Goffs Academy Newsletter
Message from the Executive Principal
A warm welcome to our final newsletter of the year. As you will see, it has been a busy but successful term. This is certainly my first ever newsletter, in 14 years of Headship, which includes reference to staff eating cat food...:) The Beijing exchange visit has been a particular highlight, with all students across the school noticeably seeking to use the Chinese phrases placed around the building, as part of welcoming our visitors. I first ran such an exchange in my last Headship and know that it was literally life changing for the students involved. I am particularly pleased, therefore, to see this opportunity being made available to Goffs students.
Mental health has been a key focus of my assemblies with students this term, and I hope that they have talked to you about some of the things we have discussed around how the media manipulates their perceptions every day, creating unreal and distorted ideals of perfection. The mental and emotional health of our students remains central to our work, and both I and other staff have talked openly about the challenges that everyone, adult or child, can face to their mental health, sharing personal examples and coping strategies.
You will recently have received a letter from Mark Ellis, Vice Principal, reminding everyone of the school's absolute zero tolerance stance on drugs and weapons. I am not so naive as to write here that no Goffs students ever become involved in such things. However, I can clearly and categorically state here that any transgression of these expectations in any of the Trust's schools is highly likely to result in permanent exclusion. Our school is a happy, safe community, and I and Trustees will take any action necessary to ensure it remains that way - without exception. Cheshunt police are currently working with all of the local schools on ensuring that our communities are safe. You should therefore expect to see an increased police presence around local schools at the end of the day, as part of a purge on anti-social behaviour.
At this point in the academic year, we are on the final stretch up to public examinations for Years 11, 12 and 13. Staff and students are working relentlessly across the board, and I know that many will be in over the Easter break. I am always grateful to our staff for so willingly giving up their precious holiday time, and to students for doing the same. It is the case that the time for any prevarication is gone: life defining exams are now very close indeed, and it is so important that each student really gets their head down over the next three months. I thank you for your support with this in what I know can be a stressful time at home. If you need help and/or support, call us and we can work together on helping your child, or indeed you, to navigate what is always a demanding period.
Please may I remind people ref uniform. Several students have had growth spurts, which for girls in particular means that new skirts need to be bought over Easter. If you require any financial assistance with this, please let me know. I wish everyone an enjoyable Easter break, and look forward to welcoming everyone back at the usual time on Tuesday 23rd April 2019.
Alison J Garner
Goffs Academy Wins National Award for Performance
Goffs has been recognised nationally for its excellent results in 2018 based on data from the Department for Education and Ofsted, analysed by SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers network.
Goffs Academy was found to be among the best performing secondary schools in the country, receiving an award for being in the top 20% of non-selective schools nationally for attainment. Goffs will be presented with their award during the summer term at a ceremony attended by winners from across the region.
Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said:
“I am delighted that Goffs has won an Educational Outcomes Awards. This recognises one important aspect of the school’s work, but at SSAT we believe an outstanding school has deep social justice at the heart of its plan; it subjects that plan to constant challenge and innovation; and it liberates teachers to perform brilliantly in the classroom. SSAT is pleased to recognise the quality of leadership and the hard work of all staff at Goffs to ensure the success of every child. A big thank you and well done to students, parents, staff and governors.”
The success of both Goffs and Goffs-Churchgate is something that we are very proud of. That success reflects the commitment, determination and ambition of all of our staff and students – little could be achieved without them.
Alison J Garner
On Thursday 7th February, Goffs welcomed 22 students from No.19 High School in Beijing as part of their newly launched International Exchange Programme, coordinated by Cheryl Poag, Associate Assistant Principal.
Goffs students in Years 8, 9 and10 applied to participate in the exchange, which saw them host a student from Beijing for 8 days. During the exchange, students from China lived and attended school with their partner each day. They participated in lessons and cultural activities aimed at enriching their experience of life in the UK by showcasing the innovative learning and teaching provision at Goffs.
The first leg of the exchange began with a welcome ceremony where students from both schools made thoughtful presentations about themselves, their school and their culture. Students then broke the ice by taking part in a Great British Bake Off activity, where they competed to make a batch of delicious scones to enjoy as part of a traditional cream tea!
Sunday was a ‘Host Family Day’, which saw Goffs students and their families organise their own itinerary, treating their guests from No.19 High School to a myriad of activities ranging from the London Eye, 221B Baker Street and Tower Bridge. Several students also took their partners to see the Chinese New Year parade in Trafalgar Square, which was a very special experience for both sets of students.
