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FROM THE HEADTEACHER
Welcome to the Spring edition of The Whitby High School Newsletter which brings together a mixture of stories that may well have been touched upon in our weekly E-Bulletin. In the last newsletter I mentioned our academic successes in the Summer 2017 examinations. However, examinations only feature as a part of what the life of the school is all about. This newsletter exemplifies the wide range of additional activities we provide for our young learners, and activities decide they would like to be involved in, which enriches the life of the community. I believe it is important that, as a school community, we explore and embrace the world around us, work together on commom goals, and learn to understand other countries and cultures. Our International School status supports this through visits to various countries particularly through our involvement in the Ersmus+ projects.
I would also like to highlight the article on the fascinating visit by students to the Open Eye Gallery. Please look out for further updates detailing our involvement with the gallery as we plan an exhibition of students’ work later in the year. It will be good to see as many parents there as possible. Fund raising, Young Writers, Music, Global Footsteps, work experience, castle builders, and much more are detailed in this newsletter, in addition to celebrating ‘Take Over Day’ and a welcome visit by our MP - Mr Justin Madders. I wish you all a relaxing break over the Easter period. Please take time to rejoice with us in the many things our young people involve themselves with as outlined in our newsletter. May I remind you that students return on Monday 16th April 2018. Have a wonderful holiday
The European funded initiative brings together students from across Europe to work on projects that are significant to them. You can read all about the latest Human Rights project, hosted at ‘The Whitby’, in this latest issue. Mr B Heeley Headteacher
HUMAN RIGHTS ERASMUS+ EXCHANGE, HOLLAND
During a week in Holland students produced work based around the theme of ‘The Right to an Education’. Students researched situations around the world where it was difficult to get an education, illiteracy, gender equality, and current studies on the right to have an education. Students prepared presentations about the problems and had to come up with solutions. The afternoon was spent watching a film called ‘ . This highlighted the struggle that many students face just getting to school. Kenya – Students faced difficulty as their journey took two hours through open savannah with wild animals such as dangerous herds of elephantS. The two children were only young (a brother and his younger sister). They had to plan their route carefully to avoid risk. Morocco – A girl lived in a remote region of the Atlas Mountains. Her journey took her four hours to complete. She and two other girls had to hike over extreme terrain in order to reach their school. They made this journey twice a week as they lived at the school Monday to Friday. Argentina – Another remote highland region which showed a brother and his sister cross the mountain terrain on their family horse. It took them one and a half hours to reach school. India – Two brothers showed their commitment to getting their disabled brother to school. The chair was dilapidated and sustained a damaged wheel during the journey. The film showed the poor infrastructure in the region and the uneven surface on which they had to push the chair. The journey took an hour and thirty minutes. We travelled to the city of Dordrecht to the Dutch museum of education. We were given a tour entitled The Evolution of Education in the Netherlands. The group was then split up to go and film a short video about particular aspects of Dutch education, such as learning to read, traditional home making classes for women, and the different utensils used over time. We had a talk from Tim the ‘travelling teacher’. He engaged with the students through an interactive app on their phones which was fun and the students really enjoyed the activity.
Fund Raising The Sponsored Stay Awake 2018 took place on Saturday 20th January 2018 from 8pm until 8am. Four members of staff and 78 students took part in a range of activities throughout the night based in our sports and drama building. Years 9, 10, and 11 students took part to raise awareness and money for the Mental Health Charity ‘MIND’. Family and friends sponsored our students and everyone stayed awake. The 12 hour event raised a fantastic total of £2,718.82 with more sponsors yet to come in. The previous Stay Awake organised was for Autism Together, a link is below detailing just how significant the money was to their project.
8Y organised a charity cake sale and raised £221 for Cancer Research and Macmillan Cancer Support. Many of the form brought in goodies to sell over a two-day period. Money was also raised by a number of students who undertook a sponsored silence. The charity event was organised by the form in support of Emily and Daniel Povey who, in recent years, have lost their father and mother to the disease. Thank you to all the people who supported the event. On December 21st 7WR took part in a sponsored silence in all of their lessons. The students went to each lesson with a whiteboard and pen in order to communicate with their peers and the teachers. This was the last day of term and many of the students were extremely excited so this was a real challenge! Overall the students raised £135.50 for the Claire House Children’s Hospice which was sent to the charity just before Christmas. 7WR would like to thank all the friends and family that supported them in this event.
