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Foreword

Wade Deacon High School Goes Global! At Wade Deacon High School, we understand the importance of developing and sustaining global links to enhance curriculum opportunities for our pupils. So, this term, as you will see in our newsletter, we celebrated the Chinese New Year by hosting musicians and dancers from the Confucius Institute at London’s South Bank University, who performed to our pupils and those from our partner schools. India may seem very far away from Widnes, yet our Art, Design, Technology and Drama Departments are working on joint projects with our Indian partner school. Swedish Headteachers and Education officials visited us in February whilst four members of our staff visited Norway as part of the Teachers’ International Professional Development programme. In the future, some pupils will have the opportunity to take part in a pupil leadership programme and visit Serbia, Slovakia or Germany as part of the Connecting Classrooms (Europe) programme. In addition, owing to the recent success of our bid to take part in the French partnership programme: “Inter-Action: sections europeennes and specialist schools”, of which only 50 schools across the country were chosen, we hope to strengthen our links with French schools and families.

Partnerships and Leadership Go Hand in Hand!

Easter Holiday Thursday 31 March – school closes Monday 18 April – school opens Easter Weekend (Public Holidays) Thursday 21 April 2011 – school closes Tuesday 26 April 2011 – school opens Royal Wedding & May Day (Public Holidays) Thursday 28 April - school closes Tuesday 3 May – school opens Tuesday 3 May – PSHE Period 5 Thursday 12 May – Year 7 Parents’ Evening Saturday 21st May – Boost Session Wednesday 25th May – PSHE Period 3 Half Term Holiday Friday 27 May – school closes Monday 6 June – school opens Wednesday 8 – Friday 10 June – Citizenship & Enterprise Days and Year 7 Conway Residential INSET Day Thursday 16 June – school closes Monday 20 June – school opens Saturday 2 July – Gifted & Talented Masterclasses Tuesday 12 July – Sports Day Wednesday 13 July – Arts Evening Friday 15 July – PSHE Period 1 Summer Holiday Friday 22 July – school closes 02

To develop pupils’ leadership skills and qualities is one of our key aims. So, we were delighted when Wade Deacon GCSE pupils officiated in the North West Individual Table Tennis Championships at the Stobart Stadium in Halton. They were a huge success and we are very proud of their professionalism.

A Credit to Our Community! At Wade Deacon High School, we enjoy our partnership with parents to ensure that we have high standards and expectations in everything that we do. We pride ourselves on developing young people who are excellent community role models and citizens. With that in mind, there are many “unsung heroes” at Wade Deacon High School who are superb examples of the young citizens of Widnes. Andrew Lawler, Mark Taylor and Chloe Rolt took part in various treks, hikes and bike rides to raise money for charities whilst Victoria Peck took first place in the category of Community Action for her work for the Kingsway Bike Project. Stephanie Dunne raised an amazing £1,000 for Zoe’s Place, a children’s cancer charity hospice. Also, we are very pleased that Daniel Nelson will receive a Gold Bravery Award sponsored by Merseyside Police for coming to the aid of a senior citizen in Liverpool. At Wade Deacon High School, we are very proud of all our pupils and I think the above examples show just how exceptional they really are!

Mrs P A Wright Executive Headteacher

Mrs J Gormley Head of School

Easter Newsletter 2011 © 2011 Wade Deacon High School. All rights reserved.


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GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM Audiences were thrilled, moved and entertained when pupils from Wade Deacon High School staged “Goodnight Mister Tom” over three nights in the Bridge Theatre on the Peelhouse Lane campus. The play showed, sensitively and movingly, the growing relationship between the abused evacuee William Beech, played by Cameron Molyneux, and the seemingly gruff and grumpy Tom Oakley, played by Matthew Dixon. The young cast undertook their roles with a solid sense of professionalism, commitment and dedication. The joint directors, Drama and English teachers Ms Goulding and Ms Griffiths, commented that the pupils were “a pleasure to work with” and that they were “extremely proud of the high standards they achieved and the way they conducted themselves”.

