Thursday, 27 November 2014

Year 9 Community Enterprise Day at Whitley

On Thursday 27th November, Year 9 took part in a one day programme (Year 9 Enterprise Day) with the focus on creating a viable, costed project that would benefit the local Community. The day was entertainingly hosted by Mark Bolton, representing the charity, ‘Positive about Young People’ and seven local Mentors who work in the Community representing a range of diverse occupations.
The day led up to awarding the winning group with the opportunity to put into practice their Community project, along with a bursary of around £200, to make their idea a reality.
Students learned valuable lessons in business acumen and product development, and we congratulate the winning team, consisting of Julia, Holly, Chloe, Jodie and Molly.
Their idea of helping the local homeless community by raising funds via a money raising activites day, was a worthy winner! Good luck with the new business venture!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Year 7 Invention Project

25th November 2014- 26th November 2014
On Tuesday, year 7 started work on a product that could be sold at Christmas as a new toy or invention for homes. All worked incredibly hard during this activity and tried their upmost to succeed. The demonstration of resilience and determination resulted in well delivered speeches and polished products.
They only had one day to build the product prototype, create fliers, design posters and develop any promotional merchandise – The results were outstanding.
On Wednesday morning, year 8 students, year 10 students and Vice Principal Jo Webb nominated their winners. They had to select the group that had the most interesting design and the best pitch.
There were so many amazing projects; it was difficult to select just three winners. I would like to thank parents and carers for donating boxes and equipment to the students so that they could create the brilliant products.

Well done year 7! 

Friday, 21 November 2014

RSA Takeover Day

21st November 2014
A mixture of our student council went to the RSA for the day to promote their idea of dealing with mental illness. Although they did not win the challenge, they earned themselves £100 and had a fantatsic day.

Programme of the day

10.00 – 10.30 Arrival and refreshments
10.30 – 11.00: Introduction to the day, to the RSA, and how it compares with a school – Roisin Ellison
Introduce Takeover Day – Alison
Ask one school to lead an icebreaker activity to introduce schools and get 60 or so students mixing with similar number of RSA staff (15 mins)
11.30 – 12.00:  Guided tours
12.05 – 12.35:  Carousel activity
12.35 – 12.45: Post-it note feedback
•           What have you seen/learnt that the RSA does well?
•           What should the RSA do differently?
•           What ideas has this morning given you about things you could do in your   school?
12.45 - 1.45: Lunch (Pizza Hut)
1.45 – 1.55: Unleashing the Power to Create – Matthew Taylor
1.55 – 2.05: How Fellows bid for money: the RSA’s catalyst programme – Jade Prentice
2.05 – 2.45: Each school in own group with RSA facilitator – to work on their idea and presentation, working on delivering something with a clear beginning/middle/end structure.
3.00 – 3.30: Dragons’ Den – Each group has 3 minutes to pitch their idea (strictly timed).  Prize awarded for the best idea. 
3.20 – Dragons to confer
            Feedback forms
3.30:  Prize Awarded

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Whitley Students Display Work in Commemorative WWI & WWII Exhibition

Whitley Academy held a Commemorative WWI & WWII Exhibition at the Charterhouse, Coventry, attended by Lord Mayor, staff, parents, students and the public.
This was organised by members of staff, Michelle Marsh (History & Opening Minds teacher), Lucy Daniels (Art Teacher) and the Whitley Academy Student Council co-ordinated by Becky Hilditch.
The work exhibited was from students, completed both independently in their own time and during lessons. It was a cross curricular and a whole school project, which started in June, commemorating 70years since D-day.
Other activities have ranged from Science lessons looking at the advent of Penicillin (WWII) to PE lessons looking at how sport was affected by the outbreak of WWI. Within the Art department, inspired by the instillation at the London Tower, students created their own clay poppies.
The students have even been re-creating mock WWII food recipes in Catering, which were surprisingly tasty!
The history department looked at a range of topics, discussing why after a hundred years it’s important to remember WWI, to the evacuation of children and Coventry Blitz during WWII.
The exhibition is going to be open again this Saturday (15th November) 12-4pm, if you wish to go and have a look.
A huge well done to all students who had their work featured!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Very Special Visit From Kamokita Senior High School, Hiroshima, Japan

