Goffs Academy Newsletter
Message from the Principal
Dear Parents/Carers and Students,
I hope this newsletter finds you well. I write this at a time when we are all establishing a strange new routine, with most of us working and learning at home, rather than in school.
In light of that, this half-termly newsletter is particularly important. I have particularly enjoyed looking back at the many accomplishments of young people across our school community (past and present), over the last few weeks. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with such a vibrant group of young people and professionals. I miss the energy, humour and spirit which usually pulses through our school building.
In our most recent assemblies, I emphasised to students that we all remain part of our Goffs community, even if not together physically. In fact, I would argue that this sense of community matters now more than ever.
I must thank students for the way that they have adapted swiftly to this extraordinary change in circumstances. In particular, our Year 11 and Year 13 students, who have had to absorb the news that the exams for which they have been working so hard, will not take place as planned. I emphasise to students that when the process for determining calculated grades is determined, we will ensure this is carried out fairly and robustly.
I also thank parents, many of whom I know are actively supporting students in their remote learning, whilst balancing multiple other work and family commitments.
Finally, I would like to recognise staff, who have made an extraordinary effort to ensure remote learning work is, and will continue to be, readily available. Your teachers are still here to support you, albeit in a different way; please do use them.
This strange time will pass. To those who are unwell or self-isolating at present, I wish you and family members a speedy recovery. When the time comes, I can assure all students that your school is ready and waiting, for us to ‘hit the ground running’. In the meantime, take care and stay safe.
Former Goffs student reaches top of the class
Just seven months after a nail-biting wait for his GCSE results, Patrick Jackson attended his Pass Out Parade at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. If that wasn’t amazing enough, he received the Uniacke Trophy, from Prince Edward, having graduated top of his class of over 350 Junior Soldiers in Cambrai Company.
Patrick's proud parents, Martin and Sam Jackson, have said that "everyone at Goffs deserves immense credit for their support and encouragement of Patrick, and in helping to shape him in to becoming the outstanding young man he is."
Having graduated, Patrick will now go on to Lyneham to complete 44 weeks of specialist training as a Recovery Mechanic.
World Book Day
On Friday 6th March 2020, we had the pleasure of welcoming Seth Burkett, professional football player turned author, to the school to talk to Year 7 about ghost-writing as part of our annual World Book Day author visit.
Seth led an assembly where he told the students all about his professional journey. Having played professional football in Brazil and Sri Lanka, Seth explained that he now dedicates his time to writing, and has five published books. Recent collaborations have seen him ghost-write books for two of the world’s biggest YouTubers; Woody and Kleiny.
Seth then ran two workshops, where a number of Year 7 students learnt all about the process involved in ghost writing; from the structure to the types of questions to ask. Students then wrote the opening of a biography for their partner, in which they described their partner’s biggest moment in their life (so far). Students needed to ensure they wrote in the voice of their partner, as the aim of ghost-writing is to sound like the person you are writing for.
Students produced excellent opening chapters and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of learning new skills from a professional ghost-writer.
LRC Activities for World Book Day
World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly), a celebration of reading. On Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March 2020, the LRC had a number of lunchtime activities for students to take part in, and this year the focus was on detective fiction.
There was an opportunity for students to try their hand at a Wikipedia Scavenger Hunt, navigating through a number of clues to reach the answer to the last question. This was a fun way of browsing through information about authors as diverse as Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and G.K. Chesterton. For students who were feeling artistic, we had a competition to design a WBD bookmark, or they could chose to take part in a quiz testing their knowledge of fictional detectives.
For those who were feeling inspired to try a little detective work of their own, there was a ‘whodunnit’ to solve, as requested by Inspector Lestrade of Sherlock Holmes fame. This required careful reading of the case file, and a keen eye for detail in order to catch the culprit!
Thank you to everyone who took part with such enthusiasm, and congratulations to our four winners. Special thanks also go to Rhys Dell for putting together the excellent activities.
Year 9 Careers-Related Learning
This year, as part of our wider Curriculum Enrichment provision, we ensured that each year group had a careers-related learning experience. For Year 9, this meant that they had a day off timetable on Tuesday 11th February, where they were able to work in groups of 6 to design and sell their own products. The day was led by the Young Enterprise Company. Students reviewed aspects relating to sales, such as tax and profit margins, and the best teams were awarded with prizes. Each student also achieved a participation certificate.
