Thursday, 20 December 2012

Kepier Christmas Charity

Kepier this Christmas have, as well as our usual contributions to the community with free carol concerts and donations of gifts from learners to local nursing homes also supported ShARP (Shiney Row Advice and Resource Project) with their ongoing quest to support local people by providing food parcels to the most needy in our community, a cause also supported by The Bethany Centre in Houghton.

This year at Kepier, staff were invited to donate tinned food, cakes, biscuits, etc to ShARP rather than send Christmas cards to each other - we felt that this was a wonderful way to enter into the true spirit of the season.

The appeal was a huge success, and below is a quote from Emma Frew, Project Manager at ShARP:

"ShARP would like to thank the staff at Houghton Kepier and members of the Bethany Centre for their generous support to the people in the Coalfields community for their donations towards Christmas food
parcels for people in need. We have been amazed at the level of generosity that has been shown in giving from local people. We will ensure that it is received by people in need this Christmas. For families who are struggling to make ends meet, these parcels will be a lifeline, and for the older more isolated people who will benefit, its warming for them to know that there are people out there who care."

"Many thanks to all who have made this happen."

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Community Christmas Concert

On Monday December 17th Kepier hosted a free carol concert for the community, something we have done for many years now. The night was organised by our Head of Music Mr John Hall and music teacher Hannah Rudge, both of whom give up an awful lot of their own time to tutor our learners. We are also grateful to peripatetic music teachers Janet Tong, Mandi Quinn, Mr Langthorne and Mr Moon for their support both in the tutoring of our learners and on the night.

The event, as always, attracted an excellent audience of around 150 local people who were entertained by our school orchestra and school choir. This night is a lovely way to celebrate the final week of term, which for our school orchestra and choir (not to mention Mr Hall and Miss Rudge!) is an extremely busy one as they have been out performing in local nursing homes over the past few weeks.

Mr Hall said "I am extremely proud of the young people from Kepier who have been involved with this. They have given up a great deal of their own time to rehearse, and for some of them this was the first time they have performed in front of an audience. All of them have been fantastic".

Monday, 17 December 2012

Performing Achievements: Sophie

Performing Achievements: Sophie

Sophie is a dancer and has performed at the following venues:

Sunderland Empire
Newcastle Tyne Theatre
London Royal Albert Hall
Disneyland, Paris - twice!
Gala Theatre, Durham
Zazz Theatre, Houghton

Next year Sophie is also performing at Saddler's Wells Theatre, London.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Kepier in the news December 2012

 Kepier in the news December 2012

Sunderland Echo - 03/12/2012

Seaham and Houghton Star - 05/12/2012

Sunderland Echo - 10/12/2012

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Kepier - Charity Football Match

On Sunday 25th November Kepier hosted a charity football match between the coaches and parents from Hetton Lyons FC and staff from Houghton Police Station.

This was to raise money for the Hetton Lyons FC Development U7's team to enable them to purchase waterproof jackets for winter training.

Peter Baker from Hetton Lyons FC has given some details below:

"The match went well. It was touch and go with the weather for people
dropping out and let down by a referee but a referee was found on the
morning and a full team turned up so i was delighted.
The police were overall winners of the Hetton Lyons Fc Charity Shield
winning 5-2 with a great game including two penalties.
 We raised £140 towards the cost of the development teams jackets
which is a great help.
Can I just say thanks again for your help and kind offer of the pitch.
It was a great venue and hopefully you can assist us with the rematch
next year".

A quote on the event from Dave Brennan our  community manager:_

"Kepier were delighted to support this fund raising event by providing their Astroturf pitch and changing facilities free of charge, and will certainly be supporting the event again next year".

