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Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College

April 2019


Dear Parents and friends of our college, I deliberately left the writing of my article for this newsletter to the end of term as I wanted to write about one of the most anticipated events on our college calendar namely Performing Arts Evening. For the first time we ran this event over two consecutive evenings and on both night students wowed the audience with their energy and talent. The variety of acts was a delight it’s not often you would find David Bowie’s Life on Mars on the same set list as the “Drowsy Maggie” reel from the film Titanic. There were performances full of energy, passion and joy and at times the level of virtuosity on display was breathtaking. There are many factors which contribute to making a school successful and for me the Arts are the heartbeat of a successful school. If the Arts are healthy and being championed then I believe the school is a successful school. While many other schools both locally and nationally are cutting back on the Performing Arts here at Blessed Edwards it continues to go from strength to strength as the previous two nights will testify. We are also excited and looking forward to starting a GCSE equivalent qualification in Performing Arts in September 2019 to complement our Music GCSE qualification which has been successful over many years. To those of you who have children in Year 11 the next few weeks are a crucial time in their preparations for their GCSE examinations. It is important for them to have some down time over the Easter holiday but it is also a time when significant gains can be made in terms of revision. As always if you have any concerns about how we can best support your child regardless of which year group they are in please do not hesitate to contact us. Can I thank you all once again for your continued support over the past term and I wish you all a happy and holy Easter break. Greg McClarey - Headteacher The number of events that happen at this college is quite amazing! Our children demonstrate how, with a little encouragement from the staff and parents, anything is possible. On the 10th and 11th April students from the college will show off their talents with this years’ Performing Arts nights. For the first time, we are holding this on two consecutive nights due to the popularity of this event, giving more people the opportunity to attend. These events demonstrate that the Arts remain a key part of our school life. I know they are preparing hard and will put on a show that will again raise the bar as it seems to do every year. Over the next few weeks, as every parent of year 10 and 11 will be aware, we are helping the GCSE students become exam ready. I want to thank everybody involved. The extra time spent preparing the students to achieve their individual goals, while keeping a wide and varied curriculum that really make this school one of the best. Particularly when you consider the fact that we are one of the few schools that allow our children to make their own choice rather than forcing them down a league table biased curriculum. Our prayers and thoughts are with all our students when exams start on 13th May. Good luck to them all and a big thank you to all the Staff and Parents that play such an important role in our children’s achievements and helping all our students achieve their potential. On behalf of the Governing body may I thank everybody involved. Philip Carney - Chair of Governors P.S. Hope you are all still looking at the school Twitter feed and the regularly updated web page. It gives a snap shot of lots of great events in our school life, almost as it happens! Also the online calendar is great as you can download it to your own outlook calendar.

Safeguarding This term all year groups had an assembly on Child Sex Exploitation Awareness (CSE). The assembly slides have been put on the website on this link. Also just a reminder of the college’s safeguarding staff: Miss Mason - Designated Safeguard Lead & LAC Lead Mr McClarey - Deputy Safeguard Lead Mrs Thomas - Deputy Safeguard Lead Mrs Ennis - Deputy Safeguard Lead Mrs Girling - Governor with Safeguarding Responsibility Mr Carney - Chair of Governors Mr McClarey and Mrs Mason - Prevent Single Point of Contact. Miss Mason - DSL and LAC Lead

Key Dates 29th April - Students Return 2nd May - Year 7 Parents Evening 5th May - 1st day of Ramadan 10th May - Year 11 Celebration Mass 10th May - Year 11 pre-exam session 13th May - GCSE examination period begins 13th May - Year 9 Foundation Assessments Begin 15th May - Year 8 and 9 Girls HPV Vaccination 19th May - Blessing of Hands at St Chads 24th May - Students finish for half term holiday


Junior Maths Team Challenge - Best ever performance from Blesseds Maths Team Four of our top mathematicians smashed their way to 5th place in the Regional Final of the UKMT Team Maths Challenge at Wycliffe College, Stroud on Monday 4 March. Hans and Sian from Year 9, with Mariya and James from Year 8, fought their way through four tricky problem solving rounds, to beat all the other non-selective schools - a massive achievement. Congratulations to all four of our team. Mr Ellis - Maths Teacher Mariya, Hans, Sian and James, justly proud of their performance