On Thursday November 13th, students and staff from Kamokita Senior High School, Hiroshima, Japan, visited Whitley Academy for the day.
The visit was to celebrate the link established between the two schools, affirming the commitment of both schools and cities to the promotion of ‘peace and reconciliation’, following the terrible bombings during the Second World War.
Divya and Eliana, Whitley Academy students aged 12 and 13, share their story...
At the start of the day it was cloudy, windy but luckily not rainy! 
10:30am -  The 43 students from Kamokita Senior High School arrived. Their arrival was earlier than planned as Miss Yuyu explained to us that the traffic was not as bad as they expected when they got out of London.
The Kamokita students got off the big coach and went into the Auditorium. We were nervous as this was the first time we had met together.
55 students of our year 9 students arrived at the Auditorium early and found their own seats. You could see that all students were shy and reluctant to start conversations. Mrs Nguyen (our teacher) encouraged all students to move around and talk to each other. It was a slow start but then some home students managed to mingle with their new Japanese friends.
11:15am - Mr Steinhaus brought the Lord Mayor of Coventry into the Auditorium and introduced her to us. She is actually Councillor Hazel Noonan representing the Whitley area! She started by congratulating us for our first steps to strengthen our international school links. She also talked about her role as the Lord Mayor (for one year) and some popular places that students could go to visit in Coventry if they had time. A lot of us asked her questions such as how she had become the Lord Mayor, and she explained to us that to become a Lord Mayor you need to become a councillor first and you need to serve the longest time. She also told us that she came to Whitley Academy when it first moved into the new buildings in October 2000, and her son also attended our school!
Then Mr Purslow (our Director of Modern Foreign Languages) gave a speech about the importance of all the happenings of the day. William and Taylor of 7C were brave enough to talk to the audience in …. Japanese! Of course you could figure out right away what they wanted to tell our Japanese friends (Hello my name is William and welcome to Whitley Academy. We are your friends). How brave the boys were!
We could not wait to get the ball rolling!
11:50am - The Kamokita students gave a presentation about their school and Hiroshima, their home city. We learned that there were rice fields around Kamokita School. How amazing! Morgan of 7A was lucky enough to try a maple-leaf shaped biscuit from Miss Yuyu! Morgan said that it was delicious.
Then we were shown a big photo of the building in Hiroshima where the first atomic bomb was dropped.
After that we all waited in anticipation whilst the Japanese students laid out some old newspapers before we all could enjoy some Japanese calligraphy. We again sat in different groups at the front of the auditorium alongside our new Kamokita friends. They had prepared everything well ahead, including the black ink, the special paper and cards for us to practise writing. We were amazed to witness the way how they used the wooden pens in black ink and wrote their names so well in Japanese! The Japanese alphabet is completely different from the Latin one. How amazing!
Then our Kamokita students showed us how to write our names in Japanese style. We all loved it! Our teachers were worried in case the black ink was dropped on our nice and new carpet! The Japanese students then gave us our name cards as presents. This is classed as a sentimental gift and will be treasured for years to come.
After clearing up the calligraphy ink and brushes everyone went to have their lunch.
The 43 Kamokita students stayed in the auditorium with our school buffet lunch while the Whitley Academy students went to the canteen for their normal lunch.
Mrs Nguyen started the afternoon by informing us of the two dances coming up: the African one (by our students) and the Yosakoi by the Kamokita students.
Whilst she was talking Mr Purslow approached her side and gave her a flower bouquet thanking her for all the hard work she put in for the day.
The African dance was amazing with lots of drum beats. Then the Kamokita students did their Yosakoi dance and it was spectacular! It was full of colours, especially black and red! We all clapped very loud! Wow! Such great dances!
1:30pm It was time for the British Cultural quiz. It was prepared by Catherine, Georgina and Chloe of year 10.
As the quiz started the Kamokita students were a bit shy but as the quiz went along they became more comfortable. In fact, nearly all of the questions were answered by our guest friends. It was so nice see many of us started talking to our new Kamokita friends…
Right after the quiz, the Japanese students brought out their origami paper and started helping us to make different types of origami. We glued the cranes on a piece of card and gave it to our friends as presents.
Shortly afterwards, Mrs Allen (our Principal) talked to the audience and wished our guest friends and teachers a safe journey back to Japan.
Later on, we found out that our new friends arrived in London on Tuesday 11th November and came to our school on Thursday 13 November and they would depart for Heathrow airport the following day – Friday 14 November!!!!
Before Mrs Allen left the room, the Kamokita High School Headteacher and teachers gave Whitley Academy a massive banner written by specialist calligraphers in Japan. It was about the motto of the Kamokita School. How wonderful!
Before we headed to Coventry city centre, we gave the guest students a quick tour of our school and they seemed very fascinated.
We then headed out to the front of the school and split up. The guest students went to their coach (which was parked outside the school gate) to town and we went by our very nice mini-buses.
When we met them in town we headed straight for the Cathedral, the old Cathedral ruins, the Godiva statue, Priory Gardens, the Transport Museum and finally we walked back to the buses and said goodbye. A lot of people made friends really quickly and were sad when it was time to say goodbye. The Kamokita students took selfies with their new friends from Whitley Academy. While we were walking to the mini-buses the Kamokita students gave us some more Japanese biscuits. They had different flavours in each one. The sweet taste of the biscuits resembled the nice memories we had with our new friends throughout the day.
Bye for now; and hopefully, we will meet some of our new friends in March next year….

