As the end of the Spring term rushes towards us at an alarming rate, this has been a week of surprises and successes. On Wednesday 28 March, I attended the second of our Dance shows expecting great things after last years’ event. I could not have anticipated the extravaganza of brilliance we in the audience were treated to however. The standard of dance, quality of choreography, range of genres and professionalism of costume design and production were all superb. Everyone I talked to in the audience was amazed at the sheer brilliance of the event. Huge congratulations to Erin Dixon, Sophie Mead and the many others who made the event so great. Dance has a big future at UCC. On Friday, we have our termly fund-raising event courtesy of the Year 13 Leisure Studies group, who have organised everything. With fancy dress prizes and lunchtime events this promises to raise a good deal for our Tanzania fund and for our Stewpot Lunch Club for Senior Citizens. On Thursday, we held our annual Mock Interview Day for Year 10 and, as usual, our students impressed the 30 or so business guests who kindly volunteered their support to run these interviews – great preparation for the real thing in a few years’ time. We launched our new on-line revision resource for Year 11 today, with an unveiling of this terrific resource bank for students. Year 11 students are now in the thick of their final preparations for GCSE. The school is running 6 days of extra revision over the Easter holidays and all looks very promising for results day in the summer. Finally, I hope all students, staff and parents have an excellent Easter break and look forward to the summer term starting on Monday 16 April.
I’m sure I speak for many of you when I say how excited I am that the Olympic Torch will come to UCC on 20 June this year. It will be a real treat to be involved in the build-up to this major event and I know that our staff and students will be keen to show the world a real warm UCC welcome. The school will act as a collection point and meeting place for the Olympic torchbearers and for LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) representatives. The torchbearers will enter the school site from Bridge Lane and run up the school drive to the Cumberland Hall, where there will be a 20-minute break before the next torchbearer departs from Cumberland Yard en route to Carlisle. We are, of course, planning our own celebrations during the annual sports day and at the torchbearer handover on 20 June. It will be good to be part of the Olympic event in this way but, in addition to having the Olympic flame in school, Mr Tuer has been working with the Get Set Network in their Olympic education programme and they have awarded UCC a number of Olympic event tickets. The tickets are for the knock-out heats of the World Class Football competitions at St James’ Park (the Sports Direct Arena) in Newcastle on 26 July. Mr Tuer has the unenviable job of deciding how these tickets will be distributed. I’d also like to highlight the work of Mrs Jorie Griffiths in a project to track down and celebrate the success of sixth form past students of UCC. Developments in this alumni project can be seen on this website under Sixth Form / Alumni. I have it on good authority that Jorie’s Facebook friends count has gone from nil to 255 in the last term. If it carries on like this, we’ll have to arrange for additional help to respond to all the e-mails of ex-UCC sixth formers eager to offer their expertise and help to current students at the school.
Last term the College Mathematics Department and pupils were delighted to welcome back two Alumni students, but this time as trainee teachers.
Owen Price-Jones left the College in 2008 after studying Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics and Biology at A level in the sixth form. He has recently graduated in Mathematics from the University of Manchester and has decided to begin training for the teaching profession. Owen has now begun his Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Course at the University of Leeds and his first placement is at Thornton Grammar School on the outskirts of Bradford. He will spend two days each week within the school this term. Whilst he was with us in the summer term, he spent much of his time observing a wide variety of lessons within the department; getting to grips with the day to day role of the classroom teacher. He really enjoyed seeing the excellent teaching and learning going on in the department, from a teacher’s perspective and the experience will prepare him well for the demanding year ahead.
Tom McCandlish is currently training to be a teacher at Edge Hill University. Founded in 1885 as the first non-denominational teacher training college for women in England, Edge Hill was named after the district of Liverpool where the original building was sited. The institution relocated to a purpose-built campus in Ormskirk in 1933. Edge Hill celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2010 and is currently shortlisted in the Times Higher Education Awards as University of the Year. It has an outstanding record in training teachers and is the second biggest provider in the country. Tom left UCC in 2009 after studying Mathematics, Media Studies and History at A level. He is now in his final year of the BEd (Batchelor of Education) Degree in Primary School Teaching. His specialist subject is Mathematics. During his two week placement with us, he taught a wide range of classes alongside the usual teachers, observed good practice and enjoyed working with individual pupils giving advice and classroom support. His work was highly regarded by Mrs Sarah Foster, the Teaching Placement Coordinator. The placement has helped Tom to begin to determine whether he would prefer his future career to focus on Primary or Early Secondary Mathematics teaching, both of which are options for him.
We wish both Owen and Tom great success in their future careers and thank them for their valuable contribution.
Jorie Griffiths - Alumni Co-ordinator
Securing high quality, relevant work experience in the sixth form is always a challenge, but so important to a student’s future career development. This is not always possible in Penrith. Trying to link past and current students is an important facet of the recently established UCC Alumni (Old Students) Association. With this aim, Jorie Griffiths (the coordinator) recently contacted Deborah Tallentire who left the College in 1999 to enjoy a very bright future within the world of costume and textiles. This initial contact produced a remarkable opportunity!
