Goffs Academy Newsletter
Trust Update - Message from the CEO
As always, I am surprised by how quickly the end of the year has come around. It has certainly been a very busy year. This time last year, as for all school leaders, we were ending the academic year with much uncertainty around Covid, what schools would be asked to do regarding testing, and how we might need to stagger the September start to accommodate that. I am sure that I am not the only person feeling relieved that we are not engaged in similar uncertainty this year. Whilst the 21/22 academic year started with much uncertainty around Covid, I am very pleased and proud of how both our schools rapidly settled back into normal operation. Enormous credit goes to both students and staff for this; I think that everyone was incredibly keen to return to more normal existence wherever we could, but it has certainly required some effort on all parts. I was pleased also to see exam year groups at both schools embracing exam preparation with, inevitably, some catch-up work being needed after two years of significant disruption. Their effort cannot be faulted, and they deserve the very best of outcomes this summer. Each Principal has been in touch with home about how this year's results will be calculated, notwithstanding some very late decisions and information from the DfE, and we wait to see what August yields.
In a year of much forward movement for the Trust, one of the highlights is the May Ofsted inspection of Goffs-Churchgate. Goffs-Churchgate's families will already be aware of this, but we were delighted with the outcome - a "Good" with "Outstanding" features. We opened Goffs-Churchgate in 2017, and the school has been transformed under Tom Spark's skilful leadership, and the dedication and determination of staff and students. It is a very special place indeed, as Ofsted recognised, commenting on "respectful and aspirational students", "calm and orderly environments" and "a strong sense of community". Parental feedback to Ofsted was overwhelmingly positive about the school. Goffs-Churchgate very much stands shoulder to shoulder with Goffs in terms of what both schools offer to their young people, and all at the school are justifiably very proud of what has been achieved in a short space of time. If you would like to read the report in full, you will find it here:
In terms of the business operation of the Trust, this is now firmly back on track. Our income generation arm is now securing around £0.5m additional funding per annum, all of which is ploughed straight back into staffing and student provision. I'm delighted by how quickly this essential part of our operation has recovered from the various lockdowns, and am very grateful to every member of staff associated with the operation.
After numerous delays to the new building and gym at Goffs, related to a shortage of labour and supplies in the construction industry, the new building finally opened at the start of the summer term. Our Humanities staff are now based in there, in a building that offers students and staff a wonderful view onto the fields and allotments beyond, as well as huge amounts of light. It really is a fabulous space. The building was officially opened a few weeks ago as The Appleyard Building, in memory of our much loved and highly regarded colleague, Nigel Appleyard. Nigel's legacy lives on in all the students he taught and all of the staff he trained across both secondaries. He is much missed and always will be.
The professional gym operating at the front of the building continues to flourish, with membership being far higher than Lifestyle Fitness had anticipated at this stage. I am told by many people that it is a super place to train and exercise although, in full transparency, I have to admit that I have not as yet donned my exercise gear and gone in. I am sticking with my excuse that life is busy....
Our plans to open an independently operated nursery on the Goffs-Churchgate site, working with Ashbourne Day Nurseries, have also experienced delays post Covid. However, we are now making rapid progress, and whilst I doubt that the nursery will open for September 2022 as we originally hoped, I am cautiously optimistic that it will open around October half-term. This will form another exciting addition to the Trust's provision.
Last but not least, we hope to have a local primary school join our Trust by January 2023. We are all very excited about this and all of the opportunities that it offers. If we secure DfE approval, I will be in touch to tell you more.
I wish every family a very happy summer break. It remains the greatest happiness and indeed privilege, of my career to oversee our Trust, and I look forward to working with you next year.
Message from the Principal
As you will read in the newsletter articles below, it has been an incredibly busy term, with students being involved in a vast range of exciting opportunities. The summer term has provided many occasions for us to recognise and celebrate our students' achievements, culminating in our annual Pride of Goffs awards ceremony, as you will read below. I continue to be impressed by the dedication of our students, so many of whom balance their endeavours in volunteering, sports, and the creative arts, alongside their learning in school.
