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Blessed William Howard Catholic School

September 2008 Volume 6

Message from the head A big welcome to a bumper edition of the newsletter. I hope everyone had a good summer break – despite the weather! Congratulations to students who achieved so well in their examinations/ assessments last year. The overall pass rate at KS5 was 97% with 63% at A to C. KS4 saw an increase on last year’s results. 53% achieved 5A* - C including English and Maths with 58% achieving 5A* - C in all subjects. 27 students achieved 5 or more at grades A*/A. The KS3 threshold set by Government is level 5+ in the SATs. English achieved 82%, Maths 86% and Science 83%. All performed well in the new target – making two levels of progress from the previous key stage— above local and

national average performances. We want to build on this success and take the school’s level of achievement to greater heights. All students, staff and parents want this too and we must work together to make this happen. Parents, please attend any of the events that are put on about the studies of your child. Students, make yourself available for the opportunities staff make available to you. I would like to welcome the following staff to the school: Miss Bagguley (History), Mr. Bradbury (Science), Miss Gibbons (RE), Mrs. Keeley (KS3 Pastoral Tutor), Mrs. Kelly (KS4 Pastoral Tutor), Mrs. Honor Shammas (RE), Miss Simpson (Science), Mr. Train (Maths). I am

sure they will bring great enrichment to the school in their career here. We also welcome Fr. Bob Devaney as our new chaplain. He has already been into school many times. We hope he enjoys developing the spiritual life of our young people. There is so much to report on since the last edition. I was delighted to finish the term with the Key Stage 3 Mass. Bishop David McGough celebrated the service and this was followed by a fantastic celebration of the talents and gifts of our students – more of this inside! Finally, I wish a successful year to all concerned with the school. I am sure that by working together we can make our aspirations a reality.

Parents who would like to have a say in School Development Are you interested in contributing your ideas to the future of Blessed William Howard Catholic High School? We are looking to strengthen our current Parent Focus Group which meets on a termly basis to make a contribution to the School Development Plan. The focus Group will be made up of approximately 30 parents and will meet with

Mrs McGuirk, Deputy Headteacher, and members of the School Leadership Team to share ideas on strategic development. The meetings take place at school and last for a maximum of one hour. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 21 January 2009 at 6.30 p.m.

Please register your interest by email to Mrs Marshall on headteacher@blessedwilliam clearly stating your name and the year group your children belong to. We look forward to hearing from you.

September 2008

Inside this issue: Mass and BWH Talent Show


World Challenge


Music News


Youth Award




Activities Week


Enterprise Days


Science Club


Espana 2008


Interhouse Athletics


Year 11 Prom


Year 8 MultiCultural Day


Notes of 7 Guidance for Fair Processing Free School Meals


PTA News


Learners to Leaders


Arts College News


City Hike


Exam Invigilation


Music Education Plus


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Mass and Talent Show

September 2008

Mass and BWH Talent Show Bishop David McGough was the main celebrant at our Key Stage 3 Mass, where we gave thanks for the many achievements, gifts and talents of Key Stage 3. This was a fitting end to the year. Thanks go to the newly established Chaplaincy Group under the direction of Miss Griffiths for organising the Liturgy. Representatives from Year 7, 8 and 9 were responsible for different parts of the Liturgy; Year 7 presented a Liturgical Dance whilst members of the Drama Group provided an entertaining interpretation of the Gospel incorporating their very own X Factor .

World Challenge

The theme of Celebration was continued into the afternoon when all of Key Stage 3 gathered to enjoy our very own’ Blessed Bill’s Has Got Talent. From clarinet solos, rock bands, tumbling gymnasts and foot tapping dancers- we enjoyed a great variety and spectacle. Well done to one and all!

Congratulations to Jack Taylor for his marathon winning performance and

World Challenge On Friday 5 September, 179 Year 7 pupils took part in a fun packed day organised by World Challenge. During the day the pupils were split into 16 teams and had 8 tasks to complete. The pupils had to work as a team, showing co -operation, leadership, problem solving and communication skills. All the pupils enjoyed themselves and were keen to

take part and complete the tasks set.

demonstration of drumming prowess.


