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July 2009

Art Exhibition a Success Page 2

Glider Competition Victory Page 3

Sports Day Report Page 4


Principals Miss Stringer and Dr Campbell with winning teams from their respective Academies, CMS from Brooke Weston and overall winners, Back Room. Students from Brooke Weston, and its sister school, Corby Business Academy, have embarked on joint enterprise projects for the first time. The whole of Years 7 and 8 from each Academy were involved; the Year 7s collaborating on international trade projects while the Year 8s were in friendly competition to design and develop innovative products for a specific audience. Both events were run by Young Enterprise East Midlands which promotes business understanding and strategies among young people. As well as leadership from Mr Robin Neighbour, a Young Enterprise trainer, the students also had guidance from business professionals. Mr Martyn Hale who runs a technology marketing business worked with students to refine their ideas. He said: ‘It’s about teaching children hands-on skills which can be applied to a whole host of different activities. It’s about team building, taking

risks, understanding consequences and taking responsibility. There’s such a wide range of things that they are learning which they will apply as they go on into the world of employment.’ The Year 8s came up with a variety of unusual products. Among the ideas were a walkie-talkie necklace and earring set, a high-tech pooper scooper and collectable doll charms. The first day of design and development took place at the students’ respective schools while the second phase, when they had to make models and present their ideas, was at Rockingham Speedway where teams from both Academies met. The top ideas were presented to a panel of senior management from both schools who decided which team would win the Best Product and Best Presentation categories. The Bullet team from Brooke Weston were awarded Best Overall Presentation while Back Room from

Brooke Weston’s CMS team received the accolade of Best Presentation on the second session which was held at Rockingham Speedway. They had developed ‘Doll-It’, supplying customised, collectable charms aimed at a teenage market. Corby Business Academy, scooped the Overall Best Product award with their gift idea of a colour-changing vase. Mr Peter Simpson, Executive Principal of the Brooke Weston Partnership, announced the winners. He told the students: ‘I’m very proud of both our Partnership schools and all the teams who have put in a tremendous amount of effort.’ The Year 7 task was collaborative with teams comprising two Brooke Weston and two Corby Business Academy students.

They completed a series of tasks to give them a better understanding of the global market. They focussed on where commodities are produced, how they are transported and what is the cost, in food miles, of typical dishes, such as pizza, curry and Sunday roast. The teams then represented nations and were given resources according to the ‘wealth’ of their country. They had to trade with other teams, approaching the ‘World Bank’ for loans if required. This taught them about the difficulties faced

by poorer countries with scarcer resources. Other topics included import and export and devising a marketing strategy for a specific product and consumer. Mr Neighbour said: ‘The students from both Academies and in both Year groups really put a great deal of effort in on both these tasks. They came up with excellent results and got a lot of information on how the world of business, trade and finance works, whether that applies to running a small business or a whole country.’

I’m very proud of both our Partnership schools and all the teams who have put in a tremendous amount of effort.

– Mr Peter Simpson Working together.

Above and left: Year 7 students from Brooke Weston and Corby Business Academy join forces to learn about world trade.

Any news? Contact: Caroline Freeman – Communications Officer email:

Principal’s Editorial

Here at Brooke Weston students and staff are looking forward to a welldeserved holiday after yet another busy year. Highlights of 2008/9 have included exceptional exam results, Sally Gunnell attending our Prize-Giving and the amazing £16,000 donated to Teenage Cancer Trust after some serious fund-

raising spearheaded by our Sixth Formers. Our students have enjoyed using our refurbished DT department and we have welcomed our sister school, Corby Business Academy, as part of the Brooke Weston partnership. Add to that our many extra-curricular activities, as well as residentials, from Paris to Peru and it

has indeed been a busy year. The pace of life shows no sign of slowing as, in our next academic year we look forward to a departmental reshuffle, an improved reception area and kitchen and, most notably, the opening of the long-awaited Arts and Media centre which will greatly enhance our students’ educational experiences and prove an

incredible asset to Brooke Weston. Given everything that we have achieved and the challenges that we are looking forward to, then it will come as no surprise that I wish you all, students and staff, a safe, happy and refreshing break. For those who are leaving Brooke Weston for the final time I wish them

every success in the future, and to the rest, I’ll see you back here on Monday 17th August, refreshed and ready for the challenges and celebrations of another busy school year.

