Ackworth Today - Spring 2021

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ACKWORTH GOES VIRTUAL - AGAIN! Ackworth’s digital transformation a success story for Remote Learning Round II

Home Away From Home With no way of getting home during the holidays, our boarding houses provided essential refuge for boarders during the pandemic

Lockdown Learning Coram House and Nursery pupils show us their creativity at home!



A new dawn All schools will have to differentiate their “offer” as a consequence of Covid-19. We recognised that it represented an existential threat and introduced resources that have allowed us to act with alacrity and conviction. We remain determined, resilient and agile in terms of the adaptations we have made. It is vital to see the bigger picture and recognise what online learning means from an educational perspective. It should not escape us that the world emerging from the pandemic has more people than ever working from home who have all quickly learned to embrace collaborative platforms with heightened levels of global communication.

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ne can either look upon this as an aberration or more productively as a once in a lifetime opportunity for change and Ackworth School has embraced this in the most effective way. In any crisis there are opportunities and we have accepted that this is a new dawn in education. Consequently, we have looked carefully at our provision to make sure that all the lessons learnt are integrated across our resources and infrastructure. Ackworth School has become one of only 54% of schools in the United Kingdom that use devices to educate their senior school pupils. As we are an all through school, we have also provided iPads to our pupils in Year 5 and 6 in Coram House. Undoubtedly the availability of iPads for teachers and pupils improves academic and pastoral provision during periods of lockdown brought about by the pandemic. Our decision to make these devices available gave pupils across the school access to our curriculum through a full timetable, with minor differences to allow for some respite from an undesirable full day on screen following appreciation of research on the subject. During lockdown, our teachers and in fact the school, have made tremendous advances in terms of professional development. What is critical is the need for this to continue. Upon return to the classroom we cannot gravitate back to previous methods because that would render the process we have gone through a waste of time. Flipped learning has become the norm and pupils can access information from beyond the classroom on our new hyper fast Wi-Fi platform installed in January this year.

We will look at how we present information in class and continue to deliver lessons in the most effective manner possible. Pupils need to be engaged in exciting new ways without forgetting or setting aside essential traditional skills. Classrooms must be adapted to excite learning and INSET has to be made available to extend and challenge our teachers. Devices are managed from the cloud because our adults and pupils need to be able to work from home with full time access to all the resources the school has available for them. That mitigates against further lockdown and somewhat fortuitously ends snow days! We cannot rest upon our laurels; we have to plan ahead and can’t ignore the technological changes that continue to take place. We know that staff have been empowered and that they will continue to keep their skills relevant and up to date. New technological developments cannot be ignored, and we will continue to embrace them. We can see that the best provision is a blend between synchronous and asynchronous learning. I have already mentioned improved levels of communication and some of you will have experienced online parents’ evenings, options evenings and even the school drama production. It is possible that teachers have become more accessible than before through Microsoft Teams and it is clear that pupils at Ackworth School have benefited, not regressed, in their education. We will continue to appreciate and understand the needs of our pupils and introduce high quality solutions to make sure that we provide an exceptional education. Parents who come to Ackworth now are more interested in our mastery of online teaching and our capacity to be flexible. | 3

CATCH UP Thank you for your support The Imogen Young Trust Fund is a charity that helps support pupils at Ackworth to access extracurricular music, theatre tuition and experiences. Traditionally we take a retiring collection to maintain funding levels but in the circumstances this was not possible. We would like to thank those who contributed to the GoFundMe page where a grand total of £270 was raised. We are very grateful for your support, particularly during these difficult times.

Senior School Production

Theory of Relativity A pupil’s view Putting on the musical The Theory of Relativity was so much fun, especially at these dark times right now in the world. It was very good to have a goal and it was nice to do something I love. I enjoyed going backstage before and after each show, because it was so much fun to take loads of group photos, so that we remember this musical forever.

this amateur production is presented

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international (Europe)

The Theory of Re

lativity Mr Boucher came up with a brilliant Neil Bartram idea for this musical, because you can Brian Hill keep in your bubbles and keep socially An Ackworth school production, December 2-4, 2020 distanced. One of the reasons this musical was good is that if somebody needed to isolate or needed to pull out, it was easy to cover up without affecting the entire musical like most plays and musicals. Music & Lyrics by

Using QR codes

by arrangement with music theatre

Book by

One of the challenges we faced was that it was kind of hard to practice singing with masks on because you couldn’t hear the singing as much, but we pulled through and we still managed to do it. We were very lucky to be able to still produce a musical because most schools were not allowed to do it. We didn’t know if we would have a live audience, but we were lucky and we did have a live audience. We performed it to year groups, so one day 2nd form would see it and the second day 3rd form would watch it. For people outside the school who weren’t in our bubble, they watched it over Zoom. Takarra


A musical we shall never forget, in a year we shall never forget! As a cast and in the ethos of Ackworth School we persevered, becoming more resilient than any of us could have ever imagined. If I would have ever been told that I would be wearing a mask to sing in rehearsals, unable to stand close to any other members of the cast I would have wondered what they were talking about, but this is how we had to adapt. The musical itself was The Theory of Relativity not just in terms of physics theory but it also reflected the way in which people as individuals relate and behave around one another; life as we knew it pre-2020 was one thing, our relativity changing over the course of a year and cumulating in the performances that we did via Zoom! The Sunday rehearsals during lockdown were a welcome exemption of the rules, an equally appreciated cup of tea made on arrival, not to mention some excitement being able to get out of the house. Team spirit overflowed once the sugar and chocolate kicked in from massive share bags of Heroes and Skittles, sadly these were banned, not to save our teeth but to stop

As COVID-19 blasted England, seemingly with a mind of its own, much to Boris Johnson’s dismay the virus was not being held back by the beautiful blue passports he was so in love with. To the soon to be cast of The Theory of Relativity, we hoped that the power of the stage would hold back the virus. We prayed to the gods of musical theatre (Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber) that we would be able to perform in the highly anticipated school play. Of course, we knew it would be virtually impossible. Yet, we still hoped that somehow we would find a way. Amid the uncertainty, casting for The Theory of Relativity went ahead. It was like a break in the clouds, somewhere that all the cast could step away from real life and into another reality. A reality in which we learn that everyone is connected, everyone matters, and everyone can make a difference. As we learnt our songs and our parts, and gathered for rehearsals, we all developed unique relationships. We were a team. Although, we were a team that was constantly terrified that all our hard work would be put to waste: what if Paul never gets to say he is allergic to cats? What if Adam never brings her one red rose? What if Jenny never meets Sara? After every rehearsal of belting Nothing Without You, we had to brace for the news that we would never belt it in front of anyone but the mirror. But – that news never came. So in performance week we belted it to the school, and to Zoom, and probably to everyone in a 5 mile radius of the area. We learnt how to waltz (well... we tried). We sang each of our songs with all our hearts. We blasted Christmas songs

any effects on our larynx; Mr Boucher can be quite bossy when it comes to protecting the quality of his productions! Multiple self-isolations hit us hard as we began to pull the production together, one self-isolating throughout the performance dates. Bella sadly had to watch from home as Rachel rose to the challenge of taking the part on with less than a week until the performance. My personal favourite performance in the musical was ‘The End of The Line’ performed by Grace and Libby playing Sara and Jenny. Taking part was not just a good experience but it was a mental challenge that I believe gave us all more strength to overcome difficult circumstances. I would also like to say on behalf of all of the cast and myself how we will miss Libby, Maisie, Ben, Harry and Rachel so much. ‘The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.’ - Albert Einstein. Alexandria

through the dressing room. We covered each other in bright orange makeup (much to the boys’ embarrassment). We insulted each other about how slow the other person was at swapping their mic. We brought each other blankets to face the sub-zero temperatures of the Fothergill Theatre, and took our anger out on the radiators that radiated about as much heat as a wooden spoon. We taught each other to use the right hand instead of the left in that choreo. Some of us sacrificed our dignity by wearing the most diabolical wigs. We sang, danced, laughed and cried together. We became a family. And when it was all over, we had the chance to reflect on just how lucky we had been. Because although we complained about trying to sing through masks, it was worth it. And although it was difficult to stay 2m apart from each other, it was worth it. Because “in the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity”. To have the opportunity to fall into a universe where Corona is still just the name of a beer, where masks are only worn on Halloween and where people aren’t rioting over toilet roll was so uplifting and refreshing. The universe of The Theory of Relativity is a remarkable one, and one that it has been a privilege to explore. Grace | 5



happenings The children of Coram House fully immersed themselves in the Halloween holiday by getting involved with pumpkin carving. Even Ben Barker and Paula Ward got into the spirit. Over in senior school the boarders also got to enjoy traditional Halloween activities, including a Halloween feast and disco!

