Friday, 29 September 2017

Whitley hosts European Languages Day

Written by Holly and Deborah, Year 8 student reporters

On Tuesday 26 September, Whitley Academy hosted 'European Languages Day' for Year 7, a day designed to introduce new language and culture to our pupils.

At the beginning of the day, we decided to visit Miss Williamson's class. Pupils were matching up countries to their capital cities, everybody was raising their hands eagerly to answer questions. 

In Mr Haxby’s classroom, pupils were matching celebrities to the languages they could speak. Of course the focus was about European languages.

In Mr Purslow’s lesson, an interesting short clip about the European Union and its countries were shown to pupils.

Then we paid a short visit to Miss Williamson's class again to witness an engaging group discussion between the teacher and the whole class.

The reflection of the Day…

Some pupils were asked what they thought, most said it was interesting, great and fun. Others said it was different and helped them find out about new cultures. One said they loved their big new school, Whitley Academy, a lot.

Miss Williamson and Mr Haxby commented that students engaged in new activities and enjoyed learning about different cultures. Also there were lots of great activities to participate in and discuss.

And then it was the end of the day!

Thank you for reading our blog.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”

‒Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

A morning of sport for Year 11

Written by Melissa, Year 9 student reporter

On Friday 22nd September 2017, AP Racing (a local engineering company) along with Wasps Community and Vibe, visited Whitley Academy to run engineering based activities through sports for our Year 11 pupils.

It was a rather chilly morning, as our breath was visible whist we spoke. It was a day of autumnal equinox in Coventry after all.

The Year 11 boys were outside on our rugby pitch learning some rugby skills and trying some strength building activities. The girls were in the gym doing some Zumba. For your information, Zumba is an aerobic fitness programme featuring body movements usually accompanied by backing music. When the music was on, everyone followed the instructor's words and started moving.

Back to the boys, who were working with the Wasps Community team and Paul Sackey (ex England and Harlequins professional).

All students looked very smart in their PE kits and football boots. Everyone showed their eagerness, listening to the professionals for the best tactics in playing rugby. It was fascinating to see how competitive each Year 11 boy was when it was time for the ‘test of strength’. 

Laughter was everywhere, and more amazingly, above the sky the sun was shining beautifully. 

Slowly I realised that the aim of the morning was to show Year 11 pupils how a simple activity could reduce their stress, especially with mock exams creeping around the corner, and after that their GCSE exams.

After break time, the next group of Year 11s were to have their session.

One instructor told me;

“I really enjoy helping the Year 11 students, especially overcoming the stress of exams. Zumba helps to release that negative energy.”

The rugby session had exactly the same purpose, making sure students enjoyed something physically competitive, focusing on team work. The coaches were very tough, shouting as if the students were taking part in a real rugby match. 

Overall, I felt the students:

  • Enjoyed physical activities to help de-stress.
  • Enjoyed taking time away from normal lessons amidst the stress of exams.
  • Improve their mental health and strength without them realising.

Mrs Morgan, our Vice Principal, shared her thoughts: 

“I think it’s great for smaller local businesses to engage with us as a school and ensure students are exposed to different career opportunities. It’s also great to encourage older students to continue to participate in sports.”

Thank you to AP Racing, VIBE fitness and Wasps Community rugby team for the amazing morning!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Parents and pupils visit for Open Evening

Written by Chase and Melissa, student reporters

On Thursday 14th September, Whitley Academy welcomed parents and pupils into the school for Open Evening.

Starting at 6pm, Mr Rex the Principal welcomed our visitors, and talked about what Whitley Academy had achieved over the years, especially the GCSE and A-level results in the last academic year 2016-2017.

Mr Downing, the Chair of Governors, shared his experience as a parent of his three children and how he felt secure to send his children to our school. He was very down to earth and the audience listened attentively to his short stories.

Afterwards, Miss Bloom (our Vice-Principal) talked about the school’s expectations for new Year 7 pupils and a variety of enrichment activities students could take part in. Sitting amongst the audience were the student reporters (the new Year 7 pupils are welcome to join the student reporters as early as they wish) who got the mention in Miss Bloom’s talk. They surely felt very proud of their hard work.

Then parents (and of course future Whitley Academy pupils) were invited to explore the school.

Walking around the school you could see each department had a room full of activities and books from the finest of our students.

Miss Allen and Mrs Stanbrook lead a classroom about our RSA 8 programme. It was largely to do with charities.

The English and Maths departments prepared games about the subjects so visitors could get a feel for some Whitley learning. The Science department was up to some shocking experiments. Mr Eborall was demonstrating the amazing Van der Graaf electrostatic generator. For your information, it creates static electricity and, if you want to have a go at it, it does make your hair stand up! 

Many children gathered around the generator having fun giving their parents an electric shock! There were also plenty of other scientific activities around the room.

In Geography, Miss Ward was leading an activity to match the food to their origins. In History, Miss Wright had an activity to design your own crest for your family. How cool!

All the Opening Minds classrooms had different team building games. This was to make sure the visitors could get an understanding of our Opening Minds curriculum. 

In the Learning Resource Centre, Mrs Nguyen and the student reporters were hosting a series of activities and explaining how hard the student reporters work. Some of the reporters enjoyed playing the giant tower block games with the visiting children.

In Catering, Miss Stones and the other staff members were showcasing the students’ cooking, and an amazing lentil curry.

On the third floor in Drama department, Mr Samuels got super creative with an interactive production. Everyone who got involved, evolved the showcase into something completely creative in their own way!

In Arts, Miss Bradshaw was showcasing the Whitley Arts programme. This also included the journey from Year 7 to 11 and how the students’ works have been evolved and improved over the years. We all loved it!

Walking along the corridors of different floors you could see the smiley faces of parents and the laughter of the children around. Everyone must have shared a fantastic time with a part of Whitley in their hearts.

Our MASSIVE THANKS to all of our dedicated staff and teachers who have spent countless hours to stay behind to help make this Open Evening “THE BEST IT COULD BE”!