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Ridgeway Reader January窶認ebruary 2016 All the latest news from Ridgeway High School


Ridgeway Reader Noctorum Avenue Prenton Wirral CH43 9EB email: Tel: 0151 678 3322 Fax: 0151 678 6571

In this issue...

Attendance Form















Headteacher’s Welcome


Year 7 English


Science Club


Mathematics Mastery




Where are they now?




The journey into higher education






MFL trip to Manchester Metropolitan University




Modelling challenge






Jaguar Land Rover




Christmas round-up






Independent learning






Trip to London




Remembering the Holocaust






Sue Taylor




Creativity and Enterprise update






Out and about with Travel and Tourism




Tomorrow’s engineers






PE news and updates






Upcoming events


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Headteacher’s Update Reading through this edition of the Ridgeway Reader, my first thoughts were ‘If I could turn back time’ and take part in all the amazing opportunities our students are offered here at Ridgeway. This term I have delivered an assembly, asking the students how much they value their education and making comparisons with a school in Africa where the classroom was outside and another school in China with a class size of 250. Sometimes in life, it is only when something is taken away from us that we realise how lucky we are. I am exceptionally proud of the all-round educational experiences that Ridgeway

qualification, for example GCSE Statistics or A Level Maths. Equally, other students have been able to learn from their early-entry results and receive targeted intervention to address areas for development. Sadly, this option has been taken away because performance tables now only show the results of first entry and some colleges and universities are now only accepting first-entry results. If we compare like with like, Ridgeway’s results in 2015 were 76% five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C.

offers to its students to develop skills,

On a positive note, as a school, we took the decision to

knowledge and understanding and

further support 14 ex-students, who just missed their GCSE

ultimately to enable the fulfilment of

English grade C in June as a result of a change to the grade

aspirations. I firmly believe that a school

boundary by the examination board. In November, 11 of the

is, of course, a place to study but also a

students achieved a grade C or higher and have now been

place that prepares students for adult life

able to pursue their chosen courses post-16.

and the world of work.

Moving forward, how students approach school – their

In January, performance tables for school

attitude to learning and their commitment to get involved in

results were published. As I have

the many exciting activities we offer – will make a significant

explained in previous editions, Ridgeway

impact on their future. So will the development of resilience,

always puts the needs of the students

the ability to work in a team, to complete tasks

first, offering a personalised curriculum

independently and to meet deadlines. All of these apply to

and also the opportunity of early entry.

lessons in school, homework and the place of work. I

This has proved successful in the past,

encourage parents to use our VLE to monitor your child’s

with students achieving good GCSE

progress in each of these areas and to contact the school

grades and continuing onto a further

should you have any concerns. 3

LITERACY A focus on writing... This is a piece of extended writing in English, written by Naomi Bista. In Years 7 and 8, the English curriculum develops students’ writing skills and their use of language so that they are able to write for different purposes and audiences. This is a piece of descriptive writing on the theme of circuses.


iserably, the rain dripped down like maple syrup on pancakes. It was another one of those off-putting days where the clouds were angry elephants blowing their trunks off at you. However, I was still in the happiest of moods – no matter what the weather threw at me.

I stood outside the 12-metre-tall faded tent, impatiently waiting for the curtains to open. The wind was wrestling my small umbrella, disabling me from hearing the ticket seller painfully trying to speak to us before we went in.

Freakishly, the door of the ticket man’s stall creaked whilst we all shoved to get the best seats. As we sat down, the big bright lights were switched off and the smell of the cheaply made popcorn danced in the sweaty, humid air. I fussed and fidgeted in my seat trying to act comfortable (when really I wasn’t). I heard motor bikes roaring from backstage as a crowd of clowns ran like gorillas, attacking each other with cream-filled pies.

Uncontrollably, the music crashed into my eardrums whilst the 4-foot-tall ringmaster stomped into the ring. He was wearing a black and white suit (a bit too small for his size). Plump as a tomato, he held the microphone. His voice croaked through our ears and contrasted with the excitement in the air.

There was performance after performance, act after act and amazement, lots of amazement. The acrobats flew through the air like monkeys and the tightrope walkers ran across ropes and ropes, as if it were solid ground. The best had to be the Death Globe, a massive sphere in which motorbikes ride riskily around the inside.

