News

Magnus seeks historical items and memorabilia for its archive

Magnus Church of England Academy archivist and former pupil, Mr Roger Peacock, has recently completed a move of the Magnus C of E Academy’s archive to a new location within the school. Following extensive work to catalogue and protect the historical artefacts related to Magnus’ 500 year history, Mr Peacock, said he is now seeking the assistance of the public and particularly former Magnus students, to add to the collection.

He said, “I feel that it is important to preserve the past, because politically, socially and educationally, there are lessons to be learnt with the passage of time.  By understanding history, we can forge a better future, and not repeat past mistakes or injustices.”

The Magnus Archive predominantly focuses on local history, and especially as it applied to Magnus.

Founded in 1531 by Thomas Magnus, Chaplain to King Henry VIII and originally occupying a building on Appleton Gate in Newark, it eventually moved to its present site on Earp Avenue in 1909.

Mr Peacock says he wants the rich archive to be seen by more students and shared with the wider community.  “Much at Magnus remains recognisable on the surface, but below this much has been revamped and improved. We all have memories of schooldays: friends, sports teams, classroom structure, lesson approach, and staff of our own time.  Both educational and social thought, and indeed student numbers and buildings have all progressed, and that change is constant.  This is evolution, not revolution, and history is rooted in the past, -but must not be confined to it.  New strategies must be shaped by the wisdom, -or in opposition to the lack of wisdom of previous generations, by remembering that needs are ever-changing.  Students and others with links to Magnus will be very much the poorer if they cannot learn about our school’s rich and varied past.”

The archive consists of items belonging to the school, with some donated by former pupils, or by members of the public finding items in attics. “We are fortunate in that we have a dedicated archive to store and preserve mementos of our past.  Much material is in the form of photographs, but there is also a number of documents and books, with links to our school’s past, that have been preserved.  All such memorabilia is carefully stored and looked after for future generations, and indeed the present generation, to research and enjoy.

“In many ways, though, these archives can never be complete and there will be questions that cannot be answered by the evidence that we have to hand.  An archive has to be built up.  There is always a place for new and relevant artefacts, but first these must be located and identified.  We believe that items of social and educational importance are retained in many local homes, and perhaps further afield if owners have left the district.”

The Magnus Archive is now seeking the help of the community to fill in the gaps in the collection. “Custodians may be prepared to donate these to the Magnus Archives where they will, we guarantee, be cared for, and seen by a wider audience.  Within the collection, they can become more meaningful and interesting.  People can feel satisfaction in enriching this unique collection.”

Those with items of interest connected to the history of Magnus have, says Mr Peacock, donated over the years, including historic uniforms and ties, photographs and documents.

“Artefacts relating to the Appleton Gate school would be particularly welcome, as little of those days has been passed on.  The twentieth century, though, unveils much, as Magnus changed from a boys’ Grammar School to a co-educational Comprehensive, and today is an Academy.  The links with the Church of England, which threatened decline with the appointment of lay Headmasters from 1952, have been restored and strengthened.”

Concerning his own favourites amongst the collection, Mr Peacock particularly enjoys the examples of old uniforms and the highly decorated Lectern Bible.

Jim Semmelroth is Head of School at Magnus and said, “Our archive is absolutely fascinating, and it is impossible not to find oneself lost in history when viewing the documents and artefacts contained there. Our students use the archive as a resource to inform their learning, not just in a social or historical sense, but to understand that we must all strive to forge a better future by understanding our past.”

Anyone with items he or she wishes to donate is asked to contact Magnus C of E Academy.

Magnus student awarded opportunity to study at Colgate University, USA

Magnus Church of England Academy Year 13 student, Noah Potter (age 17 years), is currently preparing himself for the next stage of his education after being awarded a fully-funded degree at Colgate University in New York State.

Noah says the opportunity to apply came through Magnus C of E Academy’s ongoing work with The Sutton Trust, an organisation founded in 1997 to improve social mobility in Britain through educational opportunities for young people.

Noah said, “It all started during a Teams chat when someone mentioned an opportunity to study in America. It was through The Sutton Trust US Programme, and my friend and I decided to sign up. We were both accepted to get on to the programme where we were able to learn all about what it’s like to study in America and the potential benefits.”

This initial step was followed by a series of stages with Magnus in partnership with The Sutton Trust, helping students to explore university options, subjects outside of the school curriculum, and to develop skills to help students in their ongoing education and workplace.

Noah said the final stage was to submit an application to attend an American University and his choice was Colgate University in New York State, “I wrote a 600 word essay on a subject of my choice and I wrote about confidence. I did a lot of drafts of that and submitted it at the end of September. At this point I waited and looked at other options in case my first-choice university, Colgate, didn’t work out.”