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International Dimension

LANGUAGE GETS THE ‘WOW’ FACTOR! Pupils from Farnworth Primary have been studying food and drinks that are common in typical French cafés. They have also been studying how to order them. Their first lesson was in the immersive space of the “Wow” room at Wade Deacon where they used the technology to help them remember key vocabulary. The second lesson was about bringing it together and performing role plays in front of the video cameras in the “Green Screen”. Such is the power of the immersive space, pupils experienced waiting in the airport, arriving at a hotel with views over Paris and finally an authentic experience of sitting in a French café and ordering their food. The only thing missing was the smoky atmosphere! The pupils were absolutely buzzing with excitement afterwards and thoroughly enjoyed this new way of learning.

FRENCH FRIENDSHIPS BLOSSOM Wade Deacon has joined the SSAT’s prestigious “Interaction Project” which develops long-term links between French and English schools through cross-curricular projects that involve many departments, new technologies and create a real “buzz” about language learning. Only 50 schools in the country were chosen to participate. The project will initially focus on the cultural differences between French and British pupils’ attitudes to Food and Drink, Health and Fitness. Pen pal links have already been established for Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils with three French schools.

Chloe Dorrian & Bethany Worall

Over 100 pupils are now involved in writing to a French friend on a variety of topics, improving their knowledge of the language as well as their culture awareness. Pupils also have their own website in which to communicate safely with their peers through blogs and videos. The aim in the future is to visit and receive guests from our partner schools to continue these fruitful relationships. Jonathan Rigby & Ciaron Morris

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CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS! To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Wade Deacon hosted a visit from the performers and dancers based at the Confucius Institute at London’s South Bank University. The performance included a traditional Lion Dance to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, traditional folk dancing and demonstrations of tai chi. The audience also enjoyed exciting martial arts displays. As well as performing to Wade Deacon pupils, the group also performed for pupils from Fairfield Junior School, Farnworth, St Bede’s, Lunts Heath and Simms Cross Primary Schools. Assistant Headteacher Mr McGee said “Everyone who had the opportunity to see the performance was impressed by the quality and standard. The pupils particularly enjoyed the fact that they could participate in the tai chi and martial arts demonstrations. Some new skills were both learned and shown!” As part of the ongoing links with China, Consul-General Ni, the regional Chinese Ambassador invited the group, along with members of staff and pupils from Wade Deacon, to his official residence for a private performance followed by dinner. The Consul-General has recognised the excellent work that Wade Deacon undertakes to promote an awareness of Mandarin and Chinese Culture both within the school and across the community.

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SCANDINAVIAN PARTNERSHIPS DEVELOP Four teachers flew to Norway during the February half-term break to look at the Norwegian education system and, in particular, to find out more about the ways in which boys are taught. The visit was organised by the Local Authority as part of the Teachers International Professional Development programme run by the Department for Education. Ms Forshaw, Ms Goulding, Ms McGowan and Ms Evans said that that visit was very worthwhile and offered a different perspective on the way schools systems are organised. They also commented that it was incredibly cold but the scenery was beautiful! Meanwhile a group of Swedish Headteachers and Education Officials visited Wade Deacon to look at how ICT is used across the curriculum in order to support pupil learning. The highlight of their visit was the “Wow” room on the Peelhouse Lane campus where they participated in a lesson using iPods and also learned about how the “Wow” room and its excellent facilities can enhance learning for pupils of all ages.

Pupils had a go at Arabic Dancing

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ROUTES INTO LANGUAGES Year 8 pupils travelled to Bolton University to develop their language skills at the Routes into Languages Language Enrichment Event. The event encourages pupils to continue with their language studies at school and to think about the advantages of learning a new language.

Pupils attended a lecture, took part in an Arabic dance session and completed a taster session in Italian and even learnt to use Italian sign language! The experience was a hit with pupils. Katherine Chandler said ‘I thought Tuesday was good because I liked learning Italian. I would love to learn different languages and it has inspired me to do so.’ Gareth Whitfield agreed; ‘I really enjoyed Tuesday as it was fun and gave us the opportunity to learn new languages that we haven`t yet touched in school. I liked the Italian hand-speaking and the Arabic belly-dancing.’ Wade Deacon High School