Naomi Bista, 7BL 4

INVESTIGATION A love of learning... Investigating the fascinating world of science

Science Club Opportunities for enrichment in the subjects you love Science Club is all about allowing students to dig deeper in their understanding of science, to follow their enthusiasms and to explore aspects of science they find particularly interesting. The emphasis is very much on practical experimentation, which lies at the heart of good science work. Last term, the group finished by investigating the world of fire. This term, the focus is on forensic science and its practical uses. 5

PROBLEM SOLVING Theory into practice... The application of mathematics in the real world Thirty Year 7 and Year 8 students


recently took part in a Maths Activity

students had

Day – and great fun was had by all!

to organise a

The focus was on the use of

journey from

mathematical skills to solve real-life

Wirral to New

problems. The day itself was arranged

York, using

in two halves. During the morning,


students rotated around three



including journey prices and timetables. This developed

The first activity was ‘Lego Memory’.

knowledge and understanding of planning a schedule and

The students split into sub-teams to

costing a journey, as well as speed, distance and time.

develop their organisational and

The afternoon was ‘Breakout Ridgeway’. In this activity the students, again in

communication skills as well as using

teams, had to prevent a missile from going off by solving puzzles to unlock

mathematics skills, including nets,

codes and reveal new puzzles. The competitive side of the students really

elevations and finance.

shone during this activity and it was a close race to the finish line.

The second activity was ‘Let’s Go

Kelsie Eccles, who took part in the day, said: “It was a really fun day and it has

Shopping’, in which students had to

helped me improve my maths. It will help me in the future and I can’t wait for

work together to find the missing items

the next Maths Activity Day.”

from a mystery shopping list. This activity emphasised trial and error and calculating costs. The third activity was ‘New York, New York’, in 6

ACADEMIC RIGOUR Mastering subjects...

What is ‘Mathematics Mastery’? ‘Mastery’ is deep understanding of a particular subject. ‘Mathematics Mastery’ is an innovative approach to teaching mathematics, spending

Meanwhile, mastery in Year 11 separate sciences involves students in their chemistry lessons [above] carrying out acid base titrations using phenolphthalein.

more time on fewer topics but studied in greater depth. Problem solving is an important part of this approach to learning. It promises to make mathematics fun and relevant, allowing every young person the

These are common A-Level experiments so we teach students how to use the apparatus accurately in preparation for future studies.

opportunity to excel in this crucial subject area.


ASPIRATION Where are they now…? Jess Owen: ambitions for a career in medicine Jess was a Ridgeway High School

Leeds, studying Sports

student from 2007 to 2012. At the

and Exercise Therapy

time she joined Ridgeway aged 11, she

but her dreams of

dreamt of becoming a doctor or a vet—

becoming a doctor are

an ambition that many young children

still at the forefront of


her mind and she says

Her favourite subjects in school were

that it is probably

Maths and Art. She also enjoyed

something she will

Spanish and Textiles and remembers

pursue when she has

fondly trips to Spain in Year 8 and Year

completed her current



After successfully completing her

During university

GCSEs, Jess moved on to Calday Grange

holidays, Jess regularly

Grammar School to study Biology,

comes back to Ridgeway

Chemistry, Art and Maths at A Level.

to work in ‘Admin’, a role she thoroughly enjoys. When she is next back at

Seven years on, now aged 18, Jess was

Ridgeway, she will also be working with the Science department to gain

still determined to go down the route of

invaluable experience for her future career.

a career in some form of medicine and so opted to study Biomedical Sciences at Leeds Beckett University.

Where are they now?

After a year of study, Jess was

This is a new feature for the Ridgeway Reader, an update on ex-students

unfortunately forced to postpone her

of Ridgeway High School—where they are now and what career choice

medical dreams, due to illness. Having

they have made.

missed a great deal of work, she was

If you would like to be featured in our “Where are they now” updates, or if

unable to continue with her course.

you know someone who has a particularly interesting story to tell, please

Happily, Jess is now back at university in

email: 8

AMBITION Amazing opportunities... The road to ‘Oxbridge’ starts here... Year 10 and Year 11 students and their

which certainly

families were invited to a talk in school

assuaged fears

on university applications. The speaker

that only wealthy

was Lucy Dixon of St Peter’s College,

people can afford

Oxford University.

to go to university.

