CMAT Primary SATs scores hit new highs!

West Town Primary, Downham Feoffees Primary and Sawtry Junior Academy have made huge improvements in their 2018 Key Stage 2 SATs results.

All three primary schools’ results are now above or in line with the national results and the combined score in each school is above national. For the 2017/18 academic year, the schools introduced a new way of teaching reading which has impacted on both the results and the children’s engagement and enjoyment of books. CMAT’s approach to maths emphasises on concrete pictorial and abstract approaches to developing reasoning skills.

Jane Dooley, Executive Principal of Primaries at Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, said: “CMAT’s mission is to deliver, promote and inspire high quality educational provision in schools at the heart of their local communities. Across the Trust, we are so proud of all of our students’ hard work to achieve these fantastic results. I’d like to thank all of the teachers for working incredibly hard with the students to ensure they have the skills and confidence to succeed and be ready for their secondary education.”

Jane added: “It is great to see that our new CMAT primary approach to teaching and learning is having such an impact on a variety of different school contexts, ensuring that every student achieves their maximum potential. I hope to be able to further extend and develop this approach with our two recently joined primaries, The Lantern in Ely and Bar Hill, which brings our CMAT primary family to five for the 2018/19 academic year.”

Susan Jaques, Head of School at Downham Feoffees Primary Academy, said: “Our Year Six students have really worked hard to achieve this success. We are really impressed with the way the teachers have used CMAT’s advice and guidance to support the children in making such massive progress from the start of the year. We have had a fantastic first year as a CMAT academy.”

Sarah Flack, Principal at Sawtry Junior Academy, said: “Our dedicated approach to providing a good education to the children of Sawtry is now showing in solidly good results. We will continue to aim even higher in the coming year with the guidance and support of CMAT and our leadership team. Such massive improvement is really impressive, and we are extremely proud of our staff and children for their hard work.”

Hannah Quinn, Principal at West Town Primary Academy, said: “The approach to teaching that we have been developing over the past four years has continually helped us to improve results. To now be above national in several areas is a sizeable achievement for the children and our dedicated and talented teachers.”

Downham Feoffees Primary Academy has improved its results by 37 per cent, resulting in a combined score that is above national. The school’s maths improved by 37 per cent, reading by 27 per cent, SPAG by 25 per cent and writing by 11 per cent.

Over the past two years, Sawtry Junior Academy has made an impressive 37 percent increase in maths, a 33 per cent increase in writing and a 15 per cent increase in reading, broadly bringing the school in line with national in reading, writing and maths. Following the introduction of the new way of teaching reading, the school achieved a notable 35 per cent of children meeting the higher standard, 12 per cent above last year’s national for this standard.

West Town Primary Academy improved the percentage of children achieving the expected standard in reading by 20 per cent and achieved a combined score considerably above national. The school also achieved an impressive 90 per cent of children reaching the expected standard in Spelling Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG), which is reflected in the third consistent year of writing results far exceeding national at 85 percent.

Sawtry Junior Academy celebrating their SATs results:

High praise for CMAT schools at Cambridge Evening News Education Awards

Every year, the Cambridge Evening News host the prestigious Cambridge Evening News Education Awards, where schools and individuals can be nominated for a variety of awards, celebrating excellence across the county.

We are pleased to announce that two CMAT schools were shortlisted for the Secondary School of the Year award this year. Ely College and North Cambridge Academy were both shortlisted, along with one other school, with Ely College taking the award home on the night. This is the second time North Cambridge Academy have been shortlisted for the award since joining the Trust, with them taking the title in 2016.

To be shortlisted, secondary schools needed to demonstrate that their pupils have been not only academically successful but have developed more broadly, through an inspiring range of activities, subjects and experiences.

In their full report, the Cambridge News said: “Ely College has had a challenging few years, with changes in leadership and a poor reputation – but what hasn’t changed is the unwavering dedication of the staff and the desire to support the children.

