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201 r e t t e l s New


As the Christmas period approaches, I reflect on the past year with pride in all that has happened in the life of our busy school. It is only when you pause for a moment that the full extent of the vast array of achievements, visits, experiences and opportunities that our students have been part of become evident. Students have travelled across the world experiencing other countries and cultures. They have played leading roles in National Events such as Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics in addition to exceeding all expectations both on and off the sports fields. GCSE results were once again record breaking. ‘A’ level achievements saw our students move away to the top universities whilst Ofsted judged the school as ‘OUTSTANDING’ for its PSHE provision. All of these successes are in addition to our core purpose of ensuring every student receives the very best education possible. The summer saw the ‘the end of an era’ with the retirement of a number of long serving staff including Mrs German-Lloyd. Earlier in the year the school was devastated by the sudden death of Mrs Davies our Head of Sixth Form. Staff and students have planted a Cherry Blossom tree at Mayfields in Eastham in her memory. Since September, the school has continued to offer every opportunity to our young learners and much of this is detailed in this newsletter. Visits to Reutlingen and Auschwitz offered very different experiences, students benefitted from extended opportunities in Mathematics and English whilst well-known authors, world champions and mountaineers enriched the students’ lives. The celebration of success is always priority at The Whitby High School, not least at our Presentation Evening in November. This fabulous event welcomed Mr Neil Fagan, Communications Manager at Urenco, as our guest of honour whilst we also welcomed back former Head Girl and Olympic Torchbearer Caitlin Kennedy. The list of achievements goes on and on and only serves to highlight the time and commitment of my dedicated staff, the hard work of our students and your continued support of school. A school that offers education at an individual level – no gimmicks or quick fixes, just sustained success year on year, with a determined focus on giving our students the very best education. Our results speak for themselves. Please enjoy this latest newsletter and may I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a restful Christmas break and a happy, healthy 2013. With all my best wishes

r e e h g c a a s s e t e d a e am H t he

Mr B Heeley


Presentation Evening Thursday 15 November 2012 saw The Whitby High School’s version of the Oscars take place as we celebrated student achievement at our annual Presentation Evening. Over three hundred students, parents, staff and guests packed the Sycamore Hall to witness students from across Year 8 to Year 13 receive recognition for achievement or endeavours. Guest speaker, Mr Neil Fagan, Communications Manager at Urenco who praised the recipients for their hard work and effort, presented awards. The evening also included a review of the school year by Headteacher, Mr Heeley and a well-received speech by former Head Girl Caitlin Kennedy, who was chosen to carry the Olympic Flame into Chester Racecourse during the ‘run up’ to the 2012 Olympics. Former Year 13 students, now at University, College or employment also gave up their time to join us in what was a fantastic night of celebration. Presentation Evening 2012 saw a new award presented for the first time. The Jean Davies Award for Outstanding Contribution to the School and Community was given in memory of Mrs Davies our former Head of Sixth Form. We were extremely pleased to welcome Mrs Davies’ daughter, Dr Alana Davies to present the award to Christopher Whittaker, first recipient of the award.

In October a group of keen readers accompanied Mrs Paulson to hear the author Paul Dowswell speak at The Chester Literature Festival. He gave us an insight into his latest book “Eleven Eleven” set during the final 24 hours before the Armistice at 11.00am on 11�� November 1918. It follows a German Stormtrooper, an American Airman and a British ‘Tommy’ as their destinies converge. Copies of the book are now available for loan from the library.

A-Level PE Studies The A’ Level PE Studies pupils were fortunate to be invited to Chester University for the annual Sport and Exercise Science School’s Conference. The pupils took part in four workshops that were led by University lecturers and assisted by Sport and Exercise students. The workshops gave the Whitby pupils an insight into physiology, psychology, biomechanics and sociology. The practical activities included trying to cycle at the speed Bradley Wiggins averaged during the Olympic time trial and measuring pupil’s reaction times using a piece of equipment called a dyna-vision. The conference provided the A’ level pupils with the opportunity to see what University life is like alongside developing their theoretical knowledge of the science behind sport. The pupils also made a trip to Liverpool to see the Human Bodies Exhibition. The exhibition provided pupils with an in-depth and detailed insight into the anatomy of the human body. The exhibition allowed students to witness the cardiovascular, respiratory and skeletal systems in unprecedented detail.

