TERM FOUR EDITION
Careers: Tailor-made advice for students Page 4
Constructing The Megahedge Page 3
Macbeth Page 3
Policy News: Corby academies update
academy Funding agreed Academy plans in Corby have come a step further with funding being released for the construction of Corby Academy, and the go-ahead given for Brooke Weston to convert to Academy status. The two initiatives form part of the Government’s programme of educational reform but at a local level it will mean a major cash injection for Brooke Weston and the start of a massive construction project at the Priors Hall site where the Academy is due to be completed by 2008. As Brooke Weston is one of the three sponsors of the Corby Academy, its
principal, Peter Simpson, recently signed the initial contract which commits the backers, The Weston Foundation, Bee Bee Developments and Brooke Weston CTC to their pledged financial and organisational input. The Department for Education and Skills will then formally sign the agreement and plans for the Academy, designed by renowned architects, Norman Foster and Partners, will move one step closer. The signing comes after a DfES review which branded Brooke Weston ‘a powerful, confident and highly successful institution that has achieved sustained excellence in the learning and achievement
of all its students’. The ‘can-do’ attitude of students was praised, alongside its ‘world class features, especially in the outstanding success of students of all abilities at GCSE and in its curriculum which … genuinely seeks to embody personalisation and the
of new facilities. A project steering group is being formed to push the project forward with an architect for the building work likely to be appointed in the near future.
success in the PiPeline!
new Vice PrinciPal aPPointed
The new Vice Principal - Rachel Steele. Rachel, who will work alongside existing Vice Principals, Trish Stringer, Dr Andrew Campbell and Stuart Williams, will have special responsibility for pastoral care of students, a role fulfilled until recently by Clare Haworth. ‘The whole ethos here at Brooke Weston is really geared towards supporting students, whatever their needs,’ she Continues on Page 2
BRookE WESToN STUDENTS received the prestigious Gold Crest award after putting in hundreds of hours work on an engineering project. The Year 12 design and technology students impressed the judges so much by their teamwork and presentation skills that they will go forward to the regional Crest award in Derby. The Engineering in Education scheme is aimed at encouraging young engineers to overcome and work through real life problems which are faced in industry every day. Therefore the Brooke Weston students worked closely with the engineering manager at Corus, Steve Goode, in order to develop a tool to lift different sizes of tubes efficiently. other projects in the East Anglia region included loading ejector seats onto a vehicle, improving tool changes on a hydraulic press and designing a manual rail guided vehicle. Teacher, Nigel Barrett estimates that each member of the team probably put in over a hundred hours of work on the project, guided by himself and Steve.
Online College News 24-7 Brooke Weston Website: www.brookeweston.org
development of independent learning skills.’ Brooke Weston’s conversion to academy status means that Government cash totalling £4m plus £500,000 from the College itself will be used to build a range
Design Technology: A Corus of approval for engineering project
Staff Profile: Rachel Steele
RACHEl, WHo BEGAN HER teaching career at Beauchamp College in leicester, has been at Brooke Weston for three years, initially as a teacher before taking over as Head of Department in 2004. With a background in human resource management, her entire career has been spent in education. Prior to entering the teaching profession, she held a managerial position at De Montfort University which focused on student management and staff training and development. Rachel is inspired by her new role, which she officially starts at the beginning of next term: ‘I have really enjoyed my time as Head of English but I feel that the role of Vice Principal will expand my skills further and give me increased insight into management and educational policy making.’ she said.
Peter Simpson signing the initial documentation for the Corby Academy.
From left: Steve Goode, Nigel Barrett, Sava Grkinic, Sarah Brown, Michael Squires and Arron Taylor at the presentation at RAF Wyton. ‘We were among 15 schools which had to display the project and give a presentation to the judges, all senior managers in industry. The good news is that the Crest assessor was there and we were awarded the Gold Crest award. Although there was no win or lose on the day the participants are all personal winners if they have done enough to get the Gold Crest award.’
‘The students have the experience of working on a real life engineering problem which is the most important thing. It’s the first time they’ve ever really done such an in-depth project. It seemed we showed the best teamwork during our presentation.’ The team comprised Sarah Brown, Michael Squires, Arron Taylor and Sava Grkinic.
