GCSE Results

Stowupland High School is delighted to report outstanding achievements by its students in their GCSE and other equivalent qualifications this summer.

Although exam results are not being published again this year, two thirds of Year 11 students gained key grades in both English and Maths.

Ellen Davies, from Stowmarket, achieved seven 9s, two 8s and a 7 in her GCSEs and is set to take A-levels at Stowupland High School in September.  She said: “I want to go to university.  I’m not sure where yet but I want to keep learning.  It has been a difficult year but you just have to make sure you take in the advice of teachers – they have been really helpful.  I want to get into teaching for a career – I have always wanted to work with children.”

Ben Langley, 16, from Combs, achieved 6 grade 9s, 3 grade 8s, a 6 and a 7.  He said: “I am really pleased, but they were the results I was expecting to be honest.  I am looking to do A-Levels next in Maths, further maths, computer science and physics.  I want to go to Cambridge University next.”

Edem and Elorm Kaye-Essien, from Needham Market, said they were really happy with their results.  Elorm said: “I think there has been a lot to overcome but we have had a lot of support throughout it.”  Edem said she plans to become a paediatrician in the future, while Elorm wants to become a psychiatrist.

Ella Webb, 16, from Combs Ford, said: “I am pretty happy with my results to be honest.  It has been a hectic year. It is hard not knowing what is happening next but you just have to get on with it.”

Jack Atkins, from Bacton, achieved four 9s, with the rest his grades either 8 or 7.  He said: “I am generally happy with that.  It has been an interesting year – it has taken a lot more effort from students and teachers.  I am planning to do A-levels next and then hopefully university.”

Following the cancellation of exams in January, grades were determined this year by a process of teacher assessed grades, which were approved by the exam boards and awarded against a national standard. As in more normal years, we were able to make reasonable adjustments for students with additional needs, and to take into account illness or other personal circumstances that might have affected students’ performance. The government has decided not to publish performance data for any schools or colleges this year due to the varying impact of the pandemic.

Peter Whear, the school’s headteacher said: “Students have performed exceptionally well this year under uniquely challenging circumstances. We are proud of the way they remained positive and determined throughout. Their achievements are just reward for their hard work. Parents and carers, too, played their part in supporting home learning and providing invaluable emotional support all along. Last but by no means least, I wish to pay credit to the consummate professionalism and integrity of our teachers and other staff who have ensured that our students are well-prepared for their post-16 education and training.

We wish our students every success for the future and look forward to watching them thrive as they make their next big steps in life.”

Karen Grimes, CEO of the Trust added: “Celebrations are in order for results which are a genuine and accurate reflection of our students’ abilities and achievements.  Throughout remote learning, Year 11 students remained focused and determined and I am absolutely delighted that these results mean they can make positive choices about next steps.  We wish our students every success in their future studies and we are really looking forward to greeting a new cohort of students into the sixth form in September.”


Stowupland sixth formers celebrate as they collect their A-Level results

Students at Stowupland High School celebrated this morning as they picked up their A-Level results.

Despite the upheaval caused by the pandemic, the overall pass rate was more than 98% with 75% of grades at A*-C.  Most importantly, all students have made plans for the next steps in their education, training or employment.

Headteacher Peter Whear said: “We are exceptionally proud of our students and their achievements this year.  They have worked hard to achieve these grades under uniquely challenging circumstances, remaining positive and determined throughout.  We are also immensely grateful to their parents and carers who supported home learning during the lengthy periods of lockdown.  Finally, our teachers, and other staff, have done a first-class job under enormous pressure and in a limited period of time to ensure students are all able to progress onto further education and study.  We wish our students every success for the future and look forward to watching them thrive as they make their next big steps in life.”

Among the high achievers was Reuben Miller, 18, from Mendlesham, who earned an A* in maths, an A in physics and an A* in computing.  He is set to study games programming at the University of Northampton in September.  He said: “I was quite happy with my results, I thought I was going to do well and then I did.  I have been interested in IT ever since my first year at Stowupland High School. I have loved programming ever since.  Eventually I would like to work on one of the big games companies, like Ubisoft.  It is exciting to be taking my next step in life, that is what I am most looking forward to.”

Abby Durrant, 18, achieved A*, A and two distinction A*s.  Abby, whose whole family, including Willow the dog, came along to support her at the school, said she was still thinking about what to do next.  “I did quite a lot better than expected,” she said. “It has been a difficult year; you didn’t know what to expect so it could be quite stressful at times.  It is a relief for it to be all over.”

