Blog week ending 9th October

Posted on: 09/10/2020

October marks Black History Month, the annual celebration of the history, achievements and contributions of black people in the UK.  At Wilmington Grammar School for Girls we are staging a series of talks, activities and lessons to explore how our culture and society has been enriched and made stronger because of the people who travelled here to build new lives in the UK, as well as learn about the achievements and contributions Black Britons have made to our vibrant and diverse society.  Many of our sessions over the coming weeks will be devised and presented by our students, who will share their thoughts and experiences during form time sessions and assemblies.

GAcross the school each department has nominated prominent and influential black men and women who have made a significant contribution within their chosen field.  These ‘Heroes’ are depicted in posters and displayed around the school.  For my office, I have chosen Nobel Prize winner, Desmond Tutu who is a South African Anglican cleric known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist.  Perhaps what makes Tutu so inspirational, and a universal figure, is his unshakable optimism in the face of overwhelming odds and his limitless faith in the ability of human beings to do good. "Despite all of the ghastliness in the world, human beings are made for goodness," he once said. "The ones that are held in high regard are not militarily powerful, nor even economically prosperous. They have a commitment to try and make the world a better place."

Our Art Department have been working in conjunction with The Courtauld Gallery in London to deliver a series of live online workshops led by artist and art historian, Millie Knight.  In all Year 8 lessons students have been working with Millie to analyse, discuss and create a caption about Manet’s painting “Bar at the Folies Bergere” (pictured below). Students used a sensory learning palette to respond and describe the painting and then created a Surrealist style “cut up poem” in response to the artwork.

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Following on from the online lesson, during Black History Month, Art students compared, contrasted and analysed a contemporary portrait painting by artist Jordan Casteel (2018) titled “Fallou”. Art Students used the same sensory analysis techniques to contextualise Jordan’s painting and then responded by creating innovative poems about the painting and its model.

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National Poetry Day on 1st October.  Year 7 have been reading, analysing and comparing childhood poems. 7E have studied ‘Tich Miller’ by Wendy Cope, ‘Timothy Winters’ by Charles Causley and ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ by William Blake. Students have been introduced to the PQELSC structure and have been writing their first comparative essay this week. They displayed excellent deduction and inference skills as well as putting their historical knowledge to use.

Year 8 students have been reading a range of poems from different cultures and 8E showed FANTASTIC understanding of the poem ‘Limbo’ by Edward Kamau Brathwaite. They have been tasked with writing their own cultural poems which they are handing in next week. 8A celebrated the work of the talented poet, Maya Angelou and her poem, ‘Still I Rise’ proved popular with the class. Angelou writes about taking pride in your talents and her poem, ‘Phenomenal Woman’ carries a great message:

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Maya Angelou is one of the English Department ‘Heroes’

G6Maya Angelou was an American poet, writer and civil rights campaigner.  She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.  Her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” received world-wide recognition and acclaim.  Maya was a great and moving speaker, who’s inspirational quotes are widely known including; “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet” and “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

Introduction to the Business & Economics Department. Mr Colledge, Head of Department.  Over the past 5 years we have seen exponential growth within the Business and Economics Department.  We have a very large WG6 presence offering Business A level, Economics A level and the Level 3 Diploma in Finance.  We have also in the last year introduced GCSE business which has seen significant numbers taking the subject.  We have an extremely dedicated team of Mrs Smith, Mr Ramic, and myself.  We are proving to be so popular that we even have the pleasure of Mrs Lodge helping from time to time!  

I came into teaching straight off the back of finishing a joint honours degree in sports science and Business.  I initially began my teaching career as a teacher of sports science in a sixth form college.  Over the years my passion for business and economic grew and gradually I began teaching increasingly more economics before making the switch full time when I joined Wilmington Grammar School for Boys in 2014.  In 2020, I began a role working at both sites within the Business and Economics Department.  Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my family and avidly following Yorkshire’s finest football team...........Rotherham United!

Pictured, Mr Colledge with A Level Economics class.

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B2Mrs Smith, Teacher of Business, Financial Studies and Economics.  I worked in the Dealing Room for an Australian Bank in London, as an interest rate trader, pricing and selling short to medium term interest rate products from Australian companies, swapping them from Australian dollars to US Dollars and Sterling/Francs.  When my children were very young I re-trained as a Teacher, combining my studies with the running of a small limited company! 

I have now been teaching for 14 years, and have always had a real interest in Financial Education, bringing the LIBF Finance qualifications at A Level into the school.  I believe students should all have a grounding in how to handle money, and fully agree with Martin Lewis that this should be taught in all schools, to stop people getting into debt in later life.  I love teaching Business and Economics, and particularly like the in-depth discussions we have on issues in my classes.  Outside of school I am a keen tennis player, and am the captain of a team at Meopham Tennis Club, playing in the North Kent Premier Division.  I also like to go on long walks in the countryside with my dog Sadie.

B3Mr Ramic, Teacher of Business and Finance.  Before moving to the UK, I worked as the Head of the Human Resources Department in the Public Employment Services as well as a part-time teaching post in a vocational school in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  

In 2017, following a move to the UK, I started a role as a cover teacher in Maidstone Grammar School for Boys which has provided me with a thorough understanding of the UK education system as well as valuable preparation and insight during my teacher training.  After achieving qualified teacher status, I joined Wilmington Grammar School for Girls in the role of Teacher of Business and Finance. 

Subject synopses

Economics is a dynamic subject, as it’s constantly evolving within societies. It’s a unique social science that allows students not only a chance to improve their understanding of current affairs, but also develops quantitative and analytical skills. In simple terms, Economics is the study of the ways in which people, businesses and industries use resources. It covers a variety of topics, for example production, efficiency, macroeconomic policy, international economy, and market failure; each of these teach students about the society we live in today.

Finance is taught as part of our Life Programme to years 7-9, culminating in The Certificate in Financial Education which is Level 2 qualification that introduces the student to the impact of finance on the economy and encourages them to consider how this can affect business and the individual. This course gives students an insight into how the Financial Services industry works, as well as giving them invaluable information on how to manage their own personal finances.  The Level 3 Diploma in Finance is offered at A Level.

Business Studies.   At some point everyone will work for a business or run a business themselves.  Studying business will give you an insight into the core activities that a business undertakes, both on a small scale like family business to a large Multinational Corporation like Apple.   Business Studies gives students an opportunity to see how all the differing theoretical concepts apply to the business world, giving them an insight as to why business operate in the way that they do. 

Follow our Head of Economics and Business Studies, Mr Colledge on twitter at @JColledgeWGSB for curated recommended news articles and valuable study support tips. 

WG6 update.  In spite of the challenges that are facing our ex-students as they embark upon their chosen career path, we are receiving news of positive experiences and opportunities from our alumni, including;

Laura R.  I am going to Southampton for Medicine and Surgery but for September 2021 because I was deferred (I’m still over the moon). I’m working at a GP surgery in my year out and am shadowing the phlebotomy and Physiotherapy clinics in my lunch breaks for work experience. 

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Malek, Rebecca and Louis have started their Sociology & Criminology courses at University of Kent. They sent us this pic and a message “With the new guidelines it definitely is a lot harder to meet new people this year, but we’re making it work, And the fun is still occurring “

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We wish all our students the best of luck and look forward to hearing from them as they progress in their studies.

 

Best wishes,

Michelle Lawson

Head Teacher

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