Y9 Battlefields Trip 2018

In February and March, Y9 visited Ypres to learn more about the First World War, one hundred years after the conflict’s final year. The two days spent in Belgium were packed with visits and experiences that brought home the reality of life on the Western Front and enhanced what they had been learning in history and English lessons.

The students conducted themselves impeccably throughout both trips and were enthusiastic, engaged and respectful at every cemetery, museum and site of historical significance. In between exploring a reconstructed trench at Sanctuary Wood, visiting the fiercely-contested Hill 60 and seeing the graves of British, Commonwealth and German soldiers at various sites, the students were able to take home a little piece of Belgium in the form of delicious chocolate. Perhaps most poignantly, four students laid wreaths on behalf of the Simon Balle community at the moving Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. All in all, it was a fantastic experience for staff and students alike and we are already looking forward to doing it again next year.

Y7 Castle Day 2018

Y7 excelled themselves in the annual castle competition this year, bringing in the historically accurate castles they had constructed or drawn over the Christmas holidays to show off to their peers and teachers. The standard of castle was exceptionally high and there was fierce competition to win in the Best Model, Best Cake and Best Artwork categories.

Y7 have been studying William the Conqueror’s use of castles to control England, from the original wooden motte and bailey structures to the more elaborate stone keep fortresses, and demonstrated their historical understanding as well as their artistic skill through their creations. It was clear that countless hours had been spent baking, drawing or constructing at home, and the results were testament to the dedication, knowledge and talent of the students.

The winners in each category, as voted for by the teachers who visited the exhibition throughout the day, were as follows:

Best Model Best Cake Best Artwork
A Amelia Law A Lily Hepburn A Sophie Preston
B Grace Hamilton B Sophie Sugarman B Jessie Tappin
L Connor Randall L Georgie Robins L Rhyanna Byford
M Matthew Brooks M Maisie Jollyman M Lennon Pearse
N Matthew Heath N Lola-Rose Prior N Georgia Tsekoura
R Seb Fioravante R Jack May R Charlie Weston

You can see all of the entries below – well done to our Y7 students!

Your History Department Needs You!

The History Department is looking for students from all year groups to take part in the Young Quills Project, which is run by the Historical Association. Every year they award a prestigious prize to the writer of the best piece of published historical fiction and they ask students to judge the competition.

We have just taken delivery of a crate full of fantastic historical stories, all hot of the press and waiting to be read and reviewed. All you need to do is read the book and then write a review which will then be published on the Historical Association website. Your reviews will help the judges at the Historical Association come up with a short list of books for the final award.

The History Department will also be running its own competition alongside the Historical Association for best review from each Key Stage.

If you are interested in becoming a reviewer then please email Mrs Ayres on ayresc@simonballe.herts.sch.uk for further information.

Takeover Day 2017

On Friday 17th November, Simon Balle students were both the organisers and audience for Takeover Day at Hertford Museum. Sixteen Y8s and three Y11s ‘took over’ the museum for the day and ran tours and activities for the general public and students from Y2.

Takeover Day is a nationwide event created by the charity Kids in Museums and Simon Balle students have been participating for a number of years, but this year saw unprecedented levels of interest, mostly from 8B.

Abby, Megan and Emily in Y11 were tremendous ambassadors for the school, running a reminiscence session with older residents of Hertford about their experiences in wartime and the latter half of the twentieth century, and it was great to see different generations sharing their thoughts and memories. The Y8s also conducted themselves with great maturity when guiding the Y2s around the museum and entertained them with stories and facts about the museum’s artefacts.

The Simon Balle students used the event as an opportunity to improve their organisational skills, work as a team, learn new knowledge and take responsibility for teaching others. The day was an unqualified success thanks to their effort and creativity and was greatly enjoyed by students of all ages. Miss Harrison and I were really impressed with their efforts.

