Last week, Y12 Politics’ students had the opportunity to visit Parliament and take part in a workshop on the development of representative democracy. It was an exciting time to visit – as it was the day before Theresa May took over as Prime Minister the central lobby was a busy and vibrant place! We saw many MPs and a few ministers as we were given a tour of the building.
It was great to see in action what we had been learning about in class, particularly watching the debates in the Lords and Commons and learning about the history that was all around us. We walked past the statues that suffragettes had chained themselves to in St Stephen’s Hall before stepping into Westminster Hall where Charles I was put on trial on charges of tyranny and treason.
We finished the visit with a workshop on the influence of pressure groups on Parliament, looking particularly at the role of the suffragettes in gaining the vote for women. We all left having learnt something new about how Parliament functions and managed to take a look at 10 Downing Street and the many government departments along Whitehall on the way home.
On Thursday afternoon our Y9 Boys played Leventhorpe in the District Cricket Final.
This was the boys first experience of reaching the final, and you wouldn’t have known as they handled themselves very well. The boys got of to a poor start losing two wickets early on, however captain Jack Smith led by example scoring 73 runs out of the total of 125.
The opposition batted well to start with but we were always in touch through excellent fielding, marshalled by Jack Smith and Noah Osborn. The 14th over was the key turning point in the match with Jack bowling a hat-trick of wickets (0-3) with Simon Balle going on to win by 7 runs.
Man of the match and captain Jack Smith’s leadership in the field was excellent and as a result Leventhorpe never had time to settle.
Congratulations to all the boys in what was – over the entirety of the competition – a great team effort.
I recently ordered a box of new, high quality fiction and set my class the task of reading a book and writing a professional-style book review to promote reading across the school.
Some wonderful book reviews were written by the class. Tom McGill and Scott Watson have created for a website to display them all on.
If you wish to access some some summer reading recommendations then please click on the following link: http://tommcgill30.wix.com/simonballereviews
I wish you a summer of enjoyable reading!
We couldn’t end the school year without setting you a maths challenge to keep you busy during the long hot days of summer! You can see below the solution to the previous challenge (left) and the new challenge on the right. Watch this space in September for the solution!
What an exciting day it was when an envelope arrived in the post with a royal stamp on it!
Back in April, reception children made birthday cards for Her Majesty and these were compiled in a book and sent to the palace. It was a real honour to receive such a lovely recognition for the thoughts the children had for her birthday.
Abbie said, “I like the picture of the Queen in the card. It made me feel really good!”
Sonny said, “I felt happy getting a card from the Queen. It was exciting!”
In preparation for A level coursework, English students were recently given the opportunity to spend the weekend at Haworth, the home of the Brontё sisters, in order to better understand Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontё) and Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontё).
On a cold and misty Saturday morning they attended a series of lectures discussing the application of literary criticism to the two texts and a tour of the Brontё Parsonage Museum (previously home to the sisters). The weather improved in time for a 6 mile walk on the moors which gave a massive insight into what inspired the sisters’ imagination and creativity.
The trip gave students an increased appreciation of literature and, on a broader level, seeing the location enabled them to understand how the external environment of the writer influences the writing itself. The trip also influenced this Haiku:
We, like Emily
Disappeared onto the mooors
How many can stay?
We recently held the 6th annual golf day, which has been renamed the Phil Carter Memorial Golf Day. Staff, students and parents took to the course for a round of celebration and competition.
The money raised at the event will be contributed to Steve McGovern’s participation in the Ride London – Surrey 100. Mr McGovern has already raised more than £1,700 for Macmillan Cancer Support but you can still donate here. We all wish Steve good luck for his ride.
Rob Klippel won the cup (selected by Phil before he passed away) and Adam T won the student competition as he has each year since he joined Simon Balle as a Y7 student – 4 years running!
Y12 have been learning about the development of and approaches to Psychology. They need to be able to compare these approaches on a number of factors including how scientific they are or whether they support the nature or nurture arguments in Psychology.
In class they had to take on the persona of one of the approaches and ‘speed date’ the other approaches. They were not only looking to identify similarities and differences but explain them too. A similarity made a love match – you can see the results in the photos below!
This helped them to later plan and draft some exam style questions with confidence.
Over the last two months, Y7 students Amy, Eve and Tyla have been learning about and working with money with Mrs Reed and Mrs Carter. Last Wednesday the three students became the teachers when 8 Reception children came over to the portal to have a maths lesson!
With the aid of a power point and two interactive board games the children learnt to recognise the different coins, order money (smallest value first) and to give the correct change to 20p.
At the end of the session the eight students were all presented with a certificate to take back to the Larch Centre. A repeat of this session is planned to help the three Y7 students to build on their confidence in presenting in front of an audience and to reinforce their learning.
Earlier this month Y8 students were taken on a trip to visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on London’s South Bank. They were able to soak up the atmosphere of this historic theatre and were especially lucky that the set of a current production was on stage as they settled into the famous wooden benching.
The trip also included some time in the local rehearsal studios where they (after a noisy and enjoyable warm-up) were given advice and instruction from a professional actor about one of the scenes from ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
This successful trip was enjoyed by all and served as inspiration for our Shakespearean scholars or actors of the future!