Old Scholars’ Cup winner 2020 Anti-Bullying Week 2020 Here at Ackworth School we stand strongly united against bullying. Sam Baker (centre), Charlotte, and Eleanor showed their support for Odd Sock Day, an Anti-Bullying Alliance initiative designed to celebrate what makes us all unique. 6 | SPRING 2021, ISSUE 11

Congratulations to Madison Cusworth who has been awarded the Old Scholars’ Cup for 2020. Under normal circumstances Madison would have been presented with the Cup during last year’s Open Day. This sadly was not possible. Madison also receives a cheque for £250 in recognition of the generous support, commitment and time given during her time at the school and particularly during the last academic year; as a School Officer and Upper Sixth Student, and as a considerate, helpful and kind person whose efforts were very much appreciated and have now been deservedly recognised.




Christmas Jumper Day came to Ackworth School on December 8th. The children enjoyed a hot chocolate at break and shared a festive lunch! | 7


Weather Extremes

Winter delivered a series of extreme weather events across the UK and created spectacular scenes around the school too. Some of our boarders in residence were delighted to see snow for the very first time! Heavy rain caused significant local flooding, and the deep freeze that followed changed the Ackworth landscape and inspired some incredible drone photography.

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Spring Half Term

February 12th marked a special achievement: all our boarders successfully made it through a full half term of remote learning, and we are exceptionally proud of them. Remote learning does not come easy to everyone and our boarders have the added pressure of being hundreds or even thousands of miles away from their loved ones, home comforts and pets. Otto, the working cocker spaniel who lives onsite, paid a visit to the boarding house and it is amazing how something so little can mean so much. He will be a regular visitor from now on! All our boarding staff have gone above and beyond to ensure that our boarders are as happy as possible, and we thank them for that!

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We celebrated the end of half term in style, with our boarders enjoying a delicious Chinese banquet in our beautifully decorated dining hall. Just like the Ox, our boarders have shown such resilience and strength and what better way to reward them. A huge thank you to our caterers who put on a show stopping evening.

After this rather exhausting half term filled with online school, the one week holiday was well deserved. The boarding program allowed us to re-charge and be fully ready to start another term motivated to learn. I was never bored as we had lots of activities throughout the day. I really enjoyed that we had the possibility to go to the sports hall or the fitness suite at almost anytime. We also had a Chinese New Year celebration which was amazing not only because there was fantastic food but also because we all got together and spent time with our friends. We also had a Valentine’s Party with music and dancing. Everyone enjoyed it! On the weekdays we also had outside activities. I probably enjoyed these the most as it felt good going outside more often and competing for fun. On the first day we were split into four groups in which we would collect points in order to win at the end of the week. We had a different activity every day such as archery, bushcraft, orienteering and a leadership/ teamwork workshop. Bushcraft was very educative as we learnt how to light a fire and keep it going. I also think that the leadership and team workshop was very useful as it taught us how to properly work together as a team. One day we also had a virtual escape room which was very fun but also competitive as we were competing against other teams for a prize. Teamwork was the most important component in this challenge as everyone was required to think and contribute. Two cinema nights were also on our program which were a nice way to relax in the evening. Apart from all the activities we also had free time where we could do pretty much anything we wanted to. We also had brunch and supper everyday which was always very tasty. This half term holiday really helped me wind down and prepare for the next term. It felt great to have some time away from School. Samuel (Germany)

Max (Thailand)

I enjoyed this half term a lot in the school. It was a great and positive week. I go to football training in every morning and also school have provided many great activities for us e.g. cooking class, quiz, archery, etc. Lastly, all the staff are the ones who played the most important part in this time. Since they have taken care us very well and they have made my half term break to be a wonderful week.

Lunar New Year


Virtual Escape Room One of the evening activities saw the boarders become ‘Rogue Agents’ in a virtual escape room experience. They worked in groups of 5 to solve numerous tasks to set their team free. Exceptional teamwork made it a huge success!

Valentine’s Celebration The boarders love the opportunity to get dressed up for a celebration. With them being in one household, we were able to have a Valentine’s party.

Activities It was lovely to see the boarders embrace the great outdoor space we are so blessed with here at Ackworth School. Each afternoon we would meet on the Green to take part in outdoor activity. The activities included archery, bushcraft, orienteering and leadership skills. It was a great opportunity for many of them to try something new.

At the first day of the break, we had a celebration meal for the Lunar New Year that the food was so nice and also the decoration was beautiful. I felt like I was at home at that time. It definitely was a lovely beginning of the halfterm break. Cooking club with Mrs Maree on Saturday afternoon was always interesting when I learned how to make scones and flapjacks. A little message to Mrs Maree:” The flapjacks is brilliant, I can eat the whole thing by myself and will make it again.” After tea, we had a movie night at Fothergill theatre which was a home cinema. My Sunday started with yoga class with Miss Devine that relaxation was always my favourite activity in yoga especially after the first half-term. I really enjoyed the class, Thank you Mrs Devine. Then Sunday evening was quite busy when

everyone prepared for the Valentine ball. It was a party with snacks, lovely cake and also music when we could dance and sing together. From Monday to Friday, we had several activities in the afternoon with United Education which was extremely fun. We were divided in teams and competed in archery, bushcraft, treasure hunting and some games with the ball. For me, archery was the funniest activities for the whole week even at the first time, I was quite scared to try. I also had my own free time to finish several movies while was drinking coke and had some grapes. A week passed so fast and we have BBQ night in Friday and Pizza party on Saturday as a brilliant end of the half-term break. It was the most memorable half-term break for me not only because of the pandemic and national lockdown but also how I enjoyed it with my friends.

I just finished first spring half-term, distance-online learning made everyone exhausted, half-term break was something that I expected for quite a long time. Although it sounded boring when you had to stay at school and could not go out for the whole week like normal, thanks to Mrs Gilbert and all lovely staffs, I had a brilliant half term that I never expected.

Thanks to Mrs Gilbert and all the staff who made my break more brilliant. Trang (Vietnam) | 11


2021: Year of the Ox Nursery pupils got into the spirit of the Lunar New Year by taking the Chinese dragon they created down to Forest School and learning traditional calligraphy.

Letting off steam in the Sports Hall

PE fun on the M.U.G.A Despite the restrictions, children in Nursery have enjoyed energetic activities away from the classroom. The children have enjoyed weekly PE lessons with Chris Parker on the M.U.G.A, during which they have played games chosen to promote ball skills and turn taking. Focusing on the aim and the rules of each activity develops the children’s ability to listen to, and follow, instructions whilst having lots of fun!

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During lockdown, it is possible that some parents might be finding it difficult to provide safe spaces where their child can burn off some energy. With this in mind, we have been taking the children to the Sports Hall each week. As well as practising their ball skills, the children move to music and develop their balance and coordination. Having such a huge expanse of unobstructed, smooth floor space, gives the children a welcomed opportunity to ‘let off some steam’ in a safe and secure environment.


Welly Walk We have been making the most of the beautiful Ackworth School grounds and forest during our Friday ‘Welly Walk’. Each walk has a different theme to engage the children’s interest and reinforce the week’s topic. When learning about The Big Garden Birdwatch, our budding ‘twitchers’ had a walk to the forest to hang the bird cakes they had made in the trees. The following week, they made binoculars, camouflaged their faces with mud and crept into the forest, hoping to get a closer look at our feathered friends…sshh!

Snow day The ‘Snow day’ generated great excitement in the Nursery. The timetable was suspended, and we all donned our coats and wellies to make the most of the unexpected treat! The children ran around making as many footprints as possible in the untouched snow in the pre-prep playground. The fun continued, making snow figures and seeing who could throw the biggest snowball at the teachers! | 13

CORAM HOUSE Culture Challenge Vivi has been busy developing her Japanese themed additional learning challenge. The challenge was to find out about Japanese culture, such as Geisha or Samurai, using the links provided and your own research. The information gathered could then be shared in any way the children wished. Vivi watched a BBC4 documentary and ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ before she recorded a video which included a Japanese tea ceremony.

Coram House Head’s Address, Sally Slater The Spring Term 2021 will probably go down as one of the coldest I can remember since I came to Ackworth School in 2008. It will also go down as one of the most memorable! When online learning became the new normal again in January, teachers and parents adapted more quickly than last March. From the start, teachers were delivering lessons following roughly the routine of the school day, whereas others created pre-recorded lessons. Parents and staff are now having little or no face-to-face contact and how we teachers look after the wellbeing of pupils is also very different, as we are unable to physically see them, only via Teams.

Scan Me!

