Seasonal Greetings to you all!


Seasonal Greetings to you all!
Issue 11
George Mitchell School
Farmer Road
E10 5DN
Tel: 020 8539 6198
January 2007
Y9 students enjoying some baking (see article, page 6)
Seasonal Greetings to you all!
We have reached the end
of another busy and highly
successful term. Year 11 students
working hard for their mock GCSE
examinations, the interim reports for
years 7 – 9 have been completed and
tracking of students causing concern
has already been started by Learning
Leaders. The year 10 interim reports
recently went out to parents and
carers also.
It was an amazing term on the
FAB (Fighting against Bullying) front.
Our students launched the National
Anti-Bullying week at the Children’s
Commission, attracting media attention
from not only British television and
radio, but also from a Japanese TV
company. The school’s Bank was
also in the media spotlight this term
when NatWest held us up as a model
of excellent practice. Channel 4 and
BBC1 News programmes interviewed
and filmed staff and students and a
French TV company (France 2) also
came into school to interview staff
and students!
At a more local level, a number of
our students applied recently to join
the Editorial Panel for the new LBWF
youth website,,
and were appointed! There is no end
to the talents and confidence of our
students. They are a credit to us all.
Our Community Banquet in
November, supported by ASL, was
attended by 200 people representing
over 40 groups who support the
school in their different ways. Once
again, we have demonstrated that
George Mitchell is ‘at the heart of the
community, with the community at its
What a fantastic note on which to
end the term!
With best wishes for the New Year.
Helen Jeffery
Students have tea at No 10 - Page 2
Strictly Community Magic - Page 4
Visit GM online at
Strictly Community Magic
Srictly Dance Fever, Celine Dion, The Opera Babes and a little bit of Magic
have contacted the school to say how
much they enjoyed themselves:
“I just wanted to thank you for
a wonderful evening last week.
The food was lovely, everything
was set out beautifully, the music
and entertainment was brilliant! I
particularly enjoyed the operatic
singers and Celine Dion as she is
one of my favourite singers.”
“...that was a fantastic night
last night! Thank you so much for
asking me. I really enjoyed myself
so much. All the entertainment
was fantastic and the whole
evening was so enjoyable. I
haven’t stopped telling everyone
about it today...”
Tracy Shields performing as Celine Dion
Duke of
This autumn our Duke of Edinburgh Award achievers had their
success celebrated in a ceremony in Walthamstow Assembly Hall. The
Award – widely respected by employers and colleges – is an achievement of
which to be really proud. As well as carrying out a programme of community
service, learning a new skill and doing a strenuous physical activity over 12-24
weeks, the team spent a week in the Derbyshire Peak District completing a
course of orienteering and endurance. A new Duke of Edinburgh team is now
starting up.
The photos show the Derbyshire expedition. Congratulations on their fine
achievement to Arthur Velavs, Simone Andrews, Sheldon McPhoy, Banisha
Seburren, Rosemon Meissner, Peju Obasa and Amina Sheta.
Martin Spafford
Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator
Thanks go to the Catering
Company Dining in Style, our
main supporter of the event ASL
printers and photocopiers and
all those behind the scenes who
made it an event to remember.
Claire Kirwin
Deputy Head
Climbing - the real thing!
water chalenge
What better way of celebrating
community than having a
banquet with posh frocks,
proper food and live
Well that’s exactly what
George Mitchell School did
on 16 November. A fantastic
evening was enjoyed by all.
Forty seven different groups
of people who support George
Mitchell and its students in
one way or another were
An excellent programme
of performers included Tracy
Shields as Celine Dion; Mark
Cairns, a mind reader who
left us all baffled; Darren and
Lana, one of the finalists in the
last series of Strictly Dance
Fever on BBC1; and Carla and
Barbara, two wonderful opera
singers from Wax Lyrical.
Several of those attended
A Letter to the Head... T w o H o u r s
In the summer term, three alumni returned to George
Mitchell. So impressed were they, that one of them,
David Baxter, sent this letter:
Dear Helen
On behalf of Mick, Derek and myself, I am writing to
thank you for the warm and friendly welcome we received
from you and your staff on our recent visit to George
Mitchell School. Our many thanks to you, Claire, Pat and
Androulla for spending so much of your valuable time to
give us a wonderful trip down memory lane. Thanks also for
providing the lovely lunch and for our souvenir T-shirts – we
will wear them with great pride!
We were so pleased to see the original structure of the
school the same way as we left it some forty-two years ago.
Even so, we were also pleased to see the changes that have
kept the school up to date with modern education: the sports
facilities; computer and domestic science rooms; banking and
student groups. Not to forget your “detention block” – which,
we all agreed, was a vast improvement on the cane (which
was wielded far too freely – as the pupils in our time would
How impressed we were with your students! Such
confidence and good manners. It is, we are sure, the measure
of the good work and interest you are all taking in your
You have a truly great school. Both, George Mitchell and
Jack Cornwall have set a very high standard for us all to
follow, as does our motto “More is in me”.
We wish you, your staff and students every success for
the future. It is our fondest wish that many of your students
will return to George Mitchell in forty-two years’ time to
rekindle the happy memories they may feel today.
Finally, may I just mention, in a tribute to their memory,
two outstanding teachers of our time: Mr Pike and Mr Lewis
who were both scholars and gentlemen.
Thanks again to you all – and please excuse me if I’ve
forgotten to mention anyone by name.
The Youth Participation work
is about making young people’s
voices heard. The council has
created this new project because
they want to give us the chance
to have a say on the things that
really matter!
Me, Jonah and Grace are working
with three other children to deliver
a seminar to people in the council:
people who work in education, social
services, the environment, health,
housing and the police. We want them
to know how they can really involve
young people.
We want them to know how to
work with young people and also tell
them about what young people want
or what they want to see changed.
We want them to know our rights and
that we have things to say that can
change our community and make it
better for all of us.
