Ulverston Victoria High School NEWS SPLASH - MAY 2009
UVHS Orienteering is On Top of the World! Mr Fay writes I am happy to report that the school has come out of Special Measures in a very positive manner. There is a tangible feeling of a calm sense of purpose in Ulverston Victoria High School. The students’ behaviour is good, staff are enthusiastic, and parents are very supportive of the direction in which we are travelling. Apart from the finances and the consequences of them I believe the school is in a good place. As you know we are now on a journey to outstanding and “Outstanding” is an Ofsted category. Yet, whilst we will gratefully accept that judgement should it be given in the future, I believe being outstanding is much more than that. I am an old fashioned Headteacher. I have an absolute belief in the power of good schools in supporting parents so that children can become happy positive adults. My job is to allow teachers to teach creatively and to allow children to learn in a warm, positive environment which assists parents in teaching them their roles and responsibilities in life. To me a job well done is when the students tell me that, overall, they enjoyed their time at school (perhaps, for some, not every minute of every day because school sometimes mirrors life in its challenges, its successes and setbacks and the journey of school can be character building) and their school played an important role in their lives and their futures. I believe that we will be outstanding, and already have outstanding features, because this school has the inherent values and standards as a foundation for that success. I am, I repeat, old fashioned, some might say a dinosaur but I want to lead a school with well behaved students who enjoy excellent standards in school uniform, try their best on the sports field, engage in extra-curricular learning, to the highest possible level, serve the local and wider community, and whose school lives add to their parents nutural pride in them. It isn’t rocket science and I guess could have been written by a Headteacher at any time in “History”. I am afraid lots of the modern educational jargon is becoming more and more obscure to me, I am often baffled by the acronyms, the sometimes confusing and changing use of statistics, the myriad of initiatives, questionnaires, surveys etc. Everything I have tried to do since joining UVHS has been based upon my simple sense of purpose. I hope we all agree on those “Victoria Values” and we march forward, together, towards our vision of outstanding. I know you are with me in this.
Ulverston is celebrating the crowning of a World Schools Orienteering Champion as Max receives his Gold medal in Spain. Max was a member of the junior boys’ team (14 & 15 years old) who took part in the Championships held near Madrid in Spain. Supported by Nathan (12th), Sam (22nd), Ben (28th) and Luke (32nd) the team were second after the first race. Unfortunately, the pressure was too much in the second race and the team finished 5th overall. After the excitement of the first day’s results this was an excellent effort from a team who will continue to get better in the next few years. The three teams from Ulverston had travelled with the hope of enjoying running through sunlit forests, but in the early days they had to cope with rain, hail and cold temperatures. The terrain was completely different to anything found in Britain. The races started and finished on top of a plateau, but the rest of the courses were in steep sided valleys with very little rock features. This resulted in very fast running for most of the time only to finish with a very steep uphill finish. The senior boys’ team were in the largest class and found the standard very high. Leading the way were Sweden, France and Finland. Many of their runners looked older then 17, but we know the passports had been checked! Jack continued with his good form, finishing 18th on the long course and improving to 15th on the middle distance. They finished 7th overall. (Continued on page 2).
Royal Mint Coin Competition Year 9 students from Key Skills classes and some Year 8 students at the lunch time art club have created some brilliant entries for the Royal Mint Coin Competition. The imaginative designs of 16 students have been entered for this competition. The Royal Mint has asked all schools to design the back of a 50 pence coin, with the theme of Cycling. The winning design will be selected and notified in November 2009, so good luck and fingers crossed to all the students who have been entered. The winner will have their design printed onto all new 50 pence coins which will be distributed across the United
“SHUV” Perform Platform
The UVHS dance group ‘SHUV’ performed at the Brewery Arts Centre on 2nd April as part of the Brewery Schools Dance Platform. 30 schools and dance groups from Cumbria perform and it is always a sell-out with an audience of 1200 over 4 nights. This is our 5th year of performing at the event and the organisers always look forward to seeing our dancers and ask that we perform on the finale night. The dancers were amazing, performing with enthusiasm and incredible energy. They got a standing ovation and many other schools and teachers came and congratulated them on their amazing dance. The staff and organisers were really complimentary about the example that our students set both by their behaviour on the day and the way they talked to the primary school children who were there. We are very proud of them.
Language News Kingdom next year to help promote the London 2012 Olympics. They will also have the opportunity to visit the place where the coins are produced in London and will be given a solid gold coin with their winning design printed on it.
