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.