There's not long to go now until the end of Branch Out which finishes on the 1st of May - there's still time to pop into the LRC and pick up a book for over the Easter weekend! Whether you are in Year 7 or 13, we have a book for you.
You can see more about Branch Out on the Apps on the LRC page, as well as uploading reviews and checking your accounts.
There's still a chocolate for every review - written or illustrated - and entry to into the fantastic prizes that include a Kindle Fire HD, Carlisle United tickets, back-stage Prize Day tickets and Penrith's Alhambra Cinema tickets.
Happy World Book Day!
It’s a ‘bookish’ time of year for UCC at the moment – our Branch Out reading competition is in full swing and World Book Day has brought out some extra treats today. Staff and students can be seen around school celebrating their love of reading with book themed activities. Staff are also entertaining, and occasionally mystifying, students by dressing up as a favourite personality. Can you identify all the characters in the picture?
After months of hard-work and dedication, we are pleased to announce the launch of our brand-new school website! Our goal with this new, interactive site is to provide our students, parents and the community with an easier way to learn about UCC and access information from any device. We will continue to update our content with helpful news, student's work and films.
As you will see there are curriculum pages full of courses information as well as glimpses into all that goes on in each department through their own news, film channels and social media. If you are a prospective student, in Year 5 or 6 for example, head over to our Prospectus page, have a play with our map or look through the Student pages to get a feel for life at UCC. We also have a news page that reflects the varied and full nature of everything that happens here, which can also be seen on our Twitter, Vimeo and Instagram pages.
Following two fantastic events, Branch Out has now launched! On Thursday we welcomed Orlando Weeks, lead singer of The Maccabees and author/illustrator of the book 'The Gritterman', to UCC to speak to students about writing and illustrating. The next day, we welcomed The Bookshop Band who performed to a LRC packed with students from across the school.
The books are already flying off the shelves and reviews, and art entries, are coming back in. The usual chocolates are on offer for each review and entry into our prizes including a Kindle Fire, Carlisle United FC tickets, Cadburys Gift Boxes and Penrith Alhambra cinema tickets. Thanks again to Carlisle United and the Alhambra for sponsoring the event.
You can view our 2018 Branch Out film above and you can access the Branch Out Apps below. Pop in to the LRC and grab a book!
It's been a little over a month since our Prize Day 2017 - what a day it was! We've produced a variety of films from across the day which saw so many wonderful performances and moments. Once again, thank you to all who sponsored, attended and took part in the day. A big thank you also goes to our fantastic 2017 VIP guest Joey Essex.
Our annual reading event Branch Out with Books has launched again for 2017! Open to all the students in the school, Branch Out features a host of new books this year and brand-new prizes - including Penrith Alhambra Cinema Tickets and a Kindle Fire! The LRC have produced another set of film's this year featuring 'Billy' and some familiar faces (go to our Branch Out Vimeo page to see each Head of Year in action!).
The Apps are up and running here: Yrs 7&8, 9-11 & 11-13 with access to the book list, sign-up, upload and to check your accounts. You can also join in the conversation and tag your entries with #branchout17 on Twitter and Instagram (where we have some great videos of the Prize Draw Machine!).
Thanks to the Penrith Alhambra once again for supporting this event!
ITV Border News will be featuring our brand-new 2016 Christmas Single 'Will it Snow this Xmas?' on their programme tonight at 6pm. The single has been created by students and staff at UCC and recorded in our new studio. You can pick up a copy of the single in school or online here.
Staff and students also took part in the music video for the song which you can view below or on our Vimeo channel.
Year 12 students here at UCC had a series of inspirational financial workshops, thanks to the sponsorship of Penrith Building Society. The initiative helps local Sixth Formers understand more about the financial world around them and are tailored to meet the students varied aspirations whether they be university, employment, apprenticeships or a gap year. The series of talks were kicked off by Amyn Fazal, Chief Executive of Penrith Building Society and then followed finance talks led by the knowledgeable Ed Flack from “WizeUp”.
School leavers today face complex financial issues, especially when they leave home for university or begin employment. Ed’s knowledge and enthusiasm gives them an opportunity to get prepared for life after Sixth Form. We are very grateful to Penrith Building Society whose financial support allows the yearly event to occur. The students were enthusiastic to have the opportunity to quiz an expert and gain practical knowledge that will help them for life.
The workshops focused on the financial implications of studying for a degree, opening a student bank account, renting a property or sharing a flat, taxation and credit ratings as well as pay day loans and practical tips on how to start saving and investing for the future.
Student, Tilly Bird said that “Mr Flack has an impressive wealth of knowledge on the financial issues that we as teenagers face. I learnt a lot about how to deal with financial problems and about the dangers and benefits of having a credit card at my age. I think I am now more aware of the consequences of debt and the ways to prevent falling into financial difficulties. As students' we are really grateful to Penrith Building Society for sponsoring this informative day at UCC.”
Thanks to all who made this year’s Wize Up workshops possible.