To contact us email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Project Trust
Getting A GLOBAL Perspective Some ex-students are experiencing a very unusual view of the world as they undertake gap year projects on three different continents.
Simon Vorley, Rosemary Pearce and Sarah Botterill are in Africa, Asia and South America respectively, gaining an amazing insight into their host countries. They have all found their year-long placements through The Project Trust which has sent over 4,000 volunteers abroad since it began in 1969. Here’s an account of their adventures so far…
Rosemary Pearce certainly seems to be enjoying her gap year teaching English but she still finds time to party with the fun-loving Thais! Rosemary, who teaches at two primary and one secondary school at Phana in north eastern Thailand, was invited to over 20 parties over New Year with dancing and karaoke being the order of the day! Rosemary sees her time at Brooke Weston as invaluable preparation for what she is doing now: ‘My whole education at Brooke Weston has really contributed to me being able to teach English. I sometimes teach adults and those who are more able want to know some grammar too. Remembering my German lessons at Brooke Weston and how Mrs Leuchars and Mr Nicholls taught us has also really helped me to plan my lessons.’ Rosemary’s accommodation is very different from home – and she sums it up vividly with her description: ‘We have everything we could ever need, but no hot water, sink or kettle. We get on fine by boiling water in a pan and throwing dirty water from the window. We are perfectly happy and even have a TV in both of our bedrooms; but we barely ever watch them since we don’t understand Thai well enough, and most of the programmes on schedule are terrible soaps.’
Simon Vorley’s years at Brooke Weston paid off as they taught him ‘to be very relaxed all the time, talk to anyone and take chances.’ … three great skills when you are taking a gap year in a foreign country! Simon is living in Uganda teaching sports to children and immersing himself in the local culture. After only four months he had explored the area around Kampala, developed a stomach virus and even appeared on national television fielding questions about football fans, so it’s definitely been a hectic time! His accommodation is ‘better than most – not many cockroaches but it’s very, very loud all the time; dogs, cats, rap music, live gospel choirs – the lot!’ He is kept busy: ‘I have been doing office work and football coaching with an organisation that provides sporting opportunities for children from all backgrounds. I even have my own team of six-year-olds!’ Simon says: ‘I haven’t achieved nearly enough yet and I would recommend this work to anyone who can handle their emotions, take risks and has plenty of mental stamina; or to anyone who doesn’t know what they want to do and thinks they can travel, learn and help people at the same time.’
The fund-raising and the preparation work demanded by Project Trust means that gap year students need determination and self-sufficiency even to get through the selection process. Rosemary and her peers had to undergo rigorous activities on the Isle of Coll and then take part in a ceilidh. Rosemary said: ‘Amy, my Project Trust partner, and I have in turn taught our Thai students the dances, dressed them up in tartan and made them dance in a show!’
Of the three ex-Brooke Weston students on Project Trust, Sarah Botterill is on the most remote placement, being deep in the rainforest of Guyana in South America. She is teaching maths and science to secondary school age pupils, although, if students do not pass the CXCs (the equivalent of our GCSEs) then they stop on at school. This means that Sarah sometimes teaches students older then herself! Home comforts are a rare luxury in the rainforest, her shower consists of an empty bean can which she fills with water, a solitary cold tap and a one ring stove. Supplies of dry goods such as pulses and flour are bought every three months in Georgetown, which is a two hour flight away, and Sarah then has to buy anything fresh from whatever is grown locally. Recently she had to survive on cabbage soup and cabbage curry and has even had an iron deficiency due to the fact that there is very little protein available. Sarah and her Project Trust partner have had to do a huge amount, writing lesson plans, assessments and schemes of work for the school. Most of the pupils board for three months at a time as their families live in such remote villages, and many have to walk a journey of two and a half days just to get to the school in the first place. Sarah, who is not contactable by either telephone or email took an iPod to the rainforest and has recently bought a radio so she can listen to the World Service. Her mother Gwyn says: ‘She will come back from the jungle a very different person. This experience has really opened her eyes to a completely different way of living.’