The project is now called Two Hours
in Our Shoes! We want them to really
know how it feels to be US. We are
going to include role-plays and quizzes
to get them thinking about young
people’s rights and how important it is
to listen to young people because we
really can make a difference.
The council developed a website
called So go and
check it out! It was especially made
for young people in our borough.
We are the present and the future,
so lets get our voices heard!
Karishma Mahomed, 9G
Michael Roberts, David Baxter and Derek Dotchin
Yours most sincerely
David Baxter
Visit GM online at
in Our Shoes
Shakespeare at
Students in Years 8-10 are
currently working on a production
of Much Ado About Nothing. The
production will be set in the present
day and performed in February at the
Millfield Theatre in Enfield, where the
students will have the opportunity to
work with professional lighting and
sound. The cast will also spend a
day working with the National Youth
Theatre. This exciting production will
form part of the Shakespeare For
Schools Festival in which over 1100
schools will perform in 100 Theatres.
Jennifer Bradley
Drama Department
Tea with the Blairs
I was thrilled when Mr Savage
gave me the opportunity to go to
10 Downing Street to have tea
with Cherie Blair. I skipped down
the stairs – literally! When I told
my family, they were really excited
for me. On the day, my mother and
I met Harry Cohen (MP for Leyton,
Leytonstone and Wanstead) and
the other students – one from
Tom Hood and one from Wanstead
When we got to the gates of
10 Downing Street we handed
in our invitations to the guards
and felt so special because all
the tourists were staring at us as
if we were royalty (we didn’t tell
them we weren’t). When we got
to the step of 10 Downing Street,
I couldn’t believe I was actually
there because you always see it on
the news and I was standing in the
very same place all the important
members of parliament stood. I
had the honour of knocking on
the big, black shiny door (which,
may I add, they repaint every 8
We were welcomed in by a young
man dressed very sharply; they all
dressed very sharply. We walked into
a big hall with fancy sofas and groups
of other school children, and waiters
served homemade cakes and drinks
while we awaited the arrival of Mrs
When Cherie arrived she met all
the other groups before she came to
us. When she came to talk to us she
shook my hand. I was so nervous.
She asked how old I was and what I
With Harry Cohen on the steps of No 10
wanted to be when I was older. I told
her I wanted to be a lawyer – I lied.
We then went on a tour of 10
Downing Street – the building is
lovely! My mum asked if there were
tunnels built under the building and
the security guard laughed and
assured us there weren’t – or so he
said… After the tour we went into the
lounge and took professional photos
with Cherie Blair.
We were getting ready to make
our way home when a once in a
lifetime chance crossed our path.
The security guard announced
that Tony Blair had just finished
a meeting and wanted to meet
us. Everyone was so shocked and
excited. We all shuffled across to
his office. He seemed like a nice
man and he cracked a few jokes
about how his decisions haven’t
been very good lately. We then
received a genuine 10 Downing
Street book signed by Cherie
It was time to go home so
we all took one last look at our
grand surroundings before we bid
farewell. On the train home my
mother and I couldn’t believe that
we had just come back from the
most famous house in Britain. I
am so thankful to George Mitchell
School and Mr Savage for giving me
the opportunity to experience such a
wonderful glimpse into politics.
Amina Sheta 10W
‘You don’t need a KNIFE to live your LIFE’
Last term, a group of
Year 8 students were
trained in campaigning
skills by the Youth Act
organisation. Their group
is called ‘Movement’, and
they have been inspired
to start an anti-knife
aims to educate people
in our school and local
area about the dangers of
carrying a knife, and also
to look into the reasons
why young people do
In June we went on an
amazing residential weekend
in Reading to complete our
training with the Youth Act
team. The hotel was so beautiful and
posh! Sandra Boadi said, “I loved the
automatic stuff in the toilets, and there
were loads of mirrors in our rooms!”
The training was much more intensive
than any of us had expected, and we
worked from 9am until 10.30pm in
order to get our campaign organised.
One of the trainers on the weekend
commented that our students are, “a
very creative and talented group of
people”. It was a brilliant weekend:
Antoanetta Atanasova said, “Thank
you for all the fun I had and all the
things I learned. This weekend is
one of the things I am not going to
So, the weekend was fun, but it
was just the beginning! Since coming
back into Year 9 in September, the
group has already achieved a lot. This
has included presenting assemblies
to the school using drama, rap and
Powerpoint presentation; creating a
display in school; gaining the support
of Mrs Jeffery by outlining the aims of
the campaign to her; and contacting
influential people in the community
who may be able to offer their support.
Future plans of the group include
giving presentations to key figures in
the local community to inform them
about our aims; applying for funding
grant, and organising more events in
school and in the community to spread
the message of ‘You don’t need a knife
to live your life’.
Gill Winstanley and Danielle Hay
Adult supporters of ‘Movement’
Asian and Black History Week
Celebrating community cohesion and tolerance
At George Mitchell we take pride in our culturally rich community
and we wanted to show how much we honour such diversity,
community cohesion and tolerance.
From 9-20 October 2006, George Mitchell School celebrated Asian and
Black History Week. We
invited successful British
Asians and African Caribbean
personalities to celebrate
diversity and talk to the
students in special assemblies.
We broadcast its celebration
worldwide, on Wednesday
11 October, on 963 MW Club
Asia radio station (www.
We would like to thank
the guests and we were very
grateful for their contribution.
Our guests were:
• Honey Kalria from Honeys
David Yombo (Year 11) trying out some Indian dancing
Dance Academy;
• Naveeda, Bollywood and Asian Model and Make Up Artist from Naveeda
• Miranda Grell, Councillor,
London Borough of Waltham
Forest (Leyton ward);
• Mushtaq Lasharie, first
Asian councillor in the Royal
Borough of Kensington and
• Mariane Ala Pini, first
black councillor in the Royal
Borough of Kensington and
• Lord Nasir of Rotherham;
• Abdul Karim Sheikh,
Lord Nasir with some of our students
Councillor, London Borough
of Newham.
