Page 1



Welcome to the third edition of Lawnswood Life this academic year. I hope that you thoroughly enjoy reading about the rich variety of activities and successes we have at this excellent school. We are looking forward to great progress this spring term, building on the fabulous Ofsted report we had in October. Already, our students have achieved outstanding results in their November GCSE English and maths examinations, which is fantastic for them and a great base on which they can build in the summer. I am delighted to welcome our two new Deputy Headteachers, Ms Nicholson and Mr Sanderson, both of whom are focussing on further raising standards across the whole student body. This term, we shall all focus on making outstanding progress and students taking the ‘2014 pledge’ to get involved in more extracurricular activities to enrich their personal development. Mr S G White Headteacher

CELEBRATION ASSEMBLIES Celebration assemblies took place for each year group during the week beginning 20th January. Students were recognised for their academic achievement and effort in different academic subjects and were presented with a certificate. In addition, certificates were awarded to a number of students who had been nominated by their form tutors as having 'made a difference' in some way during their school life. Parents and carers were invited to attend and we were pleased to welcome a good number at each assembly. They commented that it was a pleasure to come into a year group assembly and see their child rewarded for their achievements in school. Overall 530 students received certificates in all the assemblies during the week. We look forward to other celebrations and we hope to see more of parents

LAWNSWOOD LITERACY NEWS Congratulations to the first Year 7 students who have read and successfully taken Accelerated Reader book quizzes on fifty books. Matyas Merenyi, 7SEL and Khalid Al-Garbeh, 7CG0 were proud to receive a Headteacher’s Praise Certificate personally from Mr White. “Accelerated Reader has brought reading back into my life,” Matyas told his English teacher. KS3 students continue to gain reward for their reading using the Accelerated Reader software. Please support us by encouraging your child to read regularly at home. Just fifteen minutes a day will improve their vocabulary and enable them to access the curriculum more effectively. Forthcoming events for avid readers:

and carers at these events throughout 2014 !

" I thoroughly enjoyed it. They all looked immaculate!"

" Great to come in and see the school running normally"

“Thank you for organising this and rewarding achievement and effort.”

National Story Telling Week Saturday1st - Saturday 8th February World Book Day Thursday 6th March

TUTOR PERIODS Each fortnight, during our tutor period, students have had sessions focused on various life skills. Some of these have included informative talks from local professional agencies. Below are some examples of the topics discussed with the different year groups. Year 7 ♦ Visits from British Aerospace and the RAF to inform them of possible careers in engineering. Year 8 ♦ Continued work with Leeds University within their smoking prevention study. ♦ Small group work sessions working with Teach Drugs Leeds to inform the students of the danger of illegal substances. ♦ Group work to inform the students of the dangers of Shisha and flavoured tobacco. ♦ Raising awareness of media influences on society. ♦ Professionals from a variety of different careers ♦ Barclays Life skills and Save the Children delivered a talk to students with regard to finance. Year 9

YORKSHIRE’S YOUNG DEBATERS CROSS THE “OXBRIDGE” AT LAWNSWOOD On the evening of Thursday 23 January, 80 students from 14 schools participated in the regional round of the esteemed Oxford Schools Debating Competition at Lawnswood School. Four Lawnswood teams comprising Year 10 and 11 students debated challenging motions against students from Years 11 to 13 in a competition brimming with eloquence and talent. The first motion tasked students to debate whether the government should subsidise arts and humanities degrees, (which saw some outrageously utilitarian arguments from the opposition); the second challenged the efficacy of term limits for democratically elected leaders with a specified demand for students to explore examples beyond Europe and the U.S. Oxford Schools utilises British Parliamentary style debating, a strict structure which demands that each student fulfils a particular role of “government” in order to achieve highly in the debate. The Prime Minister, for example, must open the debate and define the motion, whilst the whip, the final speaker for each side, must identify points of clash that arise from the debate, summarise why their team mate brought the best arguments to the table and, ultimately, persuade the chair that they are right. With just fifteen minutes to prepare once the motion has been revealed, this is no mean feat. A competition of this calibre demands a challenging combination of sound general knowledge and a mature understanding of current affairs, in addition to eloquence, steady nerves and quick-thinking. The Lawnswood representatives rose to the challenge admirably, forming well-structured and highly persuasive arguments under the pressure and time constraints of a demanding and stressful competition. Congratulations to Joe Goff, Ellis Napier, Aneurin Evans, Sam Cammegh, Matthew Hallas, Itunu Oyelade, Gerda Luht and Priscilla Dumenu for an outstanding display of debating skills, and to Aimee Cammegh, Freya Napier and Libby Lynch for acting as ambassadors and making the evening a great success!

