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Uppingham Community College A Specialist Technology Academy

Newsletter: FEBRUARY 2014

Reading For Fun! Recent research from the Institute of Education has found that ‘children who read for pleasure are likely to do better in Maths and English than those who rarely read in their free time,’ and that ‘the influence of reading for pleasure was greater than that of having a parent with a degree.’ Acting on this research we have set up a variety of exciting reading activities within the English department, all with the aim of increasing the number of students who read for pleasure.

Read for my School Year 7 students have just begun a two month reading competition in conjunction with Pearson Publishing. Prizes are available for the students who read the most books in the set time frame, along with a separate prize draw for anyone who reads over eight books. There are over 100 free online books for them to choose from, along with recommended reads from the library. Online quizzes and writing activities are also encouraged. Pearson will donate at

called Reading Force. Students have access to free books and scrapbooks where they can capture their thoughts about the books read. This is designed to be something shared with the whole family with the intention that everyone in the family reads the same book and they can then talk about it via Skype etc. if they are stationed away from home. Prizes are available for those students who complete their scrapbooks and send them off, showcasing the way it has helped to bring the family together through reading and discussing books.

Six Book Challenge This is a scheme, set up by The Reading Agency, designed for young adults who are reluctant readers which we are triailing with some of our Year 10 English groups. Students are set the challenge of reading six books over a period of time and writing a brief commentary on each one

least 100,000 free books to children in Tanzania via Book Aid International and students can get involved in writing letters to these children.

in a reading journal. Amazon vouchers are available for the best school entries along with the chance of winning a weekend in London for the best national entry.

Reading Force

Lunchtime Book Club

All students who have a parent in the Armed forces have received resources from a reading scheme

We have also just launched a new reading book club open to all year groups and meeting every two weeks. Students are initially sharing ideas about books and in March they will be involved in judging the Booktrust Best Books awards.

Reading really is the best way to improve students’ skills in both writing English and analysing language. These are just some of the new activities we are running in the English department but support at home in promoting reading is invaluable. It doesn’t just have to be fiction – encouraging students to read non-fiction articles is just as important.

Political Speaking Competition By Mrs Speers

This week saw the launch of a new, exciting stretch and challenge opportunity in the English department. Eighteen students from years 8, 9 and 10 have signed up to take part in the MP6 Political Speaking competition for a chance to win a day work-shadowing an MP in London. The first round of the competition will be conducted internally where students compete by performing a two minute talk on a political issue that interests them. The winning four entrants will go forward to represent UCC regionally and, if successful, at the Londonbased final in June. So far, some of the topics students have chosen to talk about include: Michael Gove’s plans to improve secondary education; proposed changes to motorway speed limits and the impact of hidden sugars on obesity. Good luck to all those taking part!


IMPORTANT DIARY DATES SPANISH EXCHANGE 12-19 FEBRUARY SPRING BREAK 17-21 FEBRUARY SKI TRIP TO AUSTRIA 14-22 FEBRUARY TERM BEGINS 24 FEBRUARY YR 11 MOCKS PHASE 2 24-26 FEBRUARY YR 10 GCSE DRAMA W/SHOP 25 FEBRUARY YR 9 PARENTS’ EVENING 26 FEBRUARY

Condolences As you will be aware one of our catering staff, Anna Petty, died recently after a long illness which she bore with her usual good humour and fortitude. Mrs Petty contributed a great deal to the life of the college, taking part in many trips and other activities. She will be much missed by colleagues and students alike.

YR 11 FRENCH SPEAKING 27-28 FEBRUARY

Patchwork Enrichment

YR 10 GERMAN WORK EXPERIENCE STUDENTS TO UCC 1-8 MARCH

During this term we had the opportunity to produce quilts of various sizes. The skills learnt were pointing, butterfly seams, stitching in the ditch and binding. This is the final product of Kit Chan, Year 10. He worked extremely hard to achieve this quilt, which was named ‘Nelly the Elephant’.

