The Ecclesbourne School Newsletter, Spring 2014

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Message from the Head Teacher


As we draw to the close of a very long Spring Term it is remarkable how much has been achieved since Christmas. Our new Modern Foreign Languages building is now in the final stages of construction and will be ready for students to move in before the end of the summer term.  It will provide superb modern accommodation for six full size classrooms as well as a smaller Sixth Form teaching room and a large office for the Faculty staff.  For the first time it will be possible to bring all language teaching under one roof and by vacating the ground floor of their current building we will also be able to bring the Humanities Faculty together in A Block, which will be refurbished.  There are real advantages to helping teachers work closely together in this way and, with the Maths Building extension due to be completed in June, Maths and English staff will also be brought together in their own separate accommodation.

The Spring Term is the crucible of the school year when everyone, students and staff alike, are working so hard to ensure that every child achieves their potential in next term’s public examinations. Necessarily this requires a steely focus on the task in hand and real seriousness of purpose. Our Year 11 and Sixth Form students in particular have been very busy. They will be ready for a break now and must re-charge over Easter and enjoy some family time. They will also be determined to get going with revision. The reward for their efforts now will be rich and the summer holiday is long!
You will, I am sure, join me in wishing to congratulate students and staff for the recognition they received in a letter from David Laws, Minister of State for Schools, in January this year. Mr Laws wrote: "It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you on the excellent GCSE performance of your pupils in 2013. The percentage of your pupils achieving five or more A*-C grade  GCSEs, including English and Maths, shows that your school is one of the top 100 performing non-selective state funded schools in England".  The full text of the letter is to be found on our new school website in the "Performance" section.
Setting our strategic objectives and planning how to achieve them is one of the key jobs for the School’s Governors and Leadership Team each summer term.  In preparation for this we are carrying out an in depth survey of parents/carers, staff and students which will be analysed for us by Keele University.  A large sample of parents will receive a detailed questionnaire in our Easter mailing this year and I urge you, if you receive one, to help us make our school even better by telling us what you think we do well and what we could do better.  I will write to all parents/carers later in the school year with the results and details of our plans for the future.
As ever, this is a packed and fun-filled Easter Newsletter. Our students work hard but they know how to play hard too and the range of trips, extra-curricular activities, concerts, competitions and plays they have taken part in is tribute to their energy and commitment and that of their teachers. I hope you enjoy reading about them and wish you a happy and healthy Easter Holiday.

James McNamara
Head Teacher



Congratulations to our Co-Heads for 2014


Sebastian Morrell        Jonathon Foster
    Catrin Preston       Jo Wilkinson     Sonja Wilde     



Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award



On Sunday 3rd February 24 brave students from Year 12 (and Mr Stapley’s 8 year old son) climbed up over Kinder Scout as part of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award training.

They ascended the 950m summit from beside Kinder reservoir heading up across Edale Rocks, onto Kinder Low and Kinder downfall and then back westwards to finish the 10.2 mile trek. We hoped for substantial snow but the mild winter failed to provide and we made do with a few scarce snow drifts on the summit to test our crampons.



All returned safely and in good spirits ready for their expeditions in April, July and then September. The students hope to complete the full award in a year’s time.



Congratulations to


Jake Watts on gaining the Gold Award.

Jake successfully completed two expeditions lasting four days each as well as volunteering at Springwood House Care Home for the past 12 months, playing football for Little Eaton Colts and learning to play the piano. He then spent a week with Norfolk Fire and Rescue undertaking problem solving and leadership tasks and will attend a ceremony to receive the award in the summer.


He should be very proud of his achievements and we are expecting many other students to follow in his footsteps in the next few months.


A Lesson with a difference! 


The first lesson in the new Modern Foreign Languages building took place on April 2nd, two months before the official opening!
Year 11 and Sixth Form students were given a guided tour of the new building. The Contracts Manager and Site Manager from Wildgoose Construction explained the many and varied career pathways in the Construction Industry. Students were surprised to learn that before any building can be built, many types of professions, needing years of study and degree qualifications, are involved in the process and likened the building stage of the process to the tip of an iceberg, with the majority of the work undertaken before the building can be constructed.
All agreed that the new building will be a welcome addition to our facilities and provide students and staff with a first class teaching and learning environment.



