It has been a very busy fortnight here in school which included a very impressive 72% attendance level by parents and carers of students in year 7 on Monday 6th March. There has been a buzz around the building amongst the students, this includes our year 8 ICT students who visited Disneyland Paris to attend an international ICT and technology conference, whilst Year 11, students over recent weekends took part in a joint trip to Derwent Hill arranged to support them with transition and their next steps into the Sixth Form at Southmoor.
Last week saw the Academy take part in the annual 'World Book Day' and the profile we place on literacy and reading here at Sandhill View was clear to see. On health and wellbeing sixteen year 9 students have been taking part in a four day training course to become Health Champion Ambassadors for the Academy.
Elsewhere in the Academy we have begun to increase the work we carry out with year 6 students in our feeder primary schools and to even further improve Academy attendance levels we have launched our Sandhill View Attendance Car. This is also supported by our Easter attendance eggstravaganza prize draw competition which involves every student being entered into a daily prize draw from now until the Easter break if they sustain a 100% record of attendance. Focus is now on our Year 10 students who are soon to begin their first mock examination period.
All of these feature in this blog and you can also find how our Head of Art, Mrs Roche, fared with her first public showing of her work in London and Mr Hughes places himself under the spotlight in our regular feature.
I hope you enjoy this edition of the blog.
Richard Carr Head of School
Pupils in Paris
Over half term, a group of our ICT students visited Paris to attend the ‘ICT Live!’ Conference. The group had plenty of time to take in the sights and sounds of the city of lights, including a River Cruise on the beautiful Seine where our pupils learnt about the history of Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the city’s many grand bridges.
Our students were lucky enough to stay at the Disney Cheyenne Hotel which was Cowboy themed, and was less than 5 minutes away from the Disney parks on a shuttle bus. After check-in our group went and explored the rides and attractions of the Disneyland Parks. As it grew darker the Disneyland Parks lit up which added to the magic and looked beautiful. Miss Davies and Mr Bunn especially had great fun and were often first in line for the different rides! It was lovely to see so many of the girls wearing their mouse ears and the boys with their mouse gloves and Goofy hats – really getting into the spirt of Disney.
On Monday afternoon our group attended the ICT & Computing LIVE! Conference which was at the Gaumont Cinema in the Disney Village. There were many other schools and colleges also there and our students were very well behaved throughout. There were three main speakers at the conference Geoff White— Channel 4 Technology Journalist & Producer, Joe McEwan—Head of Brand and Social Media at innocent and Gemma Milne—Tech innovation Strategist Ogilvy Labs.
Geoff spoke about the impact of sharing too much of your data can be dangerous and how we don’t always know where all of our data is actually going. This was to encourage to the students to be smart about how they use their digital devices but also be aware of their digital surroundings and how easy it is for people to find information from you.
Gemma spoke about upcoming job opportunities which do not exist yet and encouraged all of the students to think outside of the box when it comes to technology and mainly focused on the developments with Virtual Reality and Space.
The most influential speaker was Joe, he spoke to the students about how Social Media is now used by many businesses to promote their products, interact with their customer but also considered when hiring potential new employees. He encouraged students to consider their online presence and gave advice on how they could use the world on social media to their benefit when looking at colleges and careers.
Our staff and students had a magnificent time, with excellent behaviour all round. We look forward to returning again next year!
Skills to Shine
30 KS3 pupils are taking part in an Enterprise program through Skills to Shine. They will be working every week between now and Easter to come up with an innovative project linked to healthy eating. They will have to come up with their own business idea and present this to a panel of judges in a Dragon's Den like scenario. If successful, this can then be extended to benefit the local community. For the launch of this program students spent the day alongside other competing schools at Sunderland University.
There they met a range of entrepreneurs that introduced them to the enterprise project. This is the start of an exciting opportunity for these pupils with the next trip taking place at Nando's where they get to work in the kitchen to prepare their own lunch and see how a commercial business works in order to inform their own business ideas.
