Kingswood Academy pupils win a national debating award at the House of Commons

The House voted in favour of Kingswood’s motion on knife crime by a significant margin

A team of ten Kingswood Academy pupils are celebrating winning a national competition for “Remarkable Debating”, held in the House of Commons.

Students from the Kingswood Academy debate team beat off stiff competition from the other secondary schools across the country in Westminster on July 1.

The team of talented Hull students went head-to-head with another academy to debate a motion to increase stop and search to reduce knife crime.

This was before an audience including representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Met Police, the National Crime Agency and Sefton Henry - a former gang member turned inspirational speaker.

The House voted in favour of Kingswood’s motion by a significant margin.

Richard Westoby, headteacher at Kingswood Academy, part of the Academies Enterprise Trust, said: “We are incredibly proud of our winning students, in particular the dedication, insight and focus they have shown, and the absolute relentlessness that led to their success.

"They worked tirelessly to develop their understanding of the topic and to anticipate the different perspectives on the issue. Their hard work paid off.

"I know they will all go on to fulfil their dreams and live happy and successful lives. ”

The winning team earned their place in the finals through three rounds in which a team of 24 Kingswood pupils debated topics such as the Shamima Begum case and whether Eid should be a public holiday.

The awards, run by Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), celebrate all different aspects of what it means to be “remarkable”.

The final ten students were selected through a democratic process by the student body. The entire squad researched and trained tirelessly for the final debate.

Libby Young, in Year 7 at Kingswood Academy, said: “This was an amazing opportunity to be able to speak for all the youth of our country suffering from the tragic issue of knife crime, as well as being able to get a taste of our future.”

Fellow student Ethan Smith in Year 10 at Kingswood Academy also found the opportunity to be a useful one.

He said: “It was an extremely exhilarating experience to be able to take an issue so vital to society and put it into competitive practice, and to truly compete on a national stage, against other students with varied views.”

The winners were commended for their well-researched and well-informed debate, their close teamwork and their mature engagement with other schools.

Kate Harris, the founder of Votes for Schools, said: “Over the last seven months Kingswood Academy students have impressed us time and time again. The students have shown an outstanding ability to be passionate advocates and speakers on a range of issues from child marriage through to citizenship in the UK.

"They worked tirelessly as a team to respond to their opposition, remaining on point, cool, calm and collected, seemingly not at all intimidated by the grand surroundings.

"We were blown away in particular by Ethan who led the group and charmed us all with his excellent communication skills.”

The winning team from Kingswood Academy attended an awards ceremony at the Derngate Theatre in Northampton on July 4 in recognition of their achievement. Schools from across AET attended the day to celebrate the awards.

Kingswood Academy - the Hull school where climbing and bowling are part of exam season

The school has a formula to ensure that pupils get the best grades possible

It's a nerve-wracking time if you're a teenager in Hull at the moment, with hundreds of youngsters getting ready to sit their GCSEs this summer.

We are now in the throes of exam season, with youngsters desperately trying to cram in last-minute revision and stave off the stress.

And one Hull secondary school is doing something extra special to ensure that pupils get the best grades possible.

At Kingswood Academy, part of the Academies Enterprise Trust, all Year 10 and Year 11 students get a special support package designed to relieve exam stress and help them be as prepared as possible to face their future, not just their exams.

From extending the school day to help them do extra learning, offering extra tuition in the evenings, weekends and during holidays as well as holding residentials and fun activities, the package aims to benefit the students and their studies.

The school has faced criticism from parents for is zero-tolerance approach to particular hairstyles, earrings and trousers. But no matter how unpopular some of the policies may seem they appear to be working, with Kingswood continuing to improve in the eyes of the Government.

Last year, the Bransholme secondary was rated rated 'good' by education watchdog Ofsted following a remarkable turnaround since it was put in special measures in January 2015.

Since then, the school has gone from strength to strength thanks to the hard work of staff and students at the school, with the academy being rated as 'good' last year, with the result coming after the school celebrated its best-ever GCSE results in 2018.

This is based on range of provisions that are made by the school to promote success, including:

  • A separate area in school for revision
  • Revision guides, workbooks, aids such as highlighters, and flash cards for every subject
  • Weekly assemblies from heads of departments showing students how to revise
  • Walking Talking Mocks where students are coached on how best to tackle certain types of exam questions
  • Students who require an exam reader have opportunities to meet with their readers over tea and coffee prior to the exams to allow them to build up a good rapport with their reader
  • They have the opportunity to sit in the very seat where they will take their exams prior to the start of the exam period where they go through visualisation exercises to make them feel comfortable, and to give them time to take in the views, the sounds and become familiar with the environment.
  • An in-house counselling service to any student who requires additional support.
  • Four free residentials are offered completely free of charge to every student in Year 11 to ensure that students are fuelled correctly, where they get outdoors and go climbing and do other fun activities such as bowling and cinema visits

All of this extra support led to Kingswood Academy being recognised nationally for its excellent results in 2018 based on data from the Department for Education and Ofsted, analysed by SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers network.

