Archive for June, 2015

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Stoke Gifford technical college rated ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors

Posted on Wednesday 17th June 2015 at 9:25 pm by SH (Editor)

Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy, New Road, Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Bristol’s first University Technical College, the Bristol Technology and Engineering (BTE) Academy in New Road, Stoke Gifford, has been rated as ‘good’ following its inaugural Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors who visited the BTE Academy in April commended its principal Rhian Priest and other senior staff for providing “strong leadership, so that the academy has clear strengths less than two years after opening”.

They added: “The academy is well on its way to meeting its vision of becoming a centre of excellence in teaching engineering and environmental technologies.”

The BTE Academy is one of 30 University Technical Colleges across England, catering for pupils in Years 10 to 13 and with a strong focus on engineering and environmental technologies. It opened in September 2013 and currently has 333 students.

It is sponsored by the University of the West of England and GKN Aerospace, and also receives support from Airbus, Rolls-Royce and the Royal Navy. There are also strong links with the City of Bristol College and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

BTE Academy was rated by Ofsted as being ‘good’ overall and it received the same rating in several other categories: leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching, achievement of pupils and sixth form provision.

Inspectors describe the teaching of top ability sets in Years 10 and 11 maths and science as being “outstanding” and say its governing body “provides outstanding support and challenge to the academy’s senior leaders”. Provision for students who are disabled or who have special educational needs is also “outstanding”, as is support for students’ personal development and well-being.

The Ofsted report also highlights the “exceptionally mature relationship between teachers and students that creates an excellent climate for learning” in the sixth form. “These lessons often feel more like high-level seminars than typical school lessons,” it adds.

More: Academy has some places available for September 2015 »

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Bittersweet success for Stoke Gifford United

Posted on Wednesday 17th June 2015 at 9:04 pm by Garry Ford

Stoke Gifford United FC.

Garry Ford reflects on Stoke Gifford United’s bittersweet league title win.

So, like it was written in the stars, the Bristol and Suburban Premier League title was decided in the last game in a match at Mangotsfield. This fixture earlier in the season had seen a freak accident on the field of play that led to the tragic death of Stoke Gifford forward Ben Hiscox.

On Friday 8th May, the two clubs came together again in this title deciding fixture.

Mangotsfield Sports started the brighter and played some neat football, and their more controlled approach was rewarded when they took the lead mid way through the first-half.

Stoke Gifford, needing a draw to secure the title, found it hard to create opportunities and were to head in at the break trailing 1-0. After the interval, Gifford upped their game , whether it was the appearance of Ben’s dad, Clive, or what manager Martin black had to say, Mangotsfield were pushed back and were desperately trying to repel the Gifford momentum.

This pressure finally told when the flying winger was upended in the box and the resulting penalty was stuck away to make it 1-1, a scoreline that was sufficient for Stoke Gifford to lift the title.

Mangotsfield, who needed all three points, woke up from their earlier slumber and went in search of the goal that would bring the title to Corsham Street. There was some desperate defending – Dan Dunt was cautioned when he could have walked for a late challenge to thwart a Mangotsfield raid. As the corner count increased in Mangotsfield’s favour, the tension rose.

A father who tragically lost his son looked on, and seemed like he was willing the ball to stay out. Ben’s wish had been to win the league and, as the final whistle sounded, he wasn’t there to witness it, but his dad joined his team mates on the pitch to celebrate.

Sometimes, sport goes beyond being just a physical activity and it helps bring a community together.  If Ben’s family has found some comfort in Stoke Gifford clinching the title, that’s got to be a good thing. Let’s hope that Ben was looking down and smiling.

More: Colourful farewell for footballer Ben Hiscox »

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