Young Citizens Magistrates’ Mock Trial Competition On Saturday 9th March, eleven Year 9 students participated in the local heat of the Young Citizens Magistrates’ Mock Trial competition, held at Worcester Magistrates’ Court. Nine schools participated in the local heat, in which students took on the parts of magistrates, lawyers, defendants, witnesses and court officials in a specially written criminal case, which this year involved the theft of a mobile phone. The team took part in two rounds - prosecuting against Alcester Academy and defending against Studley High School - and were judged by real magistrates and other legal professionals. Competition was as always incredibly tough this year, with the Worcestershire local heat attracting entrants from across the county; however we were delighted to hear our name announced as the runners-up of the competition. As a result, the team have progressed to the Regional Heat and will have a second case to prepare. The students spent the months leading up to the competition working incredibly hard and spending much of their free time studying the case and preparing their roles, assisted by magistrate, Howard Painter. They were also lucky enough to visit the court before the competition to watch trials and observe how legal professionals conduct themselves. In addition to this, Lyra entered the Court Artist competition and observed one of the performances. Although unsuccessful on the day, many people from the court and other schools, commented on the quality of her entry. Lyra can now submit her entry which will then be judged nationally. Mrs Bailey - English Teacher


Teach a Friend a Language Day Twenty of our Year 8 students were involved in a cultural languages event on March 1st. Our Language ambassadors taught their friends some different phrases from the languages that they speak at home such as Turkish, Greek, Malayalam and Polish and talked about the culture. They also learned a new language taught by members of the MFL team like Japanese, Italian and Russian. It was a fantastic day and thank you to all of our language ambassadors.


Year 9 Fundraising Year 9 have been busy with charitable work over the last few months. Thank you to 9C, who raised over £290 for the Forgotten Children Charity, which helps to improve children's wellbeing and education worldwide. With the help of Mr Ndungu they organised events including a dodge ball tournament and a cake sale to achieve this. Big thanks too to Lana and Malaika who ice skated for 5 hours to raise over £300 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Sarah Diston, Fundraising Manager for Macmillan Worcestershire, came in to our College to collect the donation. The money raised will pay for a Macmillan nurse for 12 hours, or pay for 614 copies of the Macmillan Cancer Guide. Each guide can be read by up to 11 friends and family, meaning the money raised could help 6,754 people affected by cancer. Thank you Year 9, your support for others makes such a difference! Mrs Jones - Head of Year 9 Year 10 Mathematicians “Feast” in style Two teams of our most talented Year 10 mathematicians entered the annual “Maths Feast” team challenge in March. Organised by the Advanced Maths Support Group, and held at Worcester University Arena, the event comprised various “courses” to test the students’ problem solving skills. There was added “spice” in that we entered a team from set 1 (Alina , Eleanor, Max and Daniel), and from set 2 (Katie, Emily, Josh and Harrison). After a very challenging and enjoyable afternoon, which will help to consolidate their advanced mathematical skills, both teams scored excellent totals, with the set 1 team having a narrow advantage. Well done to all eight competitors. Mr Ellis - Maths Teacher

1st Picture: Dan, Alina, Ellie and Max 2nd Picture: Josh, Harrison, Emily and Katie


Year 10 GCSE History visit to ‘The Doctors Show’ Can you imagine what it would have been like to have an operation with no anaesthetic? How would you have been treated if you had the plague? Well this is exactly what the Year 10 historians found out when they went to see The Doctors Show at the Palace Theatre in Redditch. As part of the GCSE History course we study the changing nature of Health from the early medieval period to the present day. We look at how our understanding of anatomy, surgery and public health have developed over time and what factors have influenced these changes. The Doctors Show is a combination of a comical play interspersed with interactive exam busting sessions led by Josh Brooman, an eminent historian and publisher of school text books. The play took us through a whistle-stop tour of changes in medicine through time focussing on the main characters and their stories in order to build up a picture of how they caused medical knowledge to improve to the high standards we experience in our hospitals today. In addition Josh’s exam busting sessions took us through a variety of exam scenarios where we were asked to take on the role of the examiner. How would we mark the answers in front of us? This gave us a real insight into the style of questions used in exams as well as what we are expected to write when answering them. Mr Jessop, Head of Humanities.

