Children at a Kidderminster nursery enjoyed dressing up in denim for this year’s Jeans for Genes Day on Friday 21st September.

Helping to raise money and awareness for the 500,000 children in the UK today living with Genetic Disorders, the nursery encouraged everyone to wear as much denim as they possibly could.

Little Trinity Nursery Manager, Gaynor Carter said: “We raise funds for various charities throughout the year, and this year decided to join in with Holy Trinity School students to support Jeans for Genes Day as our first fundraising day of the new academic year as it is a wonderful organisation which funds a range of projects including providing nursing care, equipment, counselling, online support and activity weekends for children affected by genes disorders, so we know the money we raised today will be put to good use.”

Jeans for Genes Day is the annual fundraising campaign for Genetic Disorders UK, the national charity which supports individuals and families affected by a genetic disorder. Money raised will help to fund the work of the charity and provide grants to organisations for projects that aim to transform the lives of children with genetic disorders.

All nursery children and staff participated by covering themselves in as much denim as they could and added their fundraising pot of £80.85 to that of Holy Trinity School’s £586.62 to make a grand total of £667.47!

Launched in Worcestershire in 1998, ethical family business Oakland International has celebrated 20-years of successful trading with team members, their families at a family-friendly BBQ at Attwell Farm Park, Beoley on Saturday 15th September.

Oakland’s ‘double-decade’ anniversary marks an important business milestone for the company which originally began in egg production, and two-decades later is a major Redditch employer, operating hubs and facilities in the UK, Ireland and has an overseas partner in Spain.

Oakland International Co-Founders, Dean and Sallie Attwell commented: “As we look back and reflect on our two-decades in business, we are incredibly appreciative of the heritage of talent within Oakland and of the many accomplishments we have achieved together as a team.

“Continual investment in new generations of talented staff and investment in long-term business and partner relationships ensures we add value to the many customer services we now provide.

“A genuine and heartfelt thank you to every one of our team members, our customers, our partners, our parents and families as we wouldn’t be where we are today without their support. They have all helped make this possible, here’s to the next twenty years!”

Winners of numerous industry awards and accolades over the years, Oakland International today is a ‘double’ Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winner, for International Trade and Sustainable Development, and a BRC double ‘A’ accredited multi temperature distribution business delivering a vast array of specialist services in contract packing, storage, picking, tempering, distribution and brand development support to major retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of a team of parents at a Kidderminster school, students now can make the most of the great outdoors irrespective of any weather the UK has to offer.

The PTA and school community of Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre on the Birmingham Road as part of their big ‘Outdoor Space Project’ and actively fundraising through a range of initiatives, have successfully co-funded and created a new community seating/breakout area next to the school’s central wildlife pond.

PTA Chair, Mrs Michelle Howles commented: “As our school community continues to increase, the PTA’s ‘Outdoor Space Project’ is aimed at providing additional outdoor classrooms, dinning and student break-out areas so that they can make the most of the great outdoors; this project was funded with over £6,500’s worth of awnings to provide shelter for students from sun and rain, and over £400 worth of new benches and tables so that they can sit out, relax and enjoy the antics of our visiting wild ducks, and in the spring any ducklings that may come along.”

The PTA initiative, supporting the school’s goal of improving outside space and learning provision for students, means pupils can now spend more time outdoors, even when it’s extremely sunny or raining, able to eat together socially and enjoy the space for education and community-based activities.

Headteacher, Mrs Pamela Leek-Wright, commented: “The energy and enthusiasm that the PTA have, year in year out, never ceases to amaze me; as a school we are extremely fortunate to have such dedicated and supportive parents who work so tirelessly for the good of the school.”

Kidderminster’s Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre is delighted to have been awarded the School Games Gold Mark Award for the 2017/18 academic year for the second year running.

The School Games Mark is a government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community. Participating in this process allows schools to evaluate their PE provision and assists them in developing an action plan for future progress.

Retrospective awards, schools apply during the summer term, and are graded against a list of set criteria, with 35,500 schools so far applying for the award since 2012.

Holy Trinity’s Head of Prep PE, Sarah Williams commented: “As part of our application, we were asked to fulfil criteria in the areas of participation, competition, workforce and clubs, and we are thrilled that the hard work of everyone at our school has been rewarded once again.

“We are extremely delighted and proud of our pupils for their dedication to all aspects of school sport, including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our competitions possible. We’re now looking forward to applying once again in 2019!”

As a new school year begins, Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre in Kidderminster, which became a free school four years ago, is continuing to see student numbers grow across all sections of this popular through-school.

Each phase of the school has doubled in size from Reception Class to Year 4, Year 5 to Year 8 and Year 9 to Year 13 in Sixth Form.