Our video here

Thursday, 9 October 2014

RSA Academies Student Leadership Day

9th October 2014
Written by Divya and Eliana - Whitley Academy Student Reporters
As the day started, Mrs Elliot introduced herself to all the schools that visited Whitley and explained to us about the safety procedure. The schools that joined us were Holyhead, Ipsley, and RSA Academy.
Megan, chair of Whitley Academy Student Council, and Sophie, Deputy Head girl, introduced themselves and started the activities off with an icebreaker, so everyone got to know each other. The ice breaker activity was to try and burst the opponent team’s balloons which were attached to their ankles. Finally the red team won! Very exciting start of the day! 
After the game everyone settled down and Mrs Elliot explained the agenda of all activities. There were two workshops. Everyone had to split up into two groups of roughly twenty. Group A had debating and group B was on presentation skills. Group A was in the conference room and Group B stayed in the auditorium.
Group A began with a musical chair game to get them used to sitting with people they didn’t know. Then the trainer teacher told everyone to talk to the person next to them about debating. She explained what they were going to learn about in the workshop. They played a warm-up game: Zombie chairs. The point of the game was for the zombie to sit on an empty chair while the humans tried to stop the zombie. It linked to the debating because they were trying to find the gaps in the topic and fill them up.
After the game the students were split into 4 groups and in each group they had to debate whether same sex schools are good or bad and whether reality TV did more harm than good.
The teacher then explained that student leaders need to be first, best, loud and proud. He then explained how to do these in public speaking using two key hints: jokes and anecdotes to engage the audience.
In the presentation skill session the students were asked to make an opening statement about themselves that had to be personal. They split up into table groups that they felt comfortable with and were given five minutes to deliver their speeches. They then gave each other feedback to make their speeches better.
Now it came to the ‘technical’ hints and tips to focus on their posture, standing, walking and sitting.
Just before the workshop ended the students all had to make a presentation about their own schools to show all they had learnt on the day.
All in all, the day was very productive and we learnt a lot which we surely find it useful for the years to come.