The audience was given information

There are loans,

from Lucy on how university

grants and

applications work, with advice on how

bursaries open to

different A level choices can either

all, based on

‘open up’ university courses or ‘close

parental income.

them down’. Lucy’s message is that

Overall, the talk

our students need to begin now to

was very

consider what subject area(s) they

informative, with students and parents having their questions answered by

might be interested in studying at

Lucy. She helped to dispel myths, offered sound advice and gave important

degree level in order to ensure that

information, which will help students as they begin the process of making

they choose appropriate A level

critical decisions that will shape their future.

courses. The myths of student finance were also

Opening—not closing—doors

discussed. Parents were relieved to hear of the support that is available

Dispelling myths about university ‘elitism’

from Oxford University and also from

There are no barriers of class or educational background stopping people

other universities, as well as the

from winning a place at one of our top universities. It may have been the

government loans that are on offer.

case in the past but it certainly is no longer so. Universities—including

Lucy explained how this money is

Oxford and Cambridge—are not interested in where you come from, what

shared out and what it can be used for.

you look and sound like or how wealthy your family is. They are interested

She explained how loans are repaid,

in four things: merit, promise, enthusiasm and motivation. 9

AMBITION A world of opportunities... Punting on the Cam in January The final university fact-finding visit

hostel after tea, students and

for Year 11 took us to Cambridge

teachers alike were ready for a sit-

University, reports Mr Heayns.

down and a rest after walking seven

Liverpool and Lancaster gave us

miles around the city.

experiences of a city and then a

Our second day involved a visit to

campus setting; Cambridge offers

Magdalene College. The morning

both – at one of the world’s top

consisted of a tour around the college buildings provided by two student


helpers, both from the North West. They described what university life at

We were treated to a chauffeured

Cambridge is like, the facilities on offer and the accommodation. After

punt down the River Cam and a

visiting the quirky pet cemetery, the former Archbishop of Canterbury’s

historical tour of the colleges that

house, the Fellows’ Garden and the main hall, we had exhausted our guides

make up Cambridge University. On

with question after question. It was time for lunch!

a crisp January day, we were

The afternoon was filled with touring Christ College and St John’s College.

relieved that Scudamore Punts

The magnificent architecture and facilities certainly turned a few heads, not

were giving us blankets and hot

least the ‘random section’ of St John’s College library with gifts such as a

water bottles.

fossilised snake and a papier-mâché mask of William Wilberforce. The day

We also took in a tour of the city,

concluded with an informative talk on university funding, which helped to

seeing some of the centuries-old

dispel any lingering myths around Cambridge University.

architecture of the colleges with the

Our adventure ended with me reading an extremely rare first-edition French

modern city built neatly in the gaps.

Revolution book in the last library of our tour…whilst everyone else was

By the time we arrived back at the

waiting on the minibus so that the long journey home could begin. Our aim is that the combination of trips to Liverpool, Lancaster and Cambridge have helped open the eyes of our students to the opportunities and possibilities that await them after Ridgeway. 10

ENRICHMENT A love of languages... Enrichment at Manchester Metropolitan University A group of 27 Year 8 students were chosen to attend

Our Year 8s

a language enrichment event held at Manchester


Metropolitan University in January, reports Mrs


Cooper. The event was organised by The Routes into

a taste of

Languages North West Consortium, who work with


young people across the region to encourage them to

life for the

study languages, with the aim of increasing the take-

day, and

up of languages from school to university.

were especially fascinated by the lecture theatre. Did you know


that celebrities including JK Rowling, Jonathan Ross, Lucy Liu,

began the day

Rory Bremner, Fiona Bruce, Chris Martin and Nigella Lawson all

by listening to

studied languages at university?

a talk by guest

We began with traditional Arabic dancing, which we know better


as ‘belly dancing’. As you can see from the above photo, our

Carmen Herrero in which she explained how

students found it hilarious. Next up, they tried their hand at

important and useful studying a foreign language can

Chinese calligraphy – much more difficult than it looks!

be. Some of the facts and figures shocked our

After lunch, we

students. For example, only 33% of British people can

attended both an

speak a second language. At Ridgeway High School,

Arabic and a Farsi

all of our students study either French or Spanish.

taster lesson.

Another eye-opening statistic is that 75% of the

Students quickly

world’s population speaks no English whatsoever.

mastered the

This definitely puts an end to the common

basics and before

misconception that everyone around the world

long they were

speaks English! In fact, there are over 5,000 different

having a short conversation!

languages in the world. Business leaders say that, in

Mrs Cooper, who organised the trip, said: “Students had a hugely

the future, the three world languages which will be

enjoyable and successful day. In fact, the only difficulty they had

most in demand are French, Spanish and Mandarin.

was how to use a revolving door…” 11

ENTERPRISE A competitive ethos... House challenges promote a spirit of competition Early in December, teams of students from

then tested their bridges

each House spent a day off timetable to

against each other in a nail

compete in an exciting Design Technology

-biting competition in

competition. The challenge was to build a

which many of the bridges

model bridge that would hold as much

were destroyed. Large

weight as possible, span a distance of a

weights were placed on

scaled river without disturbing any of the

the bridges to see what they could sustain.

natural river life, and look aesthetically

All of the bridges collapsed except for the final two – Wellington and

pleasing to its users!