We held our fifth annual Prize Day celebration this Thursday with over 130 prizes awarded to students by our special guests Union J. The day was fantastic with wonderful performances from the dance, drama and music students as well as tremendous display from our Nationals-winning cheerleading squad the 'UCC Wolves'. As well as awarding prizes to our students, Union J also gave us a burst of song as well as answering questions from the audience.
Mr Pattinson, our Headteacher, summed up the day: "You always know when it's prize day at UCC, with students in their smartest uniforms and staff in their glitter make-up! this was our most anticipated prize day yet, with guests boy-band Union J. Josh Cuthbert from Union J told me that they'd had a brilliant time, were blown away by the talent of the student dancers, musicians, cheerleaders and performers and that they'd enjoyed the day so much they would love to come back to UCC. They were great guests who warmly congratulated each prize winner, really entering into the spirit of the prize day ceremony. The highlight for the audience was the lads singing an a capella version of the Shawn Mendes song 'Stitches'. The response I've had so far is that this year's prize day is the best yet. I can't tell you how proud I am of all the prize winners and of all the work that goes into making this phenomenal event truly unique to UCC."
Our usual Review Film will be available soon after half-term, but in the meantime you can re-watch the Prize Day 2016 Film here:
If you missed the Spring Edition of Success before the Easter holidays, you can now view it online here. This edition is full of the latest news and success stories from UCC including coverage of the fantastic production of Joseph, the recent french exchange visit, our Branch Out with Books competition, the English Department's Harry Potter Night and much more.
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.
Check out the new National Poetry Day film:
The competition has been gaining momentum since then and will finish on the 17th of April - any students who haven't signed up yet can do so on the exclusive web apps (Years 7-9, 9-11 or 11-13) and its also possible to upload reviews there over the Easter holidays. The prizes truly are great this year with a Kindle Fire HD (and case!), Penrith Alhambra Cinema tickets, Cadburys Gift Boxes, iTunes vouchers and a VIP meeting with the Prize Day celebrity.
Check out our 2015 film for more information:
It’s not every day that Ullswater Community College gets to showcase its work at Clarence House, the London home of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales but, on Wednesday 19th November 2014, I had the pleasure of showing a file starring our students in in vocational subjects to introduce a discussion about what constitutes meaningful and relevant vocational education.
The film showcased work in Motor Vehicle Engineering, Hair & Beauty, Professional Catering, Construction and Environment & Land Based courses. Students and staff starring in the film included Jessica Gardham, who introduced the Applied Learning Centre; Liam Braithwaite, who was shown working on a Massey Ferguson 35X tractor; Ethan Swann, who explained why the Hair & Beauty course was key to his future career and motivated him to improve in his maths and English GCSEs; William Garbarino-Danson, who was seen preparing food in his Professional Catering course; Zach Walsh, who demonstrated his skills in bricklaying and urged policy makers to protect the practical skills in danger of being swamped by too much paper work; and Bobby Atkinson, Leon Askins, Rebecca Ellwood, Megan Harrison, Alex Kay and Ben McGuffog, who were seen working on their small animal care and arable studies in preparation for careers in agriculture and veterinary science.
The Prince of Wales expressed his keen interest and encouragement for the development of vocational education in order that the country’s economic stability and social cohesion are well supported by a knowledgeable, skilled and reliable workforce, as well as ensuring that traditional crafts in a variety of areas continue to thrive.
The seminar was attended by 30 representatives from diverse organisations, including the Prince’s Charities as well as a select group of experts, business leaders, policy makers and practitioners from across the country, including Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for Education; ex. Secretary of State for Education, Lord Baker; Lord David Sainsbury, ex. Chairman of Sainsbury’s; Sir Mike Thomlinson CBE, ex. Chief Inspector of Schools and Chair of the Working Group on 14–19 Reform as well as representatives from the National Health Service, Royal Horticultural Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Duchy of Cornwall.
I was hugely proud of the students at UCC who appeared in the film and of those staff of the Learning Resource Centre in the school who produced the film in such a short period of time for this event. Those present at the seminar were delighted to see Ullswater students working in vocational areas and thought it was a fantastic stimulus for their discussions. It was the first time I have given a presentation to such an eminent group; people who have responsibility for ensuring that vocational education continues to thrive in the country’s schools. It was also the first time I have had to give a presentation in the Heir to the Throne’s private sitting room with members of The Irish Guards patrolling outside, drill sergeants barking orders to the ceremonial troops in The Mall and horse-drawn carriages passing the windows.
In discussions after the event, Prince Charles told me that he had heard a great deal about the successful work of the school and that he hoped to visit to Ullswater Community College in the spring to see for himself the excellent work in the school’s vocational subjects.
Professor Michael Preston-Shoot (Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at the University of Bedfordshire) gave an inspirational lecture to the sixth form: “On the threshold of new dreams”. This was followed by a debate with students on a diverse range of social issues. The Sixth form questions were excellent. The Professor then visited lessons in school with a focus on philosophy & ethics and health & social care. He had a thoroughly enjoyable visit and would be happy to return. A small amount of footage was taken from the session:
It’s difficult to find words to describe the overwhelming brilliance of our Prize Day celebrations on 23 October 2014. It was always part of the plan that these events should be entertaining, uplifting and of outstanding quality. Indeed, pupils receiving prizes and those watching in the audience ought to get as much pleasure from the event as one another.
