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The News Magazine of Rivington & Blackrod High School Autumn/Winter 2013

Einkaufsbummel im Weihnachtsmarkt Students discover language and Lebkuchen during the Christmas German Market trip to Cologne

Sporting Success Rivington & Blackrod student knocks it out of the park!

Community . Standards . Inclusion


I am very proud to welcome you to the Autumn/Winter edition of EXCEL magazine which showcases the outstanding achievements of our students. It is also with great pleasure that I can tell you that we had an exceptional year for GCSE and A-Level results. 65% of students achieved 5+ A*-C grades including English and Maths and every student gained at least one GCSE at Grade C and above. As a School, we have exceeded our targets and the progress of all of our students in English and Maths places us within the top 25% of the country. Coupled with A-Level results, which showed an overall pass rate of 99%, 54% of results were at A* - B and the school has continued to achieve academic success. We are delighted at these results and proud of all of our students. Since then, we have been busy in school as our Student Senate members are choosing our school charity for the year, and auditions have now been held for our school production, ‘The Wiz’, which we eagerly await in March. It never ceases to amaze me how much talent we have in school and this was demonstrated recently, when many of our students took part in an awe-inspiring dance show. Well done to all who took part. Our Governors are a very important part of our school and so it is with great pleasure that we can announce that they have been recognised, through the achievement of the Governor Mark. This is a national kite mark award which provides external evaluation of the quality of governance in a school. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Governors for the tremendous voluntary work that they do, to help us to achieve the very best for our students. Finally, we have been recognised nationally by the Guardian Newspaper for our teenage health project, as we won an award for ‘Partnership Innovation in Healthcare.’ The feedback from the judges was excellent, recognising that our project demonstrated true partnership working. It was acknowledged that our project will continue to have a beneficial long term impact on the health of so many, as our students grow to be healthy adults. We have also been awarded the Gold Cardiac Smart Award for our work teaching students CPR and life saving skills. An excellent achievement! I would like to thank all those who are involved in making each of the individual and group successes happen. These are just some examples of the fantastic work which takes place across school and we look forward to the rest of the year ahead. I wish you all the best for the festive season.

Tony Purcell, Head Teacher

Student Senate Organising School Charity The Student Senate have delivered assemblies to all year groups, in order to gather opinions on which charity they thought the school should support this year. After carrying out a small survey, six charities were shortlisted. These were: Young Minds, the North West Air Ambulance, WaterAid, the British Heart Foundation, Derian House and the Malala Fund. The aim of the assembly was to give information to the students, so that they could make an informed decision when they voted for the charity later on in the week. The outcome will be revealed shortly... Sara Acton 10K, Chair of the Student Senate

Rivington & Blackrod High School Student Senate. 1 | COMMUNITY . STANDARDS . INCLUSION


Meet Our Year 11 Head Boys and Girls

Liam Grimwood, Year 9

Forty-one students in Year 11 expressed an interest in being Head Boy or Head Girl and Deputy Head Boy or Deputy Head Girl. They applied in writing and then were shortlisted to 18 students who were invited to an interview with Mr Mason and I. In the interview, they were asked questions about things such as school life and their ambitions and gave opinions on the stresses of being a student! After much heartache and deliberation, the following amazing students (pictured left to right) were chosen to represent their year group and the school:

Welcome to Rivi Studios

Head boy – Jordan Ashton, Deputy Head boys – Oliver Mather, Adam Ault. Head girl – Lucy Keating, Deputy Head girls – Rachael Fielding, Rachel Whittingham Sally Holden, Head of Year 11

We have now been successfully using SIMS Learning Gateway for a year. SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) provides parents with secure online access to information held about their children. This includes attendance, behaviour and attainment information, reports and homework. It is our intention to move towards using SIMS Learning Gateway as our main method of publishing reports. From March 2014 onwards, we will be publishing your son or daughter’s reports on SLG instead of providing printed copies. Further details on this change will be published with the printed reports this term. Parents received user details last year and these will still be valid. Parents new to Rivington & Blackrod High School will receive their details soon. If you have any problems logging on, or if you have forgotten your user details or password, please email You can find links to SLG on the new look school website at Dave Maloney, SIMS Data Manager


There were spooky goings on in the Art department this Halloween! All year groups were invited to let their creativity and imagination run wild in a ghostly, Halloween pumpkin carving competition. The first prize, of cinema vouchers, went to Alex Howard (year 10) who created an amazing 1960’s Volkswagen camper van inspired pumpkin. Second prize, of a Halloween goody bag, went to Elliot Hardman (year 13) who created an intricate Chinese dragon carving. Congratulations to them both! Gemma Warner, Head of Art Alex Howard, Year 10

