Goffs Academy Newsletter
December 2018 - Designed by Digital Leaders
Message from the Principal
I write to you as we draw to the end of an incredibly busy but hugely productive term.
You will be able to read below about many of the fantastic events and successes that have taken place since the start of the year. Particular highlights for me included the Senior Citizens' Christmas party, where it was lovely to see how well our students interacted with the senior citizens (the party featured in the Hertfordshire Mercury here). In addition, the fantastic production of Beauty and the Beast put together by the Music and Drama departments; I can honestly say that it is the best school production I have ever watched. The cast, from the key roles through to the chorus, were absolutely brilliant from start to finish, and it was easy to forget that it was a school production. I saw quite a few members of the audience in tears at the end and the standing ovation at the end, was thoroughly deserved. I enjoyed the first performance so much that I could not resist bringing my own children to the second! Finally, it was a pleasure to host a series of lunches with Year 7 to 9 students, selected for producing first class Transition (please see images below) and Higher Project Qualification Projects. The students were given space to talk through their research and work with me, whilst enjoying a good selection of food from our restaurant.
As you will be aware from previous correspondence as well as press coverage, there are ongoing pressures on education funding in England. Goffs' budget, like most others, is extremely tight. Your support would be appreciated in ongoing lobbying of your local MPs to encourage them to bring about changes to the funding of education across England.
Finally, there are two staffing changes as of our start back in January. I would like to thank Ms Greenacre, who kindly returned from France to support us this term, and Mr Ellard who are moving on to new things. We will be welcoming Ms Brew in Art & Photography and Ms Edu-Okafor in Science in their place.
Students and staff alike have worked enormously hard and are very ready for their Christmas break, as I am sure you are! I hope that you are able to find some time to rest amongst the hustle and bustle of Christmas, and to spend some time in reflection and looking ahead in anticipation to the coming new year.
Message from the Executive Principal
This possibly comes with getting older, but each year, Christmas seems to arrive that bit earlier. That has certainly been the case this year, after a particularly busy term. However, Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and it is therefore no hardship to be part of seeing House themed Christmas trees go up; sample Christmas lunches (very nice) and look forward to the end of term Christmas Jumper charity fund raiser.
Both schools have had a successful term. The creation of the Generations MAT has in absolutely no way undermined the great success seen at Goffs over recent years. Instead, Goffs saw results track up once again, with GCSE results again “significantly above the national average” in statistical terms. The same is true at A Level, where the school achieved some of its strongest results in several years, particularly in the top grades. We continue to send these young adults off to a variety of top-flight universities – many of whom are first generation university students – as well into apprenticeships and employment. As at Goffs-Churchgate, it is the strength and commitment of the team that yields such strong outcomes. Without that commitment across all stakeholders in the MAT, we would be nothing. Parents and carers play a key role in this, motivating, cajoling, perhaps occasionally threatening, at home, something that is noted, always appreciated and never taken for granted.
This summer’s results at Goffs-Churchgate are something that we are very proud of. We had just 9 months of teaching with last year’s Year 11, and, as such, we are very proud indeed to see the school go from being in the bottom 12% of all schools nationally in 2017 in its final results as Cheshunt School, to achieving positive Progress 8 value-added just one year later - a remarkable 105% improvement in the overall Progress 8 scores from the previous year. One person on their own cannot achieve such remarkable change, and this has been, and will be, a real team effort across the school, something that staff, parents and students are rightly proud of.
Ian Denchfield and I have been working on several MAT wide projects this term. We very much hope to welcome a primary school to our partnership during this academic year, and continue to look at establishing nursery provision on the Goffs-Churchgate. Finding a nursery provider of the calibre we want is taking some time, but getting the right provider in place is more important than the time scale.
The MAT catering tender was a significant piece of work, with many interested companies. Goffs students have enjoyed a very high standard of catering from Cucina for 5 years, something that Ian and I were determined to extend to Goffs-Churchgate as part of ensuring equal provision across the MAT. Students were central to this process from the start, and are to be commended for their active engagement, challenging questions to companies tendering, and enthusiasm in sampling the food. Chartwells was the clear choice of students, Trustees and parents via each school’s Local Advisory Body, and we are excited about what they will bring to both schools from 1st January 2019. We have asked that they write to parents in the near future to introduce themselves and their offer, and they will also be attending assemblies at both schools at the start of next term. Whilst Cucina were not successful in this tendering bid, Ian and I are very grateful to them. They have quite literally transformed the dining experience at Goffs and we are hugely grateful.
