We set off from Ecclesbourne at ridiculous o’ clock on 26th October and began our travels to Albeit. The journey on the Eurotunnel made our blood boil and steam come out of our ears, but it was worth it when we took our first breath of French air and began to take in the beautiful surroundings in bright sunshine. The journey was long and tedious as many journeys are but we finally arrived in France.
Activities during our stay included going up the Eiffel Tower (the structure is so stunning and breathtaking) and going to Parc Asterix, which in my opinion was the best and most exhilarating as I had never been on rides before. We also went to Montmartre and The Louvre.
I had a great time and I know everybody else who went on the trip did too. It was really worthwhile and we learnt a lot.
Archie Playdon (8S)
Year 8 Quiz
The annual Year 8 Quiz had all Year 8 students pitting their wits against each other during form time on Prize Day. This was followed by an Inter-Form Challenge Quiz for the chance to represent the School at the Midlands heat of the KidsLit Quiz held in Coventry in November. Two teams of boys competed in a hotly contested competition coming in 14th and 19th place amongst 32 teams from all over the Midlands.
The buzz in a room of literary minded students has to be felt to be believed and as the organiser of the world event, Professor Wayne Mills, frequently says “the sport of reading can be just as demanding as other exercise!”. Congratulations to Joe Leckie, Mr Mason and Mrs Smith who all won spot prizes during the event.
As members of the SSAT (Specialist Schools and Academies Trust), Ecclesbourne had the opportunity to gain a Specialism Quality Mark, based on the work already undertaken in our specialist subjects.
In order to gain this accreditation we were required to compile evidence of how our subjects achieve the current standards and why, in many cases, we are transforming and leading in this area of our work.
The assessor met with staff and students and we received superb feedback, which made specific comments on our staff and students and the general feel of the school.
As a result of the verification visit on 22nd July 2013 Ecclesbourne School has been awarded the Specialism Quality Mark at the highest level of Transforming and Leading in Two Specialisms, Technology and Arts.
It was said that the evidence presented by the school, staff members and students was comprehensive, clearly indicating how the specialist areas have an invaluable impact on whole school development , contribute to learning in local schools and the wider community and, most importantly, stimulate excellent pupil engagement, achievement and enjoyment.
This is a significant achievement in these two areas of excellence and our success will be recorded and displayed within a database on the SSATUK website.
A huge thank you to all staff and students involved.
Mrs Barson, Leading Edge Co-ordinator 2012 to 2013
To climb, to challenge to endure... and then to write about it.
Author Matt Dickinson was the first of several guest authors we plan to host over the year. Matt started his career working with the BBC and has made films for the Discovery Channel in all sorts of challenging environments.
Sixth Form students were treated to his first-hand account of climbing Everest and all that such a gruelling expedition entails. His pictorial account (including frost-bitten fingers) showed what an inhospitable challenge the mountains present and there was so much information in Matt’s talk it was easy to understand why 70% of the fatalities which occur happen on the descent and not on the way to the top!
Matt also talked to Years 7 and 8 about his "Mortal Chaos" series of books for young people. These are significant in that they happen in real time and have concise chapters. Perhaps this is an author bringing a film-maker’s discipline to writing? There were certainly plenty of students keenly queuing up to buy his books when the hour was up.
Finally, during the afternoon, Matt worked directly with the Year 11 Creative Writing Group offering them hints and tips and strategies to improve their own writing.
This year we visited Brussels, Strasbourg and Rheims looking not only at how Europe influences British business but also the process of parliamentary debate.
In Brussels we attended the European commission and Bank to look at the development of Europe and the new member states as well as the opportunities and threats to British business. Brussels also offered the opportunity to try the Belgian cuisine and see the ever changing face of this busy multicultural city. We can thoroughly recommend the Hard Rock Café in the La Grand Place.
At the parliament in Strasbourg we were able to listen to interesting discussions of policies on infrastructure development and protecting the name of existing products from new entries to the wider Europe. A talk from the education team and Roger Helmer helped students to have a better grasp of our place in Europe. Infrastructure changes influenced all our journeys and the improvements to the road systems will be fantastic when they are finished, supporting businesses trading across the whole of Europe.
It’s been a typically busy and exciting term in the Sixth Form with the highest number of UCAS applications ever processed in one session, including 14 applicants to Oxford and Cambridge Universities. We wish all of our Year 13 students our very best for the gruelling selection process.
We were delighted to welcome Dr Snowden, Dr Wilkinson and Dr Nandwani who put our medical and dentistry school applicants through their paces in preparation for medical school interviews. We are always looking for professionals and experts from a variety of disciplines to support our students in this way, with a range of post 18 plans, including applying for apprenticeships, so if you know of anyone who would be able to offer their services, please do get in touch with Mrs S DelGaudio, Head of Year 13.
In November we received the wonderful news that The University of Oxford have accredited us with being one of England’s top 20 Sixth Forms for 2013 against two measures; Average Point Score (APS) and Average Point Score per Entry (APE). Of course, we knew just how well all of our students achieved in the summer but external verification is always welcome.
