New DCAT CEO appointed

The Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust [DCAT] is delighted to announce that Mark Talbot has been appointed full-time Chief Executive Officer for the Trust from September 2018. Mark will be working part-time in this role with immediate effect.

Mark is currently the Principal at St Catherine’s College, Eastbourne, and has also been working part-time as the Interim Chief Education Executive of DCAT. Mark has done an outstanding job, bringing impressive levels of energy and expertise to the vital task of resourcing and improving the educational performance across our academies.

The Trust will now advertise for a Headteacher for St Catherine’s College, and with Mark’s support and oversight provide a seamless handover for the continued success of the College and ensure that the child-centred Christion ethos of the Trust is preserved and celebrated.

Working alongside Mark as part of the Senior Management Team of the Trust will be Darren Carpenter, Chief Operating Officer, and Beruk Berhane, Senior Educational Leader.

Boris Johnson MP, visits St Leonards

Boris Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has visited St Leonard’s to talk to the pupils and staff about their connecting classrooms project with Sierra Leone with a focus on girls’ education on International Womens’ Day.



As part of the Connecting Classrooms programme the Foreign Secretary visited St Leonards CE Primary Academy on International Women’s Day. The Academy is linked with Maynard School in Sierra Leone. The visit was an opportunity to promote the Foreign Secretary’s priority campaign on Girls Education. The school has approximately 420 pupils, 20% of which have English as a second language.
The FS met with year 1 students (5-6yrs) and discussed their teachers (Jo and Layla) visit to Sierra Leone, the barriers children face and the impact on life in general (food availability, water and electricity shortages).  Next the FS met Year 6 (10-11) students who have been learning about gender equality and women’s rights. The children had a roundtable conversation with the FS and were interested in the girl’s education campaign. The conversation focused around aspirations of girls and solutions to breaking down barriers, especially stereotypes. The children commented that it was no longer acceptable for people to think that girls can’t be treated the same as boys, girls can also be pilots……whatever they wanted to be.
Year 5 (9-10) students spoke about inspirational women and journeyed through time looking at the history of women and future women leaders including the PM. The children had drawn pictures which had an uncanny resemblance to the PM (see FS tweet!). The FS spoke about the women that inspired him including the PM and his sister. They also told the FS about their new IT system and how they enjoyed learning about the history of women (some links to #Vote100).
Some of the children had been away from the school participating in the regional ‘Sports Hall Athletics’ competition. The school came 3rd out of 496 schools, a great achievement. The FS stopped by to get a picture with them and talk about sport (is #Great).
Media accompanied on the visit; BBC Education; Reuters; PA who also had the opportunity to speak to the Head teacher and some of the children about education and their future aspirations.
Press release:

St Leonard’s pupils visit Bethune Court nursing home

After a successful Christmas sing at Bethune Court, St Leonard’s pupils have continued to visit the nursing home and spend time with residents. A group of pupils now visit weekly to share activities, stories and laughter. Staff at Bethune Court commented.

“Our residents absolutely love the pupil’s company and we have seen levels of engagement and interest that were above the norm for some of our residents which is lovely to see. The pupils are great with the residents and were chatting away enthusiastically!”


Central pupil wins Corporate Challenge Year 5 race

Central CE Academy have taken part in the first instalment of the Chichester Corporate Challenge. This is a long distance running competition around the town centre of Chichester. Most of the local schools in the area compete and children race in their year groups. Central pupils did extremely well and one of the Year 5 pupils actually won the boys’ race against over 100 other boys in the local area


St Catherine’s set a new benchmark for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Performance

Pupils at St Catherine’s College performed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this term. Mr Marshall, a Governor of the college commented, “Each year the pupils and staff set a new benchmark for the show. Having watched every academy production over the past eight years I can only say bravo, 2018 was, to my mind, the best yet.   It was slick, clean, funny and fantastically portrayed.

