Academy students recreate memories for local care home residents with stunning wall art


A group of creative Year 11 students from University Academy Kidsgrove (UAK) have been pooling their talents to brighten the days of residents from a local care home.

Maple Tree Court provides residential and dementia care for up to 64 older people in the Stoke-on-Trent area and is located near the Academy in Kidsgrove. The care home opened in 2015 with impressive facilities including a tea room, activities room and a number of cosy, quiet lounges. Residents requested the help of Academy students to brighten up some of the walls and they duly obliged, creating some eye catching wall art.

Mrs S Bailey, Art Teacher at UAK, tasked students with creating a range of designs which were then shared with the residents. Each of the designs was based around the theme of ‘memories’ and the chosen designs included a Spitfire, bottle kilns, a beach and Mow Cop. Once the residents had selected their favourite pieces, it was time for the real work to start and, after a series of long evening sessions, the students had transformed the walls into large displays, capturing historical moments from the local area and creating a colourful environment which the residents love.

Felicity A. Somerville, Interim Manager at Maple Tree Court said: “We were fortunate to have some very talented students from the University Academy in Kidsgrove come along and decorate two areas in the care home with wall art. The residents chose the themes for each project. One was the Spitfire as designed by Reginald Mitchell, along with other local places of interest; the other group chose a beach scene. As you can see from the photos, the results are stunning and the residents are delighted and suitably proud of their designs brought to life by such gifted teams.”

Mrs Susan Bailey, Teacher of Art said: “I was very impressed with the students’ motivation and how much enjoyment they got out of the work they did at Maple Tree Court. They chatted with the residents and were keen to make the paintings the best they could be. The paintings took at least 8 hours to complete and the staff and residents were very grateful for the end results. The students involved should be very proud of themselves.”

The Year 11 students from UAK involved in this project were Katie Jones, Erika Jacques, Jessica Mountford, Mason Smith, Eleanor Walton, Rachael Taylor and Laura Knapper, along with their Art teacher Mrs S Bailey.

Open Evening Recap & Applications

It was great to meet so many new families at the University Academy Kidsgrove (UAK) Open Evening. We are extremely proud of our academy and were excited to give visitors a glimpse of what makes UAK unique and demonstrate the great things happening at our academy.

If you would like to book a tour on one of our Open Mornings then please contact us on 01782 948250 or email

Applications to join UAK in September 2018 are now open! If you wish to secure a place at please Click Here.

Andy Bygrave
University Academy Kidsgrove

UAK GCSE Results 2017

Students and staff at University Academy Kidsgrove have been praised for their hard work, dedication and commitment, as the Academy celebrates very positive GCSE results. Results have significantly improved in both English and Mathematics. In English, 82% of students achieved a Standard Pass and 65% achieved a Standard Pass in Mathematics.

Principal Andy Bygrave said: “We are delighted to offer thanks and congratulations to the pupils, parents and staff of UAK. Improvements in Teaching and Learning have had a positive impact on the attainment and progress for students of all abilities as this is an inclusive Academy. These results confirm OFSTED’s judgement about the Academy’s improvement.”

Among the many successes are:

  • Callum Finn a Grade 8 in Mathematics and two A*A grades;
  • Rachel Dudley Jones four A*A grades.

Also, the Academy is exceptionally pleased about the following students as their results demonstrated significant progress:

  • Millie Smith;
  • Will Pedley;
  • Tilly Mullington;
  • Luke Purcell;
  • Hannah Sproston;
  • Dylan Smith.

Andy Bygrave added: “The Academy wishes all its students every success as they move onto further education, apprenticeships and employment.”

Year 8 Class Band perform at Keele University

UAK’s Year 8 Class Band were asked to perform by Entrust Music Service Staffordshire to demonstrate what can be achieved through the Class band project. They performed several pieces in front of music teachers (including Heads of Department) from schools all over Staffordshire and Cheshire.

After the performance Mr Breeze received many positive comments from the visiting music teachers who were impressed with how well the students had performed and the way in which they conducted themselves.

Joshua Sourbutts: “We performed in front of music teachers at Keele University and it was very good fun. We got a round of applause from the teachers.”

Megan Burgess: “I enjoyed the conference at Keele University because I got to do a duet.”

Sophie Barber: “We were invited to perform at Keele University. It boosted my confidence more playing in front of people I didn’t know.”

Year 8 Class Band perform with Halle Orchestra

The students of UAK’s Class Band were invited, with other schools, to perform with the Halle Orchestra at the Victoria Hall in Hanley. The students were given the opportunity to play their instruments with professional musicians from the orchestra. They also got to experience hearing a live orchestra perform famous classical pieces and songs from films such as Harry Potter and Indiana Jones.

The invitation was extended to help celebrate the hard work the students have put in to their Class Band project over the last 2 years.

Mr Breeze said “It was a great experience for all the students taking part. Most of them had never experienced listening to a live orchestra before and many were amazed at the sound they made.”

Joshua Wooldridge: “We were asked to perform with the Halle Orchestra which created an experience with an orchestra. The experience was unique and we had the privilege of our own dressing room. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am pleased I got the chance to do.”

Casey Shufflebotham: “We played with the Halle and lots of other schools. It was really fun, and it was an honour.”

Sophie Barber: “We went to play at the Victoria Hall to join in with the Halle Orchestra. I really enjoyed it because it was fun to be in the background and helping out with something that we had seen on Youtube.”

Olympic Visit

Earlier this year we were very lucky to have K1 Olympic Gold Medallist Joe Clarke visit us here at UAK.

Joe came in to talk to us about his experience at Rio and his dedication to his sport.

Joe showed off his medal and even passed it around for pupils to touch and wear.

Joe talked about how hard he has worked to get to the Olympics and encouraged pupils to have big aspirations and always work hard towards their dreams.

Mrs Castrey commented: “Joe created a real buzz around school and the pupils were in awe of him.  Joe was a natural with the pupils and was really down to earth.

It was a real honour to have Joe speak to us and UAK wish him all the best on his road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

School Games Finals 2017

On Friday 23rd June a group of Year 10 pupils were asked to umpire for the County Year 7 Netball Finals at the School Games at Keele University. They have previously umpired primary school competitions and were selected to umpire again at this event.

Whilst there the pupils met two Olympic Gold medallists; Sam Quek (Hockey) and Ian Marsden (Paralympic canoeist).

The girls thoroughly enjoyed the day and it has helped their confidence and knowledge of netball ready for their GCSE PE assessment next year.

Mrs Castrey commented: “I am so proud of the girls.  They conducted themselves professionally and represented the school well.

It has been really lovely to watch the girls grow in confidence over the year with their umpiring and I am proud of how much they have learned and taken on board.”