowledgement of their outstanding achievement in their GCSE results.

The academy was declared outstanding by Ofsted this year and placed in the top 11pc of all schools in the country.

Chairman of governors, Lesley King acknowledged the journey both the academy and the pupils have been on in her speech.

She said: “We need to thank Ormiston Academies Trust who decided to take on sponsorship and have done so much to support the students and also the founding principal, Nicole McCartney, who bounded in with her American energy and her passion and belief that every child has the ability to be successful.”

“The academy teaching staff took the new challenge with vitality and hard work and developed the craft of the classroom to an art. At Venture we have one of the best teaching teams in the whole country.”

To the graduating class Mrs King said: “We see a group of successful young people ready to go out to the world. You are a shining example, to show that all children have high aspirations and that they can achieve in the right environment.”

Gresham scholarship and gold sash awardee winner Jade Munro gave a speech on behalf of the class saying: “With Ms McCartney’s guidance we have all believed in ourselves enough to achieve the outstanding results we deserve.

She also thanked the staff added: “It’s been amazing working with them all so closely over the past few years and without their help I wouldn’t be standing here telling you we yet again achieved the best results the school has ever seen.”

Executive principal Nicole McCartney expressed her pride at the successes of the students who made up her last class as principal at Venture.

She told them: “You are head and shoulders above the rest. A student leaving Venture is a student who knows what excellence looks like. I know we will see great things from you in years to come.”

Principal Simon Gilbert-Barnham talked about the Venture spirit and what it means.

“It is in the goals you set for yourselves, the hard work you put in to reach them and the success you deserve. It is your style, it is your passion, it is your attitude, it is the way you seek out new horizons, it is your confidence, it is your resourcefulness and it is your triumphs.

“You achieve, you aspire, you create and you innovate.”

The ceremony was attended by Peter Murray, chairman of Ormiston Trust;

Director of Academies for Ormiston Academies Trust; Di Barnes, Ormiston Venture Academy Vice Chair of governors, Dr Paul Hann OBE and Principal of Ormiston Herman Academy, Kate Rutherford.


  • ...."Ormiston Venture Academy, which opened in September 2010, replaced Oriel Mathematics and Computing College, one of the worst performing schools in the country." isn't that over 3 years Morris. I agree that Btec entries give an artificial boost to a schools headline performance....but the new measure focusing on relative improvement of each student will soon sort out the wheat from the hiding behind 1 Btec and a couple of good GCSEs in maths and english anymore.

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    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • The reason this school is news worthy is that its GCSE pass rate climbs year on year, a school that before it became an academy was a vulnerable under-subscribed school ruthlessly used by NCC as a 'dumping ground' for many of its 'hard to place pupils'. Victory Academies points rise has coincided with an almost identical points fall at Cliff Park High. Now Cliff Park has joined the Ormiston umbrella, it will be interesting to see if this differential reduces or we continue to get the yo-yo effect.

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    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • ....."Teachers will no longer be judged on their teaching styles or have to match lessons to the needs of individual pupils to achieve top grades in Ofsted inspections, the watchdog has announced.".....well it has been a long time coming, but somebody has seen the light, and realised that teachers should teach to the 'class' and not to 24 individual bundles of need. What, no individual learning plan for adhd Johnny who spends most of his time attention seeking by flicking bits of paper around the class....what a shame.

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    Monday, January 27, 2014

  • Did you ever see anything so absurd Children do not graduate from High School -they take a few GCSEs and move on to the next step This ridiculous import from the USA is just a bit of window dressing from a trust which is yet to be laid bare . The EDP would be better finding out just what examinations these kids have taken, how many resits, how many brighter kids took really easy non GSE subjects which counted towards league tables, how many not so bright kids were prevented from taking exams and how many have been excluded. The meteroric rise in standards between the old Oriel High and this academy is hard to account for given that the catchment area remains the same. Transparency and exposure is what is needed if these businesses masquerading as charities are not to take over our schools so that we end up with no choice , no local accountability and education run by people who think like Gove.

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    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • What would be much more interesting would be to see how these pupils achieved their high grades given that GCSEs are about 5 years' hard work but Venture has existed for 2 yrs so has the pupil catch up work had a lasting effect or just a temporary result and are they in 'real' subjects or have they learnt to pile in the vocational grades to get the high scores? Will they go on to A levels, university or add to the jobless figures? Let's have some absolute transparency here please.

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    Sunday, January 26, 2014

  • Hear hear Daisy......great publicity and real hard sell but graduating University style for 16 yr olds. Let's have a proper comparison of standards reached say between Aylsham High and Venture looking at academic achievements and a very different picture emerges. Feel so sorry for these youngsters being used as pawns. The EDP would do well to do some proper investigative journalism and examine what is really going on here.

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    Sunday, January 26, 2014

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