Madrid – who built exceptionally strong structures. The teams demonstrated excellent team work and enthusiasm, creating dynamic and convincing sales pitches for their bridges. Their research was well-developed and evident in their designs. Mr Golding, our judge, said: “I have been involved in this kind of competition before but these designs are fantastic, some of the best I have ever seen!” Huge congratulations to the winning team, ‘Wellington’, who managed to nudge in front of Madrid with an excellent presentation, and to all the participants for an excellent event.

Each team prepared for the event during Academic Review time earlier that week and many students came with ideas and possible designs to discuss. They worked extremely hard throughout the day and each team created a presentation board of research and design work and a completed bridge. The teams all participated in the presentation and 12

INDUSTRY Learning from the experts... An amazing day at Jaguar Land Rover Year 10 Product Design students recently

We saw the press

enjoyed an amazing day at the Jaguar Land

forming of car doors

Rover factory in Halewood. Here they learnt

and spot welding of

first-hand about a range of topics such as

body parts, as well as

mass production, flexible manufacturing,

assembly and finishing

‘just in time’ production and lean

techniques. They

manufacturing. They gained a valuable

were also able to see the new James Bond car during its visit to

insight into different quality control and

the factory. Part of the day was also dedicated to challenging the students. They were asked to create a vehicle of their own design and race it along a track to see which car travelled furthest. Teams worked hard to develop strong, aerodynamic cars and tracks that would allow the vehicles to travel along them smoothly and without collision. This was an excellent day out of school, seeing theory put into practice and the application of Product Design learning in the

quality assurance procedures, which they


can now use in their Product Design work. Students were taken to the factory and given a tour around different manufacturing stations. They saw cars at different stages of manufacture and witnessed the amazingly well-organised procedure that allows highquality cars to be produced quickly and with little wasted time and money.


TRADITION Christmas round-up... As the last edition of the Ridgeway Reader went to print early in December, Ridgeway was busy entering into the spirit of Christmas. Here is a snapshot of activities from the season of goodwill. This year’s Christmas Showcase featured the musical and theatrical talents of students from across the year groups, including performances from GCSE Year 11 students, Year 7 dancers, Grade 2 and Grade 5 music students and members of Singing Club.

Another proud Ridgeway tradition is the senior citizens’ Christmas meal, which is planned, prepared and hosted by staff and students. Once again, Miss Grady and her team did an amazing job and it was evident from the response of our guests how much they enjoyed the occasion. Miss Bonsall says: “A particular highlight for me as producer was the Year 9 boys doing ‘Bouncers’. Their comic timing was genius. A special mention should also go to Connor Styring, who stepped in to cover an absent colleague as well as delivering his own GCSE monologue immaculately!”

Steve Morris, from Age UK Wirral, who supported at the event, sent Miss Grady the following email: “I attended this afternoon’s lunch at your school and would like to thank you for a lovely time. I was the escort on our Age UK Wirral Transport Bus and everyone we brought to the venue all commented how much they loved and enjoyed the day out. They all had smiles on their faces and commented how lovely the staff and children were towards them.”



Another Christmas highlight for Miss Bonsall was singing in the community [see above]. “We sang at Arrowe Park twice where we raised money for Ronald McDonald House. We also sang at Dundoran Nursing Home. The children also raised money for RNIB in Tesco Bidston.” The students were a delight to take into the community, says Miss Bonsall. One member of the public, passing through the hospital, commented: “You have put a smile on my face this Christmas, even though it’s a very difficult time for our family.” The patients really appreciated and enjoyed the singing, which was recorded and played over the hospital radio on Christmas Day.

On the Wednesday before school closed for Christmas, a group of Year 11 students took twelve rucksacks [see below] down to the YMCA in Birkenhead, along with five more holdalls of warm clothing to donate towards helping the homeless.