To top it all off, George Mitchell students enjoyed a Bollywood Bhangra
aerobics lunchtime session with the Bollywood Diva herself, Honey. Just look at
the pictures to see how fun and enjoyable that day was. Thank you Honey.
Staff and students enjoying the Bollywood Bhangra
aerobics session
Soniyah Khan
Visit GM online at
Equality Scheme
By law, all schools must have
a Disability Equality Scheme
in place by the end of the year.
Following guidance from the
Disability Rights Commission, as
part of the process of drafting this
scheme, we will consult members
of the school community who are
considered to have a disability.
Your views will be very helpful
to us in deciding our priorities for
The Disability Discrimination Act
sets out the circumstances in which a
person is classed as having a disability.
It says someone is disabled if they
have a mental or physical impairment
which has a substantial adverse effect
on their ability to carry out normal day
to day activities. This includes students
who have severe dyslexia, dyspraxia,
diabetes, epilepsy and other medical
conditions which affect them in every
day life.
The Planning Duty
There are three elements to the
planning duty:
a) increasing the extent to which
disabled pupils can participate in the
school curriculum
This covers not only teaching and
learning but also the wider curriculum
such as school clubs, leisure, sport and
cultural activities and school visits.
b) improving the physical environment
of the school
This is designed to ‘increase the
extent to which disabled pupils are
able to take advantage of education
and associated services’.
The school has been subject to an
audit with regard to physical access
and will be responding to the areas
for development in order to make
reasonable adjustments for pupils
with disabilities.
c) improving the delivery of written
information to disabled pupils
This involves making information
available for disabled pupils, which is
normally provided in writing for pupils
who are not disabled.
We welcome comments from
students and their parents on any
aspect of inclusion. Please email val.
[email protected] or write to me at
Val Stewart
Assistant Headteacher
M A K E George Mitchell Launches
National Enterprise Week
Year 7 was involved in a Murder
Mystery. Who on the staff could think
of – let alone be guilty of – murdering
Mrs Jeffery? What clues did they
leave? Students spent an hour in four
different subject areas, looking at the
crime from totally different points of
In Science, for example, they
worked with two members of a police
SOCO team (Helen Reilly and Fiona
Rae), using forensic science to analyse
foot- and fingerprints, and samples of
hair, fabric and handwriting. And in
Maths they looked at the probability
of the suspects being able to get to
the Head’s office and commit the foul
Well done to all the Year 7 students
and their tutors – everyone had a
‘theory’ but 7F were the eventual
winners. They get to enjoy a day out
of school uniform and a pizza lunch. A
Analysing handwriting samples
big thank you goes to Ms Engelbrecht,
Learning Leader for Year 7 who
prepared a great deal of the evidence
that made the day so enjoyable.
Making and Doing
Year 8 had the chance to learn new
practical skills, including Circus skills,
Flag Dancing, Bollywood Dancing,
Card Making, Mouse Mat Design and
even Stacking Cups! Fun was had by
all, and thanks must go to our guests
and staff deliverers:
Les Brooks, Circus Skills from
Workshop for Schools; Nathan Louise,
Flag Dancing; Kuntul, Bollywood
Dance Teacher; Jasmine Francis,
Teaching Assistant and master
card maker; Sheila James, LRC
Manager – Mouse Mats; Hendrik
Calitz, PE Teacher and Stackers
Taking the Biscuit
Year 9 worked in teams to design
and market their very own, brand
new cookie – and they even made
the biscuit too, displaying the whole
thing for the judges on the top hall.
It was a very difficult decision for
the judges but there could only
be one overall winner, with prizes
awarded for the individual areas
– so congratulations go to:
Packaging: Valentine Heaven Sam Hassein; Blisscuit - Afsheen
Publicity: Orange Halloween Ahmed Sharif, Nafees Haque
Biscuit: Valentine Love - Arooj
Biscuit Cutter: Valentine Heaven
- Can Yildiz
Overall: Blue Star - Mohamed
Kullaten, Wai-Ting Cheung, Lauren
McDonald, Abidur Rahman, Aleeuah
Mudhoo, Nakiyatu Iddi
A big thank you to all
staff that helped, particularly
Anthony Crookendale from
keeping those chefs in check.
How Enterprising!
Year 10 spent the day
learning how to become
an entrepreneur – with the
help not only of the theatre
also of a handful of real-life
entrepreneurs and
successful adults who gave
up their time to share their
Martin Tye, ASL; Trevor
David Lavinier, Eastside
Eagles; Lesley Sheppard,
Partnership; Ruth Sullivan
and Cleveland Blackwood,
NatWest Bank; Cllr Miranda
Grell, School Governor and
local Councillor; Michael
Lowe, Vizarie Ltd, Young
Entrepreneur of the Year
Bradley Foley (8W) riding a unicycle
2004; Sally Mann, Connexions
Congratulations to all
Year 11 spent a vital ‘taster’ day
at Leyton Sixth Form College, learning
what it will be really like if they go on
to study A Levels next year, and, like
Years 7-10, had their eyes opened to
new experiences and opportunities as
a result.
It just remains to say that all the
visitors to school and the lecturers at
LSC commented on how pleased they
were to have been involved with our
students. They found them to be just
what we said they were – really, really
nice young people, and they said
‘invite us back anytime’! What more
can you say?
Claire Kirwin
Deputy Headteacher
Analysing fingerprints
Careering Ahead
Truly Enterprising
Enterprise Business Challenge
15 November 2006 was a big day
for the Year 10s at George Mitchell
School. They all dressed to impress and
were ready to win against all the odds.
