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Issue 03

Editor: Miss C Chapman School & Artwork Photography: Miss C Chapman Front Cover Artwork: Georgia Stanley (Year 12) Back Cover Artwork: Evdokia Kulmasova (Year 11)

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012




e begin each academic year with a Calendar of Events in place, incorporating numerous excursions, performances, House events, visiting speakers, residential stays and a vast array of occasions and events involving girls, staff and parents. It is always an impressive list but it is only ever the beginning; as the school year unfolds, each week new events are added until we reach a point at the end of the academic year when we wonder how we actually managed to fit so much into one year.

“the feeling of moving forward and looking to the future” However, whilst we may be surprised at the quantity of events which have taken place, it is the huge variety and quality of the experiences enjoyed by the girls that is so impressive. At the start of last year, did our Sixth Formers imagine they would be interviewing the general public on behalf of the BBC or making presentations to large audiences in regional and national finals of the Young Enterprise and Base Business competitions? Did our Year 7 girls imagine they would be taking part in the Times Spelling Bee final at The Institute of Education in London or be making their own film on ‘Make a Movie’ Day? Each year brings many new experiences and I am sure the coming year will be no exception. In this edition of Voices, our editor, Miss Chapman, has skillfully selected and collated extracts from the last school year to give all our readers an insight into the many exciting opportunities and experiences enjoyed by pupils at our school. This is no easy task and I would like to

thank Miss Chapman and congratulate her on producing yet another excellent School magazine. Thank you also to the many contributors whose articles and artwork so accurately reflect life at Church High School and clearly display the enthusiasm, confidence and spirit which is so typical of Church High girls. Schools constantly evolve and the feeling of moving forward and looking to the future is prevalent throughout the year. Reading this magazine, we shall allow ourselves the pleasure of looking back on another successful year at Church High and remember, with gratitude, the support we have received from girls, parents, staff and governors. We shall then focus our eyes firmly forward, anticipate the challenges and thrills of a new school year and await the emergence of the voices of tomorrow. Joy Gatenby

Voices 03

‘There is a world elsewhere.’

(William Shakespeare)

Church High voices interacting with the world: a school year with plenty to ‘tweet’ about!

02 Miss Chapman at The Shakespeare Institute and with RSC actor, Jonjo O’Neill, at the unveiling of Mercutio


s the last academic year ended, the swelling wave of momentous events soon to break upon the world stage was just starting to be felt at Church High. The Olympic Games of London 2012, aiming to ‘Inspire a Generation’, may have taken place during our summer break, but the build-up was registered in both the PE and Home Economics departments, as their articles in this third edition of Voices make clear. At the same time, the English department were dipping their toes into the waters of the Cultural Olympiad in the form of The World Shakespeare Festival, an apt association since Shakespeare’s was the first recorded usage of the word ‘Olympian’ in 1591. The unveiling of the bronze statue of Mercutio in April 2012 was Newcastle Theatre Royal’s contribution to this ambitious international cultural collaboration celebrating Shakespeare as the world’s playwright and it was good to have Church High’s contribution to the Shakespeare campaign warmly acknowledged by Newcastle Chamber of Commerce. Northern Stage, one of the few regional venues outside of London chosen to host WSF events, launched its festival programme in July; English department representatives at both theatres were thrilled to be involved, as we were only too happy to communicate to the world via Facebook and Twitter!

Church High’s Facebook page

two-way communication link between School and parents, past pupils and the various outside organisations who ‘like’ us and now follow our achievements. Our Facebook and Twitter social-networking accounts, managed by our Marketing Manager, Nicola Redhead, have proved popular at, where Voices can also be viewed online through our ‘Information’ pages. In addition to individual departmental reports, some of last year’s most prominent website stories have been reworked as feature articles for this edition of Voices, which serves as a colourful aide-memoire of key high water-marks of the previous school year. As in past years, thanks to the work of Red Square Design, the factual content of each magazine contribution is beautifully complemented – and sometimes greatly illuminated – by deftly juxtaposed visual language features, photographic images and artwork. I am sure you’ll agree that, in the spirit of London 2012, winning words have been employed throughout. The way we use language in writing is, of course, constantly evolving, just as today’s student voices will inevitably alter the essence of ‘Church High’ for those who follow in their wake. The poet TS Eliot beautifully summed up this process of evolution, very similar to the handing-over of an Olympic relay baton, when he wrote:

Involvement with prestigious organisations such as Young Enterprise, Open University, BBC Radio 3, the RSC and The Times – all reported on in this magazine – once again provides evidence of a growing culture ‘For last year’s words belong to last year’s language of intellectual exploration and outreach at Church High. However, last And next year’s words await another voice.’ year we opened up even further to the world beyond our school gates And, on that note, it just remains for me to thank each and every when we expanded our technological footprint by adding Facebook contributor, whatever their chosen medium, and say to the burgeoning and Twitter accounts to the school website. voices of 2012-2013, “The ball is in your court now; the new ‘language’ Embracing social media has not only enabled Church High to publicise of Church High is all down to YOU!” more effectively our daily news stories (and there has been a lot to ‘tweet’ about!), it has also, by its very nature, opened up a valuable

Miss C Chapman, Voices Editor

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

‘Old Girl’ Claire Hitting the High Notes A t Church High, we are always delighted to keep in contact with our Alumnae – or members of our ‘Old Girls Union’ as many members of staff affectionately call them. The range of achievements of Church High Alumnae never fails to amaze and delight us and this was proven yet again recently when I met up with 25-yearold Claire McKenzie. Claire, a bright, enthusiastic student and an incredibly gifted musician, left Church High in 2005 for the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. In 2009, she graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Composition with an endorsement in Community Music. In 2010, Claire received a Masters Degree in Musical Direction with Distinction before embarking on a career in musical direction and composition.

High and the opportunities it provided, her passion for music and the phenomenal speed of her achievements to date, Claire really seemed the obvious choice to help us build even further the relationship between our Alumnae and our current girls. Claire recently spent a morning filming at The Sage, Gateshead with some of Church High’s most musically gifted students. Rachel Tsang and Emily Harrison aged 11 and 12 year-old Macie Ghahari – all excellent musicians in their own right – were able to spend the morning playing with Claire and learning how she developed her passion for music and composition. The aim was to allow girls and parents to see for themselves the success of our Old Girls and the opportunities that a Church High education can provide. The resulting video is available on Church High’s website and will hopefully reiterate the special bond Church High has with its students and Alumnae.

My contact with Claire began earlier this year when School were informed that she had been nominated for a Scottish BAFTA. Claire’s piece, the score I would urge all of our Alumnae to keep in touch with School and there for the short film My First Spellbook, was nominated in the Original Music are a number of ways to do this: Category at the 2012 BAFTA Awards – a wonderful achievement. After chatting with Claire on the phone, it became evident that she had much to share about the years after leaving Church High. A wealth of theatre and TV music credits, including Divided City at The Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, and The Threepenny Opera at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, have seen Claire progress with stunning speed to her current role as a musical composer and director working in some of the most famous theatrical venues in the country. This can hardly have come as a shock to the members of Church High’s teaching staff who worked with Claire over the years, as she was a key part of drama and musical productions at Church High throughout her time here. Claire’s face can now be seen adorning some of the school’s marketing materials. With her infectious enthusiasm for her time at Church

• By ensuring Mrs Sarah Timney has your up to date contact details enabling you to receive Alumnae communications. Mrs Timney can be contacted on • Through the school’s official Facebook site at ‘The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School’ or join us on Twitter ‘@ChurchHigh’ • Or by signing up to receive Church High’s new monthly e:newsletter. To sign up to receive the e:newsletter, please email your name, maiden name, the year you left school and your current email address to For more about Claire’s musical career please visit Miss N Redhead, Marketing Manager

“nominated in the Original Music Category at the 2012 BAFTA Awards”


Voices 03

BBC News School Report: Church High at the Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival



ine Church High girls rubbed shoulders with some of the world’s most thought-provoking thinkers when they took part in the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival of Ideas, an annual weekend of mind-expanding talks, high-profile interviews and live performances held each November at The Sage, Gateshead.

In addition to manning the desk for our allocated slots, our very own Free Thinkers were also invited to work as BBC journalists over the course of the two-day festival. Equipped with BBC microphones and cameras, the girls enthusiastically interviewed members of the public attending the talks, recording individual views on ‘Change’.

Surrounded by a host of publicity and media interest, high-profile speakers including William Hague, Germaine Greer, Margaret Drabble and Susie Orbach visited The Sage to take part in a series of live talks and discussions, all of which were recorded for Radio 3. This year, talks focussed on the theme of ‘Change’ sweeping the globe.

It is rare to be offered the opportunity to work alongside BBC professionals, especially at such a prestigious and high-profile event, and our girls rose to the challenge admirably. They were totally unfazed by the demands of representing both School and the BBC in the public eye – especially when invited to write the School Report feature on the Festival for the BBC website, which can still be viewed at http://

Volunteers from both Lower and Upper Sixth A Level English groups were delighted to be involved in this annual festival of ideas. Prior to the event, they were asked to gather ideas and audio-visual material for a series of video-slideshows showing the impact of change on the Church High school community over the last 25 years. The completed multi-media presentations – commissioned and compiled by freelance journalist, Ian Wylie, and Helen Amess from BBC Newcastle – were screened to an audience of interested onlookers from the BBC School Report desk on The Sage concourse throughout the Free Thinking weekend.