E-safety has become a great responsibility for all of us. We have had to ensure safety is paramount with frequent reminders about “chat” and “message” expectations. In school, we normally have conversations everywhere – offices, meetings, classrooms – this has changed! All conversations happen via email or Teams. Sometimes they are misunderstood or are not clear enough and sometimes they are taken the wrong way and cause upset. We have endeavoured to keep communication clear and concise, as parents have become more engaged in the learning process of their children. Never has it been more important to remember that wellbeing is so essential. We have addressed Mental Health week for the first time this year. It has become clear that online or screen time affects people in many different ways. Live Teams sessions have helped us to connect with our pupils, as well as allowing pupils to talk with their friends, sing a song, tell a joke or wish someone a happy birthday. Thinking about our wellbeing must become a priority for the future. The pupils have been fantastic – so resilient and adaptable. As I walk around the classrooms of key work children and watch their enthusiasm for learning, and as I listen to lessons with their teacher instructing and encouraging from afar, I feel proud to be part of the process. We are such resilient creatures even when the chips are down! Let us give ourselves some credit for all that we have achieved and strive to enjoy some of the activities that we may never have experienced before. 14 | SPRING 2021, ISSUE 11

Recognition of Support Coram House received a special recognition certificate from The Prince of Wales Hospice for their involvement in December’s Reindeer Run! Money was jointly raised through sponsorship across many schools and will fund the running costs of the hospice for four full days.


Roaring Reception! Reception have been discovering the dinosaurs. They have been on virtual tours around dinosaur exhibitions around the world, created flying pterodactyls, crafting dinosaur masks and making their very own dinosaur fossils! We finished the term by celebrating Chinese New Year. Bircy and Rain from the senior school made us a video explaining how they celebrate the Chinese New Year in their home countries. Whilst we missed having them in our class for our annual carousel of activities, the children learnt so much from the video they had created.

Year 5 explore Children’s Mental Health Week through lockdown scrapbooks Year 5 children created their own scrapbook pages to represent their time in lockdown. This involved defining emotion words, building a bank of feelings they currently have, and considering how these feelings might change in six months’ time when life is hopefully a bit more normal. The children then created a page of photos, emotions and examples of things they have done during their time in lockdown. | 15


Busy Year 4 Year 4 children have been enjoying the variety of activities set during remote learning and our outdoor learning work has been a welcome addition. Children have been keen to find the items on our ‘wonderful winter hunt’ and to create bird feeders to encourage wildlife into their gardens. Our focus for Art has been to create collages. Our collages have been inspired by Housaki and Lynda Biggers. The children have put in a great deal of effort to sketch their designs and use a variety of different media to recreate the artworks. Their use of colour and texture is stunning! French culture has been studied recently and Year 4 has learnt about the tradition of ‘la Galette des Rois’. The tradition celebrates the arrival of the three kings to visit baby Jesus on Epiphany. Children have created posters to explain this tradition and some have even baked the traditional pastry desert! They looked delicious Year 4! Being kind to others, especially whilst at home for long periods of time, is very important. As one of the additional learning tasks we set the challenge to do something nice for someone else each day. Our Year 4 children are bringing smiles to their families by completing acts of kindness each day. We have some very keen scientists in Year 4 who have developed their skills carrying out scientific experiments whilst working remotely. We have been investigating changes of state using household materials. The images show melting using chocolate and varying temperatures of water. Non-chronological reports have been one of our topics during remote learning. Year 4 children have worked diligently to research and create reports about different endangered animals. They have made excellent use of layout and language, and the reports have been a pleasure to read!

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Online Learning – A Moment in Time Lynda Barker, Deputy Head Academic (Acting) January 11th 2021 A new term, a new start, lots of new year resolutions. “I’m going to work harder or maybe smarter, I’m going to keep up with all my prep and hand everything in on time.” These thoughts will have reverberated around many heads as we all prepared to return to school; refreshed, renewed, revitalised, ready for the new term to begin. How long these resolutions would last was the unknown quantity. Boarders travelled back, were tested and put into quarantine with areas specially created so that they and everyone else was safe. Strange times, uncertain times, but schools were a priority, schools had to stay open - in reality they never closed - it would all be fine. Let’s just get through quarantine, get tested again, just to be sure and get back to normal! 5th form and Upper 6th had been revising hard throughout the Christmas break; hours spent pouring over written notes, previously marked pieces of work, determined to learn from previous mistakes and achieve the best they could, with mocks due to start 11th January 2021. Everything ready, desks neatly spaced, further apart than normal, just to be sure; two spaces being used instead of one everything that could have been thought of, had been done. Teachers had prepared the exams, testing, stretching, challenging but fair; would all the hard work pay off? Support staff had worked tirelessly to put everything in place, pupils had prepared diligently to show what they could really do, mocks were so important and a good practice for the demands of the summer! This message had been repeated over and over again, just to be sure it had been heard and understood. And then – schools might not open, might close – no, surely not – schools that had thought about closing early before Christmas had been threatened with fines – how could things change so quickly? First a delay, schools would open later, testing had to be set up so we would all be safe. Training for staff, how to do a Lateral Flow Test – pupils and teachers all needed testing – how often – too often! The Fothergill Theatre, so recently the scene of our socially distanced Production Theory of Relativity, where song and dance had echoed through the walls, children doing what children should be doing, having fun, working together but 2m apart to show off their talents, working together but 2m apart to support and challenge – how could this have been done in this strange and uncertain time – but it was – recorded and shared – watched live through the wonders

of technology and the dogged determination of Ali Boucher and his team! I don’t think we should be surprised really. But back to January 2021: the theatre transformed; not for another triumph of comedy or tragedy on the stage – no, the scene set was covered in plastic, screens erected, booths created, staff training, similarly covered in plastic, gowns, gloves, masks – what to do – what not to do – when to spray and spray again – could you blow your nose please and sanitise your hands again - and could you please put this up your nose – yes we know it may make your eyes water - school was ready to open under the new normal, however strange, with our Fothergill Testing Station open for business. Laura Lunn in her inimitable organised way had files ready to receive the hundreds of test sheets we would generate day by day. Alison Maree led the team of testers day after day with a willing band of other staff making sure we could do what we had to do. However, we were not masters of our own destiny; we like all schools were in the hands of the government and the announcement was made on 11th January that schools would not open. All that hard work, exams being set by teachers, revision for mocks by pupils, preparing school by support staff, preparing a testing station etc etc – all put on hold – how long for? We do not know, we watch, we wait. And so to online learning. New iPads the tools of our trade; live lessons – can we all turn our screens on please, a familiar phrase repeated throughout each day – many familiar faces could be seen; some happy and relaxed, not fazed at all, others reluctant, shy, hiding behind the security of the blank screen. What a difference technology makes – we are so lucky compared to many. Work submitted has been shared and celebrated, Special Mentions abound, rewards for doing your best. Parents’ Evenings have been achieved, more wonders of modern technology. We see children flourishing, benefitting from the skills they are learning alongside ambitious teachers, who are also learning new skills everyday from each other. Questions everywhere – how do you do this – how do you do that – arrgh – my iPad won’t work; I’ve sent my work Sir, really I have – really – could you send it again – the sheet appears to be blank! No longer the excuse – my mum put it in the washing machine, the dog ate it, I left it on the bus; technology doesn’t allow anyone to hide. Many are doing amazingly well, striving to do their best. 5th Formers and Upper Sixth are still waiting for their mocks knowing exams will not go ahead again in the summer – what’s the point some of them say – teachers work hard to reassure them – help them understand how everything they do will count. The resilience we have collectively developed will stand everyone in good stead. And we will all look back on January 2021, this strange and uncertain time and know it was a brief moment in time we experienced together and whereas always we prevailed. Non sibi sed omnibus; (Not for oneself but for all). | 17


Lockdown Art Senior pupils have been creating some amazing artwork in lockdown. 1st Form Studying Architecture using both digital and traditional methods in creating responses. 2nd Form Studying Portraiture - looking at the work of M.C. Escher, creating photographic responses and learning how to edit using photo editing Apps on iPads. 3rd Form Studying Everyday Objects and in particular the work of Michael CraigMartin; using both traditional and digital methods to draw. 4th Form Studying Natural Forms inspired by the work of Karl Blossfeldt; digitally recording, editing and manipulating imagery as well as developing responses in a range of media.

Second Form - Portraiture

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First Form - Architecture


Fourth Form - Natural Forms

Third Form Everyday Objects

We are going to the Olympics! With hope that the upcoming Olympics will not be cancelled, we as a school are racing to Japan! Walking, running, cycling or even doing housework are all included in building up distance. Visiting different places along the way and arriving in Japan, we will be hosting a themed week in the Summer Term with several different activities taking place. This is a whole school event for Coram House and senior school. | 19


Outstanding First Year Poetry First Form pupils have been studying poetry this half-term, and writing their own extended metaphor poems based on ‘How To Eat A Poem’ by Eve Merriam. They looked at onomatopoeia in Jessie Pope’s ‘Noise’ and wrote their own noise poems based on this.

