After only three weeks back in school it seems strange to already be reflecting and preparing for the holidays. Alongside our focus on supporting our community to return safely to in-school learning, it has been exciting to see the diversity of activities students have participated in.
After so many weeks in lockdown, students’ enthusiasm for the physical, social and teamwork on hand in PE lessons has been no surprise. One of the highlights of the last three weeks has been the introduction of Kin Ball, as featured on our Twitter and in this week’s pictures below. Kin Ball is a recently invented game from Quebec, Canada, and is played by nearly four million people around the world. The objectives of the game are such that a great deal of teamwork and physical fitness are involved.
Teamwork has also been at the centre of some exciting extra-curricular work in the Modern Foreign Language department.
A group of Year 9 students have been working particularly well as a team this week, using their creative skills to prepare their French pop video entry for the national competition run by the Institut Français. Developing initial lyrics in their French lesson, they have been writing and performing their own song on the trials of lockdown, celebrating the key values of ‘solidarité’ and ‘générosité’ and looking forward to our future ‘liberté’ from the easing of Covid restrictions. With the rehearsals and recording now complete, it only remains for our talented film editor to work his magic.
Mrs Kelly MFL Department
This week’s Enrichment sessions focused on leadership, first exploring the attributes of internationally renowned leaders both present day and historic, then moving onto activities which gave students the opportunity to use their own leadership skills in a range of teamwork challenges. Examples from the sessions can be seen in this week’s pictures.
From communications shared last week, Parent/ carers will be aware of the ‘Respectful Behaviours’ Personal Social Health Education sessions run across the school on Friday 26 and Monday 29 March which focused on the features of positive, respectful relationships as well as recognising concerning behaviours and how to access support. This final Bulletin of the term also includes details of how to access safeguarding support whilst schools are shut during the holiday period.
STEM activities continued apace last week with events for Years 8, 9 and 10, starting on Monday with a virtual visit by audiologist Alice Hurst, who spoke to Year 9 about her work with the NHS. Students were intrigued to find out about how easy it can be to damage your hearing and were able to ask questions about career development and salary structure.
On Thursday, Year 8 attended a virtual show of Science demonstrations carried out by Peter Wright from Wonderstruck, which complemented students’ learning from the Waves unit studied earlier in the year and was themed around Sound. Students saw how scientists can convert sound waves into a laser pattern that can be used to test the safety of materials in machines or vehicles that vibrate and find out how to make ear-piercing noises that can shatter wine glasses. Peter returned to us on Friday to give a tutorial on making loudspeakers, after which students made their own working loudspeaker in their Science lesson and tested these by actually managing to play music through them from the radio.
Also on Thursday, Year 10 students were visited via Teams by Niall Tutt from the engineering firm Jacobs. He spoke about the journey from school to the world of work and gave an insight into the varied STEM pathways out there. He emphasised how practical skills and experience can be as important as grades and how other subjects, such as Art, English and Design can all be relevant to a STEM career. Students who want to find out more about the Jacobs work experience program can go to: https://www.jacobs.com/newsroom/news/inspiring-next-generation-jacobs-virtual-work-experience-program-hit.
We are grateful to all our virtual visitors last week and would like to congratulate the students for their focus and participation.
Mr T Budden Lead Practitioner Science
A reminder that further home test kits will be sent home with students this week, to enable students to continue with home testing during the holiday and prior to our return to school on Tuesday 20 April.
In wishing our students and families a restful, healthy and happy Easter break we also highlight the importance of returning to school for the Trinity term Ready, Respectful and Safe.
Expectations of students’ presentation in terms of uniform and equipment will be high, and with the warmer weather arriving students will no longer be wearing their hoodies in school, other than as part of their PE kit. To support parent/ carers in ensuring students have correct uniform we have included the link to the uniform section of our website here. Tutors and subject teachers will also be looking for students to be engaging with school life with excellent attitudes to their learning, embodying our 6Cs. With our routines and expectations securely in place, we will best ensure a successful and rewarding Trinity term for each and every one of our students.
With thanks to our students, staff, families and wider community for your ongoing support and an immensely positive re-opening of our school. We look forward to returning for the start of the Trinity term on Tuesday 20 April.
Mrs P Parker, Head of School