On Friday 7th March, Jim Chadwick, English Teacher and Leader of Literacy and Primary Transition here at The Cheadle Academy, had his head shaved for the charity Narcolepsy UK. There was a very good reason for this and for his decision to run in the London Marathon this year, for the charity.
Last year, Jim’s special boy, Jack, was diagnosed with narcolepsy. Jack is only 5 years old. Every day Jack battles with exhaustion. He gets cataplexy which means his muscles become weak. He gets angry, frustrated and confused because he is too young to understand why this is happening and he doesn’t get any respite at night; his sleep is disturbed by vivid dreams and terrifying nightmares.
Jim says, ‘Jack faces these challenges with bravery and courage and that’s why he’s my hero! If he can tackle all this, I can run a marathon’.
If you would like to support Jim, it’s not too late
Last year, two students from The Cheadle Academy were celebrating after taking part in a ‘Mathematical Education on Merseyside’ Maths Challenge run by Liverpool University. Their tasks consisted of tackling maths problems in a variety of contexts. This year, Molly Johnson is in Year 9 and Phoebe Hill is in Year 10 and they entered the competition once again. Entering for the first time was Jacob Degg, who is in Year 8.
Competing nationally out of approximately 1600 students, it was success x3 for The Cheadle Academy as Jacob, Molly and Phoebe triumphed in their challenge categories. Delighted by this outcome, Maths teacher Helen Forrest said, ‘this was a fantastic experience for our students. They were competing at National level and one that really challenges gifted and talented students. We are extremely proud of their achievements’.
Six students from The Cheadle Academy were presented with their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award Medals on Friday 24th January. At a Staffordshire Youth and Community Service Presentation Evening, the students stood alongside peers from across the County, to receive certificates and badges.
Year Leader and teacher, Phil Hassall, who organises the DofE Awards Programme, with a dedicated team of teaching and non-teaching staff within The Cheadle Academy, praises the ethos of the scheme, ‘our award-winning students have certainly developed skills for life and for their working future. It has been really rewarding to see a side to students that we didn’t even know existed!’ He added, ‘students have developed a confidence that has made them independent thinkers and problem solvers’.
For their Bronze Award, students also had to work well as a team. Part of the programme that contained Physical tasks (such as swimming, dancing), Volunteering (some students ran a Year 7 Performing Arts Club at The Cheadle Academy) and Learning a new skill (most chose cooking), also included a two-day Expedition! Bronze Award holder Chloe Pearson said, ‘I really didn’t think I could ever sleep in a tent! I did though and I discovered that I have great determination. You build up your skills as the scheme progresses, it was exhilarating!’
Jordyn Eyre believes that her award will tell other people something about her, when it comes to interviews for college or university. ‘The Awards are of great benefit and hopefully I will go on to gain Silver and Gold in the future. They show that I can work in a team, that I have good personal organisation skills too. Some of the tasks were tiring, but they were very rewarding.’ Chloe agreed, ‘I would say ‘do it’ to anybody who’s thinking about it. Keep on going, don’t give up! You get a great sense of achievement!’
Students who gained their Bronze Award: Jordyn Eyre, Chloe Howard, Emma Kington, Lauren Milward, Chloe Pearson, James Scott.
The Cheadle Academy currently has a further 24 students working towards their Bronze Award and with students continuing to sign up, this is proving a very successful venture indeed.