Watch our video of the day here

Friday, 12 September 2014

Aston Martin Engineers Come to Town

Written by Eliana Mucolo and Tyler Orton (12 years old Whitley Academy student reporters)
Friday 12th September 2014
Outside it was sunny, warm with some light wind, ideal for outdoors events.
The black Aston Martin car arrived with two visitors Bal Choda (Engineer) and Dan Greenwood (Purchasing).
The car was parked right outside the school reception area.
A number of students and teachers saw the car as soon as it arrived. All wanted to have a look inside this beautiful car. No one was allowed for obvious reasons of course!
Inside the Auditorium 180 students of years 9 and 10 were waiting patiently. There were a couple of six form students amongst the audience. They were allowed to be off lessons periods 5 and 6 to attend this exciting event. Mrs Nguyen planned for this event back in July this year.
As soon as they got into the Auditorium, Bal set his presentation up and started his speech. He focused on what STEM was about (which meant Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Bal then told us briefly about the history of Aston Martin. It was amazing to find out that the company was set up by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in 1913 and the company celebrated their centenary last year.
Bal also explained about how he came to work at Aston Martin.
He shared with us that he enjoyed his work like a hobby and emphasised the point about young people studying towards a career of choice, therefore enjoying the jobs they finally end up in.
Bal also stated how nice the offices were in Gaydon. He also mentioned that he worked with some very clever and talented people who all work very hard, but also enjoyed what they do, making this a fun job to be in. In his own words Bal said ‘It’s like a hobby to work in engineering and the bonus at the end of the month is that you get paid!’ How amazing!
Then we came to realise another interesting fact to work at Aston Martin that staff worked only four and a half days a week! Their weekend started at Friday lunch time! He also mentioned that they often see famous people walking around the factory, which also makes the job interesting.
To talk more about engineering Bal mentioned about safety, quality and performance as the key factors in his team’s engineering focus. We then learnt that a lot of new car models started their life in the form of a clay model and it normally took around 7 cowhides to make the interior of an Aston Martin car. Wow!
Some other very interesting facts that we learnt include engineers account for nearly 60% of all UK exports and engineering exists in many jobs around us. Young people need to consider engineering jobs now to fill many vacancies that will be available in future years.
During his talk Bal asked us questions about various facts in the presentation. We had the opportunity to win merchandise prizes from Aston Martin. The prizes to be won were things such posters and books and brochures. They were collectable items for fans of Aston Martin cars. Four prizes were won by various year nine boys. Well-done to them all!
After Bal’s talk Dan came to the front and shared his stories.
Dan is part of the new graduate intake and had been at the company for just over a year. He came from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He was very honest to share the story that he did not do very well in school with only 3 GCSEs and 3 A levels, but had to work harder to end up working for Aston Martin. It was fascinating to know that he started working in Sainsbury’s as a shelf-stacker and then moved on to be a team leader. Nowadays his job role is an Aston Martin Interior Trim Graduate Buyer. Dan told us to keep our career options open. He also gave us other practical advice for life including applying for an apprenticeship or work experience as soon as we could.
Bal added another key message that however we do in life, we can all make mistakes, but it is important that we learn from them and move on to do better things…how true!
Bal then showed us the slideshow of an Aston Martin car transponder (which was completely new word to many of us!). It was a watch used as an Aston Martin key for some models only. It was the world’s most precious car key produced by a 175-years-old Swiss watch company!
A lot of interesting facts for us to know including Prince Charles’ passion in owning an Aston Martin and Prince William’s use of his dad’s DB6 Aston Car (with a red L sign at the back of the car) when he drove it out of Buckingham Palace on his wedding day! How great!
After the talk, we all went outside to see an Aston Martin DB9 that Bal and Dan used to drive to our school today. It costs £145 k for the car! Unfortunately we were not allowed to go in it or touch it. However Bal turned on the car and he revved the engine. He also put the top down (it was a soft-top/convertible car). Both doors and the boot were open so that we could see the inside.
After viewing the car and most students left school for home, Divya, Tyler H. and Tyler O. interviewed Dan and Bal for some more thought before the end of the day. Bal told us that at the age of 7 he had a passion for sports cars and told his parents he would one day work for a car company when he grew older. And he did. When he was at his secondary school he realised the importance of STEM subjects. He worked very hard to get a job in engineering.
There was an ‘embarrassing’ moment Tyler H. asked them if they had a crush for a girl when they were in secondary schools. Then we realised that Bal and Dan paid more attention to their studies than the distraction from people of their opposite sex. Bal also reflected that if he could rewind the clock he would have tried to work even harder in school instead of spending time to hang around with his mates and playing football (on hearing this we got to think a bit more carefully about the way we are spending time at the moment).

View our photos here

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Students benefit from careers fair

By School Reporters Divya & Eleana

3rd July 2014 was our Careers Fair Day at Whitley Academy. Its aim was to inspire our year 11 students to consider their future career options by speaking to a range of business volunteers from Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire. The event was supported and sponsored by the national Charity, Inspiring the Future.
Here is our story of the day.

10:30 BST

Auditorium - As everything begins and the visitors arrive, Joseph & Amin (the Year 7 cameramen) set up the video recorders and Jack (the photographer) takes the first photographs of the day.
The visitors, 13 business volunteers from Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire, get to know each other and determine which company they represent.
We can sense some people are getting along quite well. As more arrive, the atmosphere gets more exciting.

10:55 BST

End of our morning break. Year 11 students line up outside the Auditorium ready for the Careers Fair!
Inside the Auditorium, the Year 7 School Reporters grasp the opportunity to talk to the volunteers.
School Reporters pose with all the volunteers who came into the school to share their experience