Much work has been focused on preparing Year 11 and Year 13 students for final exams. I was delighted with how students responded to the challenge; they tackled the exam period with commitment, composure, and a healthy dose of good humour. We are proud of each and every student, and I look forward to celebrating many successes on Results Days in summer, and hearing about the many exciting destinations onto which our students will progress. My thanks must also go to all staff for their amazing support for students in preparing for exams.
As Alison highlights, earlier this term we were delighted to formally mark the opening of the Appleyard Building, which opened in April 2022. This includes the professional-standard Fitness Centre, run by Lifestyle Fitness, and which has already been extremely popular both with older students, and members of the wider community. The new classrooms are superb spaces for learning and teaching, full of light and space, and have provided welcome additional classroom capacity as we plan the timetable for September 2022.
We have also welcomed students who will be joining the Goffs community in September, during our Sixth Form Induction Week, and Secondary Transfer Day for new Year 6 students. We have received more applications to join the Sixth Form than ever before, and remain highly oversubscribed in terms of families applying to join the school in Year 7.
I wish all students and their families a restful and happy summer break (if you are looking for a good summer read, be sure to check out Mrs Trippier's recommendations below), and I look forward to seeing you all at the start of next term.
Pride of Goffs
On Tuesday 5th July, we hosted our annual 'Pride of Goffs' celebration evening. This event provided an opportunity to recognise and celebrate our students’ many achievements, and their determination and commitment in various endeavours, in and out of school.
Many congratulations to all our prize winners.
Music: Carlos Cabriga
Drama: Aleksandra Kolenda
Food: Alfie Smith
Product Design: Henry Steed
Textiles: Holly- Mae Halls
Media: Katerina Osmani
Business: Natalia Brodowska
Economics: Ross Haggart
RS: Daniella Ramos-Okere
Sociology: Elisa Ricotta
Geography: Matthew Harris
Sport: Lola Tanner
Sport: Zain Abid
Dance: Molly Orton
Art: Lindy Paculanan
ICT: Marinela Tsepa
Computer Science: Alexia Stylianou
Psychology: Sophia Robu
Biology: Georgiana Acceleanu
Chemistry: Daniel Nourie
Physics: Alanna Simmons
English: Leon Joseph
Maths: Lily Knowles
Italian: Lina Aali
French: Oscar Pickett
Spanish: Priyanka Gahir
Law: Christian Lobrutto
Child Care: Sofia Grech
Health and Social Care: Katy Lee
Year Group Award Winners:
Year 7: Lauren Gallagher & Ben Thompson
Year 8: Sam Lawrence & Olivia Judge
Year 9: Alex Bonfante & Guluzar Guven
Year 10: Sundai-Santine Amele & Michael Janeway
Year 11: Lois Eldred & Reef Cole
Year 12: Marianna Theodorou & Louie Haggerty
Year 13: Cindy Long
Principal Award Winners:
Year 7: Favour Emelogu
Year 8: Dzifa Anncou
Year 9: Rosie Clowes
Year 10: Grace Sofokleous-Ames
Year 11: Anwar Moutawafiq
Year 12: Lucy Todd
Year 13: Rhys Dell
As we move towards the summer holidays, and all sit back and take some time to rest, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Year 11 students who worked incredibly hard, during what was a very challenging year of exams. Students showed an immense amount of resilience. When we started the Year 11 journey, we were not even convinced that exams would happen, and they have dealt with the challenges superbly.
I would also like to thank all Year 11 staff and support staff for the immense amount of support you have all given the Year 11s this year. The year has certainly had many twists and turns, and as always the staff here at Goffs have gone above and beyond to make sure students were fully prepared for their end of Year exams.
It only remains for me to say another huge well done - I look forward to seeing you all on Results Day when we can celebrate the hard work and resilience you have shown this past year.
Associate Assistant Prinicipal
House System Update
This term has been a very busy and successful one for the House Team. On the week of 27th June we had our KS3 Enrichment week. There were a range of opportunities and competitions available for the students to get involved in, and it was excellent to see so many students’ getting involved.
The competitions ranged from a Haunted Prop/Costume competition in Drama, through to a Spaghetti Tower competition in Science. One of the most popular competitions was the ICT Mario Kart tournament, with the 48 spaces available being filled in the first 24 hours of the competition being advertised. The final took place on Thursday 30th June, between Ashvin King (8T) and Sam Evans (8U). Competition was tense, to say the least, however Ashvin was eventually crowned winner at the end of tournament, representing Eagle House. A huge thank you must go to the ICT department and Mr Lewis for organising this for the students, another tournament is already in the pipeline for next year!
