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.
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:
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.
Welcome back to the second half of our Autumn Term – week 8 of the “new” academic year.
This week, at Year 7 settling-in parents’ evening, I was asked how things were going in the school. I didn’t have to think about my reply for long because it’s very clear to me that, although the school continues day by day and week by week to fine-tune its practice to become better, it’s at the changeover from one academic year to another that the biggest surge forward seems to occur. I suppose results over the summer, the culmination and reward for a year’s hard work, coupled with the arrival of a new set of Year 7 students and arrivals in Year 12 mean that all the improvement and fresh enthusiasm re-define the school once more.
…and, of course, it’s been Prize Day! At the end of last half term, on Thursday 22nd October, we held the fourth of our new-style Prize Days with guest Georgia May Foote, star of Strictly Come Dancing and Coronation Street. Once again, the event created a huge amount of interest with Border TV and BBC Radio Cumbria both covering the whole event. Our performers were mind-blowingly good, with the Year 10 drama group performing a brilliantly good physical theatre representation of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. Our dancers performed Top Hats, a superb 1930s tap dance routine; the cheerleaders once again showed why they are in the top few schools nationally and our Big Band created a real stir with Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk and Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer. Mr Smith’s Year 9 gifted and talented artists created a superb art installation, which was produced in the school colours and derived from images of the physical structures around the UCC site.
The event was concluded with warm congratulations and thanks from Head Boy Chris Martin and Head Girl Alicia Brittle. Following Prize Day, the school Twitter feed has been full of “it was amazing”, “bucket-loads of talent”, “It’s all Hannah’s talked about…”, “UCC is a wonderful school”, “Fantastic Prize Day celebrations”, “Great afternoon – well done”, and – from Georgia herself – it was “What a beautiful place Ullswater CC is. Met some inspirational people today. Well done to all of you and thanks for having me”.
Huge thanks to our sponsors and to all the staff and students who made it such a special occasion.
The new half term has got off to a great start. Plenty of interest in our new “print solution”, which will, hopefully, reduce waste and contribute positively to our environment.
Congratulation too to our cross-country teams, who competed in a major competition just before the half term holiday. They boys came 7th out of 30 schools and the girls came 2nd, with Martha Richards coming 2nd overall in the girls’ race. Brilliant performance! Both Martha and Beccy Stamper will now go on to run for the County team.
Here we are in week 3 of the new term already – it’s hard to believe that the autumn term is already well under way.
Our Year 7 students – all 254 of them – have made a great start and the new Year 12s have settled into the demands of A level study with confident ease. This year we have 16 extra-catchment students in Year 12, some of whom travel great distances to and from school each day.
Last week we held our annual open evenings to showcase the work of the school; to launch our beautiful new prospectus and the introductory film, now in pride of place on the website; and to begin the induction of next year’s intake. Many thanks to my Head Boy and Head Girl, Chris Martin and Alicia Brittle, for their brilliant contributions, and to all the staff and students for their work in departments and on tours during each event.
It was great to hear from one of our ex-students, Czarek Flak, this week. Czarek is currently studying Fine Arts at Kendal College and so successful has he been there that he’s beginning an open exhibition at the Josephina de Vasconcellos gallery on 26 September 2015 and hoping to progress on to the Royal College of Art in London next academic year.
All of the usual extra-curricular events have got under way again this term so there’s plenty for students to get involved with both inside and outside school. Last weekend, 51 students and almost as many staff headed for the Lake District to begin their Duke of Edinburgh award training.
Prize Day too is approaching rapidly and our guest this year will set the pulses of our students racing. A Coronation Street star and celebrity dancer, our visitor should allow the school to celebrate the achievements of 130 students on the big day with dance, music, drama and plenty more to wow the audience of over 2000 guests.
A big thank you to the Inner Wheel for inviting me to talk to the group on Thursday 3rd September 2015 about progress at UCC, and to the Penrith & District Gardener’s Allotment Holders for allowing me to open their 73rd annual produce show. On a more agricultural note, this season’s lambs head off to the auction mart tomorrow to continue their development elsewhere in the country. The 32 lambs, some of whom featured in the April/May blog, have grown considerably and will hopefully do well at Lazonby tomorrow.