Thanks to Mrs Collier for co -ordinating all of the acts . The proceeds from the talent show totalling £300 have been sent to the British Red Cross to support the rescue efforts following the natural disasters in China and Burma.

Volume 6

Music News Music Department Three very successful music festivals concluded the public work of the Music Department last year. All three festivals portrayed the performance aspect of the music curriculum. Work had been prepared in class and all students rose to the occasion performing extremely well in front of large audiences. Well done to all pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9.

Another busy year of extra curricular music has been planned. Rehearsals resume on Friday 12 September, all commencing at 1.30 p.m. All parents are welcome to join in. Monday : Junior Choir in M1 Tuesday : Senior Orchestra in the Hall Wednesday : Concert Band in the Hall and Guitar Orchestra in M1 Thursday : Jazz Band in the Hall and Recorder Ensemble in M1 Friday : Senior Choir in M1 and Junior Band in the Hall. Congratulations to all students who passed external

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Music News music examinations last term. There were some outstanding results. Here are a few that we know (any more please email them to the school so that they can be included in our next Newsletter): Lauren Baker: Grade 8 Violin—Distinction Sophie Byrne: Grade 1 Flute—Pass Annabelle Gardener: Grade 3 Clarinet—Pass Caroline Gascoyne: Grade 1 Singing—Pass Catherine Gascoyne: Grade 2 Singing—Pass Danielle Green: Grade 2 Electric Guitar—Pass Ciaran Hayes: Grade 2 Electric Guitar—Pass Hannah Hurley: Grade 3 Singing—Distinction and Grade 3 Clarinet—Pass Hanoko Ichii-Jones: Grade 4 Flute—Distinction Robert Johnson: Grade 8 Piano—Merit Alice Kelly: Grade 1 Flute— Merit Emma Kelly: Grade 5 Singing—Distinction Sarah Lewis: Grade 3 Flute—Merit Rebecca Li: Grade 7 Piano—Merit and Grade 7 Violin—Distinction Dalya Mlouk: Grade 5 Clarinet—Pass Charlotte Morris: Grade 4 Piano—Distinction Danielle Nunan: Grade 4 Flute—Pass Abbey Ovens: Grade 6 Piano—Merit Alec Ovens: Grade 5 French Horn—Pass Francesca Oxley: Grade 3 Singing—Distinction Nicola Phillips: Grade 2 Electric Guitar—Pass Joe Revell: Grade 4 Trumpet-Merit Amy Rhodes: Grade 1 Flute—Merit Charlotte Rhodes: Grade 5 Clarinet—Pass and Grade 2 Electric Guitar—Pass

Eleanor Sourbutts: Grade 5 Singing—Distinction Alicia Stanway: Grade 3 Keyboard—Distinction Tatyana Tams: Grade 1 Piano—Merit Christopher Vaz: Grade 2 Oboe—Distinction, Grade 3 Clarinet—Merit and Grade 4 Piano—Pass Philomena Vaz: Grade 5 Singing—Distinction Jack Wild: Grade 5 Bassoon—Merit Nicola Wood: Grade 3 Clarinet– Pass Catherine Yates: Grade 6 French Horn–Distinction Staffordshire Performing Arts Annually Staffordshire Performing Art audition musicians across Staffordshire for a place in the Grand Final of Staffordshire’s Young Musician of the Year. This year Lauren Baker (Year 11) was successful in a place in the final. She played a movement from Bruch’s Violin Concerto, a very demanding and extremely technically mature piece. Although her performance with the orchestra was exciting and musically very able Lauren was competing against other very talented musicians and a girl three year’s her senior just stole away the title from her. Lauren attends the Junior School a the Royal Northern College of Music every Saturday and recently passed Grade 8 Violin with distinction. The concert featured six finalists; a pianist, a violinist (Lauren), two clarinettists (one of which was David Williams a Year 13 music student at BWH) and two flautists.

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September 2008

Music Department—Matt Marriott As part of the Music curriculum, all pupils in Year 8 will be learning to play the guitar. On Wednesday 10 September all Year 8 pupils attended a guitar recital by Matt Marriott. He is an

‘amazing’ performer exploiting cat-tapping and other percussive qualities. Although he had a guitar at the age of 12 he only started playing at 16. It was the dedicated practice

that has perfected his technique. All pupils had a most entertaining and enjoyable recital.