During the course of their stay, students visited Oxford and Cambridge, exploring the world class universities many hope to one day attend. They also enjoyed a leisurely punt on the river Cam before sampling the tasty delights of the local markets.
Evenings saw students organise their own activities, with several students hosting pizza parties, movie and games nights, enabling firm friendships to form. Exchange students also attended extra-curricular activities with their host partners, including football practice and dance rehearsals. Students from Beijing really enjoyed this additional taste of life as a teenager in the UK, particularly how students are encouraged to foster their talents outside of school.
Throughout the week students from No.19 High particularly enjoyed the range of practical lessons delivered by the Science department – something they do not get the chance to do in China due to the large class sizes. They also found new talents for Drama, Photography and Textiles in Goffs’ state of the art facilities, and enjoyed going head-to-head in a special England vs. China PE lesson.
The highlight of the week for many students was the trip to Warner Brothers Studios – the Making of Harry Potter. Here students got the chance to fly on a broomstick, climb aboard the Hogwarts Express and, of course, take a sip of the delicious ButterBeer.
The final day saw students preparing for their farewell ceremony where students reflected on the lessons they had learned during the course of the exchange, and celebrated the fun times they had with their new friends. Students from both Goffs and No.19 High School then said a tearful farewell – but not for too long – the second leg of the exchange (Goffs to Beijing) will take place in May 2019!
Quote from Cheryl Poag, Exchange Coordinator and Associate Assistant Principal
“Our international exchange has been a fantastic experience. The 22 students from Goffs have been a credit to their school throughout the entire exchange. They displayed incredible kindness, generosity and resilience, and as a school community, we are very proud of them."
Quote from Goffs Parent:
“They have all learned so much from the experience. We knew there would be learning from a cultural exchange perspective, but the hidden learning has been how to communicate, connect and build rapport without language and to look after/take responsibility for another student.”
Quotes from Goffs Students:
“I have had the best week. We have been to so many amazing places in England and I cannot wait to go to Beijing to experience more. I feel like we have all become different people with new friendships and more responsibility. I cannot wait to learn more about China and it’s culture when we see each other again!” Victoria Jakowlew
“I have learned a lot from this experience, including new skills such as managing money responsibly, organising activities and looking after someone else! This experience has taken me out of my comfort zone and taught me a lot about myself. I have also enjoyed learning more about the culture of China – I cannot wait to go to Beijing and learn more”. Jessica Marlow
“From this experience, I have learned that you can make friends even when you don’t speak the same native language. I have done things I never thought I could do. I am so grateful for this adventure and am excited to experience what life is like for teenagers in China”. Daisy Barber
Quotes from No.19 Students
“I like Goffs very much, including their courses. Azuka and his family are very kind too – I have been so happy in their home during my stay. I often chat to the other English students – they are good people. If I had the chance I would like to stay longer” Zhao Wenbo (Jack)
“Goffs is really amazing. The students are very friendly. They always say ‘Hello’ in Chinese when they see us. There are all sorts of classes here – like Drama and Food Technology, which are so different from our lessons in Beijing. I have also enjoyed visiting cities in the UK, particularly the beautiful scenes in Cambridge – the buildings are so impressive” Li Ke (Jim)
“When I came to Britain, Alisha’s family treated me warmly. They made me feel the warmth of home. Last night they gave me a surprise farewell gift – a photo of me and their family. Although they are not my family I love them and will not forget them” An Qi
Year 10 Careers Day
On Wednesday 13th February, all Year 10 students participated in the annual Careers Fair and mock interviews.
Over 30 employers were in attendance, representing fields including the military, civil engineering, retail, fashion, plumbing, architecture, and sport. It was a real pleasure to see our students so engaged in talking to the wide variety of employers. Many students were enthused and inspired to look into different careers which in some cases they had not heard of before.
After the Careers Fair, all students had a mock interview and feedback from the employer.
Although some were nervous, students also took a great deal from this experience, with one student immediately finding her teacher afterwards to tell her, 'I think I got the job!'' Our thanks go to all the employers involved for taking the time to visit the school.
In February, Year 10 had their Careers Fair which took place in the Sports Hall during periods 1 and 2. Around the hall were lots of different, interesting stalls with a variety of people from a variety of careers. We were cycled round and spoke to many interesting people. We were given booklets with examples of questions to ask the visitors, and note space to write things down. We were then given some time to look around any stalls we wanted to. For the remainder of the day, we each had a mock interview in which an “employer” would ask us questions and give us feedback.