Neil and I are going to Devon for Christmas to spend the holiday with my brother and his family: my nephew is still just young enough to believe in all the Christmas magic, and I am very much looking forward to it. Whatever you and your families do this Christmas, I wish you an equally enjoyable, happy and peaceful break.
Beauty and the Beast Production
This year our school production was the classic fairy tale, Beauty and The Beast. This iconic musical was bought to life by over 60 performers and a technical team of 8 highly dedicated and organised students. These ranged from Nathan Hyde in Year 7 who was in charge of the show’s sound, to Max Roper in Year 13 who starred as the tightly wound Cogsworth.
From early September the students have been auditioning, volunteering and rehearsing to produce rousing and hearty ensemble sequences, as seen in the song ‘Gaston’, whilst bringing to life the charming and amusing scenes as in ‘Human Again’. The cast were set a further challenge this year of performing to almost 300 primary age students from our local feeder primary schools. The Year 5 and 6 students were stunned by the set and performers alike, and all left with huge beaming faces.
The shows were on 13th and 14th December and were met with standing ovations on both evenings. Spearheaded by Lara Wollington as Belle and Lewis Harrington as The Beast, the whole cast were as comedic, charismatic and energetic as the enchanted objects in The Beast’s own castle.
A special mention must be made to Max Roper, Jamie Amatruda and Lewis Harrington for whom this will be their last show here at Goffs. We thank you for your dedication to the Music and Drama Departments and wish you luck in all your future endeavours.
Head of Drama
OAP Christmas Party
On Tuesday 4th December, Goffs Academy hosted their Annual OAP Christmas Dinner Party for senior citizens in the local Cheshunt area. The event was attended by over 70 senior citizens and carers from the Beaumont Centre, Emmanuel Lodge, Highgrove Court, The Friary Centre and Cliff Richard’s Court.
Students helped cook and serve a delicious Christmas meal, and showcased their musical and creative talents through an extensive entertainment programme, expertly co-ordinated by Mr Nigel Taken, Music Department and Ms Hollie Hockley, Dance Department. The guests were also treated to bingo and a raffle as well as a good old knees up on the dancefloor.
Students from Goffs Academy House Team, Student Parliament, and Sixth Form were an absolute credit to the school and made the whole evening so enjoyable for all the residents of the local care homes.
Many comments and emails of gratitude were received from some of the senior citizens, including “We all had a fantastic evening,” and “What a lovely evening! Thank you all so very much for all you did to make our evening so enjoyable. Lovely meal and wine, and entertainment. The students’ entertainment was so good. I appreciate how much work went into it. The students were lovely, coming round talking to us all – they are a credit to the School. And they enjoyed it! Thank you for inviting us, and please thank all concerned.”
Huge 'thank yous' go to Cheryl Poag, Ellie Myers and Lisa Hardwick for their extensive work in planning such a fantastic evening, and to Lisa Thorogood for co-ordinating the Student Parliament's Christmas cards. Thank you also to all staff who supported the evening, as well as to CHEXS for providing transport for some of the senior citizens, and helping to finance the event. And finally thank you to the De Vere Hotel for providing crockery and for donating the main raffle prize.
Rise and Read
On Thursday 29th November, Goffs Academy welcomed Year 7 and 8 students and parents to join together for the 'Rise and Read' breakfast event.
The morning was an excellent opportunity for parents to come along and gain an insight into what we do here at Goffs to promote the literacy of our students - as well as providing the space to read with their child and sample a few pain au chocolates.
Parents were also offered a forum to speak to our Literacy Coordinators, offering advice on how to support their child's reading development, including discussions on the potential for future trips and author visits. Staff and parents felt the event was a great success and it is planned to be repeated in the Spring/Summer terms.
At Goffs we take great pride in the provision we have available to support students with maintaining good mental health. We recognise that mental health concerns are on the rise in young people and have responded to this need by investing considerably in our mental health provision.