Cologne Christmas Markets Trip


Just before Christmas, 44 Year 8 students went on the annual festive trip to the German Christmas markets in Cologne.

After a long coach journey, we arrived in Cologne in the early evening and immediately went for a walk to the Cathedral Square to soak up the atmosphere at one of Germany’s most well-known markets.   A whole host of things are sold, from Christmas decorations to traditional German food and drink and students had a chance to practise their language skills buying from the stalls.


The second day started again at Cologne cathedral, a UNESCO world heritage site. Those who were brave enough climbed 509 steps to the top of the bell tower where wonderful views of the city and the river Rhine could be enjoyed.  Students then had time once again to enjoy the sights and sounds of the markets.

After lunch, we had a visit to the Olympic museum, an interactive space where students could test out their athletic ability and see who has the potential to be the next Usain Bolt!


The day ended with a two hour boat trip up the Rhine on an ‘Advent Cruise’ where our students were invited on to the stage to sing and receive a personal audience with St Nikolaus!

The trip was a real success and the students, as always, were a credit to parents/carers and the school. It was a lovely way to start the Christmas holidays.  Our sincere thanks go to  Mrs DelGaudio, Mr Whittaker, Mr Ingram, Mrs Jackson and Mrs Dawes.




Year 12 Visit to the Zen Buddhist Monastery




Arriving at school for a 6.45am start, the Buddhism trip to Throssel Hole Monastery near Hexham, a practising Soto Zen monastery, was a great success! Although beginning rather eventfully with fog, rain, sleet, snow and mountains to conquer, the day was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
We arrived at about midday, just in time for lunch, and the monks and lay community invited us to join them in their formal meal. This was completely different to what most would normally experience at lunch.  The meal was eaten in silence and with a great deal of respect paid to all other people in the room. Bowed heads, setting up (and washing and clearing away) our own pots at the table was only part of the experience of this meal as rituals and mantras were read around us. Finally, fed and watered, the group was then divided as we split up in order to help wash and clear the pots in the kitchen. Whilst this in itself seems to be a rather mundane task, it gave those helping a proper chance to fully appreciate the lives of the ordained Buddhists living there: Friendly, chatty and helpful, the time passed quickly and the group was soon back to its original 12.  Following this was time for tea, biscuits and questions from both the staff and students. Fully prepped for the Q and A session, questions were flying from all directions as we attempted to better understand the meditation tradition and its ideal of being wholly wise and compassionate. From curiosity about what would lead a person to live the life of a monastic to questions about why they’re allowed to cut down trees if they’ve vowed to ‘abstain from harming any living being’ the answers were both insightful and (hopefully) useful for our fast approaching exams in the summer!
Scheduled in next on our list of things to do was the session on meditation. This involved an explanation of why Buddhists meditate (it seems it is not just escapist but to enhance wisdom, compassion and ‘sunyata’ or emptiness). This was followed by an opportunity for us to try some meditation, which after such an early start was for myself quite challenging but also interesting as the group got a proper chance to fully appreciate meditation and its role within Buddhism. Safe to say, the fact that we were told that it doesn’t matter if thoughts ‘pop into your head’ whilst meditating and to just ‘let them go’ (Buddhists believe in ‘no self’ and ‘impermanence’) was surprising and I think, for a lot of the group, lead us to think initially that we were doing it wrong! However, after being safely assured that this was not the case, we were given a tour of the monastery, visiting their main room of worship seeing Buddharupas, and different areas dedicated to different Bodhisattvas (Buddhas to be; only they have vowed to help all other sentient beings to reach enlightenment before themselves). This was particularly good as the group hadn’t previously had a chance to see or appreciate the beauty that is to be found in this tradition nor question this aspect of their faith.  
Before leaving, the group was given an opportunity to visit the gift shop where Mr James bought yet another Buddha to add to his mighty collection in A7 and the monks gave us some trees to take with us back to school.  The day was both insightful and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Leaving Throssel Hole fed and watered (literally and metaphorically after our Q and A session) we were all ready for our long trip back to Derby, and the curry that we knew awaited us there.
Granted, the trip wasn’t quite what we expected it to be when we left that morning but it was certainly memorable and fun, with a humorous group of people that made for a well enjoyed day all round.  Undefeated by the weather, travel sickness, tofu or brick walls (don't ask!), the day was a great success, one that we would definitely recommend and certainly do again given the opportunity.  All that remains to be said now, is a big thank you to Mr James and Mrs Owen-Moore for taking us all and braving the eight hour mini bus ride it took to get us all there and back in a day.
Jade Roberts and Miriam Lewis