♦ Leeds Faith in Schools (LFIS) has worked with small groups to inform the students about healthy and unhealthy relationships. ♦ BLAST Project Year 10 ♦ LFIS Relationship Education. ♦ Information on apprenticeships and careers. ♦ Information about the consequences of alcohol and tobacco.

Fancy getting involved? Debate Club takes place in F12 on Thursday lunchtimes. Whether you’re interested in current affairs or you just like a good argument bring your lunch and join the debate!


LAWNSWOOD LIFE - February 2014

Y10 – GCSE & BTEC ART AND DESIGN Congratulations to our highly creative Year 10 GCSE and BTEC Art and Design students for creating some very successful outcomes for their mock exam. Students developed their ideas from African art as a starting point – keep up the good work !

SPELLATHON On Friday 20th December 2013, the Lawnswood Annual KS3 Spellathon was held. Once again students demonstrated excellent spelling skills and great courage to take part, whilst their whole year group watched. Congratulations to: Y7 Winner: Zeshan Yasir 7SDA Runners up: Anna Clift 7MSM Prakash Limbu 7SEL Y8 Winner: Charlie Nullmyers 8SAM Runners up:Ally Alchaar-Tatterton 8LLA Shaddy Glal 8LLA Y9 Winner: Michael Restrick 9HST Runners up: Alan Alaei DMO Kimberly Ziki 9MLI Well done to everyone who participated!


Artwork by: Magdalena Cygan Carla Simons Christina Morrison

LAWNSWOOD LIFE - February 2014

Some of you may remember in the last newsletter that students and friends had been working hard to produce dresses to send out to girls in Africa. Over 100 dresses were sent and we were delighted to receive this thank you to say that they have arrived at the UK distribution centre and should be sent out to Africa soon. Thanks once again to everyone for your support with this project. C Tweedy Subject Leader Textiles and Health & Social Care


‘OF MICE AND MEN’ The English Department will be taking a group of Year 10 and Year 11 students to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to watch a performance of Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, on the 20th March 2014. The novel is studied for both English literature and language GCSE and will be an invaluable opportunity to develop their understanding of the novel.

TURING CRYPTOGRAPHY COMPETITION Battles, espionage and vicious combat have commenced in Room S35 as pupils have tested their wits and thinking skills. Once again Year 7 and 8 pupils are taking on the masterful codes published by the University of Manchester during the annual Turing Cryptography Competition. This year Lawnswood has 3 teams entered with team captains, Freya Napier (Year 8), Ruby Cooke (Year 7), and Owen Spafford (Year 7). If you would like to follow our teams online then go to: cryptography_competition/ leaderboard.php.

POLITE REMINDER The deadline date for payment for students going to Germany in June is Monday 24 February. Payments can be made via the main reception and the total amount for the trip is £320. 4