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.
This has been a super week as staff and students returned to school after the 6-week summer break. Of course, the news over the summer has been excellent and this helps everyone to feel positive and optimistic about the new academic year too.
Mr Jackson, our new Head of Sixth Form, said to me at the end of students’ first day back “you’ve got a very tidy school” and what he meant by this was that on the basis of that day students looked, acted and thought appropriately about themselves.
The new Year 7 is 25 students larger than the Local Authority projected at 221 students and our new Year 12 makes this the biggest Sixth Form UCC has ever had at 263 students.
We hope this academic year develops as successfully as the last one and I wish all students an enjoyable and successful term.
The Open Evenings for Year 6 pupils will be held in school on 16th and 17th September 2014 at 6.30 p.m. These are always hugely popular, with over 500 visitors attending on average each year.
We will also follow up these Open Evenings with opportunities to visit the school during the day when normal classes are in session. Group visits will be available from 9.15 a.m. in the week beginning 6th October 2014; individual tours are available in the weeks commencing 22nd and 29th September 2014. Please contact us to book your own personal tour.
Prize Day is on Thursday October 23rd 2014. Watch this space for my announcement of the identity of our VIP celebrity this year.
For the first time this year, to raise funds for improvement to the social spaces around the school to improve the quality of life for pupils, we are holding an Autumn Grand Draw. Tickets will be available through students shortly and we have a large number of exciting prizes, many of them donated by generous friends of UCC to support this project.
Please do all you can to raise as much money as possible to provide benches, etc. for pupils to use at breaks and lunchtimes in what is at present a very cramped and utilitarian environment around the school site.
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.
One of the highlights of the Autumn term was the 2013 Prize Day. To see a review of the whole day visit the Prize Day page or watch the Review Film below.
Congratulations to all members of UCC for their efforts to raise funds for the Philippines appeals. The Sixth Form “dress as a friend” event as well as numerous cake sales, collections and the “bleep test” event raised £517.95. A further £54.23 was raised at the same time for Children in Need.
Our Year 10 Rugby team beat Cockermouth by 19:24 in the NatWest National Cup on Friday 22 November. Man of the match was Ethan Swann, with Alex Fawcett also playing phenomenally well in defence. The team is now through to the 5th round, playing Bolton School at UCC in December.
Our Year 7/8 gymnasts have also been competing in the Novice County Schools Competition. UCC took three squads. Our A team won Team Gold and the B team won Team Bronze. Overall, individual gold went to Lucy Monk
and Sophie Hunter won silver. A fabulous achievement for all UCC competitors.
Our Prize Day review film will soon be released for a premiere showing in assemblies; it will then be available on the website for anybody who would like to have another look at our spectacular Prize Day ceremony.
It’s three weeks since Prize Day but I’m still thrilled with the whole event.
I was overwhelmed with the quality of dance, acrobatics, music and drama. The opening sequence complete with Video introductions from The Muppets and the Rob Norbury (Hollyoaks) Showreel really set the tone of the event and our pupils lapped up the quality, excitement and pace of the event. Our prize winners were justifiably stars in their own rights – parents were quite entitled to be very proud indeed as were all colleagues and teachers of the school.
What a great day! Huge thanks to all involved and especially to sponsors for their support for prizes.
Our Year 11 parents evening last night was a real pleasure too. Students and staff are working so hard to outperform last year’s new record and things look very good for an even better set of results next summer.
On Friday 18 October our Year 7 Cross-country Team competed at the County Championships at QEGS. There were over 21 boys’ teams and 19 girls’ teams competing. Our girls’ team finished in a very respectable 11th place with some good individual performances… and the boys’ team won. James Salt came 2nd, Luke Hunter 3rd and Joe Newby 12th. All three of these now qualify to run for Cumbria in the County Championships in November.
On Tuesday 12 November our U15 Rugby team played away at St Bees School. UCC won 38 : 14 against a strong St Bees. Ethan Swan scored a hat trick and Nathan Hamilton was named ‘man of the match’ in what wa a fabulous UCC performance.