The Educational Business Partnership
and George Mitchell School organised
a day for the students to put on their
thinking and entrepreneurial hats. The
students worked in groups of ten and
designed a product for their very own
company, which had to be registered
with a business plan and a business
commitment and maturity were
outstanding and everyone was very
competitive and geared up to win. The
product design for all companies was
a sports hat and shoe in tune with the
Olympics 2012.
The whole day was staged as it
would be in the real world of work.
The students were expected to:
The Olympians were:
Grace Imwensi, Kerry Brewer, Alima
Iqbal, Hassan Ahmed & Kazaf Akbar
Valdir Semido 10M
Duha Abdulghaffar, Hibo Hersi &
Azad Majid 10W
You can see them all smiling as
they are thinking of the exquisite
prize in store for them. Thank you, Ms
Kirwin, for organising the day.
Work Experience 2007
embracing technology in all areas and
providing a new edge and dimension
to teaching and learning for both staff
and student alike. As such, we have a
brand new online system for students
to select their work experience
options. It’s been a great success and
the students have found it easy and
enjoyable to use. Years 10s will be on
work experience 12-23 March 2007,
George Mitchell to
At George Mitchell
we want to ensure every
student’s success and the
Careers Department has
arranged for one college
a month to come in and
present their establishment
to the Year 11 students.
This allows the students to
ask questions and gather
Work to time constraints
all the information from
Work effectively in teams
the visiting college.
Sally Mann from Connexions advises Nathan Billings (Y11)
Communicate ideas successfully
In October we had Kaneez from
Monitor industrial espionage
Sir George Monoux College and experiencing the real world of work.
Buy and sell resources within the
For further help and support
November we saw Vice Principal Yoga
existing budget
Mitchell has set up a Careers
from Leyton VI College. I hope you
Be enterprising and exhibit
board, which has a Work
find these assemblies informative
entrepreneurial characteristics
2007 forum. Everyone is
and supportive for your future ideas.
The team leader had to ensure all
this message board
Please keep an eye out for our college
tasks were delegated efficiently and
and any advice
entry, college route and open day
carried out optimally. All companies
information display.
worked very hard and produced high
standard products, which were judged
A Year 10 student said last year,
by a panel of outside judges. However,
Mock Interview Day 2007
‘Work Experience was very useful
there can only be one winning team.
28th February 2007 is Mock Interview because it showed me how work in
Hooray to “The Olympians”! Well day for all Year 11s. Each Year 11 the real world is... I feel prepared – as
done, you are the Enterprise Business student will be preparing for the big if I could start a job.’
entrepreneur event in George Mitchell. Students
IMPACT: Healthy Careers
will have the opportunity
to dress smartly and look At the beginning of term Year 10s had
the business. During the opportunity to see an excellent
registration time they theatre production by IMPACT. It was
will be applying for a job, on Healthy Careers, which was very
sprucing up their CVs to informative and enjoyable to watch.
really impress these real The students were given a clear
life employers. Employers understanding on all of the possible
interviewing career paths that could be taken in
real the Health and Care industry. I hope
life conditions at the it got you thinking of all the A to Z
end of the interview careers offered by Health alone. And
the applicant will be that’s just one career option, the
told whether they were choices you have are endless…
Soniyah Khan
The Olympians celebrating their success!
Careers Coordinator
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A Day in the Life of...
Charlie Bushell
Why did you choose to come to
I chose to come to George Mitchell
after meeting a wonderful bunch of
students who took me on a tour of
the school at my interview! They were
so welcoming and friendly. The school
has a real family feel to it.
How easy did you find it to settle
I found it really easy to settle in as
one half of the school pupils thought I
was Mr Burrows (the History teacher),
and the other half thought I was his
What was your first day like?
I was very nervous on my first day.
It’s always a bit scary starting a new
job, meeting new people with new
demands, but the staff looked after
me really well.
Have you made friends?
I consider everyone at GM my friend!
People are very accepting here, even
with my quirky sense of humour!
It’s a great atmosphere to work in!
Everybody works together as a team.
Could you describe a typical day
for you at GM?
Well I get in at around 7.15am to
organize the cover for teachers that
are away or sick. Then I work on all
the photocopying for the lessons,
incident forms, contact forms and then
I work on designing and updating all
the displays around the school.
What was your favourite subject
at school?
Art and Drama were my favourite
subjects at school. I loved drawing
and in Drama I could never do a
serious play – I’d keep trying to ad lib
to make my friends laugh!
What do you most enjoy about
your job?
I really enjoy making posters and
putting displays together. I have a
little team of GM helpers that make
me laugh and keep me on my toes.
GMT was talking to Charlie
Bushell, Resources Manager.
Watch out for another Day in the
Life in the next issue...
Absolutely FABulous
Aneeka Beg and Nima Ishaq contributing to the debate
If someone is being bullied or threatened with
violence and you see it, what should you do? In
September FAB and MOVEMENT (see article, page 2)
took part in an intercontinental video conference about
bullying and knife crime organised by beatbullying.
From the Law Society in Central London they were
linked up with the Mohammed Ali Centre in Louisville,
Kentucky and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. There
was a particularly deep and interesting exchange
between the young people from the UK and the USA
about what bullying really is, whether young people can
make a change and the role bystanders should take in
violent situations. We plan to keep the contact going:
yet again George Mitchell students are leading young
people’s thinking on these issues at a national level.
We have also worked closely with ChildLine for many years,
especially with CHIPS, their partnership with schools. There
are plans to set up a CHIPS equivalent in Slovakia, Poland
and the Czech Republic. Visitors from these countries wanted
to see effective anti-bullying work by young people and so
ChildLine naturally suggested us. The East European visitors
were welcomed by Polish-, Slovakian- and Czech-speaking
students who showed them round the school. Special thanks
to Jana Tokarova, Tomas Kirvej, Rita Makunova, Pavol Makuna,
Kamil Rybicki and Isabela Rybicka.
Then several FAB members shared their expertise and ideas
with our visitors who included child psychologists, counsellors
and senior police officers. They loved George Mitchell and
want to come back.