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

SLIDESHOW: Sunderland’s efforts for Children in Need (From Sunderland Echo)

Sunderland ECHO readers have sent in photographs of how they helped Children in Need raise a record amount.
The event made £26,757,446 for youngsters who need it most, and an impressive £1,313,396 of that was raised in the North East and Cumbria.
Colleges and schools across Sunderland were among those who took part.
At Sunderland College, a Pudsey Bear decorated training plane, face painting and fancy dress were just a few of the activities held to boost funds.
Staff and students at all the college sites got into the spirit of the day by arranging more than 25 fund-raising activities.
Travel and Tourism students decorated their training plane in spots and simulated a safety check, take-off procedure and sold raffle tickets and Pudsey Bear merchandise from their cabin trolley.
Lots of young people at the Washington campus took part in a £10 challenge, which coincided with Global Entrepreneurship Week. The students had to raise as much money as possible with £10 and all the profits went to Children In Need.
Laura Mitford, enrichment officer at Sunderland College, said: “Every year we do all we can to support Children in Need.
“This year the students came up with some very creative ideas.”
At Kepier Academy, in Houghton, the staff and students held a host of activities and raised £400 for Children in Need.
Students at the Dairy Lane school were encouraged to wear something spotty, they held a penalty shoot out and sold cakes at lunchtime. Female members of staff, including principal, Nicky Cooper, were sponsored to remove their make up.
To help raise money for Children in Need, pupils at The Venerable Bede School in Sunderland did not bother getting dressed and made a donation to wear their pyjamas for the day.

This article was copied from the Sunderland Echo website see

Monday, 19 November 2012

GCSE Computer Science

Tom Mayer, our Head of ICT, has been working with our GCSE ICT learners -

on GCSE Computer Science, which is a new initiative that, rather than just educating children about how to use computers teaches them how the software that we use in them works.

As part of this, the learners have to conduct practical investigations into software, and Tom has been working with them on designing and developing a phone app which will work on any Android phone - this is not just in theory, the learners will use it on their own phones to test it and ensure it works.

Recent press Articles from the Houghton Star and Sunderland Echo

Recent press Articles from the Houghton Star and Sunderland Echo

Monday, 12 November 2012

Groundwork North East's free weekly activities

Green Activity
Groundwork North East runs a free programme open to all called Green Activity, delivered at 6 community allotments across the city. A ten week course covering aspects of allotment gardening, habitat creation and conservation, sessions are delivered by Groundwork staff and all tools and materials are provided.
As the nights are getting darker, spending time outside in the fresh air can really help lift spirits and sessions are a great way to learn new skills and keep fit!

Sessions are delivered at the following sites (see attached poster for more details):
  • Shields Road Community Allotment, Ritson Road Allotments, Fulwell, Tuesday mornings
  • Burnside Community Allotment, Houghton-le-spring, Tuesday afternoons
  • Hendon Community Allotment, Corporation RoadWednesday mornings
  • Washington Community Allotment, Hollin Hill RoadWednesday afternoons
  • Tunstall Community Allotment, Tunstall, Thursday afternoons
  • Summerbell Community Allotment, Marley Potts, Friday afternoons
For more information contact Claire Hutchinson at Groundwork North East on 0191 567 2550.

Groundwork Wild Walk programme (see poster for more details)

Groundwork also runs two 'Wild Walks' from Elba Park in the Coalfields on Wednesday afternoons and from Washington Arts Centre on Friday mornings. Walks are free of charge, last between 90 minutes and 2 hours and a are a wonderful way to see the countryside, keep fit and make friends. suitable for groups or individuals wanting to meet people and enjoy a country walk.

For more information about the Elba Park walk contact Andrea Baxter on 0191 567 2550 and for the Washington Walk contact Alison Ball on 0191 567 2550.

Community Allotments spaces!
Been waiting for an allotment for years? Want to take part in community activities? Do you want to join one of our community allotments, have your own space for growing fruit and vegetables and help to look after the garden?