Other events this term have been equally successful; from the House Plays to the opportunity to provide a service to the local community provided by the Community Tea Party. Our Sixth Form students continue to thrive and energise us all.
Afternoon of Festive Cheer went down a Tea
Tea, biscuits and lashings of good cheer were enjoyed by all on the afternoon of Tuesday 3rd December at Ecclesbourne’s annual Christmas Tea Party. Hosted by Mrs Bell and her team of fantastic Community Ambassadors, consisting of: Leah Hollingsworth, Alice Vincent, Beth O’Driscoll, Amy Williams-Marshall, Oliver Eley, Nathan Cooper, Becky Crowley, Becky Wilkinson, Abby Close, Simon Marshall, Jade Roberts, Chris Handley, Victoria Wan and Hannah McIntyre, preparations for the afternoon had begun weeks earlier; with our refreshment station overflowing, an array of snazzy table decorations and hearts full of festive tidings, we flung open the doors at 2.30 pm and were delighted with a record breaking turn out of over forty five guests.
However, the afternoon would not have been the resounding success that it was without the superb entertainment supplied by Miss Softley and a range of Ecclesbourne students. From the Chamber Choir’s gracefully beautiful performance of “Sing Lullaby”, showcasing an excellent solo from Becky Wilkinson, to Max Raynor’s, Felix Mackenzie- Barrow’s and Sam McKenzie’s cheeky yet sublime rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s “Pretty Lady”, the entertainment of the afternoon was top-notch. A huge thank you goes out to the performers: Amanda Bonsall, Polly Wilkinson, Emma Ford, Jess Lawley, Ellen Horner, Becky Wilkinson, Lucy Mabbit, Sarah Berry, Katie Young, Ella Hernon, Alex Smith, Ella Page, Jenny Davies, Millie Butcher, Jemima Rex, James Antonov, Ben Watts, Max Raynor Felix Mackenzie-Barrow and, without doubt, to the brilliant Miss Softley who put together the excellent repertoire for the afternoon.
Ecclesbourne Community Ambassadors would like to thank all our guests for attending our festive tea party and warmly invite you to attend our next event, which will take place in the summer term.
With best wishes for a wonderful Christmas from Mrs Bell and the Community Ambassadors.
Year 11 Young Enterprise Company
This year, OMNIA, a Year 11 Young Enterprise company headed up by Alex Chapple have undertaken a variety of activities including football competitions, organising a party, catering for parents evenings and selling candy canes. The catering business has been a particular success with tea coffee and refreshments being sold at every parents evening and at a number of other events such as house plays. Students have used the school canteen to sell refreshments and food to parents and have really shown some excellent enterprise ability.
Leisure and Tourism students brave The Smiler at Alton Towers
On Monday 7th October 2013, Year 10 and 11 GCSE Leisure and Tourism students departed at 9.00am sharp for Alton Towers Resort.
After the short journey to Alton students were taken directly to the Education Centre for two 45 minute talks on Customer Service and Marketing. Following this the Year 10 students were free to explore the park to gather information for their coursework while Year 11 students prized themselves away from Rita and Thirteen to attend a talk on business operations in preparation for their end of year exam.
The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all - roller coasters, getting soaked on the water rides, eating at the many restaurants, more roller coasters and constantly unwinnable games. The weather proved to be in our favour throughout and everyone dried off quickly from the water rides! There were those who spent the day running between all the main rides over and over again and others who wandered around at a more leisurely pace.
The trip certainly showed we have many daredevil students who are not scared by rides such as Oblivion, Rita or Smiler!
The textiles department has held a Year 10 Christmas competition to design and make a quality piece of bunting.
The winners are: Debbie Macnab, Emily McIlroy, Rosie Blenkinsop, Lydia Edwards, Becky Corby and Kyla Fenton
On behalf of the PSFA I would like to thank everyone who came along and supported our events throughout 2013; an incredible total of around £9000 has been raised for use within the school.
Over the year the PSFA have supported a variety of school activities, including furnishing of the new sports facility and reception area; prize day books; dress making mannequins; Duke of Edinburgh expedition camping equipment and riding team saddle cloths.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the PSFA for their on-going hard work. As well as spending a lot of time planning and running the social events they also support Parent's Evenings and provide bar services at numerous school events throughout the year. A lot of the work is behind the scenes but ensures that the events are a great success. Many thanks to you all.
The PSFA will be holding our annual meal and social event on Friday 17th January at the Chevin Golf Club in Duffield. Please see the School website for ticket information. All welcome!
Looking further ahead into 2014 we have our next Quiz and Chips evening on Friday 7th February, tickets will be on sale very soon; this is always a very popular event so purchase early to avoid disappointment! The last Quiz and Chips in October raised approximately £1700 and was attended by a record number of teams competing for victory in the newly opened refectory, an excellent new venue.
We also have a ‘Race Night’ planned for April, a new event for the PSFA and we hope that you’ll come along to back a winner, eat some food, frequent the bar and have a great social evening.
All PSFA events along with our regular meeting dates are posted on the school website. If you’d like to be involved with the PSFA in any way please come along to one of the meetings; new faces are always most welcome.
Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas.
Chair of The Ecclesbourne School PSFA