Christleton's very own Battle of Hastings!

(Posted on 25/10/19)

Welcome to this week’s Blog.

I cannot believe we are at the end of the first half-term!

As my previous blogs have shown, it’s been a really busy eight weeks, with a wide variety of events taking place, in addition to over 1800 individual lessons a week!

On Monday, I sat in on a Year 12 Politics and History lecture given by Lt Col Mark Hughes, on the work he does for the United Nations. Working with the UN Mission in South Sudan, his role is to give military and tactical support to the UN and UK delegations. It was a fascinating insight into the role of the UN in one of the most impoverished nations on earth. Students had lots of questions in follow up, and Lt Col Hughes gave freely of his time to answer all of them.

This week, The Learning Trust has been hosting the first International Learning LEAN Conference. Delegates from all over the world attended the event, held at Chester Racecourse, with several staff and students taking part in workshops – looking at topics as diverse as: ‘Learning, Capability and Artificial Intelligence’, ‘How the learner can take full control of the learning process’ and ‘Increasing value added in learning’. It was a really interesting insight into a concept that has long been central to manufacturing and is now gaining traction in the world of education. Special thanks to Sarah Davies and Will Anstey in year 13, who reproduced their EPQ presentations for an invited audience, both very well received.

We were delighted to welcome back Kat Drew, Schools Liaison officer from Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, for her annual visit. Kat comes from a state school background and went to Cambridge herself. She now works for Fitzwilliam as part of Cambridge's outreach programme. Talking to Year 10 and 11 students, Kat encouraged them to consider university as an option post 18. She also explained how student finance works and why they should aspire to attend top universities. Working with Year 12 students, Kat dispelled some myths about Oxbridge, gave them an insight into the Oxbridge application process and offered good advice about personal statement writing. Kat's visit is just one part of the programme we run to encourage our most academically able students to see Oxbridge as a possible route for them. 

Our Year 12 A-Level Photography students will be at Chester Parkrun on 9th November, acting as official photographers for the event and gaining valuable work experience as sports photographers. If you are taking part, give them a wave as you run by!

You will be aware that earlier this year, we hosted a glittering 60th Anniversary Ball attended by staff and students, past and present. The evening was a great success and this was mainly down to the hard work behind the scenes from many of our students who acted as hosts. This week, we have been able to reward them. Our Art Hot Scholars and Year 13 A-Level Photography students really enjoyed their invitation to a pizza lunch on Wednesday, in recognition for their contributions to the anniversary dinner.

On Thursday, the History department held their re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings. All Year 7 students took part, led by some particularly finely dressed members of the History department. The students produced their own shields, and what a magnificent job they did! Unfortunately for the Saxons – 953 years after the original event – the outcome was still the same! However, they took defeat in a good manner!

Ten Year 9 girls attended an RAF themed STEM trip at The University of Chester Science and Engineering faculty at Thornton Science Park. This was intended to promote girls’ interest in the STEM subjects beyond that of GCSE studies. Students were tasked with building remote controlled devices to fling ping pong balls as far as possible and build remotely controlled airships designed to carry provisions to a flood affected area. Students said that they found the experience useful and enjoyable.

The term started in a positive manner on the back of some excellent examination results – a benchmark for all schools, and recently reported in the local press. Whilst I am very pleased with the academic outcomes of the school, I know we are capable of so much more and we have the ambition to achieve more. But I am also proud of our wider curriculum, the cultural capital that we build and the experiences, outside the classroom, that we offer. These are the things that build character, these are the things that are not measured in league tables, or data, but to us, are just as important as the academic outcomes we achieve, and will continue to be at the heart of our offer to our students, so that they can become well-rounded individuals, with an appreciation of their role in a multi-cultural modern Britain. I hope that my weekly updates have proved informative and give you an insight into life at Christleton High School.

I’m certainly looking forward to the half term break, to spend time with my family, reconnecting with loved ones and friends – not to mention a mammoth decorating job!

I wish you all a restful holiday.

D P Jones


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