Tonight is the Operation Wallacea Presentation night; an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful trip to Mexico that staff and students experienced this summer. There will be details soon about the next Operation Wallacea trip (Dominica!) but for now, we'd like to share this video of the Mexico trip with you:
Seven UCC students worked with Workington Academy on a Physics trip to CERN in Switzerland. It is the world’s largest scientific research facility and some of the pioneering scientists who work there guided around our students. As part of the visit in Geneva the students experienced the United Nations and the International Red Cross. To cap this we visited Europe’s highest mountain Monte Blanc and ventured into an excavated ice-cave inside a moving glacier!
45 students and 5 members of staff travelled to Claviere in Italy during the Easter break. Students skied two different countries and three different resorts on ice, slush and even powder at the end of the week. Students skiing skills improved hugely, with all students (even the beginners) completing red runs by the end of the week. Overall a fantastic week had by all.
"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:
UCC Year 9 netball and rugby have just returned from a successful tour to Holland. They spent the week staying at the Limburgse Peel Centre Parcs and travelled out for training and fixtures. The netball team spent the morning having coaching sessions from England netball coaches before going up against other English schools in the afternoon. Having finished the first day in first and third place both teams were moved up into the Year 10 competition for the following day. The teams finished 2nd and 9th out of 22 teams in total having stepped up to play the older teams.
Fresh from their county cup success the under 14 rugby team have enjoyed a great cultural experience playing rugby in Holland. After an overnight ferry taking us to Amsterdam the tour group have a fantastic day at the Toverland theme park before the boys played Bokkerijder Rugby club. The under 14s played some superb running rugby to win 61 – 10. Two mornings of coaching with Dutch coaches helped to hone to boys skills and with swimming and cycling to help them relax they were ready for the challenge of Eindhoven rugby club in their second match. After a very strong start it became apparent that UCC were far too strong for the opposition and the teams were then mixed to create a worthwhile rugby experience with only 1 try separating the teams.
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.