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NEW YEAR HONOUR FOR EXECUTIVE HEADTEACHER Executive Headteacher, Mrs Wright, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year 2011 Honours List. Mrs Wright has worked at Wade Deacon High School since 1974 and has held many roles including Head of Humanities Faculty, Deputy Headteacher Curriculum and Headteacher. In 2008 she was asked to lead the federation with Fairfield High School, becoming Executive Headteacher. She was instrumental in developing Wade Deacon High School as a high performing school through a relentless focus upon robust systems for monitoring and evaluating all aspects of teaching and learning, performance management and the tracking of pupil progress and behaviour. Due to the success of Wade Deacon High School she became a National Leader of Education (NLE). In her role as NLE she was asked in January 2010 to take responsibility for Farnworth CE Primary School. She also supports another school in challenging circumstances through Greater Manchester Leadership Strategy and three other schools in the North West Region. She is the Chair of the North West Regional Headteachers Steering Group; on the National Headteachers Group and a member of National Technology Headteachers Steering Group. In all of these roles Mrs Wright works to support other Headteachers in school improvement through sharing good practice. Mrs Wright is delighted to be awarded an OBE; “I am absolutely thrilled to be included in the Queen’s New Year Honours. I feel very privileged to have my work in local and national education recognised in this way.”

FARNWORTH DRAMA

As part of their ‘Theatre in Education’ GCSE Drama module, Year 10 pupils devise and perform work for a Primary School audience, based on a topical issue. Pupils planned and delivered two successful workshops for 30 Year 3 Farnworth pupils. These workshops provided an excellent opportunity for promoting the important skills of Drama, and provided our pupils with a wonderful opportunity to be leaders. Leader of Drama, Mrs Goulding, commented: “It was excellent to see the interaction between Wade Deacon and Farnworth pupils. Watching our pupils develop their skills of leadership and communication was wonderful. The workshops were enjoyed by all, and everyone gained invaluable skills and experience from participating in the workshop.”

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CREATIVE SCIENTIFIC CHALLENGES

Four Wade Deacon pupils entered the Science Olympics at the University of Liverpool. Liam Clieve, Michael Carroll, Ian Larsson and Victoria Waterhouse spent the day problem solving, which involved producing things like accurate clocks, rockets and hovercrafts. They came 1st in the science quiz and finished 4th overall.

Adam Case & Amy Wain

Meanwhile two teams from Wade Deacon competed for the Mond Trophy at Cronton 6th Form College. The competition, named after Widnes born and internationally recognized scientist Robert Mond, gives a competitive edge to the value of working in teams to discover and collect information which a vital skill for all scientists. Challenges include matching up bone structure to the ages of different skeletons and identifying a sample of urine from a diabetic patient by measuring out various chemicals and finding out the absorbency of the solution. The teams came a very close 2nd and 4th respectively. Science teacher Ms Mahoney said “The pupils’ ability to work together in teams to problem solve was impressive, and we are very proud of their achievements.”

Amy Wain, Sam Ellis, Callum Chatfield & Adam Case

MUSIC IN THE COMMUNITY

The School Taiko Drumming and Samba Groups went to Fairfield Infants School to perform to a selection of children from the school. As well as showcasing the talents of some of our drummers, the visit taught pupils from the Infants School about different styles of music. Taiko drumming combines performing rhythms with Japanese Martial Arts Movements. It is designed to be a visual spectacle as well as a musical one and definitely helps to keep you fit! Samba drumming from Brazil is used in big Carnivals like the one held annually in Rio de Janiero. It uses a variety of rhythms combined together on many different percussion instruments ranging from shakers right through to large Surdo Drums. This style of drumming is very energetic and loud to generate a suitable Carnival spirit.

The Year 10 GCSE Music group are currently working towards an exciting composition as part of their coursework. They have been working closely with a Music tutor from Riverside College, David Lloyd Mostyn, to create pieces around the mysterious goings on of Pex Hill. Pupils took a trip to Pex Hill just before Christmas to gain inspiration for their composition and got to talk to the local ranger about all of the different myths and legends surrounding the area. They are now in final stages of completing their compositions as part for the competition. Abigail Anderson said “I think the project is very interesting, I have learnt a lot besides different techniques and styles like the different fantasy stories that we are to base the composition on.”