Genesis Theatre Schools Have you got the X-factor? Wannabe celebrities can brush up on their singing, dancing and acting skills at a theatre school held at Brooke Weston ... The Genesis Theatre School, founded by husband and wife team, Sara and Howard Charles has been running for over 10 years, and offers expert tuition and a chance for young people to gain confidence and skill. The couple, who both trained at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of music set up the school to teach children a variety of performing arts. Since then their formula has proved so popular that it takes place at another four venues and they even run three summer schools during the summer holidays. The three hour weekly sessions cover drama, dance and singing and culminate in shows each term, with a more major production taking place every two or three terms. Unlike other theatre schools each production is an original, written with the students in mind, meaning that each child has a chance to
perform something: ‘Every single person deserves lines and a role. Even the quietest person will have something to perform.’ said Sara. ‘One of the most exciting things we do is our summer school where we have to write and produce a two hour musical from scratch in just five days.’ Genesis, whose other tutors include David Erdos, who writes the productions, and Gemma Hayes, are so confident that children will enjoy themselves that they offer a free trial session to potential students. The Saturday school runs from 10am to 1pm during term times and the Summer School will be held from 24 to 28 July. Both schools are open to students aged between five and 17. The Saturday sessions cost £18 per child and the summer school costs £95. There is a 50 per cent discount for siblings.
more information contact Sara Charles on; ( For 01536 460928 or
Principal’s Editorial There is much talk in the national press of parents taking their children out of school during term time and thereby damaging their educational chances. Here at Brooke Weston very few parents ask for their children to have time off, and most who do have good reasons for the absence. However, an analysis of this year’s Year 11 group shows that those who have made least progress since Year 9 are those who have had most time off school. The graph below shows the relationship between time off and fall off in performance. It really is the case that we can only do our job if the children are here with us and that absence, for whatever reason, is damaging students’ prospects.
Y9 to Y11 Absence vs Performance
Curriculum: Travel and Tourism in Business Studies
local firm gives advice A local business manager visited the College to give students the low-down on travel agency work. Suzanne Miller, the manager of Thomson’s Corby branch, spent an hour with the Year 12 students who are studying travel and tourism as part of their business syllabus. The students have to research and design individual travel packages as part of their coursework and Suzanne was outlining the vast range of options open to the adventurous traveller nowadays. For thrill seekers there’s dedicated roller coaster tours in America, or if nature is more your thing then safaris, whale watching or even sighting grizzly bears can be arranged. Suzanne explained how the whole travel industry has been revolutionised over the past few years with cheaper flights and increased options meaning people travel more frequently, supplementing their main holiday with two or three shorter breaks each year. Cruises have recently taken off with massive interest from younger age-groups and formerly exotic destinations, such as the Himalayas, Nepal and Bhutan, are becoming within the reach of ordinary tourists. Technology has also meant a major change with branches now capable of becoming ‘virtual call centres’. At quieter moments staff can log on and process telephone enquiries from customers throughout the UK. The students also heard how other
Continued from Page 1
Staff Profile: Rachel Steele
Dominic Vallier, Kyle Fielding, Thomson’s Manager Suzanne Miller, Sarah Hadley and Jamie Singh. issues, such as terrorism have also affected the travel industry with bookings affected after terrorist outrages and superstitious travellers refusing to fly on September 11. Suzanne, who has been in the travel business for 10 years and a branch manager for five years, would definitely recommend it as a great career because there’s so many options available. ‘We take on a lot of younger people straight from school for jobs like holiday reps, but there’s so many opportunities from pilots down – or you could work your way up, in operations or head office jobs.’ One thing is for sure, a career in travel
and tourism is never dull; Suzanne’s booked a wedding party in St Lucia comprising 58 people and costing £60,000. Other memorable clients include the couple on a lavish round-the-world cruise costing £70,000! Business studies teacher, Dominic Vallier, who arranged for Suzanne to talk to students, Sarah Hadley, Jamie Singh and Kyle Fielding, said: ‘This has been a great opportunity for them to get a grasp of what travel packages are available and the issues surrounding the travel industry today. It will prove invaluable with their project work.’
