Category Archives: Schools

Sutton schools to help bereaved


A Sutton Coldfield school has been leading the way in training teaching staff from 14 schools to help students cope with the terrible loss of bereavement, writes Bill McCarthy.

Teachers from across Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield and Tamworth have received vital training to help young people facing loss and living with bereavement.
Phoenix, the children and young people’s bereavement service for St Giles Hospice, has been working with staff from schools from the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), which include Arthur Terry School, John Willmott School, Stockland Green School, Brookvale Primary School, Curdworth Primary School, Hill West Primary School, Mere Green Primary School and Slade Primary School in Birmingham.
The session covered the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on young people as well as issues around bereavement and facing loss.
Sue Bailey, Assistant Head at Arthur Terry, said: “We are very much aware that many families within our community of schools have lost loved ones during these difficult times.
“Our aim as a partnership is to offer as much support to these families as we can and the training we received from St Giles will further enable our staff to do this.
“The training was of a very high quality and left us feeling better equipped to support families and also how to access the expert support available from St Giles.

Arthur Terry’s assistant head teacher Sue Bailey

We look forward to further partnership working and would recommend this training to others.” 
Phoenix lead Jodie Phillips said the right support in schools for young people who had experienced the death of someone close to them was essential, particularly in the current circumstances.
“Schools can be a safe space for young people, providing normality and consistency at times of extreme pressure and change, which is often the case when someone dies,” she said.
“Working with ATLP to help their staff to support young people facing the death of a loved one or living with that loss is an important part of creating a safety net for those young people.
“Given the right support, most grieving children and young people will not need professional help, but what they do need is the care of adults they trust who are familiar to them such as a teacher.”
The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership is a growing multi-academy trust of 14 schools and one teaching school in Birmingham, North Warwickshire and Staffordshire.
Phoenix offers support for any child or young person under the age of 18 who is facing loss or who has been bereaved, in the St Giles Hospice catchment area.

Referrals can come from parents, teachers, healthcare professionals or young people. To find out more, please call 01543 434536.

Sutton head teacher honoured

Head teacher Rachel Davis has been awarded and MBE for services to education

School delight at MBE for Rachel

By Bill McCarthy

A Sutton Coldfield head teacher’s achievements has been recognised in the the Queen’s New Year Honours List. The honours recognise the incredible achievements and service of people across the whole of the UK.

Rachel Davis, headteacher at Little Sutton School and from Sutton Coldfield, was awarded an MBE for services to education.

Staff members at the school, rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors, praised Mrs Davis on their Twitter account saying: “Congratulations to our Headteacher Rachel Davis on being awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours. We are all so proud of her.”

Parents also praised Mrs Davis’ for her work. Clare Macphail, has three children who spent happy years at Little Sutton.

She said: “All three of my children enjoyed time at Little Sutton and that was down to the warm and friendly learning environment created by Mrs. Davis and her staff. Her MBE is well deserved.”

Mrs Davis has been head teacher at the Worcester Lane primary school since 2004 and is both a National Leader of Education (NLE) and an Ofsted inspector for the West Midlands.

National Leaders of Education provide focused support to under performing schools to enable rapid improvement.

According to her LinkedIn profile,  in 2014 she supported a school in challenging circumstances to move from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ in 12 months.

The following year she then helped a school to move from Ofsted category of ‘Special Measures’ to ‘Good’ in 15 months and in 2015-2016 supported a school to move from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ .

Little Sutton Primary School has more than 400 pupils and is designated one of the government’s new English Hubs – one of just 34 schools nationwide recognised for their excellence in teaching and learning.

The hub aims to support schools to achieve excellence in early literacy teaching through an initial focus on developing early language and closing the word gap, developing early reading through systematic, synthetic phonics. It also promotes a love of reading.

Her work was acknowledged by a Tamworth school she supported, who congratulated her for her award on Twitter: “Congratulations from all at Coton Green Primary School… Your help from the English Hub has had an enormous impact.”

Professor Colin Diamond, CBE and Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Birmingham, added: “Warmest congratulations to headteacher Rachel Davis on being awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours. Always the head who goes that extra mile to help others in Birmingham. So well deserved.”

Sutton offers A* for education

Wide choice of schools on offer for parents

Sutton Coldfield schools have a proud record for education students, with many achieving some of the best results in the country.

There are a number of secondary schools, both selective and comprehensive, in the area, including Fairfax School is on Reddicap Heath Road in the east of the town.

Opposite the school is The John Willmott School, while Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls is on Jockey Road.

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, its male equivalent, is on Lichfield Road in the centre of the town adjacent to Birmingham Metropolitan College.

The Arthur Terry School is on Kittoe Road in Four Oaks in the north of the town near Butlers Lane station, while The Plantsbrook School (formerly The Riland Bedford School) is on Upper Holland Road near the centre of the town in Maney.

Bishop Walsh Catholic School is next to the Sutton Park Line and New Hall Valley Country Park and is a 10 minutes from Wylde Green. All these schools are for ages 11–18. However, from September 1972 until July 1992, schools in the Sutton Coldfield area were divided into first school for pupils aged 5–8 years, middle schools for pupils aged 8–12 years, while the entry age for secondary school was set at 12 years.

