"Young people of all ages from across Cumbria came together to discuss their concerns about climate change with local councillors attending to hear what they had to say. The event was attended by representatives from 30 schools, and was hosted by Learning, Education and Development Centre, University of Cumbria." Thanks to Robert Ferguson Primary School in Carlisle for the information and the below film:
Ullswater Community College’s under 15 boys rugby team enjoyed a fantastic winning streak in the NatWest Vase Schools National Cup, which has taken them to the quarter finals. Previous wins have included Hutton Grammar School, Standish Community High School and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. During this cup run they even travelled across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man, to take on Castle Rushen School who they beat 24-12.They managed to win the North A region with a victory over Harbadashian Adams Grammar school 38-5. Unfortunately this cup run came to an end after they were beaten 22-13 but Arden Academy, Solihull. In a fantastic game of rugby played at an incredibly high level.
Each and every player have been superb ambassadors for their school, Penrith and Cumbria. They should be extremely proud of their achievements. All our younger students that play rugby came out to cheer them on and were inspired by their performance. They have been on an incredible journey throughout the competition and are not only fantastic rugby players but outstanding young men.
Mr G Key
All results below;
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!
Earlier this month, 56 Year 7s travelled to Shropshire to enjoy the PE department’s annual football and netball trip. The students enjoyed a great weekend of adventurous activities such as raft building, high ropes and quad biking to name a few. As well as this the girls entered a netball tournament facing 10 other schools from around the UK with one team finishing 5th (narrowly missing out on the semi-finals) and one team finishing 8th. The boys enjoyed a coaching and skill development clinic where they worked with four FA coaches finishing the weekend with a tournament. The students were exceptional in their behaviour and attitude, they performed brilliantly in their chosen sport and really did UCC proud. Well done to everyone involved.
KS4/5 Entry Performing Arts Group took part in a Puppet, Props and Drama workshop. Prism Theatre Group visited UCC bringing with them skills in the art of puppet making. The students listened to a story then made their own shadow puppets and props to recreate a puppet show of the narrative. Later that week they visited The Theatre by the Lake to watch a production given by the Prism Theatre Group, entitled, The Four Treasures. It was an all inspiring experience delivered with such professionalism. A Journey through a magical world enhanced by music and special effects.
Vingt-trois étudiants, deux professeurs, huit galeries et cinq jours de soleil. What a privilege to take so many talented sixth form artists to Paris to study from the greats in a range of galleries. To be able to introduce them to the delights of Europe and all the benefits was a joy; students came away enthused, enlightened, and enriched.
Construction students spent a day working alongside the estate manager of Patterdale Hall, learning to undertake a variety of groundwork. The students worked hard, gaining experience and applying practical skills alongside professionals. Further students will be visiting in January to complete the projects.
In addition to thriving clubs and ensembles, our Music Department is a key subject of our curriculum. For the GCSE students this means studying a range of styles and genres that includes the song 'Defying Gravity' from the musical Wicked. As part of their course, students visited the UK tour in Liverpool. Mr Bryant said that it was great to hear 'professionals performing this work' and that they had all 'really enjoyed it!'
Recently, Year 10 Art students took a visit to the local art gallery at the Rheged Centre. It was an amazing exhibition; the largest of its kind in the UK with over 350 framed prints. Students took advantage of the great wealth of work on show and the huge breadth of techniques, styles and processes to use as inspiration for their own GCSE coursework. We spent time exploring the work, watching films about processes and sketching in the main gallery. A wonderful afternoon!
I said the same about the Monday we departed for France, and I didn’t really manage to stick to it, but there is only so much you can say about the return journey. Once we arrived in Calais we find ourselves stuck in a long line of coaches wanting to cross the border, which means that not only do we miss the earlier ferry which we had been aiming and on time for, we miss our designated ferry by a minute. All because of border security. Well, at least we know they are doing their jobs, right?
Once we are back in England it does not take long for the rain to start falling. You would think that we didn’t miss it? Well, this is partly true, but there is something comforting about the rain, a sense of feeling at home and a journey coming to an end. At least it had cleared by the time we reached Cumberland yard at 11:30PM allowing us to pick up our instruments and cases without getting wet.
A final few words
And with that, our blog is finished. It has been a pleasure working with some of the finest young musicians from our area. We would like to say a special thank you to both Mr Bryant and Mr Gordon, both of whom have sacrificed many hours of their own time to get us to the standard required to play in Paris as well as the rest of the staff, without whom the tour would not have been a success.
Over the next few months we will be taking a rest before we start to plan a new trip to Germany in the Summer of 2019. If you would like any more details on this trip, search UCC Germany Music Tour July 2019 for some updates, or message the UCC Music Twitter account @UCC_Music where there will also be regular updates with what is happening within the department.