Art showcased in annual exhibition

SSAT role for mrs watts

Around 170 parents attended Brooke Weston’s annual art exhibition which showcased the work of all art students from Years 11, 12 and 13. The Weston Theatre was adorned with paintings, drawings, 3D, graphics and photography for an evening viewing for parents, which was followed by a full day where students could tour the artwork.

Head of Art Mrs Watts said: ‘We were delighted to welcome so many parents along and, for many of them, it was the first time they had seen their child’s artwork as many pieces, especially those created for exams, cannot leave the building. The feedback was extremely encouraging and the exhibition demonstrated what a wide range of art

library news It’s been a busy few weeks in the library with reading promotions, book sales and a group of keen readers ‘shadowing’ a major literary award. The Carnegie/Greenaway prizes are awarded each year for the best children’s book and illustrations respectively and so keen readers from Brooke Weston have perused all the shortlisted books and discussed their favourites. They met weekly to talk about the titles, which were about ‘the complicated business of growing up’ according to the official website. Authors included Eoin Colfer for the Airman and Patrick Ness, who wrote The Knife of Never Letting Go. As well as writing online reviews The Brooke Weston students also met others from three other schools to take part in a quiz and debate about the Carnegie Greenaway-nominated titles before the awards were announced. The Carnegie Medal was awarded posthumously to Siobhan Dowd for

Bog Child, where a young boy finds the body of a child in a bog while digging for peat. The Greenaway Medal went to Catherine Rayner for Harris Finds His Feet, about a large-footed hare. Librarian Miss Adams said: ‘The students were experienced readers with a breadth of knowledge that enabled them to judge each book on its merits. This process gave students the chance to really consider what makes a good book and put their views forward.’

our students produce. It’s aspirational and shows the younger year groups what can be achieved. We are all celebrating their extreme amount of effort, sweat, blood and tears. It takes an awful lot of hard work to be that successful in art and these students have got a lot to celebrate.’

in its third century, it is still inspiring new authors and proving popular. In bringing all these books together it gave readers a chance to see how the theme has developed over nearly 200 years. I love the classics generally, and wanted to give the students more information on some of these older texts that they might not otherwise encounter. It’s opened people’s eyes to the history behind the idea.’ Mr Jones is planning more themed displays highlighting the author Salman Rushdie and Japanese fiction. He said: ‘I love world fiction and I’m always trying to find authors I haven’t heard of. There’s some great stuff out there that you would never find in your local library or bookshop so I want to try and develop that here at Brooke Weston.’

In order to encourage students to read a variety of genres Library Assistant Jamie Jones has planning a series of themed book displays. The first, on the history of vampire fiction, proved very popular and gave students the chance to experience writing from different eras. Jamie said: ‘Although people may think that Dracula is the first real vampire book the genre has a much longer history. Now

students make mini-zen gardens Year 7 students created their own miniature Zen gardens after learning about their symbolism in Humanities. Miss James explained how Buddhists developed stylised arrangements of simple elements to heighten their meditation practices. Rocks symbolise the sky or animals while an ‘eight-fold path’ represents

eternity. Sand and gravel is typically swirled into patterns to suggest water and the whole garden should induce calmness and serenity. The students created their own versions from natural materials then explained to their classmates why they had chosen and arranged key elements in particular patterns.

Jenn Watts, the Head of Art at Brooke Weston, has been appointed Lead Practitioner in Applied Learning for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. Her role will involve liaising with Specialist Schools and Academies across the East Midlands, so that good practice is shared and encouraged between them. Mrs Watts was nominated for the position by Miss Stringer and had to take part in a rigorous selection process with 20 other candidates. Each had to do a presentation on Applied Learning and Mrs Watts chose to focus on the Assessment for Learning process which takes place at Brooke Weston. Each student can choose to work at their own individual level. Teachers then make it clear what is expected and, at the end of each lesson, they are then assessed to see whether they are on target or not. Mrs Watts, who has now been made an Assistant Principal in charge of

Applied Learning, said: ‘It’s basically letting the students understand how the marking criteria works and demonstrating to them how to achieve that grade as well as how to achieve the next grade. It’s making learning very transparent so you are explaining to the student how teaching and assessment is done in order to help them push their marks further. It really works. ‘As well as keeping Assessment for Learning training up-to-date at Brooke Weston I will also be expected to go into other schools to see how they perform it in each subject area and what provision they have. I will then contact businesses to see if I can help these schools make better business links. So I’m going to be drumming up business links across East Midlands schools and trying to encourage greater provision between businesses and applied learning to give students a much richer learning experience. It will be a very busy and exciting role.’