The school was found to be among the best performing secondary schools in the country, receiving an award for being in the top 10 per cent of schools nationally for progress.

Richard Westoby, Headteacher at Kingswood Academy said: “Everything we have in place for our year 10 and year 11 students goes a long way to managing their stress levels.

"At home they might be stressing out about the exams, but these residentials and everything we do to support them to that point, means they know they’re all in it together, mentally and physically.

"Ultimately our staff are so invested in our students achieving their very best, that they will never give up on any student.

"We are there for them every step of the way, reassuring them, guiding them and believing in them at the time when they need it most.”

And it seems that the students really are reassured by the programme put in place by the school. Abdul, a year 11 student at Kingswood Academy, said: “My exams are coming up and I am so grateful for everything I’ve been able to do at Kingswood to prepare for my future.

"I’m nowhere near as worried as I thought I would be. I recognise my abilities, every single one of my teachers has helped me to believe in myself.

"They go completely over and above, giving their time up to support me outside of school even. I feel completely prepared - I’m not panicking.”

Kingswood Academy wins national award for performance

It was found to be among the best performing secondary schools in the country

Pupils at a Hull school have been commended for their top exam scores after achieving the best-ever GCSE results.

Kingswood Academy has been recognised nationally for its excellent results in 2018 based on data from the Department for Education and Ofsted, analysed by SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers network.

The school, which is part of the Academies Enterprise Trust, was found to be among the best performing secondary schools in the country, receiving an award for being in the top 10 per cent of schools nationally for progress.

Richard Westoby, headteacher at Kingswood Academy, said: “This Educational Outcomes Award is a testament to the unbelievable hard work of all our pupils and staff.

Pupils at Kingswood Academy, which achieved a good Ofsted rating (Image: Jerome Ellerby)

"This is recognition of our students’ academic worth. We want all of them to have an inner-belief and ambition to fulfil their dreams, and go on to live happy and successful lives.

“On average our students make three quarters of a grade more progress, across all subjects, than other students do nationally, putting us in the top 2 per cent of all academies nationally.


"We are preparing all our pupils to make bold choices, broadening their horizons and showing them there is a big world outside Hull.”

As a result of their fantastic results, Kingswood Academy will be presented with a prize in summer from the SSAT Educational Outcomes Awards, which compares all state-funded schools in England and the highest performing schools for a range of key measures.

Sue Williamson, chief executive of SSAT said: “I am delighted that Kingswood Academy has won an Educational Outcomes Awards. This recognises one important aspect of the school’s work but at SSAT we believe an outstanding school has deep social justice at the heart of its plan.

"It subjects that plan to constant challenge and innovation and it liberates teachers to perform brilliantly in the classroom.

"SSAT is pleased to recognise the quality of leadership and the hard work of all staff to ensure the success of every child. A big thank you and well done to students, parents, staff and governors.”

Youth leaders hoping to inspire the next generation of students

Teenagers step to share vital life skills.

Kind-hearted students at a Hull secondary school have shared important life skills with primary school children to better prepare the youngsters for high school.

Months of hard work were put in by 40 of Kingswood Academy’s most motivated pupils, who stayed behind after school and gave up weekends to prepare inspiring seminars on character education, wellbeing, growth mindset and aspirational goal setting.

They attended a youth leadership programme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, to empower teenagers in Hull and give them an opportunity to share important life skills with people in their community.

Such training helped the students at Kingswood Academy talk to 90 Year 6 pupils, from Bude Park Primary School and Highlands Primary School, on Thursday last week. The day focused on how to have higher levels of hope and aspirations for the future, how to learn more effectively and achieve better qualifications, how to enhance physical and mental health.

“This was an amazing opportunity for our pupils to engage in meaningful work that will help make their move from year six to seven run smoothly,” said Deborah James, associate principal at Highlands Primary School.

The workshops developed by the students at Kingswood Academy helped our pupils here at Highlands Primary, build on the work they do at primary school and continue their understanding of how to build resilience, have a growth mindset and have a positive ‘can do’ approach to tackling even the most difficult of situations.”

The pupils learnt from sessions with performance coach, Kevin Mincher and took part in teamwork challenges, attended seminars on the skills needed for good leadership and looked at responding to feedback, strategies to develop self confidence, resilience and a growth mind set. “It is inspirational to see local teenagers stepping up to make a difference and volunteering to help their community succeed,” said Kevin Mincher, performance coach and founder of Unstoppable Teen.

By Anna Riley

Year 11 Prom 2019

Pupils from Kingswood Academy dressed to impress on Friday night as they came together to celebrate the end of Year 11 at The Country Park Inn in Hessle. The Humber Bridge provided a fantastic backdrop for some amazing pictures and everyone looked fabulous. Hull Live was there to get some brilliant pictures of everybody taking part. Have a scroll through below to see if you can recognise anyone we snapped who went on the night.