During open evening, Rivi studios was the department to visit this year. The studios were transformed into a disco venue, with flashing lights and a laser light show, with Liam Grimwood, year 9, the resident DJ for the night. In studio 3, students from year 8 read the news sat in a computer generated set, with Isaac Knowles, year 10, on the controls editing the output to TV screens around the school. Studio 3a was transformed into the Blue Peter television set where visitors could sit and be interviewed by the presenter. In studio 1, Radio Rivi was hosted by year 11 students. The show was broadcast around the school and also on the web, Ian Laycock, Rivi Studios Manager

Real Life Politics Sixth formers recently had a taste of real politics and an insight into the world of Westminster, when Julie Hilling, the MP for Bolton West, came into school. She took part in an A level Law class, talking though her role in Parliament and in particular her high profile part in the Syria debate, which ended with the government being outvoted. She also discussed several current issues with the A level Economics group. The sometimes passionate discussion centred on rising poverty levels and Labour’s plans to put a maximum price on electricity and gas. The groups will meet Julie again next year, when they travel to London to visit Parliament. Paul Canning, Director of Sixth Form


COMMUNITY Students Prepare for Take Off A summer camp funded by the Department for Education, took place over two weeks during the summer holidays. Space Camp selected students who were in Year 6, attending Year 7 in September 2013. The camp theme was ‘Space’. Students experienced a mission to the Planetarium at Liverpool Museum and Cadbury World, engaged in space themed movie making and they also wrote their own scripts, made jingles and designed their own brand of space themed chocolate bar. Students advertised and promoted their chocolate bars through the use of iPads. The Year 6 Astronauts, Comets, Sprites and Meteors carried out their own fitness testing to see if they were fit enough for their planned space mission, competed in the InterGalactic Games, learned self-defence for Space Travellers and completed the Stellar Challenge. A great time was had by all. Summer School Students

Lindsey Tait, Deputy Head of PE

Students Raise Funds for Derian House Our Sixth form students have presented Derian House, Children’s Hospice, in Chorley with £71. The funds were raised from collecting money on the founders day walk in the summer. We had some students in fancy dress on the walk, with one student even dressing as Spiderman. Jill Kirkham from Derian House delivered an assembly on how positive a place Derian House is for children and young people with life shortening illnesses. They require £2.9M a year to continue their fantastic work so she brought along with her lots of fundraising information, buckets, t-shirts etc… ready for our next Derian House fundraising activity. The students will next be holding a bake sale to raise money for ‘Movember’, when all cakes and biscuits made will have a moustache! Jane McDonough, Assistant Head of Sixth Form Josh Knowles, Year 13 and Jill Kirkham from Derian House

John Muir Award The John Muir Trust is a national charity which aims to ensure that wild spaces are valued and protected by all sectors of society throughout the United Kingdom. In recognition of the work done by a number of year 10 students, to value, enjoy and protect wild spaces, the charity has awarded each student with the John Muir Discovery Award. The certificates were presented by Judith Marsden, chair of the board of governors, in a ceremony which took place in the school’s Chapel. Sandra Lucas, Cover Supervisor Sam Bate, Brittany McKenzie, Codie Smith, Matthew Dearden, Joseph Guest, Kieran Connor, Leah O’Neill, Emma-Jean Warbrick, Lois Cowell, Ruth Elliott and Rory Squitieri 3 | COMMUNITY . STANDARDS . INCLUSION

COMMUNITY Teenage Health Ambassadors

Teenage Health Award The teenage health project, which was established through a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, has won an award from the Guardian Newspaper for ‘Partnership Innovation’ in Healthcare. The award celebrates best practice across different areas of the healthcare sector – both inside and outside of the NHS. It commends projects which find new approaches in order to meet the needs of those needing healthcare support. The Award Ceremony took place at the Guardian offices in London.

Living up to the Rivi Rascals namesake; several members of Rivington staff signed up to complete the Great Manchester Swim in July 2013. This challenge was a 1mile swim in the Salford Quays. For Kat Worthington, Lucy Thompson, Katie Locke, Diane Green and Sally Grundy, this involved regular training, in the swimming pool and in the quays itself. The staff members donned their wetsuits and plunged into the quays each week on the run-up to the event, braving temperatures of 15+ degrees. Thankfully, on the date of the event, the temperature in the Quays was a tepid 21 degrees and wetsuits became optional! It was an enjoyable challenge for all and was completed by everyone within 30-44 minutes. Over £300 was raised for various charities. The swimmers, alongside other members of staff, are now completing a challenge to swim the channel, over a 12 week period. Sally Grundy, Teacher of English