Thanks to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the girls are now much more aware of the technical aspects of news gathering and working with audio-visual material. We are extremely grateful to both Helen and Ian for sharing their expertise with us. Miss C Chapman, English Department

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Two ‘Freethinkers’

muse on ‘Ideas’ and ‘Change’

Saturday: A brief chat with novelist Margaret Drabble after the recording of ‘Books at Breakfast’ for Radio 3


his year’s Free Thinking Festival was held over three days from the 4-6 November. We signed up for slots on both Saturday and Sunday morning, acting as reporters for BBC School Report. This was excellent experience for anyone hoping to pursue careers in the fields of English or Journalism and, thanks to our official ‘passes’, we got to hear Foreign Secretary, William Hague, speak – despite his talk being sold out – and to get a few words with novelist, Margaret Drabble too. On the concourse, visitors were invited to share ideas via ‘post-it’ notes in response to important questions such as: ‘What should school teach us?’ Some of the responses we read suggested that school should teach us ‘rebellion’, ‘respect and self-worth’, that ‘attitude is everything’ and ’to learn to love ourselves, as nobody is perfect’. The theme of this year’s festival was ‘Change’ and these message boards allowed people to share thoughts on a range of important social issues. We got involved too, adding our fluorescent ‘post-it’ notes to the densely-covered glass. The Sage really got into the spirit of things, even selling cookies in the café with the words ‘Ideas’ and ‘Change’ written on in icing. This led to the comical scene of Miss Chapman photographing two cookies on a plate for Voices while most normal people were eating theirs! On the Sunday, we were fortunate enough to interview BBC Newcastle Breakfast Show presenter, Alfie Joey, who gave some insights into the life of

05 Sunday: Interviewing radio presenter Alfie Joey for BBC School Report

a radio presenter. His humour was highly entertaining and provided some excellent sound-bites for us! Videos on Change created by our girls were screened on a loop at the BBC School Report and ‘Jesmond Local’ information station on the concourse. These slideshows were later uploaded to the Church High website at and Sara Kamouni describes below how we set about making them in school. Joanne Dodds & Naomi Warin,Year 12

‘Forever Green’ Video Project


he organisers of the BBC Free Thinking Festival gave us the theme of ‘Change’, a concept we could explore using photographs and sound recordings to create our own videos. Unfazed by the prospect of having to put together pieces which would both meet the standards expected by the BBC and represent Church High to the general public, we considered the key areas of school which have evolved over the years. After much discussion, our group agreed that we couldn’t possibly explore any aspect of Church High other than our ever-evolving green uniform. Using iPhones and flip cameras, the next step was to gather sound bites of girls talking about their memories of the uniform, offering a unique insight into how our iconic bottle green really does play an important role in our school careers. Changes in uniform seem to symbolise the excitement of moving from nursery to the ‘big girls’ school, the transition from the ‘big girls’ school to the ‘even bigger girls’ school, and ensure that, wherever we go, we are, without a doubt, representing Church High. Our initial sound clips were mostly laughter as we reminisced about the days of bottle green tracksuits, hairbands, ribbons… well, bottle green everything really! We also realised that, in Jesmond Local presents ‘Forever Green’ on The Sage concourse comparison to Church High uniforms of yesteryear, we are quite fortunate nowadays (as long as straw hats don’t make a re-appearance on the uniform list!). However, once the sound clips were edited appropriately and combined with photographs from years gone by, unearthed by Miss Chapman from the school magazine archive, we were finally able to submit our particular snapshot of change at Church High to the festival organisers. Very satisfying and a lot of fun. Sara Kamouni,Year 12

Voices 03


an adventure in playwriting Phoebe with ‘Alice’ cast members at Northern Stage

“writing a play wasn’t too out of the ordinary really.”



hen most teenagers are bored over the summer, they go into town with their mates and do some shopping – I agreed to write a play. Luckily, I’ve always been very creative and heavily involved in drama, both in school and in my spare time, so writing a play wasn’t too out of the ordinary really. Both myself, and the others I worked with, wanted to do an adaptation of the well-known story Alice in Wonderland, focussing on what might scare a young girl about being in such a weird and wonderful place. This idea came to us when we heard that the music score composer’s aunt said she couldn’t watch the film as a child because the creatures in Wonderland scared her so much. For me, however, writing from this perspective was very enjoyable because I got to play around with the popularised Disney story as well as referencing more of the original book than Disney had done. But I will not lie to you, writing a play was hard. There were days when I could reel off 7 or 8 pages and then days where I couldn’t even bring myself to write 7 or 8 lines. It was my summer holiday, I started to question whether I could actually write a play and, even if I got it to an acceptable standard, would we be able to pull it off? I had no previous models to base my writing on; after all, how many 16 year old playwrights do you know? But hope came in the form of my mum and my favourite columnist, Caitlin Moran. Mum told me that Kate Bush wrote the lyrics for Man with a child in his eyes at 13 and Caitlin Moran had her first book published at 16 – if they could do it, then so could I! There were still days where I couldn’t write, but they became fewer and, by September, I had a 28 page script that ran at roughly an hour.

wonderful world of Wonderland. It was only as we got the band in (aged from 14 to 21) that the show began to feel real. Rehearsals were suddenly not long enough to fit in all that we needed to fit in. We performed ‘Alice’ in February of 2012 for two shows, one of which sold out, at Northern Stage. It was the proudest moment of my life to stand at the back of the auditorium of Stage 2 in my brand new four inch heels – which were unfortunately rubbing slightly – and watch something that I had written being performed by people I greatly cared about. It is a feeling I’ll probably never know again.

‘Alice’ told the dark tale of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland where a little girl learns not to look down rabbit holes unless she is willing to accept the consequences. Alice always wished for a place without The composer, our chosen director and myself (all of us 16) then took logic and rules to make things more exciting, but once she steps into our almost-fully-formulated idea to Newcastle Stagecoach Further Stages, Wonderland she realises that things may not be as wonderful as they a group we were all part of, and pitched it to our teachers and our peers. first seemed as she sets out on her shadowy, intriguing journey to We were nervous and I bumbled over the words when I tried to explain discover who she really is – and find that all-important exit. what I had written, but thankfully everyone got on board and we started forming the final piece under our working title – ‘Alice’. ‘Alice’ : produced, scored and choreographed by Newcastle Stagecoach Further Stages Theatre Group, all aged 14 -18. As rehearsals initially dragged, we looked at experimental work in dance, singing and drama to see if we could build on the weird and Phoebe Elliott,Year 12

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Potty about Clay: Ceramic Art at NCHS


f you are aware that the large, pale-blue ‘fridge’ tucked away in a corner of the art-room is actually the school kiln, then you’ll know that Church High has more in common with ceramicist, Grayson Perry RA, winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, than merely a love of teddy bears. Some of our art students are potty about clay too, as the striking images on this page clearly show. Grayson - perhaps the world’s most famous potter – was happy to swap his own teddy, Alan Measles (so famous he has his own website and Twitter account!) for Church High Bear as he posed for an exclusive photo for Voices. In town in November to promote the 2011 Turner Prize at The Baltic, Grayson gave a typically entertaining and provocative talk at Newcastle University entitled ‘The Bohemian Diaspora: my relationship to the art world’ which the Art department and Voices Editor were lucky enough to attend. The word ‘ceramics’ comes from the Greek word keramikos meaning pottery. Although Grayson Perry’s rise to international fame has helped transform the image of pottery from a craft to an art-form in recent

years, in schools ceramics has become rather an ‘endangered subject’ – a situation Grayson very much wants to reverse. Carved on a concrete beam in his studio are the words ‘Creativity is mistakes’, a mantra Grayson believes we could all benefit from. “Art is mostly the result of doing something wrong, then coming up with a different solution”, he says. “Learning that mistakes are acceptable, and an essential part of the process, is a big lesson. I like my ceramics, because they’re wobbly and hand-made and not mass-produced.” Ceramics are fragile yet ceramic objects are often the only artistic evidence left of vanished cultures. Let’s hope that, thanks to renewed interest in ‘emotionally open pottery’ – Grayson Perry’s USP (Unique Selling Point) – the kiln, plays an increasingly important role in Church High’s vibrant artistic culture. For those interested, Grayson Perry’s Turner Prize Lecture can still be viewed online at Miss C Chapman, Editor


Georgia Stanley,Year 12

Rebecca Thompson,Year 10

Grayson Perry swaps Alan Measles for Church High Bear at Newcastle University in November

Adam Sjblorn,Year 12

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Flying High in Assembly Time

with ‘Little Wings’ and the Air Training Corps

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always long to return ” (Leonardo Da Vinci)

08 James Moon with Church High’s Megan Taylor


here is nothing quite like taking your first aircraft into the air by yourself and nothing like experiencing the thrill of acrobatics in a small propeller plane with a professional pilot. Flying gives you freedom like no other activity – and this is partly why I am an Air Cadet. I have been in the Air Training Corps, at 1114 (Gosforth) Squadron, for almost two years now, and, ever since joining, I have been passionate about both the organisation and its main military affiliate, the Royal Air Force. The ATC encourages young people aged 13 -17 to ‘Venture, Adventure’ taking on new challenges and nurturing the development of leadership and teamwork skills. The organisation offers many opportunities for flying and gliding training, so much so that recently I was trained to a standard where I could take a Vigilant motor glider up into the skies on my own. There is simply no feeling quite like being up in the air. I have always wanted to share my passion for the Air Cadets with others, so when I was offered the opportunity to give an assembly on the ATC, I leapt at the chance. Standing in front of peers is always a daunting prospect, but being able to share my experience of the ATC with other people was a fantastic way of spreading the word and making sure that people know what being an Air Cadet is all about. Having always had a taste for flying, I was extremely interested when James Moon, the founder of ‘Little Wings’, came into school to tell us more about his charity during an assembly slot later in the year. James, a former Dame Allans’ pupil, broke his back playing football at 16, yet at just 18 years of age he had founded his own charity! ‘Little Wings’ aims to make a difference to the lives of terminally ill, disabled and disadvantaged people by helping them to experience the freedom and release felt while flying. The charity hopes to enable those suffering such problems to have the chance of experiencing a unique flight where

James on his first charity flight

they can enjoy themselves, see the world from a different point of view and, for a short while, not worry about a single thing. Founded by James, one of the UK’s youngest pilots, the organisation – and its growing team of passionate pilots – combines a passionate love of flying with a keen desire to help those who suffer day in and day out. I personally found James’ assembly and his work very inspirational and it has really driven me to want to do something more to help his charity. The proceeds from the school’s Non-Uniform day in October 2012 will go to ‘Little Wings’ and I hope that in the future my ATC squadron will be able to help his charity in some way too, thus enabling James to continue the fantastic work he has already begun. To donate or for more information about ‘Little Wings’ visit Megan Taylor,Year 12

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

The Big Splash:

National Open Water Swimming

09 The Great Scottish Swim: Kathryn completing her swim at Strathclyde Park


first became enthusiastic about swimming when I was in Year 3. I was seven years old and swimming for Ponteland Amateur Swimming Club in the County Diddy League. I continued to do this for four and a half years, swimming three or four times a week. After that, I progressed to competitive swimming at Newburn Swimming Club and, during the summer of 2011, I had the opportunity to try an open water swimming competition. Previously, I had only competed in indoor swimming competitions and one triathlon. It was my Dad who told me about the British Gas Open Water Swim series and I immediately decided that open water swimming was something I would like to try. Within no time at all, Dad had entered me for my first competition: The Great Scottish Swim. The swim took place at Strathclyde Park near Glasgow. The course was half a mile long and was marked out with large yellow buoys which you followed around the lake. Leading up to the event, I was anxious because I didn’t know what exactly to expect. When we arrived there, I had to register my number and put on my wet suit. The weather had been poor in the lead up to the event and the ground was slippy and muddy. My race was at 11.00 am. Although all competitors gathered together and went into the acclimatisation zone – a small pool area where the water temperature is the same as the lake – the cold water of the lake was still a shock.