Year 7 Trip to the RSC


For many years, the whole of Year 7 has been taken to see a theatrical production at the start of the Spring Term.  This year two cohorts descended on Stratford, one before and one after half term, to see the RSC’s production of ‘Wendy and Peter Pan’.  The trip provides a valuable stimulus for the review competition.  Here is one enthusiastic response by Sophie Watkins of 7C.


‘Two coaches loaded with excited Year 7 students escaped from Ecclesbourne School on Thursday 13th February and they travelled to Neverland.


Wendy and Peter Pan is about a girl called Wendy who lost one of her three brothers.  After Tom died, Wendy’s parents started to argue.  Wendy had seen Peter Pan’s shadows take her dead brother’s body away.  She went out on a huge adventure to find little Tom.  Wendy ends up fighting Hook and his crew.  In the end Tom becomes a Lost Boy and Wendy convinces her family to get over their Lost Boy and just to be happy.  WOW, what a show!


My favourite moment was when Wendy and Tiger-Lilly fought Hook and his crew because it shows that girls can be just as strong as boys, as the girls were the ones that saved Peter Pan!  My favourite character was Tinkerbell because she was nothing like how you expected a fairy to look and act, she wore a frilly pink and sparkly tutu with bovver boots and she was funny and moody.  I also liked Tiger-Lilly who wore a wooden chest plate and carried swords.  She was strong and never gave up.


A projector was used in the pirates’ scene to make the floor look like the sea and smoke was used for mist.  In one scene the floor lifted up to show the characters were underground and cables were used to lift them off the ground when they flew.


All in all I thought Wendy and Peter Pan was an amazing show.  I loved it and would recommend it to anyone!  The show was directed and written by Ella Hicks but the original book was written by J M Barrie.  The show was like a star in the heavens.  Amazing, alluring, glimmering!


Students are encouraged to present their reviews in an imaginative and creative 3D format to be judged in the week before Easter.  Winning entries  will then be displayed in the cabinets at the main entrance.’



Mr Whittaker does the Cha-Cha-Cha with Anton Du Beke at British Airways head office  



On the 30th January 2014 year 10 and 11 GCSE Leisure and Tourism students were invited to a ‘’ workshop at British Airways head office near London Heathrow Airport.

Delivered by Suzanne Newell, BA's Community Learning Manager, the workshop was designed to educate students about and how it benefits the BA business. Students were able to explore the way technology has, and is, influencing the airline booking process. Both students and teachers were surprised to learn that 50,000 people visit the BA website every day and 22% of the traffic comes from a mobile



On another note, The Ecclesbourne School were not the only special guests at the BA office. On a tour around the site we bumped into two celebrities; Kirstie Allsopp from Channel 4’s "Location, Location, Location" and Anton Du Beke from BBC 1’s "Strictly Come Dancing"! The celebrity pair where representing Red Nose Day 2014 and held a fundraising competition. Mr Whittaker and Will Goodwin (11D) took to the stage for the Cha-Cha-Cha with Anton, Kirstie and some of the BA employees!



After lunch, students were asked to plan and present their own suggestions for the BA website, and Suzanne and the team were very complimentary about our students’ energy, superb ideas and professionalism. She commented:

"Thank you for sharing your students with me for the day, it was really fun! I am very impressed with the work ethic and behaviour of the students and feel they represented The Ecclesbourne School really well. I hope they've gained some valuable inside knowledge of how we work here at BA and look forward to welcoming your students back in the future."



Music Events


We have never ceased to be amazed by the talent of our students and this year is no exception.

On Thursday, 6th February 12 Stars in Your Eyes finalists took to the stage for a memorable evening of entertainment. 