Organiser Miss Kilbride says “This is the twelfth Stay Awake I have organised for students to take part in here at The Whitby High School to raise money for this very important charity. The dedication and support from students and staff has been amazing, another very successful event for a much needed cause. I am very proud of our students and their efforts in raising this amount of money, which will no doubt be put to positive use in help bring awareness to this mental health charity.” Alongside Miss Kilbride, thanks must go to staff members Mr Taylor, Miss Harrison and Mr Semans for taking part in this event, their efforts were very much appreciated. Much gratitude should be awarded to all students who took part, however, a special mention must be reserved for Year 10 student Isla Ludgate who raised a total of £550 for her sponsors alone! We are so thankful to Isla and everyone who sponsored her. For those of you who enjoy raising money for charity then please keep an eye out in the Pupil Bulletin very soon for another Sponsored ‘Dance-a-thon’. We are hoping to raise further funds for MIND with the aim of raising a grand total of £3,000, watch this space! www.autismtogether.co.uk/staying-awake-all-night/ www.mind.org.uk/
Congratulations to Niamh Price 11W who has recently comleted a sponsored walk for Claire House. Niamh walked from Ellesmere Port to Chester, along the canal towpath. Niamh organised everything herself, including contacting Claire House and getting sponsorship. Well done Niamh!
On Wednesday 7th February our Year 12 Photography students visited the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool. This is their second visit as part of a project that we are working on together. Andy Yates and Declan from the gallery talked to us in some depth about the exhibition of work by renowned artist/photographer Tom Wood. They gave us an insight into not only his work and what it is about, but also how the work was curated. Following this, students went out to re-create some of Tom Wood’s images, considering the content of the image, composition, light, and colour. On Friday 9th February Andy Yates came into school to continue working with our students. They discussed and selected a range of images that are now posted on a sharing website www.photostories.org.uk. The title of the project is ‘What are you doing at Pier Head Today? Whitby High School Workshop’.
You will see the results of the work produced in our November visit, please do take the time to have a look. Students will continue to develop work in response to Tom Wood and we also plan to embark on a project linked to Ellesmere Port. Students will be exhibiting their work in the Open Eye Gallery in June, an amazing and slightly daunting opportunity! You are likely to hear much more about this exciting project so watch this space!
Q: What inspired your story, and how did you decide on the idea? Ebony: “Well, before the competition came up in lesson, I was reading a horror story called (by Ian Strachan), and it inspired me to write this story. Evelyn: “I was thinking about my favourite film ) so I decided to base it on that.” ( Alfie: “Nothing really inspired me; I just thought of one idea then expanded on it.” Q: What was the hardest part about writing your story? How did you get past that? Alfie: “The hardest part was probably making the story 100 words short. I think that it should have been longer! I got past that by cutting off words that I didn’t need and eventually ended up with 100 words.” Evelyn: “I ended up having 101, but I tried to take things away and it didn’t make sense. I had to change a sentence or two.” Q: How did you feel when you found out you’d been selected to have your work published?
A plethora of passionate students put pen to paper in the Winter term, and turned their creative ideas into publishable prose. Evelyn Hague, 7H, Alfie Holding, 8SR, Ebony Ley, 8W, and Rebecca O’Brien, 10S, managed to wow the judges in the Young Writers Stranger Sagas flash fiction competition, and have had their work selected for publication in the anthology, which comprises the best submissions from the North West. The Young Writers competition is open to students all across the country, and our four plucky wordsmiths’ writing was chosen from 20,000 other short story submissions. This competition had a twist though; students’ stories could only be 100 words or fewer in length! Even reading into the article, you’ve read 125 words, so setting up an entire story in such a short space is a difficult task. However, our students were up to the challenge, and used a few of their English lessons to ruminate on their inspirations before composing stories of intrigue, monsters and heart-stopping tension! We spoke to some of the students about what inspired them, and how they felt when they had been selected for publication.