Students positively commented on the day, by stating that the activities really helped with their understanding of sales. Students commented on how much they enjoyed the element of competition!
Year 10 Careers-Related Learning
Year 10 have been busy preparing for their work experience that is due to take place in the summer term, during the week beginning 29th June 2020. We will keep you updated regarding any changes to this date given the situation with COVID-19.
As part of their preparations, students all had to complete a CV using a specific format, and then had 1:1 interviews with a number of employers on Wednesday 12th February. On the same day, we had 36 employers put up stands to promote each of their sectors, and we had a number of occupations represented, ranging from the Police to engineers. The work continued well beyond the day itself, in that students received individual written feedback on their mock interviews and have been busy trying to source a placement.
Year 11 Fix Up Sessions
On the 16th March 2020, Fix Up completed their second day of assemblies and workshops for Year 11 students; they previously ran sessions on 18th November 2019. The message in the sessions related to success and how it comes about through hard work, resilience and determination. After an introductory assembly, students had three hours in workshops, followed by a concluding assembly. Our students were very focused and engaged in the sessions and the external speakers especially commented on their positivity and engagement.
Our most recent lecture was hosted by our very own Principal, Mr Ellis, who explored the concept of theory vs. practice, and whether we could become an expert at anything! Over 125 students attended and really enjoyed Mr Ellis' interactive presentation, including links to sport, music and education. An insightful talk, which hopefully inspired students to realise that practice sometimes triumphs over what we perceive as 'natural ability'.
Teacher of English
Holocaust Memorial Event - 6th February 2020
On 6th February 2020, our Year 12 students had the privilege of visiting the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, in order to participate in a Holocaust Memorial Event ran by Holocaust Learning UK.
During the event, students had the increasingly rare opportunity to hear the personal testimony of Hannah Lewis, a Holocaust survivor. Students also participated in workshops that offered them the opportunity to understand and discuss some historical facts about the Holocaust and other genocides.
Please click here to read about Hannah Lewis' incredible story of survival.
Student Parliament trip to London
On Monday 10th February 2020, Student Parliament members went on a trip to London to visit the Winston Churchill War Rooms and The Houses of Parliament:
The Churchill War Museum was very entertaining and factual. Firstly, we entered into what seemed to be a briefing room with no chairs, and a video started playing on one of the walls. The video summarised the main points of the Second World War. After that, we entered a room where you could see where Churchill and important war decision makers sat to discuss important war tactics. We then went through more rooms showing sleeping quarters, pictures and many other very interesting things. There was also a vast room full of articles from the war: posters, clothing and other items. There were offices, studies and sleeping quarters for the people considered to be of most importance. The very last room before the gift shop was more of a walkway than a room; in this walkway there were a vast variety of rooms including the important map rooms, and what seemed like a small cupboard with all of the kitchen items Churchill used; some of the items were the actual ones he used!
Daniel Ashton, Year 7
Afterwards we had some time for lunch:
During the time between Churchill War Museum and the Houses of Parliament tour, we had some time in which we did some fun and engaging activities. We also ate our lunch and then saw some unusual pelicans. After that, we walked to Buckingham Palace and when we were walking there, a squirrel climbed Leonard’s leg which was extremely humorous. When we arrived at Buckingham Palace, the soldiers guarding the palace did many tricks with their guns. After spending some time there, we made our way to a small cafe. While having a drink, we saw a helicopter land in the tiniest space! I was amazed to be able to see this, as I had never seen a helicopter land in my life! Soon we made our way to the Houses of Parliament education centre where we met a guard. He told us that he used to come to Goffs Academy when he was younger and had been looking forward to meeting us all day.
Guluzar Guven, Year 7
After lunch we went to The Houses of Parliament:
What an experience! I don’t even know where to start. First, we watched the Members of Parliament in an enthralling and controversial debate about a flight back to Jamaica. We also watched a debate about the bill for the aircraft carriers and airspace, and the legal side of these matters.
Lexi Ambrose, Year 7
Whilst we were at the Houses of Parliament, we participated in an inspiring workshop. This included debating about whether 16-year olds should be allowed to vote. Also, we got to play a game at the start which was fun too! One of the best moments was when our local MP, Charles Walker, came into the workshop and spoke to us. He answered our questions and told us about his job role. It was a scintillating experience, and everyone enjoyed it. Did you know that he opened the new building of Goffs Academy in 2017? This was a very memorable trip and quite exhausting. I definitely recommend it!