DRAMA AT LAWNSWOOD The Drama department has enjoyed a whirlwind of success since September, notably the Year 11 Performance Evening. The pupils performed four devised works of contemporary movement, spoken word, storytelling and physical theatre to a packed out studio. There were outstanding performances from Shannon O’Neill in her role as the over protective sister in ‘Taking Care of Dhruvi’ and Jake Maskill- Fishwick as Mr Hudson, a man with no memory trapped in a hospital room. These presentations were all expertly sound-scaped by Joe Goff and professionally executed on the night. In addition, credit to Theo Bennett for a superbly written play script, which explored literary characters trapped in the imaginations of asylum patients and to Victorine Mputu for choreographing a stunning contemporary dance piece, based on twins separated at birth. Sophie Mullen and her team created superb issue based drama on the theme of text bullying and brought the audience to tears using a mix of storytelling theatre and music. A brilliant two nights of original theatre enjoyed by all and some stunning exam results ! We have DVDs of the performances which are available, for £2.00 each, from Miss Mitchell in F49 . January has seen success from the Year 10 group who have excelled in their Devised Theatre Unit, exploring characters and using movement and storytelling to create original and contemporary drama. The evening started with a bang as Hollie Armitage, Bella Atibila, Natasha Exley, Catherine Claughton and Stefani Da Silva Cardoso strutted on stage in fantastic costumes and dance moves in a thought provoking piece of storytelling theatre, based on the lives of four prison inmates. This was brilliantly narrated by Stefani and their hard work definitely paid off ! Outstanding performances were seen from Tinashe Sibanda, as the lovesick housemate and Elise Horsley as a disturbed and incarcerated Snow White. Rehearsals for these pieces have been on going and the studio has been buzzing with activity every evening, with pupils rehearsing, decorating, collaborating and getting involved with all aspects of making theatre happen. Connor Flanagan excelled on the evening in his role as ‘Connor Diego Obama Flanagan, the master of dating and all round ladies man, in a sketch show based on the lives of a group of housemates. Holly Sullivan’s group changed the pace of the evening by turning the space into a traverse theatre and using forum theatre as a means to choose the end of the play. The audience loved this and it certainly put pressure on the group, as they had to rehearse several endings to their performance and would not know which would be performed. Certainly original and brilliantly performed by all cast members. The Drama Club runs every Tuesday evening and last term we had record breaking numbers of actors in our after school workshops! Over 40 performers took part in character workshops with half of those performing at the Christmas Concert, in an original adaptation of the famous poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas‘. Lawnswood Drama Company is formed from all those who wish to be a part of Drama Club after school and we have had some incredible successes. Led by professional director Simon Brewis (Creative Director of Escape Youth Theatre Company), we collaborated to create original and fun drama about things that matter to you. Last year we performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in the Courtyard Theatre as part of a Youth Theatre Festival and there are many more exciting events in the calendar. Are you interested in making Drama a part of your school life? If so, please speak to Miss Mitchell about ways to get involved in the department. We always need volunteers to keep our prop and costumes in good condition, to learn how to do light and sound for the productions and to help us on performance evenings. The drama club is open to all. Special thanks this term go to Miss Whitby and Mrs A Roberts, for their on-going support with the year 10 group, Mr Johnson for being the department’s biggest fan and to Libby Lynch and Freya Napier for their time, effort and contribution to the GCSE success. LAWNSWOOD LIFE - February 2014



Since September, Year 11 students have been applying for post-16 courses through the UCAS progress electronic system. We have now received over 170 applications from students of Lawnswood and from other schools. New applications continue to be welcome online through UCAS progress or by letter. Progress leaders, teachers, mentors and outside agencies provide our Year 11 students with independent advice and guidance on the next steps they can take. We work together to ensure that students choose courses that are right for them and that will lead to success. Sixth Form admission interviews have begun and we will shortly be sending:

This month we are approaching the halfway point in our work towards achieving School of Sanctuary status. We have created a display to highlight our progress so far which is being displayed at the Schools of Sanctuary AGM in the Civic Hall later this month. Y10 Media students are working with some of our pupils from Refugee and Asylum Seeker backgrounds to produce an informative animation film to be shown during Refugee Week in June. We have also set up a Diversity Forum which will focus on promoting harmony and equality between all students.

