Turing Trip – Italy

On Tuesday 23rd of January, 50 pupils from the Matrix Academy Trust travelled from Gatwick Airport for a trip to Rome with the Turing Scheme. The Turing Scheme is a government initiative that fully funds a range of international opportunities for young people to go abroad and experience different cultures around the globe. Pupils who participate in this scheme are selected via criteria provided by the Department for Education.

After a smooth journey and arriving at our hostel, we made a swift departure to our first activity. Our group of 55 tackled the metro for the first time and walked our way to “Aroma Ostia” where our host school met us for an Italian cooking masterclass. During this class, our Chef taught us how to make pasta from scratch, along with the art of producing “carbonara” sauce, a dish that was born in Italy.

Throughout the week our mornings consisted of a rotation between groups, some taking themselves back to ancient Rome by visiting the Colosseum, some visited Castel Sant’Angelo which was commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum, and some visiting our Italian partner school learning about various aspects of their culture including music, literature, fashion and food. One group even took part in an inclusion workshop raising awareness of disabilities.

After lunch, our pupils came back together and started their week by being trained as true gladiators at the gladiator school. This included a fitness assault course, practicing and testing a variety of fighting techniques before our Empress (Ms Callanan) would decide their fate. Pupils also opened their mind into the “museum of dreamers” experiencing an adult-size ball pit, various illusions and not to mention beating their fears (literally). Our afternoon of imagination delved deeper into Vigamus where pupils were led on journey of time on the evolution of video games. Our sightseeing continued when strolling down the Spanish Steps to the renowned Trevi Fountain before dining in a local restaurant.

Our final few days were spent zipping through the trees of Rome at Eurpark High Ropes. It was incredible to see the number of pupils who overcame their fears and pushed through their limits to reach new heights before we caught the train to the shores of Ostia, where some pupils even dipped their toes in the sea! Mount Vesuvius was our next destination, with a 20 minute hike up to the viewpoint at the top of the volcano and a further 5 minutes to the crater. Pupils were in awe of the beauty of the bay of Naples, before seeing the steam being produced out of the dormant volcano. Having learnt about the history of Vesuvius, our next stop was the Herculaneum, a UNESCO heritage site which was covered in volcanic ash and rediscovered during excavations in the mid 18th century.

We couldn’t have left Rome before visiting the Stadio Olimpico, home to football clubs Roma and Lazio, and currently hosting the six nations! Following this, we took a trip abroad whilst abroad by visiting the Vatican City, the world’s smallest country! This tour included a visit to the Sistine Chapel, famous for papal ceremonies and used by the sacred college of cardinals.

Our week in Italy was spent experiencing various aspects of culture, encountering many new experiences and bringing more of our students together to create stronger connections.

Our pupils share their thoughts:

“The trip to italy was really great. I am very happy to have had the chance to go on a trip like this for free and have made so many friends in the process. I liked the rooms at the hostel, and how stress-free you guys made everything by everything being so organised and how there was a diverse range of things to do. The metro and bus rides were good, and got less busy due to good planning. Some things that we did that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy I turned out liking such as the school visit. The children there were lovely and despite the struggle communicating with some words, it was fun talking to them about what their life is like and comparing ours together. The museum of dreamers was my favourite because it was unlike anything I have ever done before. It was a unique experience which helped me with insight and keeping an open mind. I liked seeing the sights such as the colosseum, the Herculaneum and museums like the Vatican, gaming and the dream one. I liked the Vatican and the castle a lot because it was nice to see religious artefacts and art that I have always wanted to see. Thank you for the opportunity and choosing a great city like Rome.” – Alfie

“This trip to Italy was amazing, I’m so thankful I’ve had the opportunity to go to such a great place and it being free! Thanks to Ms Callanan, Mr Kendall, Mr Aspinall, Ms Thomson, and Ms Th


York trip to St Basils 

On Monday 20th November, students from York house went to visit their house charity St Basils, and learnt about the fantastic work they do. Here is what a few of the students said about their time with the charity. 

“At St Basils we learnt about how the charity started with the reverend of the church supporting young people who were trying to sleep outside his church. He would bring them inside and offer food and a bed for the night. St Basils now help people that are 16-25 and they help them with pleases to live and run activities for them such as arts and crafts. They also teach them responsibilities and life skills like cooking and cleaning. At the place we went there was 26 rooms for people to use and they can customise their room how they like. The charity is amazing.” 

“We found out about the history of St Basils and how it started. We learned about the different parts of the charity the people that work there. We learnt about the different jobs in the charity and the resources they provide for people aged 16-25 years old. We learnt about the housing spaces they provide and met a lot of passionate workers who were very good at their jobs. We all got a St Basils teddy which was nice.” 

“The charity started from the church by reverend Milner who saw people sleeping outside the church so offered them a space inside the church. This happened several Friday nights and the charity grew from this act. They help young people get back on their feet with jobs and schooling from ages 16-25. They interview people to see what help they need and if people don’t want to stay with them they can wash their clothes and get food at the centre. They also teach people to cook and clean whilst they stay with them. At the project we visited people often stay there for 3 months and there were 26 rooms. They get the most donations around Christmas time and they get it from lots of businesses.” 