Judges Mr Atkinson, Mrs Bell, Mrs Boyd and Mr Whittaker had the very difficult task of choosing the winners and after much deliberation Daniel Shaw and Charlie Hill (Bruno Mars 'When I was your man') took first place; Elliot Moule (Ed Sheeran 'You need me, I don't need you') came second and Shannon Akers (Adele 'Turning Tables') was placed third.



Climbing Club Success


Following on from Jack Ramsden’s success at climbing and given the enthusiasm of the pupils that attended Outward Bound last October the Ecclesbourne Climbing Club has been started.
Each week pupils from year 7-11 have spent 90mins at Alter Rock being taught how to climb safely indoors.



Oliver Morgan, Finn Hope, Oliver Dixon, Gemma Leslie and Josh Rogers have passed Level 1 of the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme.

Luke Pritchard, Diago Jan, Ben Martinsmith, Joseph McDermott, Natalie Rhule, Hannah Barnden, William Thelwall, Finn Spencer-Keane and Struan Caughey have successfully completed Level 2.

This is a fantastic achievement given the short amount of time that most have been climbing.



UK Team Maths Challenge


On Wednesday 26th February we sent 4 students to the UK Team Maths Challenge held at Swanwick Hall School. This is a national competition for years 8 and 9 where the teams compete in mathematical challenges against other teams from within the region.   Activities include crossnumbers, maths challenge relay races and a group competition where they must decide whether to work individually or in pairs to answer as many questions as possible.
Our team was placed 3rd out of 26, thus gaining a bronze award in the competition. The students were Myles Hung, Joe Leckie, Colette Carter and Cameron Waters.



House Captains 2014



Shannon Akers, Laura Barry, Katie Burke, Luke Clark, Imogen Cresswell, Rebecca Ellis, Katie Everton, Nathan Harries-Wood, Ross Kenworthy, Jemima Rex, Cameron Wells, Archie Wride.


Matt Clissold, George Collier, Emma Ford, Ashley Gratton, Ben Hex, Lucy Mabbitt, Ella Page, Hamish Rigg, Joe Shaw, Naomi Slade-Walker, Lucy Thwaites, Lara Wisdish.



Isobel McParland, Lewis Raynor, Shannon Moore, Eve Oliver,  Theo Frixou,  James Bray, Ella Winfield, Ryan Diston,  Mo McMorrow,  Eve Farnsworth,  Jade Church,  Felix Mackenzie-Barrow.


Iona Vaughan,  Charlie Kavanagh,  Emily Hamilton,  Louis Greatorex,  Rowena Rowland,  Charlie Daniells,  Olga Kondrashova,  Charles Evans,  Polly Wilkinson, Sam Woolands,  Hannah Currier, Joe Martin.


Sporting Successes


Congratulations to the Year 7 Netball Squad who became County champions on Tuesday 25th March

They won all of their section games with ease, playing verty good netball.  In the semi-finals they came up against an equally competent side from Chellaston School, but won 5-0.  In the finals they beat Littleover School 4-1.

The girls should be very proud of the standard of netball they played throughout the tournament and the progress they have made throughout the year.


and also to

Laura Bailey, Hannah Davey, Betsy Rowett and Chloe King who won the County Round of the Schools Badminton Cup and then went on to represent Derbyshire in the East Midlands Schools Championships, held at Loughborough University on Tuesday 11th March 2014.  

The girls played some excellent badminton and finished in joint first place.   They narrowly missed out on going forward to the national Championships on a games count back.  This was an excellent result consdering that two of the girls are only in Year 7.



The Student Council has just taken part in a Derbyshire Youth Council initiative called ‘The Big Vote’.  Students campaigned in school to be elected as the school’s Derbyshire Youth Council representative to attend meetings with Derbyshire students of all ages to discuss important changes in their local area.


Current Student Council members Sophie Dainty (8S), Will Abbott (9L) and Oliver King (10R) were nominated to enter this competition and worked incredibly hard to promote themselves over the last few weeks. This involved presentations in assemblies, for which they were praised for by staff and students. The whole school then took part in voting on ballot papers for their preferred candidate and the votes were sent off to Derbyshire County Council to be counted and verified.