On the 19th of October I flew to Cape Town, South Africa and worked in a school called ‘ I’D Mkenzie’ which is a township school. I decided to teach three art projects whilst I was out there, I used two artists’ work to inspire these projects; they were Peter Clark and Jennifer Collier. Peter Clark inspired my first project; my aim was to help the class understand his work, learning how to create a portrait collaged from recycled paper. The class really enjoyed this project, as they do not usually get a chance to do activities within school because there is not much funding by the government. In school I had made paper shoes, I sent templates for the children to work on. They covered the templates with whichever types of paper they wanted to use, I had a range of different papers such as music notes, coloured paper, and stamps of Nelson Mandela and English stamps. On the last day I created a wall hanging, I asked the class that I was teaching to bring in something that they would like to entrap. Most of the class decided to bring in pictures that meant something to them for example a close relative that passed away, from seeing this it really made me think about the diverse culture difference in South Africa. I really enjoyed teaching in ‘I.D Mkenzie’ school. It was a great experience and emotional at times. It made me realise how many opportunities I have. Knowing that The Whitby High School are fundraising for ‘I.D Mkenzie’ school made me feel reassured that positive progress is happening. This trip has given me a passion for travelling and the need to make a difference.

Whitby Host BMC Lectures The Whitby High School was proud to welcome the British Mountaineering Council’s Winter Mountaineering series of lectures on Wednesday 22nd November. The Sycamore Hall was filled with over 130 mountaineers and walkers from all over the North West and North Wales to hear Tamsin Gay and Tim Blakemore, both highly accomplished mountaineering instructors, deliver an extremely interesting and informative lecture. The British Mountaineering Council stages these lectures in all regions of England with the aim of keeping winter mountaineers and walkers safe in what can be some of the most challenging conditions in the world during the winter months in Wales, the Lake District and especially Scotland. Mr Bryn Heeley, Headteacher of The Whitby High School, said that he was extremely pleased to welcome such a large audience to the school and that he was pleased that the school was able to expand its existing links with the British Mountaineering Council through the school’s Outdoor Education Coordinator Mr John Simpson.


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To Reutlingen

and Back

60 pupils and 8 staff were welcomed by our twin town of Reutlingen at the end of the Summer term.

c i s u M partment De

Amid all the preparations for this years school production ‘The Wiz’, the Music Department provided musical interludes for our Presentation Evening.

Our first full day in Germany was spent experiencing German school life in Isolde-Kurz-Gymnasium and Johannes-Keppler-Gymnasium, where pupils were able to meet up with students they had been emailing.

Mikey Jones at the piano played as the guests arrived (joined by Jack Postlethwaite on guitar, Will Graham on bass and Josh Roberts on drums) playing some jazz and pop standards. The Studio B Swing Band played two great tunes – Summertime with Laure Selby Hughes on Vocals and Watermelon Man.

We were entertained with a short concert in the Town Hall by the University Academy Swing Band, who were visiting at the same time. After a Town Trail in German and English, organised by our hosts, we enjoyed a barbecue at the nearby Environmental Centre, along with pupils from our host schools. Later in the week we visited the mediaeval town of Tübingen, with a leisurely trip in a punt and time to shop in the town centre. Pupils also enjoyed a morning in the Panoramabad Leisure Centre in the Black Forest, with its open-air pool, sauna and ice-bath! It was good to renew friendships and links with our twin town, and we hope to continue these in future visits, maybe even to organise an exchange visit, with pupils staying with their German partners.

Charlie Harris, Lewis Williams and Harry Lee (Y11 BTEC Music students) took part in a ‘Battle Of The Bands’ at the British Legion in Heswall. Against some tough competition, they won.


The prize was a day in a recording studio to record a demo.... Well done boys. We are looking forward to a busy year with concerts and a variety of music events and as always, we appreciate you support. Mr Semans, Head of Music.