Rewards Trip – England Vs Malta

Last Friday we took 40 of our most deserving pupils to see the England football team play Malta at Wembley. The trip was free of charge and rewarded our pupils with the best attendance, punctuality and positive behaviour. Everyone had a great time! 


Turing Scheme Updates

Year 8 Pupils arrived in Fulda. They had a morning learning about the history of the town. Follow us on Social Media for further updates.

Dame Elizabeth Cadbury pupils in Year 8 are ready and packed and looking forward to spending a week studying abroad in Germany.

During the week, they will be experiencing German schools, visiting a local castle, a concentration camp museum, a Cold War monument as well as taking guided tours of the local towns and the city of Frankfurt.

The trip of a lifetime is being funded through the government’s Turing Scheme aimed at broadening horizons and building partnerships with other countries. They will be joined for the week by pupils from four schools in our Trust.We are delighted that our pupils will be going to such an exciting, cultural destination and we look forward to them sharing their experiences with the rest of the school when they return.


Austria Ski Trip

This February sees the school embark on its sixth ski trip into Europe, where we will be heading again to Austria with HTS. The students will be heading to an area called Dachstein west. We will leave school on 14th February heading to Dover and into Europe.

Our students will travel through at least four different countries and experience different cuisines and cultures. We will be staying at a local hotel, where students will have the time to rest and unwind after a tough days skiing. Our students will also gain the benefit of being able to try Austrian food and experience the culture of living in the Alps.

During our stay, we will get to ski for 5 days, where professional ski instructors will teach them to ski on a daily basis.


Year 8 – German Market Visit

Bratwurst and Knoblauchbrot?

On Tuesday 10th December 2019 a mini-bus load full of students from year 8 set off together with Ms Stait, Ms Tooley, Ms Norton and Ms Butler to explore the German Christmas Market in Birmingham City Centre. Once at the market we split up into groups of four to complete a trail around the market. The task was to find out what the German signs on the stalls all over the market meant in English. Do you know what Bratkartoffeln, Zwiebeln or Kastanien are? So, we hunted down to find out by using our knowledge of German and English but also by speaking to the stall holders themselves. The best team were promised a prize but as everyone on the trip did so well, everyone got a “Schokokuss” in the end. If you don’t know what that is, maybe go to the German market and find out! We learnt that Birmingham’s German Market is also called Frankfurt Christmas Market because it was originally brought to the city from Frankfurt/Main in 1997 as this is Birmingham’s twin city in Germany. It is the largest Christmas Market outside of Germany and Austria counting around 5.5 Million visitors every year. We got to see some of the decorations and crafts on offer and to try some of the different food which was delicious!

Frohe Weihnachten = Merry Christmas!


Trip to Madrid

As part of our aim to promote language and culture in our school, the Modern Languages Department is organising a trip to Madrid for Years 7-9 and we would like to know how many pupils would be interested in reserving a place. 

  • The trip will take place:   14/02/2020 (Fri) – 17/02/2020 (Mon)
  • Duration:   4 days / 3 nights
  • Price per paying person:  Initially £500 based on 30 passengers on a half board basis.
  • Transport:   Flight – From Birmingham to Madrid (up to date UK passport will be required)

The trip will include:

  • 2 x Airport Transfer in Madrid
  • 3 Hour Guided Walking Tour of Madrid
  • Self Guided Visit to Bernabeu Stadium
  • Guided Visit to Las Ventas Bullring
  • Visit to Prado Museum

An initial £120 deposit will be required by 21st of May 2019 to be paid through Wisepay. If you wish for your son/daughter to attend the trip please fill the slip below and return to Mrs Lopez in Room 3 by 21st of May, allocations to the trip will be on a first come first serve basis.

Should you require any more details do not hesitate to contact the school Mrs López on v.lopez@decschool.co.uk


New York: We’re Ready!

On February 13th, 40 of our jet-setting pupils, wearing customized DEC hoodies, will be embarking on a trip of a lifetime to the city that never sleeps……. NEW YORK, NEW YORK! During their stay in the Empire city pupils will get to visit all of the major attractions. These include excursions to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the opportunity to witness the breath-taking views of the New York City skyline from the top of the Empire State building at night. Pupils will also have a chance to show their respect to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy at the humbling 9/11 memorial and museum. Whilst there, they will also have a taste of the true New York lifestyle by experiencing the buzz of Times Square, the thrill of ice skating in Central Park and enjoying an evening of culture, singing along to a classic Broadway musical. No visit to New York would, of course, be complete without a spot of retail therapy and a chance to sample the local culinary delights. If this doesn’t get your mouth watering perhaps the photos in the next edition of the DEC newsletter will! Bon Voyage from the Maths Faculty If you missed out on a place to New York 2019, look out for future exciting trips to be brought to you by the Maths faculty including an outdoor, adrenaline fuelled trip to Wales 2019 (places available to year 8 and 9) and due to popular demand China 2020 (bring on the Pandas).

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