There are also many primary and infant schools in the area including : St Joseph Catholic Primary School; Whitehouse Common Primary School; Deanery Primary School; Banners Gate Primary School; Holy Cross Infant and Junior Catholic Primary School; Walmley Primary School and Moor Hall Primary School in the Mere Green area.

Others include Four Oaks Primary; New Hall Primary and Children’s Centre; Little Sutton; Coppice Primary; Hill West and Mere Green Combined.

Highclare School, founded in 1932, is a primary and secondary school located on three sites in the Birmingham area. Two of the sites are located in Sutton Coldfield, with the other being located in nearby Erdington. The Sutton Coldfield facilities are on Lichfield Road in the Four Oaks area and in the Wylde Green area to the south, which houses the nursery.

St Nicholas Catholic Primary School in Jockey Road is a voluntary aided Catholic primary school. Established in 1967.

Martha’s England Lionesses pride

A Sutton Coldfield football manager has spoken of his pride after a former player was selected for training with the England Lionesses under-16 squad.

Fifteen-year-old Arthur Terry School student, Martha MacPhail, who started her career as the only girl in manager John Watts’ under-7s Sutton Coldfield Town Juniors football team, was selected to attend the England Lionesses U16 residential training camp at St George’s Park National Performance Centre in Burton.

Martha plays for Aston Villa Women’s Regional Talent Centre U16s and is also part of the newly-formed Villa Women’s Academy talent day release programme. The sporty Year 11 student undertook intense match training, including strength and conditioning, along with education workshops around performance psychology.

Now manager of the successful under -16 Sutton Town team, John paid tribute to his former player. He said: “Martha’s ability was clear to see from as young as four years old. Luckily for me, my son is her best friend, there was no way in the world she was playing for any other team but ours.

“What set her apart from any other player was her ability to quickly pick up and use a complex skill successfully and consistently during a game. The praise she received in those five years from opposing team mangers and parents alike is unquantifiable. Such wonderful technique and superb agility only scratch the surface of what is incredible young lady.”

Versatile Martha, who plays in various positions, said “I was pleased to have been selected for the camp this time round, given the current climate with Covid. It’s been hard keeping fit throughout the last six months, but I have been focused on my goals and hopefully I’ll be rewarded with an England call up one day!”

But the modest youngster added that her foremost goal was forging a career with Aston Villa first.

During her training, Martha was assigned time to complete her school work. Aston Villa Women has launched a dual career pathway, a programme to support future stars of the game to manage elite football expectations and studies so that players are well qualified individuals.

Cristina Torkildsen, Youth Technical Director at Aston Villa Women’s Football Club, said: “We couldn’t be prouder of Marty for her international call up, she deserves it and has worked incredibly hard to achieve this.

“Marty has been in and around England Camps for the last few years, but this was her first England U16s Training Camp and that’s a recognition of the great work she has put in over the last few years and beyond. Marty has a huge personality with bags of potential and we have no doubt that this was the first of many – hope she enjoyed every second.”

Martha, who was previously selected to attend an England Women’s U15 training camp, started her career with Sutton Coldfield Town Juniors Football Club U7, before moving on to Aston Villa Women, Birmingham City RTC and Birmingham Women.

Arthur Terry School PE teacher Donna Horspool said: Martha’s dedication and attitude towards chasing her dreams is exemplary, she is a fabulous role model around school and deserves the success she is receiving.”

She added that Martha has “contributed significantly” to the success of Arthur Terry School’s football team, helping them to be crowned Birmingham School Futsal Champions, Erdington and Saltley Cup Champions, West Midlands County Cup Champions and English Schools Quarter Finalists. Martha is also an integral member of the West Midlands Schoolgirls County Team, working tirelessly to help them reach the semi-final of the National Cup.

Samantha Kibble, headteacher of Arthur Terry School, which is part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), said: We’re delighted that Martha was chosen to train with England at this level. This honour is testament to her hard work and talent. She is incredibly gifted and dedicated, both as a player and as a student, and we were all cheering her on at home.”

Sutton Coldfield Town Juniors Football Club and Sutton Coldfield Town Football Club have formed a working partnership to provide ‘Football for All’ and become one of Birmingham Football Associations new HUB CLUBS and achieve the COMMUNITY CHARTER STANDARD. 

Sutton Coldfield Town Football Club provide an opportunity for everyone to enjoy playing and taking part in football related activities. The two clubs have, for a long time, been successfully representing Sutton Coldfield in junior and senior football but have now found the formula to work together to promote football across the community for the benefit of all abilities and give progression opportunities for players to move from junior to senior football. 

Sutton Coldfield Town Juniors Football Club currently run 18 junior teams (aged 7 to 16) from their ground at Bishop Walsh School and run a Saturday morning soccer school for girls and boys. Teams can play in the Central Warwickshire league at the weekend – and they have the opportunity to progress into the higher level Junior Premier League. Players can also be selected to join the Sutton Coldfield Town Academy teams where promotion into the under 18, under 21 and senior team is now a real opportunity.