Headteacher Weekly Bulletin 02.12.16
Unusually, I am writing this week’s bulletin on Thursday evening as my schedule tomorrow will not allow. What’s even more strange is the fact that it is 1st December; how did it get to that date so soon?!
As promised, the new website is up and running, despite one or two teething problems, but it is a work in progress and there will be further amendments to both design and content. As always, I welcome your thoughts. All things considered though, I am happy with the site and I believe it reflects what we’re all about at Wellington.
Thank you to those of you who took the trouble to come along to our Christmas Fair (I prefer the spelling ‘fayre’ personally). It was a lovely morning and a delightful way to kick off the festive period. There was something for everyone; a wide range of stalls, tombolas, a ‘silent’ auction, marshmallows to toast, bacon butties, (safe) archery, beat the goalie and, of course, Santa! I don’t have the final totals yet but early indications are that we raised a record amount for school fund and a good deal for the various charities our 6th Formers and Year 7s were supporting.
Here are some lovely pictures of visitors to Santa’s Grotto on Sunday; Mr Tomlinson shares his picture of daughter Ella and even Father Christmas’ Great, Great Niece, Chloe paid us a visit.
Investors in Diversity
Following the work we have done around inclusion, equality and diversity coordinated by Mrs Stephens, we were delighted to receive this email message earlier this week;
“On behalf of the National Centre for Diversity I would like to congratulate you and your staff on the successful achievement of the Investors in Diversity for Schools Standard at Stage 2 (N.B. it is the highest of the two levels). We are delighted that you have been able to meet the requirements of the standard and trust that you will continue to be committed to the IiD Journey. The standard has been awarded from November 2016 and will be valid for 24 months.”
The award recognises the School’s effectiveness in catering for all our students and staff and provide them with the very best opportunities regardless of background, race, religion, academic prior attainment and all those other things that combine to make each one of us unique.
We have received many awards and accolades over the years but this has to be one of those of which I am most proud, particularly at a time when tolerance and acceptance seem to be in short supply in certain quarters. As I have said repeatedly in this forum and elsewhere, education is about more than academic qualifications, as crucial as they are, and we are doing our young people a disservice, being neglectful even, if we don’t address matters such as this.
Miss Foster and Mrs Simpson share their thoughts on how drama is doing as we approach the end of ‘its’ first ever term at Wellington; “Apologies that we haven’t written in a while! We have been super busy with our newest adventure here in the drama department. For 3 weeks now, 46 year7-9 students have been attending Wellington Youth Theatre which is our new after school club on a Tuesday from 3.05pm-4.05pm. Students have been working incredibly hard in the one hour sessions and have been demonstrating high levels of focus and commitment to drama. The Year 9 students in particular have been role models for our younger WYT members and have embraced each workshop with confidence and trust in myself, Mrs Simpson and Miss Spencer. Students in Year 9 have told me they are considering opting for GCSE drama and are attending WYT to help prepare them for the course. A great example of students who are taking responsibility for their learning! The number of students consistently attending and the level of noise all 46 make (sorry Mr Beeley!) is real indication, in our opinion, of how successful drama is becoming here at Wellington School.
As a side note, I would like to highlight one particular student who seriously impressed me this week; students in Year 7 have been looking at Roald Dahl stories this half term and have been exploring the characterisation of some of our most loved children’s characters. Harry Attack in 7Y2, without any rehearsal, perfectly portrayed the terrifying and angry personality of the scary Miss Trunchbull. He showed high levels of confidence and accuracy throughout his improvisation and to demonstrate the level of skill that he did at this early stage in the academic year is a real credit to Harry’s work ethic and commitment in lesson. Really well done Harry!
Mrs Simpson’s year 7s have also got a selection of fantastic Roald Dahl characters who are coming out of the woodwork which is pleasing to see. Year 7 have performed exceptionally well this half term and I am hoping for great things from their performance assessments next week. Good luck and keep working hard!”
Yes, I was aware of a little noise emanating from the Vale Hall each Tuesday evening; in fact, that’s my siesta time so if you wouldn’t mind piping down a touch … otherwise, we might have to revert to mime.