I believe that the day was extremely beneficial, seeing as we have work experience later this year, and that it helped me develop some skills for the future. Thank you to the members of staff who organised and helped out with the event, and good luck to the current Year 9 students who will be participating next year.
Junior Librarian Year 10
On Friday 15th February, the Goffs PE department held the event ‘I’m a teacher get me out of here!’ This consisted of five Goffs teachers (Mr Holding, Mr Spaul, Mr Ashdown, Mr Bora and Miss Scripps) taking part in the dreaded eating ‘Bushtucker trial’. The event was held to raise money for the Stevenage Borough U15 girl’s football team, which two of our students are part of. They have the amazing opportunity to enter the Dallas Texas Girls Cup this year, and the team are fundraising to raise money for their travels. The Bushtucker trial involved some very hot, spicy, fishy and lumpy dishes! Each teacher managed to attempt all five dishes. However, Mr Spaul failed to finish one of the dishes which included baby food.
Throughout the week leading up to the event, Miss Hague had asked all form groups to vote for one of the teachers to eat the mystery dish. To Mr Bora’s delight he received the most votes and had to eat cat food which he did ever so gallantly. A massive thank you to the teachers who took part, as well as all the staff and students who donated to come along and watch. As a school we managed to raise a remarkable £302.50; an amount which will go a long way in supporting the girls and their team. We wish the girls every success at the Texas Cup. We really hope they make enough money to get there.
2nd I/C PE department
Year 11 'Medicine Through Time/World War I' Workshop
On Friday 15th February, our Year 11 History students took part in a 'Medicine Through Time/World War I' workshop which was conducted by Front Line living. The focus of this workshop was medical procedures, the role of Officers, and injuries on the Western front, which is a compulsory part of their paper and makes up 10% of the exam.
Students were taught about the trench conditions, the role of the Royal Army Medical Corps, the chain of evacuation, how wounds were treated and what medicine was available during World War I. Students also had a chance to look at World War I weapons, the different types of fighting helmets and samples of the different poisonous gases used. It was good to see students get involved and volunteer to act out the role of stretcher bearers and wounded soldiers. They were also shown how gas masks had evolved.
Students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and the company were very impressed with the amount of knowledge our students already had on the topic and how confidently they used key terms.
Head of KS4 History
World Book Day 2019
We had a busy World Book Day on 8th March, with activities to celebrate and promote reading and storytelling. To mark the occasion, teachers dressed as characters from various books and it was fun to see these brought to life around the school.
In lessons, the students wrote a short story and then had to reduce their story to a 280 word tweet! Next, they looked at the ingredients for a short story and were given a choice of lines from famous stories to use either at the start of their story or at the end.
At lunchtime, there was a treasure hunt starting at the LRC and making its way around the school. Students collected symbols before returning to the LRC to be given a key to solve the code. Well done to Bubi Mehmet from Year 7 whose name was drawn as the winner. We hope he enjoys spending his Amazon voucher prize on some great books! Congratulations are also in order to Emma Farndell from Year 11 who won the LRC ‘First Lines Quiz’, identifying the fifteen famous books from just their first lines – an impressive feat!
On 9th March, we were also lucky to have Non Pratt, an author of young adult fiction, visiting the school to work with some of our students. Non presented at assembly and we then had two sessions where she worked with groups of students. Non was impressed with the engagement and participation in these workshops, and later took time to sign some of her books in the LRC before going to Goffs-Churchgate for the afternoon.
Thank you to everyone involved in organising these events and to the students who took part so enthusiastically!
If World Book Day has encouraged you to look for your next favourite book or just to try out a new author or genre, then keep an eye out for the ‘Book of the Week’ recommendations in the LRC. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, then pop a suggestion into the box for new titles you would like to have in the LRC.
In the meantime, here are a few of the most recent weekly recommendations:
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
To celebrate National Science Week, the Science Department at Goffs entertained and educated students in all things Science.
Mr Hopwood led assemblies throughout the week which demonstrated the power and influence Science has on society. From making objects move without touching them, to exploding hydrogen rockets, students were left dazzled and awe-struck.
Following the assemblies, there were practical workshops that students attended where they could further their scientific knowledge and skills and have fun engaging with Science. Students were able to unlock the concepts of Science and from this, were able to derive a greater understanding of the complexity of the world around them.