Another action packed day. As we take the bus into the centre of Paris we have the opportunity to stop and explore a music shop on the where a couple of harmonicas are bought. Beware Germany, harmonica duet is on the table.
As we further approach the city centre, we learn that in France, you give way to traffic that wants to enter the roundabout rather than that which is already circulating it, which, when there are few road markings, can be a bit of a free for all, especially when there are eight, yes. Eight, lanes of traffic.
Our second stop of the day is the Arc de Triomphe where we have an hour to look around the base of the arc, take some photos and see the eternal flame. From here we begin the long walk down the Champs-Elysees which takes up a lot of what remains of the day before our evening performance.
As we reach the halfway point of the walk, we come across a small hut with a large area for seating behind it. Stopping for a rest, some of our musicians approach the hut to buy a drink, to find that it is not only a small drinks stall, but a crepe stand. Can you get something more French? The only things to be said about this is that they had a very good day for business and that what they produced was top quality. Once we reach the end of the road, the group comes upon a garden, the very one we are to be performing in later in fact, but there is very little time to find the bandstand as many queue for ice-creams and drinks to cool us from the heat, which we are yet to adjust to.
Now running later than we would have liked because of Parisian rush hour traffic, we arrive at the band stand in Parc Montsouris where we performed our first full 90-minute set, apart from the few songs we had to cut to make up for lost time. No matter because we still gathered a crowd, many of whom stayed to watch our entire performance, even through the light rain showers, the wind and the heat. After the performance, city officials spoke to Mr Bryant, saying that we were one of the best groups to have performed on that stage, which just goes to show that the hard work we put in payed off.
Evening time comes and we are once again dining at the hotel restaurant where the food has improved tenfold from our previous experience, although the food was not to everybody’s liking.
This night there was no entertainment apart from what we had brought with us, as the staff wanted us all in bed so we could be ready for the next day.
Our last full day in Paris was one of more relaxation than the previous couple. After a breakfast of cereals, croissants and yoghurt (like the previous days) we boarded the coach which took us to the river Seine, where we found that we would be taking an hour and half river tour which would give us the opportunity to see some famous places which Paris holds, such as the Louvre.
After the tour had finished we once again climbed onto the coaches which took us on a short trip around the city, including the place where Lady Diana was killed. After the short drive, we reached our next stop, the Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck. An elevator took us to the very top floor where we had the opportunity to see the views of Paris from one of the tallest buildings in the City. A few steps up and we could walk on the roof of the tower where the views were even better than the floor below. As well as the views, there was the “Sky Bar” which sold both soft and alcoholic drinks; however, a small flute of champagne was all of 12 euros, never mind as some great pictures were taken, especially of the Eiffel Tower and the park next to it where we were to play later in the day.
It gets to half past four in the French afternoon with the sun still beating down, but the temperatures cooling down to make it slightly more bearable. The band is all set up and ready to play in Parc Champs du Mars, right next to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Sound check complete, we start with thirty minutes of big band and the UCC singers as well as a couple of solo performances, followed by the Wind band which includes the Queen Medley, Disney Medley and music for Wicked. Once again, we manage to draw a crowd from the surrounding area and have a few members of our audience up on their feet dancing to the tunes that we are providing for them. Once we have finished our final performance in Paris, we are congratulated with a warm round of applause from our listeners, all of whom are impressed with our work. It is at this point Mr Bryant becomes emotional as he realises that our UCC Music Paris Tour 2017 has come to an end and that he is proud of the bands for pulling together to make it a sUCCess when there were times when it looked like it wouldn’t happen.
Back at the restaurant for our final Parisian evening meal, there is an awards ceremony hosted by Mr Bryant and Mr Gordon, with certificates going to the people with the best hairdo, the most improved, and as stated earlier, the best show off, with the last being awarded to Appleby’s Robert McNicol.
First of all, I would like to apologise about the lack of updates with the blog, which I have now finally had the chance to complete.
As many of you who are reading this are aware, Ullswater Community College music department teamed up with Appleby Grammar School to form a formidable team of ninety-six young musicians and staff who have been working for over a year to get to the standard required to play in some of Paris’ most prestigious locations.
In all honesty, there’s very little that I can say about today, apart from there was a lot of travelling. Leaving just after midnight on Monday morning, the two coaches loaded with musical instruments and our luggage, we departed from Cumberland yard and hit the long trek ahead of us. Surprisingly, sleep seemed to come naturally to everyone, although that didn’t last long. As the sun began to rise above what was a sunny day in England, the members of Coach B woke and decided to have last minute rehearsals at the back of the coach by singing each of their individual parts for the full ninety-minute set.
Approaching Dover, we had made very good progress. In fact, it was so good that both of the coaches managed to catch an earlier ferry, whereas the original plan had been to take two.
