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T H E S E C O N D A RY N E W S L E T T E R Secondar y News from the Pupils and Teachers of King’s College, Alicante
Head of Secondary Message January is always a great time in school. Everybody returns from the much needed Christmas break with renewed vigour, full of resolutions and excited by a new year. A happy, productive buzz permeates each classroom and everybody is focused on making a success of the term ahead. This January has been no exception and we have already squeezed a huge amount into the three short weeks we have been back. All pupils have settled into positive work patterns and it has been very pleasing to see them happy and participative in lessons. The buzz I talk about has been particularly noticeable with our Year 12 and 13 students, who have come back to the unenviable prospect of examinations to start their term. Many Year 13 pupils sat A level units in January and these exams, which all count towards their final qualifications, have required a lot of preparation and revision over the holiday period. I wish them the best of luck when the results are released in March and hope their hard work is rewarded. Year 12 have also been busy studying and revising as we launched our first Year 12 mock session this week. Mock exams are an important opportunity for pupils to take tests under controlled conditions and for staff to see how students cope with the pressure of a formal environment. I hope the preparation and study pays off when the results are available in Febru-
ary and that the feedback offered by teachers allows our Sixth Formers to focus their efforts in the crucial weeks ahead.
I look forward to seeing everybody supporting their houses at the various events that will be happening between now and April.
As I talk about exams it is incredible to think about the number of external exams that we now host at King’s College, Alicante. With almost 2000 entries each year, everybody is to be congratulated on how smoothly each of the sessions run. Pupils and staff have to work together to follow the strict regulations set by the exam boards and to be in the right place at the right time – none of which is easy when there are so many people involved! The examinations system would collapse however, without the huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes. I would particularly like to thank Mrs. Laidlaw and Mr. Roberts who work relentlessly, often unnoticed, to make the examinations system work so seamlessly – without their efforts and the support of Sra. Estrada and the maintenance team, exam sessions would be a much more stressful time for all involved.
Returning to my opening thoughts, I do hope the promises we all made ourselves at the beginning of the year are not distant memories quite yet. Resolutions are a traditional New Year pastime and are a very good way of focusing on what is important to us, and those aspects of our lives that we would most like to change; but there is no need to limit this activity to the first week of January. I encourage our pupils to take control of their own destinies by making positive changes that will shape their futures. This often involves making those resolutions, regardless of the month and, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, I encourage our students to bear in mind that “your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other you may make”. I wish everyone a successful term 2.
It’s not all been about exams and revision however! Ms. Castro, Mrs. McHugh, Mr. Nutter and the House Committee have been busy organizing a variety of events for Term 2; from spelling bees to art competitions, swimming galas to inter-school football and debating events, there are a myriad of activities planned for pupils to get involved with this term, and win house points for their respective houses along the way.
Simon Wicks Head of Secondary School Pag e 1
HEAD OF SCIENCE TEACHER OF CHEMISTRY
I came to Alicante in the April of 2010 after teaching for 8 years in the UK. It had been an idea of mine to work abroad, preferably in a Spanish speaking country, for a long time but the right opportunity to actually take the plunge took a while. I graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in Chemistry and stayed in the city to train as a teacher. My first post was in a Grammar School in the beautiful market town of Cheltenham where I spent 3 very happy years working in a very experienced Science department and also teaching lots of Physical Education. I was the Head of Gloucester House and as such was involved in many extra-curricular activities. I then relocated to Manchester in the north of England and worked for 2 years in a Roman Catholic school as the only Chemistry teacher in a large Science department. I enjoyed the opportunity to create my own vision of how Chemistry should be taught
and give the pupils greater access to practical experiments. I stayed in the north-west for my third post, in a large secondary school near Runcorn. The north-west of England has always been important nationally for pharmaceutical and petrochemical manufacture and retains this tradition today. It was at this time that I was involved in a school trip to Barcelona for pupils to take part in water sports. I enjoyed the trip so much and felt so comfortable in Spain that as soon as I returned to the UK started looking for jobs and the post at KingÂ´s College Alicante was too good an opportunity to ignore. When I was 18 I spent a year as a teaching assistant in a British school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was at this time I decided teaching was the career for me, and a life in a Spanish speaking country would fit with this choice. It may have taken a while to make this into a reality, but I am fully enjoying how things have turned out.