How To Manipulate A Poem Don’t be scared. Control it. Take the wheel and handle it. Many things to manage, operate and orchestrate. Manipulate In any way possible. Ways to use it, Twist and turn it, Bounce and stretch it, Push and pull it, No waste, Just exploitation. Pamela, 1P

How To Play A Poem Don’t be shy. Play its metaphorical strings with a bow of imagery Or you could play its keys with sibilance. You do not need a pick or a pair of drumsticks. Or a rubber headed mallet. With its sheet music of words you can play it Or string it Or pick it Or pluck it Or chant it to your hearts content To make the perfect music A poem of the heart. Olivia, 1P

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How To Walk A Poem Don’t be shy. Attach a lead, Give a gentle tug and head on your way. You do not need a coat or boots or hat or gloves or scarf. For there is no route No path No road No direction No choice anyway. Noah, 1P

My Noise Poem I put up with the noise. The bang of a door when my brother is mad. The murmur of my sister when she is sad. The clank of a pan as it hits the floor. The plead of my sister, at dinner, when she asks for more. The scream of my dad when his team score.

When the question comes I just smile happily, Because inside I know I love my family. That’s why, I put up with the noise. Olivia, 1P I like noise. The boom of a bomb, the whoosh of a rocket, The clicking and tinkling of coins in a pocket, The screams and moans of peoples in pain, I like to hear them again and again, The ringing of bells, Pumps with bad smells, A door when it slams, The clapping of hands, Loud music brings joy to my ears, Loud music leaves my mother in tears, Bish, bash, bosh, wallop, bang , smash I’m so noisy this poem will crash! Sunny, 1P I like noise. The crunch of a snowflake, the screaming of a child, The woof of a dog that has gone wild, The splat of a snowball, the chattering of the chins, The howling of the wind that knocks over the bins, The screeching of tyres, the flick of the ice skates, The slurp of the hot chocolate by your mate, The sizzle of the chicken, the poof of the flour, The chatter of the people who play board games for an hour. I like noise. Anna, 1P

Creative Thinking in Food and Nutrition During online learning the First Form pupils have been looking at Sensory Analysis. For some this wasn’t the easiest task as they discovered what they liked/disliked about a biscuit product. They also carried out a simple nutritional analysis of a crumble using ‘Food Explore - Food a Fact of Life’. Practical work has been shared with siblings or the children have cooked the dish as a meal for the whole family. Second Formers have been developing existing products to see if they could produce an innovative food product which could be sold from a food truck at the Tokyo Olympics. They used an acronym SCAMPER to think of different ways that the product could be developed. In the Third Form, pupils have been researching different countries that sell Street Food as part of a Mini NEA project. As part of this project, they have also been working on their presentation skills and cooking some foods that might be served from a street van.


First Form – Local Fieldwork

Geography Geography pupils have been working on various projects from local fieldwork and security in urban gardens to R.S Seder tables. Geography surveys have also been taking place around the school!

Sunny’s Geography Survey

Second Form Migration – 2 billion miles letters

Second Form – R.S. Seder table

Fourth Form – Food Security Urban Gardens | 21

SENIOR SCHOOL Interhouse Drama Writing Despite lockdown and Covid-19 continuing their respective onslaughts on live theatre performance, the pupils of Ackworth School continue to show remarkable resilience, ingenuity and commitment by keeping the annual Interhouse Drama Festival 2021 alive in the face of adversity. Three of the house directors - Penn’s Milano, Fothergill’s Nathan and Woolman’s Ben - speak of their experiences in planning for, and directing, their house production below. I have received the brilliant news that Lucy will be directing Gurney’s entry, and so all four houses will have representation in this interhouse competition. It is a source of huge pride to me that so many pupils want to work and collaborate in such strange conditions to tell stories and provide an evening of enjoyment and escape to the Ackworth Community. As Ackworth has shown throughout this period, innovative and creative solutions come from difficulty and challenge. What is most remarkable about these four plays is how different they are: from devised pieces to adaptations of wellknown scripts, from full-cast plays to monologue performances, from radio drama to Zoom edits. Keep an eye on eStream for recordings of performances! Ali Boucher

When you can’t go to the theatre, the drama of theatre comes to you! I am Milano, the director of this year’s interhouse drama production for Penn House. Lockdown has been tough on a lot of people and all aspects of everyday life, including the theatre world. It is incredible that we are still putting on a play and it is a testament to our belief that we can achieve anything we put our minds to. This lockdown, I have had to learn an entirely new skill set when it comes to drama. I have been in musicals and plays before, but this was a real challenge! Our play is going to be a radio play (audio only), so I have had to learn new editing skills and really focus on the actor’s dialogue, instead of actions. Also, having to balance my regular online school life with rehearsals and preparation for interhouse drama looked like a challenge to start with, but the amazing cast have been so cooperative and understanding of the situation and everyone has given 110%. My all star cast includes: Abrielle, Alice, Grace, Krystof, Maisie and Takarra. I am extremely thankful for all their hard work, commitment and perseverance throughout these tough times. Our play is a murder play; with comedy, suspense and a dash of mystery! Since our play is going to be a radio play, YOU set the scene in your imagination and let the stories unfold from there. You also have the comfort of listening whilst sat in your very own home. The wonders of technology! I invite you all to experience what this amazing team has to offer. I hope you enjoy! Milano - Penn

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This year Woolman is performing Audience by Michael Frayn. I love this play because of its quirky set up. The characters in Frayn’s comedy are watching the audience, expecting them to perform. The comedy ensues as Frayn holds a mirror up to the audience and they see their own foibles as audience members. It takes a few seconds to get your head around it. Being a play with thirteen characters in it, we have a relatively large cast as interhouse drama goes. It has been lovely to see so many people in rehearsals all the way from second year to upper sixth and the technology, dare I say this, has been wonderful to allow this to happen over lockdown. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I am not a fan of technology and prefer good old pen and paper, after all we managed for centuries with it! However, this year, we have rehearsed our production over Microsoft Teams. Attempting to direct a play over the internet has not been as bad as I expected – in fact it has gone very well so far. Everyone has been so very focused and eager to get the play on its feet even from the very first rehearsal when we used Stanislavski to completely build 13 fully-fleshed out characters; and lockdown means there is no excuse to miss a rehearsal! Putting on a play in the “Covid-world” is very unusual – we can now see for ourselves the struggles of David Tennent and Michael Sheen producing their online performance of Staged! Not only will the end product in all probability be very different, we have also had to think about casting. Woolman is aiming for a play which will be performed as a mixture of a Zoom and a radio play, if we cannot get into the theatre in March. Many of the characters have been cast in year group bubbles, to facilitate an easy transition to the stage if such an opportunity were to arise. Aiming for primarily a zoom performance otherwise is a strangely


exciting prospect. It is something none of us have ever done before, and it will be an interesting challenge attempting to upload numerous videos and edit them together. One of the biggest challenges is directing movement. Fortunately, most of the play entails characters sat in theatre seats, but at one point, many characters get up and have conversation with other people. Managing to get those people to appear to be engaging in conversation – with the correct person – over Zoom will be a task, but one which we are all looking forward to trying to overcome. This is my fourth and final time being involved in the directing of an interhouse drama production, and I will be very sad to see it over. This year, Woolman have been fortunate enough to have two brilliant younger actors, Ella and Noah, take on directing roles as well. Often, we split rehearsals and Ella and Noah will take a group away to work with, no doubt this will be very useful for them, improving their ability to lead a group as well as their drama skills overall. I still need to share my secret with them for getting everyone to attend an in-person rehearsal – it involves cake! These two will undoubtedly be the beating heart of drama in both Woolman and the school as a whole in the coming years. I will look forward to hearing about the exciting productions they are involved with in the future, and do hope they will be able to enjoy a live audience. Ben - Woolman

Directing an online play definitely has challenges but challenges worth taking. It has it’s ups and downs like ‘normal’ plays but unlike ‘normal’ the internet is the biggest bug-bear. Despite this, with a determined cast, you can get the job done. After unsuccessfully scouring the Web for a suitable play, I decided to write my own. It is called ‘Group Therapy’ and highlights the troubles of lockdown and the tragedy’s of the victims from the pandemic. Interwoven within the play are poems written by individuals from around the world that express the emotions COVID has brought. The characters consist of a teenager, a parent, and older women and a therapist/ narrator to show the points of view from all stages of life.

Ackworth School’s First Virtual Post 18 Options Evening

Scan Me!

