Finnlay Leads the Hate Crime Crusade!
It’s a huge congratulations to Finnlay Hill from our Year 7 who has recently triumphed in Cheshire Constabulary’s Hate Crime Poster Competition. This is a competition that we entered with a particular focus for our Year 7 & 8 Art & Design classes which involved them researching the topic of Hate Crime and subsequently coming up with their own poster designs with the overarching title of ‘Not in Our School.’
Finnlay won the award for the area of The Widnes Local Policing Unit and attended a memorable Awards’ Evening held at Cheshire Constabulary Headquarters where he was presented with his prize by The High Sheriff of Cheshire.
Our On Site Police Officer, PC White, said of Finnlay’s achievement: ‘It’s great to be able to give a profile in school to such an important issue. This is a problem that affects many areas of our society and to increase awareness amongst our youngsters can only be a good thing. Finnlay’s poster was brilliant and his success was richly deserved.’
Young People at the Heart of Schools’ Conference
420 delegates from 8 schools across our Multi Academy Trust attended the 3rd annual Education Conference held at Wade Deacon in February.
A total of 17 workshops were held throughout the day ranging from Mental Health & Well – Being through to Philosophy for Children allowing accessibility and relevance to primary, secondary and further education establishments.
The day began with a keynote presentation from ‘stand up’ educationalist Dave Keeling who expertly demonstrated how laughter and humour can improve achievement for all learners, with the day concluding with educational advisor, writer and trainer Mary Myatt whose theme was the High Challenge, Low Threat Learning Environment.
The day ultimately provided unique opportunities for colleagues across different educational sectors to discuss the latest initiatives in education and to share exciting new ideas.
Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive with delegates praising ‘the range of workshops on offer’ and the ‘immediate impact on teaching and learning.’ The general consensus was that it was incredibly beneficial to have primary schools, secondary schools and colleges working together in the same room – putting the education of our young people first.
Students Take a Bite out of The Big Apple! Exemplary Behaviour & Attitude to Learning resulted in a trip to New York for 40 of our Year 10 students over the February half term holiday. During this trip of a lifetime, pupils and staff took in the usual sights with tours around Central Park, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, as well as the compulsory retail therapy on 5th Avenue! The highlights of the trip were a theatre performance of Aladdin on Broadway, coupled with a pre-production workshop on combat skills which everyone enjoyed tremendously as well as an evening ascent up The Empire State Building which was as spectacular as it was emotional. Who could not have enjoyed such a fantastic opportunity? Madeline Lea certainly did telling Insight Magazine: ‘It’s the weirdest feeling wondering down the streets of Manhattan, because it’s as if you’ve been there before – even though you haven’t. It’s all so familiar because we’ve seen every street and building on TV and at the cinema.’
Book Day takes Pupils into Different Worlds! We always approach World Book Day with gusto and this year was no exception. All departments and faculties took part, with staff dressing up in an array of imaginative costumes, reflecting characters from their favourite books. As always, Alice in Wonderland was well represented with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter also featuring strongly. A debut for Jaws was a notable addition to the proceedings this year with the character of Chrissie Watkins, the shark’s first victim, marauding around school, screaming manically whilst in the process of being devoured! As always, the costumes promoted much discussion amongst pupils which will inevitably result in pupils searching out novels and short stories to read in the future. English lessons were targeted to teachers’ favourite books and all lessons across the school had a World Book Day dimension to them. English teacher, Miss Carr, who coordinated the event, was thrilled with the positive way that our pupils embraced the day, telling Insight: ‘World Book Day promotes a great deal of enquiry amongst so many of our pupils and it is great to hear the buzz around school with pupils clearly inspired to read new books in the future.’
‘A Privilege’ to Walk in the Footsteps of Heroes
Pupils from Years 10 & 11 experienced the raw emotion of the Auschwitz Birkenau extermination camp during their visit to Krakow over the February half term break.
A formal tour of the camp barracks and gas chambers was led by local guides who gave first-hand accounts of the horrors from individuals involved. Pupils also had the chance to meet with a Holocaust survivor and take part in an emotional candle memorial service at Birkenau – the larger of the two camps.
The visit also included a walking tour of the old Jewish district of Krakow and the former WW2 Jewish Ghetto as well as many of the sites featured in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List.’
One of the highlights of the trip was a meeting with a lady who had survived the Holocaust as a child, but whose poet father had died at the camp. During their meeting, Ms Rouski read out one of the poems written by the lady’s father with not a dry eye amongst any of our pupils.
Joshua Rogers from Year 11, summed up the feelings of everyone when he said ‘It is crucial that young people learn about the Holocaust as these catastrophic events let them know how privileged they are and how thankful they should be for everything they have.’
Pupils Show their Caring Side.
35 of our Year 8 pupils visited London recently as part of their CARE (Collaborative Award for Research) Project.
This is an award that seeks to expand our pupils’ awareness and knowledge of The Elizabethan era, as well as developing both their subject specific and interpretive skills. In order to secure the award, pupils have been attending weekly sessions at school where they have explored all aspects of Elizabethan England, whilst making comparisons to modern life. Topics have had a cross curricular dimension and have included Hygiene, The Landscape of London and Crime & Punishment in a session led by our own PC White.
During the London trip, pupils took in the usual attractions such as The London Eye, Harry Potter Studios and a guided tour around The Globe Theatre.
All of our pupils’ hard work will culminate in a formal presentation to parents, carers and Wade Deacon staff later this term. Good luck everyone!
Pupils Wow the Crowds in Got to Dance Spectacular!
Pupils from Years 7 – 11 took part in our annual Got to Dance event in early February wowing sell-out crowds with a variety of dance routines including Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Street and Jazz dance genres.
This was Wade Deacon’s 7th annual Got to Dance show which is an event that is eagerly anticipated by the whole school community. Crowd numbers this year were the highest ever with 600 + visitors through the doors.
Leader of Dance, Mrs Paton, was overwhelmed with the quality of performances this year telling Insight ‘This is a huge event at school and involves so many people, both in performance and behind the scenes. It is a celebration – a showcase of talent which really shines through, year on year.’
Students Bring the Sounds of Salzburg to the Stage!
Our reputation for high quality musical theatre was further enhanced in January with a thrilling production of The Sound of Music. This ambitious production included a cast from all Year Groups in school who auditioned in mid-July and have been practising ever since (including weekends!)
And that practice really paid off with precocious performances of the highest quality over two sell – out nights in our Main Hall.
The Sound of Music marks our third Musical Theatre performance in as many years following the successes of Aladdin and Oliver. Our focus is to create authentic theatrical experiences which challenge our students and seek to push the boundaries of what is possible. Our use of a live orchestra creates a further dimension to our productions.
Emily Sharples, who gave a stellar performance in the lead role of Maria said: ‘It really was a thrill play such a famous role. It was a great team effort from everyone and we all enjoyed the experience tremendously.’
Table Tennis success 14.01.17
Over the weekend our year 7/8 girls and boys table tennis teams were competing in the North West Table Tennis competition in Blackburn. I am very proud to announce that the boys team are ranked 5th in the North West and the girls won the competition ranking them 1st overall. The girls will now progress onto the regional final in Blackburn on 4th March. Both teams were a credit to the school and I’m sure you will wish to congratulate them on their successes.