If you would like to get involved in drumming, our Samba and Taiko groups for all year groups meet on alternate Wednesdays from 3-4pm in room 2 on the PHL Campus. 08

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QUESTION TIME IN WESTMINSTER

Local MP Derek Twigg spent a gruelling half hour under the spotlight as Year 11 pupils questioned him on the issues of the day in a Committee Room at the Houses of Parliament. Pupils asked about the future of Higher and Further Education funding, apprenticeships and routes into politics. The session followed a guided tour of the House of Commons, which even included an opportunity for some pupils to stand at the Prime Minister’s dispatch box and declare what law they would like to pass if they were PM. The 3 day history trip to the capital took in sights as diverse as the medieval chambers of the Tower of London and the engine rooms of the World War II battleship, HMS Belfast. The highlight of the trip for some pupils was St Paul’s Cathedral. Climbing 633 steps to the top of the Cathedral’s iconic dome, they were treated to spectacular views across the City of London. Cultural experiences were also important part of the whirlwind tour of the city. The group enjoyed street performances and fine dining at Covent Garden, and a trip to the Apollo Theatre to see the musical Wicked.

The group with Dereck Twigg MP

Lewis McLarney, Michael Bannerman & Matthew Donnelly

Easter Newsletter 2011

Tower Bridge

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INSPIRED ARTWORK

TATTENHALL ART RESIDENTIAL

21 budding artists from Years 10 and 11 attended the annual Tattenhall Art Residential, working on a literacy theme. Pupils were read out a list of contrasting words such as ‘jagged’ and ‘smooth’ and created complex overlapping lines from which drawings and paintings were made. By Saturday pupils were able to work un-aided creating a sequence of works. The resulting artwork was of an incredibly high standard. Alice Hughes and Lucy Williams said “Tattenhall was a wonderful experience for everyone. We used materials we wouldn't normally get to use in class including graphite, turpentine and oil pastels. Not only this, but we got a fantastic opportunity to spend time with our friends whilst producing a new project towards our art GCSE."

Year 8 pupils have been working with Artist Karen Allerton, on the inspired Responses project, which offers pupils the opportunity to work with a professional artist, and to create an exhibition in which their work is shown alongside that of the artist. The class worked with artist Karen Allerton for two sessions before Christmas. Karen returned six weeks later, to discuss the final results and give individual feedback to the students, to make preparations for the exhibition. Their work was displayed at the Brindley Gallery in Runcorn in February.

Amy Wain

TAIYA ‘SNAPS’ SECOND PRIZE Year 10 pupil Taiya Cartwright beat hundreds of professional photographers to scoop second prize in the architecture category of a Liverpool photography competition. The winning photographs went on exhibition in St George’s Hall in Liverpool, where prints of Taiya’s picture were sold for £50 framed! Competition judges were amazed to discover Taiya’s age and have encouraged her to continue with her photography. The competition, organised by Brabners Chaffe Street solicitors, is raising money for Fairbridge. Working out of 15 centres in the UK, Fairbridge is a national charity supporting young people aged 13-25 to develop the confidence, motivation and skills they need to turn their lives around. 10

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READER’S PARADISE Classes throughout school celebrated World Book Day with a cross-curricular storytelling, where they heard a short section from Roald Dahl’s Man from the South at the start of every lesson. By the end of the day, pupils were rushing to their next class just to hear what would happen next! Miss Griffiths from the English Department said ‘the storytelling was a huge success. This was a fantastic opportunity to promote literacy across the school, and I enjoyed telling the story just as much as the pupils enjoyed listening to it!’ The day was a hit with pupils. Caitlin Borrowman said ‘It helped improve our English skills as we got to read, and some of us even tried using accents!’ Martin Ball said ‘It made me want to go to next lesson!’

Rebecca McGuire & Ben Urquhart

DRAGON’S DEN GROUP BRINGS COMMUNITY TOGETHER Year 8 pupils demonstrated Wade Deacon’s commitment to Community Cohesion by organising an Intergenerational Event following their funding award in November’s “Dragon’s Den” event supported by the Safer Halton Partnership. The pupils’ very impressive pitch won them a £1700 investment from the dragons, including Steve O’Connor, Eddie Stobart CEO and Widnes Vikings owner. The aim of the event was to dispel stereotypes of both young and old people and to show how both could work together to support and enhance their local communities. The pupils worked incredibly hard on ensuring a wide range of community projects were represented at the event.