Rebecca: “Really grateful and just happy! In primary school I never won anything and this just made me excited and made my day.” Alfie: “It was a euphoric experience...I was ecstatic!” Evelyn: “I felt amazing because out of all the people, I was one of the few that got chosen.” Q: What advice would you give to any other young writers in the school? Ebony: “I would say to take advice from loads of people and not to be afraid to ask for help. But the most important thing would be to be as creative as possible.” Rebecca: “Just go for it! If you are so passionate about something – anything – just go for it. I used to want to be a writer. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing stories and songs – but this is more of a hobby than a full occupation.” Evelyn: “Believe in yourself. Never give up because real writing is what think it is.” The anthology will be published in April, and copies are available for purchase from the Young Writers website at www.youngwriters.co.uk Remember, Mr Fellowes’s Creative Writing club runs during Friday lunchtimes – ask your form tutor for more details!
ON THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT In December we saw some fantastic performances in our Christmas concert entitled ‘A Winter’s Evening of Music, Dance and Drama’. A number of students performed, some for the first time, to a large and appreciative audience. There were a few surprises from the students and the whole evening was a tremendous success. In February, Years 9 and 10 BTEC classes each had an informal performance evening in the lunchbox inviting family and friends along to listen to some of the work they had prepared as part of their course. This gave some of the students the opportunity to perform to an audience but not on the same scary level as a full-scale concert, on stage in the hall.
On Wednesday March 22nd Year 8 were given a short concert by an upcoming band “The Shades,” - a pop / rock band. As well as performing a number of songs they also delivered a message to empower and inform students to make the right choices with regards to Online Safety & Cyber Bullying as well as discussing pressures teenagers go through and reflecting on their own experiences. A large number of students had their photograph taken with the band and the enthusiasm continued into the evening on social media. The Music department received an email from the promotion company thanking us and saying how lovely the staff and students of The Whitby High were and that they had been completely inundated with positive feedback from the pupils (and even parents) on social media.
A Year 11 BTEC Music Group were treated to an evening of music from a 7 piece Jump Jive Swing band - Swing the Merciless. This was not only music to listen to but an opportunity for the students to become sound engineers for the evening. The students set up all the equipment for the band including amps, mics, drum kit and keyboards, as well as giving the band the monitor mixes they wanted. They mixed tunes like Bring Me Sunshine, Choo - Choo Cha Boogie, Just Can’t Get Enough and That’s Amore. It was great to see how well all of the students handled such a big responsibility. The students took part with great enthusiasm and confidence. The members of the band were very impressed - “These Y13’s are really doing well. . .they are a credit to you and the school”. Well done to all the Year 11 Music students. We had a great visit from Rory Taylor from the West End Show Thriller Live. Rory and his Wife Jess (who is a stage manager for the touring Thriller Live show) were happy to speak to our Y9 BTEC music students about life as a professional musician, on the road, the various hazards, rules and pitfalls of touring a West End Show in the UK and as far abroad as China. The students got a real taste of what it is like to be on the road – the glamorous and the not so glamorous. The insight that Jess and Rory gave into the music business was invaluable as the group were preparing to tackle a BTEC Music Units on the Music Business and Preparing Live Music Event. I was really impressed with the maturity of our Y9 BTEC class as were Jess and Rory.
HAS A RIGHT TO LOVE In January Mrs Worthington asked if some of our singers would perform a Human Rights song - ‘Every Child Has a Right for Love’ at the launch ceremony for the week on the Right to Life. A music teacher at the Heinrich Heine Schule in Dreieich Germany, Leana Lisa PIRHONEN-Kornhauser wrote the song for an annual network meeting of teachers involved in Erasmus exchange programmes. Our singing teacher, Carly Dallen worked with some Year 7 students – Melissa Jones, Amy Trent, Alisha Jones, Annabelle Blocksidge, Jessica Jones and Sam Dawson and together with Jay Philipson on drums, Mr Semans on bass and Mrs Lewis on piano we performed it for the visitors on Monday 19th March.
GLOBAL FOOTSTEPS CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Nelson Mandela once said - “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and this is shown in what we achieved over February half term for The Whitby High School students - for students Sophie Ashley, Georgia Leach, Beth Sadler, Jaydon Souter, Oliver Bagnall, Laura Higginbottom, Rev Helen Morby, Mr Morby and Mr Davies. This has been a truly amazing life changing experience in Cape Town South Africa.
The Mzansi restaurant, nestled in the famous Harlem Street of Langa, boasted a real African township experience. Langa was the first black township in Cape Town established in 1927. This township played a big role in the resistance against apartheid with many protests being held here. The owner of the restaurant - ‘Momma’, as she called herself, spoke freely about the restaurant's history and how it came to be.