At the heart of our mental health provision is our counselling services, provided by Place to Be. Place to Be are a charity supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and we are very proud to have this provision at our school.
Place to Be run drop-in sessions for students at break and lunch times; counselling sessions on a referral basis (students can refer themselves), and support for students and staff with ongoing difficulties including bereavement and issues with peers.
Our ability to offer a large number of professional counselling sessions each week and to reach a wide range of students, is a real benefit to our student body who are able to seek support for both shorter term issues such as friendship conflicts, but also longer term issues such as anxiety or bereavement.
Two of our staff are fully trained Mental Health First Aiders; as such, we can respond effectively to any crisis our students may suffer such as last minute exam nerves. To help our students through the pressure of exams, the school also runs very successful Mindfulness sessions. These sessions are designed to help students feel calm and less ‘stressed out’ before their exams.
To raise the profile of mental health across the school, we run a series of mental health weeks over the course of the year. These are supported by regular assemblies. The aim of these weeks is to remove the stigma which can be associated with experiencing mental health issues, and raise awareness of mental health and the help we have available to our students.
Throughout ATM sessions, our PSHE provision covers the promotion of good mental health and resilience. The purpose of these sessions is to educate and equip students with the tools they need to progress through school and cope with the stresses and strains of modern school life and beyond.
If you have any concerns about mental health of your child then please contact Jennie Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to discuss the different ways in which we can support.
The Ollie Foundation
As part of continued work on Mental Health, we have been made aware of the Ollie Foundation. This organisation offers advice and training for suicide prevention.
In 2016, three parents who had all lost their teenage sons to suicide, vowed to do all they could to prevent other families suffering similar tragedies. And so The OLLIE Foundation was born. The OLLIE Foundation (One Life Lost is Enough) is a registered charity funding suicide prevention skills training for any individual or community that wants it, especially those interacting with young people, or young people themselves. may be parents, students, school staff, other charity and community groups and many more. The aim of the organisation is to create 'suicide safe' communities with an ethos of awareness and prevention structured around alertness, intervention and recovery.
The House Team have had a very busy few months, running multiple fundraising events, working alongside Student Parliament and the Top Team and planning a variety of competitions for the upcoming year!
Children In Need Non-uniform day
On Friday 16th November, students were given the opportunity to come to school in their own clothes. All students who took part kindly donated £1, meaning we raised a fantastic £1,253.81 for the BBC’s Children in Need charity.
On Wednesday 21st November, the House Team ran an extremely successful Spelling Bee. All Year 7-10 students were entered for the competition by sitting spelling tests in their English lessons. The winner from each class was then automatically entered for the Final. The Final saw 25 of our top spellers battle it out for the 'top spot', with some extremely challenging spellings selected and delivered to the finalists by Miss Wakeling. After three tense knockout rounds, our winners were Chari Mahamud in 3rd place, Michaella Boakye in 2nd Place and Stefanos Georgiou in 1st place. Well done to all of the participants and congratulations to our winners!
Hygiene bank appeal
The final weeks of November saw our Hygiene Bank collection, where students kindly donated basic hygiene items for the Hygiene Bank charity that collect for people living in poverty. The generosity of our students was overwhelming, with students bringing in over 800 items over the collection period. The charity has said how grateful they are for our successful collection and the difference it will make to the lives of so many over this festive period.
Candy cane event
On the last week of term, students had the opportunity to buy and send candy canes to their peers. The event spread immense amounts of festive cheer around the school, and students were very excited when our Sixth Form House Team hand delivered the candy canes and messages to their classes! All the proceeds went to our school charity, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.
Keep your eyes peeled for more house events and exciting competitions coming up in the New Year!
Head of House
On Friday 30th November, Stephanie Ryder from Anemoi Marine Industries ran a series of interactive workshops with male and female students from Years 7-9 who are interested in a career in Engineering and STEM. During the session, Stephanie talked students through her path to Engineering, as well as the myriad of projects she has had the opportunity to work on. Students also carried out a series of fluid dynamics experiments using Bernoulli's principle. Students had a fantastic experience and enjoyed being immersed in the world of Engineering for the day.