Congratulations to all winners of the Enrichment competitions and well done to everyone for their time and effort in taking part.
On Wednesday 29th June, as part of Enrichment week, Goffs Business Academy and the House Team ran a successful Summer Fete for Year 7 and 8. A huge thank you must go to all students that attended and got involved. Your participation in the stalls and purchasing of items for sale have enabled us to raise an outstanding £1,633 for our school charity, The Rainbow Trust.
By far our two most popular stalls were the 'Beat the Goalie' and our 'Soak the Teacher' stalls. Mr Spaul and Miss Hague were great sports, allowing students to throw wet sponges at them for the duration of the fete…and Miss Rowe, whose form clubbed together with such a generous charity donation that they convinced her to get 'sponged' too!
I would like to take this opportunity to say a final thank you to everyone across our community for supporting the House system this year, be that through donating money or getting involved in competitions. The House Team are extremely grateful for all of your support in raising over £11,000 for our school charity, The Rainbow Trust, this year.
Keep your eye out for new competitions being introduced next year, as we continue to expand and improve the opportunities offered to you here at Goffs. We look forward to many more successes next year.
Miss Ellie Myers
Director of the House System
Sports Day 2022
Wow. What a day, what a week! Sports Week for Year 7, 8 & 9 was a fantastic opportunity for students to engage in Athletics, Handball and Rounders, culminating in the Athletics track events on the afternoon of Friday 1st July.
Throughout the week, students competed for their Houses in field events, Rounders and Handball matches. Students' behaviour and commitment were excellent throughout. We were particularly pleased to see so many students representing their Houses, with face paint or a piece of clothing of their House colour.
For the main Sports Day, all Year 7, 8 & 9 students, along with their teachers, came out onto the field to complete their track events. It was great to see students with banners to support their forms and Houses, as well as an amazing performance by our Year 7 & 8 dancers, to open the proceedings. The PE staff also entertained the students with a little dance of their own, which led to more mixed reviews...
After the community 1500m event, open to all students across the school community, the students from each year group competed in their races. The atmosphere was amazing throughout the afternoon, with many students and staff commenting on what a great experience it was for the school community.
Here are the form results with overall results being given out in the students' House assemblies:
Combined Cadets Force (CCF) Update
It has been an incredible year for all involved in the Cadets programme. Highlights have included 2nd Lt Crichton gaining her commission, Lt Gill receiving promotion, and countless Cadets gaining promotions of their own – including Bella Volpe (or should I say Cpl Volpe!), Erin O’Brien, and Charlotte Coffey, who are our youngest ever L Cpls (Lance Corporals).
Moreover, the most important promotion was that of Leo Collins who became the first ever Colour Sergeant (C Sgt) at Goffs Academy – a moment of real pride for all involved in the programme.
Our 3 main camps this year have included the Spring Forward training, Senior Summer Camp and Junior Summer Camp. For many, this was the first time they had camped out “military style” – without a tent, of course, and with weapon systems in tow!
For this to take place, Cadets needed to pass their 'Skill At Arms' (to gain a license to use the L98 rifle) which all of our seniors did with ease. Activities across these camps include standing to (defences of a harbour area), range days, section attacks, shotguns, air rifles, paintball, night attacks, I-Fly and the notorious assault course. It would be remiss of me to miss out the wonderful ration packs that the cadets got to eat (many for the first time) – with Cadets reporting just how lovely they were.
It is worthy of mention that our very own L Cpl Sonny Moore gained a perfect score on his marksmanship test at Beckingham – gaining a perfect 100/100 with a shot spread of 66mm from 100m range – an incredible feat, which is very much the best shooting we have seen in our time here at Goffs. Our other great achievement this year includes winning the inter-platoon competition ensuring that the reputation of the Goffs’ Cadets is maintained at the highest level in our contingent.
Our Cadets have been a credit at training this year, with our seniors setting the highest standard for our junior Cadets and showing just how much of a tight-knit group we are in our contingent. I would like to thank all of our Cadets on behalf of the training staff at Goffs and St Edmund’s for their efforts this year, and just to say what a pleasure it has been.
