Directors Academy Awards 2016

On Tuesday 20th September the academy held its annual Directors Academy Awards.  An evening where students, parents, staff and directors gather to celebrate the fantastic achievements of students throughout the academy and across all subjects.  High achievers and most improved students in all subjects were presented with awards from the academy’s devoted team of directors.  Kind donations were given by local business that have joined in partnership with Buckler’s Mead in order to recognise the great achievements of its students.  The academy were grateful to have an ex student speak to the audience of students and parents.  Steve Lawes was a student in the academy in the 1970’s and is now the Consulting Director for International company Deloitte’s.  Headteacher Sara Gorrod said ‘It was fascinating to learn of the great success from a former student and we hope that this can raise the aspirations of our students and enable them to open doors for the future.  To acknowledge their achievements on such a wonderful evening was fantastic’.

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GCSE results at Buckler’s Mead Academy 2016.


The Academy continues to go from strength to strength, with success across the board for both students and departments.

The English and Maths departments achieved results to be proud of as more than 10% of students gained the highest possible A* or A grades, in each of these subjects. 73% of students gained a C or above in English. The academy is also celebrating significant success in the amount of students that have achieved the highest A*-A grades in 5 or more subjects which has doubled in the last 2 years.

Other subjects with significant success included ICT, German, Applied Science, Politics, Polish, Music, Drama, Textiles and Art.

In recent years the Academy has been in the top 2% of the Most Improved state schools in England and identified as the Most Improved in Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire for 2011-13. Buckler’s Mead Academy are once again proud of their achievements and truly believe that they are ahead of the game in preparing students for what is a fast and ever changing educational landscape.

Overall the academy has seen the number of students achieving 5 or more A* and A grades more than double this year. Top achievers included, Samuel Court, with 11 A* or A grades, Lauren Rousell, with 9 A* or A grades, Tim Batty, Rebecca Crane, Katie Mountford, and Luke Miles all achieving 8 A* or A grades.

Headteacher Sara Gorrod said: “We are so proud of all our students. Their hard work has paid off. The entire staff within the academy must also be congratulated for their relentless support and inspiring teaching which has enabled every student to succeed. Well done to all.”

Full and final results will be available in a few weeks’ time on the academy website.

Bucklers Mead Academy students get help to ‘change their brains’ from visiting fiction and self-help writer

Buckler’s Mead Academy Year 9 students were treated to a visit from thought-provoking fiction and adolescent self-help writer Nicola Morgan.

The famous author began the assembly by telling the year group she was going to change their brains, which the students soon found out was no lie!

Nicola explained in a very factual yet comprehensible manner about the causes and effects of stress on the mind and body, and the students can now use a host of useful tips in this year’s exams.

Each of the students were given little black stickers called ‘stress dots’ which changed colour according to the students’ skin temperature in order to give an idea of their stress levels.

One student Marnie Athersuch said “This was a brilliant assembly. I will definitely be buying one of Nicola’s books!”

Nicola’s books are available to borrow from the school’s innovative study centre and more tips can be seen on her website

Author Visit

Student Journalism Team



SEVEN budding journalists now part of Buckler’s Mead Academy ‘News Club’ to get hundreds of success stories out of their inspirational Academy and to the community

SEVEN budding journalists are now part of Buckler’s Mead Academy’s innovative ‘News Club’.

The team of enthusiastic students aim to share the hundreds of success stories from their inspirational academy with the community.

Year 9 students Enya Lackie and Christina Lane, both aged 13, are joined by Matt Sullivan, Marnie Athersuch, Finn Emmenton, Georgina Rockett and Academy Photographer Tom Kajdana.

The students plan will involve teams of journalists across the four houses gathering new stories for local media outlets on the Academy newsletter to go home to parents.

Headteacher Sara Gorrod said “These students have tremendous enthusiasm and are already at work finding good news stories from across the school.”

Academy puts students results first before league tables

Large Group English iGCSEOutstanding Progress

BUCKLER’S Mead Academy students are celebrating after exceptional English iGCSE exam results as the unique school in Yeovil to enter their entire Year 11.

The fast-improving academy had a range of stunning success stories across the whole year, both in terms of actual achievement, with 71 per cent gaining an A* to C, and also of ‘levels of progress’ made by students.

Student Olivia Rieppa gained an A* six months early, while a whole host of students achieved an A, and a third of the Year gained a phenomenal FOUR levels of progress, well above the Government’s expected level.

Buckler’s Mead Academy was the only school locally to enter the entire Year 11 for an early entry GCSE and one of just a few per cent nationally.

