Goffs School Newsletter
Easter 2016 - Designed by Digital Leaders
GOOD LUCK MRS MACKAY!
For 14 years Mrs Mackay has been working extremely hard, running the LRC, taking photos and generally helping out across the school! Well, now it's time to say goodbye as Mrs Mackay is stepping down as Librarian and Press Liaison.
On behalf of all the students we wish you all the best!
By Charmaine Charles - Youth Worker
Anti Bullying Advocates are running Mini games at lunchtime to increase the community spirit through House events.
Our recent video about bullying is below. Thank you to everyone who has taken part to complete this amazing production.
Password for the video is "Goffs".
Year 7, say hello to the BBC micro:bit!
By Sam Edwards - Year 10
The BBC micro:bit, is a programmable microcomputer being distributed to all Year 7s across the UK. You can use your BBC micro:bit for all sorts of cool creations, from robots to musical instruments; whatever you can imagine! It’s 70 times smaller and 18 times faster than the original BBC Micro computers used in schools in the early 1980s.
The device has 25 red LED lights that can flash messages. There are two buttons that can be programmed to do whatever you want! It can also detect motion and tell you which direction you’re heading in.
Singer & The Voice judge - will.i.am said: "So, the BBC micro:bit I think is an amazing programme to get young kids into coding. It's teaching you basics at an early age. I wish we had this programme when I was growing up, because then I'd be the coding wizard by now. So kids from 11-12 can start right now with BBC micro:bit and this is awesome for kids!"
So you might be wondering... How do I programme the device?
Unlike other budget computers (such as the Raspberry Pi), the micro:bit is meant to be programmed via the web, rather than being connected to a keyboard and monitor.
Well, it's really quite simple, all you need to do is to go to microbit.co.uk and click on the create code button.
You can choose from the following:
- Microsoft Block Editor - A graphical, drag and drop code editor, where coding blocks snap together.
- Microsoft Touch Develop - A flexible, text-based programming language, which comes with a BBC micro:bit library of commands installed.
- Python - An easy-to-learn programming language for everyone, from kids to teachers to professional software engineers.
After that it's up to you what you want to do... the possibilities are endless!
We are due to receive ours very soon. Lessons will be delivered in the second half of the summer term to teach students how to use it.
"The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games."
GOFFS SIXTH FORM REMEMBERS THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST AT SYNAGOGUE SERVICE
By Lucy McCann - Year 13
On Curriculum Enrichment Day earlier this term, Goffs Year 12s were invited to a Holocaust Memorial Day at Northwood Synagogue to learn about the atrocity that started only 83 years ago, and to remember all 6 million people who were murdered by the Nazis and their heartless regime of discrimination and hate.
The day started at 10.00am with the traditional coach ride; once there we were greeted by Rabbi Aharon Zerbib.
We then split into groups to participate in workshops surrounding the complex issue of what happened and what led to the ‘Final Solution’, initially created at the Wannsee Conference near Berlin by the Nazi leadership in January 1942. The workshop consisted of activities, including card sorts based on the Nazi Holocaust, as well as other notable genocides in history; for example the Bosnian Genocide in 1995, plus the genocide that is still occurring in Darfur, which started in 2003.
We focused on the idea that each example started with different levels of discrimination which instilled hatred, based on inaccurate and government-formulated stereotypes in the people. Leaders of the workshops taught the Year 12s about the '7 Levels of Genocide’. The Levels started with classification, going through to symbolism, dehumanisation, polarization, preparation, and ended with extermination, demonstrating that genocide isn’t an instant effect of one person’s hatred, but rather a build-up of careful scheming on a corrupt leadership’s behalf.
In the latter half of the Memorial Day, Goffs’ Year 12 students had the privilege to listen in on a talk given by Holocaust survivor, Eva Clarke. Seeming very calm and matter-of-fact, she talked through her and her family’s experiences of life in Nazi Germany as German Jews.