said. ‘We have a cohesive support structure with liaison between parents and College, good communication between teachers and even dedicated student support staff, who are all committed to providing a safe and inclusive learning environment which allows our students to maximise the learning opportunities available to them.’ In her spare time Rachel has a busy home life with her family and counts gardening among her hobbies and, having a strong background in English, even finds time to read a few books – her favourite authors being Jane Austen and Ian McEwan. During her tenure as Head of Department she has been instrumental in raising the achievement of students, she has actively promoted author and theatre company visits, acting workshops and competitions. One of the highlights of her time here
has been seeing a large number of students have their work published in a poetry anthology. Although Rachel will miss being in such a fast-paced department, particularly the energy and creativity of her English colleagues, she is however looking forward to stamping her mark as VP. ‘This is an exciting time in the development of the college and I am particularly looking forward to working as part of the senior leadership team in the continued development of the college’ she said. Principal, Peter Simpson said: ‘The governors and senior management team all look forward to welcoming Rachel on board. Her experience and attitude means she will make an appreciable and valid contribution within an already strong team of Vice Principals. We wish her all the best in her new role.’
A tale full of sound and fury…
Lord and Lady Macbeth, Ellis Creez and Joanne Batt. Brooke Weston’s theatre was the venue for witchcraft, treachery and murder as the tragedy of Macbeth was played out for students. Visually gripping, the pared-down performance was enhanced by the combination of just three actors plus minimal props for maximum impact. Staff and students were particularly impressed by the use of a screen upon which scenes were both projected and silhouetted, but the final sword fight proved to be the real show-stopper. The hour-long drama was performed by the Katch 22 theatre company which has staged productions in more than 1,000 schools. Although shorter than the original Shakespeare classic, this production, adapted by Katch 22 founder Steve Kray contained all the main themes and was designed to appeal to the Year 8 students who are studying the text this year. Ellis Creez, who played the title role, said: ‘Bits have been chiselled off
but nothing has been added. It’s all in Shakespearean language, but some of it has been ‘cartooned up’ a little bit, just to make it accessible. The sword fight is my favourite part. Initially it did take a lot of practice – we can just about do it now!’ Lady Macbeth, aka Joanne Batt said: ‘Students say that our productions do make sense to them and are quite clear. Everyone always likes the sword fight at the end!’ This staging gave students a chance to see ‘the Scottish play’ in a new light with its portrayal of power, politics and naked ambition. Head of English, Rachel Steele said: ‘Students always get far more out of seeing a performance than just reading the text, so this production really breathed life into the characters. The shortened adaptation was very powerful and served to pinpoint the major ideas which we wanted the students to focus on.’
Training: Investing in people
English teacher Stephanie Gonda. Here at Brooke Weston we actively support teachers new to the profession during their induction year. Nine members of staff are successfully coming to the end of their first year of teaching and will achieve fully qualified teacher status in the summer. Teachers enter the profession via many routes. Some of our teachers opt to go straight to university from school, study their chosen subject to degree level and then complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. These include: Caroline Russon, Louise Feely, Selina Kurek, Jayne Herbert and Jen Watts. Others leave university, follow a career in industry and then choose to enter the profession by joining the Graduate Trainee Programme. This enables teachers to bring a wealth of industrial or commercial experience into the classroom.
During the transition to teaching, staff are able to combine practical experience in the classroom with a day release or a distance learning programme with a university to achieve their teaching qualification. The current staff who have entered by that route include Kyria Foster and Sarah Davis. Some teachers, such as Stephanie Gonda have teaching qualifications in another country but wish to gain a UK approved qualification. Jen Watts said: ‘The NQT system here is really good. What they offer us is tuition as and when we need it and full-on support from senior staff. If you need anything from anyone they will be there to help you especially if you’re an NQT so I feel I’ve got the support I need to progress as far as I can go. The long hours are a little bit unexpected but the rewards far outweigh that.’
