Blog week ending 5th February
This week marks Children's Mental Health Week. The theme for this year is ‘Express Yourself’ and is about exploring ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself. Across our school we are mindful of the need and benefit of self-expression not just for wellbeing but to support and encourage learning too. This interaction and student contribution is a key part of all lessons, whether in the classroom or as currently, online. Across our school are numerous examples of creative output and a creative approach to learning, a selection from our Science, English, Art and MFL departments are below.
For more information about Children’s Mental Health Week including advice and tips please visit their site by clicking here
Meenatchi of Y11 has written the below powerful and uplifting poem, which I’d like to share with you all.
Change is something unexpected
The one thing we don't like
Change is as sly as a snake
It will hurt us and it will keep us awake
Be resilient to it however
Change does not last forever
The anxiety is only part of the journey
But really, the feeling you must have
is the feeling of positivity?
Look at yourself, look how far you have come, see the progress
The fight was hard, you weren't alone, you actually made it.
You always had it, you were always in your zone.
Be the change, be the brand new
And don't forget, you be you.
By Meenatchi T
Mr Dufton’s Year 7 MFL Students have been writing how they’re feeling (in French) at the beginning of the lesson in the chat box on Teams. Providing both an opportunity to practice their language skills and to share how they are feeling with their friends and peers.
Comments included …
Funmilayo: I am happy as I have French because I think that it is fun
Sarah: I am tired and also happy as I have science today. It will be fun and interesting.
Emily: Today I am really happy given that it's Friday and I don't have lessons tomorrow. Also, I am excited because it's French now!
Nel: Hi! It's going well, thanks. I am tired given that it's Friday but I am excited because tomorrow it's the weekend.
Mrs Benn’s Year 8 Biology Students have been studying adaptations (the characteristic of an organism that improves its chances of surviving and/or reproducing). Mrs Benn was keen to share a selection of the posters that students made to illustrate their findings saying “everyone has put in so much effort and has produced such lovely posters, it’s wonderful to see how enthusiastic students are about this topic!”
Lucy of 8A
Lanya N (on left) and Kelila O
Mrs O’Donnell would like us to join her in congratulating our Year 9 students who have successfully passed, and been awarded their Bronze Arts Award which was moderated by Trinity College, London. They will receive their certificates on return to school.
“The Arts Award students started their Bronze Award with me in Year 8, attending a lunchtime club. Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification that supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through taking challenges in any art form. The global pandemic and lockdown, interrupted our plans to visit a gallery in person, and take part in an artist workshop. But, despite all of this, the students continued to work diligently over the summer holiday and on return to school in September to meet all four sections of the qualification. They managed to creatively problem solve any obstacles to completion of the award, through reflecting on virtual gallery exhibitions and sharing their skills with others remotely. I have been very impressed with their level of commitment and effort and am delighted to share the news that all ten students have deservingly passed the award”. Mrs O’Donnell
A small excerpt of the work produced is pictured below.
Our Year 8 Mandarin students have also been turning their hand to design; working on fashion design with Mandarin writing. Students designed clothes for their loved ones (including their pets!) with an accompanying explanation in Mandarin. Mrs Cai was thrilled with the work and felt it was all worth sharing! Mrs Cai added “I hope you enjoy the style and the colour as well as their vivid description”.
Mrs Pickstone’s Year 7 Mandarin students have and also been getting extremely creative and have made family albums about either their own family or an imaginary one. Mrs Pickstone said “I’m very proud of the students’ work. I hope you all enjoying seeing their albums!”
From left, work from Zoe G, Charlotte M, Chloe L, Freya, Jessica C and Matilda
All staff have been so impressed by the consistent work rate and positive approach of our Year 11s. We are acutely aware of how potentially unsettling the continued period of uncertainty surrounding the GCSE grading could be – despite this, and an extended period of online learning, our students are working hard, keeping on top of their studies and remaining optimistic. Mr Lennon, Head of Year 11 “I am so proud of each and every one of our Y11 students, they are working incredibly hard, and every piece of work produced is completely polished. For example, History students have recently completed an assessment on the Restoration topic, and the results are outstanding!”
Our Careers Department remains as connected with our students as we are when in school.
Students are being given direct access to their own careers adviser during lockdown. Our Careers Leader, Mrs Dhaliwal has arranged for Mrs Martin, our qualified careers guidance professional, to host one-to-one virtual career guidance sessions with Year 11, 12 and 13 students on Teams. The aim of the meetings is to ensure students have the necessary tools and information to help them make informed choices and decisions about their future destinations. Students can discuss what they are passionate about, what motivates them and what they enjoy the most in and out of school. They are also asked about their aspirations, what they want to do in life and whether they have considered college, sixth form, an apprenticeship or university.
Mrs Martin said; “This has been a very different way of working, but the students have adapted amazingly well and value the discussions. This is needed more than ever in such uncertain times and as part of the process. I can reassure students that by choosing one option now, they aren’t committing to one role for the rest of their working life - they have simply opted to develop a certain set of skills and experiences that they can use to transfer roles should they wish to in the future"
Both National Apprenticeship and Careers Weeks are on the horizon, and will provide students with invaluable information to aid discussions and future opportunities.
Mrs Baillie and the DT Department are launching a whole-school competition (launching today, Friday 5th February) … Fine Dining Beans on Toast!
The competition is running until 24th February and is intended to provide a little bit of fun for the end of what has been a challenging term. For more details and to sign up please see the below posters.
The inspiration video link (on YouTube) can be accessed by clicking here
Don’t forget it’s our big quiz tomorrow!
I cannot express enough how much your feed-back and positive comments mean to me and to the rest of our staff; and never more than now. We’ve had a number of messages saying that you have enjoyed the opportunity to witness lessons first hand, one student comment received by Mrs McKenna did make us all smile ..
Thank you so much! My mum also wanted me to say, she overheard our English lesson and sat down to listen because she found it so interesting, so I guess you have another student haha.
See you next week. (:
Take care everyone.