Will Harris, 18, is set to study film at Anglia Ruskin in September.  Will, who has overcome complex needs, achieved the grades he needed in three A-levels and aims to have a career working behind the scenes in movies.

Emily Keeble, 18, who wants to become a paramedic, said she was pleased with her results.  “I am really happy,” she said. “I’m going off to study paramedic science in September.  It has been quite a difficult year, but the school have done really well to help us carry on with our learning.”

CEO Karen Grimes added: “These results bear testament to the talent and resilience of our students and reflect the unstinting support of families and the entire staff at Stowupland. After two years of study in the most difficult of circumstances, it is a day for celebration and we wish them every success in their future studies and careers.”


News and Updates

A lovely story here in @SuffolkNewsWire about our recent Summer School at Stowupland High School!


#Stowupland #SummerSchool #Suffolk


Would you like to join the John Milton Academy Trust? We have a number of vacancies at our schools in #Suffolk.

See below for your opportunity to join the JMAT family:


#education #careers #newjob #vacancies


Cedars Park Primary School is a successful, vibrant and happy school in #Stowmarket.

The staff are caring, experienced and committed to meeting the individual needs of every child.

See below for a taste of the great work going on at @CedarsParkPri



Would you like to know more about Stowupland High School? (@StowuplandHigh)

See below for a virtual tour of the school!


#Stowupland #Suffolk #virtualtour


In case you missed it!  Here’s a lovely story about Bacton Primary School’s visit from a Bollywood dancer earlier this year!


#Bollywood #Dancing #Bacton #Suffolk


Cedars Park: Ice Cream Project

In case you missed it – Children at Cedars Park Primary School (@CedarsParkPri) were treated to a visit from an ice cream van last week as part of a week-long school project!



Bacton Primary School Sports Day

Children at Bacton Primary School have taken part in their first sports day since the start of the pandemic!

Please see the lovely story here in the @EADT24:  https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/bacton-primary-school-students-holds-sports-day-8129904


May 2021:  School’s sports centre undergoes £10,000 revamp

Work is underway on a £10,000 revamp of Stowupland Sports Centre – which looks to reopen with a bang this month.  The centre, which sits on the grounds of Stowupland High School, part of the John Milton Academy Trust, is getting a lick of paint, new flooring as well as a range of new gym equipment in the first phase of the refurbishment.

Manager Becky Herbert said it is an exciting time seeing the transformation of the centre.  She said: “Work to repaint the gym is almost finished, it is looking really good.  Once that is done, the floor is being replaced and then we will install the new equipment.  As well as our existing cardio and strength machines we are installing some new pieces of functional equipment so our members can really reap the benefits of functional training in a studio environment.  It is a really exciting time – I can’t wait for people to see it.”

The sports centre is looking to stage a grand reopening on May 24.  This will be the first phase of the centre’s revamp – as there are plans to fully refurbish the reception area and changing rooms next.

Becky said she is also looking forward to restarting the centre’s fitness bootcamps on May 17.  “We have had a huge amount of interest in them,” she said. “The first two sessions, on May 17 and May 19, are already fully booked.  The bootcamps have really kicked off, it’s very promising.  It shows people can’t wait to get out there and get active after lockdown.”

Karen Grimes, CEO of the Trust, said: “The investment in the sports centre will make a real difference to the school and the wider community.  The new-look sports centre will complement the excellent facilities at Stowupland High School, and the new sixth form block, and will give students and visitors a superb space for sports and fitness.  We hope our returning users are as excited as us for the grand reopening later in the month.”


14 May 2021:  Bacton pupils enjoy big Bollywood experience

Children at Bacton primary school have been visited by a Bollywood dancer – later performing their own dance in the school’s playground.

Kalpesh Zalavadiya, from K’s Dance Entertainment, visited Bacton Primary School on Friday, May 14, to give the pupils a taste of the iconic Indian dance routines.  PE co-ordinator Laura Daniels said the children really enjoyed the chance to soak up another culture. “It was an awesome day – staff and pupils had lots of fun,” she said.  “Kalpesh was brilliant, really energetic and the children loved every minute of it.  We wanted the children to experience another culture – and thought doing it through dance was a fun way to take part.  It has been amazing – the children have had smiles on their faces all day.”

