This year the Creative Futures Festival has a had a theme: 'Think Global, Act Local' and it has proved to be bigger, better and more outward looking than before. The UCC Street Band kicked off our eclectic month of activities with a rousing set, followed the next day by a film screening of 'Tomorrow' to Year 9, and later in the week by a Repair Cafe and Free Shop delivered by PACT and a plastics presentation by CAfS. UCC also hosted their first ever 'Cumbria's Schools Arts Conference'. There has been face painting, circus skills and zumba, music concerts, dance shows and our fantastic pop-up cinema in the lecture theatre. Alumni students have shared skills and experiences. Week 3 saw an amazing food festival which promoted healthy living and new tastes for all to try. In the final week non-uniform day proceeds will go to 3 environmental charities and fabulous arts prizes for the best costumes have been provided for the second year by Specialist Arts & Crafts. It truly has been a festival of an extra special kind!
Check out the latest Success Magazine to see all that's been going on!
One of UCC's budding chefs Jenni has returned from a trip to London! Jenni did extremely well to get through to the finals of the Teflon Young Cooks competition and received her winner’s certificate from TV Chef Lesley Waters, who demonstrated and cooked lunch. Although she did not win with her ‘local ingredient tasty meatloaf', Jenni loved her experience at the fabulous Waitrose Cooking School and is ready to enter again next year… so watch this space!
Last week, three teams of UCC pupils attended the annual design competition organised by the Kendal Rotary Club. Students were tasked with building a working model of a vehicle which could be used to remove hazardous material from a derailed train. Students learnt about gearing and reversing motors and worked well in their teams to produce the vehicles in a very tight time scale. Pupils really enjoyed the experience with some already asking about being on the team next year!
This term, we welcomed CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) into the school where students were given the opportunity to explore careers, tasks and skills involved in an array of careers in the construction industry. This involved building scaled bridges working in teams, simulation and virtual reality equipment, a tetrahedron task and the opportunity to discuss and to be shown how to get experience to apply for apprenticeships.
It was a fantastic opportunity for the students, with lots of helpful insights into the industry and practical experience at different elements of construction. Thanks to all the companies and organisations that came in.
I couldn’t have been more proud of the students and staff or more impressed with the way they showcased their work. We showed off our Hair & Beauty, Motor Vehicle and Agricultural Engineering, Construction, including Dry Stone Walling and our links with Tanzania where students, last year spent two weeks in Morogoro Hospital as Gap Medics. His Royal Highness also met some of our students, one studying to be a Norland Nanny, an award winning Sheepdog and her owner, Cumbria’s top Holstein judge and the county’s top Cumberland U12 Wrestler. The tour then made its way through the waiting crowds with His Royal Highness stopping to talk to many of our students before entering Fred’s Bar to meet Co-Head Prefects, Catering staff and their students and to see a small display of Art and Design Technology work. In Cumberland Hall The Prince of Wales was treated to a stunning display by some of our award winning Cheerleaders and the cast of Joseph performing one of the numbers from their recent sell-out performance of Joseph & his amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat.
After a few words to the assembled Year 11 students His Royal Highness unveiled a slate plaque commemorating his visit before signing the visitor’s book. Finally The Prince was presented with a spectacular acrylic painting of Craig Farm, Garrigill done by ex-student Cathy Beaumont.
His Royal Highness departed to the cheers of students and staff after what was a wonderful hour and a quarter. He left the school in great shape and we will remember this event for many years to come.
At Easter our Year 11 and Year 13 students did an extra 500 pupil days in school to improve their examination chances and the programme of intervention activities will continue for the remaining weeks before exams. We are hopeful that results will be, as usual excellent as a consequence.
The Easter Holidays also brought the annual Lambing time up at the Pattinson home and so far we have delivered 26 healthy young lambs with another 6 Ewes still to decide when to produce. Although the mathematics of Tupping should deliver the new-born in the Easter Holidays sheep are a law unto themselves and the last ones to deliver will no doubt decide on some unearthly hour on a school day to get started.