“Today was excellent – I never knew Engineering was such a vast topic, it is definitely a career I want to pursue in the future” – Year 9 student
Associate Assistant Principal
Students at KS3 Science Club have been taking part in various practical activities this year, since September. We have tried to answer some of 'life's big questions', such as does the size of your head affect how intelligent you are, and can eating chocolate decrease your reaction time? In addition to that we have held races for our hovercrafts and balloon rockets, and burnt a lot of stuff! This term's Science Club is going to end on Wednesday the 19th December with a Christmas party, which includes opportunities to grow crystals for snowflakes! I would particularly like to take this opportunity to thank every student who has come for their enthusiasm. Mr McEgan and myself are very excited to continue running this club on Wednesdays after school next term too, and have lots of ideas for new experiments to try!
Art - Remembrance Day
For the 100 Years Remembrance in November 2018, our 6th Form students created ceramic poppies. 150 poppies were created in total, out of clay. These were then fired in our kiln and painted. 6th Form Students gained ‘G Involved’ hours for their help with this installation piece. Many thanks to all the students involved. You did us and the local community proud.
Elsie Akonor, Izzie Braniff, Adele Japal, Tiffany Pavlou, Sara Capar, Veronica Rivero, Ellie Paul, Eva Ros-Downer, Jada Molyneaux-Orisawaji, Isabel Angus, Lola Dale, Holly Chandler, Ben Evans, Lily Lancaster, Kim Edgley, Holly Young, Taja Stapleton-Bunsie, Nadia Moscariltolo, Kai Moonesawmy, Jordan Ying, Danielle Cabriga, Esin Celebi, Anabelle Clarke,
Head of Art
Girls' football so far this year has been extremely successful. We have had amazing performances so far from the U13 Girls who are through to round 5 in the National Cup, and are in the quarter finals of the Schools County Cup. The U14 girls are through to the semi-finals in the Schools' County Cup. Finally, the Year 9 girls won the 6-a-side District Tournament. The girls who have contributed to this success are; Laci Hawkins, Chloe Ions, Chloe Dwyer, Ellie Young, Summer Young, Elle Hatherley, Josie Lewis, Maddison Moore, Jessica Gottesman, Billie Grayston, Maddie Murchison, Tilly Barnard, and Ellie Rose Cole.
Goffs Sports Academy
Goffs sports leaders have made a positive and committed start to the year, excelling in their volunteering hours, particularly at our extra-curricular clubs. Emma Jeeves, Holly Willett, Skype Plester and Rosie Featley have been outstanding in their contribution to netball club, particularly coaching the Year 7 and 8 girls, as well as umpiring our fixtures. Shareef Ali, Aaron Gallagher and Adam McCallion have demonstrated excellent leadership skills at the boys' football Club. Mickie Palfreman and Rachel May have taken on the girls' football this year and have demonstrated their excellent knowledge and ability to lead in football.
Second in charge of PE
Dance has been a huge success this term! Dance Club has been full every week and most lunch times. The BTEC Dance students have worked tirelessly on their BTEC Show, ‘The Circus is Coming to Town’, with so much thought and pride taken to make it perfect. These students choreographed everything themselves, planned the costumes and designed the tickets, posters and programme. A huge well done to our Year 9s: Lucy Allum, Katie Arnfield, Evelyn Burke, Annie Peacock, Lennie-May Thompson, Ava Reynolds, Chloe Flunder, Jasmine O’Shea, Maddie Rolfe, Mara Cotoi, Imogen Loizides and Lily-Mae Gransville-Russell. And our Year 10s: Millie Rudd, Kate Davies, Amaya Doolan, Eva Minden-Parker, Eve Perkins, Scarlett Thorn, Nicole Aravis and Emily Panayiotou.
A group of Year 8 and 9 students also supported the OAP dinner by performing a Spice Girls number and a Christmas Classic. Well done to: Charlie Clowes, Daniella Aslett, Mollie Orton, Gracie Gwilliams, Lois Eldred, Ava Reynolds, Chloe Flunder, Jasmine O’Shea, Mara Cotoi, Katie Arnfield, Maddie Rolfe, Lucy Allum, Honey Humphries, Ashlyn Harrington and Amelia Hutchinson. It was a fantastic event that saw pupils bring great joy to all those watching.