Tuesday 26th-Thursday 28th January 2021 Hosting our Post 18 Options Evening during the COVID-19 pandemic was always going to be an interesting and exciting challenge! Unable to host the event in our traditional manner, in centre library and the dining halls, we transitioned the event virtually, via zoom, over three evenings from Tuesday 26th-Thursday 28th January 2021. We were delighted to be joined by a wide range of universities FE colleges, apprenticeship, and training providers, who shared information about their institutions with our own students and parents and the other local secondary school students who joined our event. Students could pick and choose the universities that they wished to meet with, to find out more about the university and courses through individual presentations and question and answer sessions. The students and parents that attend rated the usefulness of the event as 4.1 out of 5 stars! Thank you! We would also like to take this opportunity, to thank the universities that hosted, for giving so willingly of their time and providing a wealth of information and resources, to support our students in making their important post-18 decisions. The presentations from the events were recorded and are now available for those that were unable to join us. Scan the QR code which will take you to the website. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your post 18 options further, please contact Pip Langfield, Head of Careers at

Rehearsals vary, depending on day, due to the school routine for individual cast members together with the feeling of strained eyes from prolonged use of our iPads. However, our cast have put all their effort into it and are persistent despite this. Having a range of ages does add to the difficulties when casting but with audition tapes being sent, it really helped to put the cast into their characters. Seeing this original piece come to life is very moving and I thank our cast for being open and doing their best to respect the specifics I request for the play. ‘Group Therapy’ isn’t supposed to be a ‘closed’ play as you shall soon realise, it is open to all and will connect with each individual in our audience. The isolation the play portrays is common for each of us but the key lesson we can take from it, is to connect with each other. Nathan - Fothergill | 23

SENIOR SCHOOL A year in the life - United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Maths Challenges The first lockdown nearly put paid to the follow-on rounds for the Intermediate Maths Challenge last March, but happily Dori, Felicia, Freddie, Leo and Rhys were able to compete, with Dori gaining a very high Merit in the Cayley Olympiad paper, and the other four scoring highly in their Kangaroo challenges. The 1st and 2nd formers should have had their chance immediately after Easter, but with all prospects of classroom schooling removed, the UKMT challenge team worked hard to transfer the Junior Challenge online, which enabled 39 of our pupils (including two from Coram House) to take advantage of their opportunity one morning in June. The grade boundaries proved to be higher than in previous years but 1 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze certificates were awarded, with George and William achieving the best scores in their year groups, and David the best score in school. Sadly, no follow-on rounds were possible on this occasion. November 2020 brought the seniors their chance, and the UKMT had enabled the challenge to be done either on paper or online, so 31 of our sixth form students sat it in the traditional way, and gained 4 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze certificates between them – a great performance. Aldrich, Anson and Oliver qualified to take the first Olympiad paper, and Rain the Kangaroo challenge. Aldrich was awarded a Distinction for his efforts. Locked down again in January 2021, the maths staff worked hard to ensure that all top set mathematicians in 3rd, 4th and 5th forms took advantage of their opportunity to take the Intermediate Challenge on-line in lesson time. All but two pupils responded and, at time of writing, we eagerly await their results. As certificates are awarded nationally in fixed proportions (the top 40% gain

Teaching PE remotely As a school we have transitioned very well from the field, sports hall, astro and netball courts to online learning. We have delivered a range of lessons based around fitness, health and well-being as well as adapting our skills of netball. The pupils have learnt GCSE PE terminology throughout their practical lessons, and they have all done brilliantly. Within the fitness lessons, we have looked at HIIT training, circuit training and aerobics. In the netball lessons we have replicated skills and rules of netball so when we get back on the netball courts, the pupils are at an advantage with their knowledge and understanding as well as their handeye coordination. The engagement from all children has been fantastic and as a department we are extremely proud of them.

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bronze/silver/gold in the ratio 3:2:1) we are in the hands of the rest of the entrants to determine what colours our results may be. I would encourage individuals to value their own score, measure their result by their own input, and be satisfied if they did the best they could at the time. After all, if you never accept a challenge, you won’t appreciate the feeling of success. will take anyone to the site. Past papers are available for practice, and the comparatively new site currently has resources for Junior and Intermediate papers, enabling pupils to help themselves prepare, with tips and hints along the way. So, to any 1st and 2nd form (or younger) mathematicians, I say “Be ready!”. The next Junior Maths Challenge is due to run at the end of April. All first formers will be offered the opportunity, along with top set 2nd form and any other younger pupils who wish to take up the challenge. Speak to your maths teacher to find out more. If you can solve this question from last year, you’re off to a good start: Susan Swales Maths Challenge Co-ordinator

Some words from our PE pupils During PE in lockdown, we have learnt lots of new information about different exercises. We have learnt how to control and measure our heart rate. Whilst doing vigorous exercise we have learnt that we should work up to 80% of your maximum heart rate which can be found by taking your age from 220. We have been doing active rests where you do a plank in your rest, this keeps our heart rates elevated so they do not drop and then ascend as we begin the next exercise. We have also learnt how to mould our exercises around our abilities and revolve them around specific sports. In our current PE lessons, we are focusing on netball and doing exercises involving a ball and specific to netball. It is obviously different from normal PE lessons and it is a shame that we can’t put our skills to practice in games as a team, but I still really enjoy lockdown PE lessons. We have also learnt some new key words which include: cardiovascular endurance, which gives your muscles the ability to work for shorter periods of time, but quicker, an example where this might be used is the 100m sprint. The opposite of this is muscular endurance, which allows you


to work for a longer space of time, an example of this is football. Also, isotonic and isometric, isotonic is when you are moving and isometric is when you are still for example doing a handstand. I have really liked the fact that we are doing PE as a year group, and doing the same exercises at the same time, as it is a chance to come together. I really enjoy that it doesn’t feel like you are alone, you are in a group supporting each other. Also, I like that we can customize the different exercises to match our ability, and not be judged by our decision. PE has inspired me to go on regular runs, to try to stay active and ready for when we are back in lesson, and back at sports. It has shown me that exercising makes me feel better in lockdown and more connected to my year as we all do it together. Eleanor and Megan – 2nd Form During lockdown I really think that PE has helped me through the weeks so far , because when all of us are on the screen with our cameras on doing fun activities it sometimes feel like nothing else matters because you are with your friends having fun . The teachers also make it really exciting because they tell us fun things to do and recommend new techniques to help you through it and are always there to support you. Hannah – 2nd Form In PE this half term we have been doing fitness and netball. In fitness, we have been doing circuit training, in many ways (my favourite was the pyramid training). In netball we have been working on our footwork skills by talking about all of the different techniques and rules of the game; we also did some circuit training using a ball or a pair of socks. In my opinion, I have enjoyed seeing everyone doing the online lesson; even if it is on the other end of a screen. Online learning is different to being in the sports hall or on the astroturf but I think that the PE staff and ourselves have adapted to our environment very well. Personally I have very much enjoyed PE. Bella – 4th Form PE is one of the most difficult, yet important components of school especially online.Throughout the term our lessons have adapted, in order to benefit pupils at home. Creating a routine of regular physical activity that challenges us in a way we haven’t experience while at school. Compared to normal lessons, there may be no; netball, basketball or hockey, yet it encourages and inspires pupils to explore activities outside of a regular lesson format. Going for a run, walking, or even cycling; especially due to being on our iPads all the time; PE allows us the opportunity to socialise while exercising. Providing pupils the necessary break to the hustle and bustle of online learning. Annabel – 4th Form In PE this half term, we have been doing netball and fitness. In netball we have been doing drills and looking at the

rules of the game. As we are not all together it is very limited to what we can do . However in our PE lessons many pupils put their cameras on and it is nice to see everyone. As I am a competitive athlete I miss the challenge of winning and being able to work with my team mates and to achieve the goal of winning. I enjoy training but I miss the opportunity to train with my fellow class mates and to implement that by excelling on the court. During the varies lockdowns I have taken the opportunity when practical and aloud to meet with a few friends either to go on long bike or to go on a run, to keep my fitness levels up to speed and also for my mental health. Amelia – 4th Form This term i have learnt many new things in PE and have enjoyed them all. We have focused on muscles in the body and what they do and how they effect our performance. I’m sure this is going to assist us when we get to school in the sports that we do. This will certainly improve my performance in the sports i play. I have most enjoyed fitness as we are learning new exercises and skills. Although we aren’t at school i am still fond of PE and find it no different except that it is on screen. Anna – 1st Form During online learning, My experience with PE has been a positive one. It is a challenging subject for both teachers to teach and pupils to participate in Via video. We haven’t had the normal benefit of working with partners or in groups. However, my PE teachers have been very creative and kept the lessons interesting and interactive. I have learnt several new skills such as different types of exercises within circuits and more control over the ball in netball. When we are individually asked questions, I feel like I participate in the lessons more. I like the fact that more pupils put their cameras on in PE versus other lessons so we can see our classmates and have more team spirit. Sofia – 3rd Form

Music - KS3

Scan Me!