YR 11 INTERVIEWS AT QE COLLEGE 4 MARCH YR 11 GERMAN SPEAKING 7 MARCH YR 10 BIG BANG SCIENCE FAIR 13 MARCH THEME DAY YR 7 TRIP TO TWYCROSS ZOO YR 11 PHOTOGRAPHS YR 10 PROFILES HOME YR 9 SENIOR CURRICULUM EVENING 19 MARCH LOUGHBOROUGH LIGHTNING - PE TRIP 20 MARCH MUSIC LESSONS END THIS WEEK 24-28 MARCH MUSIC EXAMS 24-26 MARCH YR 10 PARENTS’ EVENING YR 10 SPANISH SPEAKING YR 7/8 PROFILES HOME 26 MARCH YR 8 GIRLS HPV IMMUNISATIONS SPRING CONCERT YR 10 GERMAN SPEAKING YR 10 SPANISH SPEAKING 27 MARCH SPOTLIGHT DANCE SHOW 27-28 MARCH YR 7 SHOWCASE 1 APRIL COLLEGE COUNCIL MEETING YR 10 FRENCH SPEAKING 2 APRIL

“During the quilting enrichment I learnt a lot about how textile projects are made and constructed. While making my quilt, I learnt about sewing techniques and the importance of sewing carefully. It was quite fun making my quilt, but a bit frustrating at times, since I had to unpick a lot of the seams. Overall, it was a fun experience and at the end of the enrichment sessions I had a finished quilt to take home with me.” By Kit Chan

Friday lunchtimes in Ma1, a growing number of students from all years are learning how to solve the traditional 3 by 3 by 3 Rubik’s cube and other legendary puzzles with the help of Mr Cowley and Mr Jones. We have already celebrated the success of a large number of students who can successfully complete the cube in times ranging from 40 seconds to 3 minutes and now more students and staff are systematically learning how to solve the bottom, middle and top layers using a series of algorithms or patterns of turns. Solving the cube takes dedication, determination and perseverance but it is solvable by all! Special mention must go out to Miss Hodgson from the PE department who can now successfully complete the cube after just 1 week’s worth of practise.

Scientific News UCC students are to represent the East Midlands at the “Big Bang” National Science Fair. The four projects impressed the judges back in June at the regional finals and since then the students have been working hard to try and secure sponsorship to fund their visit.

UCC Cubing Association

Over the three days whilst attending the fair they will be setting up their displays and competing with other students from schools all over the UK. There will be some time to enjoy the explosive theatre shows and the many engaging activities at the event. The students may also have the opportunity to meet some of the country’s leading scientists and engineers and to discover how the subjects they are studying at school can lead to fantastic, rewarding careers.

The resurgence of the iconic Rubik’s Cube has taken a real step forward with the creation of the Uppingham Community College Cubing Association. Meeting on

The students would like to thank Mrs S Allen, Uppingham First, the Rutland Youth Council and De Montfort University for their support. If there is anyone else who feels

GCSE MUSIC RECORDING DAY YR 10 FRENCH SPEAKING 3 APRIL SUCCESS ASSEMBLY 4 APRIL DON BOSCO TO UCC 7-11 APRIL EASTER BREAK 7-21 APRIL TERM BEGINS 22 APRIL

Scientific News


they are able to contribute to this venture please contact Dr Major via the school. The students are allowed to display company logos on their stands at the fair. “Samba Drumming” Monday 3rd March

at the college in the future, they need to let me know in the first week of each term in order that I can get their names added to the exam lists. We can also organise accompanists and aural practices for them.

In March, we have some Music Workshops lined up for Year 7 and 8 students.

Great Big Schools Dance Off

Professional Music Workshops

Tim Palmer is a professional percussionist who has worked around the world. He will be coming in to work with two Year 7 classes and two Year 8 classes and teaching them the techniques of Samba drumming. Perfect timing in view of the forthcoming World Cup in Brazil.

I am very pleased to announce that the Rutland Youth Dance Academy – Uppingham Crew have gained a place in the live second round of the Great Big Schools Dance Off, a national competition for School groups.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Project

This round of the competition takes place at The Nottingham Albert Hall on Thursday 6th March. On the day, a trophy for both the primary and secondary winners is at stake, plus the top 5 of each will be invited to perform at the National Finals in Oxford this June. All performers will also receive a certificate to show their success.

Wednesday 12th March

Three members of the RPO will be coming to UCC to work with Year 8 students on a creative task on the 12th March. They sometimes work with established music students, but we have invited them to be creative with four Year 8 classes in the hope that they will inspire the students to get more involved in music making. The students will also have the chance to go and watch the RPO rehearse for a concert in the area later that same week.

Instrumental Exams W/C 24th March

At UCC, we like to be able to act as a centre for Associated Board Instrumental Exams. This term, the exams will take place week commencing 24th of March. If any students take music lessons out of school, but wish to take their instrumental exams here

The group will be performing their piece ‘Go’ from Red Riding Hoody. Good luck to all those involved and well done for getting through the first round!