With little more than a month to go before the exam season swings into full speed school feels like a very busy place. I wish all of our students the very best of luck in their preparations and I hope they all get the questions they would prefer in the programme of examinations to follow.
The latest of our UCC success magazine has hit the stands this week with a bumper edition from a busy term. From Prize Day, including a visit by Strictly star Georgia May Foote, through to the Panto, Dick Whittington, and winter play, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, this term's magazine is full of stories and updates from across the school. Copies can be picked up from the school, Booths or the magazine is available to view online here.
It's been a busy few months in the Design Technology Department - not only have many students completed their year's coursework, there has also been photo-shoots for final products and the second annual Design Technology Exhibition in the New Squares development. The Exhibition was, once again, a great event with many people visiting over the four days it was open.
Our department has also been featured in this term's Success magazine. Below is a taste of this year's work from the DT Department, including the Year 9 Lamp Project:
Teachers have been busy this week compiling summer projects for the students who will be leaving Year 11 this summer and returning to us in September as Sixth Formers.
Students can find these on the Curriculum page of the subjects they will be studying.
Following on from the success of last year's exhibition, the DT Department are returning to the New Squares for their second annual Pop-Up Exhibition. Featuring work from A-Level and GCSE students from across the DT disciplines, the exhibition will be in the shop space next to Sainsbury's from the 1st to the 4th of July. You are very welcome to visit the exhibiton from 9.30am-3.30pm.
You can now view the Summer Edition of UCC's own magazine, Success, online or pick one up from the school. This issue is our largest ever and features reviews of the Year 11 Prom, trips, the DT Showcase in the New Squares and much more. The online version of the magazine is available by clicking here.
I just wanted to give you an update on the Green Power racing team’s success yesterday. We set off at 06.00 bound for Croft Circuit, Darlington. We arrived at 07.30 and quickly found that our race car was the first there, so we made our way to technical scruitineering. The car passed and the team soon started making preparations for the first test session of the day. At 09.00 with 90 minutes testing at their disposal they organised themselves so that each driver got three laps of the circuit and that the pit crew had a chance to practice some driver changes. We were back out on circuit at 11.30, with only 30 minutes to change batteries and check the car over, the team also decided to make some adjustments to the cars steering system so that it would work better with our new tyres; these adjustments soon paid off. We were on the third row of the grid for race one, Luke Pattinson Y8 started the race. As to be expected we dropped from 12th to 22nd within 10 minutes due to the speed of other cars. At 30 minutes we made our first pit stop and swapped driver for Jamie Braithwaite Y8, our driver change and pit stop was the quickest in the pit lane. We joined back in 15th place with 55 minutes remaining. One by one, we made our way through the field before making our final pit stop at 60 minutes. Alexandra Verrall Y8 drove the final 25 minutes, as other cars started to slow down we still maintained good pace (mainly due to those steering adjustments made earlier!) and we were in 10th overall, 3rd in class. On the final lap with my old school ahead of us, with about ¾ of a lap to go, we flew past the Car of Bede Academy to secure 2nd in class and 9th overall.
The team were now faced with a dilemma, as we had four drivers for the second race. Do they stay competitive and run a three driver strategy? Or do they run all four drivers and potentially loose a few places due to the additional pit stop which they would have to make? I left them to decide amongst themselves. They decided on the latter and we started race two with one of the lightest drivers (Matthew Black Y10) in first to try and gain some time with our new fully charged batteries. We made our first pit stop at 20 minutes and in 17th place, we changed drivers to Aide Hodgson. Once again we were the fastest in the pit lane so we re-joined the track in 15th. Aide drove well and gained one place before making our second stop at 40 minutes. The car was passed to Oliver Raine Y9 who had only driven the car that morning. Oliver drove very well whilst taking another place within the ranks, placing us in 14th with 20 minutes to go. Our final driver and secret weapon was Lewis Hunter, he took over with the batteries at their lowest charge but he maintained great pace whilst managing his way through the competition to finish the race in 10th overall and 3rd in class.
