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Headteacher's Blog
  • 2nd April 2015

    Iceland Trip

    There were lots of smiles and excited faces on Wednesday morning, when some of our students departed for a trip to Iceland, accompanied by Mr Simmons, Miss O’ Neil, Mr Woodall and Miss Quinn.  Their escapades can be followed on Twitter at ‘geowilmington’ as Mr Simmons promised to provide real time updates and we were able to track their arrival, escapades in the Blue lagoon and enviously see that they were able to view the Northern Lights, all on their first day. What a fantastic opportunity for the students and I am sure it will provide wonderful memories in the future.

     

    Half a Sixpence

    Another opportunity that will bring lifelong memories for those involved was participation in the School production. I would like to thank everyone who acted in or helped in any way with ‘Half a Sixpence’ last week. The show was fantastic and a massive thank you goes to Mrs McKenna, the director and Mr Roddy, our musical maestro for pulling off such a wonderful event. The PFA were wonderful, ensuring the audience remained fuelled with drinks during the interval.

     

    Aspire Trip to Oxford University

    On Friday 27th March, thirty Year 11 and Year 12 students from WGSG and WGSB visited Oxford University.  The morning was spent at St. Hugh’s College where the students learnt about applying to Oxford and what it is like to study there.  Our students met four undergraduates who were reading History, Mathematics and Philosophy, Biochemistry and PPE  (Philosophy, Politics and Economics).  It was clear that the undergraduates had a real passion for their subject and their main advice was to read around the subject (or subjects) you enjoy – as well as revise well for your GCSEs and A Levels!  They also explained that finances are not a barrier to attending Oxford, as there are bursaries, grants and other funds to support students.

    Afterwards, the undergraduates gave a tour of the rooms and grounds of St. Hugh’s College – it was amazing how spacious and tranquil the gardens were.  After a delicious lunch in the main hall, the Science students went to a talk by a Psychology PhD student and the Arts students attended an English Literature class – both fascinating and engaging experiences.

    In the afternoon, students had the opportunity to explore Oxford City Centre.  With a map for guidance, they had to find as many colleges and libraries as possible, as well as other items of historical or cultural interest.

    Overall, it was a very inspiring day; myths about Oxford University were dispelled and some of our students are now seriously considering Oxford University as a real possibility for them.

    A different group of students have been off on a visit to Belgium. Read below for a student account:

    Belgium Trip: March 13th 2015

    We arrived at school at 5 in the morning, although we were all tired we were looking forward to the day ahead of us. We drove to Folkestone which took around an hour. When we finally got off the euro tunnel in Calais it was another hour until we reached Belgium. We arrived first in Menin gate where we looked for our one person, which was allocated to each of us, out of 40,000. The person’s name allocated to us was someone who had died in the First World War, exactly one hundred years ago to the day, and we all managed to find our names. Next we went to the chocolate shop, where we bought our goodies and enjoyed the free samples given to us. Then we went to the Flanders Field Museum, we looked at many things to do with WW1 and it was very interesting! Now was time for lunch and we sat outside the museum a s it was such a nice day. After lunch we visited our first cemetery which was called Tyne Cot. It was an English cemetery. This was very sad as we noticed many of the graves were just labelled ‘a soldier of the great war’. Our guide told us very interesting piece of history which was when the graves were in a row, touching each other, it meant that they didn’t know whose body part belonged to who as they were so badly injured they couldn’t distinguish the individual people. We then went to a German cemetery called Langemark where we saw how differently English cemeteries were laid out to German ones.  There was a big pit in which held 25,000 soldiers body parts. They soon realised that two soldiers distributed into the pit were British and that they had been misplaced because it was such a horrific battle. After Langemark we went to a huge cemetery called Hill 60. It had hundreds upon hundreds of graves which made us realise just how many people sacrificed their lives for us and our country. The very last part of our journey was the trenches which were very muddy, therefore we had to bring in wellies. We all ventured along the muddy track and we couldn’t stop thinking that this path was walked through by many of the soldiers that fought in the war. We experienced the uneven floor as we pulled ourself through the knee-length mud and tried not to sink. The scariest part of the trenches were the very long tunnels that were pitch black and all we could hear was us girls screaming at the top of our voices through fear. We were at the end of our journey and we all enjoyed the day thoroughly. We arrived back at school at around 8’o clock and we all went straight to bed as it had been an exhausting day. We would highly recommend it and would definitely go again.

    Maths Challenge

    Last week several students participated in the UKMT team maths challenge event, which was held at St Olaves.  See below for a report  and a maths challenge written by one of our participants, Tania:

    The UKMT team maths challenge took place at St. Olaves Grammar School. It consisted of 38 teams of four year 8 and 9 students (Tania, Isabel, Saron and Victoria). After arriving and going through some practice questions, we had to go through four different rounds which contributed to the final score. The first round was a simple whole team challenge where we had to answer 10 questions in 45 minutes. After attempting to split it between our pairs we all ended up trying each question and putting our answers together. The second round was the crossword round. We split into pairs and each is given either the across or down questions. We managed to complete this entire round despite the difficulties that came when we needed an answer from the other pair (whom we were not allowed to communicate with). After this first half we had managed to come in the top six. After lunch the next round of shuttles began. This consisted of four rounds each with four individual questions. Each pair alternates to answer a question which uses the previous answer to help. This results in one final answer for each round. Overall this round was our worst as one wrong answer led to all those after it being incorrect. In the final round our pairs were moved to opposite sides of the room. We each had to take turns answering a question with only two attempts at getting it right. After this we hand the next question to the other pair and continue to do this back and forth. Though it was difficult having to wait for the other pair to complete their questions, we managed to complete many questions in the round. After the final scores were added we were pleased to find that we had managed to stay in the top ten and went home with a brand new pen and pencil-case.

    See if you can do a sample questions:

    In a four-digit number, where the digits are all different, the sum of the first two digits (counting from the left) equals the sum of the last two. The first digit is four times the last, and the third is three times the second. Find the four-digit number.

     

    ANSWER 8392

    Did you get it?

    Technology

    Our talented chefs have been giving Mary Berry a run for her money! Here are a few photographs of the Year 11’s final submissions as part of their Food Technology Controlled Assessment practical work. What fun for everyone to sample such culinary delights!

    Meanwhile the Product Design students have been equally productive. After months of hard work, blood, sweat, tears and even some tantrums (and that's just Miss Churches) here are some photos of Year 11 Product Design Controlled Assessment practical work.  They have all worked incredibly hard to achieve such outstanding results and I'm sure they're all looking forward to a well-earned Easter break.

    Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and see you back at school on Monday 20th April.

    Mrs Donna Lodge

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