Mia D’Amato, Year 7
Exhausted, tired and wet. Although we had an amazing time, it was time to go home. We only had one more tiny problem. Our train got cancelled! We were rushing to the train station because we wanted to get out of the cold, just to find out our train was cancelled because of the weather. Eventually, we found another train that took us back to Cheshunt. Suddenly, the final call for the train was announced, and speeding like cheetahs, we raced down the path just in time to hop on. We all made it!
Ruby Mozdzen, Year 7
White Water safety trip – In memory of Robbie Lee
On behalf of our Goffs community, we attended the annual Robbie Lee event, which taught us many valuable water safety skills in a range of scenarios. The annual event was held in memory of Robbie Lee, an ex-Goffs student, who tragically lost his life in 2018 after getting into difficulty whilst swimming in a local lake.
One of the scenarios was to look at what steps should be taken when someone finds themselves in cold water. Firstly, we were advised to use our voice in order to grab the swimmer's attention, then try to reach out using nearby equipment (not your hands). We were then informed that to prevent falling in, you should lay down with someone holding your ankles; if that then doesn’t work throw something in that’s close to you, maybe a shopping bag with a football inside to act like a float.
Later on the day, we learned how to use a 'throw bag', which consists of a rope that would reach the swimmer in a safe way. In addition, we met with the fire brigade and Police, which both taught us about the vital “whatthreewords” app and how to use it. Everyone should have this on their phone in case they get lost for ANY reason, as this will help people locate you. Lastly, we watched a very graphic video based on how the cold water can affect you severely and the dangers of jumping into shallow water.
Art Department News
Year 7 Art
We want to share some exciting developments with Year 7 Art. Miss Brown and Mrs Brew have been refining the Year 7 Art course using research into ‘metacognitive’ approaches. There have been some very exciting developments in the progress made by many of our students. Many students are now confident in drawing from direct observation (with objects in front of them), rather than from observation (from pictures/photographs). We have also explored further drawing methods, to increase confidence, whilst making portrait drawings using the ‘grid’ method and ‘Loomis’ approach. All Year 7s have now experienced how to make a mono print and have begun to create their collograph plates which we will continue with and print from on our return. Despite the school closing, our Year 7s will continue on their journey, learning about printmaking, printmakers and developing their drawing techniques further.
Head of Art
Year 12 Art: The Adventure Continues!
Following on from the last instalments about the Year 12 Art students' adventures, our projects have really started to evolve. The major part of the essay is complete (they have done a great job!), and students are embarking on their final pieces. These have now been constructed in clay and have been fired in our kiln. Currently, we are experimenting with different materials to decorate the clay with. It has been exciting to see how many different materials you can actually use on this surface – acrylic paints, felt tips, fine liners, brusho dyes and watercolours, to name a few. Over the next 6 weeks, all 8 candidates will be working to conclude their 3d pieces, despite the school being closed, before we submit them to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition for young artists. Watch out for the final pieces in the next newsletter.
Head of Art
English Department News
The Wallace Collection Trip – 6th February 2020
On Thursday, 6th February 2020, Mrs Enstone, Ms Swift and I had the pleasure of taking 25 students from Year 9 and 10 to The Wallace Collection in London, to take part in a creative writing workshop focusing on Myths and Legends.
On arrival, students were introduced to the history of the collection and its collectors, an idiosyncratic and fascinating family, perhaps worth of legendary status themselves. Students were then given a tour of the galleries, focusing on a selection of images and objects that would evoke the events and atmosphere for the writing of a myth or legend from antiquity or today. The tour was interactive and students were encouraged to voice their opinions, ask questions, and share their notes. Throughout the tour, not only were students impeccably behaved, but also constantly made notes in preparation for writing a series of short pieces using the characters and events in the stories as their basis. Students produced a number of original stories demonstrating their ability to use art as a stimulus for creativity.
It was a fascinating day for both staff and students.