See Our News Splash! in Colour See this News Splash! in colour on our school web site www.ulverstonvictoria.cumbria.sch.uk
This half term GCSE and A level students have been preparing for their speaking exams in 5 languages - French and German of course, but also Spanish, Portugese and Polish. This is one of the toughest tests for students who have to talk for 15 minutes in a foreign language. To help them feel more confident, weekend and after-school individual practice sessions have been offered to all students. Over 90% of students have given up their free time to attend out of school practice exams. Good luck everyone - Bonne chance! Viel Gluck! Buena suerte! Boa sorte! Powodzenia! Year 9 students who have opted to do a language at GCSE have been offered a taster day in June at the University of Central Lancashire where they will have a taste of Languages like Urdu and Mandarin Chinese in a day of fun activities. There are only 20 places available so get your reply slips in Year 9!
UVHS Orienteering is On Top of the World (continued from page 1) Our third team of junior girls had finished 10th last time and were determined to improve on that. Despite the rain and steep muddy slopes our top three of Kelly, Amelia and Megan produced a dramatic improvement finishing 11th, 13th and 19th respectively. This put them in 4th leading up to the final race. Unfortunately they were 11 minutes behind the bronze medal and it would be almost impossible to catch the third team over a much shorter course. And so it proved, but a storming run by Meghan into 9th with Kelly and Collette not far behind did see the team catch up 6 minutes. So a final placing of 4th and the team are hoping they can improve again in 2 years time. The final event was the friendship relay where all the runners are put into teams of three, boys and girls, junior and senior. There were 155 teams and each runner had to discuss with their team mates who would visit which control. Quite an achievement in itself when faced with a Latvian and a Chinese runner, neither of whom could speak English. Collette was fortunate to be drawn with a Swede and a New Zealander so communication was not a problem and the two senior boys had both done well in the previous races. They obviously worked well as her team came in to finish 5th. The teams are very grateful for all the support they received from Ulverston Town Council, Low & High Furness Neighbourhood Forums, Marks & Spencer, Booths, Ulverston Rotary Club, CGP, Barrow Rotary Club and many others. Senior Boys 7th / 17 Jack Michael Philip Martin Tom
18th & 15th 29th & 35th 33rd & 36th 34th & 43rd 49th & 47th 83 runners
Junior Boys 5th / 13 Max Nathan Sam Ben Luke
1st & 7th 12th & 34th 22nd & mp 28th & 37th 32nd & mp 57 runners
Junior Girls 4th / 12 Kelly Amelia Megan Collette Meghan
11th & 16th 13th & 38th 19th & 46th 24th & 25th 39th & 9th 56 runners
Young Fire Fighters Pass Out
History Students Experience Life in the 19th Century
After 12 weeks of hard work and determination the third Year 10 Young Fire Fighters passed out. Excellent work ethic The History department recently visited the Thackray Medical and commitment was displayed from day one and I know Museum in Leeds with a group of thirty three Year 10 students. all the They were able to experience life in nineteenth century Leeds instructors could and see how various not believe the features of medicine, calibre of our including surgery, students and developed over time. how impressive This experience has they were. Chris enabled students to and Daniel widen their were knowledge and complemented understanding of by the Fire their GCSE module fighters and are now the first recipients of the Peter Higgins Medicine Through Young Fire Fighters Award for effort. This trophy will be kept Time. The students in the fire station on the honours wall ready for the next course. thoroughly enjoyed Many thanks to all those who supported the course, Lorraine the day, especially dressing up in pregnancy suits. Thompson, Steve Healey, Paul Irving and the Fire-fighters at Year nine were very privileged to spend a day in school with a Ulverston. Holocaust survivor and learn what happened to Jewish families Lee and Johnny during the war. Students were extremely moved by the survivor’s must be (Jack’s) story and his experiences have helped them widen their congratulated for perspective on life. As the years pass the opportunity to meet a acting as peer survivor is becoming increasingly rare and the students seized mentors for this this chance. course, and to Carol Birkett and Sheila Attard for their support and The debate rumbles on! There is a significant ground swell of assistance – thank opinion among staff, parents and students supporting a move you to all and well done Year 10 ASDAN group. towards a more “formal” uniform which is reflected nationally. This year we will be introducing a “preferred school coat” and a preferred school skirt which is already popular with some girls.
The Great School Uniform Debate (Part 2)
Leading Lady Laura wins Award!