Yr10 Pantomimes Year 10 GCSE Drama students delighted full houses with their self-devised Pantomimes on 29th and 30th January. A total of nine groups of students performed pieces that were assured, clever and at times hilarious. Though the point of the evenings was assessment, the performers rose to the occasion, building strong links with their audiences, which in turn meant most performers fulfilled their potential and some even outdid it. Well done to everyone who was involved and thank you to the supportive audiences who came to give the students a true Panto experience – “Oh yes they did!”

Yr10 Theatre Visit Year 10 Panto

On Thursday 27th March, an evening theatre visit to Curve Theatre in Leicester

U15 Handball Team is arranged for Year 10 students to see ‘The Believers’ performed by the Physical Theatre company, Frantic Assembly. UCC has a long standing link with the company, who have been nationally recognised for many years now, since one of their artistic directors was a former student. We also welcome them here annually to run workshops in Physical Theatre with GCSE Drama students. These students have that to look forward to on 25th February, so by the time we see ‘The Believers’, students should have a hands on understanding of the way the piece was created.

Sporting News Congratulations to Toby Williams (10ASH) who has got through to the finals of the Northants, Leicester and Rutland Junior Championships for small bore rifle shooting. He is currently sitting in second place (jointly with an Uppingham school pupil) with a score of 183, only 3 points behind the leader. The final will be a shoulder to shoulder shoot at Holwell Range later this term. Toby has also been selected to shoot for the county team.

Handball Our U15 Handball team were treated to a visit by Great Britain Captain Bobby White in January. Bobby visited all three of the Rutland Secondary Schools as part of his visit before running an inter schools tournament. The UCC team benefitted greatly from his coaching session and went on to win the tournament after beating Catmose College 3 v 1 and CBEC 10 v 1. More details available at: www.activerutland.org.uk/ ks4-handball.html


Cross Country The Leicestershire and Rutland Cross Country season came to a close this month. The following UCC students finished enough league races in this year’s competition to gain positions. Well done to the following: Year 7 Girls - Alice Freeman came 7th Junior Boys - Teddy Wilson came 11th Junior Girls - Ellie-May Hathaway came 13th In the end of season County Championships on Saturday 1st February at Ratcliffe College there were some excellent performances in the Junior Girls with Scarlett Wilson coming 6th, Alice Freeman 12th and Georgina Wilson 17th. In the Junior Girls Ellie-May Hathaway continued

BBL Final 2014 her return from injury with an impressive 11th place finish. In the Junior Boys Matthew Dawson, Brayden Morrow and Will Rhodes all completed a particularly gruelling course all finishing inside the top 50. The final event of the year, the Triangular Cross Country with Catmose College and CBEC takes place on Tuesday 25th February.

BBL Final 2014

Cross County - Georgina Wilson, Alice Freeman, Scarlett Wilson at Ratcliffe College

Mr Logan ran what is now becoming an annual trip to the NIA in Birmingham to watch the Leicester Riders take on the Newcastle Eagles. Over 40 students attended this event and watched as Leicester Riders managed to retain the BBL Cup they won last January. Andrew Sullivan inspired an irresistible comeback to steal the silverware 72-69 from a Newcastle Eagles team that seemed set to end their recent trophy drought in a final that started short on quality but finished high in excitement.

as Nottingham Girls High finished 7 v 6 winners. A 3 v 3 draw against home side Repton School meant only a victory against Oundle School would put them into the finals. Unfortunately Oundle proved too strong and finished 7 v 4 winners putting UCC into a 7th /8th place playoff against Campion. With the pressure off, the UCC team produced their most fluent performance and ran out comfortable 8 v 1 winners to secure 7th place in the tournament. The UCC team performance emerged to be even more creditable as Repton School, who we drew with during the group stages, went on to win the tournament beating Oundle in the final. Congratulations to all the girls involved and thank you to Miss Craven, Mrs Borrows and Miss Griffin for all their help with the team this year.

U16 Netball Team Represent UCC at the Regional Finals Cross Country - Will Rhodes, Matthew Dawson, Brayden Morrow at Ratcliffe College

Cross Country - Ellie-May Hathaway at Ratcliffe College

Having finished as runners up in the Leicestershire and Rutland County Championships, our U16 Netball team were invited to represent the County at the recent Regional Championships that took place at Repton School in Derbyshire. UCC started the tournament with a 4 v 3 victory over Queen Elizabeth Grammar School thanks to a last minute goal from Gracie Kirton. In their second game they were unlucky to lose another close game

U16 Netball Team

2014 UCC February Newsletter  

2014 Uppingham Community College February Newsletter