Once on the ferry, we had some time to ourselves, so we went in search of breakfast. Many students managed to find a Starbucks on board selling all day breakfast sandwiches and tea. Now, if you don’t know Starbucks, it’s an American firm, which means that the tea provided was of no standard to a proper British brew. No matter, us plucky brits can last a week, can’t we? Whilst us students settled for a café breakfast, our group leaders managed to find the ferry restaurant where they were serving full English breakfasts.
All full up, the teams once again joined for the second half of the journey which would take us to our final destination – Paris.
Arriving at around 4:30PM (French time) we were given a few hours to freshen up before we were to dine in the hotel, where we were provided with a three course meal, consisting of couscous, burger and chips and a slice of apple tart.
Evening entertainment consisted of what every music tour entertainment should be – a music quiz, although, due to many of us being tired after a day of travelling we were giving the option of taking part or retiring to our rooms for the night with the thoughts of Disneyland the next day.
This is it. The big day. The day of the Big Band Disneyland performance, and what a day it was as well. The sun was shining bright, temperatures reaching the mid-30s and everybody was raring to go. As we arrive it is time for our very own Mr Bryant to take to the stage, or to the phone in this case, as he takes part in a live radio broadcast for BBC Radio Cumbria. Those who are not performing have an hour to explore the park before we meet at the Videopolis stage where the band is to perform the twenty-minute set which they have been practicing hard for.
As the sound checks are underway, we realise that this is going to be a special moment because this is not only a once in a lifetime opportunity, there is a full team dedicated to helping set up and make sure that the band’s needs have been catered for. As the clock hits 12, the music starts with ‘Uptown Funk’ followed by a variety of hits including ‘Birdland’ ‘Living on a Prayer’ and the star of the show ‘Superstition’ which provided the opportunity for some solos by the band members, one of which earned the award for “biggest show off”.
The rest of the day was continued in high spirits after the performance was taken well by locals and others alike. Once again, we had the opportunity to finish exploring the area, ride on the variety of rollercoasters and play on the side shows which were available.
Dinner at Planet Hollywood was also a success, with the options consisting of burgers (yes, again) or pasta, with the meat being cooked to our liking. Some of the older students had the option to have a drink with the meal which was very well received by those that chose to accept.
After dinner is the reason that everybody wants to go to Disneyland. The fireworks. Due to a slight mix up with the busses, we were at the back of the crowd, but what we could see was something that none of us will ever forget. The views were spectacular and there are no words to describe how amazing it was to watch the fireworks over the iconic Disneyland Castle.
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.
Tomorrow we send out our group to Tanzania for the 2015 Trip. You find information about the group's itinerary, transport information and updates on the Tanzania Blog which will be updated over the next few weeks. The trip also has its own twitter: @UCCtz We wish the group the best time away and look forward to seeing what they get up to with our partner schools in Tanzania.
Half term went in the blink of an eye for everyone involved with UCC I suspect.
School was open for the entire 5 days of the holidays with Art and English GCSE revision classes running. Over 100 students reaped the benefit of the extra help and, despite the interruption of the well-earned break the time spent on extra classes will pay dividends in the summer.
Of course, half of the school was on tour elsewhere during the week too – either in mainland Europe or the capital city.
The Art Department set off, on the Tuesday before half term, on their annual artistic pilgrimage – via Eurostar – to Paris, where students visited the Musée Picasso, Musée de l’Orangerie, Sacre Coeur and Montmartre, the Galeries Lafayette, the Pompidou Centre, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, the Musée de la Mode et du Textiles, the Musée Rodin, the Musée d’Art Moderne and the Eiffel Tower, before setting off back to Penrith via the Gare du Nord and St Pancras.
At 2.45 a.m. on Saturday 14 February, 20 Year 10 and 11 students set off on the long journey by air to Berlin with members of the History Department. The visit included the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag Building, the Holocaust Memorial, a concentration camp, a nuclear bunker, Check Point Charlie and variety of other exhibitions. They sampled local delicacies such as currywurst and pretzels as well as a wide variety of German pastries. They returned to the UK and Penrith via the Berlin Zoo, which – judging by the number of Twitter messages – was clearly a high point for students.
On Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 February, French teacher Miss Dale set off with nine Year 12 and 13 A-level French students to Paris. The visit included staying with Parisian families – a daunting experience because there was no escape from speaking French. During the trip they visited the Champs Elysees, climbed the Eiffel Tower, braved the top of the Tour Montparnasse and visited the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. All students had a fantastic time, and improved their French too.
On Monday 16 February, Mr Bryant organised a Music Department tour to the capital city London, Fifty-three students and 6 staff performed in “the Actors’ Church”, Covent Garden and the Abbey Centre in Paddington. The trip also included ice-skating and bowling, as well as taking in the West End production of Wicked, a trip on the Thames and the London Eye. There was also the opportunity for a talent contest and the chance to celebrate the contributions of a number of Year 11 and 13 students who leave the department and the school after several years involvement with this fabulous department. Plans are now in progress for a trip to Paris in 2016.