Our project has been innovative in working with partners from across a wide range of sectors, including the NHS foundation Trust, leisure providers, and statutory and voluntary sector organizations. It delivers key health outcomes to young people to keep them emotionally healthy and well through lunchtime drop in sessions, positive holiday activities and specialist health support. Student health ambassadors have played a pivotal part of the project as they have helped to roll out the important health messages – enabling students at both schools to embrace opportunities to stay healthy and active. Through true partnership working, the teenage health project has come alive and has made a difference to the lives of over 3000 young people. Michelle Howard, Director of Business Development


Former Rivington and Blackrod High School Drama student Jessica Baglow has recently starred at The Octagon Bolton in ‘A Long Day’s Journey into Night’. Having left Rivington Sixth Form, Jessica took a year out to focus on Television work and starred in ‘Waterloo Road’. Jessica trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Similarly former RBHS Drama and Music student, Daniel Bolton is currently on tour with ‘Fiddler on The Roof’ directed by Craig Revel Horwood. Daniel trained at Laine Theatre Arts. Janine Stephens, Head of Drama

Students Host a Citizenship Campaign Day Year 11 students at Rivington and Blackrod High School hosted a Citizenship Campaign Day for fellow students in years 8 and 9. Students organised sessions to raise awareness of issues affecting society including knife crime, domestic abuse, water aid and child trafficking. All year 8 and 9 students were invited to find out more from visiting speakers, including a speaker from Fort Alice: a Bolton based charitable organisation opened to assist women and children who are affected by domestic abuse and the NSPCC, who talked about child trafficking. Year 11 students split into groups to learn more about the campaign of their

choice and ran a market place for visiting students, who were able to ask questions of their peers on each of the campaign areas. In addition, they were invited to donate to the charity, by buying raffle tickets or a cake, which the students made themselves on behalf of each campaign area. The proceeds from the raffle / cake sale will go to the charity of their choice. Student, Megan Hicklin said “We are really proud of our achievements in organising the day. The campaign day was very successful and we all raised money for our chosen charities.” Catherine Roscoe, Teacher of PSHCE James Farrimond, Sophie Williams, Megan Hicklin, Bilal Hanif - Year 11



Einkaufsbummel im Weihnachtsmarkt

This year’s festive trip to Cologne, Germany, saw 45 Year 8 and 9 pupils experience the marvellous sights and smells of the German Christmas Markets. During the four day trip pupils were exposed to the culture and language of Germany. The fun packed itinerary included a visit to the Phantasialand Theme Park, shopping at the markets in the city of Cologne, a tour of the impressive Cathedral and a visit to the Lindt Chocolate Museum and factory. Pupils were encouraged, throughout the trip, to try out their language skills from the classroom. Sally Hardaker, Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages Chhaya Ladhani, Jodie Scott, Jake Farnworth, Elisha Barrass and Bethan Lynskey - Year 8

Blackpool Tourism

A Vision for Liverpool

The Year 12 BTEC Travel and Tourism group took their first trip out to Blackpool as part of their studies. They visited the Pleasure Beach and the Zoo and listened to two lectures on how the attractions are run on a daily basis and how they provide excellent customer service to a variety of people. Students were then given free time to look around the zoo and see the animals before taking their new-found knowledge back to their studies.

Our Year 12 and 13 students had a successful visit to Liverpool, as part of their studies about world cities and population change. Our visit looked at how Liverpool has changed over time, particularly its industry, housing, shopping and tourism. Our visit ended with a meeting with Liverpool Vision, who are the company tasked with regenerating the city and have led such projects as the Echo Arena and the Liverpool One shopping area.

‘The Wiz’ is coming to RBHS! The school production will be staged in March and the cast is made up of our own, home-grown talent, starting from Year 7, through to Year 13. The walls of Rivington are going to be alive with motown soul, where Dorothy, Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow are on an adventure through a magical land. The Hall will be our stage to tell this story and it’s hoped to be transformed into a multi-sensory experience for all. For more information contact us on 01204 333266.

Denise Ryley, Head of Geography

Denise Ryley, Head of Geography

Janine Stephens, Head of Drama

Siobhan Corr, Teacher of Psychology

Ex-Student Shares Experience Megan Grey, an ex-student who studied A-Level Psychology at RBHS Sixth Form, was invited to talk to the Year 12 and 13 Psychology students about studying Psychology to degree level and also about the opportunities of studying at Lancaster University. Megan discussed with the students the many benefits of a university education. She explained how students must make sure that they invest their time and effort carefully if they are to be attractive to universities and employers by expanding their skills/qualities as well as their qualifications.