Whitby Students Contribute To Atmos Magazine A group of 30 year 9 pupils were invited to work with the London Science Museum on the Climate Science Project. Pupils had to create a magazine article based on climate change. The London Science Museum collected work from pupils all over the country and created a magazine using the articles. The work was then exhibited in The London Science Museum, Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, York National Railway Museum and At-Bristol.

Top Author

Visits The Whitby Peter Murray, author of the popular ‘Mokee Joe’ series, came into school to work with Year 7. Peter entertained Year 7 with his stories, jokes and dramatic presentation! Some lucky members of each form got to work closely with Peter in a Q and A session and work shop. Peter kindly offered to return the following day so that pupils could buy signed copies of his ‘Mokee Joe’ books. Queues were through the library doors and Peter stayed from break right through to lunch to meet the demands. Pupils and staff thoroughly enjoyed Peter’s visit and we are looking forward to Peter coming to work with us again next year.

School Production After recovering from the end of last year’s event and having a relaxing summer break. We got off to a flying start in September preparing for this term’s hectic timetable of happenings. The main focus was this year’s school show which was The Wiz ( a reworking of the classic Wizard of Oz). The show’s preparation started in February with the Y12 Textiles students designing and making costumes for the lead characters. This was part of their AS course. They produced some great costumes which worked really well on stage adding a great deal to the overall production. The show itself was a great team effort . As a result of all this hard work from staff and students it was an outstanding production. Students played a key role in bringing the show to the stage. Our Stage/Production Manager, Joe Kervin (Y12), and his team attended every rehearsal gathering props, helping with set design and building and then controlled the stage on the nights of the performance. Mikey Jones (Y13) took on the role of Musical Director and put together a great band of musicians from the school. Joe Miley (Y9) took responsibility for all the lighting working with professional lighting technicians and running the shows every night.

Dance Rehearsals for the School Musical this year went very well and the work produced by pupils in Years 8 – 10 have been professional and well-rehearsed. Over 30 dancers this year have dedicated themselves to extra-curricular rehearsals and have even attending school on Saturdays to ensure their performances are the best they can be. This year’s Wiz performance also sees a BTEC group of Dancers performing a curriculum unit of their work in front of an audience and is bringing a new genre of Dance to our show this year. The pupils hope to create atmosphere and suspense through their Dance and have worked very hard on their interpretation skills. Congratulations to our growing squad of ‘Whitby Dancers’ who are a pleasure to work with and are achieving bigger and better things every year!

The cast were outstanding. The four main characters: Dorothy – Amy Livingstone (Y11), Scarecrow – Reiss Barber (Y8), Tin Man – Jack Parry (Y8) and the Lion – Jack Minchew (Y12) put in some great performances supported by Aderperle and Evilene both played by Jenny Jones (Y11) and Niamh O’Neil (Y11) and the Wiz himself played by Max Astbury (Y11). The supporting chorus were also great and we saw some future stars ... watch out for them in next year’s show. Miss Ross and her team put together some fabulous dance routines full of precision and energy involving over 40 dancers from across the whole age range of the school. Some of these dances were used as part of the students’ BTEC assessment. We had a matinee performance on Wednesday afternoon for 6 local junior schools who were transfixed by the spectacle and really enjoyed the whole experience. Preparations are underway for next year’s show so watch the press for information regarding dates and auditions.

Sixth Formers Experience Lesson From Auschwitz During the autumn half-term break, two Year 13 History A Level students; Head Girl Jessica Crook and I (Louis Coughlan), flew from Manchester to Kraków, Poland, to visit the WWII concentration camps at Auschwitz. We went on the trip as ‘LFA Student Ambassadors’, but what does that mean exactly? The LFA or Lessons from Auschwitz Project, for which Mrs Knight is a co-ordinator, is a scheme run by the Holocaust Educational Trust which aims to enable two students from every secondary school and further education college in Britain to visit Auschwitz each year, in order to "educate young people of every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today." The one-day trip, which started at Manchester Airport on 25th October, would first take us to the Polish town of Oświęcim, situated about 30 miles away from Kraków. ‘Oświęcim’  is  the  Polish  name  for  the  town  which  had been renamed to ‘Auschwitz’ during the German occupation of Poland in the Second World War and the surrounding 48 camps would be named after it. Our focus in Oświęcim was the Jewish cemetery which, although may seem an odd choice, was to provide insight into the lives of the Jewish community that had lived there before the War. In fact, there were about 8,000 Jews, over half of the town’s population, living in Oświęcim  on  the  eve  of  World  War  II;  a  community almost entirely destroyed in the Holocaust. Although we could not read the Hebrew inscriptions on many of the headstones, we were shown how to interpret the symbols traditionally displayed on them.

Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the primary extermination camp in the network of camps presents a different picture to the museum of Auschwitz I. Although it’s believed that around 1.3 million people died at Birkenau, it stands today as a cold, mostly desolate and fittingly lifeless place, surrounded by a vast perimeter of barbed electric fences with train tracks leading through the main gate. Some were perhaps more obvious than others, a musical instrument, for example, would denote a musician and likewise, a book would represent a scholar. The pre-War cemetery gave character to what was once a vibrant Jewish community in the town and brought greater focus to the fact that all victims of the Holocaust were themselves individuals with their own families and professions. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to ’re-humanise’ these victims as we are constantly bombarded by death tolls and endless statistics. Dehumanisation was of course a major part of the extermination process during the Holocaust, as prisoners were stripped of their belongings, clothing, hair and their dignity which was to be replaced by identification tattoos, coloured badges and striped pyjamas. Auschwitz One stands today as a museum, which exhibits hauntingly long corridors surrounded on each side by the piles of shoes, clothing, suitcases and hair of the prisoners. What I found most upsetting however, were the sets of keys. Taking our house and car keys is something that we do whenever we go anywhere and those at Auschwitz were no different. Though for many, they would have been the last vain hope of returning home.


Here, we remarked quietly on what we did not see as we moved numbed and exhausted through a relentless gauntlet of barracks, gassing chambers and crematoria. Unlikely as it may seem, the day ended on a positive note with a small memorial service at Birkenau led by Rabbi Barry Marcus. “It’s reassuring”, boomed Marcus in a short speech, “to see so many young people in a place like this”. To which we could only agree, Auschwitz is an experience all should find the courage to partake in, the realisations are shocking however the humbling truths have been essential in my growth as person. After the trip, we noticed that many of our friends and family would ask the question, “Did you have a nice time?” Only to correct themselves, knowing what the answer would be. Perhaps a more appropriate question then, is “Was it worthwhile?” To which we would say yes. The trip motivated both of us to continue the work of’ ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ in remembrance of the horrors that were committed. We are organising a series of lessons and assemblies in school for Holocaust remembrance week in January.

Written by Louis Coughlan and Jessica Crook

Netball: UPDATE Netball continues to grow from strength to strength at The Whitby High School. Despite the netball courts being out of action for the first half term the netball squads continued to develop their skills at netball club. The U14 and U16 netballers took part in the first round of the national netball tournament on a cold Saturday morning in Chester. The girls performed well and were competitive in the group stages. Unfortunately they didn’t progress to the semifinals but the experience should prove be vital as the District Netball League gets underway. Special congratulations must go to Katie Sanders who was invited to the U16 Cheshire Netball Trials as a reward for her fantastic performances.

Skating World Champion

Visits The Whitby Jenna Downing the former women’s inline skating world champion visited Whitby High School as part of the Sky Living For Sport Programme. Jenna started her day at the school with an assembly. Jenna told pupils how she overcame many challenges to reach her goal and become World Champion. Jenna then put on a skating master class for a group of Year 7 pupils. The pupils worked on the basics of rollerblading and soon developed as a result of Jenna’s coaching. The pupils finished the session by showing off their new found skills by jumping over a ramp.


In the afternoon, Jenna met with a group of Whitby High School’s Sports Leaders. The pupils were fortunate to take part in a question and answer session with Jenna. The pupils asked Jenna about the different challenges she has experienced in her professional career and how she managed to succeed in such a male dominated sport. Under the guidance of Jenna, the Sports Leaders organised and ran the District Primary School Tag Rugby Competition in the afternoon. Despite the weather, the Sports Leaders successfully organised a fantastic competition for 12 local primary schools.