As one of the only two remaining members of her fifteen-strong family, Clarke described how her father, Bernd Nathan, left Hamburg for Prague in 1933, after Hitler’s rise to power, where he met her mother, Anka Kauderová. The couple married on 15th May 1940 before being sent to Terezin Concentration Camp in December 1941. Once there, Anka fell pregnant with Clarke’s brother, Dan, who died of pneumonia 2 months after his birth. After her husband was sent to Auschwitz–Birkenau, Anka, now pregnant for a second time, followed him, but tragically was to never see her husband again. It was only after her liberation that she discovered that her husband had been ruthlessly shot by the Nazis on 18th January 1945 – less than a week before the liberation by the Red Army.
Anka herself was transferred to several concentration camps, all the while becoming weaker due to her heavy pregnancy. It was in Mauthausen Concentration Camp, that Anka gave birth to a daughter, weighing only 3lbs, unaided medically or emotionally. If the American liberation had taken place a few days later, neither Eva or her mother would have survived their ordeal.
Eva and her family’s story gave us a powerful and unforgettable insight into the horrors that took place during the Holocaust. At the end of the day, we took time to reflect and remember the victims in a moving candle lighting ceremony, led by Rabbi Aharon Zerbiband and Eva Clarke, with a reading of the famous poem, Pastor Martin Niemoller’s ‘First They Came’:
"First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me."
New Build Update
Progress has been good since our last report in January and the construction team remain in high spirits.
The structural steel frame (along with all associated concrete work) is now complete. This and the near completion of roofing works has allowed internal trades to jump to life. The building is transforming rapidly with new internal walls springing up daily and the external elevations becoming wrapped in brick.
Goffs staff and students continue to remain enthusiastic about the new build and have completed a number of tours over the past couple of months.
The recent dry spell (3 days and counting!) is helping us out so long may this continue.
Have a great Easter break and don’t eat too many eggs!!
Year 12 Product Design Students Tour of the site
Curriculum Enrichment Day for Year 7
Curriculum Enrichment Day took place on the 10th February 2016 and was centred on literacy for the whole of Year 7. We invited a rap/hip hop artist named BREIS to Goffs to help students build their written and spoken literacy skills through the medium of rap and/or spoken word. The day was designed so that students worked collaboratively, or independently in some cases, on producing and performing a rap or piece of spoken word on a topic that they were passionate about. We had groups expressing their thoughts on everything from bereavement and racism, to Nandos and fried chicken! Throughout the day BREIS took the students through the history of rap and hip hop, encouraged students to use their English skills and worked with them during their writing process and performances. Finalist groups from forms 7E to 7Y were chosen by their peers and the overall winning group/solo artist from each form was chosen by BREIS and I, as acting judges. Winning students received certificates and gift cards as prizes before being able to participate in photo opportunities and book signings with BREIS. Overall, the day was a huge success and the development of the students’ literacy skills in such a fun and engaging environment was a real pleasure to witness.
Miss Sophie Everist
Whole-school literacy co-ordinator/ English Teacher
Attendance and Punctuality
Our current attendance figures, as of Easter 2016, are as follows:
- YR7 - 97.3%
- YR8 - 96.3%
- YR9 - 96.4%
- YR10 - 95.1%
- YR11 - 95.2%
- AVERAGE - 96%
- YR 12 - 96.33%
- YR 13 - 94.87%
CONGRATULATIONS to Year 7 again for having the highest attendance record – WELL DONE!
We are delighted to see our attendance going back up to 96%, which is nearly at our whole-school target of 96.2%. All students who have at least 96.2% attendance by the end of the Summer term will have the opportunity to attend our Thorpe Park rewards trip.
Any student whose attendance falls below 95% will be spoken to by their Learning Manager, to discuss strategies they can put in place to improve. Students who fall below 90% (except for those with a recognised medical condition) will meet with a senior member of staff, as since September 2016 any attendance of less than 90% is deemed as Persistent Absence by the government which can lead to legal prosecution. Please continue to encourage your child to come to school every day; your support is invaluable to us.