The results evening was on Thursday 19th March at County Hall, Matlock and Will was elected to represent Ecclesbourne.

Many congratulations to all the candidates for a brilliant campaign and good luck to Will in his new role.




Beth Shalom


In February Year 9 students visited Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre.   It means ‘House of Peace’ and it’s the only National Holocaust centre in the country.  Opened in 1995, it  is a museum where people can learn about the Holocaust.   


On the way in you walk through the Memorial Gardens where you can place a stone in remembrance of all the people who lost their life in the Holocaust. There are lots of memorials to look at; the one which meant the most to me was the ‘Abandoned’ one because I understand how horrible it feels to lose a member of your family or a friend.  I think that the reason the building encourages you to think about individuals is because most people have lost one person in their life so we must think about how awful it would be to lose all of our family.
There is also an exhibition to look around where you can learn about why innocent people were being killed.  We were fortunate to meet a survivor of the Holocaust, hear their story and ask questions about how they miraculously survived.
I think that everyone should be educated in this subject because it makes you think about how lucky you are and visiting Beth Shalom is a good way to do it.  
Laura Bailey 9L



Year 9 Mock Trial Competition



On Saturday 15th March, a group of thirteen Year 9 students from Ecclesbourne School competed in the regional heats of the Mock Trial competition organised by the Citizenship Foundation.  In the wonderful setting of Derby Magistrates’ Court, Ecclesbourne were matched up against Rushcliffe School.  All of our students acquitted themselves magnificently well.  The winner of the regional heat was announced by Derbyshire’s High Sheriff, Mr. Derek Mapp and Ecclesbourne emerged victorious!  Mr Mason and his team were delighted with the result and were grateful to Mrs Carol Burtoft and Mr and Mrs White, the event organisers from Derby Magistrates Court, for putting on the event.
Mr Mason said, "The whole event has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to develop their public-speaking skills and pit their wits against other schools.  The case really captured the students’ imaginations and they all performed admirably on the day.  The moment at which the winning school was announced was a proud moment and I think that the whole team deserve credit for the dedication that they have shown to this extra-curricular opportunity.  The support from parents on the day really added to the feel-good factor and positive atmosphere: the smiling faces at the end made everything worthwhile. We now look forward to the next round!"



Lower School Spoken English Final


On Thursday 13th March 2014, Ecclesbourne held its Lower School Spoken English Competition Final.  Thirteen students from Years 7 and Year 8 recited a poem by rote before an audience of around 400 students before delivering a speech that they had penned themselves.  This year, the topic was "Reasons to be Cheerful for an Ecclesbourne Student in 2014".  All of the finalists should be congratulated for their terrific confidence, originality and flair: the audience were very appreciative of their efforts, providing a warm reception for all of the speakers.
Mr Partridge and Mrs Bailey judged the final and after much deliberation, the following students achieved their place in the top three:

                                                  1st : Matthew Harris (8N)



                  2nd: Emily Pearce (7C)                                      3rd: Charlie Spurr (8R)



Mr Mason and the rest of the English Department would like to thank all of the students in Year 7 and 8 for taking part in this year’s competition, to commend them for the high standard of public-speaking shown and finally, to congratulate all of the competitors for their efforts in this long-established Ecclesbourne tradition.



Science Live 


Forty-five Year 10 triple science students journeyed to Sheffield on the 4th March to attend the Science Live event  at Sheffield City Hall.

The students saw a variety of presentations ranging from genetic engineering of the future to identifying sun spots and how to become millionaires using technology in Science. They thoroughly enjoyed the experience and even received some exam preparation advice.

Emma Williamson (10S) commented,  "I found Lord Robert Winston’s lecture particularly interesting and enjoyed the whole experience. I came away having learnt something."
Laura Moody (10F) was equally enthusiastic, "Going to Science live was really interesting and enjoyable. Every one of the talks was very educational."


The most famous speaker was Lord Robert Winston, author  and  presenter of TV programmes on child development.




Tickets £35.00 per head, includes welcome cocktail, 3 course meal, live entertainment and disco.

Either reserve full table of ten with a £100 deposit or purchase individual tickets at full price (£35.00 per head).

