Headteacher’s Blog: 29th March 2019

Cressida Cowell, Anthony Horowitz, Misa Sugiura and David Walliams were the authors of choice for our most improved readers in Year 7, Immanuel, Natasha, Jessica, Herbie, Verity and Jack. For them the week started with hot chocolate with marshmallows and croissants in order to celebrate the excellent progress that they’ve made. They’re likely to spend some of this weekend reading their new book as they continue on their literary journey.

Challenge Day on Wednesday saw a vast range of educational experiences. Year 7 had the delights of the Rocket Car Challenge led by the Science team. Having had two teams in the National Finals last year, ending as joint runners-up, the stakes are high. Year 7 spent the morning designing, sawing, filing, colouring and attaching wheels before moving out to the tennis courts where the racing took place. There were some speedy cars so let’s hope we have some qualifying times.

Year 8 were engaging in the topic of Fairtrade discovering how their buying decisions in the UK can have a global impact. Year 9 travelled to the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire. It was a reflective day with students having the chance to spend time in the memorial garden, making their own contribution to the children’s memorial where a stone is placed by each child visiting the centre to represent the 1.3 million Jewish children who died in the Holocaust. Currently, there are c500,000 stones on the memorial. In the afternoon, students had the privilege of hearing Arek and his wife Gena share their story. Arek is 90 years old and survived two camps including Auschwitz. His story was inspirational and our students were lucky to be able to hear his testimony live as there are only five survivors of the camps still alive in England.

With exams on the horizon, Years 10 and 11 were engaged in a number of core and option subject double lessons focusing on exam technique and revision. Some Year 11 students had their Speaking and Listening exam. Year 12 were visited by Newcastle University representatives discussing all things connected to University life, finance and courses. Meanwhile, Year 13, Mrs Rainbow and Mrs Lake headed off to London on one of the most politically exciting days of the year. Mrs Rainbow reports

‘An early 6.30 start saw us dropped on Park Lane and with a brisk walk through Green Park, past Buckingham Palace and down The Mall, students were given free time to explore the West End sights. These included Covent Garden, Leicester Square, China Town and the area around

Westminster. We were booked for a tour of Parliament in the afternoon and were able to witness history in the making, with time in the public viewing gallery. Students saw the Prime Minister and many other MPs going about their work. We had a private meeting with our local MP, Andrew Jones, and learnt about pressure groups in a workshop. The Palace of Westminster was a very busy place both inside and out on Wednesday, and it was an exciting experience for students to see history in action, as well as many iconic areas of our capital.’ Our students said “I really enjoyed meeting our MP. He had interesting views. I could have listened to him for ages” and “It was amazing actually going into Parliament and seeing Teresa May. The artwork and architecture of the building was fascinating.’

In recent sporting success, Izzy (Year 8), competed in the British Showjumping National Schools’ Winter Championships in Wales. She took an incredible second place and two, third places with her young pony who has only been jumping six months. Last Wednesday evening, Izzy was awarded the regional Schools Award at the British Showjumping Yorkshire Area Awards. Well done Izzy.

Year 8 have also focused on their exams this week, learning expectations around completing an exam under formal exam conditions. Year 7 will have their opportunity next week.

So there are only ten school days until the Easter break! Have a lovely weekend.