In addition to preparing for their mock examinations, students in Miss Lawrie’s form were busy fundraising. Staff and students donated clothes, blankets and other essentials – as well as money – to the appeal. Leftover money was used to buy food for Charles Thompson’s Mission in Birkenhead, which is providing Christmas dinner for the homeless and elderly. Miss Lawrie said: “I must say a massive ‘well done’ to Lauren Barnes, Olivia Gartland, Jasmine Luton and Shauna Clarke for their efforts. They have been a credit to the school. When the students went by minibus to drop off their collection of rucksacks at Birkenhead YMCA, the welcome they received was overwhelming.” Mr Taylor added: “Moments like these are truly special and cannot be taught; they have to be experienced.” 15

INDEPENDENCE Learning to learn... Mr Heayns runs an Independent Learning Challenge programme with students in Years 7 and 8 who show a particular aptitude for academic learning. This Year 7 challenge focused on the infamous King Richard III, whose remains were recently discovered and re-buried in Leicester. This is an outstanding piece of work from Iftikhar Haque in Year 7.


ichard III was king between 1483 and 1485. After King Edward IV died in April 1483, the elder of his two sons was heir to the throne and became Edward V. The boy’s uncle was Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who was supposed to help Edward until he was old enough to rule alone, but instead Richard made himself King Richard III in the

month of June 1483 until he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth by his rival Henry Tudor who became King Henry VII. There is evidence that Richard was physically horrible. For example, John Rous said, “…born with teeth….hair down to his shoulders,” while in William Shakespeare’s play, Richard is described as, “born only half finished…so ugly that dogs bark at him as he walked by”. Sir Thomas More and John Paynter described him as “hunchback”. However, there is also evidence that there was nothing physically unusual or horrible about Richard. Nicholas von Poppelau described Richard as “….three fingers taller than me and much slimmer. He had thin arms and legs and a great heart”. As well as John Stowe, who said, “Fairly pleasing to look at….small in height”.

Polydor Vergil said, “….took on John

Cheney….wrestled him to the ground…killed fighting bravely”. I have looked at several different sources of evidence about Richard. For example, there is the evidence of Nicholas von Poppelau, who was friends with Richard, which I think was true. Another piece of evidence, which I think might be true, is by John Stowe who talked to people who were alive before Richard died. The evidence of Thomas More, who was Henry VII’s worker, I think was unreliable. In the beginning my opinion about Richard III was that he was a greedy and ruthless person, who got rid of his nephews so he could become King, and that he was a deformed hunchback. However, after reading further sources by Nicholas von Poppelau, John Stowe and Polydore Vergil, my opinion changed. For me the most convincing account was by Polydore Vergil who actually worked for Henry VII but said lots of good things about Richard. Also, historians now say that this portrayal of Richard as an evil, deformed hunchback is incorrect. I don’t find other evidence convincing. For example, I don’t trust accounts by William Shakespeare as he often altered what really happened in his history plays to make them more exciting for the audience.

Iftikhar Haque, 7YL 16

BRITISH VALUES A capital adventure... Respecting democracy, respecting our heritage In early December, 35 students made the long

of chiming bells from the famous cathedral kept many of us

journey to London to visit the Houses of Parliament

awake deep into the night.

and learn about the history of our democracy,

The next day, we were woken early and, after a hearty breakfast,

reports Mr Worthington. On the way, we stopped off

made our way to the Palace of Westminster for a tour of the

at Oxford Ice Rink and spent an afternoon on the ice,

Houses of Parliament. We ventured inside the House of

learning new skills. Star performers included Megan

Commons to stand where famous names from the past, such as

Edwards, who discovered that she could in fact ice

Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, once stood.

skate, despite telling all the staff that she could not!

We learned about the history of parliament from its beginnings in

Arriving in London, we enjoyed a Chinese banquet in

the thirteenth century to modern-day stories of campaigners

the heart of London’s Chinatown. The staff at Wong

such as the Suffragettes. We also visited the Great Hall and stood

Kei’s made us feel very welcome and ensured that we

on the same spot where statesmen such as Barack Obama and

left with full stomachs after a huge amount of tasty

Nelson Mandela have addressed Britain’s parliamentarians.

Chinese food. After our meal, we were taken for a trip on the

Below: The students’ spectacular view of London from the top of

London Eye, the famous London landmark. As it was

the London Eye.

night-time, London was ablaze with lights and it was thrilling to see the capital laid out before us. We spotted famous landmarks such as Canary Wharf, the Palace of Westminster and the Wembley Stadium arch. Despite some students (and staff!) being afraid of heights, everyone loved this part of the trip. We spent the night in a youth hostel near St Paul’s Cathedral. The sound


RESPECT A sense of history... Pledging to make the world a better place On 27 January, which is Holocaust Memorial Day, two Ridgeway students Phoebe Clarke and Kieron McMahon delivered a presentation to Wirral schoolchildren, along with important local leaders, including the deputy mayor, about their trip to Auschwitz and Krakow, which took place in June 2015. Both Phoebe and Kieron were able to explain what

Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration. At the end of the

they learnt about their time in Poland and how it had

event, Phoebe and Kieron were presented with signed copies of

changed how they see the world now. Also in the

Joanna’s book, Orphaned and Alone: The Story of One Holocaust

audience was Joanna Millan, herself a Holocaust


survivor, who was taking part in Wirral’s annual

Meanwhile, a few days earlier, reports Mr Worthington, 19 students attended a special event in Liverpool, as part of their preparations for their forthcoming Poland visit in June. They spent some time in school learning about the work of Sir Nicholas Winton, who organised the rescue of 669 mainly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia in 1939. At the FACT media arts centre in Liverpool, they watched a moving film about this rescue and were able to hear the testimony of one of those survivors, Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines. Students listened to Lady Milena’s story and were moved by seeing the objects she had brought with her, which helped illustrate her story. The message that she left us was simply to “be a decent person”.

Left: Kieron and Phoebe with Joanna Millan, a survivor of the Holocaust 18

RESPECT A Ridgeway community… Students past and present pay their respects Over the Christmas period, our Facebook page showed a photograph of Sue Taylor, our long-serving midday assistant, who was retiring after twenty-eight years with us. The response was incredible. The post ‘reached’ thirty thousand people, there were five hundred ‘likes’ and over one hundred people posted affectionate, heart-warming comments about Sue, including ex-students from as far back as the 1980s and 1990s. My favourite dinner lady. Such a lovely person who made my day with her smile every lunch. Can't believe she's leaving—hope she has a good retirement.

AWWW little miss. She was my Dinner lady xxxxx

Enjoy your retirement. You were there when I was ‘92-’97. Didn't realise you still were a dinner lady. Much love xx

Awwww I left Ridgeway in 1998 and I remember Sue. Good luck Sue xxxx

Wow happy retirement! Sue was there when I was there from 1988 to 1993 and she was lovely back then too xx

Below: Sue Taylor with Jayne Lloyd on the day of Sue’s retirement after twenty-eight years’ service to the school


INNOVATION Creativity and enterprise... Application of skills to make worthwhile products Over the last term, Year 7 students have been designing and making a "Pod Dock", a cushioned dock to hold their phone. In making their product, students have practised a number of skills, such as the use of applique, a sewing technique that involves stitching a small piece of fabric onto a larger one to make a pattern or design. The docks are sewn together on a sewing machine before being stuffed and weighted down.

Meanwhile, Year 8 students have been hard at work making an LED lamp, using specialist software (in this case, 2D Design) and equipment such as a laser-cutter. They use a process called sublimation printing to print pictures or colours to their fabric lamp before they are laser-cut. Students have also been using techniques such as soldering circuits together and sewing to make their lamps.

Above: In Food lessons, Year 7 students have designed a healthy scone-based pizza, using an interesting and original design. Leo [above] created a ‘face’ design. 20

CONFIDENCE Building self-assurance... The exhilaration of live performance In Year 11, Performing Arts students have been working

In Year 7, music students have been developing their

hard to perfect their assessment performances for the

understanding of samba through various performance

GCSE examination. Many of them have worked in

opportunities. Students thoroughly enjoy performing as a

collaboration to

class on the school samba kit, says Miss Morgan. This

demonstrate their

helps them to improve their understanding of musical

complementary skills. An

fusion and to practise different

example of this is Adeana

performance techniques.

Traynor and Jessica Preston. Adeana has worked hard to develop her dancing, while Jessica enhanced her performance through her understanding of costume and make-up. The overall effect of this collaboration was astounding, says Miss Bonsall.


ACTIVE LEARNING Outside the classroom... Investigating the world around us Year 9 Travel and Tourism students have got off to a flying start with opportunities to carry out fieldwork for their coursework units. On two consecutive weeks they have been lucky enough to visit the Museum of Liverpool on the Albert Dock and its many exhibitions, including the football-focused 'Are You Red or Blue?' and the History of The Beatles show. Students are expected to look at all exhibitions with a critical eye and to consider how they would be suited to different types of

the ship functions. We were welcomed aboard by the captain and

tourist, such as a school party, a young

second mate and given an insight into day-to-day life during a voyage

family or a group of OAPs.

and the workings of the ship.