Pupils in first, second and third years have been working hard to keep music-making alive during lockdown. First and Second Formers studying folk music have been working on a mini-performance of “Drunken Sailor”, and their own arrangement of “Wellerman”, a sea shanty which has recently gone viral on social media. Third Form pupils have been studying film music and have recorded performances of “Hedwig’s Theme” from the Harry Potter films as well as creating their own music to accompany a short scene from a Tom and Jerry cartoon, employing the technique of “Mickey-Mousing”. All this has been done using GarageBand app, allowing pupils to continue practically exploring music whilst at home and develop some ICT skills too! Scan the QR code to listen to examples of pupils’ work. | 25


Table Tennis Academy

Until lockdown, our training was in full flow and every player was developing their table tennis skills. New methods of physical and mental programmes were put in place. This was implemented to enhance speed and agility, alongside resilience and problem solving. Lockdown meant we had to innovate. Zoom meetings are held weekly with the whole squad and both coaches Eli and Sam.


Academy Review Ackworth football academy has contributed enormously to my development on and of the pitch. I have been able to become a more multicultural person, as the group of players I train and relate with are from different parts of the world. The coaches and players have created a culture that makes settling into the new environment almost instant. Overall, I would recommend this program to any aspiring footballer who is willing to join a football academy and balance their academics simultaneously. Gelegu 26 | SPRING 2021, ISSUE 11

We use our meetings to learn more about one another and develop a future strategy for when we return to the training hall. We are delighted to have a new German student join us (Noah Trende). He arrived in January (mid lock down) so we have only spoken via our group Zoom meetings. Positive changes are on the horizon and we are all looking forward to getting back to training. Eli Baraty – Table Tennis Coach


Something feels different

Remote learning within our Autism Resource

We sought to improve the sustainability of our production processes used for this edition of Ackworth Today. The paper you have in your hands is FSC certified, uncoated and printed with vegetable-based ink. The FSC system allows us to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products made with materials from wellmanaged forests and/or recycled sources. FSC’s “tick tree” logo certifies products under the FSC system.

Alex was asked to choose a famous landmark for his Design and Technology project, and then plan and design how he would tackle the construction. He needed to consider what materials he would use, how he was going to build etc and this is what he came back with!

Stevie is making a welcome sign for the Resource. His dad is a key worker, as he works for the NHS, so Stevie has been in school each day. | 27


Easter Gathering 2021 This year we hope to deliver a Virtual Easter Gathering Event which will follow the format for a usual Easter at Ackworth School. Your Old Scholar community have created a programme full of Live events which will be available on either Facebook or Zoom, and a set of pre-recorded sessions. If you would like more information regarding the event, contact your Old Scholar representative Rebecca Edgington at or 01977 233 699. We will be releasing further information soon so look out on your Old Scholar socials for events over the Easter Weekend!

Health Care Heroes - Old Scholars’ Stories Fiona Wood (OS 1970 – 1975) Celebrating the stories of Ackworth’s Old Scholars working in the National Health Service just would not be complete without mentioning our very own medical marvel, Professor Fiona Wood. Australian of the Year 2005, mother of six, and a pioneer in burns, scarring, and wound healing, Fiona Wood has most certainly made her mark on the world of medicine. She continues to do so with her work as the director of the Burns Service of Western Australia and the Burn Injury Research Unit in the University of WA. In 2002, Prof. Wood found herself on the hospital frontline after a terror attack on the Indonesian island of Bali. 202 people lost their lives in the Bali Bombings, which left a further 209 seriously injured, of which 28 required treatment in the Royal Perth Hospital Burns Unit in Australia. With 20 years of training behind her, and as director of the Burns Unit, Fiona led her team to save the victims, but said that she could not have done this without the support they had received from the Western Australian community. 28 | SPRING 2021, ISSUE 11

Fast forward 18 years and Prof. Wood again finds herself battling through another historic event in the making, the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiona is rapidly building a team focusing on innovation and engaging the community with their ideas, which has already brought ideas to life building capacity to solve problems seen every day. Prof. Wood’s time at Ackworth School culminated in her becoming Head Girl in 1975. Excelling in the sciences and with maths being her favourite subject, Fiona went on to train at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. She tells us how Ackworth School influenced her:

“I feel it is a privileged to have had the education and training that started at Ackworth, being a surgeon and researcher is how I follow the ethos, non sibi sed omnibus, not for oneself but for others.” From Ackworth School and your Old Scholar Community, we thank you Fiona!


Aidan Hindley (OS 1975 - 1979) “Ackworth has left me with skills that have shaped who I have become”. Aidan’s career, after his education, took him to Pinderfields Hospital, in Wakefield. Whilst he enjoyed his porter responsibilities, Aidan’s management sensed he was somewhat wasted in this particular roll and sent Aidan up to speak with a senior sister on the cardiology ward which piqued his interest in the medical field. Aidan applied to study nursing at the hospital, which he has been doing ever since. Aidan’s current role at the research tissue bank for Leeds University as a nurse specialist in research and pathology, deals with anything human tissue related including legislation, writing ethics, and making sure departments are legal and ethical when setting up clinical trials. “It’s a varied job which keeps expanding”, he said. Aidan manages to maintain his key roles within the department whilst having to juggle anyone with a problem who comes to him. His role takes him all over Yorkshire, often working with sponsors from Yorkshire Cancer Research helping out with various aspects of clinical trials supported or run by Leeds University. A highlight in Aidan’s career was whilst he was working within ophthalmology. Aidan set up a service for Leeds Teaching Hospitals which saw them climb the donation rate rankings from 50th up to the top 5 in the country! This achievement did not go unnoticed and

Jenny Martin (OS 1993 – 2000) Beginning to understand how the pandemic has been affecting the health care sector can be difficult. We spoke with Jenny Martin, a junior doctor from the North East working with senior psychiatric patients, about her experiences through the pandemic. Jenny was part of the Ackworth School family as a boarder for seven years and spoke about how it ran through her veins, having had two generations before her also attend the school. Studying on for a further six years to achieve her BSc in Medical Science and her Bachelor of Medicine, Jenny has been working whilst hands on training ever since. A humble Jenny explained, “I feel lucky to have been able to continue to work through the pandemic even though the added pressures have been challenging.” A particular challenge that Jenny has faced has been moving

Aidan found himself being headhunted by UK Transplant, an organisation that represents health professionals and scientists involved in organ transplantation, where he became the research retrieval and transplant teacher for the North East of England – a role which he enjoyed and got him out of the office on occasion. “Some of the lessons we learnt from the project have now gone on to be standard practice for UK Transplant today”. During the pandemic, Aidan found himself leaving his desk and being released back into the NHS whilst the university had shut down temporarily. Aidan found it would be his skills and qualifications gained in mortuary-based technology which would see him re-enter into the front line, an area in which the NHS has been understaffed. Aidan says he has carried many of the core values of Ackworth through with him in life, a lot of positive lasting impressions such as becoming more thoughtful and selfexamining, realising further benefits as he grows older. He is keen to come back to the school and speak with some of the pupils about his career, which we hope to take him up on once some kind of normality resumes. From Ackworth School and your Old Scholar community, we thank you!

consulting online and over the telephone whilst dealing with individuals hard of hearing and who experience memory loss. She has found that it has been intensely difficult for those already isolated in society. However, Jenny spoke of how she hopes for a return to normality for our younger people with schools having partially reopened.

“I have carried the passion and ethos of Ackworth School on with me through life,” she said. “I wanted to participate in everything whilst at the school, something I find hasn’t changed much in my working role today!” From Ackworth School and your Old Scholar community, we thank you Jenny.

Do you work for the National Health Service? We want to hear from you!

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OLD SCHOLARS Ackworth School Samplers Ackworth’s school girl samplers have a global reputation, and our collection attracts visitors from all over the world. They were made between the late 1700s and early 1800s by pupils as a sample of their needlework skills, and were rather like a modern day CV when looking for employment. In our 240th, Ackworth School celebrated the anniversary by releasing a limited edition ‘240th Anniversary Sampler’. The exclusive design was produced in a limited run of 240 pieces. To purchase one, please contact Ackworth School samplers, collected, copied, chartered, studied for so many reasons by curators, Quakers, family historians, embroiderers, and those who are simply curious, are now amongst the most instantly recognizable of all the many groups of school girl needlework to have come to light over the years. Their various formats, whether lines of marking, neat inscriptions or extracts, single or superb darns, medallions and floral sprigs, black, white or many coloured, are quite distinctive.

Yet these samplers are of their time and relate to other needlework, Quaker and non Quaker, on both sides of the Atlantic. Their special features can perhaps tell us something about the life and times of the girls who made them: they can almost be considered a key to their exclusive world. The story that the Ackworth samplers could tell may never be complete, but using them as documents and adding meagre personal material, information from the registers, school books and accounts, together with references to other Quaker schools and families may help to provide answers to all the familiar questions that the samplers prompt.

Excerpt taken from Quaker School Girl Samplers from Ackworth by Carol Humphrey.

