Saturday, 14 April 2012

Students and Staff Visit South Africa April 2012

In April, 16 students and 8 staff embarked on a trip to South Africa for 11 days. The first part of the stay was in Cape Town where staff and students enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Western Cape. During this time the group packed in as many activities as possible (see the photos!) including:
  • Walking up Table Mountain
  • Visiting a township – Imizamo Yethu
  • Visiting a bird and monkey sanctuary
  • Walking through the presidential gardens to visit District 6.
  • Enjoying the beach at Camps Bay; spot of sunbathing.
  • Visiting Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent much of his 27 years in prison.
  • Spending money in the African markets
  • A “red bus” tour to see the signs of Cape Town and surrounding areas.

The second part of our visit was to spend time at our link school in Paarl, New Orleans High School, this is our 3rd visit to the school. Our hosts were fantastic, the students all staying with individual families who they had never met before (a very brave thing to do!), all had an excellent time and made many lasting friendships and memories.

During the week, students from Whitley led lessons for Paarl teachers, including Geography - Grade 12, Circle Time – Grade 8 and P.E. lessons for Grade 10. We also put on an “Olympic event” for 200 learners and gave out certificates in assembly.

New Orleans teachers hosted a lovely cultural evening where there children performed fantastic songs and dance/drama routines. During the stay in Paarl, we are able to visit many more sites and engage in some unique experiences, these included:
  • Watching lions being fed at the lion park.
  • Visiting Nelson Mandela’s last prison home – before he took the ‘long walk to freedom’
  • Walking to the language monument and driving to the top of Paarl Mountain (very scary).
We also visited other schools in Paarl, including ‘Desmond Tutu High School’, a black township school where they made us particularly welcome.

The Whitley students were a credit to our school and will share their memories with the rest of our students and staff – a trip they will never forget.

We look forward to staff and students from New Orleans visiting Whitley next year on a return visit. We hope the visit will be as memorable as ours.

Lorraine Allen

View our photos here

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Barcelona 2012

In April, 31 pupils from Year 8, 9, 10 and 11 travelled to Spain to experience the first ever Football tour organised by Whitley Academy. After enduring a 22-hour coach journey, pupils and staff enjoyed the sights and scenery of Barcelona where we had the opportunity to see as many tourist attractions as possible including; 
  • A visit to the Sagrada Familia 
  • Walk around Plaza Catalunya 
  • Shopping along Las Ramblas 
  • Day out to Port Aventura Theme Park 
  • Tour to Nou Camp Stadium & Museum (home of FC Barcelona) 
  • Guided tour around the Olympic Stadium 
  • Watch a Spanish Football Game (Espanyol v Real Sociedad) 
  • Ten-Pin Bowling evening 
During the six day trip, pupils had the chance to put their Footballing skills to the test against two local Spanish teams (Arenys De Mar FC & Blanes FC). It was noticeable from the inset that both teams were organised as they train and play together on a regular basis and had the confidence to pass the ball at every given moment. With this in mind and to the credit of both our U14’s and U16’s teams, all pupils who participated in the matches demonstrated excellent team camaraderie as well as the willingness to collaboratively work together until the final whistle. Unfortunately we lost all four games, but each game was a valuable experience to all our pupils and something they will remember for a long time! 

All 31 Whitley students showed maturity and politeness throughout the trip but most of all were a credit to our school and will share their experiences from the trip with other staff and pupils.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

HRH visits Whitley Academy!

On Tuesday 13th March 2012, HRH, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal came to officially open Whitley Academy.

The Princess Royal is the President of the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce (RSA); we were delighted when she kindly agreed to officially open our school as the first “Outstanding” school in the RSA Family of Academies.

During the visit the Princess was introduced to many staff, Governors and students. She watched a presentation by our Opening Minds year 7 and 8 students, on the theme of the Olympic Tradition, and had an interesting conversation about Pentathlon Competition with our Silver Sports Ambassador, Paris Allen who, like Princess Anne before her, will be representing Great Britain in this event in Germany in June.

The Princess watched an African dance display by our year 9 girls; this was to celebrate our link with New Orleans High School in Paarl, South Africa, where Whitley students will be visiting again at Easter. The Princess then unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the school before she said her goodbyes.

The events was extremely successful and an excellent day. The pride our students and staff showed in their school to our visitors was genuine, heartfelt and openly expressed.

A never to be forgotten day in the history of Whitley Academy

View our photos of our exciting day here

Sunday, 12 February 2012

8th iNet International Conference 2012

“A Country’s only resource is its youth” - HH Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

The 8th iNet International Conference was based this year in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, there were delegates attending from 10 countries including the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.

Mrs Allen, Principal of Whitley Academy, Coventry and Ms Hammond, Senior Vice Principal attended the conference on behalf of Whitley Academy and Coventry.

The focus of the conference was students as global entrepreneurs, schools as global enterprises; this theme fits well with Whitley Academy’s Business Enterprise specialism.

Exciting presentations by keynote speakers, Principals, leaders, students and business colleagues shared ideas to help improve the enterprising skills of students of all nations as global entrepreneurs.

Workshops and discussion sessions shared ideas, practices, issues and problems that students and adults have in common around the world with a view to enabling progress to help transfer the life chances of students worldwide.