To book please contact Mrs Karen Borrington at the School.




Dipping into the Past
Chatsworth 2014

Thursday 3rd April was an eventful day for Year 10 GCSE Double Award Leisure and Tourism students as they ‘dipped into the past’ at one of Britain’s most iconic historic landmarks; the Chatsworth House Estate.


The day consisted of a private guided tour of the house before being opened to the public.  Over 30 rooms were visited; the magnificent Painted Hall, regal State Rooms, newly restored Sketch Galleries and the beautiful Sculpture Gallery.

After lunch in the farmyard café, students had the afternoon to explore the 105 acre gardens including the 300 year old Cascade and huge maze. Later in the day they enjoyed spending time around the farmyard & adventure playground before returning to the coach.

A special thanks to Mrs Hayes for accompanying students on the visit which allowed them to gather research material in preparation for coursework.



Senior Spoken English Final


The Senior Spoken English Competition Final provided Year 12 with an entertaining and thought provoking afternoon on Thursday 20th March.  It was a welcome break from the rigours of A Level study, for the audience at least, and an opportunity to celebrate the talent, courage and oratorical skills of some of our sixth from students.


Eleven students participated in the event, whittled down from twenty-one in the semi-final.  In the first round we were treated to a lively selection of poetry recitals, ranging between  W B Yeats to Roald Dahl.  Tellingly, all students chose their own pieces, eschewing the prescribed anthology!   The second round required contestants to deliver a short speech entitled ‘If only I’d known …’.  The range of subject matter, tone and style of delivery ensured a rapt audience and generated much laughter and applause.  All eleven finalists acquitted themselves with great aplomb creating a difficult job for the judges, Mrs Walton and Mrs Bell. 
Their final decision was:


           Olga Kondrashova (1st)      Archie Wride (3rd)        Ellie Hopley (2nd)


Many congratulations to those three who will now deliver the orations on September’s Prize Giving Day.

The remaining finalists – Lewis Raynor, Emily Ward, Robin Allen, Stan Clifford, Sam McKenzie, Will Goddard, Jamie Cameron and Polly Wilkinson – deserve praise too for their valuable contribution to a very enjoyable afternoon and another success in the long tradition of Spoken English at Ecclesbourne School.



Community Ambassadors


Sixth Form office are proud to announce the appointment of a new team of Community Ambassadors. This year saw more student interest in the scheme than ever before.  The quality of applications was outstanding, making some very tricky decisions!  All students should be praised for their wish to get involved with this initiative.  Our congratulations go to the outstanding Year 12 students, who were selected from eighty five applicants.

Community Ambassadors have the crucial role of representing the school in the world beyond Ecclesbourne.  From leading school tours, representing youth voice at the Appletree Medical Centre, hosting community tea parties or making weekly visits to local care homes, the Community Ambassadors do a wonderful job of donating their valuable time and energy to community causes.  It is an absolute delight that such a large proportion of our Sixth Form are willing to invest their time in the wider school community and further afield, into Duffield and Milford. If you see someone proudly wearing a ‘Community Ambassador’ badge on their lapel, please congratulate them – they are doing wonderful work.




Staff in the Spotlight


Stephen Cocking     -     Facilities Manager


Eighteen months after leaving school I decided it was time to broaden my horizons and join the Army.  That journey took me all over the world, to parts I would never want to revisit again and to places that will hold great memories forever.
I have many memories from my 24 year career and made many friends.  Two highlights that will standout for me during my time in the Army are reaching the rank of Warrant Officer Class One (highest rank possible for a Non-Commissioned Officer, which is only achieved by 2% of people in the British Army) and receiving The Queen’s Commendation for Bravery award in the New Years Honours List, following an operational tour of duty in Northern Ireland.
During my career I took on many roles including that of a Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, which equates to a Facilities Manager in civilian terms. This post was one in which I thrived and decided  to pursue on leaving the Army.
I feel privileged to be working alongside enthusiastic colleagues here at Ecclesbourne School to create a positive and pleasant environment in which students can excel.  Maintaining the school's high standards both in and out of the classroom is something I consider paramount and will thoroughly embrace.



