Ray attended The Denes from 2011 to 2014. He was, and still is, a very proactive student. Whilst studying at The Denes he was also Head Boy, and was Chair of Waveney Youth Council. We recently caught up with Ray, and this is what he told us:
I have always held very fond memories of being a student at Ormiston Denes and it’s always been a pleasure to return and catch up with familiar faces.
Ormiston Denes was where the academic foundations which underpinned my studies at A-Levels and university were first developed, and it was opportunities at The Denes which led to my subsequent interest in youth social action. I remain very grateful for all the support, advice and encouragement from my teachers and support staff, especially Ms Mayo, throughout my time at The Denes which helped me to take the first steps towards where I am now.
As a student, I have witnessed a lot of changes; abolition of middle schools, conversion into an academy and introduction of vertical tutor groups to name a few. What did not change for me however was the fantastic commitment from staff to see their students succeed.
Now at university, I do miss the routine nature of daily life whilst at school. However, there were some particular occasions which stood out, for example, the two mysteries during Year 11 which remain unsolved to this day. The case of Mrs Westoby’s missing rock in Geography, and the case of my missing French book, which disappeared just before my final controlled assessment containing all my notes. Despite whole school search efforts, it remains unfound. Please get in touch if anyone ever comes across it!
Some of my best memories at The Denes were forged following my election as Head Boy. Indeed, I met some of my best friends through working together on the Student Leadership team.
Together with Head Girl Edie, Project Lead Nathan, and a team of over 100, along with Mr Ainslie and Ms Mayo, we championed views of our peers and enabled students to engage with all aspects of academy life; from interviewing staff candidates, including four heads of houses, to providing logistical support to public events.
For some of us the latter often resulted in 13 hour days, but they were great fun. A receipt for some pizza ordered before the school production addressed to “Osmartin Beans Academy, Yourmouth Road” provoked particular hilarity, although I doubt the finance department found it quite as amusing when we had to hand it in …!
It was challenging to run a very active Student Leadership whilst studying 10 subjects, a common sight back then was a stressed me rushing around the corridors delivering memos. Looking back, I often thought that perhaps my job title should have been “postman” instead of anything else…. However, the transferable skills I gained; time management, prioritising, and leadership have served me well.
The highlight of my tenure was the development of the very popular, very successful Community Bakery Project which involved visiting care homes to share cakes and scones with the elderly.
I studied five A/S subjects and four A-Levels at East Norfolk Sixth Form College before successfully securing a place at Imperial College London to study medicine.
Outside of my studies, I went on to the Waveney Youth Council, working with schools and partners to develop youth-led projects including the nationally award-winning Transition Ambassador Project, delivered in eight schools and colleges, including Ormiston Denes. I also serve as a board member for the East Suffolk Partnership of local authorities and service providers, ensuring youth input into local high-level decision making.
Keep aspiring and always challenge yourself. Believe that you can succeed if you are prepared to put in the hard work; take the initiative and don’t just get on with it, but stick with it. Of course, there will be momentary setbacks, challenges and difficulties along the way, but try to keep in mind the bigger picture of where you want to go. Never give up, ask for help, seek advice, and make the most of every opportunity available. I wish everyone all the best for the future.
Our thanks and best wishes go to Ray.
With the current world situation, and not being able to offer our normal transition, we would like to share some resources to support current Year 6 students, who will be moving to Ormiston Denes Academy in the next academic year. There are a number of online sites available, these include: Be Awesome, Go Big has […]
Mrs Buckenham has created this cookbook for all skill levels. Take a look and make something tasty!
Following on from the successful OAT EAST Dance competition, the full video performance from our students can be seen here: http://bit.ly/OATEASTDance
Students from Ormiston Denes Academy had a fantastic trip to Tonale in Italy again this year for the 2020 ski trip! All students had a fantastic time and demonstrated courage, resilience and determination. Our surroundings were beautiful – breathtaking with glorious weather! As well as skiing, students also participated in: • Bumboarding • Night Ski […]
We had an amazing time when 21 of our brilliant dancers took part in the first OAT East Dance competition! Students were competing against 7 other Ormiston academies, which calculated to just over 100 students. Their 10 minute routine made audience members cry, cheer and have goose bumps! Also, a huge well done to our […]
We are proud to announce that in January we were awarded our platinum award from our work with Suffolk Family Carers and supporting our young carers in school. We work closely with Suffolk Family Carers, and especially those within our academy. We have raised school awareness of young carers through assemblies, form time sessions, social […]
The OAT East Dance Competition is taking place at Ormiston Denes Academy on Wednesday 12th February 2020 at 7.00pm! This is a competition for students from eight Ormiston academies based in East Anglia, and we are hosting! Family and friends are welcome to this free event, doors will open at 6.45pm.
The Ormiston Denes Academy annual Careers Fair is taking place on Friday 6th March! This gives our students a chance to investigate possible careers and opportunities available to them. Over 45 organisations are attending this fantastic event!
Congratulations to all students involved, for their months of hard work and effort, in preparing and delivering various workshops and events for the Dora Love competition. All of the students were so professional in their presentation in the final, competing against 17 other secondary schools for the prize, and speaking in front of hundreds of […]
A very proud moment for Ormiston Denes Academy when some of our Year 9 students performed Suitcase 1938, at Lowestoft Train Stationn, as part of the Holocaust Memorial Day Service. This marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The train station is important as it was one of the places that received hundreds of Jewish refugees […]
The results are now in and we are proud to say that we have won 4 of the 6 categories that we entered, with all of our students being highly commended! Dance – JessicaArt – OliviaFood Technology – AlfiePublic Speaking – Daisy Congratulations to all students from the Lowestoft schools that participated in the awards. […]