Youth Award Thank you to last year’s Year 11 Youth Award for the collection of recycled paper.

It has raised approximately £230.00 for the school so far.

ASDAN Congratulations to Melissa Podesta, Year 11, on being the first student at Blessed William Howard Catholic

High School to be entered for and to pass the ASDAN Silver Award.

Activities Week—Dinosaurs and Dragons Activities Week in the Art Department this year had the theme of dinosaurs and dragons. Year 7—9 pupils created giant beasts from card construction and paper mache. The teamwork and happy working atmosphere resulted in some fabulous dinosaurs and

dragons being created. Come and see them on show in Art Room 2.

Activities Week—Food for Thought On Tuesday 15 July, 35 students accompanied by Miss Kay, Mrs Keeling, Mr West and Mrs Yates (Governor) began their journey to France. The group stayed in the village of Camiers near the town of Le Touquet on the Opal Coast. While in France the group visited a traditional wood-fired boulangerie, the

medieval town of Montreuil, a chocolate makers, the market in Le Touquet and a sweet makers. The group also made a visit to the war cemetery in Etaples, where students and staff reflected and researched family names of deceased soldiers and medics.

The group returned on Friday 18 July after a great visit. The coach driver has escorted many school groups on visits, and he complimented the students on their courtesy and excellent behaviour throughout the week. A full display of photos can be seen on the boards outside the library.

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Year 10 Enterprise Days In July all Year 10 students participated in an Enterprise Day facilitated by Staffordshire Partnership. Students were divided into teams or min businesses where they negotiated their roles for the day. Students then worked effectively to run their businesses, whilst in competition with each team.

During the day students developed their negotiating, organising, cooperating, listening and financial skills. They were also extremely creative and original in their tasks, and went to any length to secure a sale! Their tutors and visitors to the event were impressed by the students’ maturity, interest and courtesy throughout the day.

A full display of photos is displayed on the KS4 noticeboard, and it is hoped to organise the event again in 2009. Miss Kay

Science Club

Science Club Starting on Thursday 25 September in S6 at 1.30 p.m. there will be a Science Club for Year 7. Topics will include Chemistry, Forensics, Nature, Electronics and many more.

Please see Miss Whitehouse or your science teacher for more details.

España 2008 To promote the introduction of Spanish to the school curriculum the MFL department organised a trip to northern Spain. On Saturday 12th July, 42 pupils and 5 staff set off for Sant Antoni de Calonge, on the Costa Brava. The coach journey was long but it was worth it as we were greeted with sea and sunshine when we arrived at our final destination – ¡perfecto! The week was jam packed with activities including a trip to the Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres, and a visit to Barcelona where we took in the sights of one of Spain’s most vibrant cities. Many a bargain was to be had at the various stalls and shops which line ‘Las Ramblas’. The sight of

Gaudi’s famous cathedral, ‘La Sagrada Familia’ was magnificent. During our day in Barcelona we also had a guided tour of Spain’s premier football stadium, Camp Nou. The following day pupils got another chance to practise their Spanish and haggling skills at an outdoor market before cooling off at the Aqua Diver water park in Platja d’Aro. On Thursday morning we set off for our journey back to Stafford. However, not long after crossing the Millau Viaduct (the world’s tallest vehicular bridge) the coach broke down. Not being able to travel any further that evening, we stayed in a hotel situated in the picturesque French town of Mende before arriving back

in Stafford on Saturday morning. Despite the delay both pupils and staff thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The Y8 pupils were a real credit to their families and school as they behaved exceptionally well and were a pleasure to be with. The MFL hope to run a similar trip in the future.

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September 2008

Interhouse Athletics—July 2008 Considering the weather the pupils supported this day with an outstanding attitude. All participants performed well and three school records were broken by the following students :-

the 200 metres—28.0 seconds. The record has stood since 1993! Year 7 : Alice Leo in the shot—8 metres 14 cm. The record has stood since 2000.

Year 7 : Sam Hollyman in 200m—27.50 seconds. The record has stood since 1982!