The Mathematics department are celebrating the following Stars of the Week this week …
Miss Cradick awards Jack Deighton-Brown in Year 9. She comments “Jack is really a star in Maths every week. He tries his hardest in every lesson and goes above and beyond my expectations. He is an excellent problem-solver and can apply his skills to any situation. Jack is a delight to have in the class and has the makings of a great mathematician!”
Mrs Golden awards her Star of the Week to Evangelia Boukouri in Year 8. Mrs Golden comments “Eva always works to the best of her ability and produces classwork and homework to a high standard. I have been particularly impressed with Eva, as she has on more than one occasion, come to see me in her own time to work through any misconceptions she may have with the work. Well done Eva and keep up the good work.” Thanks to Mrs Heaton for the update.
Religion, Ethics and Philosophy
This from Mr Harrison; 6th Formers Grace Child & Emily Holland represented Wellington this year on the Lessons from Auschwitz Project. They have written a brief synopsis of their experience (below) as part of their ‘next steps’ on educating others about the horrors of Auschwitz;
“We were lucky enough to participate in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project aimed to inform 16-18 year olds about the atrocity of the Holocaust. We were taken to Poland for the day to visit Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz-Birkenau and the town Oswiecim (a pre-war Jewish town). The trip was harrowing, the atmosphere heavy. It highlighted the immense importance of targeting hatred and displayed how powerful words are – because words were where it all began. We came back motivated to share our experience and help educate those within our community to abolish prejudice and hatred.”
An excellent and impactful summary. Thank you, ladies, and I look forward to hearing a more detailed account and observing how you might share your experiences with others.
Also from Mr Harrison; “The following students have been chosen by members of the REP department as being standout performers so far this year. Whether it be fantastic contributions to debates, excellent effort with classwork or homework or exceptional performances in assessments, all of the student’s listed should be proud of their achievements. Well done, you are all REP superstars! Y7: Eesa Hussain, Y8: Mia Liddell, Jack Draper, Josie Watson, Thomas Pavey, Lucy Kilvert, Harvey Lees, Y9: Lucy Allan, Rachel Eckersley, Michael Hough, Erica Morris, Y10: Luke Turner, Oliver Senescall, Charlotte Lastoweckyi, Charlotte Warburton, Ally Brooke, Natasha Tumeltey, Y11: Roman Mikolaj, Charlie Hatchell, Cora Bowers, Katy Chapman, Yasmin Jalali.”
High Adventure Trip 2016
This from Mr Morgan; “Thirty-six adventurous Year 11 GCSE PE students spent three days this week in the ‘North Yorkshire Moors’, working hard to gain a practical score in an outdoor pursuit. The students had 3 days to complete the theory and practical required to gain a good grade in either mountain biking or rock climbing. The stunning scenery and fantastic winter sunshine no doubt helped the group. The centre staff were overwhelmed with the maturity, focus and indeed ability of the students, this has been reflected in the fantastic final marks that the group gained at the end of their stay. Mr Morgan, Miss Richards and Mr Gubbins were pleased with the positive attitude displayed by students. The team work and resilience needed for each activity were there for all to see. The marks gained this week will go towards their final GCSE result. Well done Year 11.”
Year 7 Basketball
Mr Higginson reports; “This week the Year 7 basketball team travelled away to St Ambrose. The game started slowly with neither team able to get the upper hand in what proved to be a closely contested half. Both teams exchanged points and Wellington went into the break 12-6 down. The 2nd half was much the same and for every basket Wellington scored, St Ambrose replied with a score of their own. During the 2nd half Wellington played some fantastic basketball but struggled to turn their pressure into points. The game finished 24-16 in favour of St Ambrose.”