We are currently looking for groups or individuals to take mini plots at the following sites:
  • Burnside Community Allotment
  • Shields Road Community Allotment
  • Tunstall Community Allotment
  • Summerbell Community allotment
Please contact Claire Hutchinson for details 0191 567 2550

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remembrance Day 2012

Kepier have this week been holding special events to mark the build up to Remembrance Day this coming Sunday.

Mr Forsyth from our History department has given a talk in morning assembly to each year group about the importance and meaning of the event, using images from the first world war and other campaigns to illustrate the sacrifices made by our service men and women. Mr Forsyth has also arranged for poppies to be sold in school all this week, and we are hoping to exceed the amount of money raised last year from this (which was almost £400). Special thanks from Mr Forsyth go to Val, Janice, Ann-Marie and the year 10s for making poppies.

On Friday 9th, Sergeant Liam Talbot from the Army Cadets came into school, and, with other cadets (who are learners from Kepier) paraded during our Year 7 assembly and when we observed the two minutes silence at 11am, a silence which was impeccably observed by all our learners and staff. Liam is an ex-pupil of Kepier, and it was lovely to have him back to lead this event. During the two minutes silence, the Last Post was played by Ben.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Top runners head for Sunderland as city hosts national champions

SUNDERLAND is set to welcome the country’s best runners when it hosts the National Cross Country Championships next year.

Athletes from across the nation are expected to line up at Herrington Country Park to compete in the annual event in February.

The sporting day will include a 10-race programme for both men and women, with races for five age groups ranging from Under 13s to seniors.

The starting area for the senior men’s race is expected to be 100m wide, with about 1,500 competitors going for gold.

Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, Coun John Kelly, said: “We look forward to welcoming competitors, spectators and visitors from across the country.

“This is a great chance to show everyone what a fantastic venue Sunderland provides.”

Olympic medal winner Mike McLeod helped promote the event, joined by Coun Kelly and a host of the region’s athletic clubs and school athletes.

The championships were last held in the city in 2007 and organisers hope to repeat the success of last year’s event at Hampstead Heath, London.

Councillor Kelly added: “We are all delighted that the English Cross Country Association has decided to return to the city.

“Their decision not only shows their confidence in Sunderland’s proven ability to stage high-profile sporting and cultural events, but also in the strength and enthusiasm of the local athletic and sporting community to support the event.”

Last year’s event in the capital attracted more than 4,000 competitors, with the same amount turning up to cheer them on.

Chairman of the English Cross Country Association, John Temperton, said: “We will work with the city council to persuade a greater proportion of people to travel north on this occasion.”

Monday, 22 October 2012

Kepier STEM Workshops

On Thursday 11 October, Kepier hosted Northern Architecture as part of their STEM enrichment week. Maths teacher Suzy Hall coordinated the activity week with the support of the STEMNET programme in the North East.

Two groups of fifteen Year 7 and 8 pupils were given an insight into careers in the built environment sector involving applied maths, such as architecture, urban design, surveying, landscape architecture, engineering and construction. Pupils were then challenged to design and build an outdoor shelter, exploring space, volume, surface area, shape and form. The outcomes demonstrate that pupils can successfully apply their maths skills and express their spatial awareness by taking part in a creative, practical activity.

All pupils felt that they had achieved within the workshops:

I used maths when measuring the length of the wall and to measure angles

I found applying maths to architecture was fun and I also made a trapdoor that I am very proud of

I used maths when working out the scale of the model, it really shows how we can use maths in real life

I had fun experiencing being an architect, I like model making and I am proud of my building

I didn't expect maths in reeal life to be as good as what I have experienced

Thanks and well done to all participating pupils. Thanks also to Suzy Hall and staff at Kepier and to Sam Steventon, STEM Outreach Coordinator with STEMNET.

Northern Architecture's Education officers, Emma Kench-Porter and Sara Cooper are both part of the STEM Ambassadors scheme.