Obituaries Rosemary Johnson (OS 1948 – 1963) (1934 – 2020) Rosemary was born in Rugby, the eldest of three children. During her time at Sibford her love of music was kindled and when she arrived at Ackworth in 1948 her musical talent was recognised and encouraged by Miss Stephens (Stevie). Rosemary developed her study of piano and viola and she enjoyed participating on several occasions in the Harrogate Music Festival. Rosemary continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, staying on for an extra year to concentrate on accompanying. She attended a Quaker summer camp at Great Ayton, where she met Wallis Johnson, who at that time was teaching Geography in Croydon. Anyone who played an instrument was encouraged to bring it along and Wallis, Rosemary and another pianist performed a Mozart trio for clarinet, viola and piano. Romance blossomed during Rosemary’s first teaching post in Sherborne, distances were covered on a Lambretta, and she and Wallis were married in Golders Green Meeting in September 1958. Two months later they boarded a slow cargo ship to Nigeria, where Wallis had secured a job as Geography teacher at a school in Abeokuta. Three and 30 | SPRING 2021, ISSUE 11

a half fascinating years lay ahead of them, as well as the birth of their first two children, Bryony and Chris. Rosemary’s second period of time at Ackworth began in 1962 when Wallis was appointed to the Geography department. Once their youngest child, Nick, was settled into primary school, Rosemary also joined the staff as piano teacher. Ackworth School provided the family with a wonderful community of friends and colleagues for eight happy years. In 1970 Wallis joined the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the family moved to York. Rosemary delighted in all the opportunities city life afforded her and she found work as a piano teacher at The Mount School and the former St John’s College. She joined the University Choir and was a founder member of the Guildhall Orchestra, whose home soon became the York Barbican concert hall. Rosemary taught a great number of piano pupils over the years, taking a genuine interest in them as people as well as musicians and making lifelong friends with many. At Hartrigg Oaks she was an enthusiastic member of the Music Committee. She continued to play piano duets until shortly before her death. The key loves of Rosemary’s life were family, music and people. She belonged to the Friends’ Prison Visiting Group for many years. Her life was a testament to the Quaker way of looking for the good in everyone she met, and she was rewarded with many rich friendships. She leaves Wallis, three children, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Jane Waugh, nee Ashford Jane was born 1951 in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, to Army parents whose international travels ended in Bramhope, Leeds. Many school friends have memories of fun from when Jane boarded at Ackworth from 1962 to 1967, leaving in lower sixth to start her career in childcare. Her love of children and desire to help others were unwavering throughout her life. It was at College in Crouch End, London, where Jane met a fellow Ackworth old scholar, Douglas Waugh and in 1975 they married in the Meeting House, Leeds, and set-up home in Leicester where Jane was third in charge of a children’s home. Later they moved north, living in Brancepeth, County Durham, in a house they had renovated and where they lived for 14 years, during which their daughter Katherine arrived. Jane delighted in being a mother and gave up employed work. It was while Jane was pregnant that she became a vegetarian. Jane enjoyed family holidays in Landmark Trust properties, as well as in Australia with her brother Robert’s family and in England with her Ackworth old scholar sister Judy and her family. In retirement Jane and Douglas travelled to Venice, Paris and Brussels.

After Brancepeth the family moved to Burnham, Buckinghamshire before returning north to Richmond and another old house, requiring much renovation. Here Jane volunteered again, working for Oxfam, delivering library books and providing tuition in reading and writing for adults. Jane also worked in the Tourist Information Centre, but when the early signs of dementia made her role more difficult Jane retired. Over time, Jane gradually gave up her voluntary work as well. In 2018, Jane, shortly after the birth of her much-adored first grandson, moved into a care home and died peacefully on October 16, 2020, aged 69. Elders from Harrogate Meeting kindly led Jane’s funeral.

Edwina Margaret Brown (nee Costley) It is with great sadness that we report the death of Edwina (known as Margaret). She was born on 3rd October 1931 and died on the 23rd February last year. The Costley family have a long tradition of attending Ackworth. Edwina had many photographs of the school, including some of Edwina and her late husband attending school reunions. Margaret was the first and only female Costley to attend, but the male side of the family spans three or four generations. Margaret always spoke of her time at the school with fondness, and her autograph book is full of final well wishes and drawings from her school friends which she still held in her possession, a touching legacy of her school days. She is pictured here at Ackworth School (Top picture, top left).

Believing In Bursaries:

Ayham’s Story Ayham Alhalabi (OS 2016 – 2018) Ayham Alhalabi was 18 years old when his mother, two younger brothers, and himself fled Syria leaving behind their life due to the conflicts of war. Having already lost his father and with Ayham’s youngest brother unwell, Ayham vowed to give his family the best chance to rebuild their future.

Having managed to safely escape Syria, it was not long before Ayham and his family received the news from United Nations that they had successfully been accepted into the UK. Ayham was in “disbelief” and shared how it was “like a dream”. On 28th April 2014, Ayham, his mother, and two younger brothers arrived in the UK, but Ayham still had the heavy worry of his unwell brother on his shoulders. Ayham’s devotion to his family and brother had previously taken priority over his education and his own future. Unfortunately, due to having no record of Ayham’s Syrian qualifications and his English very poor, Bradford College could only offer Ayham a course at GCSE level. Realising it would most likely be another four years before he could achieve his dream of studying medicine, | 31

OLD SCHOLARS Ayham began to question himself. Was he doing the right thing? Was this the end of his journey? Was it time to give up on his dream? In 2015, Ayham started his GCSE courses offered to him by Bradford College, but did not pass all his subjects and therefore was not offered a position of A-Level. Ayham’s resilience was being tested – he re-sat his GCSE’s. This time around he took his exam at Ackworth School. During his English exam, Ayham gave a presentation of his experiences in Syria and shared the story of his family’s journey. Taken back by this, Ackworth School offered Ayham a 100% bursary for him to continue his studies, along with additional support for him to be successful. A bright future began to emerge for Ayham. While he was torn on whether or not to leave his family, he had the full support of his family who recognised that this was an opportunity too good to turn down. Having been a little older than the regular pupils, Ayham found that football was a perfect way to engage and integrate. His fears of loneliness and not being accepted were wiped away as the teachers and pupils of Ackworth embraced him. Ayham is currently in his third year of studying Pharmacy at Bradford University. Given the help he received, he is paying it forward by providing private tutoring for members of his local community and refugees who have faced similar obstacles. He also hopes his younger brother, now doing very well, will follow in his footsteps and study medicine. “Motivation is very important, without it there is no life. Keep believing in yourself and remember, if you CAN you WILL!”

Building Futures At Ackworth School Ackworth School has always been a place where helping hands have been within reach. A place where children can step into life surrounded by people who care and believe in them. So, why should this change now? Maintaining the school’s ethos whilst recognising a proactive solution to remove barriers of ethnicity, class or gender is at the forefront of our Building Futures campaign. A gift towards our building futures programme would ensure that pupils with limited means can have the experience of an Ackworth education and ensure they reach their greatest potential. Simplicity, trust, equality, peace and sustainability are at the heart of the Quaker way of life. These principles make possible an education based on mutual respect and trust, and a belief that every member of the community is important, a trait which is so often lacking in modern society. Alistair Boucher, Head of Drama says, “I have seen the impact and value an Ackworth education can have on a pupil who never thought they could have such an opportunity: academic achievement, yes, but emotional development, a groundedness, an understanding of themselves as a valued and valuable member of a community. There are many stories to be told and celebrated from those who have achieved so much, and we owe so much in turn to the amazing donors who support these children along their journeys.” Chris Allen, Ackworth School Committee Member believes in the bursary fund because it allows Ackworth to share all it has to offer with a much wider pool of children, irrespective 32 | SPRING 2021, ISSUE 11

Ayham’s story is just one of so many similar refugee stories, though most do not have such a happy ending. It highlights the effects that the gift of giving can have on one individual and in turn their family and community. There were many opportunities for Ayham to give up on himself, and to stop believing – but he didn’t. Here at Ackworth, we recognise the human spirit that Ayham demonstrates, and have done so since John Fothergill opened the school for poor Quaker children. When considering whether to contribute I would ask you to think of our school values and utter the words – Non Sibi Sed Omnibus, “not for oneself, but for all”.

A Message From The Head Anton Maree is passionate about education, having grown up in a boarding school in South Africa and after attending one of South Africa’s great boarding schools, Queen’s College. He tells us, “leading by example is an important part of my philosophy. Consideration, care, equality and reflection is at the heart of all that I aspire to do at the school”.

of their background or their family means. It has always been a core part of the Ackworth mission, in keeping with our Quaker principles, to ensure education extends to those not in affluence, appreciating that everyone benefits from a broader, more inclusive school community.

Ways You Can Help Ackworth School has given millions of pounds worth of bursaries in recent years to deserving children. To help maintain our current level of bursary giving, we need your support. Please join us in helping make children’s futures brighter and give a gift to the Building Futures bursary fund.

