Happy World Book Day!
It’s a ‘bookish’ time of year for UCC at the moment – our Branch Out reading competition is in full swing and World Book Day has brought out some extra treats today. Staff and students can be seen around school celebrating their love of reading with book themed activities. Staff are also entertaining, and occasionally mystifying, students by dressing up as a favourite personality. Can you identify all the characters in the picture?
Last week, students enjoyed a magical evening of Hogwarts-style fun for this year's Harry Potter Book Night. Over the course of the evening, students were sorted into houses by the sorting hat, made fantastical wands and chocolate frog boxes (complete with real chocolate frogs!) and even tried their hand at writing using ink and feather quills. The night was rounded off with a hearty, Hogwarts feast.
There is a brilliant club for you to take part in with English, you can broaden your writing skills with the help of the Creative Writing Club which is on at 1:00pm in W99.
Following two fantastic events, Branch Out has now launched! On Thursday we welcomed Orlando Weeks, lead singer of The Maccabees and author/illustrator of the book 'The Gritterman', to UCC to speak to students about writing and illustrating. The next day, we welcomed The Bookshop Band who performed to a LRC packed with students from across the school.
The books are already flying off the shelves and reviews, and art entries, are coming back in. The usual chocolates are on offer for each review and entry into our prizes including a Kindle Fire, Carlisle United FC tickets, Cadburys Gift Boxes and Penrith Alhambra cinema tickets. Thanks again to Carlisle United and the Alhambra for sponsoring the event.
You can view our 2018 Branch Out film above and you can access the Branch Out Apps below. Pop in to the LRC and grab a book!
Our annual reading event Branch Out with Books has launched again for 2017! Open to all the students in the school, Branch Out features a host of new books this year and brand-new prizes - including Penrith Alhambra Cinema Tickets and a Kindle Fire! The LRC have produced another set of film's this year featuring 'Billy' and some familiar faces (go to our Branch Out Vimeo page to see each Head of Year in action!).
The Apps are up and running here: Yrs 7&8, 9-11 & 11-13 with access to the book list, sign-up, upload and to check your accounts. You can also join in the conversation and tag your entries with #branchout17 on Twitter and Instagram (where we have some great videos of the Prize Draw Machine!).
Thanks to the Penrith Alhambra once again for supporting this event!
If you missed the Spring Edition of Success before the Easter holidays, you can now view it online here. This edition is full of the latest news and success stories from UCC including coverage of the fantastic production of Joseph, the recent french exchange visit, our Branch Out with Books competition, the English Department's Harry Potter Night and much more.
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.
Check out the new National Poetry Day film:
Teachers have been busy this week compiling summer projects for the students who will be leaving Year 11 this summer and returning to us in September as Sixth Formers.
Students can find these on the Curriculum page of the subjects they will be studying.
Last week the Coca-Cola Truck rolled in to Penrith to bring a little Christmas cheer to the centre of town. The Year 11 English Study Plus group took the opportunity to visit the truck and use it as inspiration for their class. Following on from the visit, students have written either discursively or creatively about the event.
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.
You can now view the Summer Edition of UCC's own magazine, Success, online or pick one up from the school. This issue is our largest ever and features reviews of the Year 11 Prom, trips, the DT Showcase in the New Squares and much more. The online version of the magazine is available by clicking here.
The Branch Out with Books competition is gaining momentum again this year. To launch the event, there are brand-new web apps for each of the age groups and a new trailer for 2014. Once again the book choices are varied and the prizes are exciting, including the Kindle Fire HD and meeting our Prize Day VIP. You can access the Branch Out Apps on our LRC page, or you can view the trailer below. Students can sign up online via the apps or by going to the LRC.
UCC celebrated National Poetry Day at the beginning of October with a visit from poet and performer Levi Tafari. As well as running workshops for classes across the day in the Learning Resource Centre, Levi helped judged our annual X-Factor style Poetry Competition. The Sounds of the Beacon feature from the day includes a interview with Levi, the X-Factor Rap competition based around this year's theme of 'Stars' and a performance by Levi of his poem 'Plastic Fantastic'. To view the programme, click on the image below.
“I enjoyed our visit to Glasgow. The play was a different interpretation on William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies. It has improved my understanding. We visted the Kelvingrove art gallery and museum, which was also very interesting. Overall it was a great day!” “It was a modern twist to a traditional story through dance.” “Seeing an alternative interpretation of this iconic tale through dance was exciting and gave me new insight into the story”