Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 11.11.16
It would be remiss of me, to say the least, not to begin with a reference to Remembrance Day. The two minutes silence this morning was observed impeccably by the entire School community and it was commented by a number of staff that they couldn’t recall so many of our young people wearing poppies. The event, quite rightly, has once again resonated with our students. As I stood in silence for those precious two minutes in the Vale building, it occurred to me what a rare and beautiful thing silence is. It is incredible how much ‘reflecting’ one can do in such a short time in the absence of any other distractions. Perhaps frequent moments of meditation should become a curriculum staple.
We would like to thank the following students from Miss Tidbury’s fabulous Year 10 for volunteering to be poppy sellers around school over the last few weeks. They did a truly great job as part of the School’s effort towards Remembrance Day;
Megan Denniston, Demica Thomas, Dan Addison, Lauren Tidbury, Cameron Stenhouse, Henry Howarth, Harvey Baskerville, Dan Tandy, Toby Redman, Ghazal Motazedian and Sumayya Awan.
Continuing the theme, Year 7 and 8 made poppies this week for Remembrance Day with Miss Dalton and Dr Lane in Origami Club (see picture).
Mrs Roe-Bennett reports that last night, several Wellington students (current and past) who parade at 145 (Hale and Altrincham) Squadron ATC, took part in the Remembrance ceremony at Manchester airport.
The event was attended by 700 guests including local dignitaries and veterans. 145 squadron presented an excellent drill display for which they were complimented from all sides.
Furthermore, Mrs Roe-Bennett herself was pressed into reading a poem (For the Fallen) by Rev George Lane, the Squadron Padre and airport chaplain
I am aware that we have students in other cadet corps, who will doubtless also be on ceremonial duties over the weekend. I hope someone will inform me of any such events for next week’s bulletin.
With two daughters’ birthdays, a meeting of the Board of Governors and a conference in London yesterday, on top of the ‘normal’ duties, it’s been another hectic week, but that’s enough about me, what else has been going on this week at ‘Welly Road’ as some still (wrongly) refer to us?!
Unsurprisingly, Wellington School (in the form of the three colleagues listed below) was asked to present to other schools and providers in Trafford on our ‘Careers Education Programme’.
Mrs Mackay reports; “We were asked to do this presentation because we are regarded as an excellent example of ‘good practice’ for the implementation of the Statutory Guidelines to Careers Education throughout the School. Mrs Taylor-Crooke, John Plaiter, the School’s Connexions Careers Advisor, and I worked together to give all present a comprehensive insight into each year group’s programme of events during a school year, plus the cross curricular involvement. Being the only school present to have been awarded the ‘Gold Inspiring I.A.G.’ award and indeed the re-accreditation for the Gold award this year, we were very proud to present to such a captive audience.”
I hadn’t realised until Mrs Mackay submitted this report that we were the only school to hold this award. What a fabulous achievement. This comes at a cost but one that’s very much worth it as we endeavour to best prepare all our students for the ‘next phase’ whenever and wherever that may be. Thank you and congratulations to all the staff involved in the delivery of our Careers programme, particularly those mentioned; it is very much appreciated.
Design & Technology
Miss Ryan reports on this year’s ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ event which took place this week.
“On Wednesday 9th November, the whole of Year 8 watched a ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ food roadshow. TheSchool’s caterers, Chartwells, operated the event led by chef James who was assisted by the our catering manager, Leon.
The Green Peppers team were Mr Pinkerton, Max Morgan and Lucy Potts and they were competing against the Red Tomatoes of Mr Tomlinson, Ethan Griffin and Nicole Page.
Chef James started the event by finding out how much the Wellington pupils knew about the new Eat Well Guide. The pupils were very enthusiastic and able to answer all Chef’s questions, showing how knowledgeable Year 8 are when it comes to healthy eating. Next came the cooking competition. The teams had 15 minutes to prepare and cook their given dishes. The Greens made Lentil and Cauliflower Curry accompanied with a cous cous salad and the Reds produced Thai Fishcakes and Spicy Noodles. Both dishes looked and smelt delicious. Groups of pupils were then chosen as the ‘Tasting Panel’. This involved tasting both dishes and then relating their preferences back to the audience. Finally, the audience held up their voting cards – showing the colour of the team they thought should win.
And the winners were … the Green Peppers!
The event was very exciting and all the Year 8 pupils agreed that it was a fantastic way to learn about food. Thanks to James and Leon for all their hard work and to Mr Tomlinson and Mr Pinkerton for being fantastic team captains.”
A ‘lads and dads’ cooking evening has been proposed for next term so watch this space; I’ll have to buy a new apron!
More from Mrs Ryan with this Food Technology update:
“As we reach the end of the first technology rotation it is pleasing to report that the majority of pupils have shown great enthusiasm for the subject and are keen to learn new skills.
