Arts Latest Developments

1st – Amber Allan

Good news!   Amber Allan, who won first prize in the Senior Regional competition for Young Photographer, was then entered for the District competition. She has now won first prize in the Senior Section!

One photograph taken on the Sotherby’s sculpture exhibition visit to Chatsworth (with My Paxton sitting on a sculpture!) and the other taken during her visit to Birmingham from the ‘Night in a Museum’ exhibition. The theme was ‘Reflection’.


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ARTicualtion visit to Chatsworth on Thursday 13th October

Six year eleven students Brandon Clarke, Amber Allan, Elle Latkowski, Taegan Morley, Rebecca Smith, Abbie Topham attended this special day at Chatsworth house, integrating with two Sheffield Independent Schools to research artefacts form the collection and presenting their findings to the rest of the group. The education team and Leeds university ran the day, with the Duke of Devonshire and Lord Burlington in attendance to help the students with questions. The tour included the Library, which is not open to the public with some rare books on special display, the secret staircase behind the bookcases, and Brandon Clarke turned on the massive gravity fed fountain!

Students enjoyed the day taking lots of photographs for their coursework, and did an outstanding presentation to the Duke and Abigail Harrison from the Art History department at Leeds University, both of whom provided praise and useful tips for the future.

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Picture the scene…It’s 1827 and Mr Joseph Paxton is walking casually (but not in dress sense) through the grounds at Chatsworth, enjoying the incredible transformations taking place in this landscape.

Now fast forward to 2016 and the grounds are filled with amazing sculpture from the Sotherby’s ‘Beyond Limits’ sculpture exhibition – and a rather curious bunch from Shirebrook Academy! Yes, it was time for our annual visit to the sculpture exhibition, whereupon Y11 photography students were gathering information and taking amazing photographs of the sculptures for sale in the grounds. The weather was superb for taking photographs with colour and shadow being of key importance during the day. The tranquillity of the location took students back to a time gone by, this only broken by the occasional helicopter sound bringing prospective buyers to view the art on show.

As we took in our first sculpture we were approached by a very educated man dressed in 19th century attire who claimed to be none other than Paxton himself and ably assisted our wonderful and informative day at Chatsworth. But was he real? Take a look at the pictures and decide for yourself!



Our theme for the week was a mixture of ‘European & Festival!’ as our celebrations of The Arts coincided with the European football tournament ‘Euro 2016’, the Referendum National Vote ‘Brexit’, and the start of the Glastonbury Festival!

Our aim was for the whole Academy to enjoy arts based ‘entertainment throughout the week, and for teachers to include an element of the arts to their lessons. On Monday we launched the London visit in November, which was sold out by the end of the day! Teachers had a ‘Wear you Band Shirt’ day, which provoked some interesting conversations, inspiration for some of the Beatles artwork made for an interesting angle to some lessons, the kitchens put street food on to the everyday menu, and lunchtimes saw a bonanza of arts celebrations;

The Atrium was adorned with a massive striped parachute stretched across to make a large ‘Big Top’ tent where many of our activities were focused for the week, starting with a buzzing Vinyl DJ at break- an ‘old fashioned’ record disc, playing a selection of old vinyl records from, which went down well with students and staff alike.

Activity continued at lunchtimes with musical concerts and large mural paintings.

An excursion was made by 35 GCSE art & photography students to Chesterfield Colleges ‘Arts Fest’ to view the end of year exhibitions of student’s art, graphics, 3D and Foundational work.

The 18 day photography challenge winning entries were displayed in the Atrium, alongside an exhibition of GCSE work from Stubbin wood and the Academy’s art, photography and textiles students work, with an open evening on Wednesday after school.

Later in the week we enjoyed a year 8 drama performance in the Theatre entitled ‘ Rabbit’ , poetry reading and flute playing in the theatre. The European Referendum vote day was accompanied by Language teachers in costume, giving out a variety of foods to taste, the food department put on a street food tasting session, and guest musician Harry Linacre gave a talk to year 9 followed by an Atrium concert which provided a party atmosphere.

All in all a very enjoyable week of Arts appreciation, with many staff and students feeding back how much they had enjoyed the party!


Articulation public speaking competition 2016

Year 10 Shirebrook Academy student Libby Brown has won the inaugural ‘Articulation’ public speaking competition for 14/16 year olds at the University of Leeds.

Libby started this incredible journey by attending a ‘Discovery Day’ at Chatsworth. Along with 5 other Shirebrook Academy students – she had to research an artefact and work alongside students from three other schools, as well as including interviewing The Duke of Devonshire. This was followed by a public speech made to an audience of students and teachers, the Duke and Duchess and several lecturers and experts from the University of Leeds and other historical collections.

Her presentation was based on the genre of Pop Art and in particular the work of Andy Warhol. She had spent many hours preparing her presentation in the Art department and had special access to a mentor from Leeds University who came down to give Libby some excellent 1-1 coaching.

On the day it proved to be a really tough field with Libby competing with students from some of the best private and public schools in the country. They all spoke eloquently about their chosen pieces but Libby’s presentation was extremely unique and when she challenged the assembled esteemed judges, including Lord Burlington – and the audience to complete a homework for her, they relished the challenge and knew they had someone extremely special in front of them.

This has been a massive undertaking for Libby as she was also running at the time for Head Girl. Throughout she has been extremely dedicated and committed to performing at her best and she has been a real beacon for the success of Shirebrook Academy. Libby was awarded with several prizes including a fantastic history of art book, certificate, invitation to Chatsworth for a chosen event, a trophy and title of Articulation winner 2016.