Monday, 23 January 2017

The amazing African adventure, at Year 7 'Africa Day'

Written by Ben Davies and Duncan Van Den Top, Year 8 student reporters.

On the 20th January 2017, the Year 7 pupils from Whitley Academy got the opportunity to “taste” some passion from Africa. Throughout the day, Mr Purslow – the Director of MFL, had prepared many African activities such as Arts, Fashion, Languages and Sports.

The day began with a short assembly presented by Mr Purslow and Mr Haxby. The pupils were shown pictures of African geography, including the countries, the wildlife and this vast continent’s complete biological diversities. We also learned about some challenges that African people still suffer including malaria, which comes from mosquitos.
Then Mr Purslow showed us a photo of Mrs Nguyen and Mr Purslow receiving the British Councils’ International School Award for the School in October 2016. For your information, this award was to recognise Whitley Academy’s school links nationally and internationally, and is valid for three years from 2016-2019. How cool!

When the assembly was over, the classes went back to their tutor rooms to follow a completely different timetable for the day.

We decided to visit Miss Routledge’s 7KRO group.

The class was doing a quiz where the students were shown a photo and they had to guess whether it was Africa or not. Everyone talked and of course all students surely wanted to win.

In Mrs Latue's classroom, pupils did a quiz where they had to find the answers to questions in an atlas such as “What is the tallest mountain?”

Did you know that whereas the UK only has 76million phone users, the whopping number of 650 million phones are used in Africa? Wow! They must have super mobile phone masts with very hectic and invisible highways of signals! Over all, the whole experience was extraordinary.

Next, it was time to make African masks. In FO8A and F18 (two rooms on the first floor), the pupils were enjoying making their unique African masks out of only paper, a pencil, pencil crayons and string. We interviewed a Year 7 pupil named Tyler and he said: “They are used for religious festivals to represent the spirits of their African ancestors”.

It was now time for some African languages. The students were really getting involved in the activity. Then they did an interesting quiz about Africa. Did you know that  languages spoken in Africa include Arabic, Berber, Swahili, Hausa and Yoruba?

And time for some Drama with Mrs Latue in G08A…

The class sat in a circle playing wink murder and when Mrs Latue said that the murderer was wearing shoes, everyone took off their shoes! You could imagine how exciting the ambience of the room was!...

Meanwhile in the Auditorium, Year 7 girls were learning the steps to the famous Whitley Academy 'African dance'.

Then riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing! End of period 6 and also of the day!

Thank you to all of our teachers who made the day so enjoyable for all of the Year 7 students including us – Duncan and Ben – the Year 8 reporters.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A bird's eye view: Improvements to the Whitley Academy buildings

Something that students won't really get to see, although the benefits will be felt, is the new roof overlay system recently installed on part of our existing roof.  This recent works is phase one of a three part roof replacement project envisaged to be complete over three academic years.

After securing a government grant for most of the £220,000 cost, the system will provide at least another 25 years of dry, secure weather protection for our building. With a further two phases to come (pending further grants being secured) the school will be in ship-shape condition for the next generation’s students.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A special Friday afternoon with Sam Verralls from Wasps Rugby

Written by Paige of 7CLA, Year 7 Student Reporter

On Friday 13th January, Whitley Academy’s Year 7 Student Reporters (along with Mrs Nguyen) found themselves fortunate enough to receive a visit from Sam Verralls - Community Development Officer at Wasps Rugby, based in Coventry. 

His role is to oversee work with schools, Wasps touch rugby scheme, and lead on their Coach Class programme. He also does work on social media, and on match days.

Sam was very open-minded and shared with us many stories about his life and his work. We learned that when he was 14-15 years old he enjoyed English Language and liked to write about sports, especially rugby.

Sam assisted in developing a rugby blog site. It now reaches up to potentially 2.5 million people a week. During that time, he got the opportunity to interview a couple of famous rugby players and referees. As a result of his blogging, he was invited (alongside a variety of the best bloggers in rugby) to work on the first ever rugby coverage on BT Sport, which was Leicester against Worcester. 

When we asked Sam what he would do if he were to do anything again, he replied that he would like to go back and play more rugby. He would want to play as a number eight, because he likes to have the freedom to roam around the pitch. We also found out that his favourite Wasps player is Nathan Hughes, but his favourite rugby player of all time is Jonny Wilkinson. One of his favourite football players is David Beckham.

We were quite surprised to know that Sam, on a normal day, works 9:00am-5:00pm and can work six days a week.