Geography - Iceland Field Trip



Geography field trips are made or broken by the weather and good weather made this trip the best of the three biennial visits that Ecclesbourne has made to Iceland. It did not, however, look like it was going to be this way when we landed bumpily in a gale at Keflavik and were ‘blown away’ in the Blue Lagoon in more ways than one! After the geothermal pools we went on to our first hotel in Reykjavik and a cold and windy visit to the pizza restaurant.



After that blustery first night, each day the weather just got better and enhanced our appreciation of the fantastic alien landscape that is Iceland.

Our four day journey across the southern part of the island took us, on the first day, to Thingvellir at the heart of the Mid Atlantic Ridge (Iceland is the only place it can be seen on land) allowing us to stand one moment on the tectonic plate to which North America is attached and the very next on our own Eurasian plate.  In Iceland wherever you look there are volcanoes and volcanic activity and we were all impressed by the eruption of the Strokkur geyser, but the highlight of the afternoon was the massive double waterfall Gulfoss still partly frozen by the winter cold.  (During the summer ice melt it carries more water than Niagara!).  Tired and slightly windblown we arrived at our second hotel for a hearty meal and after an evening lecture on Icelandic plate tectonics, a good night’s sleep, but no Northern Lights.

Day two took us past the now quiet Eyjafjallajokull , but we were reminded of its awesome power by a visit to the recently opened Volcano Visitor Centre.   As something of a ‘volcano man’ this kind of stuff is usually the highlight of the trip for me, but not this year.  The remainder of the second day and day three were spent in the realms of ice caps and glaciers and I have no superlatives to describe what we saw – icebergs calving off Vatnajokull (Europe’s largest icecap); grey seals on Jokulsarlon and the unbelievable experience of the black sand Atlantic beach littered with hundreds of icebergs in a slow, beautiful state of melting.  With clear stary skies we were also able to glimpse the Aurora Borealis on both nights.



Our final day was a long journey back to Reykjavik, with stops at the black sand beach at Vik (a time for philosophical thought, sitting on the brooding basalt columns looking out towards Antartica). This beach was made famous in the film Beowulf and Grendle. Next on to Skogafoss waterfall used as a backdrop in Thor II and passing along the road used for the skateboard scene in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, having already seen the waterfall used in the opening scene of Prometheus we can relive many of our experiences in years to come through the kindness of Hollywood. Nearing Reykjavik, we went back to the volcanoes for our final experience, caving in a lava tube (no longer occupied!).

Having returned to our first hotel we had a brilliant meal at ‘HAMBORGARAFABRIKKAN’ (the Hamburger Factory) and an early night set us up for our long day’s journey back home.



Year 9 Trip to Paris


In February half term a group of 44 year 9 students departed Duffield for a three day trip to France. It was a jam-packed itinerary and we managed to soak up most of the main attractions in Paris, as well as Disneyland!
The first day saw us travel overnight through the Eurotunnel, arriving in France early next day.  Our first stop was the beautiful Palace of Versailles, where we  saw the famous ‘ Hall of Mirrors’ where the Peace Treaty that ended World War One was signed in 1919and explored the gardens. We then went back to our hotel and settled in for the night.
Day two was a whole day in Paris. Starting at the Louvre, we were able to see famous works of art such as the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, as well as the glass pyramid that adorns the museum itself. After quickly grabbing lunch at McDonald's (not exacty French cuisine), we then began a lovely walk up the Champs Elysees to see Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe.


With the weather deteriorating, we were glad of the cover at our next activity- a boat trip up the river Seine. From the boat we were able to see all the main attractions of Paris, including the Musee d’Orsay and Notre Dame. After a relaxing journey, we then went to a local restaurant where we were able to try ‘Flams,’ pizza-style breads from the Alsace region. They had varying reviews!
The evening was reserved for what most of us had been waiting for- a trip to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower at night. The views were spectacular and although the journey up was nerve-racking for some, everyone agreed that the experience and the view from the top was not to be missed.
Day three had everyone excited from the minute we woke up- it was Disneyland day! Getting into the park early, we had the whole day to visit both the main park and the studios, experiencing rides such as ‘Thunder Mountain’ and the ‘Tower of Terror.’  I’m not sure how much French was spoken to Micky Mouse, but it was an amazing day and enjoyed by everyone. In the evening we had dinner at ‘Planet Hollywood’ before returning to see the fireworks show over the Disney castle. Magical!
Our final day was just as jam packed as the others and before we returned to Calais, we took the coach to Montmartre where we went to see the beautiful  Sacre Coeur. The view over Paris was fantastic (if a bit misty) and students really impressed us in the café with their willingness to order crêpes and drinks in French- well done!
Once again, Ecclesbourne students were a joy to take away and a pleasure to spend time with on the trip. A big thank you has to go to Mrs Ourabi, who took over the running of the trip in lieu of Mrs Farina, Mrs Bell, Miss Hobart, Mr Whittaker and Mrs DelGaudio. We had a fantastic time!