We then lined up and stretched to music. I was in the red wave of competitors and all the spectators could see was black bodies with red hats on. At the start of the race, we all ran to get into the water; it was like a rugby scrum at first with everyone pushing and shoving. I knew I had to get to the front quickly and, luckily, I managed to get there very early in the race. Amazingly, I managed to hold this position throughout the race. I finished 7th overall and was the 4th female to finish from over 200 competitors of mixed age groups and abilities. Because of this, I felt a great sense of satisfaction. At the finish, we all received a medal for our achievement. In recent months, I have been training to compete in another open water swim on Lake Windermere. However, when I arrived at the venue I was disappointed to find that the swim had been cancelled because of the extreme weather conditions. My initial inspiration for open water swimming came from watching Keri-Anne Payne compete, but, above all, I am inspired by Rebecca Adlington who won two gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games. Rebecca and Keri-Anne both competed in the Olympic Games this summer and yet again their performances will have inspired many people. Kathryn Buchanan-Black,Year 10

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Cooking up a Crown This year has been truly eventful for the United Kingdom with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee taking place and the Olympic Games also being held in London. In order to celebrate and commemorate these very special occasions, we decided to relate what we were doing in our Home Economics lessons for both of these events. The Diamond Jubilee took place on 5th June 2012 celebrating 60 years of the Queen’s reign. To commemorate the event, we were given advance warning that we had to design a dish or snack appropriate for the occasion. We could interpret it however we wished by either making a traditional United Kingdom dish or by creating something completely unique and decorating it to relate to the Jubilee. There was a huge variety of food prepared and presented including cupcakes decorated with Union Jacks, a cake decorated to resemble a London bus and even chocolate tiffin decorated to resemble the crown jewels (my personal offering). I really enjoyed thinking about my dish and designing it in order to ensure it was obviously appropriate for the Jubilee. In a similar vein, on the 26th June Year 9 also held a party to celebrate the London Olympics. We were told to design either a sweet or savoury dish which related to the host country, a participating country or which was in some way decorated to signify the Games. We were given about 40 minutes in the lesson to prepare our chosen dish and, because of this, the majority of people did parts of the preparation at home in order to meet the tight schedule. After everyone completed their dish, the weather kindly allowed us to go outside as a group and enjoy the vast variety of food on display. The dishes were wide-ranging including gold medal biscuits, traditional English quiche, cupcakes featuring various national flags, cucumber sandwiches, sausage rolls, onion rings and biscuits. 10

On both occasions, it was a pleasure to be able to cater for all my friends and I really enjoyed designing and preparing a special celebratory dish for them! Connie Beswick,Year 9

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Distance Learning with the Open University 2011-2012


Madame Oliver, Church High’s Open University Distance Learning Co-ordinator


istance Learning with the Open University alongside mainstream A Level study has become a well-established feature of the Sixth Form extension programme at Church High in recent years. Thus, in September 2011, another new intake of Sixth Form students were duly reminded that the Open University Young Applicants in Schools and Colleges Scheme (YASS) was available to all, offering invaluable opportunities to study a range of selected undergraduate modules at first-year university level alongside their AS and A Levels. Early experience of studying at higher-education level undoubtedly helps Sixth Formers become independent learners and builds confidence, in addition to offering the added bonus of differentiating them from other students when it comes to applying for traditionallystructured university courses. During this academic year, it was pleasing to see that one Year 13 student and eight Year 12 students did indeed decide to take up the opportunity to participate via distance learning in this challenging and exciting scheme by opting to enrol with the Open University. And, once again, all Church High students who participated were duly rewarded for their hard work and commitment by successfully passing their courses. As in previous years, a high proportion of those signing up for the scheme opted for Arts and Humanities courses - English in particular. Thus yet another cohort of Lower Sixth A Level English students

keen to extend their understanding of narrative technique successfully completed the Level 1 course ‘Start Writing Fiction’ alongside their AS ‘Creating Texts’ coursework unit. This brings the total to 17 Open University English Awards gained by Church High students since 2008, a fantastic achievement. This year, in Year 12, Joanne Dodds, Megan Taylor and Naomi Warin must be commended for their achievement in passing this module and Rowena Byass also opted to complete the same course in Year 13 as she worked on her A2 coursework folder. A personal passion for Shakespeare also led Phoebe Elliott (Year 12) to enrol on – and pass - the Level 1 course ‘Shakespeare: an introduction’. In other areas of the curriculum, congratulations must also go to four more Year 12 students who chose to study with YASS this year: Jessica Fulgenzi, for her success in completing the course ‘Introduction to book keeping and accountancy’; Josie Lau for successfully completing the course ‘Introduction to financial services’; Lucinda Macdonald for completing ‘The Frozen Planet’ and Rebecca Pedley for her achievement in successfully passing ‘Human genetics and health issues’. We also wish Year 11 student, Esme Beer, the best of luck as she embarks on the same course during the 2012 summer holidays. Further information about the range of courses available can be obtained from the Open University website: study/undergraduate Mrs C Oliver, in her role as OU Co-ordinator, can also enrol Sixth Form students within school. Mrs C Oliver, Church High OU Co-ordinator

Voices 03

The Times Spelling Bee Grand Final 2012

The Honey Bumbles: Lauren Blanch, Josie Francis, Ashleigh Alden and Anna Robinson


“On arrival, we were treated like film stars” The girls with ‘Team Coach’, Mrs Thew


fter winning the Semi-Final of The Times Spelling Bee Championship, four Year 7 girls (Lauren Blanch, Josie Francis, Ashleigh Alden and Anna Robinson) arrived at Newcastle Central Station bright and early on the 21st June 2012 - with dictionaries and suitcases in tow - to attend the Grand Final at The Institute of Education in London. After a much-longer-than-expected train journey of around five hours, we arrived at London King’s Cross Station already tired and needing a nap. Having navigated our way around the busy London Underground, we were met at Russell Square tube station by representatives of The Times who escorted us to our final destination, the prestigious Institute of Education, which we reached with only 15 minutes to spare! On arrival, we were treated like film stars, as we were asked to smile for the camera on several occasions. Our personal details were then checked and, without further delay, we were ushered into the auditorium where the Grand Final was to be held. The Final was introduced by TV presenters Dick and Dom and some celebrity messages of goodwill were beamed into the auditorium to banish nerves before ‘Spell-Master’, Opal Bonafonte, outlined the rules of the game: “All ten teams take part in two spelling challenges: Spelling Play-off and Quick Fire Challenge. The winning team will be the one with the highest combined score from both challenges.” And so began the Spelling Play-off. Three contestants from each team took turns to spell a word. If they got it right, they gained two points; if they got it wrong, they were eliminated. The round continued until just one player remained and that player was awarded the Last Player Standing award.

Words that floored competitors included pupa, catarrh and coccyx, whilst tandem was unfortunately the first word to ‘throw’ a member of our team. It was a very nerve-wracking experience to stand under such bright lights on stage in front of hundreds of people with the sound of a clock noisily ticking down. Eventually, the first round was over and the Last Player Standing, a pupil from Essex, received their prize of a Kindle and a Collins English Dictionary after having successfully spelled bivouac, diaphragm, gelignite and vendetta. Following a short break, we took our places on stage again for the second and final round, The Quick-Fire Challenge. We were sadly unable to match the spelling prowess of the winning team, Colchester County High School, who won the competition with an impressive 100 points. Dick and Dom presented the winning team with The Times Spelling Bee trophy and the top prize: to ‘guest edit’ the Young Times section of The Times newspaper. Although we were obviously disappointed not to win, reaching the Final was still a tremendous achievement as over 1,200 schools registered to take part in this year’s competition. Thank you very much to Mrs Thew for supporting us on our journey. The Honey Bumbles,Year 7 Read about the Final at

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Andalucía 2011 I n November 2011, both History and Spanish Sixth Form students visited the historical Spanish region of Andalucía. As a student who is taking both of these subjects, the trip to Andalucía was of great benefit. One of the topics we study in History is the Spanish Inquisition and, as part of the A Level Spanish course, we look at a cultural region of Spain in-depth. By visiting Granada and Seville, both places extremely rich in Spanish culture, the trip helped enhance my understanding of both courses immeasurably.

Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of our visit to Granada was visiting the Alhambra Palace with its Sierra Nevada backdrop. This has major associations with the Spanish Inquisition and, despite the cold and the wind, we couldn’t help but appreciate the impressive buildings and the scenery that surrounded them. Whilst staying in Granada, we also visited the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria containing the Royal Chapel with the tombs of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Furthermore, we were given the opportunity to absorb the North African culture of the Moors in the streets surrounding the Alhambra. This was deeply fascinating and we were also able to enjoy an authentic

meal here giving me the chance to perfect my Spanish vocabulary. A trip to Andalucía would not be complete without a visit to Seville where we were able to explore the Alcazar, the Royal Palace of Seville. But the actual palace was nothing in comparison to the Gardens of the Alcazar. These gardens, adorned with fountains and statues, provided us with the most breathtaking views. Amongst the hustle and bustle of Seville, we also had time to visit the third largest cathedral in the world, the Cathedral de Seville. Here we got to see the supposed tomb of Christopher Columbus which was both captivating and extremely intriguing! Linked to the cathedral was the Giralda Tower where the inner structure was as beautiful as the outside. There were no stairs, however, despite having to climb up thirty five ramps, it was definitely worth the visit. Once at the top of the tower, we were faced with remarkable views of Seville, which in my opinion, were one of the highlights of the trip. Raveena Kandola,Year 12


Tomb of Christopher Columbus, Cathedral de Seville

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Pure Magic at the Pink Palace: English Trip to BBC Newcastle Studios


BBC Breakfast Show presenter, Colin Briggs, explains the News Desk and autocue system


s a reward for our creative contribution to the Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival in November last year, myself and fellow English A Level students who had volunteered for the project were delighted to be invited on a tour around BBC Newcastle Broadcasting Studios in January 2012. We were all curious to see inside a television studio and, as context of language production and reception is a key part of our course, what we learned there would be very useful to us too. A radio transmitter on the roof and distinctive flashes of corporate red (despite its nickname of ‘The Pink Palace’) clearly signalled that the modern glass building we were approaching could only belong to the BBC. In reception, we were warmly greeted by Church High Old Girl, Claire Rutter – who now works as a producer for BBC Radio Newcastle – before the tour guides gave out our identification passes on official-looking BBC lanyards (which we all got to keep as a memento of the day). As we took the obligatory smiling group photo in the busy foyer, we excitedly imagined all the famous faces who must have passed by where we were standing! Our first port-of-call on the tour was a colourful corridor, its walls cleverly decorated with a timeline of BBC broadcasting history in Newcastle, beginning with the very first television news broadcast by