Year 9 : Teresa Hulme in

Year 11 Prom 2008 On Monday 30 June the annual Y11 Prom took place at the Moat House in Acton Trussell. Students arrived by various modes of transport including limo’s, vintage cars, fire engines and motor bikes. All students looked stunning in their suits and dresses, and staff had a very difficult task choosing the

Prom King and Queen, but finally selected Bernard Evans and Jenny Downes. A delicious meal was served, followed by awards, and then a disco, and all guests left having had a special and memorable evening. A

display of photos can be seen within school The 2009 Prom has now been booked. Details of the event and how to apply for a ticket will be explained in the Spring Term.

Year 8 Multicultural Day—8 July 2008 During the Multicultural day the pupils experienced a wide vaerity of activities which helped them learn about different cultures and religions. A group from the Sikh community in Stoke spoke to them about their traditions, taught them dance and hennaed the girls hands. Other activities which the pupils could try

were Hip Hop dance, American football, African drumming, finding out about local history on the county’s new museum bus, tasting different foods, making Chinese kites, learning about Spanish fiestas, and midwifery in various African countries. The pupils also researched information about different countries. A

very enjoyable day was had by all and thanks to our visitors and BWH staff for their efforts and enthusiasm. (Mrs G Franklin)

Year 3 and 4 Olympic Event—4 July 2008 To celebrate and promote the Bejing Olympics Years 3 and 4 from our feeder primary schools were invited to BWH to take part in hockey, football, relay races and handball. The activities were led by BWH staff as well as coaches from the Stafford and Stone School Sport Partnership with enthusiastic support from Year 9 (now Year 10 pupils). Rob Tarr

an international, Olympian wheelchair athlete supported the event speaking to the pupils about his experiences at major international games, showing them his caps and medals and signing autographs. (Mrs Franklin)

Volume 6

Notes of Guidance for Fair Processing Notice 2008/09 Blessed William Howard Catholic High School processes personal data about its pupils and is a ‘data controller’ in respect of this for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998. It processes this data to:  Support its pupils’ teaching and learning;  Monitor and report on their progress;  Provide appropriate pastoral care, and  Assess how well the school as a whole is doing. This data may only be used or passed on for specific purposes allowed by law. From time to time the school is required to pass

on some of this data to local authorities, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), and to agencies that are prescribed by law, such as the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), Ofsted, the Learning and Skills Councils (LSC), the Department of Health (DH), Primary Care Trusts (PCT), ContactPoint (mentioned above) [and organizations that require access to data in the Learner Registration System as part of the MIAP (Managing Information Across Partners) programme and Connexions]. In the January School Census return the addresses of

all parents/carers will be collected and submitted to the DSCF. The DSCF intend to use this information and upload it as part of the national datafeed to ContactPoint. ContactPoint is a national database which authorizes uses the access to the ‘contacts’ of all children in England. Staffordshire have recently appointed a ContactPoint Data Manager, Mrs Mandi Edwards, and I am sure she would be happy to discuss this with you. She is based in Tipping Street and her telephone number is 01785 278563.

Free School Meals Parents claiming some benefits can also claim free school meals for any of their children who are registered at a Staffordshire school and who would normally be at school at lunchtime. School meals are a good way to make sure that your child eats well at lunchtime. By claiming free school meals you save yourself time and money. Even if you don’t want your children to have the meals, claiming them helps their school. The more eligible parents who claim meals, the more funding the school receives. Who can get Free School Meals? You can claim free school meals for your children if you receive any of the following :  Income Support  Income based Job

Seekers Allowance  Child Tax Credit, with an income of less than £15,575 and not receiving working tax credit  The ‘Guarantee’ element of State Pension Credit. How do you apply? Ask the school. They should be able to give you a form to fill in. You should complete the form, filling in the names of all the children you want to claim for, and return it to Free School Meals, Central Welfare Services, Education Offices, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH. Telephone: 01785 278999. You only need to fill in one form even if your children go to different schools. Important To be able to process your application we need to see proof of which benefit you

get. When you send in your form please also send us a copy of one of the following:  The pages of your benefit book which say who you are and which benefit you get.  A recent letter from the Benefits Agency giving details of what you receive.  A full copy of the TC602 form you will receive if you get child tax credit.  Your Pension Credit M1000 Award Notice. Some people have their benefits paid straight into their bank accounts and so don’t have a book and might not have a recent letter from the benefits agency. In this case please ask the Benefits Agency or Job Centre to stamp your application form in the place provided.