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You can make a gift by: Standing order Setting up a standing order for monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments is easier than you think! Cash donations Make a one-off payment by card, cheque, or BAC’s payment by getting in touch. Visit to make a gift or the QR code above will take you to our website or please contact our Development Department on 01977 233 623, or email if you have any questions about helping build futures at Ackworth School. Thank you.


Acceptance Try to accept the situation, and how you feel about it – don’t resist the challenges.

Living with Lockdown – a Quaker View by Zephyrine Barbarachild, Ackworth School’s Visiting Friend I have been invited to introduce myself as Ackworth’s Visiting Friend. My role since February 2020 is twofold. I was appointed firstly to help pupils, staff and parents - anyone in the Ackworth School community - to learn more about and live the Quaker ethos of our very special school. Secondly, I am a ‘listening ear’ to support members of the school community - you can contact me through the Bursar or the Marketing department. My background: I was an Ackworth boarding ‘scholar’ from September 1963 to July 1971, leaving to explore the big wide world after eight sheltered years in what was then an allboarding community. We were lucky back then to visit Moor Top, or even Pontefract, for a few hours! Born into a Quaker family, Ackworth’s ethos was already familiar. I loved my Ackworth years: learning German, French and Spanish, swimming, nature-walks, and endless reading in the fiction library. I hated games, was useless at maths, and hadn’t a clue about science subjects – fortunately Ackworth encouraged us to work to our strengths! Holidays dragged for me – after a week at home, I longed to return to my friends and the Ackworth routine. After leaving, I was an au pair in Germany for a year, before completing a degree in modern languages. I went on to ‘live adventurously’ for the next ten years: on a remote Scottish Highland croft, trained in mid-Wales as a medical herbalist, and lived for a while in London, before returning to my native Northwest England to train as a counsellor and part-time youthworker. I then re-trained in horticulture to work with learningdisabled young adults. I later established a garden design, construction and maintenance business, and in 2002 returned to University for four years of part-time post-graduate study, eventually becoming an associate researcher in Health Research. From 2008 to 2019 I enjoyed my time on the Ackworth School Committee – which enabled me to regularly re-visit my childhood ‘home’. I now volunteer in several community settings and I am always busy; walking in the hills or on the shore near my home, writing, and crocheting colourful blankets for children and families in Syrian refugee camps. The photo shows twenty-five of the three hundred blankets I have made in the last four years. What follows – drawing on my Quaker practice - are a few tips to get through frustrating restrictive Covid times together. If even one of them helps you, this will have served its purpose.

If the challenge is occasionally overwhelming, ask yourself “Can I see it from another angle?” If you feel down, change your activity. If all else fails, tomorrow is another day. Cut yourself a little slack. Keep It Simple Work out what are your essential responsibilities/ commitments. Take the pressure off – do less. Don’t spread yourself too thin trying to meet others’ needs. If you’re under pressure, lower your expectations – of yourself, and others. Guilt uses up precious energy and achieves nothing. Eat and drink well, exercise a little every day and rest. Positive Transformation Make a list: What do I hope to achieve today?What is there to look forward to today/this week/next week? A walk, a sunset, a meal, reading, a Zoom social event, watching tv/boxsets and, when all else fails, bedtime. Create structure – break up your day into manageable sections/activities (morning, afternoon and evening). Take an hourly five-minute break – make a brew, have a change of activity, take thinking-time. Be creative: crafting, art, enjoying nature, share photos with friends, learn a new skill. Be Gentle ‘Resilience’ is an over-used word – implying selfreliance. Sharing is more important – with family, neighbours, in the wider world. Do small kindnesses for others – get a buzz out of doing something for someone else. Be patient with yourself, and others. Live In The Moment The pandemic/lockdown restrictions will not go on indefinitely (though it sometimes feels that way). If you’re financially stretched, consider sharing shopping/cooking with another family or individual. If you’ve been fortunate enough to save money over lockdown, make future plans. If you‘ve lost someone, stay with the sadness – it will pass.

Say hello to everyone you meet – give thanks for what you have – share food – rest when you can - smile every day – be glad you’re alive. | 33


The Bag Fairies Thank you to everyone who sent in donations to support people in our local area who are finding things difficult. Lockdown 3 has affected people everywhere. As charity shops have closed, the families who rely on them are finding things particularly difficult. Pupils have brought in clothes, toiletries and bedding and have sorted through them to deliver them to a local support group The Bag Fairies, which is a clothing bank for families in need who have already supported 55 families since 11th January.

The Real Junk Food Project Over half term, Ackworth School teamed up with The Real Junk Food Project and Thomas Franks Foundation to provide over 5000 meals to vulnerable people in the Leeds and Wakefield communities. The Real Junk Food Project is the UK’s largest environmental charity, redistributing surplus food from right across the food industry.

Senior Citizens Gift by Ackworth Arrow Volunteers from our village have historically fundraised and organised an annual Ackworth Senior Citizens’ Christmas Tea in early December, which is hosted at Ackworth School. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus, this event was unable to take place in December 2020. The organisers of the Christmas Tea, Ackworth Senior Citizens Fund Committee, decided it would be nice to distribute a small gift in lieu of the meal. Ackworth Parish Council, This is Ackworth (TIA) and Ackworth School offered their support, in the hope of bringing a smile to the 226 senior citizens who requested a gift. What a wonderful response! The primary schools of Ackworth worked with the local community to create the designs for the gift tags that were distributed with the gifts to our local senior citizens, with a message that read: “Happy Christmas from the Senior Citizens Christmas Tea and Ackworth Parish Council. Your gift tag was designed by the Primary Schools of Ackworth”.

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On Saturday 12th December 2020, Ackworth Parish Council and Ackworth School distributed the 226 gifts to our local community and their gratitude was evident. We endeavor to host the Senior Citizen’s Christmas Tea in December 2021 and hope that in the meantime, we have collectively brought some joy to our village. Our many thanks go to Cllrs Sue and Terry Hollyhead, Mr Dave Johnson and District Councillor Allan Garbutt and Ackworth School for supporting this project.



Welcoming our New Staff Katie Flatters, Teaching Assistant, Coram House I am an old scholar of Ackworth, joining in Coram House and going all the way through Senior school to Sixth Form. I went to University in Carlisle to study a BA in performing arts majoring in technical theatre. This led me to working on outdoor events, touring theatre and eventually to become a technician at Wakefield Theatre Royal. Just over a year ago my husband and I had a little boy, and along with that came the decision to have a career change. I am now studying for a teaching assistant qualification and feel very privileged to be able to work in such a lovely and supportive environment.

Sophie Schoukroun Deputy Head of Coram House Prior to coming to Coram House, I spent thirteen years at The Minster School in York, as both a teacher and assistant head. I have been in England for twenty years. I began my teaching career in Beijing where I lived for five years, then moved to Myanmar where I taught at Yangon International School for three years. I am a mother of twins and my children attend Ackworth. We are embracing the challenges that a new life brings and settling well into our new community.

I am very much looking forward to getting to know all the pupils when we can return as a full school.

Since I set foot in Coram House last July, I immediately felt that it was a happy, loving and nurturing place. Over the past few months I have been lucky enough to visit the school a number of times, and I have always been greatly impressed by the levels of fun and genteelness demonstrated by the children and the staff.

Sean Hunt Teaching Assistant, Coram House

Each time I have visited they have made me feel extremely welcome, and I look forward to taking the time to get to know them all better over the coming months.

I have spent the past five years working within education, gaining experience as a teaching assistant, sports coach and peripatetic teacher. After graduating with a degree in Jazz and Popular Music, I spent four years working within schools in the West Midlands. This included a Sports and Activities Coaching position at the Wolverhampton Grammar Junior School, alongside peripatetic teaching within a range of primary and secondary schools. I moved back to my home county of Yorkshire last year, developing my skills as a teaching assistant before joining Coram House at Ackworth School. In my spare time I enjoy walking in the hills, watching sports, listening to music and keeping up my practice on the drums, to the delight of my neighbours. I am delighted to have joined the Ackworth family and have thoroughly enjoyed my time in school so far, getting to know the children and their diverse array of talents.

We welcome Enya Theodosia Hannington into the world, born 16th October 2020. Congratulations to Ciaran Hannington!

Whilst this is a strange time to be starting at the school, I have found the resilience and ability to adapt of all Coram House staff members staggering. I know that when all the children return, we will continue to adapt to support the children to be able to reflect and value all that is positive in their worlds. We have a hugely committed, dedicated and hard working team and fabulous children, and I am thrilled to now officially be part of the Coram House community. I look forward to meeting you when the opportunity arises and to sharing the journey that your child takes through this wonderful school.

PSA News Thank you to all the parents who have donated to our uniform appeal. A big thank you to parents for supporting us by ordering our Christmas wreaths. Due to the pandemic, we were unable to hold our usual wreath making class. 110 were sold! | 35

Pontefract Road, Ackworth, Pontefract, Wakefield, WF7 7LT Tel: +44 (0)1977 233600 Email:

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