I am delighted to have received notification from Edexcel that two of our pupils , Juan and Irene, achieved the joint highest International mark in IGCSE Spanish. This is a noteworthy achievement as the examination is taken by thousands of pupils internationally. Congratulations to Juan and Irene.
Our Head Boy, Craig and Head Girl, Verena attended the COBIS Head Boys and Head Girls Conference last term in Murcia. This was as part of the COBIS TeachersÂ´ Conference which involved over 300 teachers and 24 Head Boys/Girls from all over Europe. Congratulations to Craig and Verena who passed the Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation First Aid course as part of the conference.
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CHARITY NEWS Every year I am delighted with the response from our pupils, parents and staff to our fund-raising for charity. The process and end results of helping those less fortunate than ourselves provides not only a sense of satisfaction, but a sense of responsibility and citizenship. This is one of the most important lessons our pupils will learn and I am proud of their contributions, efforts and thoughtfulness. Helping them to become better citizens through contributing meaningfully to society is the bedrock of our future generations and I am delighted that we can play a part in this process on a local and international scale. This year we have contributed cash donations totaling almost 2.500€ to the following charitiesDown Syndrome, Bomberos Unidos sin fronteras, Butterfly Skin Foundation (Epidermolysis bullosa), Foundación Vicente Ferrer (sponsored child in India), Caritas, Oxfam and the World Wide Fund for Nature. In addition we collected and distributed a large amount of clothes, food, toys and books at Christmas to Ejército de Salvación (Salvation Army) in Alicante and Asociación Humanitaria Americana de Alicante. In the near future, we will be contributing to Asoka animal protection society, (Asociación para la defense y protection de los animals) and Acción Contra el Hambre (Action against Hunger). Next month I will give you further detailed information about our exciting new Oxfam and WWF joint project. Thank you. Mr D Laidlaw, Headteacher
THE SIXTH FORM
On December 18th the school hosted a Christmas Fair in order to raise money for charity. The money raised by the fair has been donated to several charities. Pupils were able to buy tickets which they were spent on different activities during the event, including; field games, workshops and guessing games.
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CASTLE MODELS YEAR 7
Year 7 have been creative in History! As part of their studies on the Medieval period Year 7 have made castle models in which they tried to include all the defensive features about which they have been studying. The results were extremely impressive, all of the students put a great deal of effort into their models. Well done!
GUILLOTINES YEAR 9 It is the time of year again for making guillotines as part of our study on the Terror. Year 9 have been very creative this year, we have even had a guillotine made out of cake! The students certainly put a lot of effort into their models and the results were excellent. We have also been discussing the interesting fact that Dr Guillotin made the guillotine originally to provide a humane death for all social classes, so therefore fitting in to the revolutionary ideal of equality!
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PADI SCUBA CERTIFICATION
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the world’s largest recreational diving membership and diver training organization founded in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson. PADI courses range from entry levels (such as “Scuba Diver” and “Open Water Diver”) to “Master Scuba Diver” and a range of instructor certifications. Under their PADI TecRec brand, PADI also offers various technical diving courses, including decompression diving, trimix diving and gas blending. Similarly, PADI’s sister company Emergency First Response Corp provides a range of first aid and CPR programs for lay people, including workplace specific programs in Australia, Canada and the UK. The PADI system is composed of modules with standardized learning objectives divided into theory and practical skills development. Upon completion of each course, a certification is issued to the student.
COMMENTS FROM SOME PUPILS I thought scuba diving was a fantastic experience especially, when it came to practice, when we started diving in the sea the second day we got to see even a ray and octopus in its cave, on the whole scuba diving is a very interesting enrichment activity if you like the sea, sea life or both. David Year 12 I loved doing the scuba diving course, and found it a fun way to learn a very valuable skill. The hardest part was the theory, trying to memorize various hand signals for communication underwater. The most fun part was removing my mask and going for a guided swim underwater, as a way to practise what to do if you lose your mask while diving. Sam Year 12
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WHY SHOULD YOU TAKE THE VALECIAN MITJA EXAM?