• confirmation of unconditional places for students who have already achieved at least 5 GCSEs at Grade C or higher or • conditional places for students whom we expect to achieve that entry requirement This year’s volume of applications to Lawnswood School Sixth Form, as first choice, is the highest we have on record. So why are so many students interested in post-16 courses at Lawnswood School? Our academic status • Ofsted’s judgement from October 2013 is good with outstanding features. • All Sixth Form lessons observed are judged at least Good with much Outstanding learning taking place. • Pastoral care and guidance is described as outstanding. • We provide expert guidance in post-Sixth Form courses, apprenticeships and employment. • All applicants to university are highly successful (by 9.30am on results day!) • Our students achieve higher grades than at other similar sixth forms. • Our Year 12 retention rate is over 97% and we ensure that students who decide they need an alternative route have it in place before they leave. • We offer opportunities to resit English, maths and science alongside Level 3 qualifications. The enhancement we offer • Our Student Leadership Programme. • Opportunities to develop the Sixth Form committee and have a say in how the Sixth Form develops. • Bespoke work experience for every student. • Educational and social trips, overseas and in the UK. • Joint delivery of a Leeds Metropolitan University module to gain extra UCAS points, develop life skills and awareness of progression options. We are committed to ensuring that students experience aspects of the routes they plan to take after Sixth Form and that the range of enrichment activities will enhance UCAS applications or CVs. We’ve listened to ideas from our current Year 11 and 12 students and are redesigning the physical environment for Sixth Formers. At Easter, we will completely refurbish the common room to create comfortable and attractive relaxation spaces and additional high quality facilities to support independent learning and for use during private study time. Also, by September, Sixth Formers will have a dedicated Sixth Form only entrance to the building. Our current Year 11 students are on track to achieve even better GCSE results than last year, and the Sixth Form is developing rapidly to accommodate our ambitious and successful students, and those from other schools. We wish all students every success in the June exams and look forward to welcoming them into the Sixth Form. If you have any questions at all about the application process, the post-16 courses available or any other matter, you are very welcome to ask us. Please contact: Ms L Rodgers, Director of Sixth Form, on or Dr S Woods, Senior Leadership link to Sixth Form, on LAWNSWOOD LIFE - February 2014

We would like to wish all our Chinese pupils and their families a very happy new year and we will be holding a celebration lunch at the end of the month.

WORLD CLASS HISTORY VISIT In January, Year 11 History GCSE students visited Saltaire village near Bradford in preparation for their controlled assessment tasks. The village was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001 and has a lot to offer enquiring historians.

Local historian guides helped our students to understand the history and context of the site, and now, back in school, we are using original historical sources to explain key features and ideas. Students are developing their skills of research and explanation, which will serve them well in further studies and employment, as well as helping them achieve excellent GCSE grades. 5

MOON ROCK EXPERIENCE The press embargo lifted we can now tell you about a very exciting event which happened at Lawnswood last term! Between 1969 and 1972 there were six Apollo missions that landed on the moon; they brought back a total of 382kg of lunar samples. We applied to borrow some from NASA and, following a detailed security assessment and security briefing for Mr Bamford and me, an unlabelled package arrived by courier. There was much excitement as the package was opened and we found that it contained, in addition to the moon rock, a selection of meteorites. Our aim was to let as many pupils as possible handle the lunar samples and, although it was quite a challenge, we managed to reach nearly 450 pupils and many staff during the 4 days that the samples were with us. The moon rocks, which were embedded in a Perspex disc to protect them and prevent erosion of the samples. The photo shows the Perspex disc containing the lunar samples: look at the anorthosite to see why the moon appears so white. The meteorite samples included ‘Nakhla’, a meteorite from Mars; ‘Henbury’, formed in the heart of an asteroid; and ‘Murchison’, which has been analysed as containing more than 15 amino acids! The photo shows the ‘Parnallee’ meteorite. This meteorite, found in India in 1857, was particularly interesting as it is 4565 million years old: at up to 150 million years older than the Earth, this is probably the oldest thing that we will ever get to hold in our hands! The response from the pupils was amazing. Many took photos of the samples, realising that this was a very rare opportunity and said they were looking forward to telling family and friends what they had held in their hands that day. And the press embargo ? We were not allowed to publicise this event until the samples had left the building when Mr Bamford and I could breathe a sigh of relief that all had gone to plan. Mrs F Gilbank - Lead Practitioner 6

OUR CREATIVE STUDENTS, WHERE ARE THEY NOW ….. ? What are your future plans? Need some inspiration? Two former Lawnswood students report back and tell us what their life is like now that they have left school and their plans for the future.