Staff on Show It probably won't come as a surprise that I LOVE anything arty and sharing ideas with people. As well as writing and teaching projects inspired by my favourite artists with the students of Sandhill View I also create my own work inspired by contemporary issues. I have collaborated with artists over the past year on two sketchbook projects. Sketchbook 1 explored the theme of Alice in Wonderland and developed into mixed media pieces linked to our obsession with Donald Trump.
Sketchbook 2 was inspired by all things British, the Wizard of Oz and Punch and Judy! I was very lucky to have pieces of my work selected to become part of an exhibit in the Gerald Moore Gallery in February. I have started two new projects for 2017, who knows where they will lead! If you would like to see more of my work please have a look at my Pinterest boards.
- Mrs Roche, Head of Art
Pollitics & Photography Our year 9 photography group have been studying the 'Women's March' which took place across the world in protest to some of President Trump's polices. They have debated issues such as racism, LGBT rights and gun laws and have responded in a series of powerful photographs expressing how they feel. Well done year 9!
Following the great success of “Advent Attendance” and to further encourage and reward excellent attendance, from Monday 6th March until Friday 7th April we will be holding another daily prize draw. Every day one lucky pupil who has 100% attendance between those dates will win a £10 shopping voucher. The draw will happen at the start of period five every day and pupils will be entered every day as long as their attendance remains 100% during that period.
On the 7th April there will also be a bonus draw, where the lucky winner who has 100% attendance for everyday this half term, will receive a £100 shopping voucher!!!
Countdown on Tour
Mr Shannon, Miss Reed and Mrs Scott recently visited both Broadway Juniors and Thorney Close primary schools to introduce the Sandhill View Countdown competition to years 4, 5 and 6. The staff were supported by a team of our year 7s who had previously attended the primaries - this proved to be a real treat for them and they took great pride in showing off their literacy and numeracy skills as the competition took place. Mr Shannon, Miss Reed and Mrs Scott plan to visit the remaining local primaries in the coming terms in order to continue to get to know the earlier years and further strengthen the links between the Academy and its feeder schools.
Year 9 have continued their excellent run of form with two impressive victories over Thornhill (5-2) and Castle View (11-0) in recent weeks. The result against Thornhill was particularly noteworthy due to the situation the team found itself in after 15 minutes - down to 9 players due to injury. The team dug deep to overcome a spirited opposition and in the end their quality showed. Well done to all involved!
Our attendance team have been out and about within the community in their new vehicle, making sure that parents and pupils are aware of the importance of being at school and on time as part of our recent drive towards 100% attendance. Good attendance means good grades so we are very keen to make sure our pupils are in school and learning!
For more information about the link between attendance and grades you can visit this page.
What do you do at Sandhill View? Head of Computer Science and Dream Team Form Tutor (as well as the “go to” member of staff for all computer related questions).
Who was your favourite teacher at school and why? Mr Clow. He was my English teacher. He made learning engaging and fun whilst maintaining a purposeful working environment. He was personable and pleasant to all pupils but worked us all hard, ensuring that we achieved the best grades possible. Having come from the same community in which I grew up, it was clear to me that he was passionate about the pupils he had in his care, succeeding to the best of their abilities. What do you like to do in your spare time? Spending time with family, visits to the cinema, walks with the dog as well as boxing, cardio and resistance gym work. I also like to think I’m a dab-hand at DIY…my wife may well disagree!
Who is your favourite musical artist or band? Oasis have been my favourite band as long as I can remember.
What's the best thing about Sandhill View? The quality in staffing that the academy has managed to recruit in the past two-years, as well as the long-term Sandhill staff, are my favourite thing at Sandhill View. Their passion, commitment and sheer quality is driving the change in pupil’s attitudes toward learning and achieving success, making them realise that they CAN, they SHALL and they WILL achieve success in their futures.
What's the one thing you could never be without?
My family. Would be lost without them!