Spanish iPad Leisure Activities Rap

My Y7 Spanish class (Y7 Sp3) have been experimenting with rhyming Spanish on the theme of leisure activities.  They used their iPads and an app called Auto Rap converted these into Spanish raps with an focus on fluency and pronunciation.
Here are their creations:

English Extension Club

English Extension ClubIn Y8 a group of students were engaged in a chance to further their abilities in English. Sam Willis, 8M, reports:

The specially designed course was structured to help students push themselves to achieve higher levels. The group, which consisted of ten Y8 students, delved deeply into issues of the heart and pen through exploration of two poems from the GCSE anthology, ‘Moon on the Tides’. After we had studied ‘Manhunt’ by Simon Armitage and ‘The Farmer’s Bride’ by Charlotte Mew the students made a valiant attempt at writing a GCSE style comparative essay in under thirty minutes. One of the participants commented, “this club helped us further our interpretive skills because the poems chosen were more complex and mature than the ones we are currently studying in English lessons”.

It was a pleasure to work with such enthusiastic and mentally-agile students and I was very impressed by the their perceptive interpretations and comparisons. We aim to build more stretch and challenge into the Y8 English curriculum as a result.

Please take some time to read Amber Clarke’s comparative essay via this link: Compare how Armitage and Mew present relationships

Athletics Officiating Course

Classroom photoYesterday, twelve Y10 students attended a UK Athletics Assistant Officials course at Wodson Park. Guided by expert officials who have officiated at the Olympic Games, they learnt many aspects of officiating in track and fields events.
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These students will now have to officiate at at least two upcoming events in order to earn their accreditation. They will then use this towards their overall Sports Studies GCSE.


Y12 Bacterial Gene Transmission Videos

Recently AS Biologists have been learning about the 2 ways bacteria can transfer genes: horizontal and vertical gene transmission. This is important as it links to antibiotic resistance, natural selection and the future and ethics of treating diseases such as MRSA. To consolidate their learning they made videos of the two processes to compare them – you can see both videos in the clip below.

Evening Of Singing At St Andrews

singitoutLast Thursday St Andrews Church hosted a showcase of contemporary and musical theatre songs by Simon Balle students, accompanied by Jeremy Lovell and Keith Willis.  This show, in which students perform in front of friends, family and school staff was a huge success and congratulations must go to the individual students  who produced confident and bold renditions. Debbie Kemp must also be recognised for her work getting the singers ready.

To listen to the audio recorded on the night please follow the link below to the music department’s twitter feed (you do not need a twitter account to access it) and once again enjoy the sounds of our talented students!

That’s A Bit Fishy…!

Last week we were delighted to be joined by 4 chefs from Hertfordshire Catering Ltd. They worked with Y7 students who assisted them in the production of 4 oily fish dishes suitable to serve for school lunches.

Using a range of new recipes – Lentil and mackerel lunch box, Salmon fish cakes, Mackerel pâté, Jerk roast fish and Salmon sticks served with sweet potato chips – students were able to develop their knife skills in the preparation of a range of ingredients, including handling and preparing raw fish.

The students completed a sensory analysis of all the dishes before voting on their favourite – ‘Salmon fish cakes’. The mackerel pâté and freshly baked toasted bread rolls was a definite favourite too.

All students were brilliant and tasted all the prepared dishes. Well done Y7!  Please take some time to look through some of the photos that were taken during the session.

Fishy Food

Congratulations Catering!

Skills  Training Centre LGLorraine Gregory, our Catering Manager, has successfully completed an extensive course which allows her to train other Hertfordshire catering staff. The Simon Balle canteen is now an official ‘Hertfordshire Catering Ltd Skills Training Centre‘. This is a great achievement as there are only  three other training centres throughout the county.

Lorraine and her team do an excellent job each day providing break and lunchtime food to students and staff. Congratulations and well done!

Philosophical Questions During Form Time

Last week during form time, students reflected on the importance of Philosophy, Religion & Ethics and why it is now a compulsory subject at GCSE. They also considered the importance of higher level questioning, devising philosophical questions based on the controversial images that challenge perceptions of everyday situations. Well done to 7N, 8M, 9R and 10M on their winning entries! Here they are:

When you shut the door, do you shut yourself in or keep others out? (7N)

Why do people go to war if there is a possibility they may not return? (8M)

What does it mean to be sentimental, If other cultures have different sentimental value on different objects? (9R)

How can we believe something is real just because we’re told it is? (10M)

You can see some of the images they used as a basis for their discussions below.







Interactive Maths

A group of Y9 students were engaged in Maths recently without a pen, paper or calculator in sight! Students played a series of interactive games using handheld devices that focused on the basic numeracy and topic areas they have been studying.
Sharp concentration and quick thinking was the key with some students even beating Mrs Pope and Mrs Reed to certain answers through their speed of typing!  Well done to all students (and staff) who took part and gained house points, especially to Harry who was crowned our ‘Champion for the Lesson’ after accumulating the most points.
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