Martin Spafford
Some of the FAB team with our European visitors
Don’t be a
Monday 20 November was the
launch of Anti-Bullying Week,
whose theme this year is Don’t
be a Bystander. Students from
George Mitchell were invited
along to attend the launch and
talk about what they are doing
to tackle bullying within their
Members of our FAB organisation
– which stands for Fighting Against
Bullying – act as peer mentors at the
school, providing advice and support
for students who have been bullied.
They also provide a similar service to
the bullies themselves, attempting to
get both parties together and resolve
any issues which may be causing the
The scheme works so well
because the students themselves
control the organisation. This means
that students are more likely to feel
comfortable about approaching the
FAB members and who are therefore
able to pick up a greater proportion
of bullying incidents than if teachers
were the only port of call. The group
has significantly reduced the levels of
bullying within the school and given
student voice a new outlet too.
FAB members comment that if a
bully takes one of us on, then they
take all of us on!
Nathalie Chambers
FAB Coordinator
A selection of students from George Mitchell attended a citizenship
ceremony on the 18 October at the Waltham Forest Assembly Hall as
honoured guests. They had won a citizenship competition, in which they had
to imagine they had just arrived in this country and document some of their
impressions, fears, hopes and dreams.
Students represented the school fantastically at the event and were praised
by the deputy mayor and event organisers for their enthusiasm and maturity
on the day.
The students outside the Assembly Hall
Here are some of the students’ impressions:
“It was fabulous. We got to see the mayor, talk to him and have a picture
taken” Huzaifa Abni 9G
“The ceremony was a wonderful way to learn more about citizenship…if
I could do it again I would be the first in line. I am so thankful to Miss
Chambers for organising a trip that was so much fun” Umaiyyah Iqbal 8W
“it was a great opportunity and everyone who went really did learn a lot and
enjoy themselves” Saffy Hussain 7F
“a great way to study citizenship, improving my information about what its
all about – an amazing opportunity, a great way to study!” Sylvia Lim 8G
What are you watching?
attending a weekly film club for
nearly two terms now. It gives
students the opportunity to watch
films from the most meaningful to the
most light-hearted comedies such as
The Full Monty.
We have already seen Beetle
Juice, Edward Scissorhands, Billy
Elliot, The Blair Witch Project, and
Sleepy Hollow. Recently we watched
Rabbit-Proof Fence, set in 1930s
Australia, which looks at the attempt
to take mixed children away from the
Aborigine community. It destroys the
camouflage of racial harmony the
Visit GM online at
modern world likes to paint. Later on
in the term were Good Will Hunting,
Good Morning Vietnam and the wellknown action/adventure Minority
The film club doesn’t only offer a
weekly film screening though. Some of
us recently went on a trip to the IMAX
cinema at Waterloo to see Superman
Returns in 3-D (see article, page 14).
The film club is always open to
new members so if you are interested
just catch up with Mr Savage.
Carl Ainsworth
Film Club, 8F
in on our
On Tuesday 7 November 2006,
George Mitchell was literally
invaded by the media, Channel
4 News, BBC Radio London and
BBC News – phew. Why, you may
ask? We were asked by NatWest as
they tell everyone we are an excellent
example of how a School Bank could
and should run. They were also
launching a website for other schools
to use to apply to become a bank.
All the reporters and the
representatives of NatWest were
really impressed with Hassan, Samira
and Rosemon who explained how it all
So there we were, Channel 4 at
midday, BBC Radio London in the
afternoon, and BBC News at 6.30
pm. The students won’t be signing
autographs but they certainly think
you should all open an account and
save, save, save!
The following week it was the BBC
World Service, and we even have a
request from French Channel 2 – tres
So, come and get an application
pack any break or lunch time and
learn to manage your finances.
Claire Kirwin
Deputy Headteacher
aka de Manager!
Les ‘Étudiants du Mois’ en Français!
Here are just a few of the winners…
After the launch of the ‘Student
of the Month’ award in French at the
end of the last academic year, I am
very pleased to be able to bring you
the names of the ‘first ever’ recipients
of the title at George Mitchell. The
students who are named below have
proven themselves to be exemplary
students in their French lessons
during the months of September
and October. There is one winner
from every French class taught in the
department. Well done to all of you!
Could it be you next month?
September’s winners
Year 7: Luxsika Gengatharan 7G,
Nurealom Siddique 7M, Khaula
Abdulghaffar 7W, Saida Aboud 7F
Year 8: Mahmuda Akhtar 8G,
Huseyin Arpalikli 8M, Harold Prest
8F, Henna Syed 8F
Year 9: Sophie Gracey 9G, Zachery
Leitch 9F, Ahmed Sharif 9F
Year 10: Cathy Chang 10W
Year 11: Mohammed Asim 11W,
Anisha Moosafeer 11W
Sawtell’s groups only)
Year 7: Kori Carnegie 7G, Eloise
Hart 7W
Year 8: Barbora Abaraviciute 8G,
Sabaah Saleemi 8W
Year 9: Antoaneta Atanasova 9W,
Joseph McGuigan 9G
Year 10: Loretta Hayward 10G
Year11: Monica Maisuria 11G
Sarah Sawtell
Curriculum Leader for French
Case Closed
Michael Vye claims he is an unemployed clown
who agreed to a lift home from people he met while
drunk at a party. When they burgled a house on the way
he says he knew nothing about it and was asleep in the car.
Is he telling the truth? Or was he one of the gang acting
as lookout?
Five of our students in Years 7 and 9 took part in a Mock
Trial as part of the Young Lawyers Weekend in November
organised by Debate Chamber. They spent two days at
Queen Mary College, University of London, learning about
legal practice and then recreating the trial: everyone was
very impressed with their work. Several parents came to
watch and their support was hugely appreciated.
Some of George Mitchell’s young lawyers!
Martin Spafford
B l o o d
Working hard and having fun!