Lt Gill and 2nd Lt Crichton
During the summer term, our athletics team have been competing in a variety of competitions. These have included; the County cup, the District cup, the Nicky Morris Challenge, The Bruce Longden challenge and the Pentathlon.
The students have represented the school superbly, and we have had numerous Personal Best results! Well done to all of the athletes that took part, and thank you for your continued commitment and dedication.
Some of the season's outstanding performances are noted below:
Sharon Hood – District winner for 100m
Lacey Brown – 2nd in the District for Long Jump
Lily Barber – 2nd in the District for 100m
Olivia Judge – 2nd in the District for 200m
Holly Todd – District winner for Javelin
Hannah Gibson – District winner for 1500m
Junior Girls Relay Team – 2nd in the District for Relay
Minor Girls Relay Team – 2nd in the District for Relay
Junior Girls Athletics Team (Year 8/9) – 3rd in the District
Inter Girls Relay Team - District Winner for relay
Freddie Hollings-Yates – District Winner for 1500m
Kennedy Alade – District Winner for 100m
Logan Timothy – District Winner for Javelin
Ben Colebeck – District Winner for Triple Jump
On Thursday 28th April and Friday 29th April 2022, I performed in the dance show “The Return”. This show felt particularly significant, due to this being our first dance show back since the pandemic.
This was really good for our school, as it helped us bring normality back after being restricted from a lot of things like performing. We helped raise money for the charity ”Ukraine Crisis” through the tickets and refreshments we sold. This charity helps to support the people in Ukraine who were in need because of the ongoing conflict.
I performed in many dances, which included many different styles, throughout the show. Some of dances I performed in were for my coursework, and some were free dances that we choreographed ourselves.
One of my favourite coursework dances was Rosas Danst Rosas. Even though it was challenging, it was different to any dance I have ever learnt. The style of it intrigued me and I think actually helped me develop as dancer as I now pay more attention to timing and detail.
Another dance I loved was the Burlesque numbers. The first dance I actually choreographed myself, which I was really proud of. The other Burlesque dance was a dance which we had learned in Year 9 with Miss Fleet, and which was planned for the summer 2021 dance show, which again was cancelled because of Coronavirus.
As a class, together we taught it to each other, so it looked as good as it did a year ago. I personally really enjoyed it, and enjoyed watching all the younger and older students dance together. The Year 12s also agreed it was nice to come back and dance together.
The audience enjoyed it a lot and we had a lot of great feedback about the show. Overall, I think the dance show was a success for people to bring back life before coronavirus, and also to raise funds to help people in Ukraine in the process.
As another year comes to a close, I just wanted to say thank you to all Sixth Form students for their amazing hard work and resilience this year.
As we get back to normality, it’s been great seeing students getting involved in various activities and trips.
To the outgoing Year 13 students, I truly hope that wherever you go and whatever you do, you are proud of what you have achieved, and always remember that whatever you do in life you will always be a part of Goffs Academy.
I hope you all have a restful and lovely summer.
Mrs Karen Lawrence
Assistant Principal - Sixth Form
The Brilliant Club Scholars Programme was an amazing experience. At first, it was quite daunting as all I knew about it was that we had to draft a 2500-word essay! However, as we began the course, it became interesting and enjoyable.
After completing tutorials, we had to draft a 2500-word essay about either the beneficial or harmful aspects of microbes. I chose to write about the negative aspects, and I wrote about various types of diseases that microbes can cause and viable solutions. After submitting this, we had a feedback session with our PhD tutor, who gave us some advice on how we could improve. This was highly informative and helpful, as writing an extended essay in this format was a new experience for me. During this session, we also received our results in university style grading, as the project we produced was in the format of university level expectations.
The Brilliant Club also educates young people about university. After we completed the project, we were invited to a graduation trip to Goldsmiths, University of London to celebrate our achievements. At Goldsmiths, we had a Q&A with some university students, received some information about university life, and had a tour of the campus. I was astonished by the university as it had so many amazing facilities for their students. After our campus tour, we then had an awards ceremony where we received our certificates of achievement.