Each class was treated to a Bollywood workshop, learning a few of the complex dance moves, before getting the chance to ask Kalpesh questions about India’s culture and customs.

“The children learned a lot about the culture and absolutely loved the Bollywood dancing,” said Mrs Daniels.

After the workshops, the whole school got together on the playground for a big, socially distanced group dance.  Mrs Daniels added “All the classes were outside together for the first time since returning to school, which was just brilliant. It was a very special day. The children and staff enjoyed the high-intensity exercise and had fun while learning about a different culture.”


May 2021:  Volunteering student takes orphaned lambs under his wing

A Stowupland High School student has dedicated hundreds of hours volunteering for charities in the area – including taking home and caring for two orphaned lambs.

Spencer Campbell, 16, from Stowmarket, started volunteering at the Museum of East Anglian Life in January last year.  Since then, he has volunteered 356 hours working as an estate worker at the museum, helping to look after and maintain the site.

“I like being outdoors,” said Spencer. “I’m very much an outdoors person.  So having jobs to do in the fresh air and always having things to do is perfect for me.  When I first started, I didn’t see it as doing something for the community, it was just something to keep me busy.”

But Spencer’s volunteering doesn’t end there.  He is also part of the animal care team, helping to feed, water and provide everyday general care to the animals at the museum.  Spencer, who is currently studying for his GCSEs, has also completed a two-week lambing work experience programme.  He has since taken two orphaned lambs under his wing at home and has been feeding them every four hours, with help from his parents when attending school.  “They will be leaving soon, hopefully to be rehomed at the museum,” he said. “I’m really going to miss them – just not the 5.30am feeding time.”

On top of this, Spencer also volunteers at the Café on the Rec which is on the recreation ground in Stowmarket, helping maintain the grounds close to the café, as well as volunteering as a groundsman for Walsham-le-Willow sports club.  If that wasn’t enough, he also helps keep the rose beds at St Mary’s Church in Combs Ford – and has currently clocked up another 20 hours’ volunteering there.

Peter Whear, headteacher at Stowupland High School said: “We are very proud of Spencer’s volunteering; he has dedicated hundreds of hours of his spare time to give vital support to these local charities.  His volunteering makes a huge difference to people in the area and his dedication to helping others is an inspiration to us all.”


30 April 2021:  Pupils celebrate life of Captain Tom with 100 postcard challenge

Youngsters at our primary schools have celebrated the life of Captain Sir Tom Moore with their own ‘100 challenge’ – creating 100 postcards for the community in his memory.  Bacton Primary School took on the challenge for the Captain Tom 100 charity campaign, raising money on what would have been his 101st birthday.

Children first got together to watch a video, featuring celebrities such as David Beckham, Joe Wicks and Dame Judi Dench introducing the challenge, before designing and creating their own postcards which will be sent out to older residents in the community.  As part of the charity campaign, the school has also collected 100 food items to deliver to the local food bank.

Executive headteacher Tessa Sait said: “Captain Sir Tom Moore was an inspiration to us all – his fundraising efforts were a glimmer of hope during the worst days of the pandemic.  His fundraising walk, which raised more than £38 million for the NHS, captured the nation’s heart last year and we are proud to be continuing his wonderful legacy.”

Captain Tom 100 challenges are taking place across the UK over the bank holiday, with a host of celebrities joining in too.  David Beckham will be doing 100 keepy-uppies for his challenge, Dame Mary Berry has pledged to bake 100 cakes while Dame Judi Dench plans to eat 100 chocolates.

Mrs Sait said the children really enjoyed the day and were proud to be taking part in such an important event.  “The children absolutely loved taking part in the challenge – they have created some wonderful postcards,” she said.  “We wanted to do something that would benefit the whole community and bring people together.  The children were thrilled to celebrate what would have been Captain Tom’s 101st birthday by spreading a little joy.  It has been such a lovely way to remember such an inspiring individual.”

For more on the Captain Tom 100 campaign, see www.captaintom100.com


23 April 2021:  Primary pupils take on National Skipping day challenge

Pupils at a our primary schools have jumped rope more than 23,000 times between them to celebrate National Skipping Day.  Children took on the skipping challenge on Friday, April 23, while learning about the importance of fitness and health.