As we return to school, you’d think things would settle down to a more predictable pattern – far from it. We had a visit by Jan Renou, the North of England Schools’ Commissioner, on Monday 23 February. She told me how impressed she was with what she managed, in her brief visit, to see of UCC and commented in particular on the warm relationships and total commitment by pupils she saw here.
Coming shortly – on 26 and 27 February 2015 – Physics staff are taking 17 sixth form students on a visit to CERN in Geneva, the home of the large hadron collider. A marvellous opportunity to see the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator – most recently in the news for shedding further light on the properties of the Higgs Boson.
As for Headteachers – what do they spend their time doing during half term holidays? Well this time I had 18 tonnes of manure to spread –by fork – to get ready for the new growing season! At least that’s a change from the normal term-time activities.
Overall the trip was fantastic, the students were lovely, one of the best groups we’ve ever taken; the hotel staff even complimented us about them when we left, which has never happened before.
We met up at penrith railway station at 5.40a.m. on Tuesday 10th November. A quickish journey to London Euston and then a short walk to London St. Pancras, we had a little time before check in, but just enough for a quick wander round the shops and a toilet stop. Checking in was easy, but passport control was a bit of a nightmare for Diana Wokhukukwa; they didn’t like her passport so hauled both her and me off to a room which lots of people speaking French and making telephone calls. At one point I didn’t think they were going to let her through and I was thinking how I could pay for her to get back on the train up to Penrith. Thankfully, eventually they let her through.
The Eurostar is fantastic; it’s pretty unbelievable that it only takes 2 hours 20 minutes. Another shortish walk to the hotel from Gare du Nord, students given a bit of time to settle and then straight back out on the metro. I’d already pre-bought 5 day travel cards for everyone so it was easy for us all to use the metro. We went down to the Latin Quarter to soak up a bit of the Parisian atmosphere and to eat out. We also met up with an old student Joe James, who’s younger sister Megan James was on our trip. It was great to meet up that evening to have a meal as it was there birthday that day, they unusually share the same birthday, and by some quirk it was Megan’s 18th birthday and Joe’s 21st; quite a night to remember for them.
The next day we started off drawing at Notre Dame and then walked up to Musee Picasso. It was a beautiful sunny day. It was a bit of a coup getting into the Picasso; it only re-opened last October after being shut for 6 years. When planning back in England, they refused us entry as a group several times, but I found a loophole on their website, so I posed as three different people and managed to get enough tickets for us to all get in. It was outstanding; you could easily spend several days there, the range and quality of work and display is pretty exceptional. Back on the metro to the next gallery, Musee de l’Orangerie. The Orangerie holds the 360 degree massive Monet paintings and also a great collection of post-impressionist works, all set in a beautiful building in the Tuileries. Back to the hotel and then out again for the evening to Sacre Coeur and up the steep and numerous steps. The view at night of Paris from Sacre Coeur is wonderful and gives the students a great experience of looking down and across at Paris. A quick walk round the corner to Montmatre to eat out and see where the post-impressionists used to meet.
The next day started with a visit to Galeries Lafayette and then on to the Brancusi studio outside the Pompidou Centre. Then into the main galleries at the Pompidou Centre which hold a vast collection of contemporary art. We left late afternoon and took a short metro journey to Musee des Arts Decoratifs and the Musee de la Mode et du Textile which had a stunning fashion exhibition focused around buttons. They had pulled together costumes from the last 200 years with particularly interesting button detailing. It was also special because they hold many original drawings by a whole host of couturier designers which they were then able to display next to the actual item of clothing. We then took a quick trip to the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees to see them at night, and then back to the hotel to eat locally and collapse.
Another beautiful sunny day on Friday and a start at Musee Rodin; students are always surprised just how contemporary Rodin is and how much then enjoy seeing his work set in beautiful surroundings. Another shortish walk to the Eiffel tower to go up and eat locally. In the afternoon we walked from the Eiffel tower along and over the Seine to Musee d’Art Moderne, our last gallery visit. This gallery is huge and houses a very strong collection of major 20th and 21st century artist’s work.
The last day in Paris on Saturday was a little damp but we started by revisiting Notre Dame so we could climb to the top and see the view. Although it was wet, a bonus of the weather is that we saw the famous Notre Dame gargoyles working, spouting the water away from the building. Our last trip was then on to the flea market area in the north of Paris. It was visually stunning and stylistically very French but unfortunately horrendously expensive.
Back to the hotel, and on to Gare du Nord and a quick journey back to London. Laughably we then had to transfer to a coach as there were rail works that weekend. The coach journey from London to Penrith took almost 3 times as long as getting from Paris to London, and we arrived back at UIlswater at quarter to one Sunday morning.
Head of the Creative Arts Faculty