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Over the last year a number of students from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College have been designing and making crafted items which have been sold to raise funds for a local charity.

Four students with a passion for design technology have been using their spare time to design, create and sell a range of items to raise money for Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, a charity who provide mental health support for local people.

The students, known as ‘The four Crafters’, have been supported throughout by design technology teacher Mr Murphy. Together they have made personalized items such as key rings and Christmas decorations, using laser technology.

In total the four students involved in the project raised £233, which was added to funds raised by school, meaning a cheque for £1233 could be handed over to Sam Skelton, fundraising lead for the charity.

Teacher, John Murphy, said “It has been a pleasure to support these students with the project and I am very pleased with the amount of money we’ve raised for Mind. The students have taken orders for bespoke items from students and staff and have produced the finished good normally within 24 hours.”

Alison Davies, Headteacher, commented: “The last year and half has seen a big increase in demand for mental health services, not just local but across the UK, and I am delighted that our students have been creating items to support the charity.”


A group of students from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College recently rolled up their sleeves and got stuck into a DIY-project with a difference alongside a former England rugby star.

The students were given chance to take part in the ‘Volunteer it Yourself’ project which gives young people aged 14-24 the opportunity to learn vocational trade skills, gain a qualification and improve their employability whilst volunteering to help the local community.

Working alongside the students on the project at Coventrians RFC, was former England, Wasps, and Northampton Saints, star James Haskell. During the project James helped the students refurbish the rugby club’s changing facilities and install fencing. Upon completion, having been mentored by local professional tradespeople, each student was awarded an entry level City & Guilds certificate.

Alison Davies, Headteacher, said, “I am really pleased that these students have had the opportunity to be involved with the VIY project which has allowed them to learn practical skills, gain a qualification and meet a world-class sports star. I am sure it will be an experience that they’ll remember for a long time to come.”

For further information, or to arrange a photo opportunity please contact Fiona Perks, Headteacher’s PA on 01788 542355 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


A Year 7 student from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College is taking part in a cycling challenge along with members of his family to raise funds for Diabetes UK.

Kiran Mistry, a Garrick House student, has currently cycled over 200 miles and is well on his way to completing the coast-to-coast challenge and has, so far, raised over £200 for Diabetes UK.

During the first lockdown the Mistry family enjoyed going out on bike rides as part of their daily exercise. This led to a discussion about taking in a cycling challenge. Initially Kiran, and his brother Arun who attends St Andrew’s Benn Primary School, were a little hesitant about taking on the distance, but soon decided to take on the challenge for charity.

The family have clocked up the distance by completing a number of cycle rides varying in distance from a few miles, up to outings of above marathon distance. With a recent bike ride to Draycote Water covering just over 27 miles.

Mum, Reena Mistry, said: “Kiran and Arun both enjoy sports and with them not being able to go to school during the lockdowns, or do any after school clubs, this seemed to be a good way to keep their fitness levels up. I am really proud of both of them for show great levels of stamina during our bike rides.”

Alison Davies, Headteacher, said, “This is another brilliant example of one our students using his time and initiative to do something positive during a difficult time. I wish Kiran, and his brother Arun, all the best as they complete the last few miles of their cycling challenge.”

For further information, or to arrange a photo opportunity please contact Fiona Perks, Headteacher’s PA on 01788 542355 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


A Year 8 student from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College has recently completed 20 miles on a unicycle and has raised over £500 for Comic Relief.

During the lockdown, Garrick House student, Len Ingram decided he wanted to raise money for Comic Relief and set himself the challenge of unicycling 20 miles. To fulfil his fundraising challenge he decided that he would complete four laps of Draycote Water.

Prior to the event Len set up a JustGiving account, and spent time practicing his unicycling and built up his stamina before successfully completing the distance over two consecutive days.

This is not the first time Len has embarked on a fundraising challenge. In the first lockdown he raised £1000 running the distance of a marathon and he raised a further £500 by organising a MacMillian coffee morning.

Alison Davies, Headteacher, said, “It has been wonderful to hear about Len’s fundraising events. It is very inspiring to see him using his time and energies to raising money that will support and help others. He should be very proud of the funds he’s raised, not just on his unicycle but also with his running and coffee morning”.