The students will also be visiting the Liverpool World Museum. This will enable them to compare and contrast the two attractions and to weigh up the

Tall Ships Experiences Opportunities of a lifetime...

strengths and weaknesses of each. The group have also found time to look

The ‘Stavros S Niarchos’ is a British brig-rigged tall ship owned and

around the ‘Stavros S Niarchos’, which

operated by a charity called the Tall Ships Youth Trust. She is primarily

has been berthed in the Canning Dock

designed to provide young people with the opportunity to undertake

over the winter, predominantly for

voyages as character-building exercises.

maintenance but also for the benefit of

Through the energy and commitment of PC Parry, our embedded police

local young people, who are able to go

liaison officer, Ridgeway High School has a proud tradition of offering

on board and see for themselves how

students life-changing experiences around the British coastline. 22

CHALLENGE Engineering the future... Ridgeway students prepare for lift-off! In the Computing department, Mr Cross has been working hard with students to choose a Ridgeway team to compete in this year’s Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge. Ridgeway High School is one of only 100 regional schools selected for entry this year in a robotics challenge that will involve them in ‘space missions’!

Above: Attendance and enthusiasm levels are through the roof at Mr Cross’s Computing Club


As well as team accolades and prizes, there will be individual prizes

robots, design,

awarded to team members for specific contributions.

discovery, fun

This is the second year the event has taken place. As part of the support

and loads of

package, LEGO Education have provided £1800 in the form of educational

LEGO are all part

robotics kits free to each school. Mr Cross says: “Regardless of the

of an incredible mix. This school-based

outcome of the competition, the school keeps all of the kit so there is a

competition encourages students to

fantastic opportunity to further develop ‘STEM’ learning in the

solve real-world engineering, technology


and computing challenges. The team of 20-30 KS3 students will be expected to build a robot, to present research ideas to a panel of judges and to compete in a set of space-based

What is ‘STEM Learning’? Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics...

challenges against other schools.

STEM Learning is an approach to education that aims to bring together

Twenty of the 100 schools competing in

teaching and learning in these four closely-related curriculum areas.

the regional event will be selected to

Preparing young people for the economic and technological challenges of

take part in a national final in July at the

the twenty-first century is a key element of a high-quality education.

Ricoh arena in Coventry. 23

PARTICIPATION From strength to strength... Boys’ basketball Mr Beattie reports: “The Year 7 basketball team were involved in a hard-fought contest against Calday in the Wirral Cup. Calday eventually came out on top, winning narrowly by 3 baskets. This unfortunately spells the end of the road in this competition for our lads this year but there is plenty to build on. Several of the players are also involved in the Year 8 team, who are doing phenomenally well.” In fact, the Year 8 basketball team beat Bluecoat Grammar School in the National League. Mr

result of competing at a higher level. Oliver Hobson has been a

Charles adds: “The boys have done amazingly well.

real leader. Hopefully we can celebrate with some trophies.”

They have won their regional league and are now

Mr Charles reports on Year 11: “The boys have also been

playing at the county finals stage. This is, without

successful. They beat Woodchurch 32-30 in a highly competitive

doubt, the best result we have ever achieved in

game. They are training hard and, if they win their next game,


they have qualified for the Wirral final.”

The Year 9 team have made great progress again this year. This is the first year the boys have played in the national competition and they have come up against tough opponents, who regularly reach national finals. The knock-on effect of this success is that they have reached the Wirral finals for the second consecutive year, after comfortably beating Woodchurch. Mr Murphy says: “The boys have made excellent progress due to their hard work in training. They have raised their standards as a 24

COMMITMENT Building on tradition... Mr Barney—ex-student—on basketball over the years “The standard of basketball in the school at the moment reminds me of the glory years of the ‘80s and ‘90s, when Ridgeway was something of a basketball powerhouse. We have packed squads in all year groups, enthusiastically attending training and up for competition. In the past, players might leave Ridgeway and possibly never pick up a ball again. We now have current and ex-students competing in local basketball leagues. A local team now trains at Ridgeway on Wednesday evenings, offering training for students not just from Ridgeway but for anyone local with an interest in the game. This all fired me with the belief that my Year 10 team would perform at a high level. They did not disappoint. I said from the start that I didn’t care if they won or lost. What mattered to me was how they handled the pressure and the attitude they showed on the court. From an overtime thriller in Birchwood to a hard-fought encounter against Ellesmere Port, they showed an impressive hunger to compete. Josh Hughes has trained tirelessly to make himself into a talented ball player and doesn’t lack the confidence to showcase his skills against any opponent. David Gravett has grown into a defensive colossus. Kieran McKay’s movement shows a court awareness he has worked hard to attain. I could go on about the whole team at an individual level (Ryan McCabe, Jack Harris and Matthew Lidgate were superb in the dismantling of Woodchurch), but, in truth, they have all made me immensely proud as coach.”