We hope that these events and opportunities have inspired many others to attend Dance Club. It is on a Thursday 3:15-4:15pm for Years 9 & 10 and Friday 3:15-4:15pm for Years 7 & 8. We hope to see more of you there!
This year, students, especially in Year 7 and those in the new girls' rugby club, are keener than ever on rugby and with the completion of Cheshunt RFC’s 4G pitch, it has meant there have been more competitions for the students to be able to compete in.
Our Year 8s were the first to attend Cheshunt for their festival. We actually won all of our games, effectively winning the event. There were excellent displays all round, but Taite Williams was a key player who was noticed by Tom Mowbray who organises the festivals in conjunction with the RFU. The other boys involved were Henry Steed, Freddy Wiles, Tommy Bowden and Antonio Torrpo.
The next event was the turn of the Year 7 team, who also ended up winning all of their games despite some of the students experiencing competitive rugby for the first time. Top performances from captain Bobby Blackford, Lenny Colley, Luke Ellery, Blake Coleman, Luke Neoptolemou, James Doody, Adam Hockett and Okkes Palit. The boys have really enjoyed playing rugby this year and some have now joined teams, or are contemplating leaving their football teams to now play rugby.
The Year 8 girls were the next students to travel to Cheshunt Rugby Club and thoroughly enjoyed their first taste of competitive rugby in a controlled environment, but with plenty of contact and tackling to given them a taste of what it’s really like! Many of the girls have been desperate to get their friends to sign up and after a positive display, they must surely be able to entice a few extras along! The girls who played were Sharon Hood, Soraya Carletto, Michaella Boakye, Charlotte Williams, Elizabeth Lead, Jessica Buburuzan, Sophie Morris, Victoria Townsend, Millie Bowden, Madeline Turner and Sienna Milacombe.
After this, the Year 9 boys attended Cheshunt Rugby Club and also won all of their games (quite comfortably at times too!) with the help of four students from Haileybury Turnford. The boys did themselves proud with some excellent rugby, as well as some big hits (including Isaac Bode apologising after one particular fair but crunching tackle!). The boys were a credit to the school, with Tom Mowbray again very complimentary of how they played. The students involved were Frankie Gould, Ben Lashmore, Erdal Nacakgedigi, Tommy Kenny, Isaac Bode and Alfie Lawrence.
It was so nice to have repeat year groups attend another tournament, as it allowed us to see if there had been any progress on numbers and interest, and the Year 8 festival in November proved what a little success can breed. From the original five who participated in the first tournament, the numbers rose to twelve, demonstrating a clear rise in the popularity the sport is having within the school. This was mirrored with the next Year 7 tournament, where our squad rose to sixteen students from eight. It really is a pleasure to see the rise of rugby at the school and if we continue to obtain these numbers we can look at putting on full games with the students, on top of attending the festivals.
I do need to give a huge thank you to Gavin Dean and Lucy Stimpson for their continued effort and enthusiasm to coach our students on a Wednesday and Tuesday respectively. They really do make the sessions engaging, fun and enjoyable for all concerned, and without them, Rugby would not be growing as it is in the school.
It is also important to say a big thank you to Tom Mowbray from the RFU for organising the festivals and being a big part in the increase of rugby at the school. Although the training is excellent, the students want to compete and it hasn’t mattered whether we’ve turned up with six or twelves students, they have all been able to compete in proper rugby games, which has created a buzz around rugby again at the school.
Head of PE
Year 8 Football Club
The Year 8 boys have had a fantastic term in regards to football, getting to the 5th round of the National Cup, unfortunately losing 1-0 to Brentwood. Furthermore, they have had two wins in the District Cup against Sele 10-1, and John Warner 6-1, which have seen excellent performances from the boys, scoring 16 and only conceding 2. Finally, they are through to the 4th round of the County Cup with a 1-0 win against Richard towards the end of term. The boys and myself are looking forward to what the new year brings, and hope to achieve many more good performances and possibly pick up a bit of silverware at the end of it.
Year 7 Football Club
This year, the Year 7 football club got off to an excellent start with over 60 students trialling for the school team. Although places for a spot in the team are limited, this shows the students' determination and resilience to gain a place in the side, with over 45 boys still attending the club for training on a weekly basis. There has been plenty of rotation during training sessions and competitive matches to give pupils an opportunity to express their ability on the pitch.