Year 7s got their hands dirty making models of ancient artefacts as
part of the DIG! project that introduced their History course this year.
After analysing objects from the British Museum and exploring virtual galleries
of Ancient Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, they created their own imaginary
worlds and made the artefacts archaeologists might discover centuries after
their worlds collapsed. The DIG! Project helps us identify budding historians
and reminds us that history is fun.
Martin Spafford
Humanities Department
On 19 October, the Year 11
Drama class went to see Blood
Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre.
Everyone really enjoyed the
play’s combination of comedy
and tragedy, and the way that
this was communicated through
impressed with the way that the
character of the Narrator was seemed
to control the actions of the other
characters – communicated by the
actors’ excellent use of voice and body
language. Seeing the performance has
really helped to bring the play alive in
preparation for the GCSE workshops
that are coming up.
Gill Winstanley
Arts Department
Youth Ambassador launch for 2012
With the upcoming Olympics in
2012, a ceremony was held at the
Leyton Orient Football Stadium. I
was one of three George Mitchell
students who attended this
meeting with Mr Calitz, our PE
teacher and SSCO (School Sports
The meeting
started with a few
the current youth
One of them
was part of the
team that went
London was the
city that would
host the biggest
and best Olympics
ever. She was
right there when
it was announced
that London had
won the bid to
host the games
in 2012. She
said ”I can still
Kelly Holmes jumping onto the table
as we celebrated. There were tears
and it was just the greatest moment
of my life!“
The guest speaker was
wheelchair basketball player
Adepitan, who also dances in
of the BBC1 idents. His speech
remember Dame
Visit GM online at
so inspiring that you could feel it in
the room. Every one was quiet and
listened for 40 minutes. And the best
part was that he grew up in Hackney
which is so close to us. He told us
about how he lost his legs and that
when he was young his friends would
push him round in a Tesco trolley
because he could
not keep up with
them. Then he
was introduced
and with hard
training he made
Basketball team.
I would like
to thank George
Mitchell School
and Mr Calitz for
the opportunity
to attend this
launch and meet
Ade Adepitan.
Charlotte Read,
With Ade Adepitan
A big thank you to all of the
students who have volunteered
their time to help younger
students improve their reading
Seventy students from Years 811 came to training sessions in the
LRC at the start of this term, in which
they learned about different ways
to support others to read. The main
thing they learnt was how important
it is to encourage their partner and
give lots of praise! The enthusiasm
and commitment of these volunteers
is essential to the Paired Reading
scheme. What is even more exciting
is that many of our volunteers are
students who have received this
support in the past, and have improved
their own reading skills as a result. A
message to our student volunteers:
please keep up your hard work – I am
sure that you are an inspiration to the
students you support. Thank you!
Interested by this?
The Learning Support department
is always keen to hear from members
of our community who could offer a
few hours each week to help students
to improve their reading skills. Our
adult volunteers contribute a lot to our
students, by being additional adults
who want to spend time supporting
them. In addition, our adult volunteers
gain a sense of fulfilment, and the
knowledge that they are making a
real difference in their community. If
you are interested, and would like to
find out more, please contact me at
the school.
Gill Winstanley
Special Educational Needs
Paired Reading
My love for archery started
in Year 8 when Mr Spafford
organized a trip to a place
called Castletown in Derbyshire.
Archery was one of the activities
there and the first night I tried
it I wasn’t particularly good but
the second night I kept getting 3
golds in a row and I didn’t know
After the trip I joined a local archery
club and am now in the Waltham
Forest archery team. I’ve been to a
few tournaments, but the biggest was
the London Youth Games. There were
6 of us in the team, all under 18 years
old. There were 25 teams competing
from all over London, representing
many different boroughs. The
atmosphere was amazing; there were
all other events going on at the same
time all over Crystal Palace and all the
children representing Waltham Forest
got special blue and white t-shirts.
We shot for the whole day until the
winner was announced. Redbridge
won, but we came 6th out of 25 which
is still a pretty big achievement. We
all went home empty handed but
pleased with our place on the leader
board. The London Youth Games is
a memory I will always cherish and
my coach is training us to play in the
2012 Olympics. I would never have
started archery if it weren’t for Mr
Spafford because he was the one who
arranged the trip to Derbyshire. I’m
very grateful to Mr Spafford for giving
me the chance to go.
Amina Sheta, 10W
Gym’ll fix it!
The Year 7 Girls have been practising skills
like forward rolls, headstands and handstands.
They have been working in pairs where one of them
performs the skill and the other coaches their partner.
The whole class discussed and decided on three or
four important coaching tips and then broke off into
pairs. Each person was responsible for ensuring their
partner was able to perform the skill to the best of
their ability.
The results have been outstanding. The girls’ final
lesson was a performance showing the skills they had
learned. They gave themselves a mark out of 10 at
the end and they all scored 7 or above. Well done to
all of the girls, you should be proud.
Joanne Tiddy
Curriculum Leader for PE
Changing the Flava
to the needs of its target audience.
True to form, and apt enough
considering our national reputation
for Student Voice, there are 4 George
Mitchell students on the editorial
panel – by far the biggest proportion
from any school in the borough. This
will mean that the website will be
guaranteed a little George Mitchell
flava for a long time to come.
Mehmood (Y8), Afsheen Mehmood
(Y9) and Indre Kusleikaite and Amina
Sheta (Y10) for being given this
prestigious and exciting opportunity
– although, given the strength of their
applications, these posts all but had
their name on them already!
Matthew Savage
Assistant Headteacher
Let’s Go Fruity
Mad Scientist or Fruity Scientist?
The science department and
the Year 9s decided to go fruity.
We conducted an experiment with
three types of fruit and vegetable.
The aim was to plan and carry out
an investigation to find out which
two metals will produce the highest
voltage from a fruit or vegetable cell.
Dates for your diary...