After an 18-hour flight across the African continent we arrived exhausted but ready to take on the challenge ahead of us. First - the language barrier. South Africans have more than one language but predominately , and which is used amongst the Black population of Cape Town and in townships.
Monday was our first day at our partner school ID Mkize. With the help of the talented muralist Chantal Elys, our objective was to convert a shipping container into a global tuck shop. Throughout the week the team worked on the project as well as observing and teaching in lessons.
ROBBEN ISLAND During the trip to Robben Island the students gained an insight into the struggles Mandela and other freedom fighters faced in an attempt to change the system. The students also understood the history of South Africa and how the country is still trying to rebuild after the devastation that apartheid caused. Robben Island was declared a World Heritage Site because the buildings on the island are a reminder of its sad history and because the same buildings also show the power of the human spirit, freedom and the victory of democracy over oppression. LANGA TOWNSHIP Our visit to Langa Township was a positive experience gaining an insight into the history and lives of isiXhosa people. Students learnt that during the apartheid, black citizens required an identification card so that they could work. If they didn't have a 'Dom' card they were imprisoned. Once the apartheid collapsed the people were free to move around.
With the help of Mr Davies, Sophie led a Maths lesson and was amazed at the high level of skill from the students. Georgia and Jaydon, along with isiXhosa speaking teacher Miss Alex, taught an English lesson to a class of Year 10 students. Oliver also became a teacher, helping ID Mkize learners with Biology. Mrs Ballance and Mr Morby enriched learners with Design & Technology lessons, making jitter bugs and clocks using plastic straws. This was a proud moment for students - enriching the education of others. The Whitby High school has created something amazing for the development of IDMkise, encouraging collaboration with their neighbouring schools. As a business school, IDMkise can take what we’ve completed and create an enterprise they can be proud of. A huge thanks must go out for all the fund raising efforts that have taken place over the last twelve months and beyond, and also for the parental commitment, without this the project would not have been possible.
IN A SUITCASE On Thursday 8th March, four students from The University of Manchester and Dr Katayune Presland from the Royal Society of Chemistry visited The Whitby High School to deliver a spectroscopy workshop for Year 12+13 chemists. Spectroscopy is an important part of laboratory chemistry and a key part of the A-level course, but we are limited in the amount of practical work we can carry out due to the expense of the equipment. These workshops gave students the opportunity to have hands-on experience and learn how samples are analysed. Our sixth formers studied the principles of the techniques and learned how these techniques are used in a range of scientific careers. In the morning students synthesised paracetamol, purified it and then analysed their product compared to paracetamol you can buy over the counter. The techniques included thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and infra-red spectrscopy (IR). In the afternoon, our Year 13 chemistry students had an intensive workshop on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and IR. This was a very valuable experience of seeing hands on methods of collecting and analysing data and we are extremely grateful to Dr Katayune Presland and her team.
On Saturday 3rd March, a team of year 12 students, Rebeca Pires, Alfie Danson and Ben Griffiths, travelled to Liverpool University to participate in the regional heats of the Young Analysts Competition 2018. This consisted of undertaking a number of practical experiments such as titrations and UV-Vis absorbance graphs to obtain a set of results, which we would be marked on. The aim was to calculate how much calcium is present in milk samples and whether there is any iron in Irn-Bru. This was a fun but competitive event against around 25 other schools from the Merseyside area. We found the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable and very useful to gain useful chemistry knowledge for our A-Levels, and developing insight into university life and working in professional laboratories using scientific equipment. Rebeca Pires
#WORK EXPERIENCE We began planning for this fortnight at the end of Year 9 asking students to consider where they may like to go and what they would want to find out while on work experience. Some students took the initiative very early on and found placements with a wide range of local employers. During Autumn term students were reminded about the need to organise a placement and that this can take time. Eventually most students had a placement for at least a week of the fortnight. While the students were at the placements, staff made calls to employers to see how they were getting on. From these calls and emails received by the school it is clear that a majority of our students took this opportunity to make a good impression.