Jamie, Caitlin and Hans top the Intermediate Maths Challenge Jamie and Caitlin, of Year 11, and Hans of Year 9, were our top performers in this year’s Intermediate Maths Challenge, organised by the UK Mathematics Trust. Jamie won “Best in School”, Hans was best in Year 9, and all three won Gold Certificates and were invited to participate in the follow-up “Kangaroo” competition – a great achievement for all three. Following close behind were another 13 pupils, who all won Silver certificates, including Daniel, who also won “Best in Year 10”. The Silver certificate winners were: Amelia, Dylan, Jamie, Owen, Robert , Mateus and Oliver (Year 11), Eleanor, Daniel, Michael and Max (Year 10), Isabel and Zidaan (Year 9). A further 30 pupils won Bronze certificates, giving us one of our best ever years in this competition. Many congratulations to everyone on such a great performance. Mr Ellis – Maths Teacher


Library News Kevin Brooke, our Patron of Reading, works closely with our Librarian and students to encourage the love of reading. Kevin, who is a member of The Society of Authors, nominated us for the "Reading for Pleasure Award". It is an honour to receive this award, and have recognition for the effort that students put into their reading. Many thanks to Kevin, who often attends events at our College, supporting us in many ways. The students benefit from having regular contact with a published author. Continued on the next page ... World Book Day Celebrations Sixty students from Year 7 took part in the amazing World Book Day celebrations with our Patron of Reading, Kevin Brook and illustrator Seraphim Bryant dressed up as knights to represent the character in his fantasy book, Matt and Luchia. Kevin talked about his latest two novels, comparing reality and fantasy, and how the two genres can complement each other. Seraphim demonstrated how simple illustrations can be created, and displayed her work, which features in Kevin’s book, Students were given 5 minutes to come up with a real life problem and to use fantasy to solve it. Their imaginations were endless!

On Tuesday 26th February 21 students attended an exciting talk with highly acclaimed author Candy Gourlay. Candy engaged with the audience from the beginning, talking about her journey to become an author, which was not an easy one. She gave hints about writing, creating characters and the plot, she received many rejections before her first book was accepted, but she never gave up. Candy also talked about her life as a child growing up in the Philippines, and how she always wanted to write. Scarlett, Year 7 commented that she was particularly interested in this. Candy's enthusiasm for books and writing was infectious and along with amazing presentation she enthralled us all.

We were delighted to invite Gothic poet and author, Suz Winspear, into College to talk to two groups of Year 8 students who are currently studying Gothic Literature in English . Suz shared the start of her vampire novel, and talked about setting the scene, using "show don't tell". Students were given mysterious pictures, such as an abandoned hospital, a desolate castle and spooky looking woods. They were asked to describe these pictures, saying how it made them feel, using all five senses and their imaginations. Many thanks to Suz for visiting us, the students really benefited from working with a published author and poet.


Many thanks to Kevin Brooke and Sera Bryant who judged our recent "Book Art" Competition. Students were asked to highlight words from a page in a book, turning them into a phrase or poem. They were also required to illustrate it. Both the words and the illustration were considered in the judging. Congratulations to Daniel Year 10 - First Liane Year 9 - Second Julia Year 10 - Third Hans Year 9 Highly Commended Grace Year 9 - Highly Commended George Year 10 - Highly Commended

Following from the previous page… Kevin Brooke nominated our college for the Reading For Pleasure Award which is signed by highly acclaimed author Sir Philip Pullman and president of the Society of Authors Kevin , our College Patron of Reading, works closely with our Librarian, Mrs Bromyard, and students to encourage the love of reading. Kevin, who is a member of The Society of Authors, nominated us for the "Reading for Pleasure Award". It is an honour to receive this award, and have recognition for the effort that students put into their reading. Many thanks to Kevin, who regularly attends events at our College, supporting us in many ways. Mrs Bromyard said that the students benefit from having regular contact with a published author, and have got to know Kevin very well, making him very welcome in our College community . "The encouragement to students to get involved in reading and writing is amazing and can be seen on noticeboards the moment you walk into the school. A visit to the library offers another journey into a world of literary delight that offers the students a place to enthuse about fiction, non-fiction and poetry alike. Then of course, there is the way that students are encouraged to get involved with the accelerated reader scheme, the literary KidsLitQuiz, the recent Summer Writing project that involved substantial research, an annual acrostic poem competition for the new Year 7s and in recently inspiring 19 students to be published in a local young writer’s anthology. These are just a few of the ways in which Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College creates an incredibly encouraging environment in reading for pleasure. I am always made to feel incredibly welcome by staff and students alike. I am honoured to be the school’s Patron of Reading and as soon as I heard about the award, I was extremely keen to nominate Blessed Edward Oldcorne as a means to say thank you and to highlight the work they do to inspire their students."