charity effort pays off A group of Year 9 students have raised about £180 so far for the Lakelands Hospice. Steph Cross and her friends from 9B have come up with a number of ways to make cash. So far they have persuaded students in other tutor groups to fill up smartie tubes with pennies, have cleaned cars and recently took part in a 'Sunset Walk' dressed in a Chinese Dragon costume. Steph and Kirsty Duke took turns to manhandle the giant costume around the track at Rockingham Speedway alongside hundreds of other walkers. They did two laps of the large circuit and once round the small circuit to clock up 3.3 miles. The walk was attended by 300 other fundraisers and more than £1,000 was raised for Lakelands on the night. Steph said: 'Lakelands got in touch saying they were having a charity

walk and there was a Chinese dragon costume we could use! It was awkward rolling round in it because one of us had to help move it while the other one was inside so it was a bit hard but we had fun and by the end of it we ached.' The girls were helped by fellow student Izaac Wallis who helped manoeuvre the costume. The trio also raised £40 from cleaning cars at Vauxhall Motors and Rock'n'Bowl helped by Charlie-Amie Mapp and Miss Hibberd. They charged £2 per car and were given £5 from one grateful customer after they washed his 4x4. Now t h e g ro u p, w h i c h a l s o comprises Andrew Whitcombe, Grace Pike and Rebecca Maddams meet during Period One to come up with more fund-raising ideas.

victory in national glider competition

Former Brooke Weston employee is set to join the Army’s most prestigious band. Dawid Venter, who left his post as audio-visual technician earlier this year, is an accomplished musician, playing the flute for more than 20 years and gaining a Music degree from the Conservatoire in Paris.

He applied for a position with the Band of the Life Guards, who, as well as being trained soldiers, also perform ceremonial duties at official state functions. They are a mounted troop so, in addition to learning combat techniques Dawid will also undergo intensive equestrian training.

From left: Bhargav, Michael, Daniel, Dasha and Christian with an assortment of models. Brooke Weston students have been victorious in a national gliding competition, making models that soared to the rooftop of Duxford’s Airspace exhibition hall. The team constructed more than 40 model planes in preparation for the national competition, with the help of DT teacher Mr Browne, Mr Wilkinson and mentor Chris Harle. The team won the Senior Category of the competition when they had to fly hand-held gliders made of a polystyrenetype material, balsa wood models, darts and helicopters. They were allocated just half an hour to test fly each plane 20 times and calculate their flight time. The helicopters flew for 17 seconds each due to the humid conditions in the hangar and the darts were so well engineered that the group was asked for their secret by the Royal Navy team! All the 25 school teams had to make

darts from kit form, so precision modelling definitely paid off for Brooke Weston, with team newcomer Dasha Palamarchuck showing a real talent for model construction. Mr Browne said: ‘To make a really effective dart you have to get the angles exactly right and be really precise. We made four that were really the business. We were in the biggest hangar with a height at least three times that of the school hall and our darts were climbing right to the top, flying for up to 40 seconds and gliding down again.’ As well as Dasha from Year 7, the team comprised Year 8s Daniel Tough and Christian Freer along with Bhargav Garikipati, Curtis Martin, Michael Thow and Josh Loy from Year 9. They were presented with individual medals and a team commemorative plate for winning the Senior class. As Brooke Weston’s was

one of the few teams to wear school uniform, Daniel and Michael were also chosen to appear in publicity shots for the Royal Navy, the sponsors of the event. Dasha, the only girl in the team, said: ‘It’s a really fun club and I want to get some of my friends to come along.’ Daniel added: ‘The most difficult bit was making the balsa wood gliders and getting the darts right and we were all really pleased when we won.’ Mr Browne said: ‘The students put a lot of hard work into the project and now others have expressed an interest in coming along because of our success. Glider club meets on Thursdays after school until 6pm. As well as the students I must also thank Mike Wilkinson and Chris Harle for their long-term input, as well as Peter Jackson who transported us and helped out during the event.’

world challenge trip gets underway The World Challenge adventurers from Brooke Weston are now on the trip of a lifetime to Peru. Once at the capital, Lima, they split into two groups to do separate treks, community activities and sightseeing. A total of 19 students and two staff from Brooke Weston are on the trip accompanied by guides from expedition organisers, World Challenge. The trip is the culmination of 18 months of planning and they had to each raise £4,000 for the trip, and further cash for vaccinations and equipment. The students packed a minimal amount of kit as they have to carry their own personal belongings in rucksacks. They only took two pairs of shoes, water bottles, first aid and wash kit, sun cream and a couple of changes of clothing to last them the month. Mrs Watts and her contingent of eight students will be accompanied to southern Peru by Douglas Briton,