Environment: Great efforts by volunteers
Mud, sweat & shears! Hours of hacking, bending and weaving have resulted in Brooke Weston’s shapely perimeter hedge that is capable of repelling stampeding animals! Thanks to the efforts of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and willing helpers from the College, the hawthorn hedge has been hacked and staked to create a viable wildlife habitat. Groundsmen Paul Twamley and Edward Roberts were assisted by teacher, Robert Nicholls and his wife plus student, Emma Hand during the ‘Megahedge’ event held during a chilly March weekend. The BTCV also supplied varying numbers of volunteers with anything from ten to 60 working on the hedge at any one time. The BTCV gave the volunteers safety gloves, tools and one and a half hours’ tuition explaining hedging terms and procedures. The first step was to take off all the growth to the front and left side of each tree. Then each main branch would be axed virtually all the way through at ground level allowing it to be bent and interwoven with the neighbouring bushes. The finishing touches of hazel stakes and binding were added to give stability and create the bare bones of the hedge which should fill out and develop over time. There are many regional variations of hedging but the pattern used at Brooke Weston was the ‘Midland Bullock’, so called because it would stop a charging bullock in its tracks! Teacher Robert Nicholls said: ‘The hardest thing so far has been knowing how much to hack off! When you’ve got everything being built round here like crazy then it’s quite nice to do something that creates a habitat for birds and wildlife.’ Year 12 student, Emma Hand said she got involved because she has previously
Greg Thurlow demonstrates the art of hedge laying to a group of volunteers. Inset: Emma Hand gets to work on the hedge. helped out at the spinney at Broughton pocket park, and the experience gained at Brooke Weston would come in handy… ‘My grandparents have got a bit of ancient hedge that they are trying to keep under control, so what I learn here should be useful with that hedge as well. It’s all been enjoyable and I’ve met some really nice people’ she said. The BTCV paired people up and then gave each couple a 10 metre stretch to concentrate their efforts on. Soup and hot drinks were provided and the volunteers were able to get some much-needed shelter in a marquee which gave some protection from occasional sleet showers, rain and biting winds! Instructor, Greg Thurlow, a professional hedge layer and dry stone waller said, that although the hacking preparation work looked drastic and destructive the resulting
hedge would provide a better habitat for more varieties of creature: ‘This hedge will attract birds and small mammals such as voles, mice and stoats. It will also be ideal for wrens, hedge sparrows, dunnocks, blue tits and, as the hedge gets older, yellowhammers, whitethroats and birds like that.’ As well as encouraging wildlife to the site the project was also eco-friendly in another way, with discarded branches and twigs being fed through a chipper and ending up as a decorative mulch on the College’s rosebeds; a perfect example of effective site management! The event also attracted media interest with reporters from BBC Radio Northampton, Northants 96 and Anglia Television coming along to check on progress at the College.
Oh la la!: French work experience
work experience ... with a difference! BROOKE WESTON STUDENTS recently got a taste of work experience in France, with one even having to conduct a radio interview, a real test of his language skills! During their work placements the students were expected to speak French at all times so the visit gave them a chance to speak the lingo and get a feel for French working life. Each student was given a week’s placement. As well as the radio station they worked at schools, a home for the handicapped, a café bar and even a golf course. The students comprised Daniel Carden from Year 13, along with Year 12 students; Rhianna Fisher, Charmaine Needham, Becky Adams, Becky Richardson, Donald Goodjohn, Reka Hollos, Ruth Shrimpling and Naomi Charles. Daniel Carden worked at the radio station where he recorded an interview about a French strike. He said: ‘They were really nice and the equipment wasn’t really that complicated. I just had to ask a set number of questions.’ Donald, who worked at the golf course, found that, as the game originated in the British Isles many of the technical terms were English, however the post-round babble was distinctly Gallic. ‘Speaking in the clubhouse was quite hard because they were all talking so fast’ he said.