More on boys’ PE The Year 9 table tennis team won the area finals against Birkenhead Park and Woodchurch. As a result, they have now qualified for the regional finals. Mr Charles says: “Well done to everyone and particularly William Burkhill, Jonty Hughes and Dylan Roden.” The Year 10/11 table tennis team finished third overall. William Burkhill again stepped up and demonstrated why he is seeded Number 1 on the Wirral, winning every game, even against students older than him! Mr Beattie says: “Due to poor weather, the Year 7 boys’ football fixtures this half-term have been hit hard and we have been unable to play any competitive fixtures. I am pleased that the boys have shown a commitment to training each week and we are due to start our assault on the Merseyside and Wirral cups in the coming weeks. A tough fixture against St Hilda’s in the first round of the Merseyside Cup will provide a stern test but we are confident we can cause them problems, especially with Billy Rainbow leading the way in goals for the team this season.” Mr Murphy adds: “The weather has limited the number of fixtures this term. However the Year 11 team finished second in the Wirral ‘futsal’ competition at Tranmere Rovers, with captain Ellis Byrne the stand-out player. 25

RESILIENCE Opportunities to excel... Miss Campbell’s report Football

term, they were determined to win this time around. Jayde Renner got

The Year 7/8 girls have been training

Ridgeway off to a great start with a super goal. Shortly afterwards, she

really hard to improve their game.

scored again – and then again! The final score was 3-1 to Ridgeway. Our hat-

They played a highly competitive

trick hero Jayde Renner was deservedly Player of the Match.

match against Plessington. Paige Kearney created a number of chances to put Ridgeway into the lead, scoring in the second-half before Jade Williams added a second shortly after. The game eventually finished 2-1. I was thrilled with the performance and

Year 7 Badminton Club

the girls too were happy with how they

I am delighted that some of the Year 7 girls have taken on a new sporting

played. A special mention goes to

challenge this term. They asked if I would set up a badminton club and train

Player of the Match Paige Kearney,

them so that they can play competitively against other schools. So we agreed

who was outstanding.

that, every Friday night, they come to Badminton Club to learn the rules and

The Year 9/10 girls also played their

the skills of the game.

first match of the half-term against

I must say that I have been highly impressed with how quickly they have

Plessington. Having been beaten last

developed their skills. I feel that the girls are now ready to face some tough competition against Upton, Wirral Grammar and St Mary’s in the next few weeks. A special mention goes to Naomi Bista and Abby Barron, who have trained particularly hard and improved immensely in a short space of time. Look out for further news in the next issue! 26

ENDEAVOUR Competing against the best... Regional gymnastics championships Miss Campbell reports: “Six students were chosen to represent Ridgeway in the Regional Schools Trampoline Championships in December. Schools from all over the North West were taking part. Scoring was out of 10 for each performance of the set routine and the voluntary routine. Jay Boden, Jake Stafford and Daniel Skillen all entered the U-14 boys’ section, Emily Davin and Ellie Whelan the U-14 girls’ section and Elisha Davin the U-19s. All of them performed exceptionally. They gave it their all and thoroughly enjoyed the competition.

last minute, said that she was too nervous to perform and yet achieved the highest score out of all our entrants—a magnificent 8.2 out of 10. Also, I should like to thank to Ciara Q’Quigley and Helen Zhen for giving up their Sunday to come and help out. We’re all looking forward to next year’s competition and will be busy in Trampoline Club between now and then.

Jay Boden was placed second out of the Wirral schools in his category, which is an amazing achievement, considering it is his first ever competitive trampoline competition. A special mention goes to Elisha Davin who, until the

‘Awesome Walls’: GCSE Climbing I am currently taking my GCSE Year 11 students to ‘Awesome Walls’ to complete their climbing assessment, part of their GCSE PE course. All students are enjoying the experience and are on target to achieve high grades. The coaching staff at Awesome Walls have noted the positive attitude and the climbing ability of our students, commenting on the “exceptional” work that the girls have been doing. 27

Ridgeway Reader January窶認ebruary 2016 All the latest news from Ridgeway High School

Upcoming Events Monday 22 February School re-opens for all students after the half-term break.

Wednesday 30 March The PE sporting tour to Amsterdam leaves Ridgeway. It promises to be a fabulous experience, offering exciting opportunities for high-level sport, for team building and for experiencing the local Dutch culture.

Friday 1 April School closes for the spring break. The construction of the New Build will begin over the holiday period. Please note that Friday 25 March and Monday 28 March are Bank Holidays.

Special thanks to... Many thanks to Mrs Warbrick for her help and support in the production of this issue of the Ridgeway Reader.


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