Noah said he chose Colgate University as he wanted to go to a liberal arts college, where, unlike the English system, he would not be locked into a subject for three years. “My interests have often changed over time, and in the American system you can choose your subject in the second year.

“I found I had a place at midnight on the 13th December, and I was a mix of emotions, fear and excitement. I was sat on my bed waiting for it, when I opened it I ran in to my mum and woke her up! It started to seem more real when I had to go through fine details, the financials for instance.”

Now Noah is planning his relocation to the United States shortly after he gets his exam results in August. “I choose my courses when I arrive, I want to major in maths so will take courses related to that, so can also take some science too. I am very interested in taking a course on Native American History.

“To be honest I feel a bit terrified! I do wonder why I didn’t take an easier, or closer option! I know that no one else is going to American from my year group. The first day of term is the 21st August, so as results days here are around the 18th, I’ll be getting my results and then going to America.”

Noah will be staying in university dormitories and says he will miss Magnus C of E Academy. “Magnus has helped me throughout, Mrs Tucker, Mrs Milan and Miss Clarke have been especially helpful to me. Mrs Milan has counselled me throughout and my references came from Mrs Tucker and Mrs Clarke. I am really grateful to Magnus, I don’t think I would have been given this opportunity without their work to give us more options. I am going to make the most of it, take every opportunity I can. Hopefully one day I will come back and speak to students about my experience. I will miss Magnus and the friends I have here.”

Mrs Tucker (Senior Leader – Head of Post 16), said Noah thoroughly deserves this life changing opportunity. “Noah is an extremely witty and intelligent student. He is very dedicated to his studies, and often goes above and beyond what his teachers ask of him. He is a popular student and has great relationships with his teachers and peers.

“I believe Noah will thrive at university in America. It is a huge step for him to leave the comfort of Newark, but something he has been focussed on for 18 months now and has worked so hard to achieve.

“The Sutton Trust have held his hand every step of the way. Their knowledge of the complex US college system has been crucial to his acceptance. They helped him prep for the entry tests, assisted him with his interviews, and proof read all of his written submissions and statements. This was alongside his lengthy recommendations written by his form tutor, Mrs Milan. The whole Academy wish him well on this exciting venture.”

PSHE Curriculum – Half Term 5

Our PSHE curriculum forms an integral part of our commitment to achieving our vision and great care has been taken to ensure that each year group covers a range of age appropriate topics, which build throughout their time at Magnus, to develop students of good character who are prepared to excel in life beyond the classroom.

This half term, the following topics will be delivered to students:

CANCELLED – Royal Institution Science Show

We are sad to announce that The Royal Institution Community Science Show which was due to take place tomorrow evening (Thursday 10th February) for local primary school children has unfortunately been cancelled due to COVID related circumstances beyond our control. We hope to offer this opportunity again in the future and look forward to inviting the community to attend.

Author joins students for workshop

Magnus Church of England Academy has gifted every year 7 student a book for Christmas on an exciting day that also saw the book’s author, Helen Rutter, delivering a talk!

Magnus’ Learning Resource Centre Manager is Heather Jackson who said she hoped the day was inspirational for students. “We have gifted a book to our Y7 students for a few years now, and we couldn’t wait to be able to have an author back in school in person this year.

“We feel blessed that Helen could join us to talk to Year 7 about her book ‘The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh’, and answer any questions they had for her. It’s so important that our students get the opportunity to hear from a published author, to understand what inspired them, see where that creativity stems from and where that creativity leads. We hope it will inspire them to read Helen’s book over the Christmas break and encourage them in their own writing.”

Following Helen’s workshop students were able to get their books signed and she explained why she enjoyed meeting students. “I enjoy visiting and speaking to students directly for various reasons; it gets me out of my writing shed and speaking to people! But also, it helps me to meet with the people I am hoping to connect with on the page. Hopefully for students they will see that writing, and being an author is a real job and something they can do too.

“As a young person I can’t remember ever meeting or talking to an author, and I don’t remember feeling like being an author was an option for me. It wasn’t part of a plan at all. I didn’t feel particularly academic back then and so want to talk to students about the idea that writing is creative, -that the important aspect is being emotionally in tune with yourself and the world around you, to be able to tell stories.”

Helen talked to students about her book, inspired by the story of her son Lenny.  “The book was inspired by my son who is only a little bit older than these students and I hope that helps create a connection for them. I also explore the ways you construct your writing so there is practical advice for students. Students also do their own writing exercises.”

Helen says that she hopes that students are able to see themselves as writers. “The message is that anyone can do it, and the message from this book is that if you feel different, it’s not necessarily going to hold you back, it might be the thing that propels you forward.”