The London Borough of
launched its new youth website,
of the borough’s continuing
commitment to Student Voice,
this website will cater for the
needs, interests and opinions of
the local teen population, in a
format they will want to use: the
If this website is to be truly
successful, it was decided that the
editorial panel would have to be
staffed by the very teenagers it is
trying to attract. Therefore, a panel of
17 students from across the borough
has been recruited to make sure the
website is an outstanding success
from the outset – writing articles,
designing the space, and tailoring it
After repeated tries with all the
fruit, vegetables and metal electrodes
supplied, Tony discovered that a piece
of pear was the champion with copper
electrodes. Tony managed to record a
2 volts voltage and 0.012 amperes
current. Well done Tony!!!
Soniyah Khan
Science Department
Wednesday 3rd
January to Friday
30th March
Wednesday 3rd
School closed – Staff
Training Day
Thursday 4th
Start of Spring Term
– normal time
Wednesday 31st
Year 11 Academic
Review Day
Thursday 8th
Best Practice Forum
– early finish 12.25 pm
Monday 12th to Friday
16th February
Wednesday 7th
Best Practice Forum
– early finish 12.25 pm
Monday 12th
– Friday 23rd
Year 10s on Work
Thursday 22nd
School closed – Staff
Training Day
Friday 23rd
School closed – Staff
Training Day
Thursday 29th
Tony has inspired us all to use fruit and vegetables scientifically, but please do not try this at home!!
Visit GM online at
Years 7 – 9 Academic
Review Day
Is it a bird, is
it a plane...?
Jack Petchey Award
Ceremony 2006
As I turned the corner out of
Waterloo Station and witnessed
the magnificent structure that
was in front me, the IMAX cinema,
I knew I was in for an excellent
As we collected our 3-D glasses at
the entrance and went up the stairs
to the auditorium; we saw the screen.
A screen that has the same area as
four double decker buses; it was
Our 3-D experience started with
the normally tedious trailers. If adverts
were supposed to be tedious, I didn’t
know how good the film was going to
Once we had slipped our 3-D
glasses on, it was only a matter of time
until the amazing spectacle started,
and once it had started, oh boy was
it good. The array of incredible events
included superman flying above my
head and a plane rushing violently
towards my nose. The only fault I
could give to the experience was that
there weren’t enough 3-D bits. But all
in all the message I’m trying to get
across is: 3-D is incredible and it will
make you happier (at least for a fair
while afterwards).
This trip was organised for the
Film Club headed by Mr. Savage and
we hope to attend more trips to the
cinema every term.
Jonah Braverman, 8W
From Delhi to Tokyo:
Student Voice Across the Globe
On Friday 24 November, 50
MLB consultants crammed into
Room 3.9 to listen to David
Gribble, who visited the school
as a representative of both the
Phoenix Education Trust (www.
Libertarian Education (www.
A renowned expert in Student Voice
initiatives all over the world, David
spoke about a number of schools,
including the innovative Room 13
a totally student-led and studentfinanced Art classroom in Scotland;
the Tokyo Shure school for schoolrefusers in Japan (www.shure.; and the Butterflies programme
for Street Children in Delhi (www.
Just as fascinating as David’s
accounts of his experiences at each
of these groundbreaking enterprises
were the questions asked by lots of
our MLB consultants, who proved
themselves to be as shrewd, perceptive
and insightful speakers on Student
Voice as any school could hope for.
We look forward to closer links to
the Phoenix trust in the future, and
have been invited to take part in the
next European Democratic Education
Conference in Leipzig, Germany
in 2007, which will place Student
Voice at GM even more firmly on the
international map.
Matthew Savage
Assistant Headteacher
Congratulations to: Haroon
O’Mahoney, Miss Kirwin, Sevda
Aydemir, Tony Luu, Cathy Chang and
Amina Moses for being awarded their
Jack Petchey Award at Walthamstow
Assembley Hall on 12 October 2006.
Each month George Mitchell School
is entitled to elect a Jack Petchey
Achievement Award winner. Winners
do not have to be the best at sport,
work or any other area but must have
contributed to the school or community
in a significant way. Each student will
then receive a framed certificate, a
boxed medallion, and £300 to spend
on a school project of their choice.
We also nominate an adult each
year for an Annual Leader Award.
Jennifer Bradley
Book Group
You might think our book
group is just like any other. You’d
be wrong. Our book group is online!
Yes, you read correctly. Online! Instead
of meeting in the same place at the
same time every Sunday, like most
other book groups, we meet online
and can post our views and thoughts
whenever we like. This is so much
better then a regular book group,
since you don’t have to go anywhere:
you can do it all from home! This is
especially good for people who do not
like to talk much.
Right now we are in the middle of
Anne Bronte’s The Tenant Of Wildfell
Hall (which isn’t as hard to read as
you may think). After you get into the
book you will find it hard to put down,
especially with all the gossip, mostly
about the mysterious new woman who
moves into Wildfell Hall, and the man
who falls head over heels in love with
her. And I mustn’t forget the shocking
behaviour of the man she decided to
marry before all this ever happened.
That was a bad move. I guess it’s true
what they say: love is blind.
Next term, we move on to a
novel about the first world war,
Regeneration, and we finish the year
with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Have your
stakes at the ready!
Indre Kusleikaite, 10W
You are what
you eat
George Mitchell School is
Healthy Schools Status and we
need your help.
We all know that we should cut
down on our intake of sugar, salt and
harmful fats and increase our intake
of fruits, vegetables and oily fish. We
know that we should eat a balanced
diet starting with a healthy breakfast.
We understand that mornings can
be a chaotic time for busy working
mums, dads and carers. Are you aware
that George Mitchell School runs a
breakfast club where students can
buy healthy food, read the national
newspapers and watch the news on
our plasma screen TV?
Our school is proudly multi-cultural:
our families have roots that spread
around the globe and we would like
you to share with us some of your
traditional recipes. We want to print a
George Mitchell healthy school recipe
pamphlet and highlight some of your
recipes in future editions of GMT.
If you are interested in helping
the school achieve Healthy Schools
Status please send us the recipe of
your favourite healthy dish (a main or
dessert course). You may send your
recipes by letter, email (pat.rantell@ or of course students
can hand deliver recipes to the school
well, and what could be improved.
Students were full of praise for the way they are given the
chance to develop leadership skills and to play a big role in
the running of the school, and the vast majority of students felt
their opinions were sought, respected and used to improve
all aspects of school life. They also had lots of positive things
to say about the opportunities they get to use and experience
ICT across the curriculum to help their learning, and they were
equally positive about the sheer number and range of extracurricular activitites. Lastly, most students felt the school works
hard to achieve high levels of attendance and punctuality.
Students told us we need to do more to make ALL lessons
as fun and interactive as possible. They also said that some
parents would like to have more contact with their child’s
subject teachers - whether things are going well or not so well.
Rewards were something else they said could be improved not all staff were taking every opportunity to celebrate student
achievement as much as they could. Lastly, although students
appreciate the work that has been done to make the school
more attractive, they wish it could all be kept that way.
Karishma and Antoinette, 9G
Healthy Schools representatives
Learning to Learn
This term students in Years
7, 8 and 9 have been following
a programme called “Learn to
For one lesson a fortnight, they
reflect on their own learning, helping
them to improve in every subject. This
term, Year 7 and 8 have designed their
own ideal learning space, while Year 9
have been looking at how the brain
works, and how to keep it healthy
with good food, exercise, relaxation
and mental stimulation.
Sheila James
LRC Manager
Counting your losses?
The Stock Market Challenge
Business Studies FLO has kicked
off to a spectacular start with
10 teams vying for the winning
The Stock Market Challenge is a
UK wide investment game where the
students, in groups of four, choose
and monitor a portfolio of 10 different
stocks. The aim is to be the group that
earns the most money by February
28, 2007.
The prize for the winning team in
the UK is an all-expenses paid trip to
New York! And there are also George
Visit GM online at
Mitchell based prizes for the best
performing portfolio as well as for
the group that does the best job at
tracking and monitoring their stocks
throughout the competition!
At the time of writing, the Year
11 team (James Steadman, Ali Kutlu,
Craig Hare and Nathan Billings)
have a slight lead, but everyone else
(including me!) are not very far behind
– so watch out!
Good luck to all the teams!
Christine Jaeggi
Business Studies Department
GM Sporting Times
At George Mitchell school we
believe that physical education
has an important part to play in
maintaining a healthy life style.
Our hope is that students will
continue to take part in sporting
lifetime. The physical education
curriculum offers a wide range
of experiences. Students follow
courses in all of the major winter
and summer games along with
gymnastics, dance and fitness.
We are pleased to announce that
the school has recently received
funding to build a climbing wall
allowing us to add outdoor activities
to our curriculum offer. A big thank
you to Miss Kirwin for securing the
funding and organising the build.
We always value the views and
support of our parents: as you know
the physical education department
engages in many after school
activities. Are you interested in helping
a member of staff run a club? Are you
a keen footballer or cricketer; do you
have any knowledge of, for example,
aerobics? Do you hold any sporting
Even if your answer to these
questions is no, can you think of any
sporting activities that you think would
benefit our students?
Your views are important to us and
you can contact the curriculum leader
of the physical education department
by phone, e-mail ([email protected]. or letter.
Joanne Tiddy
Curriculum Leader for PE
The new climbing wall
Junior Girls’ Football Team off
to a Winning Start!
Girls’ Clubs
Christine Jaeggi
Junior Girls Football Team coach
The numbers of students attending
clubs now exceeds 50. As a direct
result of this improvement, we have
two netball teams in the league (Years
7 and 9) and a junior ladies’ football
team. We are also delighted to
announce that the aerobics club has
taken on a new focus and has been
renamed ‘Aerobics and Ballet Fusion’
which Jenny Yue, an ex George
Mitchell student, will now be taking.
Girls’ clubs have been a resounding
With two months of training under success so far this year. We have been
their belts, the Junior Girls’ Football running netball club, football club and
Team is off to a winning start. aerobics club. And, of course, table
Competing in the Waltham Forest Girls’ tennis runs weekly where girls and
Football League
at Leyton Orient
after school, the
GM ladies already
have 2 wins to
their name and
are in 2nd place
in their division.
Shanice Edwards
(2 goals), Irene
goal) and Team
Wilson (1 goal).
The Junior Girls’ Football Team
Good luck with
the rest of the season ladies!
boys play against each other.
Boys’ Clubs
We continue to run teams in football
and basketball. The Year 7 and 8 boys’
team has played 2 basketball matches
this term. They lost one and drew the
other. It will be a win next!
Basketball has really kicked off at
George Mitchell. There are 3 teams
in the league who have all played
well up to now. This is down to the
team managers (Mr Marshall and Mr
Calitz) and ‘Coach’, Dave Lavinier from
Eastside Eagles.
Our facilities have trebled with the
outside basketball
hoops and the
electronic digital
scoreboard. It is
great to see the
students making
use of them.
Are you at
Basketball with
Hendrik Calitz
School Sports
Stop Press!!
Sadaq Mohammed in Y11 has won
the Jack Petchey Award. He was
nominated for his commitment to
school and community sports. His achievements in school include
playing for the teams, being involved
with coaching younger students and
representing George Mitchell at an
Olympic Youth Ambassador Launch.
Outside school, Sadaq is a regular
attender of the after school clubs at
SCORE and has also achieved the
Sports Leaders Award run by the
Youth Sport Trust.
He has chosen to spend £300 on a
new basketball kit and new basketballs.
We thank Sadaq for his donation and
congratulate him on his commitment
to sport. Well done Sadaq.
Joanne Tiddy
Curriculum Leader for PE