Blog: 24th September 2021

Assemblies this week have focused on attendance with Mr Grierson outlining the importance of being in school every day for every lesson as there really is no better way to learn than being taught face to face. Not surprisingly, there are also statistics which prove that high attendance is linked to excellent exam results and, in turn, a higher future income.

So, just in case there is any doubt about exactly how much learning can take place in an hour’s lesson then it’s worth knowing that, in a lesson this week, GCSE RE students grappled with an introduction to twelve key adjectives that are used in Christianity to define the being that is God; followed by analysis of these concepts whereby students first extracted ways in which a belief in such a being might influence behaviour and world views of those of faith and then explored the way in which different concepts supported/complemented each other. Finally, students then evaluated the logical consistency of such characteristics by identifying traits which counteracted each other, leading to a robust argument against the existence of such a being.

PE students in their practical lesson were using a video of volleyball game play to develop overhead serve technique whilst, in their theory lesson, they were looking at aerobic and anaerobic respiration, examining the short-term effects of exercise on the body.

Historians were looking at Elizabeth I and her religious settlement, demonstrating their progress in an assessment, whilst in other areas of History, they looked at the 1923 Crisis Year in Germany, Invasion of the Ruhr, Hyperinflation and the Munich Putsch. Across the corridor, Geographers were using photographs to identify differences in the nature and quality of life in different areas of a city. They then studied the Burgess model, a simplified diagram of how land use in a city varies from the centre to the edge, finishing by looking into the different characteristics of each different zone and the reasons for this.

Dividing numbers into a ratio, finding missing values within a ratio and problem-solving using ratios was the mission of the Mathematicians whilst in BTEC ICT students learnt about typography, fonts, typefaces, serif and san serif, font styles and how they can portray meaning, as well as how legibility can be affected. The students were then asked to explore and experiment with fonts, using a desktop publishing package, gathering examples of all the areas they looked at.

In Business, students learnt about key laws and protections in place for employees and why they exist, why businesses must abide by these laws and the consequences of breaking them. The laws they looked at were the Consumer Rights Act, the Equality Act, the Health and Safety at Work Act and the National Minimum and Living Wage.

Linguists researched, identified, learned and applied the common and irregular verbs for two tenses in Spanish, the present continuous and the perfect.

In DT, the focus was the mechanical and physical properties of materials, how these help designers make choices for their products and how they go about analysing their needs versus their choice of materials. Food Preparation students have been looking at micronutrients analysing the role of various vitamins in the body and in their practical lesson examining the use of a baking powder as a raising agent.

Taking on the Arts, in Music students learnt why different keys have certain sharp and flat notes, and the order that those sharps and flats always take. They learnt how to find out which two keys shared the same key signature, (related keys) then composed 8 bar chord sequences in those two keys adding cadences at the end, that they had learnt about in a previous lesson. They made circles of fifths out of card to help show which chords are primary (major) in any major key: chords I IV and V; and which are secondary (minor): chords ii, iii and vi; and which chord is always diminished: chord vii, and when to use each type.  They then learnt some handy phrases to help remember all of this for the listening exam, and wrote these notes up in their books.

In BTEC Performing Arts students have been looking at the anatomy of the voice and used this information to create a robust pre-performance physical and vocal warm up routine whilst in GCSE Art, Craft and Design are beginning to research artists for their coursework project based on the theme of Disguise, they are also creating mood boards to give them inspiration for their initial ideas.

Whilst reading Act Two of Macbeth, in English, students learned about the role of witches in Jacobean Britain and James I’s interest in them; we’ve explored the relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after the murder of Duncan; we’ve explored how the famous ‘porter’ scene is a Shakespearean parody of the 17th century concept of equivocation.

In Science, Year 10 have been looking at scalars, vectors and contact forces in one lesson whilst examining ultrasound in another. Having completed a mock exam, Year 11 students have been getting their feedback and developing their revision technique.

So every lesson really does matter!

In other news, we’ve had a Sixth Form and Staff Coffee morning today, raising £140.72 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Have a lovely weekend!