George House in 1959 (from Broadcasting House, New Bridge Street) and ending with more recent programmes made at the new BBC Newcastle Broadcasting Centre: Late Kick-Off, Inside Out, Tracy Beaker. We next visited the News Library where a copy of every single broadcast transmitted from the studios is stored in some form. It was mind-boggling to think just how many hours of broadcasts must be stored there – in addition to the vast archive of film clips – and how the specially trained staff went about organising them all. A computeroperated cabinet of small, modern digital cassettes stood next to shelves stacked with old, metal film-reel canisters, clearly highlighting the changing technology in the years BBC Newcastle has been functioning. This was very much in keeping with the theme of ‘Change’ explored in our own Free Thinking Festival video pieces, one focusing on advances in IT technology at Church High over the last 25 years (see The Great Computer Takeover at id=1062). Our morning became even more exciting when we were shown into a small broadcasting room where short broadcasts are recorded, for example, weather forecasts, interviews and pre-recorded news bulletins. Although the room was so tiny we could barely all squeeze into it, the amount of hi-tech equipment packed in there mesmerised

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

us all! Standing in front of the blue screen – with one lucky soul sitting in the presenter’s chair only recently vacated by Joe McElderry! – we were filmed automatically by the static camera. Watching ourselves appear on the surrounding monitors in front of an ever-changing array of familiar backdrops (the BBC newsroom, the Politics Show, various weather maps and the Look North Traffic Watch screen) made us feel so important. The tour guides were such a mine of exciting information about news production and studio technology that, whenever I watch the News at home now (or in a different context of reception), it is thrilling to be able to visualise exactly how the on-screen ‘magic’ actually happens. But the best was yet to come. Next we were taken into the main broadcasting studio where BBC’s Look North is filmed every day. Seeing the set in reality really excited me: the cameras, the weather screen, the distinctive oval-shaped news-desk; however, the fact that a lighting check was in progress and presenters were rehearsing was too good to be true. The sight of weatherman, Paul Mooney, in front of the very expensive projection screen backdrop and BBC Breakfast Show presenter, Colin Briggs, reading from the autocue really put things properly into perspective for us. Colin was simply excellent, sparing time to give us an entertaining description of a day-in-the-life of a news presenter and explaining how various aspects of the studio worked. One of the main things that surprised and intrigued me was the precision involved in news-reading. We learned that BBC news-readers are journalists too and write their own reports each day. Colin invited us up onto the set and from this position we could see that the glass news-desk actually contains a sophisticated computer monitor. He then

showed us how to use the autocue, explaining how he can speed it up if he has to speak quickly to get through a bulletin or slow it down to improvise if there is very little news to be read. This flexibility is necessary in order to fit in with national news timings. I had no idea the process was so complicated! Amber-Sarah Britton-Dyer, who was given the opportunity to try out reading that morning’s news bulletin using the autocue, found out first-hand just how tricky it can be. Next we crossed over to the Look North set at the opposite end of the studio and actually got to sit on the Look North couch which again made us feel famous and very important indeed. After that, we visited the editing suite where the behind-the-scenes brains, the producers, ensure that all parts of a news broadcast fit together and that our regional bulletins synchronise with national timings. The control desks and banks of wall-mounted TV monitors were amazing. We also paid a brief visit to the Radio Newcastle studio where Alfie Joey, presenter of the Breakfast Show, had just finished his morning broadcast and was catching up on some writing. He also found time for a short chat with us about how to converse on air with radio listeners and how he deals with tricky live situations, such as when a member of the public phones the show in an irate state! The final stage of the tour involved the whole group recording our very own broadcast of a short radio play. We read a scripted dialogue into different coloured microphones, created all the sound effects and then got to play back our creation. Everyone agreed that a practical handson activity was a really great way to end our informative and highly enjoyable introduction to broadcasting. Felicity Nelson,Year 12


Colin Briggs

Perfect Poise: the girls looking completely at home on the Look North set

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BASE National Finals 2012 After a gruelling five hours, we were ready to give our final presentation. Along with five other teams, we were led into a room where the fear and nerves became more apparent and people frantically read through their cue cards for one last time. Our presentation began with a nervous start, however, we each contributed our well-developed business ideas and were ultimately satisfied with what had at least been a cheerful and lively performance.

Base 2012 Finalists with Miss Gibb (far right of picture)


fter winning the regional heat of BASE (Business, Accounting & Skills Education) in January, we were thrilled to attend the National Finals in Birmingham on June 28th.

We arrived at the Hilton Metropole flustered but keen to get down to work. The atmosphere was tense as we entered the function room where we were met by eager-looking business students. As we were handed coloured envelopes containing our task, professional-looking accountants observed our team effort whilst giving away nothing about their opinions on the business decisions we were making. 16

Once we recovered from that nerve-wrecking experience, it was time to enjoy the eventful night ahead. A three-course-meal, disco and our very own private rooms in the Hilton were certainly enough to stop us dwelling on our earlier performance. Despite not winning any awards, the experience was rewarding enough in itself. We feel so privileged to have made it that far and the experience really helped enhance our interest in the business world. BASE helped develop many key skills, including team work and communication, which are essential for our future careers. We would like to thank Miss Gibb for giving us this great opportunity and we look forward to participating again next year! Jess Fulgenzi & Raveena Kandola,Year 12

Cadbury World F

ebruary 7th 2012: thirty Church High girls set off on their way to Birmingham on a Business Studies trip to Cadbury’s Chocolate World inspired by the famous phrase ‘Man cannot live on chocolate alone, but woman sure can!’ On arriving at the factory, it was fair to say that all of us between the ages 14 -18 were buzzing with excitement. The building looked vast and there were so many different parts to it – some older buildings, some new – we couldn’t wait to see what it was like inside. One of the main purposes of the trip to was to see how Cadbury World merged with other global organisations such as drink company Schweppes in 1969. The business presentation we were given consisted of interesting information – Cadbury World itself was taken over by Kraft Foods in 2009 after a £10.2 billion indicator bid – which helped us gain knowledge about Cadbury, the industry’s second-largest global confectionary after Mars Incorporated and the official treat provider of London 2012. During the day, as well as being educated about the history of the company, we were given a tour of the factory and were given free chocolate too! We all enjoyed entering the Cadbury’s gift shop where

Business Studies students visit the Olympic Stadium, Cadbury World Style

we were presented with an array of different Cadbury’s chocolates – all available to buy. Some we recognised as traditional favourites, such as Cadbury’s Milk Tray, but some we had not heard of before. By going on this trip we all gained valuable knowledge about the business world which we can now apply in Business Studies lessons. We also gained insight into how different parts of such a huge organisation, such as the operations and marketing departments, work so well. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and we would like to say a big thank you to Miss Gibb for organising it for us. Rebecca Charlton & Maira Khalid,Year 12

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Facebook, Haribo and Marshmallows: food for thought in London for Y12 Psychologists



n the 27th March, AS Psychology students had to get up a little too early for their liking to catch an early train to London. Following a short ride on the Underground and a walk through Westminster, we eventually arrived at Emmanuel Centre, the venue for our conference. From Cara Flannigan, the conference organiser, we received a talk on the Nature vs Nurture debate which we had studied in school. We also heard a most entertaining talk by Mike Cardwell on the changing nature of relationships today because of modern socialnetworking technologies such as Facebook. We learned from him that ‘Nomophobia’ - an abbreviation of ‘no-mobile-phone phobia’ - is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact - an anxiety condition which surely afflicts a large proportion of young people today! After lunch, it was time to hear from the star speaker, Philip Zimbardo, famous for the notorious Stanford Prison Experiment in which student volunteers were placed in a prison-situation to see how they would fit into stereotypical roles. He spoke mainly about the ‘Lucifer Effect’ - his personal theory - challenging the concept that evil deeds are committed by evil people (so-called ‘bad apples’). Zimbardo believes it is the situation - or even the social system - that forces ordinary people to do evil things (the ‘bad barrel’ theory). To explain this, he used examples from real life such as prisons in Iraq and his own experiment where the students assigned as ‘guards’ increasingly began to bully and

humiliate the ‘prisoners’. After talking about evil, Zimbardo went on to discuss ordinary heroes and what can make normal people do heroic things. Zimbardo’s ‘Time Orientation’ theory was also covered and he showed us film from another experiment of his which had inspired the current advert for Haribo. A child was given a marshmallow and then left alone having been told that, if they didn’t eat it before Zimbardo returned, they could have another. We all laughed at the reactions of some of these children: touching, sniffing and licking the marshmallow - anything to keep from eating it! - while some just ate it straight away. However, the really interesting part was that years later, when Zimbardo visited the same children grown up, he discovered the ones who had been able to resist temptation (those orientated towards the future) were generally better off in life than those who had simply eaten the marshmallow (orientated more towards the present and instant gratification). Unfortunately, we had to leave to catch our train before we could hear Zimbardo’s wife, Christina Maslach, talk about how she had to call a halt to the Stanford Prison Experiment as the situation worsened. However, we still found the day extremely interesting and all left thinking about what had been said. Many thanks to Mrs Michie for organising the trip and to Mrs Chambers and Miss Hefford for taking us. Charlie Care,Y12

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In Bed with Shakespeare and the RSC at Newcastle Theatre Royal


Annabelle Warwick, Braxton Osei-Bonsu and Daniella Cowles (far right) with Robbie Cullen and Miss Chapman

‘A woman moved is like a fountain troubled’ was the intriguing tagline for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2012 production of The Taming of the Shrew. It also describes the level of excitement generated when three GCSE English students – Daniella Cowles, Braxton Osei-Bonsu and Annabelle Warwick – stayed behind after the show for an exclusive look behind the scenes at Newcastle Theatre Royal. Set 1 students in Year 10 attended the RSC performance to help with their GCSE Literature Controlled Assessment on settings in Shakespeare and writers from the English Literary Heritage. An opportunity to see first-hand how setting is utilised in a Shakespearian production and how stage sets can be adapted for different theatrical spaces was too good to miss and provided the girls with much food for thought. Arrangements had been made for those who were interested to meet RSC Company Manager, Robbie Cullen, to learn about this production’s highly innovative set. As this was the first time the show had been performed outside of Stratford upon Avon, Robbie explained the changes which had had to be made to fit the huge, curtained cream and wood-coloured set onto the Theatre Royal stage. We learned that an entire back-vista of a busy Italian townscape had unfortunately had to be left behind in Stratford. Instead, Newcastle audiences watched the famous ‘battle of the sexes’ between Petruchio and Kate acted out against a rough-surfaced sandstone wall!