This project was a very educational and supportive experience, and I will be able to utilise the knowledge and skills I have acquired to support me for my university applications and future opportunities. I would highly recommend participating in the Brilliant Club Scholars Programme.
University of East London UCAS Exhibition
In June, Year 12 students attended the UCAS Exhibition at the University of East London. It was extremely well organised, with 139 different universities, colleges and employers, allowing students to experience a taste of opportunities for life after Sixth form. The breadth of opportunities available ranged from a traditional History degree at Warwick University, to Aerospace engineering at Bath University, and Royal Navy Apprenticeships in dentistry, nursing and engineering amongst others. Indeed, the spectrum of choice appeared endless with an exciting anticipation of what life entails after school.
There seemed to me to be a real mix of traditional academic courses and applied professionally led studies. One student commented on how useful the lecture on apprenticeships was, as it gave her websites to look at; what an average day is like for an apprentice; average salary, and ideas on which companies to look at for the future.
I personally found this trip extremely useful, as I hope to study for a history degree, and had the chance to meet all the institutions I was interested in. I gathered information on their relevant courses, asked specific questions relevant to my course and gained a range of literature to share with my parents. I also thoroughly enjoyed asking about life at their particular universities and what it is like beyond the lecture theatre.
This event was all about stepping into adult life and experiencing what different paths have to offer for young people. Each individual institution was receptive to my questions, and I thoroughly recommend future students to attend.
House Maths Competition
We are honoured to announce that the winner of the Maths competition which took place on Monday 27th July was...Phoenix!
Congratulations to all the other Houses who were engaged and worked well as a team. Every member of each team performed various mathematical skills to work through the rounds and showed great engagement throughout the competition.
Here is what the students thought:
'The Maths competition was really fun as all of the challenges tested our mathematical ability from topics that we have covered since joining Goffs. It was very exciting and challenging.'
'I thought the Maths competition was a fun and challenging experience, where I learnt to work as a team and help others correct their mistakes, whilst they also help me correct mine. It was also a good opportunity to meet new people and face new challenges. We had to calculate various mathematical questions involving indices, angles, and ratios. We also had a task where we had to repeat a Maths poster from memory which was very fun.'
Mrs Rojda Timur
Teacher of Maths
Movie Night - Encanto
We don't talk about Bruno! We can talk about what a wonderful afternoon some of our students from Years 7, 8 and 9 had after school on Thursday 21st April. After a survey was completed online by many students, Disney's new animated film Encanto was the highest voted film to watch.
The evening went well, with students enjoying the film and the songs within it. A tuck shop was open for the first half, selling drinks and popcorn. Further profits were made contributing towards the donation towards the charity in Mr Appleyard's name. This year the Sixth formers who run these movie nights/ enterprise activities with me, as part of Goffs Business Academy, have made over £300 for charity.
Mrs Pips Bailey
Goffs Business Academy
Duke of Edinburgh Award
It has been a busy time of year for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. 31 Year 10 students successfully passed their qualifying expedition in June, walking 15km on both days around the Chilterns. The students were exceptional at working as a team to navigate the Chiltern hills and cook hot meals each day. Here are a few pictures of the weekend away.
For the past 9 months seven Year 12 students successfully completed their Silver qualifying expedition, walking 51km over 3 days. It was been an amazing experience where they were inspire to achieve more in the future. The award consists of four sections; sport, volunteering, skills, and expedition. You can choose the time that you want to spend for each section, so it is very flexible and easy to fit around your schedule. Being in Year 12 this helped immensely as it allowed us to continue our studies and partake in the award. Firstly, I would like to explain the expedition section of it.
For many of us, we were in a situation where we hadn’t managed to complete our Bronze Award because of Covid, so our practice expedition was a hybrid that also counted as our real Bronze expedition. The practice taught us what we did and didn’t need in our bags, and taught us to work more as a team.
When it came to the assessed expedition we were a lot more confident and ready! We put the slower people at the front, so we stayed as a group and took longer and more frequent breaks to counteract the heat. On Friday 10th June we got to the campsite and set up our tents and made food. We were then allowed to play cards or do whatever we wanted, so we had an intense UNO championship and created a new game of catch! We even got to watch a beautiful sunset.