The original article for this post can be found at

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Champions of Dance

Jordan Clark is currently in year 7 and is a member of Mr Marklew's Coaching Group.  During a conversation at lunchtime, she told me that her dance group had performed at the Royal Albert Hall in the summer holidays.  What an achievement!  She told me that they had also performed at venues such as Saddlers Wells and the Empire Theatre.  It would  be wonderful to learn more about this extremely successful dance group.

Monday, 1 October 2012

NSPCC fund raising

"Since returning back to school in September, learners at Kepier have been helping to raise money for the NSPCC. As part of the charity's fundraising efforts, they have been focusing on Childline which this year celebrates it's 25th birthday. Learners at school joined Mr Kilkenny and Mr Forsyth, as well as other staff in 'Bow-Tie Friday on September 28th. The money raised from this will contribute greatly to the £400 which Mr Forsyth is aiming to raise as part of his sponsorship after he ran in this years Great North Run."

Mr Forsyth and Mr Kilkenny are both from our History department.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Kepier Multi-Sports Camp

Kepier Multi-Sports Camp

Camp Feedback Summary
The camp took place from Monday 20th August through till Friday 24th August, 10am until 3pm everyday. Overall we engaged with 229 children between the ages of 4 and 11 from areas around Houghton le Spring.

The event could not have been as successful as it was without the co-operation from Dave Brennan who where tremendously helpful prior and during the event. I would like to thank the staff for their support throughout the whole week.

Children worked as individuals as well as in group sessions, Keep Kids Active ensured children of the same age participated together, utilising the indoor facilities of the school.
The week finished with an inter group mini Olympics. The children were segregated into their age groups to make the event fair to all. They were then set a round robin of 4 challenges on a point scoring system over a set time period. The winner from each individual age group was awarded a medal in recognition of their achievement. A medal was also presented to the person who the coach felt had achieved the most throughout the week.
All children who attended the event were awarded a” Certificate of Achievement”.
Parents were encouraged to attend the prize giving and we were delighted that around 10 parents experienced the tremendous atmosphere the children created. 

The feedback from parents, children and staff was terrific and a huge testimony to all involved and proof that children “Just love to have FUN”
Children got involved in many events, meeting new friends, trying new sports and in general contributing towards a healthier lifestyle.

Keep Kids Active are passionate about investing in children, as they are our future generation, this was an example of the impact we can have working with children across the region.
These events tick so many boxes i.e.

·         Health
·         Obesity
·         Inclusion
·         Transition
·         Physical Exercise
·         Anti-Bullying
·         Affordable Childcare
·         Healthy Eating  

With regards to our generic feedback form ‘How are we doing’ we received 11 forms via Parents. These forms took into account 12 children as several of the parents had more than 1 child attending.

100% of the children who attended the event documented they would like to attend any Keep Kids Active camps arranged in the near future, this is terrific news to know we have created a captive audience and we, with the support of our colleagues will continue to work together to ensure these events are sustainable.

We relish the opportunity to work within the school and feeder Primaries with regards to physical exercise and support the Academy with any programmes they may wish to introduce in the new term:
·         Gifted and talented
·         GCSE Students
·         Sports days
·         Taster Sessions
·         Curriculum Sessions
·         Breakfast Sessions
·         Lunchtime sessions
·         After School Clubs

We would also like to work with the community in general and on an ongoing basis to set up clubs across the region i.e:
·         Breakfast Sessions
·         Lunchtime sessions
·         After School Clubs
·         Academies i.e. Soccer Schools
·         Satellite clubs
·         Coaching sessions

Keep Kids Active need to expand on the tremendous success that last week achieved and we look forward to a stronger partnership and hope we can be a valuable asset in the region with regards to encouraging children and families to lead a Healthier Lifestyle.