At this very busy time backstage, we observed stage-crew and dressers working hard to re-set the stage for the evening performance and noted an intriguingly full props table, stage left. However, the highlight for the girls had to be being allowed to walk out onto the stage set itself – an exaggerated representation of a huge Elizabethan bed complete with wooden headboard, cream bed-coverings and lots of pillows. Robbie explained the thinking behind the 1940s production design, in particular its focus on the marriage bed, and showed us the many different ways – some most ingenious! – actors were able to enter and exit the set during the show.

‘A woman moved is like a fountain troubled’ Since we’d watched the production looking down from on high in Gallery seats, it was wonderful to be able to see the stage up close, feel the effect of the steep rake for ourselves and also note the unexpected variation underfoot between hard and softly-cushioned stage flooring. The latter, we learned, was there to allow actors a safe descent down the very centre of the set when progressing from pillows to counterpane. Our thanks to Robbie Cullen for agreeing to talk to us at changeover time – a busy moment for a touring Company Manager – and to Teresa Threadgall, Head of Learning at Theatre Royal, for making this special insight possible for us. Miss C Chapman, English Department

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Young Enterprise 2011-2012 Y oung Enterprise is the largest business and enterprise education charity in the UK, offering 250,000 young people the opportunity to establish and run their own companies every year. The scheme provides a chance to learn about the world of work and business with guidance from experienced professionals, aiming to help young people develop valuable skills for the future.

This year, following the success of previous Church High teams such as BrightLife Books, more Year 12 girls than ever signed up to take part. The scheme’s popularity meant that there were to be two teams, both of which needed to come up with an original, innovative idea. After gathering information in the first few brainstorming sessions, two businesses were born. We were no longer Young Enterprise teams One and Two, but The Party Bag Company and Imagine: Sense-a-Dough. Even at the first company meetings, a definite sense of competition was already present.

the future such as teamwork, problem-solving and organisation. We have also been given an invaluable opportunity to gain a unique insight into how a business works, allowing us to learn more about fields such as marketing and finance which we might wish to pursue as future careers. However, above all, we had unbelievable fun taking part. Young Enterprise has been a truly unforgettable experience and, as we cast our minds back to those groups of bickering Sixth Formers trying to come up with decent ideas, it is deeply satisfying to see just how much we achieved by working together! Sara Kamouni,Year 12

Our concepts were simple: The Party Bag Company aimed to provide bespoke party bags for children’s parties, whilst Sense-a-Dough was a fun and creative make-your-own salt dough kit. What wasn’t quite so straightforward was finding ways to efficiently organise our teams, make our products cost effective, market them successfully and, most importantly, persuade people to buy them! Everyone involved found themselves being pushed out of their comfort zone as we had to present ourselves to the public as professional business women. However, we soon became used to previously unfamiliar situations, such as liaising with suppliers and interacting with customers, and both teams transformed from Sixth Form students into confident saleswomen at events such as the Church High, Northern Counties College and Newcastle School for Boys Christmas fairs.


The first challenge was completed: we had created our companies, established a customer base and we were even in profit following a successful Christmas! But this was by no means the end – we still had to face the Young Enterprise judges. Our companies were first assessed by Young Enterprise themselves at the MetroCentre Trade Fair in February where we had to set up a trade stand alongside all the other companies from our area. We could immediately see that competition was stiff – we were so impressed by some products we even bought them ourselves – but that didn’t faze us and we had great fun promoting our products to passing shoppers (and eating our free McDonald’s!). The awards ceremony at the end of the day was nervewracking, but congratulations were in order for Church High as The Party Bag Company walked away with the accolade of Best Product/ Service. We met the judges again at Bowburn Hall in County Durham where, as well as providing trade stands, teams from around the North East had to give a presentation on their company and submit a company report for the judges to read. It was both interesting and intimidating to gain a detailed insight into our competition, especially as success meant a place in the Young Enterprise Regional Finals. Unfortunately - despite offering a high quality presentation, trade stand and company report - the journey ended here for Imagine: Sense-a-Dough. However, The Party Bag Company won the award for Best Presentation and an invitation to the Regional Finals at The Marriott Hotel in Gosforth in June. Following yet another day of assessment by the judges, the team were given an unmissable opportunity to get dressed up in glamorous eveningwear for a formal three-course dinner and awards ceremony. Sadly, this was the end of the road for the Party Bag Company too, who failed to progress to the National Finals in London. However, as the school year draws to a close and our companies are wound up, everyone who took part in the Young Enterprise scheme would say that, as a result of our involvement, we have developed many skills for

The Party Bag Company:Young Enterprise Regional Finalists

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Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Church High dancers are the fairest of them all



n the Spring Term, dancers from different year groups got together and decided to put on an evening of dance in order to help raise money for two portable dance mirrors which have now found a home in our Senior School hall. The mirrors are a most important resource in the development and shaping of dance lessons and examination performances at Church High. After months of hard work spent in rehearsal and carefully choreographing routines, an extremely successful dance evening was finally hosted in March and raised £200. Together with money from school funds, parents and a generous donation from the PTS, this amount ultimately enabled us to buy two large mirrors. Thank you.

Dance student, Charlotte Holmes (Year 9), puts the portable mirrors to good use

“All the girls were excellent dancers and you could clearly see the amount of time and effort they had put into the night.”

On the night itself, the programme featured a range of dance styles from ballet, to hip hop, to Ms Metherell’s clog dancing and audiences were enthralled by the quality of professionalism shown by the students as the following comments show: “I thoroughly enjoyed myself; the choreography was spectacular.” “I think it’s lovely how the girls all came together to perform such a range of brilliant numbers and raise money for their department.” Thank you again to everyone who worked so hard to make the evening such a success. We love our new mirrors and have already put them to excellent use. Mrs M Cowen & Braxton Osei-Bonsu,Year 10

Beth Kyffin,Year11

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

‘Glee’ Cabaret Evening T his year you may have encountered the Glee phenomenon: a TV show about an all singing, all dancing American High School glee club called New Directions. If you haven’t, then you can be assured that the girls of Church High certainly did not miss an opportunity to watch these new American all stars and have fallen ardently in love with the show! So, not surprisingly, as soon as the idea of performing in the spirit of Glee was suggested for our annual cabaret night, there was no opposition and the hotly-contested song selection process began. The performance bill was filled with songs that had been featured on the hit show from ‘mash ups’ of Judy Garland’s Get Happy and Barbra Streisand’s Happy Days to the latest top 40 hit, Jar of Hearts, by Christina Perri. One number which particularly stole the show,

however, was a four part harmony arrangement of Song Bird, originally by Fleetwood Mac, sung by Year 13 students Katie Winter, Julia Glover, Jessica Zarraga and Amelia Armstrong. It was universally agreed amongst the cast that this very talented quartet would definitely win The X Factor if they ever entered! The run of shows was an enormous success with audiences coming out every night saying that this particular cabaret evening was the ‘best so far’ and that there was definitely something for everyone on show. The last song told us “Don’t stop believing” and, without a doubt, this enjoyable production left everyone on a high. Glee may be a hard act to follow, but many in the audience will surely have been inspired to hone their talents ready for next year! Phoebe Elliott,Year 12


La Vie en Rose:

Choir and Art Tour to Paris At 5.00 am on February 9th, the Choir and a group of Art students boarded the ferry that would take us to France and the start of a brilliant tour. Having travelled down by coach from Newcastle to Dover, not even the early hour could dampen our spirits. We stayed at Campus Sainte Therese near Paris, sleeping in the dormitories with breakfast and dinner provided each day. The Choir could also rehearse here in a large auditorium, preparing for the three performances we were to give. The first was at a French school where we entertained the children with the more light-hearted songs in our repertoire. The second took place at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, which was incredibly beautiful and a privilege to sing in – though extremely cold! However, the third and final performance was my personal favourite. We went to a convent and sang to some extremely cheerful nuns, who bobbed along in time with the music and gave us a standing ovation. The Art group, led by Mr Wells, meanwhile visited famous French art galleries such as the Musée d’Orsay. In between the performances and museum trips, we all visited the sights of Paris including L’Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees, Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower (my friend counting over 1000 steps to the second level). But the one we’d all been waiting for came on the final day: Disneyland! We all had a wonderful time there (though some of the queues were extremely long!) and stayed long enough to watch the parade too. Another highlight of the trip was our fancy dress and talent

show night held in the auditorium. We enjoyed many great costumes and performances, but the best was undoubtedly the Sixth Form – selections from all of the songs the Choir had sung on the tour, but this time with alternative lyrics. In the end, although we were all sorry to leave, it was nice to get out of the cold (England unbelievably proving to be a lot warmer than France!). Nevertheless, it was an absolutely amazing trip and I, for one, can’t wait for the next one. Andrea Sammut, Year 11

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Bringing Technology Centre Stage in English: The World Shakespeare Festival

‘There is a tide in the affairs of men \ Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune \ Omitted, all the voyage of their life \ Is bound in shallows and miseries.’ (Julius Caesar)


Room 5 receives the live interactive webcast of I, Cinna from The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon


he World Shakespeare Festival, part of the Cultural Olympiad, swept into Newcastle accompanied by rolls of thunder, lightning bolts over the Tyne Bridge and floods of almost biblical proportions turning roads into rivers. Nonetheless, a forward-thinking group of A Level English students readily responded to Marcus Brutus’ wise advice and took the current when it served, stopping off to pay our respects to Shakespeare’s Mercutio on the way. Newcastle had been chosen as a regional venue for this once-ina-lifetime cultural experience and our small group enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to engage with language in ways which past English students could not have imagined possible. This adventurous spirit ultimately led to us standing for a 90 minute promenade performance in a hot, claustrophobic, black box at Northern Stage, surrounded on all sides by a two-way glass ceiling and walls, and, from the comfort of our own classroom, putting Church High’s excellent IT facilities to the test to participate in the RSC’s first live interactive webcast created especially for schools. A2 drama texts explore the role of ‘The Individual in Society’, so the arrival of dreamthinkspeak’s ground-breaking theatrical tour-de-force, The Rest is Silence – a clever deconstruction of Hamlet – offered us the chance to see, feel and hear one individual’s story unfold from constantly changing perspectives. Characters roved from one illuminated box to another, the action often taking place in more than one space at once which was hard on our eyes and ears – and

sometimes even our necks! Attention was continually channelled by sound and light projections, as our imaginations were gripped by the power of words emerging from the darkness. Sometimes we were the watchers, sometimes the watched: one moment on a river-bed with digital images of drowned Ophelia floating over our heads, another in her grave as falling soil slowly obscured all light. Was there a better way for students of dramatic language to discover the diverse ways meaning can be construed from words? Well, yes, there was. Education’s contribution to the festival was the RSC’s innovative I, Cinna, an equally powerful learning opportunity, this time experienced in the familiar surroundings of the English department’s IT base, Room 5. ‘Words work, but only if you work words’ is the conclusion of Cinna, the poet, a bit-part player in the plot of Julius Caesar, but the sole character in Tim Crouch’s dramatic reconstruction for schools of the same story told through the eyes of ‘a jiggling fool’. Because the play invites the audience to write during its performance – Cinna, a poet, always carries a notebook – each student was primed with a pen and two pieces of paper before transmission began. Over the next hour, they would be encouraged to write alongside Cinna, gradually collecting words for a small poem on a big theme: ‘Let’s write together, you and I. We’ll write until we know what to write.’ For this project, the RSC teamed up with Cisco, JANET (the UK’s research and education network) and Ravensbourne Digital Media and