2nd I/C Science Department
On Red Nose Day (Friday 15th March) the House team organised and ran a non-school uniform day to raise money for Comic Relief. All students that took part, kindly donated £1 meaning we raised a fantastic £1215.18 as a school.
Further events such a the Easter tuck shop, inter-house Dodge Ball and the Easter Charity Fete will feature in the next issue.
Director of the House System
Robbie Lea Water Safety Event
On Thursday 21st March, a selection of Goffs students were given the opportunity to take part in a water safety course with the Robbie Lea Water Safety partnership. In summer 2017, Robbie Lea sadly lost his life after struggling to swim in a cold water lake and although the air ambulance, piloted by Prince William, were called to rescue him, his location could not easily be found and tragically Robbie could not be saved.
Since then, an incredible partnership and initiative to educate other young people on being safe in the water, the dangers of swimming in open water, and knowing how to save a life by acting the right way in an emergency, has been initiated by Robbie’s mother, Sarah Lea. This particular event took place at the Lea Valley Water Centre, and throughout the day there was a programme of various safety demonstrations held by the Police, Fire and Rescue, RNLI, Crucial Crew, and the Canal and River Trust.
Towards the end of the day, we also experienced the initial shock of going in to cold water when swimming from one end of the white water lake to the other. We were fortunate to be wearing wetsuits, but in a realistic situation things would be very different and our bodies would have been very cold in this natural environment.
A policeman who was present when trying to save Robbie, believes that a lot of critical time was lost in the helicopter while trying to pin point his location. As a consequence, an app has been developed called ‘What 3 Words’. This has been designed to pin point precise locations within 3 metre spans when you do not know exactly where you are, and this will help to save lives going forward. Using the app, you can search for other locations, and of course relay this information to the emergency services, whom will also be able to be navigated to your location. Additionally, there are different map versions which enable you to view your location from a birds eye view or just on a simple map. The app is free and available to be downloaded on mobile devices here: https://what3words.com.
Due to the royal link, some students also had the opportunity to meet the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and Mayor of Broxbourne, so all in all it was an amazing day. The students will now act as water safety advocates at Goffs and continue to educate others around such an important issue by talking in assemblies and becoming good role models.
It is important that other students and young people are aware of the hidden dangers in cold water. We were informed profusely to never enter the water to save somebody else whom may be in trouble, as you are more than likely to end up in a vulnerable position too and at equal risk. Instead, you should use the resources around you to make floats or ropes to pull somebody closer to shore. It is also imperative to know that you can’t always see the danger hidden beneath cold water. It is very common for trolleys to end up in lakes and canals, and where these obstacles could cause injury, you also need to be aware of the diseases and animals living and spreading in cold water.
At this event, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution also demonstrated scenarios. They have a helpful website, https://rnli.org/safety which has vital information about water safety.
Cindy & Robbie Long
Ski Trip 2019
It’s the first day of February half-term: six teachers and a coach full of excited students embark on a 23 hour coach journey to Mont Cimone Ski Resort, Italy. It was an intense start to say the least. However, despite some serious sleep deprivation and consumption of an ungodly amount of pasta, it was a truly wonderful and unforgettable week!
Day 1 arrived and the Goffs students were organised into ability groups and hit the slopes in glorious 18 degree weather that continued for the entire trip. The bravery and resilience of our students was outstanding, and the rapid progress they made was seriously impressive!
Throughout the week I was able to ski with all of the groups, starting with the advanced who immediately took to the black runs, smashing their way down at ridiculous speeds (the back end of the group were fabulous; who knows what the front of the group were doing as I was never able to keep up…). By the third day I caught up with the intermediates, the majority of whom had never skied on snow before, and were already starting to master their parallel turns and take to the reds!
By the end of the week, the beginners were all over the blues with confidence and control, and all students successfully completed the slalom in support of the GCSE PE skiers! One of the nicest things about the entire week I felt is that almost every student left Mont Cimone having learnt a new skill, and achieved something that only six days previously they wouldn’t have been able to do!
Any time that wasn’t spent skiing, eating pasta or napping (and arguably there wasn’t much time left) was spent enjoying a quiz night, snow-shoeing, a pizza night and ice skating - which helped to balance out the lack of falls on the slopes! All in all an amazing week enjoyed by everyone! Bring on the Goffs’ Ski Trip 2020!
"My week skiing with the school was the best week of my life!"
"I had such an amazing week skiing with the school. I wish I could go back!"
"I really enjoyed my week skiing, it was the best trip I've ever been on."
"It was amazing!"