Please can I remind you that all students need to be in school by 8.25am to avoid being late; the gates close at 8.27am precisely. Anyone not through the gates at that time will receive a 45 minute detention on that same day.
Please remember to call the school on each day of your child’s absence to avoid him/her having an unauthorised absence.
Good attendance and punctuality will be reflected in any references we have to give for any future education or employment for your child.
Mrs Francoise Grote
01992 424200 ext. 230
On Friday 12th February, Year 9 students had the opportunity to participate in a Macbeth workshop during their English lessons. This was planned to fit in with the scheme of work that students have been working on in English.
The workshop centred on key scenes from the text, key quotations and social historical context – as well as a fair amount of audience participation. The providers of the workshop commented on the positive attitude Goffs students had towards taking an active part in the workshop which they described as “refreshing”. They were also impressed by our students’ knowledge of the text and their understanding of terms such as iambic pentameter and dramatic irony, in relation to the play.
Panayiotis Georgiou, Year 9, said, “I really enjoyed the workshop; it helped me fully appreciate and understand the deeper meaning of the play.”
With Shakespeare forming a key part of the new GCSE specification, the English department are working hard to ensure that our students will be GCSE ready.
Ms Ephie Zorpides
Head of English
Year 13 Curriculum Enrichment Day
The theme of the day was “Preparing for Life After Goffs” The students were actively involved in activities relating to cooking, first aid, finance and personal safety. It was great to see the Year 13s having such fun. Some of them hadn’t been in the Food Technology room since Year 9 and so the aprons were a tight fit! The best quote of the day was, “Now that I can make a toastie and a flapjack, I think I might leave home!!”
Ms Navpreet Shivalkar
Director of Learning: Year 13
Year 8 Curriculum Enrichment Day
Year 8 Curriculum Enrichment Day – The Real Game
The Years 8s had an absolutely fantastic time on Curriculum Enrichment Day. In the build up to the all-important selection of their GCSE options, we gave them something to really make them think about their future.
This is never easy at twelve and thirteen years old so we introduced them to The Real Game, an interactive online tool that simulates what it is like to have a job and balance the books.
Each student was assigned a job at random from a farmer to a fast-food worker, a doctor to a dancer and then, based on the salary, had to try to work out what kind of house they might be able to afford and also any cars, mobile phones, holidays – any possible outgoing and if they could afford it based on their job.
Our goal was accomplished as it really made the students see the value of education and how, with a good education, the sky is the limit.
Later in the day we put their fledgling business skills to the test and gave them a Dragon’s Den style challenge – to design a new chocolate bar in a short period of time and present it as a business model. They had to work out the name, contents, wrapper design, price and marketing – every aspect of a new venture.
The competition was fierce but I was pleased to announce the following students as winners from Form 8I:
- Lara Wollington
- Millie Warmerdam
- Lucy Bester
All received 250 House Points each.
Here are a few pictures of their designs.
Mr Mark Holding
Director of Learning: Year 8
YEAR 9 Curriculum Enrichment Day
During our recent Curriculum Enrichment Day the Year 9s took part in various activities looking at Healthy Lifestyles. Their programme consisted of the following:
- Fitness Session
- Personal Safety
- Internet Safety and The Law
- Healthy Eating
- Social Media Safety
The fitness session was delivered by an outside agency ‘VIP Fitness’ who had all of the students taking part in numerous fitness sessions. They commented on how enthusiastic and focused all of the students were.
Other sessions included a talk on how to keep safe on the internet and how the police laws can be broken by people when using certain sites. WPC Halfpenny gave an interesting talk about the use of Social Media and the implications of uploading inappropriate images.