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Design College to stream a WSF production exclusively to the 140 UK schools who had registered to participate in this educational ‘first’. The live broadcast, which started at 10.00 am, was eventually watched by 8,738 students in 533 classrooms, including Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, who watched from a school in Shepherd’s Bush. And we were with them too, in Room 5, responding interactively in real-time to a dramatic performance actually taking place elsewhere. The aims of the project were two-fold: to get students excited about technology and the possibilities it offers them and to get young people in this country thinking about Shakespeare, the relationships between words and actions, art and politics & self and society. Amazingly, 50% of schoolchildren in the world study Shakespeare’s plays as a compulsory part of their education and, thanks to the internet, global conversation about England’s greatest playwright is now possible. Shakespeare seems to speak to the individual identity of more countries than our own, because, above all, he continually questions what it is to be human. Thus the RSC’s production of Julius Caesar – which gave birth to I, Cinna – can be set in an African dictatorship, despite referencing Ancient Rome, and yet still speak to us in England today. So much so, when Cinna the Poet (played by Jude Owusu) finally walked through his front-door to meet his doom – and students across the country were given three minutes to construct the poem of his death from words written down during the course of the broadcast –

57 pages of poems were ultimately uploaded to the Poem Log on the I, Cinna site. Both Charlie Care and Simeon Zack volunteered to post their work online; the URL, if you wish to view their poems, is The group were encouraged to attend the full RSC version of Julius Caesar when it visited Theatre Royal in July to discover what happened when Cinna walked outside and faced the angry mob, but that was never the point of the exercise. I leave it to Charlie Care to sum up the impact the I, Cinna project had on this small group of English students sitting in the dark, in front of a projected live video stream in Room 5 on the morning of July 2nd 2012 as they re-evaluated the power of language: “It is an amazing fact that words, if chosen carefully, have the power to change the course of history. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. I was most interested in the hierarchy of words, how some words are lowly, but others are truly dangerous, have immense power and should be used very carefully – the dictator words. This play increased my admiration for wordsmiths who can craft writing so effectively. They have a wonderful gift.” – Charlie Care ‘Words work, but only if you work words’. In 533 UK classrooms, 8,738 students – including ours – now understood that William Shakespeare undoubtedly knew how to do this very well! Miss C Chapman, English Department


Church High School

Global Shakespeare conversation: creating Church High’s poetry submissions

Joanne Dodds, Megan Taylor & Phoebe Elliott meet Mercutio

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A Busy Year for the French Department



n 2011-2012, the French department kept up the tradition of offering a variety of activities to students. It was a very busy year indeed with a wide range of outings being arranged for all students of French from Year 8 to Year 13. October 12th 2011 was a particularly memorable date on the department calendar with two trips scheduled for the same day. In the morning, Year 11 students made their way to the Tyneside Cinema, under the supervision of Mrs Mayhew and Mrs Oliver, where they enjoyed seeing the film Fauteuils d’orchestre and putting their French speaking and writing skills to good use. They were all so thrilled to see so many well-known Parisian views and actors that they requested another opportunity to see a French film very soon. At the same time Year 11 were enjoying themselves at the cinema,Year 12 were involved in more studious activities at Gosforth High Academy, under the supervision of Mrs Temperley, learning ‘How to succeed at Speaking and Writing papers’ at AS Level; all Year 12 students felt that this was a very useful day which provided them with much relevant information. On 23rd November 2011, it was the turn of Sixth Form students to enjoy a visit to the Tyneside Cinema where they saw the French film Potiche, a hilarious and subversive comedy. The students also participated in discussions in French with other schools. On 27th June 2012,Year 12 students were given another opportunity to practise their French when they saw the French film Le Grand Voyage about a young FrenchMoroccan boy and his older father who drive from the South of France to Mecca for a pilgrimage and gradually get to know each other better.

given the opportunity to practise their linguistic skills in a relaxed and informal environment via a range of activities when they visited Newcastle School for Boys, where they co-operated with students from NSB and Westfield School to find online information about French and Spanish cultures. A fortnight later, Les Garçons, performed by the Onatti Company at NSB, gave Year 8 to 10 students the chance to listen to and see real French actors in the flesh. Charlee Leighton (Year 9) had her hour of glory here when she was asked to intervene in French when both characters in the play started arguing with each other. All present thoroughly enjoyed the play and asking the actors questions after the performance. As Church High is a member of the Alliance Française, an organisation which aims to promote the French language and culture, our Sixth Form students are able to attend their conferences free of charge. Mrs Temperley accompanied this year’s A Level French students to the Alliance Française Sixth Form Lecture at the University of Newcastle to hear an excellent talk by university lecturer Frank Michel entitled ‘Les élections présidentielles de 2012’. Although this was a very serious topic, students found the conference most interesting as it raised their awareness of French politics and contemporary society.

In December 2011, we were fortunate to welcome Mrs J. Bainbridge, an AQA visiting examiner for A Level French Speaking, to our department. She kindly shared tips with Sixth Form students and teachers about how best to prepare for this stressful experience and explained the expectations of this particular examination.

Finally, it should be mentioned that this year, through the Alliance Française, the French Department has also succeeded in establishing a link with the Lycée Pierre Marie Théas in Montauban, in the South West of France, and that Florence Lapeyre, Link Teacher at the French school, has been able to provide several of our Year 9 to 12 students with French email pen-friends at her secondary school http://www. It is hoped that this will not only lead to some long term friendships across the borders, but also instil greater confidence and enjoyment in the practice of the French language at Church High too.

Year 10 were not forgotten either. On 9th February 2012, they were

Mrs C Oliver, Head of French

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Make a Movie Day On the 31st January, students from all year groups (including Year 11 NSB boys who would be taking Film Studies in Sixth Form) were invited to come along and join in with ‘Make a Movie’ Day. We advertised for a range of talents: from film makers, actors and writers, to costume designers and make-up artists. We were also keen for students to try out our new sound recording equipment and editing software. Sixth Form Film Studies students and Act2Cam, an organisation that helps students develop their film making skills, loaned their expertise to the project too.

“I really enjoyed getting stuck in and making new friends from other year groups. I also enjoyed getting creative and taking the camera outside. It has really kick-started my ambition to work in the film industry.” Grace Trudgill, Year 10 “The day was very enjoyable because we got to experience being both in front and behind a camera. We also found creating our own film fun yet a hard skill to master.” Skye Costelloe, Year 8

The theme for the day was ‘Disguise’. Students were put into teams of one to six and then were given six hours to write, shoot and edit their own two minute films. Along with the examined A Level Film Studies short films, the “This workshop showed us how films are made. It was hard and stressful at times but we enjoyed it very much and it was really amazing to make resulting six films were all shown at a special viewing evening in March. our own film.” The chosen genres ranged from horror films, including an axe wielding Amy Cook, Year 8 maniac in A Walk in the Park and the murderous revenge of the Year 7 film Evil’s Revenge, to moral drama narratives. These included a film “As a drama student, it was fun because I learned how to act in front of a about stealing simply entitled Disguise, the heart wrenchingly realistic Life camera which is very different from performing on a stage.” on the Streets and a film about drugs called Wanna Get High? The last film Emma Bell, Year 10 incorporated the use of misdirection in that it used the theme of disguise to fool the audience into thinking that the narrative was about stalking, “It certainly made me realise all the hard work that goes into film making.” but, in reality, it was actually about the joy of dancing and having fun. Braxton Osei-Bonsu, Year 10 That all involved in this extra-curricular project really did have a lot of fun, as well as learning many new skills, is made clear in the girls’ own comments: Ms R Everton, Head of Film Studies

“It was a great enlightenment to be able to look at your own acting ability on camera and I would love to participate in a project like this again.” Emily Cowell, Year 10


Photo Andrew Begg

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Drama and Theatre Studies

AS Drama The Note


A2 Drama Vinegar Tom


AS Drama The Island

GCSE Drama Arbeit Macht Frei

he A Level Drama and Theatre Studies students amazed audiences again this year with four diversely different and entertaining performances.

day London, explored the inner turmoil created by both domestic abuse and schizophrenia and Mercy investigated the situation of unfairly institutionalised young women.

The Island, by Athol Fugard, was about the experience of two members of the Anti-Apartheid Liberation Movement who were incarcerated on Robben Island, South Africa. A play within a play, cast members used multi-role to explore moral injustice, state control and civil disobedience via the allegorical connection between the Greek tragic heroine Antigone and the Robben Island prisoners. Vinegar Tom also considered injustice, this time to women accused of witchcraft in the Sixteenth Century. Both plays were performed using the politicised theatrical styling of theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht.

March was a particularly busy month for the department featuring both GCSE Drama’s abstract and highly symbolic performance on the Holocaust, Arbeit Mein Frei, and the Sixth Form evening of songs, this year based on the hit American TV show Glee.

In contrast, the two devised performances experimented with the theatre style of practitioner Steven Berkoff. The Note, set in modern

At the very start of the year, we returned to Gateshead’s Little Theatre to perform The Wizard of Oz and we shall be there again in the Autumn performing the musical The Little Shop of Horrors on the 11th and 12th October 2012. Ms R Everton, Head of Drama and Theatre Studies

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

‘The Wizard of Oz’:

Whole School Musical Production


hen you think of The Wizard of Oz, what do you think of? The iconic ruby slippers? The yellow brick road? Judy Garland? Or one little girl searching with friends to find a

way home?