On Thursday 15th February, a group of Year 12 students went to Liverpool for the launch of the Social Mobility Foundation’s Aspiring Professionals Programme Launch. The aim of the launch was to explain how the programme would help us in the future with university choices and applications. The scheme is very competitive with a detailed application process and high GCSE grades required to apply. The programme is supported by national companies such as KPMG and JP Morgan and aims to support students with developing ‘professional’ skills such as networking, presentation and interview skills. Each student works with a professional mentor from the sector that they are most interested in. The day consisted of a talk, which explained how the programme would help us in the future. This includes various workshops over the next year to prepare us for university or apprenticeship interviews, university visits and assigning us with a mentor. Our mentor, who we will be paired with in the spring, will help us choose university and career courses, and develop our personal statements ready for applications into university. The directors of the Liverpool SMF programme were really helpful in explaining the programme thoroughly and gave advice about their university experiences and careers postuniversity. We ended the launch by participating in icebreaker games which helped develop our confidence and communication skills which are key when preparing for interviews of any kind. Overall, it was a great first event and the start of many events on our journey to life after Sixth Form.
We have had many positive comments about students’ behaviour and attitude to the world of work. As Mr Heeley mentioned in the assembly before the work experience, this reflects well on the students, their families and the school. It is now time for the students to reflect on their experiences and complete the final section of the work experience log. The information in the log will help students as they begin to apply for post-16 options. It will be a reminder of where they went and what they did, as well as providing details of staff and organisations who may be able to provide them with references in future. Image - Year 10 student on placement at Hayrack Farm. @WHITBYHIGH
TAKES OVER ‘Take Over Day’ is a national day of youth voice commissioned by Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissionaire. Take Over Day has been running for ten years and sees young people take the seat of influential decision makers for the day to gain work experience and experience the role of making real-life important decisions. I spent the day working alongside the director of communications - Gina Bebbington who showed me what goes into advertising the council and organising campaigns for elections both national and regional.
QUESTION TIME WITH MP
I also engaged in a discussion with a lady from the department of democratic services about lowering the voting age to 16 and why people don’t want this. She showed me what the Democratic services department did; this included scrutinising councillors and MPs spending allowances in Cheshire West and Chester which are paid for by the taxpayer, and organising where voting stations were set up for elections.
Earlier this term local MP Justin Madders took time out of his busy schedule to visit The Whitby High School. Justin spent time talking to Year 12 students who are studying A level Government and Politics about his life as an MP. The students questioned him on various issues from Brexit to the powers of Parliament. I think we have some potential political journalists within the group, Jeremy Paxman watch out!
Working with communications gave me an inside view of the council and just how much work goes into the day-today operations there.
The group are now looking forward to their trip to London and the Houses of Parliament later in the Spring.
Zak, William and Callum, Year 7, made a presentation to Mr Heeley before Christmas, asking for a new Lego set for Learning Support. One of the interventions in the department uses Lego to work on team building skills and communication, and the boys picked a Minecraft set that they thought everyone in the department would enjoy working with. Mr Heeley was so impressed with their presentation skills, he agreed to buy them an extra set, and the boys were presented with them last week. They are very proud of themselves, as they should be!! Mr Heeley will be over to join in the building in the near future!
Renâ€™ Builder the
After receiving my history homework one Thursday I thought it would be best to try the most challenging project from the choices on offer. I arrived home and studied all the options on the paper and discovered that the most challenging was to build a castle. I asked my mum to give me some of the items we had left from decorating the house and some crafting supplies from our previous projects. Firstly, I came up with a simple idea of what it might look like when its finished. Then I wrote a list of what I thought would be needed and what we had. After that we went to the store and bought all the things we needed for the castle and I was ready to start the project.
Secondly, I studied the features of a medieval castle and began building it step by step. I begun by laying the shape of where each bit would go. Once that was finished I began cutting the walls for the sides and rear of the castle which were made from polystyrene sheets, then the towers and gate were from a children's playset. After the walls and towers had been fixed with silicon, the second stage of the project was to give the polystyrene a stone-like appearance. This was achieved by mixing a small amount of cement with water and applying it to the castle in layers. Next I started to make the King's quarters and the small details on the inside; I even made ballista turrets for the defenders. Once this was done I added another layer of cement was applied to the whole model, the outside was painted green and vegetation was added around the grounds of the castle. To finish, I went a step further and added characters to the model to create a siege to the rear of the castle. A camp, a siege tower and a catapult were made to simulate what a siege would have looked like in the day.
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Read The Whitby High School Spring Newsletter 2018