Stained Glass Museum Trip

On Monday the Kingfishers (Years 3 & 4) and Owls (Year 5) went to the Stained Glass Museum inside Ely Cathedral.  The children were greeted by a monk from the 12th century who spoke to them about the history of stained glass.  Then all the pupils made their own stained ‘glass’ leaf picture and a glass bead buddy as well as learning about how to ‘read’ stained glass pictures and the meaning behind them.  It was a great day and we are looking forward to visiting again next year.

Watch this space for an update on the Eagles’ (Year 6) trip to Colchester Zoo, which is taking place today!

Stoke Remembers

Mr Moss and Jacob, who laid our wreath

At 11.00 am on Friday 10th November, all students and staff gathered at the Stoke by Clare war memorial which commemorates the soldiers of the First and Second World Wars. We were very pleased to welcome parents and members of the local community to join with us for the first time.

Mr Jaina led the ceremony, delivering a talk about the significance of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, before Year 9 students gave readings about four of the men from Stoke by Clare who were killed in action during the First World War. That two of these soldiers were brothers, and that two other men of the Pledger family were killed during the war, made this even more poignant.

Jacob and Ebbie, two of our Army cadet students, laid a wreath and cross of remembrance, and Olivia read The Crosses, a contemporary poem of remembrance by Bill Mitton.

Mr Moss, an Army veteran, led The Last Post, two minutes’ silence followed by The Reveille, as we all reflected on the loss of life in conflicts past and present.

Students reflect during the ceremony

Our Day Out

On Wednesday 11 October all students in Years 7 and 8, along with all GCSE Drama students, travelled to London for a two-part trip to The Tower of London and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, there to watch Much Ado About Nothing.

After travelling by coach we gathered at the Tower of London and received our entry wristbands, ready to explore all there was to see inside. Split into groups, we marvelled at the Crown Jewels; having studied this period in History lessons, we could easily see why Charles II is now referred to as the King of Bling!

Charles II with some of the robes and royal jewels that we saw on display

We also took in The Bloody Tower, where Richard III is alleged to have killed the two princes, and the tower cells where many famous people have been held prisoner over the centuries, from the the Tudor Princess Elizabeth to the Kray twins. The weather was even warm enough for us to sample the delicious ice cream!

After enjoying our packed lunched we started our walk across Tower Bridge to Southwark, stopping for photos and to take in the sights on the South Bank. Although it began to drizzle, we all loved seeing the London sights from Tower Bridge.

After lightening a few purses in the gift shop, we took our places in the Yard at Shakespeare’s Globe, ready for Much Ado About Nothing to begin. Transported to the Mexican Revolution of 1914, this was an incredibly colourful, noisy and physical performance. We loved having the actors and actresses move among us as we stood: we were so close to the action and the GCSE Drama students were able to take lots of notes on the production.

We all had an incredible day out and are looking forward to more theatre trips this year and next! Many thanks to Mrs Hunn-Smith and Mr Jaina for organising the trip, and to Mrs Bull, Mr Bennett and Mrs Waite for joining us.

Flowers blooming in Autumn

We have just bid farewell to our visitors from the Xicheng Primary School of Beijing. A group of 48 Year 7 pupils, with their teachers, spent the last two days with us working on an Art project. Led by Mr Reeves, they produced flowers and feathers based around the theme of an English garden.

The children’s school specialises in artistic endeavour and working with our own Year 7 pupils, they produced some beautiful pieces of work.

We wish them a safe journey as they continue their tour of the UK and I would particularly like to thank Mr Reeves for preparing and leading such a thoroughly enjoyable two day experience.

Our English teacher wrote the textbook!

International students learning English at Stoke College are now able to use the textbook authored by our very own teacher, Mrs Natasha DaSouza. Mrs Da Souza has a distinguished career in teaching and textbook publishing and we are delighted that her latest book, published by Cambridge University Press, is now ready in print for students to use in lessons.

The textbook is designed to help guide students towards their IELTS qualification, an internationally recognised certification of English language proficiency required by many universities in the UK.

With the help of Mrs Da Souza, our international students will rapidly improve their English language skills, opening up their abilities across the whole curriculum range. At Stoke College, students with English as an additional language receive one to one or paired lessons, depending on their level of English and their learning needs. All international students join with the core curriculum of English, Maths and Science and those in Years 5-9 join in with the full range of subjects. Students joining for a Pre-A Level course have a bespoke curriculum designed that best meets their needs and future educational ambitions.

More information about the new textbook is available here.