The organisation, team spirit and maturity displayed during the day was just fantastic. They made the decisions on car, drivers and strategy and it paid off. Two top ten finishes overall and two top three finishes in class is something to be very proud of.
As the Autumn Term draws to a close and the Christmas holidays rapidly approach, I think we can be pleased with
another term’s work in the school. We have enjoyed a wide range of sporting successes, ranging from horse show-jumping through trail running, gymnastics, football, rugby, hockey and cross-country running. We’ve seen dance shows and drama events, musical performances, art displays and cookery competitions. We also held the second of our ‘new-style’ Prize Days with a VIP guest from the world of TV – Hollyoaks.
We finish term with our school pantomime on Wednesday 11th, Friday 13th and Saturday 14th December, carol concerts in St Andrew’s Parish Church on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th December and, of course, our own school carol services in the Methodist Church on the last day of term – Wednesday 18th December 2013.
At the end of this long, busy and highly productive term, I feel very proud of what our staff and students have achieved. All students in Years 9 and 11 have completed formal examinations and await results early in the New Year. The pupils’ approach to all examinations has been exemplary.
Attendance in the school continues to show a very positive upward trend. Comparisons with the same period last year
shows an overall increase of 0.5% to 94.9%.
There will be some staff changes at the beginning of next term. Mrs Jane Reardon leaves us after 6 years teaching in
the Drama Department. We wish her every happiness in her life after UCC.
Arrangements for the final day of term (Wednesday 18 December) will be as follows: buses will leave school at 3.15
p.m. – after the afternoon carol service – and the school day will end at 3.15p.m. Students who live in town can go home directly after the afternoon carol service. Students who catch the Patterdale bus service will attend the morning
carol service and will be able to catch their bus at lunchtime. Those students who catch the service bus to Shap will not be able to leave school at 3.15 p.m as the bus will be running at its normal time of 4.00 p.m. These students will
be supervised in the Cumberland Hall if necessary, or parents can make their own arrangements to collect them. Please note that the bus companies have raised their level of scrutiny of bus passes recently. All pupils should ensure that they carry and present their bus pass on each journey.
Finally, let me thank all of you – students, parents, staff and governors – for your hard work and support over the last 12 months and wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a productive New Year.
The new term (for all pupils and staff) starts on Monday 6th January 2014.
Welcome back to the second half of the summer term … with two sunny days behind us it’ll soon be time for the nights to start drawing in! Despite the typically mixed weather, our pupils here have continued to shine and there’s plenty to report. In April, our show jumpers competed against other local secondary schools in an event at Blackdyke Equestrian Centre. In the 75-cm class, Amy Miller (riding two horses), Tamar Miller and Hannah Parkin were placed 3rd out of 15 teams – a fantastic result; in the 90-cm class, Hannah Parkin, Amy Miller, Romana Wilson and Anna Holliday came 5th out of 10 teams. In addition, Sarah Halliwell, Annabel Rawlinson, Amy Idle and Megan Rudd competed for the first time this year and performed superbly well. On 15 May, our Year 12 drama students performed monologues and a group performance of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time in front of an enthusiastic audience of friends, parents and teachers … and the examiner. This was a superb evening showcasing tremendous individual talent and amazing dramatic technique. I’m sure results from this practical performance will be excellent.
On Sunday 2nd June, Motor Vehicle Engineering students took part in a ‘production car trail’ at Blagill, Alston. On rough terrain, and with Mr Hardy as co-pilot, they had to drive and navigate their way through a short course, which was both up hill and very uneven. The objective was to reach the top of the hill without hitting any of the marked posts; the higher up the hill, the lower the points they scored. The person ending the day with the lowest score was the winner. Students and parents often had to help to push the car out of trouble and although the car suffered a small amount of damage (front bumper and indicator now missing!) it was a most enjoyable day. The students were a credit to the college and over the course of the day they vastly improved their driving skills.