11:00 BST

All the 13 tables are full with the business volunteers and the Year 11 students. We walk around the big room listening to the talks.
Session 1 - David Thing is talking about people management and team building, asking the student reporters many questions about their personal qualities.
Jenny and Alan Cox are talking to the students about being a balanced person.
Phillip Poole is a construction planner and is showing the students of Year 11 how to build a construction out of spaghetti, sticky tape and other adhesives. Everyone gets involved!
David Smith, chief executive of a parcel delivery company, is talking to students about trying new things and how businesses like theirs have a range of jobs and experiences for a range of young people.
Session 2 - Now we move on to the table of Peter Hughes. He is talking about leadership procurement. He is asking if they have had any work experience and explaining how it is good to have it before you start out on your chosen career.
Helen Brittain is a clinical psychologist, she has been explaining about counselling and that job role in practice, and asks them if they know what they want to do when they are older.
Steve Webb is the Head of HR at CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), he is talking to the Year 10s about their apprenticeship programme.
Karen Griffin is from a consultancy company and answers questions and tells the students about how their skills can help them in lots of different jobs.
Session 3 - As session 2 comes to an end, the students get ready to move tables for the last time. Once again, very orderly and well-organised.
Richard Hardcastle is from the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors and is talking about how important surveyors are in the areas of safety, as applied to building projects whether they are underground or above.
Cherry Shaw is talking about her career and how she came to work in her current role. She recounts how she went to university despite leaving school when she was 16.
Scott Shore is a tax manager and is talking about how there is VAT on things we buy and pay for and how you get tax from how much you earn and about pensions.
Stuart Bentley is from a recruitment agency and he is talking about how you should be yourself when you are applying for a job and how you should try and make yourself standout from the others.
The volunteers each received a special gift as a thank you for their efforts
Kevin Tanner from a facilities management company and is talking about organising project teams and planning projects very carefully before you go ahead with them. He is also talking about how planning is the key to success and how it is always good to think about what you want as a career and then to aim for that goal.

13:00 BST

Keynote Speaker in the afternoon Robert Zajko, the Director of Talent Acquisition in Europe, Middle East and Africa for a leading hospitality company, arrives to talk to the Year 11 students and some visitors from an RSA Academy in Birmingham about his experience in the industry.
Robert comes in very early and just sits quietly at a table while the other business volunteers in the morning sessions are having their short break before moving back on to their jobs. We then realise who he is!
It is also time for the Year 11s to come back into the Auditorium.
Robert starts by sharing with us that Coventry is actually his home town. From the talk we realise that he went to Bristol University.
We find it really fascinating that he went to Whitley Abbey School (which became Whitley Academy) years ago. How amazing! We then find out that his father came to England from Poland at the end of World War Two.
Robert then goes on telling us about a variety of jobs he used to do before getting this job of recruiting high-fliers for his company. We feel amazed!!!

14:20 BST

So as the careers fair comes to an end, the Year 11s return to their normal lessons and the visitors go back to their normal jobs.
Mr Price warmly thanked the guests and expressed the gratitude of all the Year 11 students who got such a lot from the day's activities.

Friday, 27 June 2014

The Girls Have Been to Town

Very recently the Girls Be Heard (GBH) Theatre Group paid a visit to Whitley Academy to perform and talk to our Whitley Academy Year 10 students. The event was supported by US Embassy London.
Girl Be Heard is a New York-based  and non-profit theatre group that uses theatrical performances to bring global issues affecting girls to audiences world-wide.
Led by Jessica Greer Morris, Executive Director and Co-Founder of GBH, the group came to Whitley Academy to share their stories and how they could help other girls to tell their stories and positively move on in their lives while helping others.
Jessica started their performance with a PowerPoint presentation. We then came to realise that the group started in 2008 with only eight girls. Now they have more than 100 members. The Group has performed at the White House, State Department, United Nations. This time they were on a European tour to London, Geneva and Copenhagen. We were also told about the Group special performance for William Hague (our British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) and Angelia Jolie. How amazing!
Jessica also mentioned that they had provisions for 12 to 21 year olds on a Sunday where girls could go and talk about themselves.
After the presentation the girls went on stage and performed their inspirational, heartfelt stories. In fact they made some personal stories into professional theatre performances which have now become award-winning shows.
Dominique Fishback, one of the performers told us a story about racial issues from her rap song… All of us listened attentively. It was so cool! We loved it! The message from her story was so powerful!
All the five performers told us different stories dealing with issues like pressure of being born as girls, the clichéd perception that people have about people with different skin colour.  These were funny but emotional stories, and stories that we think made every one of us think so hard about the reality of the life we live in around us.
At the end of the performance the GBH group merged together with all of us and talked to us. They wanted to hear from us, our thoughts of the performance and issues of our concern. It was casual and very open for all of us to talk.
When the bell to mark the end of the school day rang we all ignored it and went on talking. Then it was time for some fun…. Dominique and Monica Furman started teaching us some of their dance steps. Everyone picked it up quite easily. There were some boys in our audience and everyone just enjoyed the last minutes of the visitors’ stay.  Soon the girls had to leave. So, they took some final pictures and a video of everyone who was involved in watching and performing the show saying “Whitley Academy has Girl Power!!”   Then the girls had to go, but they said that as we were the best and the last school they had for an audience and they loved being here.
As the Year 10 left the Girls said their final goodbyes and some even managed to get pictures with them just before they got in their silver mini bus to Birmingham for their final performance (before flying out  to finish their Across the Borders tour).
Now it is our turn to follow the Girls via our own social media. There will be more stories to tell later on….
Written by Divya and Eleana  (12 years old student reporter of Whitley Academy)

View the BBC School Report here

Friday, 6 June 2014

Trip to London

32 student reporters from Whitley Academy went to London on a trip to the Houses of Parliament.

There we learnt about the voting system in the U.K. We also looked at the eleven main politic parties across the country.

We took a tour around the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the monarchy. It was amazing to be able to stay in Westminster Hall.

After the tour we went to a workshop about getting our voice heard and what we can do to get our voice heard in school and in our community. During our travels to Madame Tussauds, a teacher got on the wrong train and some pupils followed her on to the train.

The train started moving before we were able to tell them that it is was the wrong train, but we found them at the station that we were supposed to get off at. Later we made it to Madame Tussauds (Madame Tussauds is a wax museum which can be found all over the world.)

In the museum, some people went around the chambers of horror and screamed four times! I wasn’t even able to go through the entrance of it after hearing the music playing.

Written by Eleana and Eliana

View our photos and more information here

Friday, 23 May 2014

Japan Day at Whitley Academy

Friday 23rd May saw the inaugural Japan Day at Whitley Academy to celebrate the link established between the Academy in Coventry and the Kamokita High School in Hiroshima.
The link affirms the commitment of both schools and cities to the promotion of ‘peace and reconciliation’. Whitley Academy is looking forward to welcoming their Japanese ‘link’ school in November when 50 pupils and 8 staff will make the journey to the UK and to Coventry; YR8 pupils will be at the forefront of ‘hosting’ these pupils, and on the 23rd they experienced a day full of Japanese Art, Dance, Cuisine, Calligraphy, Fashion, Language and Geography.
Whitley Academy is proud to further promote its International status with pupil exchange programmes now established with France, South Africa and Japan.
Tyler Hepworth, a Year 7 Student Reporter wrote:
"On Friday 23rd may YR8 students from Whitley Academy celebrated the  established link with Kamokita high school in Hiroshima, Japan.
There were many activities  throughout the day including Drama, Geography, Food, Dance, Fashion, Language, Arts and many more; all based on the culture of Japan and its people.
The students thoroughly enjoyed the day and they can’t wait for the Kamokita students to arrive in November this year.
The day was also rough for the student reporters, who filmed some of the events, because they had a lot of pressure to keep up with; hopefully we can produce a good quality video for the students in Kamokita. Also an interesting fact is that both Coventry and Hiroshima were both bombed during the second world war.
Everyone at Whitley Academy is proud and happy to be linked to a country with such a rich and exciting culture".

You can watch a video made by Student Reporters about the day here

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Trip of a lifetime!

This is her story:

This summer I was accepted onto Free The Children’s Me To We Scholarship sponsored by Virgin Atlantic. The trip lasted 18 days in an area named Kumbalargh in Rajasthan, India.  It was a volunteer trip where we helped build a part of one of the Free The Children’s schools for kids, who are not very well off, in India.  We helped build a wall around a school to keep the school children safe as well as set foundation for further buildings on the site.
It was hard work, but knowing that it would make lives a little easier for the children, we spent our breaks getting to know and playing games with made It was all worth it. We never hesitated for a moment when it came to doing all we could to help them; it was all about a hand up not a hand down.
We also experienced the culture of India from morning yoga lessons, Hindi lessons to interacting with various communities and visiting many tourist attractions. When we were not having a culture experience or volunteering on the build site, we found ourselves sat in modules. These modules were a way of learning about myself and how I work best, as well as opening my eyes to issues that affect the world. It taught us how as young people and future adults we can take action and help make change.
The trip helped me make friends for life and open my eyes to so many possibilities, I learnt a lot and it’s an experience I will truly cherish and never forget.
Pavani Konda – Post 16 Student

Read the Telegraph article here

View her photos here

Friday, 11 April 2014

Whitley goes wild

A level Biology trip to Plas Dol-Y-Moch trip

A group of eight including Miss Denton, we set off for the direction of Plas Dol-Y-Moch in Wales. We shared the coach with Holy Family and Whitmore Park primary schools from Coventry..