Maths Success for Sean

Sean, Year 8,  sat the Junior Maths Challenge earlier in the year and achieved a Gold certificate. In fact his score was so high he manged to get through to the next round, which is called the “Kangaroo Round”. Students can only take part in this by select invitation from the UK Maths Challenge team: in fact, only a few thousand students nationally are invited to this next round. The Kangaroo Round poses a huge step up from the Junior Challenge and Sean did extremely well in achieving his qualifying certificate. It is an extremely prestigious award, so extremely well done to Sean!

Arthur, Edith and Alessia: Mini Great North Runners

Proud finishers Edith and Alessia

On Sunday 10th September Arthur (Year 5), Edith (Kingfishers) and Alessia (Kingfishers) pounded the streets of Gateshead as they joined hundreds of other children in the Mini Great North Run.  Arthur ran a testing 4km, while Edith and Alessia ran 1.5km. This event is a hugely popular – entries for 2018 have already closed – and the three took the chance to raise money for the school through their fundraising.

Together, Arthur, Edith and Alessia raised a whopping £965 for the school PE Department, for which we are hugely grateful, and we look forward to updating you soon to show you how their kind donation has been spent!

Arthur in action

Record Results for Stoke

Our Year 11 students have done extraordinarily well in the GCSE examinations this year.

After last year’s success, the school’s results have again risen sharply, by over 20%. Stoke students benefit from small class sizes and of the 19 students in Year 11, 89% of pupils achieved 5 A*-C, with 79% gaining these grades including English and Maths*.

We are delighted for the students who worked consistently hard to achieve their grades. They were an excellent year group who encouraged each other. They received additional individual support from teaching staff as well as from LDU staff when it was needed. They often used social media too, to help each other in their homework and revision. Their achievements are a testament to their commitment and to that of staff and parents.

At Stoke College we are proudly non-selective and close working relationships with staff allow all pupils to make strong progress. Our small class sizes benefit pupils of all abilities and we are particularly pleased to see how pupils across the academic spectrum have exceeded national expectations.

We look forward to many generations of students succeeding at Stoke, not just at GCSE but also at A level, as we open our new sixth form in September.

(* English and Maths are now graded 9 to 1, with a grade 4 being the equivalent of a C grade.)

ISA National Athletics Success

In beautiful sunshine and soaring temperatures, hundreds of children from around the country competed at the ISA National Athletics Finals on Monday (19th June) at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. Compared to last year, the weather was a welcome change but with it came a new challenge.

On one of the hottest days of the year, children from age 9 – 16 put on a real show of outstanding athletic ability, exemplary attitude and sportsmanship that was well placed within an international sports arena, which in the past has been graced by the likes Mo Farah and Jess Ennis.

Spectators were blessed with some remarkable performances and in total 20 national records were broken. High standards were maintained throughout the day, even throughout the relays when the competitors were quite understandably wilting, yet records were still being surpassed.

Regardless of all the outstanding individual and team performances, the day must be remembered for the achievements of all who were there. To qualify for this event is a remarkable achievement and one that every competitor should be very proud of.

The seven Stoke College pupils, from years 4 to 11, all made huge achievements in the regional competition to qualify. They competed in 13 different events and made the college and PE staff very proud.

Stoke won three medals: 2 Silver and 1 Bronze.


Results were as follows:
Year 4 Lilia Long jump 3.54m Silver Medal (only a centimeter behind the winner), 600m 2.05 Minutes

Year 6 Jessica 1.20m High Jump

Year 8 Gabriel 200m 26.55 seconds, He also represented the East Anglia boys relay team and ran a fantastic race in the 2ndleg.

Year 9 Jonty: Discus 24.48m Bronze Medal, Javelin 29.77 Silver Medal

Year 10 Jacob 100m Unfortunately suffered an injury in his race but still finished the race with great determination.

Year 10 Olivia: 800m 2.53.88 minutes, 1500m 5.52.47 minutes

Year 11 Charlie 200m 24.63 seconds, Javelin 30.81m

Junior Maths Challenge 2017

This year, students at Stoke College made us all very proud with their achievements in the Junior Maths Challenge. Three students in particular were awarded certificates for their achievements:

Iona in yr 8 achieved a bronze award

Albert in Year 7 achieved a silver award and

Sean in year 7 achieved a gold award.

Sean’s result was so high that he has been invited to a follow on round, named the “Kangaroo” which will be held in June. We wish Sean the best of luck with this.

Very well done to all who sat the Challenge, in particular many congratulations to these three students, whose mathematical problem solving earned them recognition in this tricky event. The Junior Maths Challenge is a national event, run by the UK Mathematics Trust, where able mathematicians are invited to solve a number of  intriguing problems. Over 600,000 students take part.