The season started really well, where the boys progressed to the third round of the national cup after beating a strong Highgate Wood side 3-1. In addition, the boys had success in the Haileybury Turnford 6-a-side competition, in which they were placed in the top 3 due to a late winner against Chauncey School. The tournament was also extremely positive as it gave the students an opportunity for the first time to play against a number of different schools, where they learnt new rules and a structure to build upon for next year.
Even though the boys lost to John Warner in the second round of the County Cup 2-1 and also lost in the third round of the nationals 4-2, the development and progression that the boys made individually and as a team did not go unnoticed. For example, the boys worked hard in training, securing an 8-0 win over Simon Balle the following week. So far, it has been a pleasure to teach and manage the boys this year, and it has been excellent to see participation rates maintain throughout the season.
Head of PE
Geography - Zoolab
On Tuesday 4th December, a Ranger from Zoolab came to school for an exciting extra-curricular workshop for Year 8 geography students. Year 8 geography students have been studying the tropical rainforest this half term, and so Zoolab brought in five rainforest creatures for the students to meet and learn about. In total, 65 students took part in the workshop where they met a giant millipede, hissing cockroach, giant African tiger snail, a tarantula, and a snake! As well as getting to hold these fascinating creatures, the students were also able to learn about their adaptations to living in a unique environment.
Head of Geography
UK Bebras Computing Challenge
Our Computer Science students from Years 7 -10 took part in the Bebras Computing Challenge during a two week period between 5th -16th November. The Bebras Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students. It is organised in over 40 countries and designed to get students all over the world excited about computing.
The Bebras challenges were made of a set of short problems called Bebras Tasks, and were delivered online through individual logins given to each student. The tasks were fun, engaging and based on problems that Computer Scientists often meet and enjoy solving. The tasks can be solved without prior knowledge, but instead require logical thinking.
The students had to aim to solve as many as they could in the allotted time. Once results have been published, students receive certificates to celebrate their achievements. Students that achieved scores in the top 10% qualify to take part in the TCS Oxford Computing Challenge in March 2019.
Well done to the following students who achieved a score in the top 10% of Bebras Computing Challenge:
Callum Lai – 7D (A)
Emily Hayford – 7E (L)
Jayden Ying – 7B (Q)
Katie Gunter – 7B (Q)
Paige Samuel – 7G (T)
Sam Safavi – 7G (T)
Jake Jeffrey – 7C (U)
Megan Byrne – 7C (U)
Ruby Williams – 8D (A)
Sophie Morris – 8F (I)
Sharon Hood – 8E (L)
George Hilder – 8E (L)
Reef Cole – 8C (U)
Daniel Nourie – 8H (Y)
Victoria Townsend – 8H (Y)
Teddy Absalom – 9A
Ben James – 9U
Callum Law – 10Q
Reece Edgley – 10U
Rhys Dell – 10Y
Head of ICT & Computing
Year 13 Curriculum Enrichment Day
On Tuesday 20th November, Goffs Academy organised a Curriculum Enrichment morning for all Year 13 students. The aim of the event was to give students the opportunity to learn and understand more about moving on to university or applying for apprenticeships.
Guest speakers were invited from various companies and charities including Longmore's Solicitors in Hertford, Nomura International, WM Global, BLESMA, the Charity for Limbless Veterans, ASK Education and Employers Working Together and the University of Hertfordshire. Students attended sessions across four periods with presentations and workshops on apprenticeship opportunities, life at university, improving resilience, CV preparation, making the most of independent study and well-being.
Student feedback from the event has been very positive with students saying the extra skills and knowledge learned will help them in their future choices, post Year 13 examinations. One student stated, "The university session was very useful as we learned about how to manage university maintenance loans effectively.’" Other quotes include,‘it was good to learn about career opportunities in law, banking and media and knowing there are alternatives to the traditional university route."
Sixth Form Mentor
A mixed 11-18 comprehensive Academy with approximately 1450 students on roll, including a thriving and successful Sixth Form. Our Academy is extremely popular in the local area, with an average of over 800 applications annually for the 240 places available, and significant waiting lists for places across the year groups.