The next day we walked to the next campsite, and it turned out to be just us in a big field. I would say that the last day was a lot harder since we were all very tired and it was hot, but we stuck together as a team and persevered. A very funny moment was when we walked through a field and got surrounded by cows! We all stood very still, and they just stared at us until we walked calmly back to the gate.
We ended the expedition in Wendover and luckily, we passed. Our group aim was to test water whilst we walked along canals and we did that very successfully and will be doing a presentation on Thursday 21st July. With regards to the other sections, they really do help to build skills that will be useful in the future for work and to build up your character. Overall, DofE was a wonderful experience, and I would recommend it to everyone as it is a lot of fun and will help you a lot in the future!
Whole School Public Speaking
We were very proud of each and every participant as it is an extremely admirable thing to do, and requires some serious confidence and resilience!
Charlotte Bonfante had us thinking deeply on the issue of homelessness, and Zishan Haque presented us with a serious think-piece on the conflict in Palestine. The end of the event saw us cheering on our chosen finalists (listed below) who were sent through to perform in the final on Wednesday 6th July – and perhaps most importantly be in the running for a £100 gift card of their choosing. I think I speak for everyone when I say we await the final with baited breath!
Special mention to our outstanding finalists:
It has been a successful term not only for public speaking but for our KS3 poets as well!
Favour Emelogu was crowned the KS3 Champion in the ‘Gift of Kindness’ Poetry Competition held by JustTalk Hertfordshire. Students across the county were asked to write a poem on the theme of ‘Kindness’ and the best were sent on to participate in a conference for mental health awareness in Hertfordshire.
Those chosen from Goffs Academy were Favour Emelogu and Eren Medi (Year 7). Following this, all poems were judged by JustTalk Herts and Favour’s poem was chosen as the best entry for KS3. We are so proud of both Favour and Eren - please take a moment to read their poems below!
One kindness could bring brightness to folks with jokes.
Two gifts shift people to drift towards each other.
Three good deeds could lead others to agree.
Four compliments can create confidence in a settlement .
Five hugs can bring our mugs to celebrate against hate.
If kindness was a melody,
I would play it all day long.
Its refreshing words of joy and truth
Would bring the peace after a storm.
If kindness was a recipe,
Its flavour would bare fruits of love.
It would be a taste of positivity,
A remedy from above.
If kindness was a property,
Then in its walls I shall reside.
It will be a place of sanctuary,
A place where I can hide.
Kindness is a gift from your heart,
Not found in shops or stores.
It is more beautiful than any piece of art,
It is happiness and joy galore!
Goffs News Nugget
The articles are taken from The Day; a daily online newspaper for schools which links news stories to national curriculums and the wider world. The rationale behind the Goffs News Nugget is to support and encourage regular reading at home and to promote discussion.
We hope Year 7 students, parents and carers have been enjoying the articles. The Literacy team hope to roll this out to all KS3 in due course so keep an eye on your inbox!
As we come to the end of this academic year, I wanted to share some brilliant statistics around reading ages and Bedrock. This year we have provided students with many opportunities to read for pleasure, as part of embedding a culture of reading at Goffs Academy. One of the strategies has been the implementation of Bedrock which students complete in school and as part of their home learning.
Having tracked our NGRT reading results against Bedrock completion levels, it revealed a direct correlation between consistent completion of Bedrock and an improvement in reading ages. For example, our top 20 students have improved their reading age, on average, by 27 months in just one year, with two students improving their reading age by over 60 months.
Heading into next year we expect students to continue to develop their confidence and fluency with the use of Bedrock Vocabulary, and your continued support at home. All students have log in details so can access Bedrock over the summer holidays; by doing so they will have a head start and place themselves in a fantastic position when it comes to their learning.
What’s new in the LRC?
Look out for our new ‘Star Readers’ section on the shelves near the desk. You’ll find lots of new books, all with their AR book level stickers on display. These books will be changed regularly so keep checking to see which ones you’d like to borrow.
We have another new section for you to browse. It’s for our ‘New Arrivals’ and you’ll see it in the middle of the LRC. Here, you’ll find selections of books that are new to the library so come and have a look!