PE Department News
Year 7 Football
The Year 7 boys' football squad have had a number of fixtures over the last couple of weeks which included friendlies to a District Cup semi-final.
The A team came up against a very strong Chuancy side, which they drew 2-2, and later then matched them in the semi-final of the District Cup where they lost 4-1. Although they lost, the team played some excellent football and kept in the game until the last 10 minutes.
The B team have had a mixture of results including beating a strong Belmont team 2-1, but disappointingly lost 4-2 to Enfield Grammar the following week after being two goals up.
Teacher of PE
Year 8 Football
The Year 8 football team have had an outstanding year so far, reaching the County Semi-Finals, which they unfortunately lost to a strong Beaumont school on a very blustery afternoon. The boys did themselves proud during this competition and beat some very strong schools across the County on their way to the semi-final. It was a great learning curve for the boys, who rapidly improved throughout the weeks.
The team have also had a successful run in the District Cup, reaching the final on the 27th March against Richard Hale, after beating Chauncy 7-2 in the semi-final, with Lemachi Nwanna-Skeet taking home the match ball after an excellent hatrick and man of the match performance. They unfortunately, however, lost the final 4-1.
Finally, on the 29th March, the Year 8 futsal team represented the district in a Futsal tournament at Kings Langley School, which determined which school will represent the County in the next regional stage of the tournament.
Congratulations to the following boys who were triumphant and will go onto represent Hertfordshire in the regional stage of the competition:
Teacher of PE
Year 9 Football
The Year 9 team reached the District Cup final with a great win against Simon Balle in the semi-final. They will play against Richard Hale in the final, a repeat of last year's final. Hopefully the boys can go one step further and take the trophy home this year!
Teacher of PE
Year 10 Football
The Year 10 Football team reached the District semi-final and played Richard Hale, who had previously beaten the team in Year 8 by a cricket score! Our boys were well drilled, worked extremely hard and showed resilience and creativity to come from 2-0 down to bring the score back to 2-2. Goals from Torion Edmunds and Jaheim Kehinde got us back into the game, only for a sucker punch winner from Richard Hale with 5 minutes to play. The boys have been class all season, and will attempt to mount another journey to silverware next year.
Head of PE
Year 7 & 8 Girls' Rugby
The Year 7 & 8 girls' rubgy team competed in a Rugby Festival at Cheshunt Rugby Club on Thursday 7th March. They played through the wind and the rain, and although they didn’t manage to triumph with a win, they were so close and kept their spirits high throughout. The girls have been working extremely hard at rugby club after school and this was demonstrated in the tries they scored over the tournament. Soraya Carletto scored her first try, easily outrunning her opponent, whilst Sharon Hood took over the role of leader and coached the girls fantastically throughout the festival.
Teacher of PE
The Year 7 netball has been exceptional this term, for both the A and the B team. The 7A team have displayed some phenomenal netball, demonstrating resilience and passion for the game. Comments from others schools, highlighting the outstanding team work and abilities of all students, despite many playing out of position, has been an area I am particularly proud of. The team should be proud of their achievements so far! Special mentions to Joley Moynihan and Hannah Gibson for their outstanding performance and leadership skills. Now we wait for the draw of the District finals next month. Fingers crossed!
The 7B team have gone from strength to strength in all areas this term. They have been consistent in their team work and willingness to progress. In particular, 100% attendance to training is testament to striving to develop further as a team. A special mention to Abbie Martin and Olivia Bailey for their exceptional effort.
Both teams also had their District Netball tournament this half term, both finishing third overall. Player of the tournament for the 7A team was Hannah Gibson for her phenomenal performance in all games. Player of the tournament for the 7B team was Annabel Creer, for her determination and excellent contribution to her team.
The Year 8 teams have had many successes in netball this half term. The 8A team has fought against injuries and illness to play games at their highest level. With some tough opponents, they have shown immense team spirit and support for one another. Excellent performances have been consistently displayed from Ashlee Willett, Laci Hawkins and Lara Dervish.
The 8B team have also had fantastic games this term, demonstrating some fabulous netball. Special mentions to our defence duo Stephanie and Sienna for their dedication.
The Year 9 netball team have had an extremely successful term, despite their league numbers decreasing. A return from Lucy Todd following injury has definitely lifted the spirits of her team. On return, Lucy was awarded playing of the match. The enthusiasm and willingness to want to play has been evident, and it is clear that the team is strong and passionate. We look forward to the District Tournament and the draw for the finals.
Teacher of PE