The students making final kit checks before their departure.

a World Challenge representative who has been to treks to Peru, the Himalayas, north west India and Rwanda. Douglas said: ‘The thing about these trips is that you are forever getting on and off buses, going here, there and everywhere and there’s a limit to how much baggage one person can take. ‘The community project will be in a really rural area about an hour and a half ’s drive from Lake Titicaca. We are going to be working with a school in their library. My guess is that it will redefine what basic is for the young people. One of the great things about World Challenge is that it puts you in touch with local guides who really

know their stuff. Having that local knowledge is so important because geographically a pass might be there one year and then the next year it might be gone because there’s been a landslide. ‘What the students get out of the trip will be up to them. For some it might be a spiritual experience, a broadening of the mind and of what the world is like or perhaps a knowledge of different cultures, of themselves and their own possibilities. It will give them an opportunity to see parts of the world that they haven’t even heard of.’

Chinese teaching assistant Haiping Tan presented Year 12 students with certificates during her last week at Brooke Weston. Miss Tan, who spent nine months here teaching Chinese

language, calligraphy and culture ended her time in the UK with a whistlestop tour of all the major cities and tourist attractions.

Michael jackson showcase

Students put on an exceptional evening of entertainment when they showcased the best of Michael Jackson’s songs, ironically just a week before the star’s death. The Music Department had decided on a Jackson theme as there had been so much excitement about his planned London concerts and all of the classics, such as Bad, Billie Jean and the iconic Thriller were performed to a stellar standard. It was the first time ever that the Brooke Weston orchestra and choir collaborated on a piece and they kicked off the evening with Beat It. Then the most popular items from Jackson’s repertoire were performed by soloists, instrumental groups, choirs and the orchestra with the talented Brooke Weston Dancers taking to the floor for a highly polished performance of Smooth Criminal. The acts were all incredible, with the choir, boys’ choir and vocal soloists Katie Parker, James Barry, Jordan Smith, Shannon Wilkins, Katie Sproston, Lyn Joynson and Miss Dean displaying their classy vocal skills. The jazz band, flute group, saxophone and clarinet groups all put in faultless performances with Lee

Griffiths and Joanna Newton shining in their instrumental solos on saxophone and flute respectively. The evening finished with a moving rendition of We Are The World, when the appreciative audience was encouraged to stand and sway in time with the choir. Thanks go to all who made the show possible. Special mention must be made of Mr Bidwell who introduced the acts in his own inimitable and unforgettable way. The evening was an mix of music, camaraderie and expertise that vividly exhibited the range of talents here at Brooke Weston. Earlier in the day the jazz band had rehearsed by performing at Lakelands Day Care Hospice. The patients dressed up and took part in a sweepstake to celebrate Ladies Day at Ascot and the band added to the ambience by providing the music. Teacher Mr Sammy said: ‘This was a great opportunity for our students to make a contribution to a local community event and it also gave our band, and vocalist, Katie Parker, the chance to practice some of the songs featured in the evening’s performance.’

showery sports day a success

Hayden’s charity challenge Year 7 student Hayden Tetley has raised charity cash by completing four rounds of golf in just one day. Hayden took 14 hours to complete the 72 holes at Wellingborough Golf Club raising £150 for Lakelands Hospice. Hayden set out at 6am to complete the first round on his own. He was then accompanied by his brother for the second, his mum for the third and his dad was with him as he completed the final hole at 8pm after taking 448 strokes during the day. Former Brooke Weston student Daniel Gill experienced life here as a teacher on a work placement. He left the Sixth Form two years ago but returned to work alongside his former teachers in the PE department. Daniel wants to be either a sports or special needs teacher and he is studying both subjects as part of a joint honours degree at Nottingham Trent University. He carried out research as part of his five-week placement and wrote an 11,000 word essay on how all ability ranges are catered for within the PE department here. He also coached students in rounders, softball, cricket and

He walked a total of 15 miles and raised £100 in sponsorship and a further £50 was donated through collection boxes at the golf club. He said: ‘I’ve been playing golf since I was six or seven and really enjoy it. My tutor group, 7K, is raising money for the hospice so I thought that the sponsored golf would be a good way of doing it. As well as raising the money by playing these four rounds I also got my handicap down from 40 to 36!


athletics, which will prove good experience for his summer job as a sports leader. Daniel said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed it. Everyone in the school has been great. They’ve given me any resources that I’ve needed and have just been really helpful. I’ve particularly liked working with the younger students.’