Many schools have stopped putting students in early as it will affect their exam league table positions. The Government now only take a student’s first GCSE result in their official league table data.

Headteacher Sara Gorrod said: “We are so proud of all our students. We continue to recognise that students benefit from gaining GCSE qualifications throughout their final year, building momentum for the terminal exams. With this in mind we entered all of our Year 11 students for an early entry English GCSE. They all did amazingly. This demonstrates the fantastic progress that our students are making.”


Year 11 Presentation Evening


Buckler’s Mead Academy’s class of 2015 returned to collect their GCSE certificates last week. The annual event is a celebration of the achievements of students who have left Year 11.

The evening was an opportunity for students, parents and teachers to join together and celebrate success. Among the certificates there were 6 Special Awards that highlight individual success from Academic achievement, Effort, Determination to succeed and contribution to the life of the academy.

Among the winners this year were:

Chris Collins Cup for Academic Achievement – Thomas Sullivan

Keith Richmond Cup for Girls’ Contribution – Chloe Hunt

Len Knight Cup – for Boys’ Contribution – Daniel Long

Dennis Bagnall Cup for Academic Effort – Dominika Szymanek

Ashford McKenzie Cup for Determination to Succeed– Shannia Bishop

The Gulliver Music Award – Janus Parsons

Mr Balkwill, Class of 2015 Year Coordinator, led a fantastic evening together with the Tutors, reminiscing the highs of the 5 years the students spent within the Academy.  Tutors commented on how rewarding it is to welcome students back to the academy and hear about the next phase of their lives beyond Buckler’s Mead.

Mark Lawrence, Assistant Headteacher (KS4 Coordinator) said  “This is always a fantastic evening, it is great to see the students return to collect their certificates and awards and to have the opportunity to once again wish them well for the future. It is special for the teachers to hear the stories of what the students have moved onto next.”.

Budding female scientists and inventors at Buckler’s Mead Academy win first prize


Girls in Science

Budding female scientists and inventors at Buckler’s Mead Academy win first prize in electrical invention competition after designing a unique ‘Scareatron’ to scare trespassers

A TEAM of budding female scientists from Buckler’s Mead Academy won an EDF Energy electrical invention competition after designing a unique ‘Scareatron’ which scares trespassers.

Six Year 7 students attended the EDF energy ‘Pretty Curious’ workshop at @Bristol and one of their teams carried off first prize for the amazing invention.

The workshop was specifically designed to encourage girls into STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – which are areas very under-represented by women.

Elle-Mae Bishop, Holly Cutts, Charlie Lane, Amber Woodbury of the team ‘Buckler’s Beamers’ won first prize, while Layla Meredith, Amber Wilkins joined up with 3 students from Huish school to form the team ‘Confident Crew’.

Their work involved working with circuits, putting together light sensors and simple coding. It also saw each group design and build an electrical object that could fit into their bedroom to make their life easier and even maybe save energy.

Science assistant Sharon Jackson said: “It was a fantastic day and all six girls did our Academy proud.”

An Inspiring Story

CA photo

HIGH-ACHIEVING: Returning inspirational student Chris Ashford pictured with students and his former teacher Stuart Lambert.


Yeovil Academy unveil plans to celebrate 30 years of student success stories as Iron Man success returns to inspire others

A HIGH-ASPIRATION Yeovil Academy is inviting ex-students from the last 30 years to get in touch with their success stories, as one high-achieving Iron Man former student who left 10 years ago visits to inspire others.

Buckler’s Mead Academy is now looking for hundreds of students who have achieved success to get in touch as it builds an alumni.

The plans came as Chris Ashford who left the school 10 years ago, this week inspired students with his Ironman triathlete achievements.

Next week (10th October) he will be competing in the Hawaii GoPro Iron Man World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

The 26-year-old is also a highflying Lance Corporal in the Parachute Regiment – after working at Westlands helicopters for four years.

He said: “I have to thank my parents and Buckler’s Mead for this – they always knew how to motivate me. Their support has been amazing”.

“It is also fantastic to be back at the school to see it going from strength to strength.”

Chris said part of his determination to do well in life came from when his best friend, Joshua Willis sadly past away in Year 11.

He added: “It opened my eyes to the fact you get one chance in life, you never know when that might be taken from you, therefore you have to strive for everything you want from it.”

Earlier this year Chris competed at the German Ironman, which qualified him for the Hawaii event.

He also won a silver medal in June at the world ITU championships in Sweden where he was representing GB in age group 25-29 and is now keen to get a solid sponsor.


Any previous students of the school are asked to get in touch with their success stories via