Liam Braithwaite = 62 points
Harry Parkin = 69 points
Joe Glendinning = 77 points
Adam Fishwick = 107 points
Over half term we’ve had huge numbers of students from Years 11 and 12 in school to undertake extra revision. Exams are back in full force now we’re back in term time. The Year 11 Prom takes place on 28 June at Rheged and the Year 13 Ball in on 21 June at the George Hotel … but for now students are working their socks off to get the right results. Good luck to all Year 10, year 11, 12 and 13 students in their examinations. At least we won’t have a long period of sunshine to take their minds off revision.
As we reach the climax of the year there’s so much going on in school that, if you blink you miss something. On Thursday 28th June the Art Department held their annual Art Exhibition in The Pig Pen. The standard of the work was, as ever absolutely stunning and there were a good number of visitors to view the exhibition. In the following week pupils of the school were encouraged to visit and significant numbers of pupils took up the opportunity to do so. As usual visitors commented on the quality, range and vibrancy of the work displayed and the expertise of the members of staff in the department who support our students in the development of their talent. On Friday 29th June and Saturday 30th June we held our annual Leavers’ Balls for Year 11 and Year 13 students. These events were as spectacular as ever and much enjoyed by all those staff and students who attended. The atmosphere at both events was superb. The students looked stunning in their Ball Gowns and Tuxedos. Next time we see one another will, of course be results day! Good luck to all. On Wednesday 4th July our Green Power Racing Car and its team of engineers set off for the North East to take part in a four hour endurance race against other teams in the north of England. The organising committee scrutinised the cars for engineering standards and safety issues. The UCC car was given a completely clean bill of health and organisers commented positively on the quality of the engineering carried out to prepare the car. 5 drivers took the car out onto the track and the Pit-Stop crew supported their efforts by changing batteries every 20 minutes. The UCC care came 20th overall out of 35 cars but, amongst those cars new to the competition the UCC team was placed 2nd. Congratulations to the whole team and good luck for next time. On Sunday 24th June our Cheerleading squad of 45 girls went to Manchester to perform in the National Cheerleading Championships. The team was the largest of all of the teams competing and they were placed 2nd in the Pom section and 4th in the street dance section. Huge congratulations to all the girls who performed and to Erin Dixon and Sophie Mead who trained and accompanied the girls on this trip. This week Year 10 students are out of school on Work Experience placements. Students head off for the far corners of the catchment area to discover all that’s good and sometimes what’s less good about the world of work. The school shop opened for the first time to parents this week at the Year 6 Induction Evening. The new girls’ PE kit sold very well and the parents were very pleased to have the opportunity to buy things at the school. There was a ’real buzz’ and a good atmosphere. Booths Supermarket has been extremely supportive in helping to set up the shop and we look forward to developing this relationship further. With two weeks of term remaining, the pace of life at school remains busy. We are actively making plans for a new Prize Day in October and hope that our request to local businesses and community groups to sponsor the awards will be received positively. Our new Y7 students enjoyed their visit to the school in preparation for their start here in September. With the weather remaining dismally wet and changeable there’s no sign of the sheep shearing team making a start and I’ve had to trim the lambs feet for the second time because they’ve been standing in wet grass for as long as they can remember.
Oliver McGeorge, a Year 10 Professional Catering student at UCC has been crowned the Young Cumbrian Chef of the Year 2011. Olly was chosen to represent UCC in the final by a select panel of judges led by catering lecturer at Kendal College, Simon Hanson, after submitting a menu based on local and seasonal produce. The competition itself was organised in conjunction with the Rotary Club and, as well as being crowned champion, Olly won
£400 worth of catering equipment for the school, an inscribed silver salver and a chef’s jacket emblazoned with the title Young Cumbrian Chef of the Year 2011.