Laura Moses - our leading lady in this year’s UVHS production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” triumphed at the Cumbria Music Festival at the Coronation Hall last month. She won the shield for “best song from a Musical” against strong opposition from Barrow and Dalton’s best singers and performers and some sterling performances from our other talented UVHS students. The adjudicator noted that Laura “had a natural feel for Musical theatre” and felt that “with her talent, she could go far”. Congratulations to Laura and to all who took part in the festival. Laura has received the Headteacher’s WOW! Award.
Our Parent Teachers Association Needs You!
Dear Parents We have thriving parents’ associations supporting Orienteering and Music at UVHS but our main school PTA has been temporarily closed because we have run out of members. I am really keen to kick start the new PTA into life again by recruiting new members. You may be a skilled PTA member from primary school. Don’t let those skills go to waste. We need you, so if you feel Well done to all students who, with the support of their you could contribute please complete parents, are punctual at all times. Your punctuality will serve the slip below and return to the school you in good stead for when you enter the world of work. office for my attention. Yet I feel a moan coming on! I hope you can help. However, we have a lot of students Yours faithfully who habitually arrive at school a few Mr Fay minutes late as was made obvious by ---------------------------------------------------------------------------our recent fire alarm which was a technical malfunction. The behaviour of the students was I would like to be involved in the re-launch of Ulverston Victoria exemplary, but I was concerned by High School’s Parent Teachers Association. the lateness of some and, if I am honest, by the casual attitude Name: ..................................................................................................................................... expressed by the students towards it. Some of whom had just been Parent of: ................................................................................... Form(s): ................... dropped off late by their parents! Please will all parents ensure that their children arrive at Contact Tel No/e-mail: ............................................................................................... school on time? I would be disrespecting the majority of punctual students if I did not ask for compliance from Please return to UVHS Reception - Thank you. everyone.
PTA (Parent Teachers Association)
Memories Page Our Year 11 and Year 13 students will soon be moving on to pastures new and would like to share a few thoughts and memories of their time spent at Ulverston Victoria High School. We wish them every success for the future. My time at UVHS will stay with me for the rest of my life. Recent times for this school have been tough yet I’m proud to be at the forefront of this ever improving school. My most favoured memories are Mr Boyt’s joggers lessons and the skiing trip to Italy. I have to thank this school for giving me the opportunities to achieve the life skills I need to progress into the open world. David 11.3
I have thoroughly enjoyed my seven years at UVHS. I was not that worried when I arrived, and the manner in which we were welcomed assuaged any fears I or anyone else might have had. I was not sure what I wanted to do when I started here, but the enthusiasm and professionalism shown by my teachers has played a big part in helping me decide what to do, and has given me a profound respect for people in the academic profession. Euan 13.5
I joined UVHS 6th Form 2 years ago from Carnforth High School, which was daunting at first, but I soon met everyone and made lots of new friends. There have been some really good points - fancy dress days and, “unwinding” at the socials. Although it’s been fun, the next month of exams will be Over hard work, but hopefully thanks to this 6th form I’m fully the last seven years I During think this High School and Sixth prepared for them and also university next year. my time at UVHS I have Form have been crucial to my Overall I’m glad I came to this 6th form because I’ve made some friends for life. development; both educationally and Throughout my ups and my downs had lots of good times and met some great personally! I have received unwavering support. people. I’ve made many friends who I will I will never forget the good times Sam 13.2 never forget! Natasha 13.2
with them. Rebecca 13.6
School was like a crazy roller coaster of emotions. Like any roller coaster it made me a stronger person. It held many uplifting and inspiring points, like a dandy German trip. The experience was made even sweeter by my exceptional form tutor, Mr Pearson, guiding me through the maze of school life. Like any roller coaster, towards the end I’m feeling sick, and although it was good, I can’t wait to explore the rest of the theme park. Joe 11.1
I have really enjoyed my time as a UVHS student. I feel proud to be part of an ever improving school. My most enjoyable moments have to be the Year 8 French trip and Year 10 and 11 geography lessons. I feel throughout my time at UVHS I have picked up many life skills that will help me progress in the future. Andrew 11.3
I have enjoyed my time at UVHS, despite my ups and downs, as my attitude and attendance didn’t used to be up to standards. That was until I joined the engagement centre when Mrs Butler and Miss Douglas got me back on track for Year 11. I have had a lot of support and help from teachers to get me through my GCSEs. I think that our High School is the best in the country despite the fact that Ofsted put us down as satisfactory. I have really enjoyed my time here and would advise other Junior School students to attend our outstanding school. Jessica 11.1
Ulverston Victoria High School (UVHS) Newsletter May 2009