This year the staff and pupils of the school excelled themselves and we enjoyed a stunningly good pair of Prize Day ceremonies. The opening sequences of film showcasing a new 3D graphic of the school crest, a year in the life of UCC and some of the TV appearances of our guest, Adam Thomas, got the events off to a great start. The Year 13 drama students performed a cheeky look at the history of theatre, our wind band of 50 students blew the audience’s mind with Katy Perry’s Firework, our dancers had people open-mouthed with the fusion of ballet and street choreography and our national championship-wining cheerleaders brought the house down with their performance.
Since the big day I have had a steady stream of e-mails and letters, all positive, about the event and as the dust settles on this year’s proceeding we’ve already begun thinking about how we can make next year’s Prize Day even bigger than this year’s.
A huge thank you to all staff, students and parents who are playing their part in selling raffle tickets for this term’s Grand Christmas Draw. Proceeds will support a “social space” project for students at UCC as well as contributing to our overseas development work in Tanzania. A good number of pupils have requested additional books of tickets so we hope we can raise a good amount of support for these two interesting ventures.
Our much-anticipated Prize Day 2014 took place this Thursday and a full review with footage and photos will be available after half-term. In the meantime we'd just like to say a big thank you all the staff, students and sponsors who made Thursday such a success, with special thanks to our guest Emmerdale's Adam Thomas. The introductory Prize Day 2014 Film is now available to view online. Congratulations once again to all the prize winners!
With half term beginning in just one week’s time it’s hard to believe that on Friday this week more than half of the Autumn Term will have passed. It’s been another very busy 8 weeks and fortunately the weather for almost all of this time has been wonderful.
Duke of Edinburgh expeditions have, for once, been able to enjoy the Lake District in full sunshine. With 45 pupils enrolled on the Bronze Award and 9 teachers in attendance the weekend expeditions on 27 & 28th September was a terrific success.
On 2nd October, Year 8 pupils presented the poetry they’d written whilst in Year 7 in a project sponsored by Ian Loftus and the Caldbeck Arts’ Festival. The writing was inspired by a trip organised by Emma Cummings, to Castlerigg Stone Circle. The quality of the writing was awesome and a number of the students read out their pieces to the audience who assembled at The Oddfellows Arms in Caldbeck. Prizes and certificates were presented by Ian Loftus and the judging was done by local writer Mike Smith.
Our Open Evenings, once again proved enormously popular, with 650 visitors attending the school on the evenings of 16 and 17th September. The evening tours were also supplemented by individual tours of the school during the school day. Over 50 visits were conducted over the two weeks beginning 22nd September 2014 and, in the week beginning 5th October 2014, more than 150 families toured the school as larger groups. With our recruitment into Year 7 this year being approximately 25 greater than the figures indicated by the Local Authority we are expecting another big intake in September 2015.
On 2nd October 2014 it was National Poetry Day. As usual the Learning Resource Centre organised a visit by a nationally acclaimed poet to inspire poetry writing amongst students. This year it was Huddersfield-based poet Donovan Christopher. Year 7 pupils had a great time creating their own ‘Raps’ and the overall winners for the best performance were The Memories from 7NB.
On Friday 17th October we had a non-uniform day. Most of the pupils joined in and paid their £1 to raise funds for the British Lung Foundation and our next Tanzania visit in the summer of 2015.
In addition to all of the above, the extra classes for GCSE and A-level revision have already started; the Drama Department is in full flow with rehearsals for the Christmas production, Animal Farm; Mr Shearer is working with pupils to create another Christmas Single following the previous release, which was such a massive success; the Music Department is planning a music tour to London and a Wind Band/Orchestra tour to Paris; there are dance trips to Newcastle, English trips to London, drama visits to the Theatre by the Lake and a psychology department trip to The British Psychological Society conference in Sheffield.
On top of all of this, this Thursday is our third annual Prize Day. This is one of the major events in the school year and presents an important opportunity for the College to celebrate all of those qualities that we value so much in our pupils. The range of talent, academic potential, sporting prowess, musical ability and artistic flair across the College is stunning. Added to that there are pupils who make outstanding progress during their time here and still others who do remarkable things in the service of their community or who display a super attitude towards others. We are delighted that our celebrations will be enhanced by the presence of ITV actor Adam Thomas aka Adam Barton from Emmerdale. I’m sure all of the 2000 pupils, parents, visitors and sponsors of prizes will be entertained by Adam and the tremendous performances we will see from pupils. The Drama Department is presenting a short piece entitled A History of Theatre, written by Matthew Forrest; dancers are performing a fusion piece blending traditional ballet with street dance; the Music Department is featuring the wind band of 45 pupils who will perform Firework by Katy Perry and finally there’ll be a performance by our very own National Schools’ Champions Cheerleading Squad ‘UCC Wolves’.
I can’t wait. It’s the highlight of the entire school year.
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.