Summer Reading Ideas
What better time to pick up a book than the summer break? Even if reading for pleasure isn’t usually your thing, or if you’ve temporarily fallen out of love with the idea of a good book, these next few weeks are the perfect time to give it another chance. Below are a few ideas to get you started, but there’s a whole world of books out there (and plenty of them can be found on Herts’ Libraries online resource ‘Borrowbox’, which is free!). You can find all the books below in the LRC on the ‘Recommendation’ shelf.
OK, so we’re starting with a bit of a cliché, but the beach is a great place to take a book. For easy-reading escapism try this mystery book from the Laura Marlin series. On a luxury cruise around the Caribbean, Laura (our clever, adventurous, and brave detective) finds herself having to solve mysteries and keep out of danger. There’s also a message in this book about the destruction of marine habitats and the need to take care of our oceans. A great beach read!
The Old Friend – The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Sometimes it’s good to go back to a story you already know. It can feel like meeting an old friend, knowing that you can relax in their company. The Harry Potter stories are perfect for this with a mix of magic, adventure, friendship and mystery. If you’ve never read the books then give them a try – there’s a reason they’ve sold over 500 million copies across the world (and, I think, they’re much better than the films).
This is one of those books that you can enjoy even if you already know the ending. The themes are still relevant today: family, kindness, poverty, sacrifice, duty and ambition. If you’ve never read it, give it a try. If you have read it, why not read it again?
If you enjoyed Geek Girl, and if you like a book that makes you laugh, this might be for you. Anna is a teenager trying to navigate her way through the chaos of her life. She feels awkward and clumsy but she finds herself, somehow, as captain of the underdog team for school sports day. Oh and her dad is about to marry a world famous actress. Suddenly she has to deal with being famous, and when a video of her falling into a plant pot goes viral, things aren’t looking good. But with the support of her friends, can she rise to the challenge?
This is a relatively quick read but it tells a hugely important story. Walter Tull was a professional football player and First World War hero. His father was from Barbados (where his grandfather had been a slave) and his mother was from England. Before the war he played for several teams, including Spurs, and he went on to become the first British-born black army officer and the first black officer to lead white British troops into battle. This is a story worth finding out more about!
Maybe you’ve seen the films, but these books are definitely worth a read. They’re fast-paced, action-packed and thought provoking. A review in the Guardian sums it up: “I would rate it ten million stars... If I could but I can't, so I will rate a very well earned five stars!”.
So a book about a group of friends going back to school after the holidays might not seem like an obvious choice for summer holiday escapism. But this book isn’t about school – it’s about the empty chair at the back of the class. Or rather, it’s about the boy who sits there now – Ahmet, who is escaping from a war in his home country. This warm story about welcoming refugees and the challenges they face is heart-warming and funny.
Nate and Delphine have to battle their enemies in order to save their town and perhaps even the whole world. One of Nate’s genius inventions has been turned against him and the robot bees are on the loose. Our heroes are helped by a talking dog, a robotic seagull, a pet bee and a talking car. If you like science, technology or inventing things then you’ll love this silly, over the top and funny book.
Mrs Y Trippier
Textiles Department Update
On Tuesday 3rd May we welcomed Lisa Zorbas from ‘Marent Crafts’ who are a local textiles business.
She came in to speak with students about her experience working in the fashion and textiles industry as she worked for Marks & Spencer’s for many years as a fashion buyer.
Lisa talked through her education and industry background to help students with finding work experience placements.
Students were given the opportunity to look through some of the samples that Marent crafts offer and the school have been given a special discount code to use on their website:
Congratulations to Holly- Mae Halls who was nationally selected to go to ‘Vogue Insight’ in London on 24th May 2022. The day was spent with the editor-in—chief Edward Enninful and meeting with other members of the Vogue magazine team.
Holly- Mae had the opportunity to visit the planning rooms, clothing department and main board room along with 15 other selected students from across the country.
Students were given ‘expression’ as a starting point from a small group task and were asked to produce a mood board in the theme. Holly & her team won the task beating the competition!
History Department Update
Trenches – Using Historical Re-enactment in the Classroom
During my time as a PGCE student at Goffs, I have used a range of activities to engage students. With Year 9 I wanted to introduce an interactive element to my teaching.