All Year 8 students at The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College are currently involved in an innovative scheme called ‘The Edge’ which aims to develop and embed valuable life skills. This is a project that students can engage with even when self-isolating.

‘The Edge’ offered by PiXL, the largest network which supports schools in England and Wales, accredits important life skills and attributes such as – leadership, organisation, initiative, resilience and communication.  The initiative gives students a qualification, which runs alongside their academic lessons and recognises what they can do, not just what they know.

In order to gain the recognised qualification at “Apprentice”, “Graduate” or “Masters” level, students need to complete a range of activities from an approved list.  The activities are varied and can be undertaken in normal lessons, in extra-curricular clubs or outside of school. Activities range from mentoring a peer and being an ambassador for the school to captaining a sports team or learning a new instrument or language.

During the summer lockdown, and whilst in self-isolation, year 8 students at The Avon Valley School have been encouraged to practice and their develop skills. For example, the school’s PE department challenged students to plan, practice and lead a warm up with members of their family. In addition, the year 8 students were also asked to create a poster or fact sheet describing a chosen career option, and they were encouraged to design, prepare and cook a family meal.

Progress through the scheme is managed by students themselves using a specially designed website, with school staff and the school’s ‘Edge Coordinator’ providing an oversight and awarding credits towards achieving the qualifications.

Apollo House student, William Smith has made excellent progress with the award and has signed off a number of challenges including writing a film review, cooking his family a meal, leading an exercise style warm up and designing a wonderful careers poster. Another student, who’s making excellent progress with the award is, Logan Cooper who belongs to Fortune House. Logan filmed a Joe Wicks style warm up video, during which he lead his dad and sister through the cardio and muscular exercises.

Leigh Hallam, PE Teacher and Edge Coordinator, said: “Lockdown and self-isolation has not hampered the progress made by some students on the PiXL Edge programme. Many of the students have been innovative and have found creative ways to engage with, and demonstrate the skills needed for the award. I am really pleased with the progress made, and hope that many of the students will successfully complete the award.”

Alison Davies, Headteacher commented “The personal skills developed by our students through ‘The Edge’ very important, and help our students to develop resilience – a skills that has become very important during 2020.”

For further information, or to arrange a photo opportunity please contact Fiona Perks, Headteacher’s PA on 01788 542355 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Two students from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College have recently appeared on award winning Netflix TV show The Crown.

Year 11, Apollo House, twin brothers Evan and Brandon Whitt attended auditions in London, and were selected despite being up against many other budding actors, to play Timothy and Nicholas Knatchbull who featured on screen in episode 1 of the new season of the hit show, which premiered on Sunday 15 November.

In the scenes, set in Sligo, Ireland, Brandon and Evan played Timothy and Nicholas the grandchildren of the Queen's cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten who has been portrayed in a number of episodes by veteran actor Charles Dance. The twins’ scenes mirror real life events and end in tragedy as the fishing boat they are travelling on is the target of an IRA bomb attack in which Lord Mountbatten was assassinated. The attack, which took place in 1979, left Nicholas Knatchbull, along with local boy Paul Maxwell and the Dowager Lady Brabourne, all dead.

During the week long filming process, which took place in Scotland, Evan and Brandon spent time rehearsing, learning their lines and shooting their scenes multiple times to capture the perfect take. The boys also had chance, when not filming, to spend time with the other actors cast in their scenes, Brandon also met Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Elizabeth II in season 3 and 4 of the award winning show, as he filmed a number of additional scenes.

Alison Davies, Headteacher, said, “This is has been a wonderful achievement for Evan and Brandon, who are both keen actors, and were attracted to our school because of our performing arts status. We’ve known about their appearance in The Crown for some time, but have had to keep it under wraps until it premiered this month. Both boys are currently studying hard for their upcoming exams whilst keeping their eyes open for further acting opportunities.”

For further information, or to arrange a photo opportunity please contact Fiona Perks, Headteacher’s PA on 01788 542355 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


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