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!
"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:
As a result of the crumbling UK government, young people like us are being blatantly ignored when it comes to the subject of our plant. As a result, the Eco-Council at UCC came together to host a formal event raising awareness of the ever growing issue which is Climate Change. This event along with interviews with local councillor, Rory Stewart, will hopefully help our world in the long run. #climatestrike #climatechange #strike4change
Ella, Year 12
We would like to thank Mr Stewart for giving up his time and displaying a clear enthusiasm for engaging with students, whilst offering an intelligent sense of realism to the discussion. We look forward to further meetings, as we aim to address this crucial issue.
Oli, Year 12
37 people living in refugee camps in Calais, France are warmer today. Thanks to UCC students who generously donated hats, scarves, socks and gloves. I know that we have worked together to make the lives of these people a little better, and I hope that next year we can help even more people.
We recently welcomed The Shades to UCC. The band, who are currently on a UK tour, performed multiple gigs and spoke to students about cyber-bullying, internet safety and mental health awareness. Sounds of the Beacon reported on the event:
Former pupil Isaac Telford has recently taken part in an International Citizen Service placement. Isaac volunteered to go to India at the end of October 2017, and had to raise £800 for Voluntary Service Overseas in order to secure a place on the project. UCC was very happy to help a former pupil by giving him £200 towards his fundraising.
After spending a short period of time training in New Delhi, Isaac and his counterparts went out to the village of Bakarwaliya on Saturday 4th November. Through the project work and meeting key stakeholders in the village, Isaac had to negotiate several challenges. From the Indian caste system, to troubles in local schools, or simply the stark change of culture and traditions, Isaac has faced a plethora of aspects to volunteering that have been difficult and often unexpected.
His group have been helping to organise a Women's Group, and have conducted a survey on education provision for children in the area. Isaac has been surprised to hear about how unreliable and unresponsive the local government (Panchayat) have been. Isaac's group are looking to facilitate change with a people first perspective. Using the women's group and other organisations to give voice to the concerns people have, and to apply pressure to the necessary institutions, hopefully Isaac and his team can affect real change.
On his return Isaac will be applying to University in order to study politics, and is sure his experiences volunteering overseas will help him enormously with that.
Isaac and his volunteer team, celebrating Children's Day with a local school.
Delighted Ullswater Community College pupils have taken delivery of 2000 bottles of water. Donated by the Community Emergency Response Team (previously Eden Flood Volunteers), the water will be used by the school over the remainder of this academic year. Headteacher Nigel Pattinson said “pupils of the school will make good use of the donations in their forthcoming school production Bugsy Malone, in sports fixtures and during the summer athletics season”.
The Eden Flood Volunteer group was established in December 2015 to support victims of flooding in the Eden Valley and the bottled water is now surplus to requirements in what has been a better winter so far. The school is very grateful to Kerryanne Wilde, CEO of the volunteer group, and to volunteers including ex-student Adam Yarker, who helped to deliver the donation to the school. Pictured are Nigel Pattinson Headteacher, pupils from Year 7 and volunteers from CERT.
Last week our Sounds of the Beacon media team had a particularly special, and colourful, interview with Cath and Julie from Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland about the upcoming Penrith Colour Run. The fantastic event, which is in its second year here in Penrith, is taking place on the 17th of July, 1pm, at Frenchfields and will raise money to support the important work of Hospice at Home. For more information or to sign up for the event why not visit their website here or have a look at our Sounds of the Beacon interview!
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.
The sixth form were delighted to welcome back Judith Holmshaw from Cumbria's Volunteering Service. Judith talked about her education and life and the volunteering opportunities in the Eden area. Sixth form students use their Wednesday afternoons to enrich their time in school, from Young Enterprise teams to fist team sports to volunteering in local charity shops. Judith was accompanied by Cath Hetherington from Eden Community Alarms who highlighted a volunteering fair at Penrith's Fire Station this Thursday.
Thanks to Judith and Cath for visiting!
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.
On Monday, UCC welcomed another visitor to speak to the Sixth Form. The talk was from Richard Barnes who introduced Amnesty International to the students in an emotive and inspirational presentation. Richard has much experience in human rights matters, as well as in presenting the work of Amnesty International, and so had many valuable insight to share with the students present. To find out more about Amnesty International you can visit their website here. You can also view footage from Richard's presentation in the film below.
If you are looking for a new addition to your Christmas playlist then look no further than our very own UCC Christmas single, Can UCC it's Christmas? featuring students and staff. You can have a listen below (or here) and a very stylish printed copy can be purchased from Mr Shearer for £1 - perfect for a stocking-filler!
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.
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.