We had a fantastic demonstration from Dean, our Chef from Cucina, who wowed the students with his culinary skills - how to cook a stir fry in 10 minutes! The students even got the chance to taste the results.
All in all it was a great day and as always the enthusiasm and behaviour of Year 9 was outstanding.
Mrs Karen Lawrence
Director of Learning: Year 9
Year 10 Curriculum Enrichment Day
During the most recent curriculum enrichment day, Year 10 students were preparing for work experience. They participated in a career fair where many local and national companies presented to them. Each young person had a mock interview and received personal feedback. The reaction from all the students was hugely positive and they thoroughly enjoyed the day and the opportunity to get valuable pointers from future employers.
Ms Anne-Marie Crabb
Director of Learning: Year 10
Year 11 Curriculum Enrichment Day
On Curriculum Enrichment Day Year 11 worked with an external company called the Fix Up Company. This is a highly aspirational and motivational group who worked with students on study skills, motivation, time management and understanding why they want to achieve outstanding outcomes. The feedback from students was exceptional. Below are direct quotes from the students
“Made me realise how I should treat Year 11 and what impact it has on the rest of my life”
“I feel this has motivated me to change the way I am”
“It has made me want to achieve more and have more confidence in myself”
“Made me feel motivated and passionate about Year 11”
“I thought the day was extremely helpful, it has helped me to sort out my motivation and confidence and I now feel like I can progress”
“It inspired and helped me focus on what is truly important in life”
“Most useful outside school group who has come to speak to us about how we can change our lives for the better”
SLT Link for Year 11
World Book Day 2016
World Book Week began on Monday 29th February with a visit from the author Nicole Burstein who spoke to all the Year 7s about her book “Other Girl” and how she started to write this, her first book, published by Andersen Press.
Plenty of students had questions for her and the session ended with her signing copies of her book for 28 students who were keen to buy a copy to read themselves.
Tuesday saw the favourite book review competition where first prize of 50 House points went to Jude Bie-Moran’s (7Y) review of Liz Pichon’s book “Tom Gates Yes! No, Maybe”
Taylor Middleton’s (7Y) review of Frances Hardinge’s Cuckoo Song and Lucy Smith’s (7T) review of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe were both Highly Commended. All three can be seen displayed in the LRC.
Thursday 3rd March was World Book Day itself when the whole school Dropped Everything and Read for ten minutes during Period 3 including Mr Appleyard reading a history book and Mr Collins reading on his Kindle!
Lunchtime saw a book themed cupcake sale in the LRC baked by Mrs Mackay , Miss Grant and Reading Club member Louvain O’Donoghue all of which were sold very quickly - raising £32 for the Reading charity Readathon which all the Year 7s are busily involved in, trying to raise enough to beat last year’s total of £664!
Finally, a House book and reading themed quiz was held on Friday at break and lunchtimes, the winners of which were Olivia Turner and Louise Harvey who won 500 House points for Eagle House. Well done girls!
Mrs Ruth Mackay
Author Sophia Bennett visits
A selection of Year 8 girls were lucky to have author Sophia Bennett in on Thursday 17th March to talk about her new book Love Song.
She brought with her a selection of her books, including You Don't Know Me which has been a popular title in the library before and we anticipate Love Song will be the same. Both books are vibrant with music and romance, with Love Song focusing on a girl who's helping out one of the most popular boy bands around and bringing them back together.
Love Song isn't due out for another month, but Sophia was kind enough to bring with her the very first copies in a Goffs exclusive for the girls to buy! Everyone who bought a book had their copy signed and dedicated by Sophia herself.
A big thank you goes to Sophia, Elaine our bookseller and all the Year 8 girls who were involved!
Miss Rebecca Grant
Learning Resources Manager
This half term the House Team has expanded and has been working hard to put on a wide range of events for students from Year 7 into the Sixth Form. We would like to welcome Tilly Cooke, Libby Shepperd, Thomas Avril and Lloyd Waterson to the Phoenix House Team and Cindy Long as the new Hawk Games Captain.