Halton’s Environmental Health team offered support and advice, particularly on the dangers of underage tattooing. Age Concern outlined their role in the community and were ably supported by representatives from the NHS who were promoting healthy lifestyles and food choices. Halton Housing Trust provided information on their role within the community. Further promotion of healthy lifestyles was undertaken with the inclusion of Wii games whilst members of Wade Deacon’s PE Department devised and ran a set of activities to test reaction times. Members of the Widnes Vikings squad also attended. Halton Community Radio provided a range of background music to reflect the range of ages attending the event. The Year 8 pupils organised a range of skill swap activities showing and promoting the fact that skills can be transferable to a range of situations.

Outside the building were further representatives from the local community. A Fire Engine and Police van were particularly popular, as was the Interactive Outreach Van. Finally the Kingsway Bike Project provided information on repair and maintenance, enhancing the Healthy Lifestyle agenda. The response from the people who visited the event was extremely positive with the vast majority stating that the event was worthwhile and that, if there were to be another one, they would definitely attend. Further information can be found on the group’s website: www.runwidus.org.uk

Chloe Doolan, Catherine Simon, Natasha Carson, Callum Duck, Mark Antrobus & Jake Ineson with PCSO’s Easter Newsletter 2011

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WIDNES VIKINGS GIVE RUGBY A BOOST AT WADE DEACON Widnes Vikings players have become a regular fixture at Wade Deacon as they share their skills with our future rugby stars. Our Year 8 team is in the semi-finals of the North West Cup, while the Year 9 team won the North West Cup in a nail biting final at Broughton Park, Manchester. With seven minutes remaining in the game Wade Deacon were losing 14-6 to St Peter's from Wigan. However, they managed to score two tries to draw level at 14-14 with two minutes left to play. Louis Foster received the ball and ran 60m beating several players to score under the posts with just seven seconds left on the clock to win the game and the trophy. This is the second year running that this team have won NW Cup following last year's 44-0 victory over St John Fisher of Wigan. The professional support will be invaluable as the boys aim for National Final in Wembley. The Vikings have also been providing training to our girls’ rugby teams, particularly the Year 7 and 9 who competed in a Champion Schools Festival held at Wade Deacon in March. The Year 9 girls successfully qualified for the Regional Festival in April. Commiserations go to the Year 7 girls who put up a hard fought battle just to lose out to a golden try. The Vikings have created positive relationships with the pupils and staff at Wade Deacon and we hope to continue this strong link in the future.

BASKETBALL All five year groups competed in the Halton Basketball championships. All were successful and the Year 9 team have progressed into the North West Finals in Liverpool.

Year 9 - North West Champions

FOOTBALL The Year 7A and B teams have played exceptionally well during their first year representing Wade Deacon. They have tried to play exciting passing football at every opportunity and are currently top of both leagues and look set to win both leagues, which would mean that Wade Deacon would retain the Year 7 championships for a second year. The Year 8 football team has scored 38 goals in 5 matches and produced some of the best attacking football seen at Wade Deacon. Meanwhile the Year 9 team has produced some excellent performances this year winning all 3 of their games so far without conceding a goal. The Year 11 squad have played a record number of fixtures this season, reaching the 3rd round of the National Cup and progressing to the quarter finals of Cheshire Cup on the way.

TABLE TENNIS

26 Wade Deacon GCSE PE pupils officiated in the North West Individual Championships at the Stobart Stadium in Halton. All of the pupils increased their predicted score and succeeded in the running of a smooth and successful event. This was the first time any school put forward a full cohort of umpires for a tournament and it was a complete success. Karen Tonge MBE from the Cheshire Table Tennis Association said “Our younger players have been talking about going to Wade Deacon as pupils because of the school’s success in Table Tennis.” Wade Deacon duo Craig Hansbury (Under 13) and defending champion Matthew McCormick (Under 16) will go through to represent Cheshire Schools TTA in The National Individual Championships at Doncaster on Saturday, April 16th. 12

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2011 Easter Newsletter