I have been particularly impressed by Year 7, especially twins Jack and Ben Lewis who have been inspired to do more cooking at home. It was lovely to receive some feedback from Mrs Lewis who enjoyed the chicken stir fry and has invested in a new wok to encourage the boys to continue developing their new cooking skills.
Mrs Lewis also enclosed some photographs of the boys hard at work. Thanks Mrs Lewis – it’s always great to hear about which recipes have been a success.
Another success of this rotation has been the homework submitted. Some of the tasks on the homework menu involved cooking at home and also doing food experiments. Well done to Ellie Quantrill and Alex Chappell who chose the homework task of producing a Mediterranean dish and taking a photo. Not only did the girls make a beautiful Cheesecake (Greek dish) but they decided to bring a slice in for me so I could fully assess their work. It was delicious girls.
Well done to all pupils in Years 7 – 9 who have just completed Food Technology, it’s been a great 10 weeks.”
Of course, all our foodies have been spoilt by the use of the brand new facilities in Food Tech and I hope they’ve enjoyed the rotation and realise how lucky they are.
This from Head of Maths, Mrs Heaton; “This week Sam Gregg from Year 11 and all of our Year 12 and 13 Mathematicians completed the UKMT Senior Mathematics Challenge. The students put their Maths skills and logical thinking to the test to complete a series of puzzles and challenges set by Leeds University. We have submitted their responses and wait in anticipation for the results. Next week we look forward to the Team Challenge!
We are also celebrating the following Stars of the Week …
Miss Latham nominates Rheanna Talmage in Year 11. She comments that Rheanna has already attended lots of lunch time sessions to work through her targeted areas of Maths. She has impressed me lots with her level of commitment to achieve her best grade possible!
Mr Fellowes awards Bex Williams in Year 10. Bex always gives 100% in lessons and challenges herself in class. I am very impressed with Bex’s mature attitude towards learning Mathematics. Well done Bex.
Miss Cradick awards her Star of the Week to Kieran Buckley in Year 11. Kieran has been trying really hard this week to work to the best of his ability. He has shown excellent progress when sketching quadratic graphs, both using an online app and by hand. He also chose to complete the most challenging revision activity in order to stretch himself even further. I am impressed with your hard work Kieran; you should be proud of yourself!
Mrs Smith awards her Star of the Week to Aimee Rowland-Humphries in Year 10. Aimee has made excellent progress this term and this is reflected in her end of half term assessment. Well done for the good effort in class and all of the extra work you put in for revision. Keep up the great work! Well done to all our Key Stage 4 winners this week!”
Miss Stevens received the first batch of letters from Perigueux, France. “The Year 8 pupils were so excited to read about their penpals and have already drafted their return letters. They will be making and sending Christmas cards as well this term. The pupils were especially interested in their hand writing and how different their first names sound to ours.” It’s great that ‘penpals’ using actual handwriting still exist in this technical / digital age! A great cultural experience for Year 8.
And from Head of Department, Mrs Williams; “Our Year 12 students were recently faced with the new experience of University lectures when they attended a full day of French at MMU. They were thrown in at the deep end with their language but have picked up lots of tips and seem to have gained a lot from the day.” A daunting experience indeed but one I hope the students found inspiring for both their A levels but also with one eye on Further Education.
Year 10 Football
Mt Tomlinson reports on a thrilling and ground-breaking performance by the Year 10 footballers on Tuesday, and one which I had the pleasure of watching in fact; “Although the league season has paused for a winter break, the Year 10 team are still going strong in the English Schools Cup competition. This is a national competition that stays regionalised in the first instance and then goes nationwide thereafter. We were drawn in the third round this week against Lymm High School away (my old school – so extra spice involved). The team have trained well and were prepared for the game, the selection of the team was really tough as everyone is excelling and pushing for a place in the starting line-up. We started very cautiously, even nervously, in this game – whether that was through fear, anxiety or the cold weather I don’t know. After the first 15 minutes we established control on the game and played some nice football. We took the lead through our pressing game, forcing them into a mistake and then a foul inside the area – Tom Carr slotted the pen 1-0. We then had a period of domination in the game and forced many corners through which we scored our second – Oli Senescall with the ball in and Tom with a fantastic header to finish. The lads were great and the defence worked hard to nullify their threats, especially Ethan and Dan. At half time we talked about controlling the game and taking the sting out the opposition. The team came out sloppy and gave away the ball numerous times until we then established control with some lovely play and then … Senescall got the ball at left back, fed Ruchat, who delivered a great ball to Buckley, who in turn passed to Stelfox, to Barrington and back to Buckley (all one touch football) who rifled it in the top corner. A sublime goal worthy of the build-up play. 3-0 and comfortable in the game, at which point our opponents started to get a little desperate and played long ball after long ball. Unfortunately for us it paid of – a mistake by Louis meant their striker was one on one with Henry in goal and scored. 10 minutes later another long ball to the corner and miscommunication led to another goal. Two of the worst goals to concede in the circumstances. But we showed great character and resolve in a tough situation – Jordan Ruchat, Jaydon Brady and James Drummond calmed us down in possession and we managed to see the game out 3-2. The victory was more convincing than the score-line suggests but our decision making needs to be better in that final third. But we go marching onto the fourth round – the furthest any Wellington team has reached to my knowledge. The team bus was rocking on the way back and that epitomises our team spirit and togetherness.”