Student selected for championships

Sixth Former Luke Smith is planning to fund-raise so he can take part in the World Kickboxing Championships. The event, which will attract entrants from all over the globe, will be held in Dublin in November. Luke qualified for his place by coming third in a national tournament in Manchester earlier this year. Luke, who has been kickboxing for seven years, is now planning to raise £1,000 to fund his place along with former Brooke Weston student, Richard Faller, who has also qualified for the England squad. Luke, who is in Year 12, said: ‘I train with the British Chinese Kickboxing Association four times a week. To be a

Showers failed to dampen enthusiasm at this year’s Sports Day. Spectators and course officials took cover under a myriad of umbrellas as the competitors tackled various track and field events. The athletes were cheered on by fellow members of their tutor groups from the relative dryness of the stands at Rockingham Triangle while Mr Shorrock provided commentary and made sure everyone was in the right place at the right time. The event ran to the tight schedule demanded by nearly 50 separate races covering distances from 100 up to 1500 metres. Field events, in which all year groups took part, consisted of high jump, long jump, discus, shot and javelin. To catch the action and news first-hand Mr Bidwell intercepted winners as they crossed the finish line and recorded impromptu remarks for a forthcoming Radiowaves article. Staff were out in force to log results, act as timekeepers and marshal the crowds, while Miss Stringer was on hand to give out accolades and trophies. Mr Shorrock said: ‘Everyone seemed to enjoy it but it was unfortunately too wet for the tug-of-war. Mr Bradley won the staff race, beating Mr Cooper into second place but it was really competitive with all eight lanes full of staff running. It was a lovely atmosphere and there was quite a lot of parents who came along to give their support despite the weather. All the students, especially the Year 10s, did themselves proud and overall it was a very pleasing event.’

good kickboxer you need good reactions and flexibility, you don’t really need to be aggressive, you just need to basically hit first.’ At the championships fighters compete in weight and age categories with points being scored for each kick or punch they land on their opponent. Luke has previously taken part in the European Championships where he reached the quarter finals, and he is looking forward to competing at world class level. ‘It’s a great opportunity which is why I am raising the money to go. I would definitely recommend it as a sport as it gives you confidence.’















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cycle challenge for teachers

Three teachers from Brooke Weston recently undertook a marathon cycling expedition in the Spanish region of Andalucia. Mr Shorrock, Mr Clasper and Mr Cowley covered 400 miles during the four-day trip, the most gruelling part of which was cycling 14 kilometres uphill through the famous La Ragua mountain pass. In order to prepare for the race they had taken part in local cycle events at Naseby and Rutland covering distances of up to 110 miles a day. The trio began their expedition at Malaga, then planned a route north to Granada, through the Sierra Nevada mountain range and back down to Almeria in the south. On the first day they covered 90 mountainous miles to the medieval town of Antequara. After an overnight stop they rode 110 miles along a valley near Granada experiencing amazing scenery and seeing troglodyte dwellings. From there the team tackled the gruelling 14km mountain pass ascent. It took one-and-a-half hours of constant pedalling (up gradients similar to Rockingham Hill) to reach the top. Mr Shorrock said: ‘We went from probably close to 30 degrees at the bottom to snow at the top and the pass had an altitude of 2,000 metres. That was both the highlight but also the most challenging part of the trip.’

There followed a hazardous 25km descent to the valley where they reached speeds of up to 50mph, with Mr Shorrock almost having an accident due to the potholed road surface. The 90-mile challenge ended with an overnight stop at Berja from where they cycled 50 miles along the coast road to Almeria before catching the flight home. Mr Cowley raised £450 for the Cruse Bereavement Care charity by being sponsored for the event. Mr Shorrock said: ‘It was a great experience and we will probably plan another similar trip. We were all glad to get out of the saddle at the end of day four. There’s no amount of preparation

you can do for 400 miles in four days. We were in the saddle pretty much for eight hours a day.’ Mr Clasper said: ‘The weather was a very draining aspect of the trip with temperatures ranging from very cold at the top of the mountain passes to 33 degrees by the coast – it was a tough assault on the body. We had to consume around eight litres of water per day and tried to eat around 4,000 to 5,000 calories – so ordering a pudding after our evening meal was more about fuel than food! We’re already looking for next year’s challenge which will be a bit longer and a bit harder.’

BW News June 2009  

The June edition of the Brooke Weston News.