From left: Becky Adams, Charmaine Needham, Rhianna Fisher, Becky Richardson, Daniel Carden and Donald Goodjohn. A contingent of Brooke Weston students make this trip annually. They are based at a village near Pontivy in Brittany where the accommodation is a converted mill and the work experience is arranged for them in the local area. This is the second year that Daniel Carden has attended so he knew a little of what to expect, although last year he worked in the town’s solicitors’ office. Becky Richardson, who was working in a café bar had a sharp learning curve as none of the staff or customers spoke English at all and rattled out French at
dix-neuf to the dozen! Becky Adams, Charmaine, Naomi, Rhianna and Reka all spent their placements in primary schools where the children responded really well to them, quizzed them on English words and wanted to know what bands they liked! The overall advice from the group to future students contemplating the trip is, firstly, get a good phrase book and, secondly: ‘just go for it, really throw yourself into it because you’ll enjoy it and, after all, you’re never going to see these people again!’
Careers: Work placements for Year 10 students wanted! Work experience placements are getting harder to find, but the benefits to students of experiencing the world of work are as great as ever. Brooke Weston is appealing for parents who may be able to take their children into their own place of work for a week or two
as all Year 10 students must complete two weeks of work experience. Careers adviser, Andy Primmett said: ‘Over the last few years there has been a decline in the number of businesses able to take students. If employers could offer a placement to their employees’ children
then that would be a way of solving this shortfall.’ If anyone can offer a placement to a student then could then please get in touch with careers adviser, Andy Primmett or Yvonne Jones, careers co-ordinator on 01536 396366 on Tuesdays or Fridays.
Visits: Academies reception at Downing St.
Just Visiting numBer 10!
Sport: Years 12 and 13 clash on the rugby pitch
sixth Form rugBy
PRINCIPAl PETER SIMPSoN recently visited No 10 Downing Street for a reception hosted by Tony Blair where he met up with other headteachers and Academy sponsors, including those from the Weston Foundation and The Mercers Company. All are at various stages of setting up and administering Academies all over the country so it was a great opportunity to catch up with the progress on similar schemes to the one in Corby. “It is an interesting group of people to mix with,” said Peter, “but there’s no doubt of their commitment to Academies. They really do see alliances between successful schools and those in difficulties as a way forward in secondary education.” The one and a half hour reception was attended by Under Secretary of State for Education, lord Adonis together with senior officials from the DfES.
Ryan Smith attacks the Year 12 defence.
Careers: Tailor-made advice for students
Andy Primmett advising students on their future. CHooSING WHICH oPTIoNS to take, either at GCSE level or in further education is always a tricky choice but Brooke Weston students are now getting tailor-made advice courtesy of new computer software. This is the first year that careers adviser, Andy Primmett has used the ‘Pathfinder’ careers matching programme so that each student gets a print out of their strengths, weaknesses and suggested career options suited to their particular abilities. The advantage of this software is that the questions can be tailored to specific year groups or ability levels, giving finely-tuned results. Currently Year 9s and Year 12s are benefiting from the software but such has been the success of the scheme that future students and more year groups will get a chance to participate. The Year 9s are seen as a key target group, because, as Andy explained: ‘If you choose the wrong options at GCSE it can block off career routes later on. Every year I deal with Year 11 students and Sixth Formers who want to do certain things but can’t because they’ve taken the wrong options. The aim of the programme is to really identify their key interests.’ The Year 9 tutor groups were able to complete detailed computer-based questions such as: ‘Would you like to write magazine articles?’ or ‘Would you like to calculate aircraft flight routes?’ which are designed to identify students’ interests in specific work activities and environments. They then answered supplementary questions on how health matters may affect their choice of work. At the end of the session the computer package produces a bar chart reflecting the student’s interests and suitability against
six main work categories: science and technology, language and communication, creativity, business, engineering and social/people roles. It then produces a list of 20 jobs based on these criteria which may be researched in depth using the package’s sophisticated job database. This list enables the student to ‘broaden their thinking’ and to consider jobs and careers they never knew existed. ‘We’re not aiming to pin “job labels” on people, what we are trying to do for Year 9 students is to identify their key areas of interest so that they can select GCSE subjects that are broadly in line with them. What we also need to remember is that around 40 per cent of students change their minds on careers, often dramatically, between Year 9 and the time they reach the Sixth Form. This means that GCSE options must allow a degree of flexibility.’ Andy is happy to advise but reluctant to ‘promote’ any GCSE subjects in particular. However he suggests that business studies is always a sound choice as commercial awareness is a life-long skill in any type of organisation. ‘Employers consistently rate this as one of their top requirements’ he said. Parents will get a chance to see their child’s profile on the parents/options evening, so that they can discuss it with their children. The software is also being used for the first time with the Sixth Form (Year 12) but the questions are more detailed and Andy also has access to their GCSE results which also build up a more rounded picture of each student. He said: ‘Because the sixth formers are thinking about universities we use this as a basis for our discussion.’