We are, of course, expecting Ofsted as part of a Local Authority review of Secondary Education. We are grateful to students and parents for completing our annual survey to support inspection and set the agenda for the coming 12 months.
It won’t be long till Christmas – our pantomime rehearsals are well under way and occasional Christmas choral pieces drift down Westmorland corridor from the Music Department.
Good luck to Year 11 in your forthcoming Mock Exams (25th November).
"Cheers for a great day @ullswatercc very proud to have been there today and all pupils and staff are great! Was a pleasure"
- Guest Star, Rob Norbury, via Twitter
"It was great to see some ex North Lakes children gaining prizes and the gymnastics, drama, music, and dance was hugely impressive."
- Head Teacher, North Lakes School
"Just a quick note to say how very much I enjoyed UCC's prize day...! The whole occasion was beautifully planned,
and went like clockwork. The students are such a credit to the school - and themselves: I thought there were some really remarkable talents among the actors (loved the Headmistress, and the group work...), the gymnasts (that was
very spectacular) and the musicians (the last girl who sang has a wonderful blues voice). I was so glad to have been there, there was a real sense of community and belonging."
"Just to say that I was blown away by this morning's Prize Day, I feel so proud to be associated with UCC. Congratulations to everyone."
"Having attended this afternoon for the second year running, I just wanted to drop you a quick note to congratulate
both you and your team on what is a fabulous initiative! What is thoroughly evident is the passion for teaching from your team, and the pride in the school from your students, well done! As with last year, it was an incredibly uplifting event, and one which we are proud to support, and will continue to do so in the future."
- North Lakes Hotel, Sponsor
"We just want to say how much we enjoyed the UCC Prize Day of 25th of October. Obviously an incredible amount of preparation goes into such things and the overall effect was very, very impressive - and the gymnasts were astounding! The choice of guest speaker was just right - in that he suited the demographic - but he was also very natural - which was refreshing. This kind of event - as you well know - works on so many levels in terms of nurturing both pupil esteem (our Alice was ‘made up’ to be part of this) and school identity in the community. Listening to the buzz amongst the sponsors was gratifying."
"I would just like to say a big thank you for being invited to the Prize Day and what an amazing event. I was so proud of being a parent with a child here at UCC but also as a member of staff. Well done to all who were involved and for putting on a spectacular event."
What a fabulous start we’ve had to the new year.
Following the excellent summer holidays, the new year has got off to a busy start. Since the beginning of term our numbers have swelled further because we have admitted 14 new students from other schools into the Sixth Form and 10 into other year groups in the main school.
Cumbria has published GCSE results for all of its schools and we can now see how well UCC performed relative to our colleagues in other areas. On the 5+ A*-C figure we were 4th and on the headline 5+A*-C including English and maths figure we were placed 8th out of the 37 Cumbrian schools.
Earlier in the term our Show Jumping Team won 1st place out of Cumbrian competitors. Well done to all those who competed and to teacher Sally Flatman who organises the team. I’m delighted to hear that all horses are now equipped with special UCC embroidered ‘Equestrian Numnahs’ on which to position their saddles.
Our Open Evening and daily tours have attracted large numbers of potential recruits for 2014. With around 500 attending the open evenings and at least 40 sets of parents taking us up on the individual guided tours, things have been busy over the last two weeks. This week we host a further 75 visitors in our group tours. It’s always fascinating to walk around any school during the normal school day and we hope that what people see is positively received.
Last week we celebrated National Poetry Day on Thursday 4th October 2013 with the visit of The Dreadlock Alien, Birmingham’s Children’s Poet Laureate. This was a fantastic event and I still can’t quite get over the poetic craftsmanship he displayed to pupils in Year 7. They in turn of course impressed us all with their own creations on a range of ‘watery’ themes.
Next Friday, 25 October 2013, we will hold our second whole-school Prize Day. Last year the event was a spectacular success with visiting celebrity “Denzil” from BBC’s Waterloo Road. This year’s event is going to be bigger, glitzier and better still and our guest will be Hollyoaks hunk Riley Costello (actor Rob Norbury).
We are also pleased to announce the launch of our presence Twitter. You can find and follow us here or by clicking the twitter button below the menu bar, where there is also a link to our Vimeo page housing all our films.