We certainly had all these thoughts and more running through our heads as we learned what the musical for 2011 was going to be. The show’s narrative was deeply embedded in the hearts of the majority of cast members; we all knew that this was going to be – in the words of the song – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz! Rehearsals in the last week of the summer holidays are always dreaded, but this week is vital to the production. We can block the entire show and work on our showcase number for Prizegiving before opening in October. This year we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the costumes. Girls were coming in with pictures of clothing and make-up, desperate to try out their own vision of the show’s iconic characters. By the end of that week we had the beginnings of a scarecrow, a lion and a tin man but were nowhere near finding the perfect ruby slippers for our Dorothy, Katie Winter. This was disappointing for Katie, whose first words after casting had been: “I can’t wait to get my hands on the ruby slippers, the best known shoes in the world!” Having danced through rehearsals, it was quite a shock when we realised Prizegiving was so close. We rehearsed the showcase number, The Jitterbug, as many times as we could whilst trying to practise for other parts of the programme at the same time. At about this time, we also held auditions for a real dog to play Dorothy’s much-loved Toto. Tricky, as the auditionees had to be good, follow instructions and not run off when the audience gave them a round of applause! In the end, one dog was chosen for each night: Jep, Maud and Lola. Jep belonged to Laura Fulgenzi, Lola to Annabelle Warwick while Maud belonged to our very own Mr Doyle! For the actual performances, we were delighted to be back at The Little Theatre, Gateshead after spending a few years based at Newcastle College; as we walked in through the door, it definitely felt like “there is no place like home” for us too!

Our first show was a matinee for those members of the Junior School who were not on stage playing a various assortment of Munchkins, monkeys and jungle animals. Everyone’s fingers were crossed, as it is considered bad-luck in theatrical circles to perform on stage with children and animals. But in our case the damage was minimal: we missed a cue at the end of the second act, leaving Dorothy stranded on stage while we tried to change our costumes, but thankfully that was all! After last-minute notes from Ms Everton, Mrs Cowen and Mr Noble, the show simply ‘took off ’ and we realised, for the first time, that it was also funny! “I had a lot of funny lines,” said Braxton Osei-Bonsu, who played the cowardly lion in search of some courage. “My favourite was ‘My legs are shaking like eggs and bacon!’ and the fun didn’t stop once we got off-stage either; the whole cast were constantly playing jokes – it was all great fun!” As all cast members will agree, being backstage during the show is one of the best parts about being involved in the school production. Whether it was the Sixth Form going out and buying pizza for everyone, having five pairs of hair curlers and two pairs of straighteners on at all times (they were on heat-proof mats, don’t worry Mrs Chipchase!) or the in-joke that Dorothy’s real name was Doris, it just wouldn’t be the same without these silly little things - and even the staff see the funny side too! Ms Everton, the ‘brains’ behind the production, summed it all up when she said, “The Wizard of Oz was a fantastic experience for both the staff and the girls involved. Everyone got fully on-board, resulting in one of our most imaginative shows yet!” My favourite line in the whole musical comes at the end of Act 1 when the four friends sing about their hopes: “Then I’m sure to get a brain, a heart, a home, the nerve.” We had the teachers as the brains to get the musical going, the cast were the heart of the production, we had all come home to The Little Theatre and, as the audiences will tell you, I think we had the nerve that pulled the whole thing off too. Phoebe Elliott,Year 12


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Skilled Mentors with Hidden Talents Many of Year 13, our school elder-statesmen, have talents that are clearly evident to all. As we have seen via extra-curricular activities, their skills include singing, playing instruments, performing in drama productions, public speaking, athletic prowess – the list is extensive. But there are others in the year whose talents are perhaps less widely known but who are, nonetheless, greatly appreciated and will be much missed when they leave. Rachel Scutt and Veronica Sammut are two prefects who have done a really excellent job this year helping to lead pastoral mentoring sessions. This is a largely unseen role within school, yet they have worked extremely effectively with the relevant staff, other Year 12 mentors and a group of Year 8 and 9 pupils. Mentoring is a role that requires both commitment and imagination and, like Eleanor Raymond and Lucy Herron who did this job last year, Rachel and Veronica performed admirably. Rachel and Veronica’s talents also extend beyond mentoring, however. Rachel has been involved in a whole range of school activities including being a highly successful Sports Captain and showing her dry sense of humour when she compered Glee. In contrast, Veronica has maintained a slightly lower profile in school, but ever since she was a small child she has always drawn animals. This passion led to a growing interest in how the bodies of animals work and, as a natural progression of this, to the desire to follow a Zoology course at university. Veronica’s animal observations have been greatly appreciated by the Biology department in school. From Year 10 onwards, she has 28

produced beautiful drawings that reflect her specific, clearly-identifiable style and her observations are often both detailed and witty. Indeed, Veronica’s drawings occasionally left on the whiteboard in Biology Lab 2 have often proved so popular with Biology staff and pupils alike they have been difficult to erase! Although Veronica is moving on now, the Biology department look forward to hearing of her progress at university and to welcoming her younger sister, Andrea – complete with a set of drawing pens too, we hope – into A Level Biology in September. Andrea is considering studying Veterinary Medicine at university, so watch this space! Mrs L Crawford, Head of Pastoral Care and Biology

Science in the Genes at NCHS J ust over 12 months ago,Year 13 Science enthusiast Eleanor Raymond discovered that she had successfully secured a place to study Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds. Nearly a year on, an outgoing and excited Eleanor spoke to me about how being a Church High student has helped her to thrive and succeed when studying for her degree.

At A Level, Eleanor studied Biology, Chemistry and Maths. From these subjects, Chemistry and Biology enabled her to study her chosen degree and Maths helped her to grasp statistical techniques during her first year course. Even though studying a Science degree requires many hours of lectures, Eleanor feels this is well balanced with practical sessions in a laboratory. And even though she attends all of her lectures, Eleanor has still found the time to become a member of the Archery and Yoga societies within the university, which she thoroughly enjoys and intends to carry on with next year. Eleanor has also been stopped whilst out shopping by a model agency and asked to model for a catwalk at London Fashion Week. It may have been the quirky colours in her hair that got her noticed, but what an experience for Eleanor!

Eleanor told me that she hopes to specialise in Molecular Zoology (Animal Genetics) which has evolved from her great passion for studying genetics. At the moment, Eleanor is set on studying abroad after her second year, in either the USA or Canada, to gain experience of how different cultures approach the same degree. This should enhance her knowledge of the degree programme which will be beneficial, not only for her future employability, but also for herself personally. Eleanor has even decided that she would like to further her studies after completing her degree by studying for a PhD, but it is still early days and she is undecided about the area she would like to research as yet. At the moment, Eleanor is currently undertaking a six week research project on the genetic engineering of yeast to look at the interaction between proteins as independent research in addition to her degree course. This form of study, with its emphasis on independent learning, shows how the style of study progresses from Sixth Form to university preparing students to develop their own skills for gathering information. Eleanor attended Church High from Transition and experienced everything it had to offer. She feels that Church High had prepared her

Gathering information: Rebecca (left) with Eleanor

in nearly every way possible for university life. The support and advice given by staff and pupils over the years has been an integral part of her success in making the transition from Sixth Form to university. Before she left, I asked Eleanor one final question: “What do you miss most about Church High?” Her answer was simple... ‘Everything!’ Rebecca Pedley,Year 12

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Football Aces Launch New All-Weather Pitch


n November, Church High celebrated the official launch of its brand new all-weather pitch with an inspirational visit from Newcastle United stars, Danny Guthrie and Dan Gosling.

The midfielders, who regularly appeared in Newcastle United’s first team squad in 2011-12, took on a very different role as they joined members of the hockey teams from each year group at Church High to participate in a special Q&A session. With questions ranging from how they unwind to their daily fitness regime, the players gave the girls top tips to help them as they develop their skills and, above all, advised them to enjoy sport and keep fit. The footballers also had a try at hockey – one of the team sports that will greatly benefit from the brand new all-weather pitch. This first-class facility, built in the summer of 2011, now gives Church High’s sporting stars of the future the opportunity to improve their skills across a wide variety of sports. And, after getting to three national finals in recent years, the girls are aiming even higher for the 2012-13 academic year. School Sports Captain, Rachel Scutt, said: “Sport plays a huge part in life at Church High. I was part of the netball team that made it to the National Finals in Southampton, an incredible experience. We are all very lucky to have this new facility, giving every girl the chance to enjoy sport whether it is for fun or on a competitive basis. “We were also very excited to meet the Newcastle football stars. I know all the girls were inspired by what they learnt from the two players and put their advice into practice as soon as they could.” Miss Fitzgerald, Head of PE at Church High, said: “A huge thank you must go to Danny Guthrie and Dan Gosling for launching our new all-weather pitch, along with everyone who has helped turn this dream

facility into a reality! The boys are great role models for the pupils and offer a fine example of what can be achieved with hard work. Having an all-weather area gives Church High the opportunity to develop our next generation of hockey and netball players, as well as widening the curriculum to include everything from lacrosse to football too.” Miss N Redhead, Marketing Manager 29

Olympic Inspiration for Church High Girls Some of Church High’s brightest sporting talents literally saw stars when they attended an Olympic warm-up event featuring some of the UK’s best known athletes. Olympic 400 metre athletics silver medallist, Roger Black, was joined by Newcastle Eagles player and head coach, Fab Flournoy, and Team GB table tennis champion, Darius Knight, when they met our girls at an event held at Northumbria University’s Sport Central. Ten of Church High’s GCSE PE group attended the event, organised through the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes campaign, geared towards supporting the stars of Team GB as they pursued their sporting dreams at London 2012 and beyond. During the evening, Roger Black took to the microphone to talk about his pathway to Olympic success and the valuable lessons he learned on the way. He also spoke about the huge impact hosting the London 2012 Olympic Games would have on the whole country and particularly on inspiring potential athletes of the future. During the evening, girls were able to try a number of Olympic events including wheelchair basketball, basketball, fencing, badminton, rowing and golf. They were even able to try their hand at competing against Darius Knight at table tennis! Miss Fitzgerald, Head of PE, said: “It was a fantastic event, as it is quite a rare opportunity to be able to get such wonderful first-hand advice from well-respected athletes such as Roger Black. I am confident this will have inspired our girls to take what they have learned and apply it back at school to their own respective sports.” Miss N Redhead, Marketing Manager

Olympic Silver medallist, Roger Black, with Tabitha Ieronymides and Kathryn Buchanan-Black

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Out and About

with Church High Geographers The Cranedale Centre

Allen Banks

The three day residential trip to Kirby Grindalythe, North Yorkshire, in September 2011 allowed Year 12 students the opportunity to test theories through their own fieldwork and see how the processes at work had created the river and coastal landforms. The centre itself is a series of converted barns and the girls get a three course dinner at night and a cooked breakfast in the morning - the food was delicious. They spent the first day completing fieldwork at three sites on the upper course of the River Derwent which allowed them to compare data later that evening after dinner. The second day was spent at Selwicks Bay and Flamborough Head exploring the magnificent coastal scenery there. The whole experience provided girls with a sound basis from which to begin their AS Level Geography course.