Whole-School Literacy Co-ordinator
History Department News
Year 8 History Trip - Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
Cold chills and dark February nights provided the perfect setting for the Jack the Ripper walking tour in the East End of London. Students in Year 8 have been studying the Whitechapel murders, and were offered the chance to walk the streets once stalked by the infamous "Jack the Ripper". The students were walked from location to location, visiting the sites of murders, discoveries and locations of doss houses. The students found the night fascinating and were keen to show off their own knowledge of the topic. Many students asked questions that the tour guide answered with aplomb, although sadly he didn't reveal the name of the Ripper; a mystery still to be solved! The trip ran smoothly, and thanks go to the supporting teachers: Mr Gill, Miss Jackson, Miss Jackson (yes, there are two Miss Jacksons in History) and Miss Silay.
Teacher of History
Maths Department News
Year 7 Maths Competition
On Wednesday 11th March 2020, a team of four Year 7 Mathletes took part in a Maths Competition at Broxbourne School, against six teams from other Hertfordshire schools. A little nervous, as this was new to us all, we chatted with the competition before settling down for 1.5 hours of mathematical challenges and problem solving.
A strong first round settled the nerves, and we were joint first going into round two. The team battled well against tough competition, and collaboratively worked their way through the 1.5 hours. Showing great perseverance and dedication, they represented the school very well.
By the end of the challenge, the team had performed superbly, coming in a close second in the heat, and were very pleased to qualify for the Final. We await details of when that will now be.
Due to their success, we will now be looking to enter more teams into more competitions to allow more of our Mathletes to shine.
A big thank you and well done to Zishan Haque, Daniel Williams, Adam Ibrahim and Lakshya Chowdhary.
Mr Jonathan Yelland
Teacher of Maths
PE Department News
Football: Year 9 Boys Cup Semi-Final - Match Report
10th March 2020
The game started with both teams passing the ball nicely and creating chances, but not yet testing the goalkeeper. Lemachi had the ball on the edge of the box, took on a few players and ended up suffering a foul. Alfie stepped up to the free kick and smashed it straight past the keeper to put Goffs 1-0 up. Beaumont then came back with the same quick play, but the first half was soon over.
The second half began with Beaumont looking for the equaliser. They tested us, but we managed to hold on and not concede on the counter attack. Callum had the ball on the edge of the box and had a wonderful shot with his left foot, bringing our lead up to two goals to nil.
Beaumont did not give up and brought the game to Goffs. Their number 10 took it past one of our players, then two, and a left-foot strike hit the top left corner. Beaumont had fired back and the score was now 2-1.
The game was tight, and both teams defended for their lives. When Goffs had the ball in the opponent’s half, Zain passed it to Hayden, and his nice little flick around the corner allowed Lemachi to smash the ball on the volley into the bottom corner.3-1 to Goffs! Goffs had control of the game from then on, creating chance after chance. Ediz had the ball on the left, whipped it towards Hayden, who brought it down with lovely skill to put Goffs 4-1 ahead.
It was a very good game and we managed to get our own back from last year! Now it’s on to the final!
Hayden Gray, Year 9.
Football: U14 girls
Huge congratulations go to the U14 girls football team. For the majority of the team, they have made it to the County Cup final for the second time. Last year this team made it to the semi-finals and lost in penalties, so this is a well-deserved place in the final, and the girls have battled hard to get there. The PE department are very proud of the team’s achievements and hope that their final will take place in the future.
The players: Summer Young (captain), Ellie Young, Chloe Ions, Chloe Dwyer, Laci Hawkins, Maddy Moore, Josie Lewis, Tia Nicholson, Cristina Blundell, Sundai Amele, Freya Brown and Dolly Sambrook.
Goffs Sports Academy
Within the Sports Academy, the Year 9 leaders have been busy helping at extra-curricular activities. Some of the leaders helped at a girls football primary event at Goffs. Not only were the leaders organised and determined to help run a successful event, they demonstrated excellent confidence and passion to lead. A special mention goes to Talya, Ellie, Sydney, Chloe, Laci, Josie & Summer for their excellent leadership (see picture). Congratulations also go to Ashlee Willett for being an encouraging leader at swimming club.
The Year 12 sports leaders are half way through their sports leadership qualification. This class have been extremely dedicated and have contributed enormously to the community spirit of the school. The leaders have led successful inter-house sports events and extra-curricular clubs. A majority of the leaders have helped out at our primary school events, and were inspirational to the younger generation. A special mention goes to Ivy Wright and Tommy Harris for their commitment with the Year 8 football and netball teams.