Deborah developed into an outstanding artist during her A level programme at UCC and progressed from us onto Cumbria Institute of the Arts to study for a Foundation Diploma in Fine Art. Subsequently she gained an HND at the University of Huddersfield and this led onto her degree, BA Honours, Costume for Screen and Stage at the Arts Institute in Bournemouth and further study at London College of Fashion. Post degree she worked as a Tailor at the world renowned costume house, Angels the Costumiers, London for four and a half years. Some of Deborah’s work has also been exhibited at London galleries. Deborah established her own business several years ago and now based in Crystal Palace, she has established herself as a leading Gentleman’s Bespoke Tailor and Theatrical Costume Maker within the Entertainment Industry. She has designed and produced costumes for a wide range of TV, film and theatrical productions. Some of her most flamboyant work has been for productions and shows in the West End. Her most recent contract was as a costume cutter with the English National Opera for their production of the Marriage of Figaro based at the London Coliseum directed by Fiona Shaw.
Dora Hill, a very talented A level Art, Art Textiles and Drama student in Year 13 was able to spend almost a week working alongside Deborah and other costumiers on this production in London. Amongst other duties, she spent an afternoon selecting costume items from the Opera’s casual wardrobe department, allocating them to a set of strict sizes and style criteria for the production. She made a pair of trousers for a male chorus member and assisted with the creation of a loose corset for a chorus lady. On the last day of Dora’s experience, she got to grips with the complex undergarments which are so important to enhance the shape of dresses and make them appear accurate and historically correct in silhouette. Dora now has no doubt how to make and fit a “bum roll” as there were over 10 to make for the ladies chorus performance.
Dora is so thrilled about her time spent with Deborah, from whom she has learned so much. She was so keen to say, “This fantastic opportunity has opened my eyes to a different world; a hidden industry which I have just begun to scratch the surface of. Deborah immediately made me feel completely at ease and was so supportive. She gave me real, hands on work to do and it was so fascinating observing such talented people produce costumes so quickly and so professionally. Deborah works so hard and obviously loves her role”.
The work experience was so successful that Dora and members of her family were invited to the recent final dress rehearsal for the Marriage of Figaro, which they were thrilled to attend. Deborah thoroughly enjoyed meeting Dora and was keen to say, “Dora was a very attentive and professional member of the Costume Production Team, putting maximum effort into every task she was given brought stunning results to light and assisted greatly with costume development. Her versatile nature helped her blend beautifully with the team in costume production at the English National Opera. It is this sort of versatility and willingness to adapt to meet the needs of the job in had that made Dora’s experience so very successful.”
Not only has this week given Dora a realistic insight into the work of a first class theatrical costumier, but has also helped Dora to determine her future and explore the University options available to her. She has even been able to use some of Deborah’s work as research for her most recent A level assignment.
Our most grateful thanks go to Deborah Tallentire and members of her team for providing such a worthwhile and exciting challenge for Dora and giving so generously of their time and expertise.
You can view some of Deborah’s work and commissions at: www.facebook.com/DebsTallentireTailoringandCostume.
And on Twitter at: DebsTallentire@TallentireSuits
Deborah’s portfolio of work to date includes: Film: Mrs Henderson Presents, Golden Compass, Dorian Gray and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. TV: Heartbeat. Theatre: Phantom of the Opera, Shrek the musical, Spamalot, Love never dies and The Batman Arena Tour. Opera: The Marriage of Figaro and Manon
If you would like to join the UCC Alumni Association, please contact:
The Ullswater Community College Alumni (Past Students) Association has been recently established in order to establish contact with old students and hopefully involve them now in the life of the College today. The College is hugely proud of the achievements of our previous students who have gained enormous amounts of experience, expertise and success in employment and further and higher education. It is our aim through the College to link current and past students together in many different ways, in order to facilitate the sharing of this knowledge and capability for the benefit of all concerned and to network together now and in the future for mutual advantage.
I hope you enjoy looking at how this is now happening by reading this section of the website. If you would like to be involved, please do not hesitate to contact me by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Jorie Griffiths - Retired Head of Sixth Form and Alumni Coordinator
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last 14 years as Headteacher of various schools is that most of the best thing that happen in school have absolutely nothing to do with you; they are the product of exceptional staff or creative pupils or both.
Over the last two school days, we launched our ‘Branch Out’ project, designed to encourage pupils to read more. Michelle Lewin, Rachael de la Mare and Ruth Molloy, from our Learning Resource Centre (LRC) invited Daniel Blythe, author of the Dr Who books, into school to work with Year 8 pupils. They also created three incredible films based on Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl, and Dr Who. The films feature our very own staff and were massively warmly received by pupils. The films will go onto the website for everyone’s enjoyment but their impact on the take-up of books by students across the whole school was huge. Last week, student reporters for Sounds of the Beacon got the chance to interview actor John Hurt when he visited Penrith’s Alhambra Cinema. What a privilege – they proved to be well up to the task. Last week we hosted a number of pupils from Yanwath Primary School for work experience. The pupils, in Years 4 and 5, worked in Hair & Beauty, the LRC and elsewhere in UCC to gain experience of life in a busy secondary school environment. All of the students were excellent, a credit to their school, and we enjoyed having them here. Also last week we held a hugely successful Futures Day for Year 11 students. Representatives from Kendal College, Newton Rigg, Carlisle College and Booths – among others – talked to students and parents about future options and careers. On Wednesday 7 March 2012 we receive the latest update on our examination performance when results for Year 11, 12 and 13 are published. We wish all those students who are getting results the best of luck.