Yes, the game got rather tense at times and Mr Tomlinson had to call upon by footballing tactical astuteness on several occasions in the second half to seal the win! In all seriousness, I was mightily impressed the commitment, energy, skill and organisation of the boys. Mr T has them well-drilled and fingers crossed for a good draw in round 4. I have already been asked for new kit and executive coach travel by certain members of the squad; maybe in round 6!
Miss Richards is feeling ‘hockey-tastic’ by all account; “Well done to the U13 and U15 boys hockey teams who both beat Sale Grammar this week. On such a chilly night it was great to see an amazing display of teamwork and talent shining through to take us to victory.
The U13 had mainly Year 7 players but took to the field with gusto. Their final score was 7-0 and man of the match went to the only Year 8 Callum Brown. The U15 boys have played Sale Grammar before and not been so fortunate. The score was 2-2 at half time with Sale’s best player yet to take to the pitch. Great teamwork and discipline took the score to 3-2 at full time with Maceij Dworakowski and Lewis Boyle receiving joint man of the match.”
It’s good to see the hockey feel-good factor continuing after the Olympics here at Wellington. These boys train religiously every Thursday and it’s fabulous that they’re reaping the rewards. With Olympic Gold medallist Sam Quek appearing on ‘I’m a Celebrity …’, which begins tonight (I believe!), hockey may enjoy an even higher profile; I’ll certainly be tuning in (I’m a big Ant and Dec fan, I mean).
Miss Challinor describes another fantastic performance from the Year 7 netball team against Ashton on Mersey on Tuesday night. “We stormed ahead early on in the first half with goals from Scarlett and Rosie, followed by some brilliant defensive play from Shahed and first time player Jayda. Esme and Emelia were both key players in moving the ball down the court ensuring Ashton were unable to get the ball into their attacking third, resulting in them ending the game without a single goal. Marina and Alicia played solid central roles throughout, resulting in a 7-0 victory. Scarlett was awarded Girl of the Game from the Ashton players, but every girl deserves recognition for their outstanding performance. Our team are now sitting at the top of our league table. Watch this space!”
I’m getting rather excited; could we match last year’s bumper silverware season from our netballers? It looks promising.
Just a timely reminder, in light of all this sporting success, that it couldn’t happen without the absolute dedication and passion of the staff, both teaching and non-teaching, PE and non-PE. Thanks to you all for providing such fabulous opportunities for our young people. It really is increasingly becoming an area of strength at Wellington.
Miss Tidbury, a proud Director of Year, reports on one of the many activities her year group are involved in; “Year 10 students started to mentor Year 7 this week. Now that Year 7 students have a half term under their belt and understand routines and expectations, Year 10 students are providing some support to stear them through any problems or concerns that have emerged in the first six weeks and pass on their pearls of wisdom as seasonsed Wellingtonians. Year 7 form tutors were very positive in their feedback of the Year 10 mentors, with comments including ‘lovely’, ‘incredibly mature’, ‘brilliant’, and ‘made them (Year 7) at ease’. Well done Year 10.”
Can I issue another reminder for the Christmas Fair on Sunday 27th November. I hope you will be generous with your donations of chocolate, toiletries and bottles for the tombola, but also come along on the day to purchase some goodies. As well as perhaps kicking off the festive season, the morning raises essential funds for those little extras for the students.
Finally, I must resist the temptation to dwell for too long or pontificate on the events on the other side of the ‘pond’ this week (as if with the passing of David Bowie, the murder of MP Jo Cox, the atrocity in Nice, Brexit and much more besides, 2016 hasn’t delivered enough shocks already) but I do think it’s worthy of a mention as someone in the extremely privileged yet challenging dual role of parent and teacher. There is so much going in the world at the moment which, even as an adult, it is difficult to make sense of, so surely it falls upon us to help our young people rationalise these and other events in their developing minds and consciences. Furthermore, certain among these seismic events will have long-lasting, far-reaching repercussions which will undoubtedly impact the next generation far more than us perhaps. There may be economic fall-out, for example, for many years ahead. Of course, this could be speculation and conjecture but can we afford to take a risk with the life chances of young people. Our role is demanding, the expectations are high, but we are privileged in that we can make a difference; we can equip our students with the knowledge, skills and attributes and expose them to the experiences that will turn them into ‘well-qualified’, adaptable and readily employable young adults, up for any challenge that the future may hold.
For most of us in this profession, that’s not a bad reason to get up for work every morning, now is it?!
Have a great weekend.