At Bacton, each class was tasked with skipping as many times as they could in 15 minutes – with the aim of notching up as many skips as possible.  Head of School Stephanie Proctor said the children had a great time and were excited to have reached a grand total of 23,358 skips between them.  She said: “Before the challenge, our pupils discussed the effects of skipping on their bodies and were encouraged to reflect on the difference to how they feel compared to their usual 15 minutes per day running and walking during their Daily Mile.  The children had a great time and are really proud of how many skips they managed to achieve.  The whole day was about promoting exercise and good health through skipping, as well as giving.”

Year six Bacton Primary pupil Ollie said: “”It was really great exercise on a sunny morning. A wonderful, positive experience.”

Pupils at Cedars Park Primary School took part in their own skipping challenge the week before but took to the playground again on Friday to mark the national event.  Headteacher Andy Emms said: “Skipping is such an easy way to get some exercise and is a really fun activity for the children. It’s so important for children to get regular exercise, something that has been more difficult to do for many through lockdown.  The children had a great time. We were lucky with the weather too – bright and sunny, perfect for skipping.”


March 2021:  Headteachers reflect on lockdown learning

As schools reopen after lockdown, head teachers in the trust have been reflecting on the huge efforts teaching staff, support staff and families have made to keep pupils learning while away from the classroom.

Staff at the John Milton Academy Trust, which oversees four schools and a sixth form in the county, worked flat-out during lockdown to ensure every child received the very best education possible.

At Cedars Park Primary School in Stowmarket, headteacher Andy Emms said modern technology had really helped to keep schooling going.  “The online lessons were brilliantly received by pupils and parents,” he said. “We had a mixture of pre-recorded video lessons blended with some live assemblies, groups and activities and the teachers were on hand to provide feedback on every piece of work the children did.  Throughout lockdown we regularly checked the engagement of our pupils and provided whatever support was needed.  There is a strong community feeling and everybody pulled together to make sure no-one was left behind.  Our families have been fantastic; they were so supportive right the way through.”

At Stowupland High School, headteacher Peter Whear said the school adapted exceptionally well.  He said: “Schools are flexible and agile institutions, so we could swiftly respond to our children’s needs.  We carried out an audit early on to find out which students didn’t have access to a laptop, we then supplied more than 100 laptops and mobile routers so families would have access to mobile data.  If they couldn’t get online, we supplied them with hard copies of resources  The digital divide has come more into focus recently and we have really sought to address that.  Families will keep these devices in case of further lockdowns but also to consolidate learning now they’re back at school.  Teachers provided students with a blend of live and pre-recorded lessons as well as providing links to learning apps and websites – we essentially sought to mirror the school day.”

Tessa Sait, executive headteacher at Bacton and Mendlesham Primary Schools, said they had also embraced technology to keep up the children’s learning.  “Our schools used Microsoft Teams and delivered lessons through that as well as some quality supplementary resources through Oak Academy,” she said. “I take my hat off to the parents, especially those who have been working from home – they have done an amazing job.  We are so pleased to have the children back in the classroom – a school is not a school without them!”

There is no doubt that COVID has present enormous challenges, but we have worked as a family of schools to maintain as much continuity as possible during lockdown. It’s wonderful that older students have been able to return to a new sixth form building and we hope that learners across the Trust will be able to see it as soon as possible.


Latest Trust Update

Trust Update no.15_ End of Term July 2021
Trust Update no.14_ Sustainability July 2021

You can find all previous updates and information below:

Free School Meal Vouchers:  WONDE
A guidance document on how to access the vouchers along with some frequently asked questions is here:  How to access your vouchers and FAQs

For advice on travelling to school on the bus, please see the poster from Suffolk County Council here:  transport Covid-19 Poster

Trust Update no.13_ April 2021

Trust Newsletter no.12. February 2021
National Lockdown, 5-Jan-21

Trust Update – December 2020

Trust Update no.10_ November 2020

JMAT Strategic Risk Framework for Full Opening- August 2020

Trust Update no.9_ September 2020

Trust Update no.8 July 2020

FAQs for Primary Parents/Carers, 19-May-20

Trust Update no.6 April 2020

Coronavirus Trust Update no. 5   26-March-20

Minister Ford’s open letter to the SEND sector  26-March-20

Coronavirus Trust Update no. 4 20-March-20

Coronavirus_ Trust Update no. 3  19-March-20

Coronavirus_ Trust Update no. 2  18-March-20 

Coronavirus General Information no.1 16-March-20

The DfE updates their information on a regular basis and you can find a link to their website here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

There is also some advice on mental health and wellbeing here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing