Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Journey of discovery for Year 7 at Africa Day

Written by Holly and Harshitha - Year 8 student reporters

At 8:50am, lessons began for the eager Year 7 pupils. It was Africa Day, and they had been given a different timetable, with lots of very exciting African activities to do. 

In the first class we went to, pupils began the day by watching a series of short video clips about places in Africa. After each video, they discussed life in African countries. The pupils held on to every word their teacher and friends discussed during the session.

Next, the African quizzes!

The ambience of the classrooms was very lively, with lots of fun to be had from pupils sharing answers, whilst learning plenty of new things about Africa. Everybody was concentrating hard on the questions, and thinking outside of the box to get the right answer.

It was now time for imagination and creation! 

The pupils began to draw African patterns to design beautiful dresses. Other classes were making African masks for a colourful fashion show. In Mrs Wilson’s classroom, one pupil brought in a selection of African clothes to show the class. The whole class enjoyed wearing the real clothes and posing for the camera!

Miss Reynolds’s class made pastel pictures and tasty mask biscuits using their new found knowledge. Miss Reynolds said that she was keen on the idea of her pupils learning new things they would not usually learn in normal lessons.

After a lot of drawing and colouring, it was time for some African sports, including wrestling. The activities took place in our small gym. Miss Pearce demonstrated some wrestling techniques. All pupils listened attentively as it required a lot of thinking in order to pin your opponent down to the ground without striking (kicking). As soon as ‘the green light was on’, students became very passionate about trying to get their friends down to the ground. The gym became very noisy with laughing, shouting and all sorts of strange noises!

Later in the afternoon, around 1:10pm, the whole of Year 7 gathered in the Sports hall to learn a bit more about Africa. Some of the facts included: 

  • There are 2,000 or more languages spoken all over Africa, and most people know a little 'Swahili' without realising it, because 'Rafiki' from the movie 'The Lion King' means friend, and 'Simba' means Lion. How amazing!

Thank you to the teachers for the work that was put in to make the day “The best it could be”, and to give us all a glimpse of African life, its culture, and a new language!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Students achievements recognised at KS4 Celebration Evening

Written by Todd - Year 11 student

On Thursday 11th January, we were invited to attend the Whitley Academy Celebration Evening for Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11 this academic year).

It was 6:00pm, and the beautifully decorated green Canteen was packed with students and parents. Outside it turned dark, foggy and cold. However it remained dry.

The evening started with the talk of Miss Rachel Sandby-Thomas, the current Registrar of Warwick University. The audience listened attentively, and a massive applause filled the room at the end of her talk.

The remaining time of the evening went by rapidly, but there was an air of anticipation as Miss Sandby-Thomas prepared to give out the certificates and the awards. Nominated students went up one by one, sometimes twice, if there was more than one award to present.

I was the last on the list of Year 11 students. It was a total delight to realise I had been nominated by the teachers in the Learning Support Department.

Walking up to receive my award, I felt exhilarated, with everyone clapping and congratulating me. It was like winning the best actor or the best film director, and my parents were sitting at the back of the room with the audience. When I reached the front of the hall everyone’s eyes were fixed on me! It was absolutely excellent!

As the event came to a close, the last awards were given out and the staff started clearing things up, my emotion became mixed with happiness and sadness. It’s my last year at Whitley Academy, the school I entered as a child from primary school, and leave as a young adult. I will have lots of sweet memories about my time here!