GCSE Student Stories 2015

GCSE Stories

Read the GCSE Student Stories from 2015

Exam Results 2015

A-Level Thursday 13th August – Collection from 8am

GCSE Thursday 20th August – Collection from 7am

6th Form Student Success

6th Form Results 

Merrill Academy Celebrate 6th Form Student Success
Agust 2015



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Teachers are more systematic in their development of students’ skills and understanding in the use of language.  Teachers’ questioning encourages students to offer detailed responses, through which they explore and explain their ideas and opinions, as well as extending the range of their speaking skills.  There is a well-planned balance between the teachers’ introduction of new vocabulary, support for speaking and writing tasks and opportunities for creative, imaginative and independent work


In lessons students were engaged and demonstrated positive attitudes to their learning


The school behaviour policy is supported by effective rewards and acknowledgement of positive behaviour


Weekly meetings of HoYs ensure that pastoral behavioural, and academic concerns are kept under close review


Referrals to Behaviour Support have reduced by two thirds this year.


There is a properly maintained  log book in the detention centre.


The return to a year system has had a positive effect on behaviour.


On our school walkabouts we did not hear any shouting from staff – as we might have in comparable schools


On three walk abouts during lesson time the school was quiet and orderly with no wanderers on the corridors at all. The only incident seen was one angry student who was being escorted and managed appropriately by a pastoral worker.


Senco has the material necessary to construct a clear provision map of support available in the academy, including the use of the Hodder reading programme to improve the reading level of new arrivals


Heads of year report that since the appointment of new Principal there has been greater clarity and sense of purpose There is plenty of after school activity, particularly sports


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Academy Role Models

Russell LymerRussell Lymer

Russell Lymer left Merrill after taking GCSE’s and started a Business Administration apprenticeship at Derby College.

Russell has developed his career with the College and is now a Web Developer with his role including the Merrill Academy website, as part of the College’s sponsorship of the Academy.

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Haider Ali – Head BoyHaider Ali – Head Boy

I have already taken Business Studies and French for my options in Year 10 and I only have the amazing teachers here to thank for my results.  Now in Year 11, I am studying Art alongside Philosophy and Ethics as my remaining two options.



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Michelle TagueMichelle Tague

I had a very happy time at Merrill and really enjoyed my time there.  It was the extra curricular opportunities which enhanced my learning experience whilst I was there.  I was involved in lots of sporting and music clubs including:  dance, netball, rounders, recorders, choir and trampolining


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Tony BrittanTony Brittan

For Detective Inspector Tony Brittan, being a former Merrill student is a “badge of honour” in which he takes great pride.

His career since his school days has taken him around the world and into a high profile police role confronting serious crime - but he has always retained a close association with Merrill, including a key role as a governor.

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Steve DoyleSteve Doyle

Former Merrill student Steve Doyle is now a Performance Analyst for Derby County Football Academy – finding and developing the young football stars of the future.

Steve left school after his GCSEs and originally worked as a trainee plasterer whilst continuing to be involved in football coaching and building up his qualifications.

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Ewelina WisniewskaEwelina Wisniewska

Aspiring architect Ewelina Wisniewska laid firm foundations for her future career at Merrill.

Now in her first year studying four A-levels at Derby College, 16-year-old Ewelina praises the support and guidance she received from Merrill staff as she pursued her ambitions. Having only moved to England from her native Poland four years ago, she faced more challenges than many other students.

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Hayley Repton

Former student Hayley Repton is still a familiar face around Merrill, 12 years after leaving school.  As a Police Officer working in Derby East, she regularly returns to give talks to students about her career.

"I enjoy speaking with the students and they are always inquisitive and interested in my job," says Hayley. "This not only helps them with aspects of their school work but also benefits my role as a Police Officer. When I see the students in the neighbourhood, they are happy to engage with me because they know that I am approachable."

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Tom NicholasTom Nicholas

Former Merrill Academy pupil Tom Nicholas was so inspired by his teachers at school that he himself decided to go into teaching and is now a Business Studies' lecturer at Derby College who are now the Academy sponsors.

Tom achieved good grades in his GCSEs and A levels at Merrill and went onto the University of Derby to study Business Management.

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Danni Garton – Head GirlDanni Garton

I joined Merrill Academy from Moorhead Primary School and I hope to further my education by completing my A levels at Sixth form, with a view to continuing my studies at University.  I have a passion for performing arts, but my ultimate goal is to become an Occupational Therapist


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Rebecca Lombard-ThompsonRebecca Lombard Thomas

Studying at Merrill helped sports fan Rebecca Lombard-Thompson to raise her game - and she is now on her way to an action-packed career in the world of sport.

Currently taking A-levels and a BTEC Diploma at Derby College, 17-year-old Rebecca believes that the guidance and encouragement she received at Merrill gave her the push she needed to pursue her goals.

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