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).
Last week the Creative Arts faculty staged a production of 'The 39 Steps' to great acclaim. The fusion of art, dance, drama and music was enjoyed by bustling audiences on two nights. The pre-war experience was added to by students in full costume and character offering refreshments, taking tickets and ushering the audience to their seats. Well done!
To see a slideshow of photos from the show, please click on the image below:
After a wonderful first night performance, the UCC production of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol has sold out for Friday night.
With just under two weeks remaining of the Autumn Term it’s hard to see how we will fit everything into the 9 days remaining. As I look at my diary for the next few days I’m astonished at the number of extra events and productions we have to fit into the time available and I can only admire the hard work and effort which goes into producing so many extra events at the end of a very busy term. Last week we enjoyed a short presentation by four staff who travelled to Tanzania to offer training in First Aid to students and staff at two of our link schools the Bethsaida Orphanage and Nianjema Secondary School. Lesley Turney, Christine Jansz, Joy Albert and June Westgarth travelled to Tanzania at the end of the summer term to undertake this work and Lesley produced a film showcasing their work. The film was astonishingly good and we were all overwhelmed by what we saw and the contribution made by the team. The Resusi-Annie’s were sponsored by Booths and other contributions included a supply of colouring pencils from The Cumberland Pencil Company and funds raised by Redditch Area Music Centre ensured the event’s success. A massive well done to all the four staff for making such a huge difference with the work they completed during their visit. On the same evening we also held our annual GCSE Certificate presentation event at The Methodist Chapel in Penrith. It’s always great to see past students of the school once again three months after having left us to take up Sixth Form places or to pursue other training or employment. We were delighted to have Tim Backshall with us to help celebrate the achievements of the school and its pupils. Tim is a presenter on Tyne Tees and Border TV and it was a real honour to have him there and to hear what he had to say to students about their ambitions for the future. We also delighted to welcome back Geraldine Gaizeley, Head of Year for Year 11before she retired last summer. I know she was pleased to see her students again and we were thrilled she was able to be there too. I always look forward to the Carol Concerts by joint Penrith schools in St Andrew’s Church each year. This week they are being held on Monday and Tuesday evenings, starting at 7pm and they really signal the beginning of the festive season. The quality of the music and the singing are always outstanding and I shall look forward to attending on Monday evening, singing along with favourite carols and listening to the excellent contributions of our local schools. Extending this theme further, on Thursday evening we hold the first of two performances by the Drama Department of ‘A Christmas Carol’. These productions are always astonishingly good, with new faces taking centre stage to showcase their drama skills and experienced students enjoying their final contributions to the dramatic life of the school before concentrating hard on the final weeks in the run-up to their examinations next summer. We have interviews for a temporary PE position and various other meetings to secure further developments in the school or additional improvements in our examination performance. Term ends on Thursday with the last day being devoted to our own Carol Services in the Methodist Chapel in Penrith. These events are always so enjoyable with music from our own Music Department and surprise performances from students and staff. The atmosphere is always so warm and festive and this completes the term and the calendar year on a high note.
On Friday 4 May, 90 students from all year groups, took part in the Carlisle heat of Rock Challenge. The theme for this year’s event was Monopoly based, drawing parallels with the current financial crisis. Out of eight competing secondary schools, UCC won awards for staging, choreography, video production and drama skills. Our overall position was second, which means that we now go on to compete in the Northern Open Finals in Grimsby later this term. Jordan Summers has created a video showing the making and staging of our performance.