Half Term 2 Newsletter
Message from our Principal
Welcome to our end of Term 1 Newsletter, as what can best be described as a unique year draws to a close.
Coronavirus has impacted all our lives in many ways. I have continued to be humbled by the way in which, as a community of parents, students, staff and governors, there has been an incredibly strong sense of purpose and resilience, despite the many challenges we have faced. At a time when levels of school attendance nationally have been falling, ours have increased; another key indicator of a drive and desire to persevere when faced with significant obstacles.
Our Year 11 students have made the most of a new extended school day; 6 lessons rather than 5, and applied themselves very well in their recent Trial Exams. With the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, and how long it will be part of our lives, every single piece of classwork, home learning, and course work really matters. Students have grasped this urgency well.
Beyond the classroom, our students continue to showcase their talents in many ways. I am grateful, for example, to the Expressive and Performing Arts Faculty for producing a ‘Winter Showcase‘ video. I’m sure you’ll agree it contains some fabulous performances.
I hope you all have a restful and peaceful fortnight’s holiday. I know there are many amongst us who have not seen some members of their families for over 8 months. The opportunity to do so between the 23 – 27 December will be a relief for many, and will create great memories.
By now you will probably have heard the news that when we return in January, it will be to a staggered start for different year groups. This is to enable schools nationally to prepare to deliver lateral flow coronavirus testing on-site. I’m sure you’ll appreciate that this news has landed incredibly late in the term. I have written a separate letter about what we know, to date, which you can read via this link. We will obviously keep in contact with you and update you with further developments before the start of the new term.
Our Design Technology Technician Mr Sheldon is auctioning a piece of his original artwork for charity! His painting of Rob Burrow’s final game, signed by Rob, will be auctioned in support of Motor Neurone Disease Association. The auction ends on Sunday 20th December 10pm.. click here to bid!
Our amazing science technician Lauren Ramsden designed a Christmas Tree for the Science Department!
Maths Week England 2020
In November, our students took part in activities during coaching and their maths lessons to celebrate Maths Week England 2020!
Our Key Stage 4 and 5 students took part in virtual ‘Maths Inspiration Workshops’ which explored probability in a real-life context and strategies on how to win big! Our Year 7 students finished the week off by completing an epicyloids investigation.
They studied where these wonderful mathematical shapes appear in real life and how to create these shapes from scratch.
This half term in Geography, Miss Morris set a ‘lockdown’ challenge to encourage our young geographers to explore their ‘place’. Students had to take a picture and explain why their place was so significant to them. Some students chose places they visit regularly, some chose places they had visited on holiday. A lot of students reflected on their journey since March and shared their favourite safe space to go to think about all of things we have overcome in the last year. There were some amazing entries which will be made into a display on the Geography corridor! The Geography teachers have voted on their favourite entries and the winners are as follows:
Year 7 – Joel Smith
Year 8 – Keiva Bhanabhai
Year 9 – Shamla Ahmadzai
Year 10 – Honey McGuinness-Kelly and Roshni Mehay
Year 11 – Julieanne McNulty
Staff – Mrs Marker
The overall winner is…. Honey McGuinness Kelly! Well done to all of the winners, Miss Morris will be distributing your prizes in January! To all students who entered thank you for your efforts, you will be given merits by your class teachers. Keep your eyes peeled for the next challenge in January!
Year 7 students have been working extremely hard in lessons, using and designing circuit training sessions that target different parts of the body. They have also been investigating how much exercise is needed to burn off a burger.
Students have been using microscopes to develop their knowledge and understanding of magnification. They really enjoyed trying to draw animal plant cells and it blew their minds how much detail they could see by focusing on the object!
We’re so proud of the hard work our students put in to presenting their books and projects.
UK Computational Thinking Challenge
Over 450 Computer Science & IT students from Years 7-12 participated in the Annual Computational Thinking Challenge, run by Raspberry Pi Foundation and Oxford University. It gave students a fun insight into computer science, while developing their computational thinking skills.
Student were entered into one of the four categories depending on their age: Elite (16-18), Seniors (14-16), intermediate (12-14), and Juniors (10-12).
Big congratulations to Eddie Thompson (Year 9) and Finn Brown (Year 9) who received the Gold Award Certificates for achieving scores which were amongst the highest 10% nationally. This is a remarkable achievement considering that 5554 students from West Yorkshire and 223,182 students countrywide participated.
Joshua Dennis (Year 12), Ruari Pickering (Year 11), Eddie Thompson (Year 9) and Joseph Webster (Year 7) were awarded the ‘Best in School’ certificates for achieving the highest scores amongst their Priesthorpe peers.
Performing Arts Challenge
Join the Google Classroom to access all the materials you will need and submit your entries! The code is 5gxymf4. Entries must be submitted by 3rd January 2021.
Challenge 1 – Re-enact your favourite festive film moments!
Challenge 2 – Record your own cover version of a Disney classic, or sing a long to a karaoke version!
Challenge 3 – Create a dance that represents the 12 days of Christmas encompassing a range of dance styles!
Congratulations to our previous participants!
October: Macey Armitage, Keiva Bhananbhai, Evie Brennan, Jacob Foster, Freya Harrison, Mahdiya Khalid Latif, Shayen Premathas, Owen Richardson.
November: Aroush Ashtaq, Evie Brennan, Keiva Bhanabhai, Ruby Large, Macey Armitage, Mahdiya Khalid Latif, Owen Richardson, Mazammel Ali Mughal.
Owen Richarson has also won a £10 Amazon Gift Voucher for his exceptional effort with the Performing Arts Challenges, well done Owen!
Our attendance mentor scheme showed an improvement of 12.3% amongst the students that took part- amazing work, well done!
During the final two weeks of term, one student per year group has been invited to the attendance office to take a lucky dip!
A message from our Attendance Team: ‘Well done to all our students for working towards great attendance. We look forward to sharing more attendance prizes in the New Year! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!‘ Mrs Lynch, Mrs Conroy and Miss Bottomley.
Year 7 94.9%
Year 8 95.4%
Year 9 95.3%
Year 10 92.8%
Year 11 93.9%
Whole School 94.4%
Priesthorpe Staff and Students are ALL entitled to a FREE breakfast every morning! The magic breakfast has been a hit so far… bagels, cereal or porridge all available in the canteen. Don’t miss it!
Staff Wellbeing Week
Our final week of term featured activities for staff to give them the opportunity to celebrate each other and the hard work they have put in over the last term. Reward and Recognition cards were delivered on Friday during staff Christmas Jumper Day, raising money for Save The Children and Mind. We also decorated the Christmas tree with positive notes and messages of thanks!
The Expressive and Performing Arts Faculty have produced an amazing Virtual Winter Showcase! We are so proud of the incredibly talented students who have worked together to create this quality production.