Caitlin Smith Course information: Backstage Production Arts: Costume, hair and make-up. BTEC Level 3 Extended National Diploma When I finished my A-levels at Lawnswood Sixth Form, university was not the best option for me at the time. Outside issues and a lack of confidence made me choose not to go to university, but I knew that I had a passion for costume and wanted to work closely with the theatre. Since starting the course in September 2012 it has completely altered my concept of theatre and all of the jobs and people that make a show happen! In the first year you are introduced to the many roles within a theatre. Of course, there are plenty of artistic units to get your hands into too, including theatrical make-up, costume construction and design, special effects make-up and working as part of a production team on live shows. You take on the role of designer for the hair and make-up of a character in two or even three different shows, being involved in all of the pre-production planning right up to working backstage on the live shows; it is absolutely thrilling to be a part of! I was taught how to create bruises, black eyes, cuts, blisters, scabs and burns using specialist products such as liquid latex and derma wax, we were also encourage to research various injures and how they are constructed in industry to widen our knowledge. All of this practise was then put together to create a gruesome and chilling crime scene photo-shoot. In the second year I have been working on a competition for the Royal Opera house; entrants can design either for hair and make-up, costume, set or marketing and the winner will get a week of work experience in the Royal Opera House London. You have to be dedicated, it is a lot of work, but working in such an artistic and fast-paced environment is unbelievably rewarding! This course has definitely prepared me for university and helped me decide what I really want to do. This year I am applying for a SPFX for film and television BA degree at Bolton Arts University.

Aimee Russam Course information: BA Costume Design and Making Nottingham Trent University The transition from sixth form to university was a lot easier than I thought, I think this is because I knew what I wanted to do and was ready for the challenge. I built it up in my head and worried myself so much more than I needed. I loved it from when I arrived, have made so many good friends and being in a new city is so exciting. After having done Art and Textiles at A level, I knew it would be a lot of work doing costume design and making, so from the start I’ve just tried to keep on top of it. The work I’ve done has been so much fun and enjoyable, I’ve done things I never thought I'd have the chance or be able to do. I’ve learnt how to properly fit and measure things to people, my drawing has improved so much and I’ve had chance to work with directors and actual costume designers. I was so nervous before university, but I have loved it so much and think that it has helped me grow with my practical skills and as a person. The thing I’m happiest for is that I made sure to looked around and researched courses. If I had not done this research and without the help of all my teachers, I would never have made it into costume design. Going into my second year I’ve started new projects and been working on my first 'job' as a costume designer, making two costumes for a Halloween night at a club. Overall, I’m so happy I came to university when I did and I am enjoying it so much. LAWNSWOOD LIFE - February 2014



Kirkstall Valley Primary School has been working with Ms Ellis; looking at practical skills used in the kitchen. The aim of the lessons was to develop skills and confidence in the food technology area as well as making delicious cookies.

Our two new Deputy Headteachers describe their roles and how they have settled into life at Lawnswood School.

The practical skills learnt during our biscuit baking lesson ranged: from learning to tie an apron, breaking eggs and using digital scales, to being confident using a hot oven and finally, doing the washing up correctly. The Year 4 students enjoyed the session and we look forward to challenging the students with a different practical later in the year.


As part of the transition work, we have been doing some cross curricular work with staff in various departments. Year 4 St Chads came for an afternoon of cooking with Ms Ellis in Food Technology and Ms Atkins in MFL Department. Students had been learning about French foods and were now bringing it to life by making crepes. We would like to thank the A level Food Technology students for coming to support the lesson including Claire Wharrier pictured above. We hope to be involved in more cross curricular activities next term with our primary schools. LAWNSWOOD LIFE - February 2014