This Year 8 trip on 8th October 2011 allowed the girls to see what they had learnt in the classroom come to life. Allen Banks provided a fantastic opportunity to see a river in its upper course. The girls spent a period of time looking at and explaining the geographical features present which included a v-shaped valley, a waterfall, a meander and the processes that created them. We explored the footpaths provided and had our lunch on the inside bend of a meander. Miss K Bailey, Head of Geography

Warkworth The Year 7 trip to Warkworth on 7th October 2011 was a joint Geography and History trip where the girls split their day into two. They spent one session looking at the situation of Warkworth - specifically its natural site advantages - and then they looked at how the village is used today by constructing a land use map of the area. The second session, with a more historical focus, was spent investigating the castle. The girls thoroughly enjoyed having their lunch in the castle grounds. 30

Year 8 at Allen Banks

Year 7 at Warkworth

Sixth Form at Selwicks Bay and the River Derwent

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Barcode readers at the ready: ICT Department trip to John Lewis, Newcastle


n Tuesday 15th November, the GCSE ICT group visited John Lewis in Newcastle to understand more about the systems and hardware used by a large retail company. After a short tour around the building, we were taken to the main system room which was filled with machines constantly making noises. We then watched a presentation from the John Lewis staff about how their network worked and about their website www. This was made very interesting by the use of comical interjections. The John Lewis staff then allowed us to test out the handheld terminals, barcode readers and the tills. We were shown how to check something out on the till, which was great fun, and we also learnt how to work the handheld devices which also acted as barcode readers. At the end of the day, the John Lewis staff then asked us to invent a device that could be used in the store of the future. In my group, we invented a device that each customer could carry around as they shopped. The customer of the future would scan the items they wanted into this device instead of carrying items around in a shopping basket or trolley. The handheld device would also tell the customer how much the item was and how many were left in stock. At the end of the customer’s shop, they

would pay for the items they had chosen and then their purchases would be retrieved from a warehouse. A fun, yet very educational, day was had by all. Hannah Hall, Year 11

The Million Dollar Mathematics Party O n Friday 7th March, Mathematics students from Years 11 to 13 had the opportunity to attend a series of three inspirational mathematical lectures designed to provide both entertainment and education in areas of mathematics not often studied in schools. The three speakers each use very different types of mathematics in their every day careers and all who attended agreed that seeing real-world applications of the subject made for a highly enjoyable afternoon.

“Year 11 girls were all very excited about the talks in this year’s Maths Inspiration Day programme. We heard three wonderful talks, all of which were interesting, informative and gave us a good insight into the uses of mathematics in the real world. My favourite talk was given by Mark Lewney, who investigated the mathematics of the rock guitar. I personally found his talk really enlightening. The talk was also very useful for our GCSE studies, not only helping us with our understanding of some key aspects of the GCSE Mathematics syllabus, but also introducing us to the high frequency world of Belgian Techno music! I cannot wait until next year, so that we can hear some more fabulous talks.” – Miranda Reynolds The Year 13 Mathematics students were particularly looking forward to the talk given by the world renowned mathematics comedian, Matt Parker. He has travelled the world with the aim of educating and entertaining both existing students and new generations of mathematics enthusiasts like ourselves. In Newcastle Theatre Royal, we sat with our eyes glued to the stage, awaiting Matt’s talk. As regular visitors to his website, and avid readers of his Saturday column,

we were expecting hilarity, fun and education. And we were not disappointed! From his 40 minute talk, we learned about different types of number, the offer of a million dollars for unsolved mathematics problems and how to host a large and successful mathematics party. We would strongly recommend both Matt Parker and future Maths Inspiration events to anyone. And if you do ever attend a mathematics party, don’t forget to wear your Klein bottle hat! Miranda Reynolds, Year 11, and Eleanor Reynolds & Catherine Grant, Year 13


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The Bigger Picture:

Art Department Trip to London 2012



rt students from Years 10, 11 and Sixth Form visited London to see two of the most talked about art exhibitions of the year featuring the work of Lucien Freud and David Hockney. This was a wonderful opportunity to experience the works of two of Britain’s most successful artists up close. The first exhibition was at the Royal Academy where Hockney’s A Bigger Picture was being showcased. Here girls were able to experience Hockney’s unique use of colour and brush strokes which are the essence of his work. The exhibition was made up of several of Hockney’s large landscape and tree paintings with some, interestingly, divided up into smaller pictures which students would later strive to incorporate into their own work back at school. Hockney’s unusual use of colour was the most interesting aspect of these paintings for many, however, such as using tones of vibrant pink and green to represent specific trees in different seasons. After enjoying Hockney’s colourful exhibition, the girls then visited the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Here students were able to study Freud’s very different approach to painting which focuses on developing realistic images using several layers of paint. One of my favourite pieces within this exhibition was

Freud’s painting of Queen Elizabeth II. This is one of his most renowned pieces of work, specifically created for the Queen, which I personally had been very interested in seeing. The painting was smaller than I had anticipated but, after studying it for a period of time, I was able to appreciate its complexity and the detail for which Freud is so famous. Another renowned painting within the exhibition which made an impact on everyone was Freud’s final portrait of the Hound, left unfinished after his death. The evident unfinished brush strokes, pencil marks and lack of detail were both fascinating and valuable, providing huge insight into how Freud developed his paintings from loose sketches through to complex works of art. Owing to David Hockney’s vibrant, stylistic landscapes and Lucian Freud’s meticulous portraits, the Art department trip to London proved beneficial and thought provoking to all students who attended. I know I personally learnt valuable lessons from two of the most influential painters of our era. Furthermore, Freud’s exhibition of portraits helped me develop my own style of portraiture which became the basis of my final coursework pieces for my AS Level Units entitled ‘Structures’ and ‘Light’. (One of Sophie’s portraits is featured above: bottom right). Sophie Harrison,Year 12

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

Art Gallery

Rebecca Stein,Year 12

33 Charlotte Lowdon,Year 12

Emily Page,Year 12

Charlotte Sams,Year 12

Hannah Thompson,Year 12

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Georgia Thompson,Year 11

Emily Page,Year 12

The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Magazine 2012

35 Rebecca Stein,Year 12

Rowena Byass,Year 13

Anna Richardson,Year 9

Charlotte Dobson,Year 11

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‘From Rationing to Recession’ W

hen asked who would like to take part in the ‘From Rationing to Recession’ fashion show at St Nicholas Cathedral, I instantly thought of the possibilities it could offer, as well as the likelihood of it being one of the few occasions I might actually be involved in producing an outfit for a fashion show. Emily Page, Charlotte Sams and myself soon learned that the show would be centred on decades from the Queen’s reign; we then discovered that we had to refrain from using any new shop bought materials. Deciding on which outfit category we felt best-suited to work on was the next decision; the categories varied from Vintage, Bridal, Eveningwear and Daywear. I chose to design an outfit for Eveningwear, whilst Charlotte and Emily opted for the Vintage and Bridal categories respectively. Designing my dress, I hoped the cathedral audience would perceive it as classic and elegant. I tried to create this specific style by


using a black lace leotard for the top, which I bought from a charity shop, then using white lace from an old dress of my own for the trail. The next stage was to send off photos of our outfits to the show’s organiser, Pam Walker. Luckily all our outfits were accepted into the grand final.

Entering through the cathedral doors, I felt a real sense of nervousness, as well as anticipation, for the event ahead. Having had only one previous rehearsal for the actual show, I was anxious that it should run smoothly. Dressing Alice Bearpark (my model) for the catwalk, we both felt eager for our category to begin. However, on hearing the music start to play and the compere, Hannah Bayman from BBC Newcastle, describing the first outfit, everyone waiting in line became fearful and panicky. Nevertheless, the evening was really successful and when it ended, everyone felt a huge sense of relief, quickly followed by a feeling of disappointment that it was all over so soon. Annabelle Thompson,Year 12

Emily and Annabelle with Fashion Show Designs


finding a 1940s vintage wedding dress on eBay, I started my research on the characteristics of a typical dress of this period. Understated, longsleeved with the colour palette of cream and ivory was what I came up with. I kept in mind the Second World War, where material was in short supply and even the Queen had to use ration cards to purchase the Owing to the short time we had to make our garments, I decided that purchasing an old dress to use as my base would be the best idea. After material for her dress. When my eBay dress arrived, I began work on mood boards, design sketches and material swatches. I started with the skirt and, as there was a stain on the front section due to old age, I cut out the material and replaced it with a silk satin insert. Because I wanted the train to be the highlight of the dress, I lengthened it with some of the excess material, also adding in a section of lace. ecause I wanted to keep my design close to the theme of the Jubilee celebrations, I decided to take my inspiration from Queen Elizabeth’s wedding. As she was married in 1947, I settled on the style of a 1940s dress.

The original neckline of the dress came up to the base of the neck when buttoned up with a collar. I decided to adjust it by removing the two top buttons thus creating a slightly deeper, more curving shape that exposed the tops of the shoulders. I then replaced the original collar with a lace one and kept the sleeves long and ending in a point, which traditionally keeps attention on the bride’s hands and the wedding ring. Pearls and handmade flowers in cream and ivory were also added as an accent on the sleeve cuffs. I continued to use flowers as features on other parts of the dress too, such as the shoulders and the edge of the train. It took a lot of cutting, burning and melting to get them to curl into the right shape and the fabric of the dress was very difficult to work with at times because it was so delicate and fragile because of its age. This also led to emergency repairs minutes away from the catwalk on the day of the show! To complete the dress, I decided to make a veil from scratch, so began by buying the material to create the basic shape. I recycled a lace trim from an old satin underskirt bought from a charity shop and used it to line the edge of the veil, adding pearls to highlight certain areas. Although at times it was hard to turn ideas of how I wanted my design to look into the physical, the whole experience was a real learning process which has given me the confidence to be more experimental in fashion and textiles in the future. Detail of Emily’s 1940s wedding dress

Emily Page,Year 12

Textile Gallery

Annabelle Thompson,Year 12

Emily Page,Year 12

Georgia Stanley,Year 12

Tankerville Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 3BA Tel: 0191 281 4306 Join us on Facebook – The Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School Follow us on Twitter – @ChurchHigh

NCHS Senior School Magazine 2012  

NCHS Senior School Magazine 2012

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