Norfolk high school hosts regional finals of F1 contest in first few weeks as new academy
A high school has started its new life as an academy by hosting the regional finals of an F1 contest.
Sprowston Community Academy, formerly Sprowston High School, has officially joined the Right for Success Trust, three years after it first consulted with parents.
And in the first few weeks of its new chapter, it has already hosted the regional finals of the F1 in Schools competition, which sees teams of students, aged nine to 19, design, create and race miniature compressed air-powered F1 cars.
Fourteen teams attended the school, on Cannerby Lane, including ones from Bungay, Aylsham, Acle and North Walsham.
Andrew John, headteacher, said the school was proud to host the area’s regional finals for the second year running.
“It’s a fantastic project that allows students to really engage with the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths in an exciting and relevant way,” he said. “It’s about helping to bridge the skills gap and find the engineers of the future.
“And, more than that, it gets students involved with commerce. They have to find sponsors, arrange marketing and branding, and really work as a team.”
And he said the school was looking forward to being part of the trust, and that the event “demonstrates the importance of integrated learning which is at the heart of the trust’s ethic”.
Students in the F1 contest must find sponsorship and manage budgets, alongside learning about the physics, aerodynamics and design of the vehicles.
One of judges for this year’s regional finals was a former Sprowston pupil Ryan Clabon, who made it to the world finals of the contest in Texas in 2013.
All three of Sprowston’s teams won awards at this year’s event, with two heading onto Silverstone for the national finals later this year.
Valerie Moore, chief executive of the trust, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Sprowston Community Academy into our Trust.
“We are also really thrilled at their success in this fun and exciting, but also educationally important, event.”
Sprowston High was initially due to convert to academy status in September 2016, but plans were delayed as talks over issues including property and finance continued.