“Under Richard Spencer’s leadership the school has now completely changed, and is thriving. Results are massively improved but more importantly, the school is a place children want to go to, where they feel supported, valued and part of a very special community.

“The smart new uniforms, the massive improvements in exam results and the community opinions of the college have been fantastic. It’s great to see so many families making their community school their first choice again.”

Ely College’s science department were also shortlisted for the ‘Science Project of the Year’ award for their Science Festival earlier this term.

It is fantastic to see the hard work and dedication of our schools being recognised regionally for their excellence.


New building project marks bright future for Sawtry Village Academy

On Thursday 12th July, Sawtry Village Academy held a spade in the ground event to mark the start of its £2million building project, which has gained a wealth of support from the local community including MP Shailesh Vara and Councillor Simon Bywater.

The Academy’s ‘New Building, Strong Future’ campaign started in 2017 following a lack of leadership in the Academy over a prolonged period under its former headteacher, James Stewart. In December, the campaign was hailed a success as the Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young Persons committee voted to invest £2million in Sawtry Village Academy’s dilapidated buildings.

Sarah Wilson, Principal at Sawtry Village Academy, opened the event. Within her speech, Mrs Wilson said: “This new building does more than improve our classroom provision; it signifies reward for the staff who have worked hard under difficult circumstances. It gives hope for our students and it shows the strength and power that our school, Trust and community have when we all work together.”

Mrs Wilson added: “This campaign has been close to many peoples’ hearts and we’ve worked so hard alongside the community to make sure that Sawtry has a school that students can be proud of. New Building, Strong Future proves what we can achieve when we pull together as a Trust, and community, and maintaining this relentless sense of optimism means we’re getting results and making positive changes for our pupils.”

“I feel very proud that the building work is starting and I’m looking forward to be able to use the new facilities in summer 2019. We continue to fight for the educational environment that our staff and students deserve. Sawtry Village Academy is already seeing improvements, with our recent Ofsted inspection highlighting how incredibly hard our school has worked, supported by CMAT, to ensure students have received the best possible education throughout.”

MP Shailesh Vara and Councillor Simon Bywater also spoke at the event about their involvement in the campaign and of the bright future this new building will bring for the school and its students.

MP Shailesh Vara, said: “It is great to see the development finally getting started, after years of hard work from Principal Sarah Wilson, the Academy Trust and local Councillor Simon Bywater. All of this would not have been possible without their hard work and determination along with the generous funding from the Children and Young Persons committee of £2 million towards the redevelopments. This new building will give the children hope and enormous pride in their school, which will allow them to prosper in their education. I look forward to following this development through the stages and seeing the finished building next year.”

Representatives from contractors, Tillyards, Hutton Construction and Cambridge-based architects, Lyster Grillet Harding (LGH) also attended the event, along with students and staff from across Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust.

Earlier this year, Sawtry Village Academy celebrated after an Ofsted inspection judged the school to be ‘Good’ in all areas, with an ‘Outstanding’ sixth form. Ofsted said that the school had been “on a rapid journey of improvement since the previous inspection.”

Inspectors praised the effectiveness of the Academy’s partnership with CMAT over the past three and a half years. They said “the trust provides very effective support at both strategic and operational levels. Leaders from across the trust support and work alongside leaders to drive forward improvements.”

CMAT & CPET working together to support the Life Academies Trust

Mark Woods (CMAT CEO) and Lesley Birch (CPET Executive Principal) are to support and collaborate closely with the Life Academies Trust following the resignation of the CEO at the Life Academies Trust.

Mark and Lesley will work with LIFE to provide interim support and expertise whilst the Trust Board determine the best course of action to ensure the future success of the Trust.

The LIFE trust are confident that CMAT and CPET can provide the experience and knowledge to support their organisation as they continue to strive for excellence in education. There will be no changes to day to day arrangements, Ms Flynn, as Principal of Biggleswade Academy, and Mrs Wyatt, as Head of Early Years, will continue their good work as they lead their staff in providing the best possible life experience and learning experience for all children, in whichever setting they attend.