BY MARTA YEAR 13
write this so that you understand the importance of having the ‘elemental’ and ‘mitjà’ valenciano certificates, from a student point of view. Having obtained the mitjà is not a waste of time. I’ve heard thousands of opiniodns from people about the mitjà and the elemental, negative opinions, that it is useless, that it’s a waste of time... I have both titles. Sincerely, having them gives me security. I don’t intend to study here or study a career involving oppositions but I’m 17 and you never know. Life changes and having one more title should not be a problem. It’s difficult;
you need to study and work, as in any other subject. I understand that foreign students have more difficulties studying valenciano, but I still strongly recommend that you get the elemental. The elemental is equivalent to the valenciano of ‘la ESO’. Your friends at spanish schools don’t do this test, if they pass the ESO they are given it directly, because they’ve studied more hours of valenciano than you. So, if you want to have the same level of knowledge and titles than the rest of the Comunidad Valenciana students you have to achieve the elemental. Don’t worry if you fail
It was a very satisfying experience. We dissected two different types of fish and we looked carefully at their internal body structured. Also we experienced the enormous world hidden inside water organism, such as algae. We would certainly repeat the observations. Rosa and Claudia Year 12
the first time, you can retake it. Both the elemental and the mitjà are difficult exams, for which you have to study. I worked a lot to get the mitjà, but it’s worth it, when finding a job in a few years, you'll have a significant advantage over the rest of people interested in the same work (in Spain). If you have any questions find me and ask me anything. Our school’s valenciano level is high and we have a great teacher, sotake advantage of it. Thank you Marta
“GOOOO... ALICANTE!” Recently introduced to the PE programme of study, gymnastics and cheerleading could sink or float with the girls who undertook the activities during their last block of work before Christmas. Luckily it was the latter... Pupils across all year groups spent five weeks being introduced to and learning how to perform linking movements, agilities and balances (individual and partner) with quality and control. Some pupils were quicker to learn and took on the role of a coach to help others succeed. Once pupils had explored all of the aspects they worked in pairs to create a routine based on acrobatics: this was then performed at the end of the unit to their classmates who gave them feedback and National Curriculum levels. At the end of the unit pupils were introduced to cheerleading as an extension, and were taught motions (unfortunately without pom-poms!) and stunts in groups. The Y9s in particular enjoyed this immensely and as a result, Mrs McHugh has set up cheerleading club every Tuesday 2.30-3pm for all year groups. Well done for all your enthusiasm and commitment, girls. Now it´s the boys’ turn!
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Mr Hackney has been using his war gaming skills to teach the Year 8 History classes about the English Civil War. Mr Hackney organised the battle with 2 large armies of painted 15mm figures and all the terrain and designing fast play rules for 23 participating players. The students then played the game to re-enact the Battle of Naseby. The Battle of Naseby was a key battle of the English Civil War. On 14 June 1645, the main army of King Charles I was destroyed by the Roundheads commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell. The students were really enthused whilst playing the game and had to make key decisions about strategy in order to win the battle. In 8DÂ´s recreation the outcome of the battle matched reality and even went one step further with both King Charles and Prince Rupert being captured thus ending the war one year earlier. Whereas 8S had the outnumbered Cavaliers winning which is no mean feat! This was a fantastic way for the students to learn about this period of history and they are now doing some follow up work designing their own battle for the same period. Mr Hackney is now working on designing an activity for Year 9 about World War I and the Battle of the Somme.
ON YOUR MARKS,
GET SET... HOUSE!!!
Marta and Victor, secondary’s Senior House Captains have set this year’s variety of House Events into motion this term with an assembly they delivered themselves to all Key Stages of secondary. Marta has worked tirelessly to enthuse pupils to sign up for activities, supported by Ms. Castro whilst Victor has ensured that pupils understand the important role of House Captain, outlining their duties and his expectations of this responsibility. Activities on offer for this term alone range from party team games such as Pictionary or Taboo to the more high brow ‘Literary Quiz’ or for the sports lovers sign up for the Swimming Gala. Whatever your fancy the mantra is ¨Get involved¨. Watch out for our retro style Game Show coming soon ... You gotta be in it to win it! Mrs. Castro KS3 Coordinator
I am very pleased that we are now displaying our new flags . As with other King´s Group Schools, we have the Union Jack, Bandera de España, King´s Group and COBIS.
Important Dates 6 Feb
Y9 Geography Trip to Benidorm
Drama Workshops in school
Y11-13 Ski Trip Meeting
Y8 Parent Teacher Meeting
Y9 and Y11 Options Evening
Glorieta del Reino Unido 5 Alicante 03008 Spain www.bsalicante.com email: email@example.com
Secondary Newsletter January 2013 English