Ofsted recognises leadership strength of Diocese of Chichester Academies

Ofsted recognises leadership strength of Diocese of Chichester Academies

Ofsted have stated that the work of the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust [DCAT] has been key in supporting academy leaders to improve learning outcomes for pupils in a January Ofsted inspection at All Saints CE Junior Academy in Githa Road, Hastings. The academy was rated Good in overall effectiveness to include leadership, quality of teaching, pupil behaviour and learning outcomes. The Headteacher Katharine Hurd, who was commended by Ofsted for her “confidence and determination” to improve the academy commented, “we are all incredibly pleased that the inspectors got a feel for what makes All Saints such a special place. Throughout the report the sense of unified purpose and collaboration between all members of the academy community comes across very strongly.  The outcome of the inspection is a testament to staff, pupils and parents and reflects the hard work and determination which has gone into moving the school forward”.
Similarly, at St Leonard’s CEP Academy, Collinswood Drive, Ofsted recognised that Governors and the Trust supported the academy well by holding leaders to account. The academy was rated Good for leadership, pupil behaviour and Early Years provision. Marie Burgess, Headteacher, who was described by Ofsted as a “strong leader with unstinting determination and vision” was delighted that the academy was rapidly improving and that the leadership had identified the right priorities and actions for moving forward. She explained, “the recent Ofsted inspection was a positive experience for staff who demonstrated they are resilient and dedicated to the academy. The inspectors clearly understood the journey the academy had been on since joining DCAT, recognising that Christian values and pupils’ wellbeing were at the heart of the academies work”.
Darren Carpenter, Chief Operating Officer of DCAT remarked, “I’m pleased that the recent Ofsted findings have acknowledged the tireless work of the academy leaders and staff in improving children’s life chances, along with the unrelenting drive from the Trust to ensure improvement at All Saints and St Leonard’s and the ongoing high-quality school improvement provision from DCAT.

St Leonard’s athletes win Gold to represent Hastings and Rother

Pupils from St Leonard’s CEP Academy have won the Hastings and Rother sports hall athletics GOLD medal. Mr Ray, the sports coach commented, “I am so proud of them all’, their effort, perseverance, team work and courage was there for all to see.”

The children beat 65 other schools to win the gold medal. They will now represent Hastings and Rother in the Sussex finals later in the year.

An Autumn of Creative Learning Journeys at All Saints CE Junior Academy

Year 6 took part in a Victorian Day! Dressed up in Victorian costume, the children had a taste of what school would have been like and were visited by a Victorian inspector. They used ink and a dip-pen to write, played traditional games and were taught about advances in engineering. As well as this, there was an opportunity to handle artefacts and inventions from the period. It was a fantastic finish to the learning journey!

Year 6 CSI used their science skills to solve a crime at the end of their topic last term! Amongst other things, they used chromatography to test inks, analysed handwriting styles and matched up finger prints to discover the identity of the culprit. The children thoroughly enjoyed this experience and immersed themselves in the business of forensics.

Year 5 Graffiti Art Project. After weeks of looking at urban art, having a graffiti artist visit the school and planning a design for the wall of the ‘Language Lounge’, Year 5 finally presented a ‘Grand Reveal’ of their completed graffiti style art work to family members and friends on the last day of term . Everyone was very impressed with the finished art work which provides an amazing focal point to our playground!

Hastings Castle. As the culmination of the learning about the ‘Battle of Hastings, ’ Year 4 pupils visited Hastings Castle. The pupils were able to explore the castle ruins and imagine what it may have been like in on the site in 1066.

Sierra Leonne Football Tournament

Year 6 went to a football tournament supporting Sierra Leone. The event was an inter-school tournament with many schools participating. Both the girls’ and boys’ teams played brilliantly, supporting and cheering for one another. The girls’ showed real team spirit and positive attitude throughout all their games, improving from game to game. The boys’ team went on to win the entire tournament! It was a gripping final and they earned the top spot which was amazing.

Thrive Garden Parade – Year 3 took part in the Thrives Garden Parade. This parade is now a annual event and involves several of the schools in the Hastings and St Leonard’s area. The parade celebrates children’s aspirations, creativity and achievements.

Remembrance at Central CE Academy

On Friday 10th November, the whole academy assembled at Central’s amazing poppy display, to observe a 2 minute silence during a service of remembrance.  Thank you to the volunteers from the Bognor City Band who played the Last Post.

At Central academy this year we gathered all together, to have a remembrance service. A musician played ‘The Last Post’ with his trumpet; the song was very peaceful. We made some blood coloured poppies to remember those who died in the wars. We all made them with red silken material, black pipe cleaners and a green balloon straw to make it look like a straw. It was fun! We went outside in our individual classes and planted our poppies in silence; we also stood for a two minute silence to show our respect for the people who died for us. We are very appreciative!

By Heidi Masters and Kiera Ewins, Year 6.