Headteacher Mrs Leek-Wright commented: “Four years on from becoming a free school, although a busier school, the positive atmosphere and traditional attitudes of our learners is as it has always been, and something that we work exceptionally hard to maintain. The very nature of the fact that the school is an all-through school where children can undertake 14 years of education on one site, creates a difference that, in part, accounts for the positive atmosphere within the school.

“Having all ages on one site helps to teach responsibility and an awareness beyond age boundaries, which forms a key part to the personal development of our pupils and provides opportunities unique to the setting. As a school, our ambition is to inspire and challenge and nurture lifelong learners, young people who will continue to grow, adapt and contribute within and towards society, so despite changes to the school, we remain focused in delivering the same high-quality education in line with the tradition of the school.”

Major investment in school facilities has delivered a dining room extension, an updated ICT infrastructure and the implementation of touch screens in teaching rooms to help create diversity in learning delivery and access, and the further development of the Sixth Form area, as well as the introduction of two new libraries within Prep and Senior schools which has helped to promote literacy skills and a love of reading.

The school enjoyed an outstanding set of GCSE and A level results this year with A Level students achieving a pass rate of 97% and above the national average, 27% of students gaining A / A* grades and 41% A*- B grades

and over. 69% of GCSE students attained a grade 6 or above (B or above) and placed the school joint first in the county for 9-5 passes in English and maths combined with Physics and Maths being the best performing core subjects, and Art, History, PE and RE out performing as foundation subjects.

The next phase of redevelopment will be to the school’s outdoor areas, which will include a new netball facility and football surface, and the installation of electronic gates and a painting programme throughout the school’s interior.

Added Mrs Leek-Wright: “As a school, we feel that we the have excelled our free school goals which were to extend provision to the wider community, maintain a breadth and depth of curriculum and to provide an all-round education throughout the 14-year journey our pupils undertake at Holy Trinity.

“In 2018 little has changed from our ethos of 2014 and we continue to be, not just a school, but a community where we all take a sense of pride from belonging, giving freely of our support in subscribing to a set of values that we all agree makes for the best education.”

 

Students at Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre in Kidderminster are celebrating another 100% pass rate, with a quarter of all Holy Trinity students attaining A and A* or 9 – 7 grades (24%), whilst 85% of all students achieved A*to C or 9 – 4 grades.

Top performers were Amelia Bangay, Nicole Sherwood and Sophie Green.

The Fine Arts/Textiles, Business Studies, Creative Media, French, History, Physics and Statistics departments all achieved a 100% pass rate at grades 9 – 4.

Holy Trinity’s Headteacher, Mrs Pamela Leek-Wright, stated: “As ever, we are extremely pleased for our students who have achieved so much, and most importantly they now have the skills they need to move through to the next stage of learning. A huge well done to all.”

 

Delighted with her results, top performer with 4 grade 9 GCSE passes, Amelia Bangay.

 

Responsible family business and specialist UK and Ireland multi temperature supply chain operator Oakland International has appointed Shaun Devey as its Group IT Director, a new boardroom role focused on enhancing information technology across group operations.

Previously the winner of the Motor Transport Best Use of Technology Award, Devey has a strong strategic and operational business focus which will support Oakland’s aim of delivering technology innovation and change, improved operational performance and delivering value-added customer services. Bringing with him over 25 years of experience providing industry leading and award-winning technology within the services, retail and logistics sectors, Devey has held senior positions within a variety of organisations including Interserve PLC, Phones4u, ArrowXL and most recently the iForce Group.

Commenting he said: “Oakland International has a very exciting couple of years ahead as we mature the customer proposition, develop stronger strategic partnerships and transform the Group’s technology platforms. These developments are exciting and will significantly add to the bottom line, however I am also looking forward to being part of a business which really cares for its people and the social impact of the service we provide.

“Technology can support transformed value to our business, with leading business partners such as Oakland International being easy to integrate with and offering industry leading management information which helps inform business decisions and supports a seamless journey for our shared customers.”

A multi-award winner, Oakland International is a BRC accredited (for storage and distribution) business and a multi temperature distribution specialist providing contract packing, storage, picking, food distribution and brand development support for ambient, chilled and frozen food to the retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets.

Oakland International Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Dean Attwell said: “I am delighted to welcome Shaun to the team. His extensive knowledge and exceptional technology sector experience will be a key asset as we focus on all aspects of strategic IT transformation across the Oakland Group.”

Having worked in and around the Redditch area for the last six years, Shaun commenting on his appointment added: “I am passionate about delivering industry leading technology, developing my team’s careers and skills, and I am very appreciative of the warm welcome I’ve received from the whole Oakland team.”