STUDENTS’ NEW-FoUND rugby skills were put to the test during a clash between the Year 12 and Year 13 teams. For many of the players it was their first taste of a proper rugby game as they have only been playing since March, with coaching from teacher, Mr Clasper and keen Year 12 player, Ryan Smith. Ryan, who plays number eight position for kibworth Rugby Club, coaches many of the sessions after school on Wednesdays and the longterm goal is to eventually play other schools and enter the National Cup knockout competition next season. Ryan said: ‘The aim was to give players the opportunity to play a structured game. only about three or
four of the players had ever played the game before.’ Although the match, being an introduction, lasted just a quarter of an hour each way, there was an impressive score line of 32 points to 29 with the upper sixth gaining the upper hand, with six tries and one conversion beating the opposition’s five tries plus two conversions. The players are focusing on basics during their training, practising lineouts and throwing, but Ryan says a lot of the game just boils down to one thing – confidence: ‘With rugby you just need to give novices the ball and give them the opportunity to have a laugh with it at first. From there you teach them the techniques of tackling
and how to scrummage.’ Although the training sessions started off solely for the Year 12s and 13s there have been an increasing number of Year 10s and 11s coming along to gain experience. Ryan, who really enjoys coaching his peers hopes that the sessions will grow and include a mixed age range: ‘The hope is to build a College first XV, of mixed age range from the best of the school players.’ he said, ‘and next year we’re also hoping to enter a team in the National Cup competition in the Under-18 age group.’ The fledging team is always on the look-out for new members so prospective players in Years 12 or 13 should contact Ryan for more details.
The Year 11/12/13 rugby team will be fully dependent on the commitment shown by those wishing to play next year by attending the training sessions. A summer tag-rugby session will be starting on Mondays in term 5.
Sport: Year 10 high fliers are to be found in the sports hall
aiming high A GRoUP oF STUDENTS were recently presented with trampolining certificates as part of their GCSE sports studies. The Year 10 students are working through the British Gymnastic Award in Trampolining programme which requires a progression of skills, from basic bouncing through to somersault techniques. They have achieved level six in the awards just halfway through their eight weeks of coaching, but some high fliers (!) hope to complete the full ten levels by the end of the course. Teacher, Caroline Russon said: ‘The students have been working on awards six and seven, so they’ve been doing back drops and front drops and now some of them are moving on to award eight which hopefully will get them progressing to somersaults.’ Student, Ashley Guiver, gave a
Rosie Maclot soars over her classmates whilst working towards her British Gymnastics Award. display of his skills, along with fellow students, kyle Bland, Joe Pearson and Rosie Maclot. Caroline said that trampolining was a great sport for both sexes with the girls’ flexibility and coordination being balanced by the boys’
naturally heavier frames and lack of fear! Caroline passed on some hints and tips to the students and gave a simple demonstration of how to achieve height – simply lift one leg up behind you as you jump!
Profile: Hollie Coulson Year 7 SPoRT-loVING Hollie Coulson loves football so much that she has decided to devote all her time to it. Hollie, a Year 7 student, had been doing gymnastics since she was four and competed in county and national competitions, but found that there were just not enough hours in the day and so now football has got her full attention. After going for trials at Rushden
& Diamonds Hollie was immediately signed up for the top team and now does an hour’s training per week plus a weekly match – not bad for someone who only took up the sport just eighteen months ago! Hollie, who plays right wing has played against other youth teams from Notts County and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as playing on Brooke Weston’s team against local schools.