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Three students from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College have recently been sharing the stage and limelight with X-Factor winner Sam Bailey, who starred in Five Star Theatre’s production of ‘42ND Street’ which was recently on stage at Coventry’s Albany Theatre.

Year 9 students Isabella Awang and Sam Downey along with Year 8 student Megan Gyles have been toe-tapping and shoe-shuffling on stage as dancers in the Broadway hit musical, which was directed by Five Star Theatre’s Ethan J Smith and choreographed by Tanveer Devgun.

The three performing arts loving students, who all belong to the school’s Garrick House, have been juggling school work with rehearsals. They were all very excited to be a part of the show and share the stage with Sam Bailey, who won the tenth series of The X Factor in 2013 under the mentorship of Sharon Osborne.

Headteacher, Alison Davies, said “As a school we invest a great deal of time and energy into the performing arts which feature on our students’ timetables. Therefore, it is wonderful to hear that these three students have been pursuing the performing arts outside of school and that they have had the chance to perform in front of a large fee paying audience.”.

The show ran for four nights from Tuesday 14th – Friday 17th May, with adult tickets costing £20. Full information, can be found here

Three students from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College joined Rugby’s best and brightest people when they were named as finalists in Rugby FM’s annual ‘Pride of Rugby’ awards, which were held at Coombe Abbey on Friday 10 May.

The award ceremony, organised by the local radio station, celebrates the best businesses, individuals and community organisations across the borough and recognises their achievements. Impressively this year’s nominated finalists included three students from The Avon Valley School, who featured in two different categories.

Jez Parsons, 16, a Year 11 student and, founder of clothing company Jailbrail was nominated as ‘Business Person of the Year’. When aged just 13 years old Jez set up his own business after recognising that there was a lack of creativity among people his own age. Three years on Jez’s hard work, effort and commitment has turned his business into a profitable enterprise.

Finalists in the ‘Young Achiever of the Year’ were the school’s Year 11 student Zara Bacon and Blayne Roy Bennett from Year 8. Selfless Zara was nominated after completing 100 hour voluntary work with Oxfam at their shop in Rugby. While Blayne was nominated for volunteering his time and raising over £1000 to help homeless people in Rugby.

On the night of the award ceremony Blayne was announced as the winner of his category, in front of over 350 people, by Rugby FM presenters Jason Moss and Liam Clarke and was presented with a silver trophy in recognition of his achievement.

Headteacher, Alison Davies, said: “I met with all three students before the ceremony to hear about their nominations and to wish them luck. These three students are wonderful role models, not just to their peers but to all of us. Jez, Zara and Blayne have shown that they are kind, caring, hardworking and dedicated and they, along with their family and friends, should be very proud.”  

Fifty football mad youngsters from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College have recently return from an Easter football development tour in Holland.

During the visit the students were based at top flight Dutch football club PSV Eindhoven, and were trained at the club’s facilities by professional coaches before playing a fixture against another touring school. In this match Avon Valley’s students ran out as winners in a 3-2 victory.

For the duration of the trip the students were based at a specialist sports hotel which had its own indoor football pitch, swimming pool and gym facilities which were well used by the school’s students.

As part of the trip the students also had a behind the scenes tour of PSV’s Philips Stadion and saw the club’s first team in an Eredivisie match against De Graafschap during which the students’ hosts won in 2-1. 

Following the tour, PE Craig Hartfield, said:  “We had a brilliant times with PSV whose coaches where amazing and their facilities were world-class. The students learnt a lot in the tailored coaching sessions and had a great time throughout the visit. I am really grateful to our hosts, PSV, and the tour’s organiser InspireSports.”

Headteacher, Alison Davies, said: “It’s been wonderful to hear that our football tour to Holland was a success and that the students enjoyed their time training and watching the match. I am very grateful to the staff involved for giving up part of their Easter break to ensure the trip was a success.”  

Two talented teenage footballers from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College have helped Coventry City Girls FC win the Birmingham County FA Cup.

Year 11 midfielder Marta Andrade and Year 10 striker Lauren Bailey-O’Toole featured in the Coventry City Girls FC under-16 team who beat Stourbridge Juniors FC under-16s by three goals to nil in the county’s cup final which was hosted at the Walter Goodman Stadium in Birmingham.

In addition to playing in the cup win, both the Avon Valley students have contributed to the team’s success this season in which the they finished as runners-up in their league, the Central Warwickshire Girls Football League Under 16 Premier Division, and reached the semi-final of the Open Cup.

At just 14 years old, striker Lauren, who has netted 10 goals this season, is playing in a side with team-mates who are approaching eighteen, while Marta is balancing playing football with her upcoming GCSE exams.

The girls, who count Manchester City WFC winger, and England lioness, Nikita Parris as one of their role models said they were delighted to be playing for Coventry City Girls FC and to have won the county cup.

Headteacher, Alison Davies, said: “It is lovely to hear about these girls’ success on the football field outside of school with Coventry City. Marta, Lauren and their team mates should be very proud of their achievements and I am pleased to be able to share their success within the school’s community.”  

The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College recently encouraged students from across all year groups to join ‘Read for Good’s’ sponsored readathon, an initiative which encourages young people to read for enjoyment and raise money to benefit poorly children across thirty UK hospitals.

Following the event which encouraged students to read as many books as possible funds have been sent the ‘Read for Good’ hospital programme, which yearly provides 25,000 books to benefit 100,000 children who are in hospitals across the UK.

Some of the school’s top readers and fundraisers were year 7 students Libby McPhillips, Millie Riddell, Grace Colledge, Poppy Moore and Lily White.

Ruth Davies, English faculty leader, said “As a school we run lots of activities and events to encourage our students to read, not just for academic reasons but for enjoyment too. These students read a lot of books between them in order to raise their sponsorship and we are very proud of them.”

Alison Davies, Headteacher, said, “As a school we are fortunate to have a well stocked library which is well used by our students. In this day and age instead of reading many young people prefer playing computer games or using electronic therefore I am grateful to our English department, and colleagues around the school for the work do to encourage and promote literacy and reading”.

A group of year 10 students from The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College have recently had opportunity to visit a manufacturing company who have a warrant to craft furniture for Her Majesty the Queen.

During a visit to NEJ Stevenson’s headquarters in Church Lawford, a group of Year 10 design technology students got to see the results of the intricate work completed by the company’s master craftsmen, whose workmanship can be seen in Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. The students also got to meet staff who fulfil a variety of roles and tour the company’s manufacturing facilities seeing the machines and employees in action.

The prestigious company, who see beauty and possibilities in every piece of wood, were founded 35 years ago by managing director Neil Stevenson. Since then the company has flourished, and is able to deliver many diverse commissions, from elaborate mantelpieces, breath-taking libraries, grand wine cellars and soaring staircases, to presentation boxes and cabinets of major historical importance for great houses and palaces.

During the visit the students saw first-hand how wood can be prepared, treated, and crafted using a range of skills and machines; at the end of their visit the students were presented with a crafted piece depicting the school’s shield.

Careers Leader, Lisa Owen, said “Visiting NEJ Stevenson has been a brilliant opportunity for our students to see where their qualification in design technology might take them. Being able to see the craftsmanship involved in making pieces of furniture worth tens of thousands of pounds has really inspired our students and a number of them now want to pursue this type of career.”

Headteacher, Alison Davies, said “As a school we commit a significant amount of time and energy into our careers education programme and we are very grateful to NEJ Stevenson for allowing our students to visit their facilities and see the world of work for themselves. We are delighted with the shield presented to us by the company and this will soon be displayed within the school.”

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