This half term each House has been working tirelessly to raise money for their individual House charities through fundraisers such as a Valentine's Day tuck shop, Easter pop up shop, as well as a Year 7 egg hunt and disco all of which were a huge success. The Valentine’s Day tuck shop raised over £186 for the school's House charities and we hope that the up and coming Easter pop up shop will raise a similar amount.
As well as fundraising for charity, the House Team has been extremely busy offering a wide range of other activities to students whilst working alongside the Leadership Academy. Goffs Got Talent was an astounding success with many students from Year 7 to Year 11 competing for the title of Goffs Got Talent champion. The talents ranged from singing and dancing to poetry and piano. A fantastic judging panel made up of Miss Ball, Miss McBride and Mr Holding finally chose a well deserving winner: Rosie Grant (Year 10) for singing ‘I dreamed a Dream’ from ‘Les Miserable’. Rosie gained 500 House Points.
The competition to design a House mascot competition was a perfect opportunity for our budding artists to showcase their talents and gain House points. In Hawk House alone they gained over 53 entries to the competition all of which were inspirational. From each House five finalists were chosen and put to the Senior Leadership Team who had a tough decision whittling it down to the overall winners. Congratulations to all four winners with a special mention to Melike in Year 10 and Yasmin in Year 8 for their outstanding effort.
The public speaking competition got off to a fantastic start with individuals throughout the school qualifying for the next round. In addition, the desktop competition set the brains of creative genius’ racing as they were set the task of designing the background for the whole school desktop. The winner of this competition will receive 500 House points hopefully bringing their house into first place.
The up and coming Charity form fairs, promise to be a highlight of the school calendar for students in the lower school. Years 7 and 8 have been devising and planning for their stalls in the Learning Power lessons with the assistance of “student teachers” and have impressed the staff body in the maturity shown towards this entrepreneurial project. These students have put together a wide range of activities and stalls ranging from a photo booth, cupcake stall and penalty shoot-out. Through this event the House team hopes to raise further funds for the charities SCOPE, Keech Hospice, GOSH and Teens Unite. We look forward to inviting parents and governors to join our school community for this fun filled event which the House team and Leadership Academy have put in a great deal of time and effort to organise.
So, the House totals….. Once again Hawk house has been named House Champion with an unbeatable total of 90,014 house points. Commiserations to the other three Houses who have also earned an amazing amount of House points, HOWEVER, there is still time to switch up the leader board! With Sports Day, more House events and competitions yet to come, first place is still up for grabs!
Ms Laura Huseyin
Head of House System
Easter Holiday Tennis Camps
Pictures from the Mayor's Debate - Well Done to everyone involved!
On Wednesday 9th March, Goffs School took part in the Mayor's Debate against local schools and secured a first place victory, with the judges commenting on an exceptional performance which they awarded 93%. All students were given the title to consider: Is it right to encourage culture?
The students were absolutely fantastic and their performance was tip top: in both content and delivery.
Here is an extract from Caitlin Firn, the opening speaker:
"Is it right to encourage culture within our lives? What can be done to promote culture? And more importantly, what do we mean by culture? All sensible questions, I'm sure you will agree, that we, students of Goffs School shall touch upon.
When we first received the question, we thought only about the definition: the customs of a nation. However, by looking into it deeper we found that culture is also defined by the arts; for instance the performing arts and music etc. These are two completely different topics; one is based on religion and ethnicity, the other on careers and hobbies. But both play a rather important role in our society.
They give us a sense of belonging somewhere, having a wider community, having an identity. Or do they?"
The Goffs School team comprised of the following students:
Caitlin Firn - Year 10
Oliver Bayliss - Year 9
Alex Edgecombe - Year 9
Marc Harvey Hill - Year 9
Nicholas Mannan - Year 9
Jordan Ying - Year 9
Congratulations to all for a well-earned victory!