History Revision Guides Y10/Y11

Orders have been coming in for the Pearson History revision guides for Y10 and Y11. These cost £4.80 each and there are four different guides available, one for each of the units the students study. These have been set up on Parentpay and orders will close on the 20th October. Y10 students will also get a chance to buy these next September.

Y7 Castle Day 2017

Our annual castle competition was once again a great success, as Y7 brought in the historically accurate castles they had constructed or drawn over the Christmas holidays to show off to their peers and teachers.

They had been studying William the Conqueror’s use of castles to control England, from the original wooden motte and bailey structures to the more elaborate stone keep fortresses, and demonstrated their historical understanding as well as their artistic skill through their creations.

The creativity and knowledge of the students was evident; castles were produced in the form of Lego models, Minecraft buildings, elaborate cakes, beautiful sketches and more. Some of them would not have looked out of place on Time Team, or indeed the Great British Bake-Off. Please take some time to look through the photos by using this link: https://goo.gl/photos/oSXRiCen8grHghED7  

The winners in each category, as voted for by the teachers who visited the exhibition throughout the day, were as follows:

Castle Day 2017 Y7 winners

Takeover Day At Hertford Museum

On Friday18th November, eight Y8 and 9 students ‘took over’ Hertford Museum for the day and ran tours and activities for thirty students from Abel Smith School and the general public. Takeover Day is a nationwide event created by the charity Kids in Museums, and our students leapt at the chance to take responsibility for running the museum for a day.

Takeover Day Hert Mus 2016 1Lucy, Amy, Ruby, Scarlett, Amy, Eleanor, Tilly and Ella had been working hard for weeks preparing their quiz trail, tour guide speeches, object handling session and advertising through social media and posters. Their dedication paid off on the day as they confidently educated the museum’s adult visitors and the younger students about a myriad of topics, including Hertford’s Roman history and the experiences of the town during both World Wars.

Takeover Day Hert Mus 2016 2The Simon Balle students used the event as an opportunity to improve their organisational skills, work as a team, learn new knowledge and take responsibility for teaching others. The day was an unqualified success thanks to their effort and creativity. Lucy M in 9B commented that she “thoroughly enjoyed the whole day” and particularly liked “talking to members of the public about the Hertfordshire Regiment”.  Several people who visited the museum during the day spoke very highly of the students’ enthusiasm, knowledge and confidence; they were a credit to the school.

Y9 Battlefields Trip 2016

Last week, Y9 travelled to Belgium for a tour of the WW1 battlefields, cemeteries and museums.  This powerful and emotional school visit was enjoyed – if that is the correct word – by 130 students and 14 staff.  Please take some time to view the accounts of 2 students by clicking on the links below.  You can also see a selection of the photographs taken on the trip.

Battlefields Account Jess M      Battlefields Account Abby M

 

Y9 Battlefields Trip 2016

Y9 Trip to Haileybury

On Thurday 31 of our Y9 students visited Haileybury College to experience what life was like in the trenches during the First World War. Life was very uncomfortable and soldiers and officers had to contend with rain, heat, cold, lice and poor food as well as the constant fear of death.

This was followed by a tour around several of the memorials and monuments erected in memory of the 589 Haileybury students who lost their lives during the conflict. In fact it was an old Haileyburian, Reginald Blomfield, who designed the Cross of Sacrifice and the Menin Gate.

We would like to thank Haileybury College for their hospitality.

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Y11 Historians Warm Up For Cold War Exam

In recent History lessons, Y11 have been revising the Cold War in preparation for their upcoming mock test and also their summer exam. Mrs Cowan has created a variety of different resources to make the process more effective and fun, including domino sets where students have to match pictures with descriptions.

The post-it note timeline game was also a useful way of remembering when key events occurred, as students are required to know the chronological sequence of Cold War events. It also gave the students an opportunity to test their knowledge against one another.

Y11 cold war revision 1Y11 cold war revision 2Y11 cold war revision 3