Letter LIFE Academies Trust sent to parents

New secondary & SEN school for Northstowe opening Autumn 2019

Northstowe, on the northwest edge of Cambridge, is set to feature up to 10,000 new homes and 25,000 residents in the future.

Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) aims to create a through campus in the area, linking a nursery and primary school, a special educational needs (SEN) school and the secondary school.

In 2008, CMAT was granted permission by Cambridgeshire County Council to establish a new secondary school and sixth form centre college in Northstowe.

This was followed in 2017 by approval to run a SEN school on the same site.

Planning permission for the new schools is yet to be approved, but CMAT hopes it will be secured in September this year with construction expected to start in the autumn or winter.

The secondary school hopes to welcome its first set of pupils into the school in September 2019, with Year 7 pupils only in the first year.

The new school will include two artificial pitches, hard courts, a dance studio, an activity studio, a 400 seat theatre, a café, a fitness gym, a community meeting room and a four court sports hall – growing to eight courts in a later phase.

Specialist drama, music and art spaces will also be open to the community.

Full application details can be found on Cambridgeshire County Council’s planning register using the code: S/0092/18/CC.

When the school opens its first set of pupils will be in Year 7 only.

It will grow to to provide 1,800 places at full capacity with 400 places in the sixth form.

The SEN school will provide 110 places. Cambridgeshire County Council will also be building a 630 place 4-11 primary school and 52 place early years facility.


Current principal at Swavesey Village College, Andy Daly, is being replaced by new school boss Jim Stavrou in September.

Mr Daly will take on a new executive principal role within CMAT – a multi-academy trust which runs schools in Cambridge, Ely, Sawtry and Peterborough.

His role includes supporting the development of a new secondary local authority maintained school in Northstowe.

“We are really pleased with how the plans are progressing for the new schools,” he said.

“We have ambitious plans for Northstowe and want the school to be at the heart of the new town, bringing people together to create an empowered local community.

“The team that will establish the new schools in Northstowe are the same team behind the highly successful and ‘Outstanding’ Swavesey Village College.

“We will take the many years of experience and learning from Swavesey and are very confident that the Northstowe schools will be every bit as good as Swavesey Village College is now.

“It is an exciting time for CMAT, Swavesey Village College and the local community, and we are pleased that we are now able to start bringing this vision to life.”



New principal for Swavesey Village College

Jim Stavrou has appointed at Swavesey Village College and will officially starts as principal at the beginning of the next academic year in September 2018.

He will be responsible for the day-to day running of the school while current head Andy Daly takes on a new executive principal role within Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT).

Mr Daly’s new role includes supporting the development of a new secondary free school in Northstowe.

When his appointment was announced, Mr Stavrou said he had been “taken aback” by the positive reaction from the school community.

“While I don’t take up the role until September, I am already enjoying recruiting new staff to the college for the coming year,” he said. I hope to build on our already strong team of teachers and support staff, so we can continue to deliver high standards of education at Swavesey.”

Mr Stavrou’s previous teaching roles include acting as head of mathematics at Sawston Village College and deputy head of maths at Impington Village College. He was appointed as assistant principal at Swavesey Village College in 2010 and vice principal in 2013.

“My main priority as headteacher is to ensure high quality teaching and learning at the college for all students. It is important that all of our students leave Swavesey with the highest possible results in the qualifications that they choose to study and are able to access the next steps in their education at the sixth form centre of their choice. I also hope that they leave our care equipped with the life skills they will need to be positive, responsible and global citizens.”

Mr Daly said: “I am delighted that Jim Stavrou has been appointed as headteacher at Swavesey. His dedication to the school is outstanding and has been proven throughout his time as assistant and vice principal. I am confident he will bring a fresh perspective to the leadership of the school and continue to support and challenge our community to pursue excellence in all we do. I look forward to supporting him in his new role.”