Science Week 11/3/19 - 15/3/19 This year’s Science Week was a great success with students enjoying different activities both in lessons and across the lunchtimes. Monday lunchtime kicked the week off with the ever popular Square Bubbles, followed by (amongst other things) Dissections, Science Illusions, Chromatography Cards and fun with the Van der Graaff. Also, throughout the week students set about constructing rockets to see whose would fly the furthest with 90 PSI blasted into them. An unusual hybrid aeroplane/rocket design proved disastrous – better luck next year Sophie! Andy (Year 9) came in third, second was a team effort from Marwah and Fatima (both Year 7) and the winning rocket was built by Jacob (Year 9), who is a veteran of previous rocket competitions. Science lessons were hijacked by Party Popper Science, Flame Tests, Aeroplane Dynamics, Electrostatic tricks and many more activities, which enabled the students to practice their investigative skills. The week culminated with the annual trip to the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham which once again, proved very popular with the Year 8s. Thank you to all the students who joined in and made it such an enjoyable event. The Science Department

Big Bang! On Friday 15th March the majority of Year 8 chose to join us on a visit to the Big Bang at the NEC. The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair is the United Kingdom’s largest celebration of STEM for young people, and is one of the largest youth events in the UK. It is led by Engineering UK in partnership with over 200 organisations across government, industry, education and the wider science and engineering community. Students were entertained by 'The Gastronaut', Stefan Gates and his team in a show called Weirdology. After this they had time to explore some of the many career areas linked to science and technology, try some hands on activities and speak to the experts. These ranged from the more obvious such as those from the medical professionals to creative arts departments in theatre. As expected the students behaviour during the day was excellent. Thanks to all staff involved for giving up their time to make this trip possible. Mrs McClarey - Science Teacher


From 4th-8th March we were fortunate enough to be accepted by the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Partnership and given the role as lead school for Worcs Girls Can 2019, a campaign styled on the national "This Girl Can" initiative aimed to break down barriers with girls and physical activity. We tailored the curriculum to offer alternative activities, provided the girls with break, lunchtime and after-school opportunities plus chances to go out of school to sporting venues participating in different physical activities. During the week we saw almost 600 girls involved with extra curricular and out of school activities such as Mountain Biking, Spin, Boogie Bounce, David Lloyd Experience days and Golf among the 30 activities going on throughout the week! 23 instructors provided us with their expertise along with the 10 non PE staff who were valuable in running sessions, transporting students to venues, supervising girls during activities whilst the PE staff were involved in delivering other sessions around school. Mrs Olver who did a fantastic job with social media and being inundated with photographs and hashtags! A fun, chaotic and rewarding week for all involved. The girls have all been sent a link to a questionnaire on google forms and already the feedback is humbling; "These activities allowed us to try something new and step outside our comfort zone" has been one response. The 12 ambassadors did a great job in making sure their year groups were informed of daily activities going on to. (Year 7 Caoimhe, Analise, Aimee, Year 8 Molly, Fran, Labiba, Year 9 Aimee, Ella, Hamaimah, Ella, Year 10 Dixie and Katie). We would like to thank everyone who got involved, provided a session, displayed a poster, incorporated Worcs Girls Can into their conversations, wore a sticker or generally upheld the vibe that was evident during the week, we look forward to next year. PE Department


Netball Weekend! On Friday 29th March we set off to PGL Liddington for the weekend with 20 Year 9 & 10 netballers. After some very early starts and some outstanding Netball, the Year 9's managed to remain unbeaten and came home Year 9 Champions. The Year 10's sailed into the final and after an extremely tense game, lost by 1 goal making them Tournament Runners up. We are extremely proud of you all - well done girls! Mrs Barrett, Mrs Coleman and Miss Ingram too!!! - PE Teachers

Pictured Year 9 Champions

Year 7 Football The college Year 7 football team were crowned partnership league winners in a tense final game against Christopher Whitehead on Monday 18th March with David scoring a last minute winner to seal a 1-0 victory. The team have gone unbeaten with 1 draw and 4 wins including an amazing 15-0 win against Chantry! Congratulations to the team! Mr Williams - PE Teacher

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