Being British Year 8 Geography pupils have been investigating what it means to be British, looking at both stereotypical ideas and what it means to them living in a multicultural society. Pupils have created some beautiful posters with their own ideas which have been displayed in school. Denise Ryley, Head of Geography Tajal Karadia, Holly Towers and Bailey Williams - Year 8

Real Stage Experience Our B-Tec Performing Arts students had a taste of working in a real life theatre setting. Students were given specific job roles and were given an opportunity to work either behind the scenes, or as an actor in a real theatre setting. Both students and staff had a thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience, which gave an insight into how the theatre business runs on a day to day basis. Lisa Walsh, Head of Performing Arts BTEC Performing Arts Students

Psychology Trip to Bolton Crown Court

Dance Show

Year 13 Psychology students attended Bolton Crown Court to observe Court proceedings and to enhance their knowledge and understanding of how a jury reach a verdict. They focussed on how persuasive the arguments presented by the Legal team were, how the witnesses can appeal to the Jury as well as how the jury might reach their decision. The students observed sentencing and the range of punishments that might be given during the legal process.

The annual dance and gymnastics show has taken place. The performers, from all year groups, displayed their best efforts to a packed audience. The event has been organised for the last 8 years and gives the various dance groups and the gymnastics club an opportunity to show off their moves. There were different styles of dance on the night, ranging from year 7 performing a superb and upbeat street-dance style number, to some of the GCSE year 10 dancers showing off their contemporary examination piece. Much of the choreographies came from the students themselves, who practised at lunchtimes and after school. The gymnasts finished to a standing ovation with an energetic, fast paced and high-flying trampette sequence. The evening was a great success and the performers should be proud of themselves. Well done to all involved!

Siobhan Corr, Teacher of Psychology

Ruth Parkinson, Teacher of PE RBHS Dancers RIVINGTON & BLACKROD HIGH SCHOOL | 6


SPORTING SUCCESS A Brother and Sister are taking the sporting world by storm as Thomas Ball (year 10), who plays Baseball, and Jennifer Ball (year 13), who plays Netball are each achieving sporting success in their own right. Jennifer has trialled for Manchester Thunder NPL (National Performance League) squad. She was up against some tough competition, including some of the England team girls but she played really well and she was successful in being selected for the 3rd year running. Thomas’s baseball team, the Halton Polecats, were in the final 4 play offs last Saturday at the Nationals. Unfortunately, as in previous years, the Southern Teams proved to be stronger and Thomas’s team were unable to break their winning streak. However, they thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and still felt like winners just to be there. Thomas had a really good game when they were playing for 3rd/4th playoff position, taking a catch, a tag and 1st base throw to get 3 players out. Thomas will be doing indoor training for baseball over the winter and is going to attend the Great Britain Academy training. Ann Devine, Director of Teaching & Learning, PE & Expressive Arts Thomas Ball, Year 10 and Jennifer Ball, Year 13

GCSE PE Sports Leaders – Joga Bonito! Fourteen Year 11 GCSE PE students have been setting the Interform heather alight by organising, leading and refereeing both Year 7 and Year 8 competitions. The Year 11 students have spent 10 weeks coaching form teams, refereeing their matches and ‘running the line’ as part of their GCSE practical assessment. Josh Billington, Callum Cornes, Lewis Delvard, Sam Elliott, Matty Fielding, George Hepworth, Jake Howard, Niven Hopkins, Reece Leyland, Lewis Knowles, Sam Lunt, Rob Melia, Nathan Taylor and Kieron Webster have worked hard to improve their coaching and officiating skills, as well as demonstrating passion and a professional attitude towards ‘the beautiful game’. Well done boys!

Charlie Signs for Blackpool FC Academy Keep an eye out for Charlie Whittingham – he aims to take over from Joe Hart as a top goalkeeper. He has recently signed to play at Blackpool Football Club, in their academy, and is also a member of our under 15 school team (as well as being an integral member of the school cricket and rugby teams!). Well done Charlie!

Lindsey Tait, Deputy Head of PE Josh Billington and George Hepworth, Year 11

Graham Green, Head of PE

We appreciate hearing your views on this Excel magazine. Please email to give your feedback. Lower School The Pathway Centre Albert Street Horwich Bolton BL6 7AW

Upper School Rivington Lane Rivington Bolton BL6 7RU

Telephone. 01204 333266 Fax. 01204 333264 E-mail. Website.


Excel Autumn 2013  

The news magazine of Rivington & Blackrod High School