Head’s Blog: Under starter’s orders…

Tomorrow is an historic day for Stoke. Our first A level will be sat at 9 am. The honour falls to our three economists to lead the charge. A week after the GCSE students went on study leave, the A level students have now joined them.

In a way there will be little outward change. The sixth formers will still be at their own desks in the study room working during the day. However, instead of leaving the room to go to their lessons, they will be heading to the Performing Arts Building for their examinations.

Of course, there will be a few nerves. This is normal and healthy. When you are well prepared, a few nerves help you perform even better.

Since we returned from the Easter break we have spent most of the time with the Upper Sixth practicing past papers. They are now ready and now is the time to perform. We will be there in support, just as their families are, but we are in the background. The stage is set and the curtain is rising on the first act.

As one of the A level teachers, I thought I would feel nervous for my students too. But actually I don’t. I feel we have worked hard together and I am excited for them. I believe in them, I have seen them prove to me many times what good Economists they are, and I am proud of them. They have come a long way over the past two years.

Like all the Upper Sixth students, they are pioneers. They have cut the path that future years will now follow. I am sad that I have no more lessons to teach them but also happy that they are ready to spread their wings and soar skywards.

I will see them all in the morning to wish them luck and I am sure my colleagues will be doing the same when their subjects come. But the relationship has now changed subtly. They no longer depend on me. They might want to ask a few questions before the next exam and I hope they will send me a few practice papers to mark. But I sense their imminent independence and tomorrow I will watch them with pride.

Karate Success for Stoke College Students

Stoke College is proud to host the Stour Valley Karate Club as part of our weekly after school activities programme and also for special events and competitions. Stoke College students Patrick, Henry and William won medals at the most recent club competition held at the end of September. Particular congratulations go to Henry for his gold medal in the Individual Kata category and Patrick for achieving two gold medals, in Team Kata and Partnerwork categories.

Click here SVKC Club Competition for more information about this event, and to find out more about joining Stour Valley Karate Club, which is open to children aged 7 upwards as well as adults.

Meet our PE Teachers

Mr Simon Quick is Head of Sport and Physical Education at Stoke College. He was previously Director of Sport at Craighouse School in Chile. Prior to his employment in South America, he was Head of Physical Education and Sport at Giles Academy in Lincolnshire where he implemented Rugby, Fencing and Rowing as new sports. He has diverse experience in both academic and practical Physical Education which he is looking forward to implementing here at Stoke College. With experience of A Level, GCSE and BTEC qualifications, Mr Quick is well positioned to expand our current curriculum and allow bespoke opportunities for our students to discover their passion for sport.


Mr Quick is a Level 4 Tennis Coach and has developed county players at a variety of age groups. He is aspiring to be an LTA tutor, allowing him to deliver and award tennis coaching qualifications to our students here at Stoke College. In addition, Mr Quick is familiar with the county Rugby set up in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and eager to become involved in coaching at a representative level.

He has a Masters Degree in Sport Science from Essex University and is currently writing his PhD thesis on ‘Developing an understanding of domain specific expertise in sports coaching’. As part of this on-going research, he has collaborated with Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Club and a number of High Performance Satellite Tennis Clubs.


During his spare time Mr Quick plays Tennis, Squash and Golf; his life-long ambition is to complete the infamous ‘O’ circuit in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.


Miss Ashleigh Fryers currently holds the position of Teacher of Girls’ Games and Physical Education at Stoke College. Teaching at the college is her first professional teaching post since graduating as an outstanding teacher from Liverpool John Moores University. She studied Education Studies with Physical Education for her undergraduate degree and Secondary Physical Education for her postgraduate degree. This has enabled her to have a breadth of knowledge within her subject and to be able to apply different pedagogical approaches to ensure students’ educational needs are catered for.


As a new teacher, Miss Fryers offers a fresh and diverse approach, with the confidence and desire to ensure sport excels within the college. Her vision is that our Physical Education department becomes as diverse as those that we teach.


Miss Fryers has a depth of experience of team sports, particularly in hockey where she played for her club’s first eleven team for a number of years and was captain of her school netball team throughout her time at school. She also enjoys individual sports, especially badminton where she tries to sneak the odd game in when she finds the time.


It is her life long ambition to hold the position of Head of PE.​

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!

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!

Eden’s Dance Success

This week we are celebrating Eden’s achievements in the world of dance. Eden has been attending dance classes in ballet, freestyle and dance exercise since the age of 3.  This year Eden is celebrating triple success as she has, over two examination sessions, passed her Freestyle Gold (Commended), Dance Exercise Gold (Highly Commended) and Grade 1 Ballet (Merit).  Eden works to the International Dance Teachers’ Association (IDTA) syllabus and all exam sessions are adjudicated by an external examiner appointed by the IDTA Head Office.

When Eden first attended The Ballet Shoe Workshop at the age of 3, she was a very shy dancer, happy to join in but wanting to stay in the background and always needing a hand to hold for reassurance; over the years the complete opposite has happened with Eden gaining more and more confidence and stage presence as each year passes.  Eden is always confident in her performance and always secure in the moves and what comes next which is always executed with great timing.  The most important transformation with Eden is her stage presence: her smile, posture and lifted eye-line make her an asset to have in class whether she is working on her solo performance for examination purposes or whether she is rehearsing for a show involving team work and friendships.

Eden attends a local dance school, The Ballet Shoe Workshop, which is based in Hundon, and she was a superb performer at the Stoke College Arts Festival at the end of last term. We are very much looking forward to seeing what she performs in this year’s Arts Festival in June.

Congratulations, Eden!