A record breaking year for our Class of 2019!

We are also proud to announce that we are the most improved school in Halton; 75% of our students achieved Grade 4 or above in English; 59% of our students achieved Grade 4 or above in Maths. #Proud #justthebeginning

Robbie Fowler expands his academy through Sandymoor School and Warrington Town Football Club

Sandymoor School and the Fowler Education & Football Academy (FEFA) are launching a new course at Sandymoor in conjunction with Warrington Town Football Club in September 2018. Emma Simpson, Principal at Sandymoor School stated, “This is an exciting moment in the development of our sixth form through our partnership with FEFA and Warrington Town Football Club; giving local young people a route into future careers in the football and sporting industry both locally and internationally.”

It’s three years since Robbie Fowler launched his grand plan to help Merseyside youngsters.
The anniversary has been celebrated in style with a host of success stories both on and off the field for FEFA. The Wavertree Sports Park-based centre provides 16 to 19 year olds with a variety of courses, which combine football coaching with classroom work.

The Fowler Academy has around 60 students but that figure will exceed 100 come September when they expand into a second site at Sandymoor School following a link up with Warrington Town. There are close ties with the club as Warrington Town’s assistant manager Mark Beesley is also in charge of FEFA’s under-17s. Further expansion is planned with other sites in North Wales under consideration as well as a potential partnership in the Middle East.

FEFA are taking a 20-strong squad out to the Dubai Super Cup in April. Scott Fowler, Robbie’s younger brother, is the Academy’s head of operations. He said; “It’s a four-day tournament with Brazilian Ronaldo’s Academy being one of the other teams taking part so it will be a really good test for the lads.”

On the field, FEFA’s first team have just won the English Colleges Premier League. The second team are well placed to retain their Merseyside Elite title they won last season. The under-17s are five points clear at the top as they bid to retain the title they won last season. FEFA could actually win five trophies this season which would surpass any other college in the UK.

Academy principal Brian McGorry, the former Bournemouth and Peterborough midfielder, is a qualified Sport Scientist and Teacher. He also has 20 years of teaching experience and working as a performance expert. He says, “We’ve already taken near our maximum of students for the next intake in September in Liverpool. We are the only College in the UK offering the high standard of football and qualifications. The level of coaching rivals professional academies. Added to this is player analysis, heart rate and GPS data. It really is impressive.”

The course will offer students the following pathways:
• Scholarships to the USA
• University
• Coaching in the USA
• Employment within the Sport and Leisure Industry

The list of qualifications that FEFA offer are impressive and unique within the UK:
• BTEC Sport and Exercise Science Extended Diploma
• Gym Instructor
• Personal Trainer
• Lifeguard
• FA coaching qualifications

McGorry continues, “Added to this is our Sports Science expertise, A licence coaches and Outstanding Teaching. The overall package that is offered to students is extremely strong.

The education results are highly impressive with some 80% of graduates moving on to university last September after two years with FEFA. This isn’t a case of Robbie Fowler just putting his name to something and leaving us to it. We get brilliant support from him and he’s very passionate about the education side. It’s why he wanted to get involved.”

Warrington Town Chairman Toby Macormac added, “This is a great opportunity for the club to partner up with a progressive local school and work with FEFA to provide a pathway to semi and professional football for the students. Recently nine FEFA students featured in First Team cup fixture’s underlining the possibilities open to them and to enable Warrington Town FC to bring through some future stars.”

Sandymoor School look forward to welcoming their new students in September.

Sister school partnership


Following Mrs. Sutcliffe’s recent visit to China, we are delighted to announce our new sister school partnership with Wenzhou No.2 Experimental Middle School. This is a fantastic opportunity for both schools to work on joint projects together, and we look forward to organising our first student visit to Wenzhou hopefully next year!






How Office 365 apps are empowering pupil voice


By Daniel Kerr

As an innovative school, we use the Office 365 package from Microsoft to deliver a unique virtual learning environment (VLE) for our pupils. Within Office 365 is an application known as SharePoint. A SharePoint site contains a central storage area and collaboration tools for documents, information and resources. This has allowed me to set up a series of web pages that act as course sites for each year group that studies Computing, including for GCSE and BTEC qualifications.

Within SharePoint team sites there are a collection of installable apps that you can attach to a particular web page. When I was developing the Computing site for pupils, I knew that I wanted to make it as interactive and dynamic as possible. I did not want the site to be a static set of pages as it needed to be a platform to engage the pupils I was teaching. This is where Office 365 apps have shaped the development of the site. The apps themselves are predominantly used in a business setting to facilitate online communication among employees. I have taken these apps and customised them for a classroom context.

The apps I have implemented are all centred on tracking and monitoring pupil progress within lessons. They are a valuable tool for me as they collect timely responses and feedback from pupils which can then inform future lesson planning or immediate intervention which needs to take place within a current lesson.

The main purpose of these Office 365 apps is to provide efficient ways to demonstrate progress that pupils are making within a lesson and to assess their learning against the learning objectives that are shared from the outset. The way each app works is when a pupil clicks on the required icon, the app launches in a new window onscreen. Within the new window, AfL questions are framed to encourage pupil feedback to be collected.

As you can see from the above screenshots, the apps that I have designed are questioning pupils on the new concepts that they are learning and how confident they are with the presented lesson content. In both the Exit Ticket and Confidence Line apps, pupils are asked open-ended questions to review where they are going within their learning journey.

Pupils are advised to reflect on the learning that has taken place by posting online what they now know or can do. They can additionally inform me whether they need any further help or support with a certain topic through an electronic message. This is empowering their pupil voice. The apps are embedded within the routine of lessons and pupils now regularly ask me whether it is time to complete the exit ticket or post a rating on the confidence line.

From a teaching perspective, it is very useful to see the range of responses when all of the pupils are posting their messages as you can see in real time whether they have grasped the learning outcomes that you have pitched to them. A lesson plan can be adjusted instantly depending on the pupil feedback I am being given and whether I need to revisit a concept again with the whole class or a small group of pupils. The ability for pupils to communicate their progress electronically additionally allows my less confident pupils to ensure their comments are voiced.