Year 10/11 Basketball V St Ambrose
More firm Head of PE, Mr Morgan; “Thursday night was the squad’s toughest test of the year so far with a fixture against a strong Ambrose side made mostly of Year 11’s. The Wellington team competed well for the whole game staying in touch until the final few minutes. Lloyd Gardner’s return after injury gave the team a lift and his tireless work in the first half meant the scores were level at the midway point. Toby Redman continues to develop and scored some valuable baskets throughout the match, he was matched by another strong performance from Zac Fenton. Ollie Brockett and Owen Hinds showed some solid defensive work, while James Drummond managed to work some lay-ups in a very tight Ambrose defence. Eventually, the physical strength and height of the Ambrose squad came in to play and in the final 5 minutes the game slipped away finishing St Ambrose 34 – Wellington 26. We move on to another tough one next Week against AGSB.”
Miss Challinor provides a rare report on swimming; “The Year 7 and 8 swimmers took part in the Trafford Secondary School Swimming Gala Finals on Friday 25that St Ambrose College. We had 4 boys and 4 girls on the team and they did us proud! Lucas Hill, Owen Wadsworth, Oliver Moores and Matthew Abbott were representing the boys, whilst Katie McCorquodale, Emily Inns, Maisie Redman and Izzy Owen represented the girls. Each swimmer had their individual 50m event, and the whole team took part in the Medley and freestyle relays. Owen and Izzy both finished 1st in their 50m backstroke races, getting us off to a great start. Matthew finished 4th and Katie 2nd in their 50m Breaststroke races. Lucas smashed his 50m butterfly race finishing 1st, and Emily glided her way to a solid 2nd place finish. Oliver finished his 50m freestyle in 5th place and Maisie finished hers in 2nd. The boys then worked brilliantly together in their relay races, finishing 3rd in the 4 x 50m medley and 4th in the 4 x 50m freestyle race. The girls however took it one step further and finished 2nd in both their relay races!! Overall, the boys came in 4th place out of 9, and the girls took Bronze medals, finishing 3rd out of 8. Well done to all the swimmers!”
Both the Year 7 and 8 teams finished their league seasons in victorious fashion.
Again from Miss Challinor: “Year 7s played Sale Grammar in the closest game of the season, with goals from Scarlett and Rosie. Jayda played her season’s best in defence, ensuring their shooters struggled to get anywhere near the post. The match finished 4-3 with Jayda receiving the girl of the game.
We then played our last game against North Cestrian and it was not a disappointment. Again Scarlett and Rosie were unstoppable with their shooting, whilst Jayda, Shahed and Esme were the strongest defensive trio we have seen all year. Alicia, Marina, Immy and Evie all played vital roles to ensure we won 7-2 in our final league game of the season. This means that we are through to the Trafford finals after Christmas. Well done girls!
Year 8 also played the same 2 teams and showed us why they are the reigning Trafford Champions! Their first match against Sale Grammar was a very strong game, with the team winning 15-4 and Sophie gaining the girl of the match. Their final game against North Cestrian was practically a whitewash! Our girls out played the visiting side with some of the strongest centre passes and shooting I have seen. Their final match finished 25-0 with Gemma taking the girl of the game. The Year 8 team are also through to the Trafford finals, and are on target to make it 2 years on the run as Trafford Champions! Well done!”
Let’s not be getting carried away with ourselves just yet. It is fair to say, however, that success in netball is at an all-time high and if the girls keep working hard, then it COULD be a bumper year for silverware. Can you match it, boys?!
Year 7 Rugby
Year 7 were the only year to have a fixture this week unfortunately. However, Year 7-9 all play Bridgewater High School in Warrington next week and Mr Higginson and I hope to see the fruit of several weeks hard training from the boys; we have regularly had around 40 boys training on a Thursday evening.
Anyway, my Year 7 troops marched onward to Cheadle Hulme School following their resounding success at an emerging schools’ tournament a few weeks ago. We knew this would be a much sterner test as Cheadle Hulme (with their sports scholarships, state of the art facilities and seemingly a production line of bigger than average 12 year olds) is fast becoming a rugby school of real renown. In fact, we had agreed to play a ‘mixed’ team rather than their A team. I’m not one to make excuses and you have to play what’s in front of you but we are a developing squad and the boys are progressing week by week, so it was a real frustration to face their full strength, established and vastly more experienced first choice team whilst another 30+ of their (less able) Year 7s trained next to us. All things considered, the boys acquitted themselves admirably and we went down fighting (not literally) 10 tries to 3. Harry Edmunson was outstanding and scored all 3 of our tries. The boys were not at all despondent and I was delighted that they returned to training this evening, 24 hours after the defeat, with their usual verve, vigour and enthusiasm. I stressed to them that with commitment to training, to iron out those defensive frailties, they can easily match the standards of last night’s opponents. I think they believed me; watch this space.