This came in the form of creating a lesson without books and using the classroom as an empty canvas on which students would demonstrate their learning. The lesson consisted of students making their own replica trenches in small groups; when students came in they were greeted by a conscription poster on the board informing them they were now enlisted into the army. I found this to be a great way to get their attention from the get go!
Each group had a Sergeant Major who would be responsible for leading their troops and they could use anything in the room to build their trenches and also anything they had to hand e.g. their school bags for sandbags etc. Students were engaged throughout the lesson, even though at the beginning I may have had a twinge of anxiety when tables were being moved left right and centre in my brand-new classroom, but students were creating some excellent trenches! When circulating the classroom, I overheard students discussing the different features and the best way to represent this. When I spoke to students one to one, they were able to articulate their ideas well. When it came to presenting, students worked collaboratively to show off their trenches and explain to the class the main features of their trench, such as the fire-step, barbed wire, dug-outs.
Overall, I found this type of lesson to be really rewarding and eye opening as students had to use their creativity and also their historical skills to produce an end product that really captured their understanding of the trenches. Pretty soon all the Year 9 classes were asking when they were going to build their trenches, so I would say it was a definitely a success!
Here are some of my favourite trenches below:
Miss Leonie Lynagh
Teacher of History
Computer Science Trip: Bletchley Park
On the 10th June, a class of computer science and ICT students boarded a coach and took a trip to Bletchley Park—a location that was once the incredibly secretive headquarters of the World War Two codebreakers and their figurehead—Alan Turing.
It was also the place where the first electronic computer to ever exist, Colossus, was invented to decipher messages sent between Hitler and his commanders through the Lorenz Cipher, a device used by the Nazis to encrypt communication. During the trip, students visited various places, such as a museum, a cinema in which they watched a short film about WW2 codebreaking, and a giant Victorian mansion with a real (gold) ceiling in the ballroom.
The mansion was the place where Alan Turing and his colleagues spent years deciphering coded messages between the Nazis. The Bletchley Park tour guide explained how the building had been converted from an old mansion into a secret HQ. The tour guide talked about how Turing and all the other secret agents that worked at Bletchley Park, and what they did there. The students were given a visual demonstration by one of the guides on how the enigma machines worked as well as a chance to do some cryptography themselves.
Geography Department Update
Our Y12 Students had a fantastic time constructing earthquake proof buildings in our A level geography lessons. Students were each given a country prone to earthquakes, and different access to building materials and aid depending on the GDP of that country.
Students also had to construct their buildings on a range of surfaces to represent the individual geographic settings of these countries. Students’ buildings were then put to the test in a range of simulated scenarios including a tsunamis, a fault line earthquake, and a magnitude 9 earthquake.
Art Department Update
All of Year 8 explored the theme of animals this year in art, using 3D.
Some classes made Native American transformation masks, and others totem poles. 8A specifically looked at endangered animals and designed pencil pots on this theme. They began by choosing an animal from the endangered animal list, and gathered research and information to help them with their designs.
They explored the process of slab construction to create a cylindrical pot, and then used the techniques of raised and sunken relief to create their animal designs. Students needed to learn how to join clay together successfully by scoring and slipping their pieces. These were then biscuit fired in our kiln. Once this had been done, students glazed their pots; they were again fired in the kiln to over 1000 degrees centigrade to activate the glazes.
The final results are fantastic. The students thoroughly enjoyed the process and have an item that if looked after could last forever!
Miss T Brown
Head of Art and Photography
CREST Club Set to Launch in September!
Could you stay alive on a desert island? Could you make something useful from waste that might end up in landfill? Does life in space fascinate you? Which fabric will keep you warmest in winter? Can you design a waste free lunch?
Many students describe doing experiments as the highlight of science and we are pleased to offer students who will be in Year 8, 9 or 10 an opportunity to work towards a bronze or silver CREST award next term. Whatever your passion in science - we think that you could do a project in this area .
Although some of you might prefer to work on your project at home, there will be after school and lunchtime sessions available for you to come in and develop your ideas.
If this sounds like something you could be interested in then contact Mrs Nicholson or Mr Hopwood - we will get you started with a project that will work for you.
Oh - the desert island? We have a ready prepared set of challenges for you to try if this is your area of interest. Look forward to hearing from you.