Near the end of the interview the Student Reporter team started to ask some personal questions.

It was really fascinating to learn that: 
  • Sam’s favourite food is macaroni cheese bites.
  • His favourite school subject was Physics.
  • His memorable trip in his teenage years was the trip to San Francisco – the Golden Gate Bridge and Hollywood – the Walk of Fame. 
  • He prefers a Ferrari to a Lamborghini.
Some unforgettable memories from Sam include:

  • When he was younger, he tackled a player from the opposite team so forcefully that he did not only make them unconscious, but made himself unconscious.
  • During his childhood his trousers split in front of 2000 people. 
  • Additionally, if he started a sport, it would be a mixture of American football and rugby, it would be called “Uberball”.
After the interview, Sam agreed to take some pictures, so Mrs Nguyen took our photos with the man who inspired us all. One hour went by in the blink of an eye.

The Student Reporters could not wish for a better interview.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Whitley pupils celebrate successes at Celebration Evening

Whitley Academy was able to celebrate the academic success and outstanding attitude of pupils in Years 10 - 13 last week, at our annual KS4/KS5 Celebration Evening.

Pupils won awards such as most improved pupil, contribution to school life, and awards in pupil leadership.

Well done to pupils that were nominated to receive an award, we are extremely proud of your hard work and dedication to your studies. We hope it continues into the new year.

A big thank you to parents and carers who showed their support by attending the event.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Post 16 students receive certificates in Senior Mathematics Challenge

Pictured from left (Natalie, Chirag, Nathan, Miss Heden)

Very well done to Post 16 students Natalie, Chirag, and Nathan for achieving awards in this years UKMT Senior Maths Challenge. 

Over 82,000 pupils from across the UK returned scripts for the Senior Maths Challenge, with the top 10% receiving a gold certificate, the next 20% silver, and the next 30% bronze.

The Senior Maths Challenge is run by the UK Mathematics Trust, and is supported by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. It is aimed at Years 13 and below, and is sat in schools.

Natalie - gold award, best in school, best in year.
Chirag - bronze award - best in year.
Nathan - bronze award.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

An 'Eagle Huntress' documentary screening at Warwick Arts Centre

Written by Destiny of 7CLA

There's one more day to go before our Christmas break!

It was a mild morning, when 14 hardworking Year 7 and 8 students were chosen as a treat to watch the film ‘The Eagle Huntress’ at The Warwick Arts Centre. Mrs. Boyne led the way as the driver on the minibus, accompanied by Mrs. Nguyen at her side, with the students chattering in excitement in the back.

We arrived and parked right outside the Warwick Arts Centre, and Mrs. Nguyen was not at all hesitant to take pictures of her crew. Then everyone bustled up the stairs and awed at the magnificent displays of winter hanging from the ceilings of the Warwick Arts Centre.

A member of staff from the Warwick Arts Centre introduced us and led everyone in to the cinema. We sat down for a few moments, but in all of the exhilaration, jumped back up again before the movie started, and explored the Centre surroundings. The campus was humungous, vast, and massive! 

Quickly, the team had returned, and eyes were now (finally) transfixed on the screen. The movie was beyond words, except, simply, amazing.

It was based on a true story, about a girl named Aishol-pan, a young 13 year old living with her Kazakh family. They lived in the mountains with a nomadic lifestyle and within harsh conditions. Her only dreams were to follow her father and her father's father’s footsteps to become an eagle hunter. The eagle-hunting is a tradition that has been handed down from fathers to sons for centuries.

An eagle hunter: the one and only thing that truly would make Aishol-pan happy. However, as mentioned above, it was not traditional for a young girl to become an eagle hunter. Many people disapproved of this, but she carried on with her father in hope. She captured her own eaglet, looked after it and trained it, and eventually competed with it.

In her first participation in the regional eagle-hunting competition, Aishol-pan and her eagle won. She then began to train in harsh conditions, where temperatures occasionally dropped to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. There, her young eagle caught its first fox, to make into some warm clothing. She was the first eagle-huntress winner in history. How amazing!

We all thoroughly enjoyed this visit, along with Miss Boyne and Miss. Nguyen.

Mrs. Nguyen stated, with tears in her eyes: ‘It was really good , I was born in a place like this where girls were only treated as 2nd class people.’

Ellis thought it ‘Amazing! Very interesting, I loved it.’

Ben’s verdict was: 'It was an exquisite film! Very thought-provoking!’

We realised how lucky we are to be born and brought up this way where all of us are encouraged to be the best we can be; regardless being boys or girls.