Spring Newsletter, Week 7

Another busy week with a lot of information to take in. I’m going to keep our reopening plans separate to this because despite all the guidance to share, I also want you to hear about the fab stuff that has gone on in school this week. It can be tricky to remember that we are more than just planning for Coronavirus. Students have again worked hard this week. Many are preparing for online assessments taking place next week. Well done to those who attended an English revision session with our sponsor the University of Liverpool. I appreciate this is not your typical mock series, but as with so many things, our teens have shown their incredible resilience.

Highlights for this week:

Year 9, Ignite Students have been consolidating their Chemistry knowledge of elements, compounds, molecules, mixtures and separation methods. In maths, we have been finding the probability of single events. Congratulations to Malika, Ahmed, Aakash, Ziad and Isaac who were selected to represent us in the Unilever Inspire Programme. Their excellent work in designing and branding a sustainable new product based on natural ingredients for Unilever means they will go on to compete against over 20 schools. We have started work on The Future Food Festival with Farm Urban. Students will study global food issues, explore high-tech urban farming and join in the mission to reconnect people with their food and encourage healthy, sustainable lifestyles. In health, students are looking at the multidisciplinary team and how different health care professionals in the NHS work together for the best patient outcome. In history, we have been focusing on the Battle of the Somme. In enrichment we have continued to explore Gothic design.

Year 10 Students have been completing an online assessment for Physics around conservation of energy. Synergy scientists have extended their knowledge of Photosynthesis to include understanding the factors which limit photosynthesis. In engineering, students have been working on iconic designs, including Concorde, iPhone and Ferrai Daytona. Historians have completed an online assessment on Health and the People and have started looking at the introduction of the Welfare State at the start of the 20th century. In English, students embarked on a new topic ‘Unseen Poetry’ where they were introduced to strategies that will assist them when exploring a poem they’ve never before seen. Students quickly gained confidence with their independent analysis of Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise’ and John Agard’s ‘Flag’. Students also revised their skills for Language Paper 1 Question 2 by analysing language from an extract of Christy Lefteri’s ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’. Special shout out to Bee and Lara for their enthusiastic exploration and analysis of Lefteri’s work.

Year 11 Science students have now finished their course content and are revising in preparation for online mock exams and subsequent assessments for when we are back in school. In maths, students are working on the probability of multiple events. Engineers have been working on the importance of design legislation including CE marking, British standards, ROHs Compliance and WEEE directives. We are continuing with our robotic hexapod challenge set by Autodesk. We are doing design drawings and using generative design to improve and optimise. The image is the excellent work produced by Caleb! Historians have been revising Health and the People and Conflict and Tension . In English, students revised poems from the ‘Power and Conflict’ cluster and explored how to craft a response through examination of a real GCSE response. Special shout out to Lydia and Ruby who have consistently shown active participation in these lessons.

Year 12 Physicist have been working on pair production, annihilation, and starting a new topic on waves. We have been discussing how polarisation of waves links to VR and generating image depth on a VR cave. Mathematicians are studying the kinematics of constant acceleration. Further mathematicians are busy calculating the angle between a line and a plane in three dimensions. Maths for engineering students have been using second order derivatives to find turning points. Programmers are hard at work on their coursework. In criminology, we discussed explanations for why a person may commit crime taking into account, sociological, psychological and biological explanations. Sociologists are analysing research methods with a particular focus on documents, official statistics and how sociology informs social policy. In English, we debated the relationship between the Loman family in ‘Death of a Salesman’ as they explored Linda’s culpability in Willy’s demise, the strained relationship between Willy and his son and what such dynamics represent for society. Special shout out to Farah, Olivia, and Tom for such an interesting discussion. Historians have been studying the First Continental Congress and Henry VIII’s later foreign policy. In health, we explored the management of an acutely unwell patient and the strategy a doctor might take when assessing and treating them.

Year 13. We have been preparing for PPE exams in most subjects this week. Aspiring medics have finished their university prep as most have now completed their interviews. We are focused on clinical knowledge; prescribing medications, common pharmacology and clinical leadership insight sessions. Our year 13 EPQ students gave fantastic presentations via google meet. It was impressive to see how professional the presentations were. We had an amazing talk from Nour about her work to develop a mixed-reality laboratory that can be used to help students to develop their knowledge of required practicals during remote learning. Mia presented her fascinating project looking at the impact of the pandemic on social mobility. Alana presented her research on what influences the choices of eco-conscious shoppers and which changes to consumer behaviour are likely to have the biggest impact on carbon dioxide emissions. Callum presented his original designs for an aquaponic system that could fit onto existing aquaria to turn domestic fish tanks into functioning aquaponic systems. English students continued with their exploration of the epic poem ‘Lamia’ and framed their analysis of the poem around the distinction between love and desire positing that one’s foolishness in confusing desire for love is ultimately what leads the protagonist to their downfall. Well done Daniel, Fathima, and Carter!

Notes for this week:

Summer Exam Results

We have had information this week regarding summer outcomes for years 11 and 13. Normally students receive their results in mid to late August, but this year A-level students will receive their results on 10 August and GCSE pupils will receive theirs on 12 August. Schools will submit grades to exam boards in June and students will receive grades following checks by the exam boards. There are still a number of areas that I am awaiting clarification on and will provide a full update shortly.

  • Next week is National Careers Week. We have lots of content on facebook to support you in talking about careers with your teen. There is also a virtual careers fair you could attend together.
  • Thanks to the JLT for some brilliant resources that have helped us to learn more and be more inclusive.
  • Students in year 10 enjoyed a brilliant session with The Scouse Scientist. Holly, who was previously an NHS Scientist. Holly helped us to apply the real world to our Biology lessons.
  • On Thursday, Yr10 students will do a virtual work experience day. All details will be shared in assembly on Tuesday.
  • If you are in Year 12 or 13 and you are resitting English language GCSE – please don’t forget that your Cambridge IGCSE IS on Monday 1st March at 9am online. Please make sure that you are ready and available from 8.30am.
  • For Ignite only: BAFTA Kids Young Presenter Competition -BAFTA Kids’ Young Presenter Competition: discovering new talent to host content for BAFTA Kids & Teens YouTube channel. http://baftakids.org/competitions/young-presenter-competition-2021
  • Writing Competitions for All Year Groups – This year’s theme is… The Unheard Voices of Conflict: Stories from Around the World. https://www.neversuchinnocence.com/2020-21-competition 
  • The Canterbury Tales Writing Competition 2020/21: Be Careful What you Wish for! Click the link to find out more.

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