Parents Comments
“Fantastic facility in getting kids active and interested in sports and keeping them occupied during a week in school hols. Great venue and friendly, helpful staff. Superb value for money too. My daughter really enjoyed her time here and would love for the one week of activities to be extended to more days/weeks during the school holidays, as she had so much fun! Thank you.”
Alaine Gray

“Superb value for money, Joseph really enjoyed his week.”
Andrew Hughes

“More than happy overall. Would expect more camps for midterm hols.”
Greg Aniol

“It would be great if this programme is running for a longer length of time (2 weeks) during the school holidays.”
Andy Hui

“My daughter really enjoyed this week. Hopefully have it on again.”
Sara Walker

Former Sunderland Defender Martin Scott Brings His Academy To Kepier

Former Sunderland Defender Martin Scott Brings His Academy To Kepier

Click here to view the video interview at the Sky Tyne & Wear website.

 More information about Improtech Soccer can be found on their website here.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Congratulations to Year 11 Maths Learners

In the recent GCSE Maths exams, 92 of our current Year 11 learners achieved a C grade or higher.  This is great news and gives these learners the confidence to know that they can achieve even higher grades next summer.  It is an extremely competitive  world out there at the moment and our learners need to achieve the highest grades they can.  Well done to all of you!

Monday, 3 September 2012



After celebrating its best ever GCSE year, a Houghton based secondary academy, is set to unveil a first class new look at the start of the new school year.

As a recently converted academy, Houghton Kepier Sports College: An Academy, has undergone an exciting transformation to produce a new identity, reflecting a return to its original name, Kepier, and drawing on the school’s heritage fused with aspirations for the future.

With learners, staff and governors taking an active role in the 12-month process and learners ultimately choosing the final design, the school’s new image will be revealed as learners return to school for the start of the new term.

Kepier's Principal, Mrs Cooper, said: “We are thrilled to welcome in the start of the new school year with our refreshed identity – this represents an exciting new chapter in the development of our school.

“Becoming an academy in August 2011was a great move forward for us and as a result of the recent change in status, we felt our name – Houghton Kepier Sports College: An Academy – did not communicate effectively who we are and where we see our school in the coming years. We are passionate about driving up standards and providing the best education possible for all our learners and our new image reflects us as a vibrant, forward-thinking and successful academy.”

Kepier has been at the heart of the Houghton community for hundreds of years and the school has explored its heritage and connections to Houghton, effectively returning to its roots in a bid to look forward to an exciting and successful future.

The new image reflects a return to the original name of the school, when it was founded in 1574, by Gilpin and Heath and known locally as ‘Kepier’, with the new badge now displaying four leaves from the legendary ‘Gilpin Thorn’ – an historic symbol of the holy hawthorn tree, which was brought to Houghton by Bernard Gilpin, known as Apostle of the North and Rector of Houghton between 1557 and 1583.

Mrs Cooper continued: “We are proud of our connections to the Houghton community –the school is affectionately known as ‘Kepier’ and was also called ‘Kepier’ when it was founded by Gilpin and Heath in 1574. We feel a return to our original name has impact, whilst continuing the local tradition and reflecting where we are as an academy.

“All that our learners have achieved this year fills me with great pride – 92 per cent of all our GCSE learners achieved five A* to C grades and 63 per cent achieved 5A*-C, including English and maths. We are celebrating our best ever year with a massive 10 per cent increase on the previous year and we look forward to a successful future.”

Jack Reay, head boy at Kepier, has enjoyed being a part of the process. Jack, a year 11 learner, said: “I’m looking forward to the start of the new term and all the exciting changes that are taking place at Kepier. My friends and I were involved in picking the final design and I love the colours and creativity of it.

“Our school is known as ‘Kepier’ to everyone in the area already and it was really interesting to find out some new things about the history of the school.”

Mrs Cooper continued: “We are striving to improve our school in line with the new Ofsted framework and our ultimate aim is to inspire each and every learner and offer them a clear identity within their school community – one that will make a real difference.

“We truly believe that returning to the original name of the school, combined with a stronger identity, is not only critical to the future success of the school, but will benefit the hundreds of learners who come here.”