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September 2008

PTA News PTA—AGM The PTA Annual General Meeting will take place at Blessed William Howard Catholic High School on Thursday 16th October in the Library, starting at 7.00 p.m. All parents are invited to attend.

Family Quiz Night The PTA are holding a Family Quiz Night on Friday 21 November 2008. The evening will begin at 7.30 for 8.00 p.m. Tickets are £2.00 per adult and £1.00 for under 16’s and up to 6 people per team. A lighthearted fun evening for all the family.

Stafford and Stone Sport Partnership In July Lord Coe visited The Stafford and Stone Sport Partnership to meet potential Olympians, including Jamie Graham who was in Y11 last year.

Learners to Leaders You may be aware of the plethora of educational legislation and reform that is once again upon us. Changes are in place nationwide across all key stages. New schools are being built and many other refurbished under the Government’s ‘Building Schools for the Future’ campaign. Many schools are looking at how to re-organise learning to make it more appropriate to the 21st century and whilst Staffordshire schools are not set to benefit from an increase in funding for this purpose in the near future, BWH is pioneering a new curricular with its Year 7 pupils. Essentially, all the traditional elements of the curriculum are being delivered across four days whist Wednesdays are devoted to more cross-curricular themed work with the flexi-

bility to bring in visiting professionals and take pupils out of school on a number of educational visits to support their learning without disadvantaging normal timetabled lessons. The aim is to develop independence in learning through enquiry, research, first hand experience and a range of practical activities. Visits are presently planned to Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, the Black Country Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood and there will also be a special theatre visit at some stage during the year. We are envisaging working with a professional local textile artist, musican, poet and story writer in due course. It is hoped that, in keeping with the school’s specialist status, as many pupils as possible will be accredited with a special Artsmark Bronze Award by the end of

the year when they will host a special production and exhibition of work for parents. More details will follow shortly for parents of Year 7 pupils.

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September 2008

Arts College News The final weeks of the summer term proved to be the climax of another very busy year in terms of our specialist college status with a multitude of activities benefiting pupils at BWH and in its feeder primaries. In addition to music and art activities mentioned elsewhere in the newsletter, some of the highlights included a visit by the Black Cat Theatre Company to give a performance of “Twelfth Night” to visiting pupils from Year 6. Members of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra also visited the school on two occasions: firstly, the Little Big Time Band gave two concerts for pupils in Years 3 to 6, an event which they visibly enjoyed taking both a passive and an active part (see photographs); secondly, the Berkley Salon Ensemble gave a wonderful summer evening’s concert to a capacity audience of local residents, pupils, parents and friends of the school. Mrs Helliker also achieved great things in our feeder primary schools with music festivals and special musical assemblies at St Patrick’s, St Anne’s and St Austin’s – all greatly appreciated by the staff, pupils and parents. A special multicultural day was hosted for all members of Year 8 where they enjoyed oriental cookery, African drumming, American football and Indian dance (see photographs). The programme of West End theatre visits organised by Miss Mann which

had run throughout the year continued with opportunities for members of Year 7 to see the highly acclaimed Joseph and Key Stage 3 pupils during activities week to enjoy a residential drama course in London. We had two artists in residence: Aileene Moore, a ceramicist with Year 10 and Philip Cox with members of Year 8 and those of Sir Graham Balfour High School. Thanks are due to Mrs Todd for organising these extra opportunities. Moving into the Autumn Term – the start of our seventh year of specialist status – we welcome a new dance teacher, Miss Richards and two new Music Technology teachers, Mr Harper and Miss Trender. Many activities are scheduled to take place from the beginning of term including a special CBSO concert (designed to deconstruct and reconstruct the orchestra) and back stage tour of Symphony Hall for our Key Stage 4 GCSE musicians and theatre visits for Year 11 and Post 16 students to see “Woman in Black” and “Wuthering Heights” respectively. On the evenings of 6th – 8th November, there will be a school production of “Macbeth”. It is the first time that the school has risen to the challenge of mounting a Shakespearean play and it promises to be excellent, building on the enormous rise in popularity and demand for the drama in school in recent years. Details will follow shortly but you are