Each day began at 07:00, followed by cereal and toast for breakfast. Our adventure began with a trip to a local beach to explore sand dunes as part of our first section of work on succession. By taking samples of soil and abiotic measurements of temperatures and wind speed, we travelled through times and after 3 hours we saw exactly how plants change over hundreds of years creating different communities. After returning back to the centre we completed some more worksheets as well as an exam question on succession.

On Friday we visited another local beach; this time with rocky cliffs. We used quadrats to discover different types of seaweed and small living creatures that live on rocks. Together we searched a guide to find specific types of seaweed and periwinkles, and that definitely improved our observation skills as well as problem solving. Soon after we did a ‘Mark and Release’ data collection of periwinkles, with the objective to calculate how many periwinkles live in an area. We had 3 minutes to collect as many periwinkles as we could, and then we marked them with tip-ex at the bottom of their shells so that we wouldn’t affect their everyday life. In the evening after dinner we tried our communication skills in a senior nightline, which only two of us managed to complete, due to the excess of small flies eating us alive! As well as that, we set up traps filled with bedding and food for small mammals. The trap would not hurt them, but we wanted to see in which areas small mammals would be caught.

Saturday was our last full day and before going anywhere we checked our traps to see if anything was hiding there. Our result was that we caught three voloes, and we named them Eduardo, Pedro and Pedrina. We let them out into their habitats soon after the catch, and we learned not to put out traps often as mammals can become comfortable in traps. After finishing off our last notes on the ecology course, we decided to spend our afternoon kayaking in the sea. The weather was great throughout the whole course and we really enjoyed being out on the open water.

On Sunday we left for Coventry, we thought about the course and the stay we realised how amazing this trip was. As well as building on our independent skills, we also made friendships, one’s that will be remembered for a while.

By Martyna Adam - 11A

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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Geography Revision Trip Year 11

On a wet cold weekend in February, the intrepid explores from year 11 GCSE geography braved the mountains of Wales. Ably assisted by Ms Burton, Mr Elton and Mrs Elliott 24 lucky students spent the weekend battling the elements to experience first hands the delights of geography.

On the first day we only have a few hours in Betws-y-coed to investigate the impact of tourism on this Victorian village in the Snowdonia National Park. We found that there was an excessive number of outdoor clothing shops and cafes but no take away pizza delivery service. We were also not the only people to have travelled a long way to get there. A group of bikers had come to the village from Ireland and another from France to experience the joy of riding their bikes on the winding Welsh roads, and the hospitality of the Welsh pubs, hopefully in that order, not the other!

After this busy afternoon we were all glad to get back to the centre for dinner but, horror of horrors, more work awaited as we had to prepare for our rivers study the following day. Fortunately our erstwhile students soon got over the shock of having to work in the evening and produced some useful hypothesis to investigate n the Saturday.

Saturday dawned wet and windy, possibly the worst field trip conditions ever but once wrapped in 15 layers of warm clothes and waterproofs we struggled out into the wind to measure the River Conwy. Once again our valiant students overcame their fears and went out into the rain and wind, some actually getting blown over due to the strength of the wind, to collect the vital (ish) data we required. After this brave effort the hot showers of the centre had never been more welcome but the hard task masters of the geography department soon had our merry crew back in the class room to analyse the data and prove their hypotheses, yes, we even made them work on a Saturday night!!!!

Finally on Sunday, it did stop raining and we bundled ourselves up again to face the elements on Criccieth beach. Here we investigated the coastal defences and measured the beach profile before researching the most important element of our trip the world famous ice- cream shop up the hill.

Refreshed we had a final look at the caves and sand dunes before hurrying back to Coventry, via KFC, just in case anyone hadn’t had enough to eat at the ice cream shop.

Many thanks for all involved on making this trip successful!