I was extremely excited to be returning to a school in Leeds, and it is fantastic to be joining the school after such a glowing Ofsted report. I began my teaching career in south Leeds, then moved out to a school in Elland, where I developed my leadership experience and took up my first Head of Science post. For the last 6 years I have worked at Harrogate Grammar School, spending the last three as the Assistant Headteacher in charge of Teaching & Learning. My key focus at Lawnswood School is to ensure that every student achieves his or her full potential: by gathering meaningful data; supporting intervention; building good working relationships with students and their parents; and providing classroom teachers with the tools they need to do their job effectively. The staff and students have been overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming. Every member of the school community is driven by a desire to hit our target of ensuring that at least 65% of students gain 5A*-C with English and maths and that the quality of teaching and learning is outstanding. It is a real privilege to be able to serve such a hard working and committed team that is clearly going from strength to strength. Katie Nicholson - Standards & Achievement Firstly I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fantastic staff and students at Lawnswood School for welcoming me into such a vibrant and exciting environment. I have thoroughly enjoyed my brief time here and it has confirmed to me that I made the right choice when accepting the position of Deputy Headteacher at the school. I began my teaching career in Halifax as a PE specialist before moving to Airedale Academy in 2006. I quickly established myself at the school and became a Progress Leader, guiding my Year 11 students to record breaking results. I spent the last three years at Airedale Academy as an Assistant Principal responsible for Student Progress. My key focus at Lawnswood School is to ensure that all students, regardless of their background, make progress and achieve the qualifications and life skills they need to follow their chosen career paths in life. I feel both excited and privileged to have joined such a caring and forward thinking environment where the best interests of the students are the driving force in improving standards at the school. Matt Sanderson - Standards & Achievement 7

CHESS COMPETITION Kicking off this half term in the maths department is a chess competition. With entrants from novice to veritable grandmaster, there is a fantastic air of both learning and competition to be found among the competitors. The title of Lawnswood champion is still very much up for grabs with 5 out of 7 rounds still to play.

FRIENDS OF LAWNSWOOD Friends of Lawnswood is a group of parents interested in finding ways for parents/carers to get involved with school, to feel better informed, to meet other parents and to find ways to voice their ideas and contribute to school life. Friends of Lawnswood meetings will take place in school, on the 3rd Tuesday of every month in term time, from 7.00pm to 9.00pm. We aim to make these evenings as informal as possible and we don’t want people to stay away because they feel they’ll end up with a job to do! Please come along if you’d like to… ♦ meet some other parents at school. ♦ get updates from or pass back ideas to the Headteacher’s Parents’ Forum. ♦ get involved helping out in school, supporting the existing Friends of Lawnswood activities or working with others to set up something new.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest draws then pop in to Room S35 and of course, check out the results in the next issue of the Lawnswood Life !


We achieved a great deal in 2013, including the Art & Design Technology Exhibition and Autumn Cabaret, which were both really well received and also raised much needed funds for the school. The Community Choir has gone from strength to strength and now performs at almost every school event. This has the added advantage of bringing people into school from the wider community whose only connection to Lawnswood is through the choir. The Badminton Club is thriving and is a steady source of funds for extracurricular school activities. In addition, the Friends were able to offer refreshments for all school performances and concerts in 2013.

The Product Design Department has been working with two local primary schools, Spring Bank and Hawksworth learning about and building structures. The pupils have been making towers, bridges and cranes In order to win prizes.


We are always looking for new members, not necessarily to attend every meeting, but to come forward with new ideas and initiatives. You may have a special interest or skill and feel that this could be used to enhance the overall school experience for students or you may have a great idea for fundraising. If so, please get in touch. We know from experience that parents have many skills and connections that can be put to good use. The great thing about the Friends is that you can be involved as little or as much as you want or are able to be . Other members are always willing to join forces and spread the load. Our next meeting is scheduled in school at 7.00pm on Tuesday 25th February. It would be lovely to see you at the meeting or to hear from you in advance with any suggestions for 2014. Contact Annette Dadds ( or click on the FoL button on the home page of school’s website.

Spring Term Term Begins: Mon 6th January Half Term Week: Mon 17th February to Fri 21st February Term Ends: Fri 4th April Easter Break: Mon 7th April to Mon 21st April Summer Term Term Begins: Tues 22nd April Bank Holiday: Mon 5th May Half Term Week: Mon 26th May to Fri 30th May Term Ends: Tues 22nd July 8

LAWNSWOOD LIFE - February 2014

Lawnswood Life February 2014  

Newsletter from Lawnswood School

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you