Year 7 PE
Miss Hodges; “Following our successful mission last week, this week Miss Hodges’ superhero team entered flight training school. They had to learn how to take off, travel through the air and land like superheros. They all graduated from their floor and bench work quickly once they had shown safe landings with 2 feet and bent knees and that they could make different shapes in the air. This meant they could progress to phase 2 which involved learning how to use springboards so that they could start to take on aerial missions. They worked hard to get as much height as they could whilst ensuring they landed safely and securely using their good body tension and super balances from last week. A special thanks has to go to Ysabella and Melika who took on the role of flight training instructor so we all got excellent feedback about how we could progress.”
Year 7 news
Year 7 Tutor Miss Challinor took the 7 pupils from her form who helped with the planning, baking and manning of the Christmas Fair stall on Sunday across to the Sale Moor foodbank at St Francis Church on Monday morning to donate the left over goods. “The volunteers there were overjoyed to see us and the donations we had brought them. I told one lady that it was all the students idea to drop the food off and she was ecstatic. She, along with the other volunteers, had nothing but praise and compliments for the students, saying that they have helped to make a huge difference to the local community and the stereotypes of today’s youth. We all sat down together for a cup of tea and a chat before heading back to school, and the immense pride I felt was overwhelming. Each student represented to school to the highest standard, both in their appearance and attitude. We have been given some thank you cards (one up on the board in our form room, the other with Mr Fenwick), reiterating how thankful the volunteers were.”
What a lovely gesture to add to the fabulous fundraising efforts of 7SCR at the Christmas Fair, with a magnificent £126.76 raised for Downs Syndrome. Fantastic results from the other Year 7 stalls too – MSS £46.20; LTC £83.37 and champion fundraisers MBH with £153.85 for Cancer Research. Well done to you all.
Year 10 news
Mr Manifould mentioned in last week’s bulletin that Imogen O’Mahoney and Lucy Evans (both Year 11) were off to compete in a synchronised ice-skating competition in Belgium. Well, we better find out how they got on. This from Imogen’s mum;
“Imogen and Lucy Evans (Year11) competed in their first competition of the Synchronized Skating season last weekend at the Winter Cup in Belgium. They skated against 4 other teams from around the world, their team being the only British team in their category. They did fantastically well, achieving not only a PB score but also came second, getting a silver medal. They were narrowly beaten by the team from Germany.
We are obviously very proud of Imogen and all the girls in the team, they show such dedication and commitment; training at 6am before school. They have to work especially hard as they only have 1 hour a week with their coach, so to achieve a silver medal in an International competition is amazing. What is always lovely to see, is the way all the teams competing support each other and they all get on, regardless of the language barriers.
Thank you, as always for your ongoing support of Imogen and Lucy, as without the support from school, they would be unable to compete.”
Year 11 news
Mock exams began today and reports from staff are incredibly positive; behaviour was impeccable as one would expect and it appears the students are approaching these exams with real purpose. We purchased GCSEpod to assist Year 11 with their revision last year and, if this is any sort of indicator, the number of downloads would suggest that this current cohort are an extremely motivated bunch. It’s always tough to sit these exams at the end of a long arduous term but, as I stress to the students, if approached in an appropriate manner, they can be a real morale boost as well as a crucial diagnostic tool to highlight where students should focus next term. It is also important to develop a self-awareness around exams and establish habits that will serve you well next summer.
Keep up the good work, and let’s hope the 6th formers prove to be as up for the challenge next week.
Anyway, it’s getting late and the caretaker will be jangling his keys outside my door soon so I better call it a night.
Have a great weekend.
S P Beeley