View our video in pictures here

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Whitley Academy French Trip to Lille February 2014

Our return visit to ‘Collège Jean-Mermoz’ in Faches-Thumesnil, Lille
Arriving at 10.30am having travelled through the night by coach and ferry the Whitley Academy students coped remarkably well. After a very warm welcome which included some amusing drama sketches prepared by the French students, there was a fact finding hunt around the school. Gifts exchanged, it was time for lunch, a menu prepared especially for their English visitors. 
The afternoon was dedicated to three group lessons taking part in lessons learning about World War I, Eco-Schools and Designing their ideal school after a quiz to learn about the differences between our two schools. Finally, some of the students played a mini basketball tournament before we headed off to check into the hotel. 
Saturday kicked off with a guided tour around Lille before the students and teachers were given some free time to explore the sights further by themselves, do some shopping and/or taste the delights of French cuisine.
Sunday started with a few student nerves apprehensive about going off to spend the day with the French students’ families. However, on returning they had clearly had had a great time and students were heard saying it was the best day of the trip so far, how much they had enjoyed it and how much French they had spoken!! Some had been rock climbing, others bowling, visiting a Buddist temple, eating out in local restaurants, playing video games, some true Anglo-French friendships formed. 
After packing up and leaving the hotel, the last day was spent again with the French school visiting three cemeteries along the coast of France and Belgium to commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War. We paid our respects by reading poems together, laying a wreath where many British soldiers were buried and singing songs with the help of French student musicians. 
The Canadian monument at ‘Crête-de-Vimy’ was incredible and untouched by the Germans in the Second World War due to Hitler having fought there in the First World War. The scarred landscape from the perpetual bombing and explosions is now covered with Principal: Mrs L Allen BSC. Hons. MBA. FRSA Abbey Road, Coventry, CV3 4BD Telephone: 024 7630 2580 Fax: 024 7663 9352 Email: Fulfilling potential, achieving excellence, broadening opportunity thousands of pine trees planted to honour the Canadian soldiers - one for every life lost and new trees planted every time one dies to ensure every soldier whose name is etched around the base of the monument is remembered. So many lives in fact that the French donated the portion of land in front of the memorial to Canada - so our students can even say they have visited part of Canada too on this trip! 
At the Notre-Dame de Lorette Necropole, a national memorial to over 40,000 soldiers who died in this region, we visited a fascinating museum took us on a journey underground to get an insight to what it must have been like to live in the trenches. Wax work models were adorned with the finest examples of uniforms, equipment and memorabilia from the First World War. Further historic photographs were available to view in 3D whilst we had a picnic with the French school before heading back to Calais to catch the ferry home. 
Watch the news in November this year when our Queen and the French President will be going there to inaugurate a new circular memorial to become the largest in existence with the names of all the soldiers from the region who died in the First World War, no matter which country they fought for – Belgian, British, French, German, Moroccan, Polish, Romanian or Russian. 
A truly memorable French experience for everyone, we would like to extend our gratitude to our partner school teachers, students and their families for their kindness and efforts which made our visit educational, interesting and fun.
 MFL Department
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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Sir Richard Lambert Visit's Whitley Academy

Sir Richard Lambert – current Chancellor of Warwick University and the Head of ‘Banking Standards Review’ set up by the current government paid a visit to Whitley Academy on Wednesday 12th February 2014
The opportunity for Sir Richard to visit our school, Whitley Academy, was kindly given to us by the very popular charity Speakers for Schools.
His visit was 8:30am to 10:30am. It was designed in two parts: his talk to the Key Stage 4 and Post 16 students and the second part was for the chat show hosted by young students aged 11.
Telegraph Report

This is what our students, Ellie and Wiki Year 7 thought about the visit:
“At the start of the day we had a few worries because it was slightly stormy outside. However Mrs Nguyen reassured us that Sir Richard would come and fortunately she was correct. We were all excited about what subjects he would bring up.
He explained about his childhood and how important it was to do well when you are younger to get the jobs you want when you are older.
He told us that his parents had now passed away but they were very ambitious for him, and how at the time, he thought there was no real point in doing well.
He then talked about how lucky he was to get a position at the Bank of England. He reflected on how it was good that he had done maths well or else he might have never been offered this opportunity.
Sir Richard also advised us what personal qualities you need to have in the future to get offered jobs an d what bosses want in their employees. He said that employers are looking for determination and passion in their employees.
He also shared with us the time he went to a boys’ boarding school in Edinburgh. A part of the reason was his Dad worked in Edinburgh and this boarding school was famous for producing rugby players. He teased that this school was full of boys and was in the middle of town but it did not bother him at all.
Later on we asked him about his … first date… but he said it was a long time ago and he did not remember
We all loved Sir Richard’s visit and have learnt a lot from his experience. Many of us feel better as we don’t feel stressed out when exam seasons come up. It was a day we will never forget.”

Please listen to our students interviewing Sir Richard Lambert here

Video Clip of the Assembly hall talk can be viewed here