Sixth Form Charities

March 20th was a brilliant date for us as business group! An amazing quiz evening, in which parents and staff came along to participate in over 80 questions, of various themes & difficulties that had occurred over both the past year until present. Sport, News, science, politics, geography, religion, and art were just a few of these topics that grabbed the whole audience’s attention. "It really made you think about the questions twice, before you rushed in to an answer." – One parent stated delightfully. The event took place within the Sixth Form Centre, which we felt created a calming pleasant atmosphere for music, and for our lovely hosts, Alice Vincent & Simon Marshall to be heard, when reading out our questions.      
The evening itself had taken over four weeks to prepare, "Borrington’s Barmy Army" worked well with the selling of tickets, wine, and raffle tickets to ensure we achieved our goal of £500 for our chosen charities. (British Heart Foundation, and Headway, which are both extremely beneficial charities for the well-being of both young and old generations. We felt that this was something close to the school with regards to previous incidents that had occurred in the past.) On the evening, we beat this goal, and actually gained £600 with everybody’s kind contributions. The food preparation, table arrangements and decorations were all prepared within the group, using our start-up capital, and many lessons of planning weeks in advance. Roles were dedicated fairly, to ensure that we worked hard as a group, and making sure that any problems were distributed evenly also.
Overall the evening was a huge success! – The winners of the quiz (Staff table) who called themselves NO OFSTED ALLOWED as their team name were excellent in answering the questions with a pinch of salt. Petra Owen said: "The evening was such a funny evening, with everything you would possibly need on a Thursday evening!"

On the 28th of March 2014 our Year 13 business group hosted a ‘Cheese and Wine’ evening in the Sixth Form Centre to raise money and awareness for The ‘Teenage Cancer Trust’. 
We invited the parents and friends of all students to attend and were able to sell 15 tables of 6 people to fill up the centre; as a result of this we purchased a variety of cheese and wines from the local farm shop ‘Croots’. Through careful planning we were able to ensure that there was minimal cheese and wine wasted, auctioning off for further profits. In addition, we held a quiz during the evening to ensure that those attending were entertained and satisfied throughout; prizes of both a luxury Thornton’s Easter egg and a bottle of wine of choice were presented to ‘Table 9’ who came in first place.
We are happy to report that the evening was a great success, raising over £1,000 for The ‘Teenage Cancer Trust’.   A representative of the charity will be presented  on Monday 7th April in sixth form assembly.

21st March was also a brilliant date on the school Calendar for 2014. The business group, otherwise known as "Borrington’s Barmy Army", ran the event by firstly measuring the route that both teachers, and staff and students all took part in, to raise more awareness for the well deserving charity, which helps to raise money for those most affected by poverty and other issues within the UK and across the globe.
The event itself was a massive success in raising over £2000 for the charity, with the sponsored mile, and other events which ran throughout the day, such as the "Tug of war", Cake sales, and dressing up! The sport relief mile was carefully planned out with the hard work of the group, to make sure it was conned off, measured, and tested. In order that things ran smoothly, we made sure that everyone’s forms were allocated to half of the group, and the other half made sure that the safety of the people participating was paramount.
Overall the day was a success, and many forms within lower and upper school took part, helping to raise even more money on the day. After the event took place, the next job was counting all of the money that we had worked so hard to raise!



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The Ecclesbourne School · Wirksworth Road · Duffield, Derbyshire DE56 4GS · United Kingdom

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