The Whitby High School rugby teams have had a busy start to the year competing in the emerging schools and Tarporley tournaments. The year 7s performed particularly well. After only a few weeks of training sessions they came up against the strongest sides in Cheshire and were more than competitive, beating some good school sides in both competitions. The year 8 side showed the benefits of strong links with Ellesmere Port Rugby Club with a number of players improving as a result of playing both in and out of school. The stand out performance this year came from the year 10 side at the Tarpoley tournament. The team from Whitby blew away the sides in their group winning all four games thanks to great work by the pack of forwards lead by captain Nathan Ainsworth and a number of fantastic tries from Jake Stinton. The Whitby pupils progressed to the final where they were dominant in the first half going close to the try line on a number of occasions. In the second half Whitby continued to pile on the pressure but a last minute breakaway try by the opposition proved to be the decider with Whitby finishing runners-up.



y b g u R s oy Cross Country Whitby High School pupils continued their impressive performances at the district cross-country championships. The competition took place on a very muddy Whitby High School’s cross-country course with Whitby pupils looking to use home advantage. The 6th Form pupils set the ball rolling with Laura Rigby and Dominik Roberts winning their events with Callum Wall finishing second. The success kept coming with brothers Wesley and Hayden Sinclair both dominating their races. Whitby took an inexperienced but strong cross-country squad to the first round of the national’s competition. The competition proved to be great experience for the year 7 pupils who were competing for the first time and more than matched their year 8 opponents. Alex Hickman and Laura Smith of year 9 also made the step up against older opposition and showed the benefits of training hard both in lessons and after school. With such promising talent we are looking forward to future success both in district and national competition.

Sports Leaders Conduct

Primary Competitions The Whitby High School Sports Leaders have been busy developing their leadership skills during a lunchtime club. The Sports Leaders have been developing a coaching session for their chosen sport, which includes a warm-up, coaching drills and conditioned games. The pupils are progressing brilliantly and are moving through the 5 tier Sports Leadership Programme run by the school. Alongside their work at lunchtime the Sports Leaders have been organising and running primary school competitions for the School Sport Partnership. The Whitby High School pupils have put their leadership skills into practice by planning the event, gathering equipment, officiating, scoring and timekeeping. The first competition of the year was the Ellesmere Port and Neston District year 5 and 6 tag rugby competition. Despite the terrible weather the Sports Leaders managed to put on a fantastic competition held at Ellesmere Port Rugby Club. With 12 schools entering the competition. Over 100 pupils participated in the event showing the future of rugby in Ellesmere Port is strong. The Sports Leaders also organised a district year 5 and 6 girls competition and a separate one for the boys. Both competitions ran smoothly and the primary school pupils enjoyed the competitive element of the events. Big congratulations must go to Meadow Primary School who won with boy’s football competition with some brilliant team performances. The next event on the horizon for the Sports Leaders will be the indoor athletics competition coming up in January.


CLUBS Extra-curricular clubs continue to be well attended by the pupils of The Whitby High School. Pupils are encouraged to develop the skills learnt in lessons, improve their fitness levels and represent the school in the many different sports teams run by the PE department. Alongside the traditional sports of netball, football, basketball and rugby which continue to be a big hit with the pupils, alternative activities including extreme gymnastics, trampoline and table tennis have become an essential part of the PE programme. The latest activity on offer by the PE department has seen thirty girls taking part in Boxercise. The girl’s specific fitness club has been a huge hit and has been run by a qualified instructor who has put the girls through their paces with a tough new workout. Sports clubs will continue after Christmas with the netball and basketball leagues in full swing. A list of all the clubs run by the PE department is up in your form room or on the PE notice boards.

" Outstanding school in so many different ways"


Sixth Form Option/Open Evening

Wednesday 16th January 2013 ( 0151 355 8445 8

The Wh itby Hig h Schoo 8 www l .whitby

( 0151

hs.chesh ire.sch.u 355 8445 k

The Whitby High School Christmas Newsletter 2012  

The Whitby High School Christmas Newsletter 2012