Once again all Year 13 Sixth Form students from Kidderminster’s Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre secured University places or chosen work placements following this year’s A level results.

Holy Trinity’s pass rate was 97%, with 27% – A* and A grades and 41% – A*, A & B (top grades).

Amongst this year’s highest achievers were twin sisters Eleanor and Rhianna Hinton who secured top grades across the board:

Eleanor will now go on to study Biomedical Science at Worcester University achieved top grades in Biology, Psychology and PE and sister Rhianna, who will take Fashion Design at Falmouth University, also achieved top grades in Textiles, English Literature and Geography.

Head of Sixth Form, Dr Melanie Hinton, commented: “With many more A level subjects undergoing reform and the amount of coursework much reduced compared to the older style, more modular A and AS levels, these new qualifications have provided a much more rigorous set of assessment criteria. It is all down to the hard work, dedication and support shown by our staff and our small, tutorial-style teaching groups that has enabled our students to achieve such a pleasing set of A level grades.

“In a competitive, ever-changing playing field, they should be proud of their achievements and we wish them every success for their future.”

Headteacher, Mrs Pamela Leek-Wright commented: “I am extremely proud of all of our students who have achieved such excellent results, especially in the ever-changing landscape of exam reform. I would like to wish them the very best of luck as they move into the world beyond school.”

Redditch’s Active Kitchen project has secured further funding from local children’s charity the Oakland Foundation which will help to ensure their children’s activity programme will go ahead during the summer holidays.

Securing new funding from the Oakland Foundation has been vital and means that the Active Kitchen project can now run at four locations over the summer holidays and reach 50% more young people than previously possible. The Foundation has previously donated a fridge and a new oven meaning this summer organisers will have the opportunity to provide more cooked meals, with the engagement of the young people in this process adding a new element of education based on healthy eating.

Oakland Foundation Trustee, Peter Vaughan commented: “The positive impact of Active Kitchen on our community cannot be underestimated, with last year’s anti-social behaviour incident statistics showing a positive drop of 33%.

“The support Active Kitchen provides is hugely positive for our young people, the communities in which they live and for our Police resources. This summer the Active Kitchen project will provide more young people with a range of activities which will positively impact both on their mental health and physical wellbeing and will ensure they do not go hungry over the holidays.”

The Foundation’s summer holiday funding support is pivotal to the project’s success, as without funding the project would be in danger of cancellation or at least greatly reduced due to insufficient funds. Feedback from projects already held has been overwhelmingly positive, with community partners coming together to support the initiative including West Mercia Police, the YMCA, St Vincent de Paul Society and Street Games.

On behalf of Active Kitchen, Elisabeth Cottam from the Sports Development Team at Redditch Borough Council, commented: “Without the generous contributions from the Oakland Foundation the project would not be the success it has become.

“The food element is key to the project and has ensured that young people across the district do not go hungry in the school holidays. The project has found that food is vital to showing young people that they are cared for in a way that isn’t possible through any other means.”

Eight students from Ipsley CE Academy in Redditch are celebrating their success after completing the Oakland Programme, a structured course designed to provide young people with valuable workplace experience.

The programme is run by local children’s charity the Oakland Foundation, in partnership with key sponsor and local business Oakland International. Over a period of months, Foundation trustees worked with the Ipsley students to deliver a number of sessions, offering pupils the chance to understand where products come from, the safety awareness required regarding vehicles and lorries, as well as taking part in work shadowing within departments at Oakland International’s Redditch facility, all designed to support students’ understanding and identify the key skills needed by certain job roles.

As they celebrated their last session together students enjoyed a team baking session organised and supported by Foundation trustees, with parents and carers invited to see the students each receive their Oakland Programme graduation certificate and gift voucher.

Foundation Trustee, Hayley Smith, commented: “The Oakland Programme is designed to be flexible to best suit the outcome required for the pupils involved, and includes a number of structured sessions covering a range of topics aimed at engaging and raising students’ aspirations.

“Their final food-based team challenge involved the students designing and cooking a main meal and dessert using ingredients provided, which they were then able to take home and share with parents, carers and guardians.”

Thought provoking, this young people’s project offers the chance for students to experience diverse workplace environments and the feeling of ‘being at work’ and understanding of what this involves.

Nicola Beech, Ipsley CE Academy Principal, commented: “We continue to be grateful for the additional opportunities our pupils receive through support from the Oakland Foundation. Pupils gain so much from spending time learning outside of the usual school environment and this project has made a real difference to the young people involved.”

The Oakland Foundation works with children and young people within Redditch and Bromsgrove and the surrounding area through their work in the areas of Health and Nutrition, Education and Sport.