urged to book your tickets early in order to avoid disappointment. There will be a visit to see the wonderful production of the Nutcracker ballet in December and the annual free concert and Christmas shopping trip to Birmingham on 6th December (watch out for details soon – there will be the usual 150 places so you will need to sign up quickly!) There will of course be the usual concerts, liturgical events (including a special Lenten liturgy in St Chad’s Cathedral in March) and music festivals during the year but we are also looking to host a Dance Extravaganza at the beginning of April 2009 and a special Year 7 production in July as the culmination of a special programme of study, “Learners to Leaders” being pioneered this year (see special article). That so much activity takes place year after year is due to three factors: the dedication of many staff members who work very hard beyond their curricular responsibilities to provide a variety of enrichment opportunities; the enthusiasm of our pupils who subscribe to and enjoy these extra activities and the support of parents who enable participation through financial contributions and transportation arrangements. Thanks to all those who make the work of the specialist arts college so vibrant.

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September 2008

City Hike 2008

13 members of Key Stage 3 opted to do plenty of walking during Activities Week at the end of the Summer Term. City Hike consisted of three separate walking tours: Bristol, Liverpool and Stafford – taking in all places of interest during the route. Bristol was a great start to the three day expedition, beginning with an ‘unsettling’ walk over Brunel’s famous Clifton suspension bridge before continuing along the Royal York Terrace, through Clifton village via the University (on graduation day!) to the Christmas Steps and

Exam Invigilation If anyone is interested in helping with exam invigilation please contact Mrs D Evans on 01785 244236 for further details.

the Centre before embarking upon an hour long chartered cruise through ‘old’ Bristol and out past the SS Great Britain to the Cumberland Basin to gaze up at the bridge we had walked over some four hours earlier. Liverpool, unfortunately, was a very wet day which impaired our enjoyment somewhat to start with. However, we still managed to take in both the Metropolitan and Anglican cathedrals, the largest Chinese gate outside China, the new ‘One’ shopping precincts, the Albert Docks (with the arrival of many ‘tall ships’ as an added bonus), the ‘Three Graces’ on the historic waterfront, the so-called ‘Titanic’ building and an enjoyable cruise on the Mersey Ferry. Stafford might be close to home but it boasts a wealth of unique places that we

really do take for granted including the marvellous Norman Church of St Chad where we enjoyed their home produced ‘Time Walk’ sound and light history of the town, the Ancient High House – allegedly the largest timber framed town house in England where Charles I stayed in 1642, the splendid court rooms, where our pupils dressed up in official robes to enjoy the atmosphere to the full, the Broad Eye windmill and Doxey Marshes – our own SSSI – not to mention the castle (which we were too exhausted to walk to and, in any case, ran out of time!) Pupils on the activity were excellent ambassadors for the school and all learnt much in a short space of time.

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September 2008

Music Education Plus On Friday, 19th September, 45 students from Year 10 and 11 taking GCSE music attended a specially designed educational concert at Symphony Hall Birmingham courtesy of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – one of the school’s longest standing arts partners. The event consisted of a performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. The performance was compèred and the orchestra and music deconstructed and reconstructed in a most illuminating way with the pupils able to ask questions of the conductor and musicians and sit alongside the orchestra on stage during the performance. Ciaran Hayes in Y10 summed up the experience of sitting next to

a 100 strong professional orchestra as ‘really cool’. It was certainly an experience that will last with those that were present and, hopefully, assist in handling parts of their listening exam in due course.

the staff had had these experiences before which included the chance - for them – to play the mighty 6000 pipe symphony hall organ …. to an empty 2000 seat concert hall of world ranking.

After the concert we had been specially invited for a personal backstage tour of the concert hall by Tony Mullins one of the principal staff members of the venue since its opening in 1991. Pupils were treated to a technical demonstration of all the clever hydraulic and acoustical possibilities and investigated the mystical reverberation chambers – not known about by the general public. Students were treated like VIPs – even to the point of being welcomed into the royal hospitality suite. Not even

The students responded to the treatment and opportunity by being excellent ambassadors for the school. They will now attend two further concerts – a performance of all of the music made famous through the James Bond films in November and a traditional orchestral concert in February.