Teacher of P.E.
On Monday 9th March 2020, two groups of Year 7-10 students competed in the national dance competition 'The Great Big Dance Off.' The students put on an outstanding performance, and represented Goffs to such a high standard, not only in their performance, but with their excellent sportsmanship, cheering all the other schools on throughout their performances. Unfortunately we did not place, but the girls and boys had such a fun time, and it was an amazing first experience for us all.
Teacher of P.E.
This half term has seen a reintroduction to netball, following a small break for fixtures due to outside light and inside space! However, we maintained out netball training on a weekly basis, which was led by a number of experienced and aspiring young leaders and coaches.
Year 9 District Tournament:
The Year 9 netball tournament saw a large number of the girls playing in different and varied positions due to high numbers of attendance. Although at times this proved to be difficult, the girls displayed some exceptional passages of play to achieve important goals. This is especially excellent for those choosing GCSE PE or BTEC sport, as not only did it support their practical skill, but also their coaching and leadership abilities. The team pushed right to the end, displaying their athleticism and sportsmanship. Well done, girls!
Year 11 & Seniors District Tournament:
The Year 11 and seniors netball tournament was a demonstration of excellent netball and team work. Even though the students have never played as one team, they played really well together. Ivy Wright was an excellent captain and kept spirits high, even when the team were losing. The tournament was really fun and played in an excellent spirit, and we managed to get some excellent footage for the Year 11 GCSE moderation. All students were happy to play out of position to allow other team members opportunities. Every single student played exceptionally well. Well done, ladies!
Teacher of P.E.
Combined Cadets Force (CCF) Updates
The Cadets this term have pushed themselves incredibly hard - learning new skills such as map and compass, and the ever-challenging emergency first aid. In addition to this, the students had the opportunity to go to Colchester Barracks for a range day combined with the assault course. The range day was where students got to fire live rounds under strict supervision at targets (set at 25m). The many weeks of rehearsal for their skill at arms demonstrating safe handling of the cadet rifle meant that they were passed safe to fire live on the range.
We took a minibus to Colchester Barracks and had to pass through strict security. Cadets were then given a safety briefing (including a declaration on live ammunition), and prepared for the activity ahead. Cadets were then taken in groups of 5 onto the range where they fired groupings and aimed shots whilst being given support by a supervisor. 2nd Lt Scripps and AOU Gill were in attendance for safety and support. A special note should be made to all cadets who fired, especially to those who were firing live for the first time. The impressive noise (even with ear defenders) and the kickback of the live rounds is very surprising on the first attempt.
In addition, 2nd Lt Scripps was running the assault course which saw students scaling walls and showing high levels of teamwork and motivation. The effort needed to get around the course is remarkable, and students showed great determination to complete this.
This half term as well saw AOU Gill obtain his promotion to 2nd Lt after completing his basic training at Frimley Barracks during the February half term. This was an exciting moment and he received his new rank slide at parade from Major Jones, in front of the full contingent.
Many thanks go to 2nd Lt Scripps and Gill for their continued support of the CCF at Goffs.
House System Update
On Friday 13th March 2020, the House Team held a whole-school non-uniform day in aid of Comic Relief. On the day, students came to school in their own clothes and donated £1 into their house buckets. A group of our Sixth Form students ran a bake sale from the common room to raise further funds for the charity. Alongside this, throughout the week the PE department organised a range of sporting competitions for students to get involved in to celebrate the charity’s sport relief campaign. A huge thank you for all of your donations as we raised a fantastic £1,216.20 on the day.
On Monday 16th March 2020, the Student Parliament and House Team met up for their termly conference.
The House Team began planning for our charity fete, with lots of new ideas for fundraising stalls and exciting competitions for students to participate in. We hope to resume this planning very soon and look forward to running our fete and raising money for CLIC Sargent.
So far this year we have now raised over £7,000 as a community, so thank you for your donations and continual participation in our events. We look forward to continuing our fundraising as soon as we can!
In the meantime, if you are looking for ways to continue to support the local community; food banks such as our local one (Broxbourne food bank) are in more need than ever for your donations right now. If you can offer help in any way please go on to the Trussell Trust website for more details of how you can support. https://www.trusselltrust.org/coronavirus-food-banks/
Director of the House System