Seasonal Greetings to you all!
Seasonal Greetings to you all!
Issue 11 GMT George Mitchell School Farmer Road Leyton 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 were extremely focused and 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, forestflava.org.uk, 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 heart.’ What a fantastic note on which to end the term! With best wishes for the New Year. Helen Jeffery Headteacher Students have tea at No 10 - Page 2 Strictly Community Magic - Page 4 Visit GM online at www.gmschool.co.uk 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 Edinburgh Awards 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 2 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 entertainment? 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 represented. 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 argue!). 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 professions. 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 forestflava.org.uk. 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 www.gmschool.co.uk in Our Shoes Shakespeare at Millfield 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 3 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 School. 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 months). 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 Blair. 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 Blair. 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’ MOVEMENT 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 crime campaign that 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 this. In June we went on an amazing residential weekend in Reading to complete our training with the Youth Act 4 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 forget”. 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. clubasiaonline.com). 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 Salon; • Miranda Grell, Councillor, London Borough of Waltham Forest (Leyton ward); • Mushtaq Lasharie, first Asian councillor in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; • Mariane Ala Pini, first black councillor in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; • Lord Nasir of Rotherham; and • 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 www.gmschool.co.uk Disability 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 action. 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 school. Val Stewart Assistant Headteacher 5 M A K E George Mitchell Launches National Enterprise Week YOUR MARK Whodunnit? 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 view. 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 deed! 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 6 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 Mehmood Publicity: Orange Halloween Ahmed Sharif, Nafees Haque Biscuit: Valentine Love - Arooj Safdar 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 Waltham Forest College Catering Department, for 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 company, Actorshop, but also of a handful of real-life entrepreneurs and successful adults who gave up their time to share their experiences: Martin Tye, ASL; Trevor Hensley, ClickView; David Lavinier, Eastside Eagles; Lesley Sheppard, Education Business 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 card. The levels of enthusiasm, 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: champions. The Olympians were: Grace Imwensi, Kerry Brewer, Alima Iqbal, Hassan Ahmed & Kazaf Akbar 10G 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 George Mitchell School is 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 College 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 George Mitchell has set up a Careers from Leyton VI College. I hope you Be enterprising and exhibit Message board, which has a Work find these assemblies informative entrepreneurial characteristics Experience 2007 forum. Everyone is and supportive for your future ideas. The team leader had to ensure all welcome to access this message board Please keep an eye out for our college tasks were delegated efficiently and and post questions and any advice entry, college route and open day carried out optimally. All companies you have to offer: www.gmcareers. information display. worked very hard and produced high proboards59.com 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.’ Challenge 2007 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 will be interviewing career paths that could be taken in students under 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… successful! Soniyah Khan The Olympians celebrating their success! Careers Coordinator Visit GM online at www.gmschool.co.uk 7 A Day in the Life of... Charlie Bushell Why did you choose to come to GM? 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 in? 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 twin! 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. 8 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 Bystander 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 school. 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 conflict. 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 Citizenship Ceremony 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? Years 8-10 have been 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 www.gmschool.co.uk modern world likes to paint. Later on in the term were Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam and the wellknown action/adventure Minority Report. 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 9 Cashing in on our success! 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 worked. 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 bien! 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… Félicitations! 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 October’s winners Sawtell’s groups only) (Miss 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! 10 Martin Spafford DIG! IT B l o o d Brothers 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 music. Students were particularly 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 Coordinator). The meeting started with a few speeches from the current youth ambassadors. One of them was part of the team that went to Singapore and convinced everyone that 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 www.gmschool.co.uk the Ade one was 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 to wheelchair basketball and with hard training he made the England Wheelchair 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, 7F With Ade Adepitan 11 A big thank you to all of the students who have volunteered their time to help younger students improve their reading skills. 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 Coordinator TWANG! 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 how. 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 12 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. Congratulations to Dawood 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 Waltham Forest has just launched its new youth website, www.forestflava.org.uk. Part 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 internet. 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 SPRING Term 2007: Wednesday 3rd January to Friday 30th March Wednesday 3rd January: School closed – Staff Training Day Thursday 4th January: Start of Spring Term – normal time Wednesday 31st January: Year 11 Academic Review Day Thursday 8th February: Best Practice Forum – early finish 12.25 pm SPRING HALF TERM: Monday 12th to Friday 16th February Wednesday 7th March: Best Practice Forum – early finish 12.25 pm Monday 12th – Friday 23rd March: Year 10s on Work Experience Thursday 22nd March: School closed – Staff Training Day Friday 23rd March: School closed – Staff Training Day Thursday 29th March: Tony has inspired us all to use fruit and vegetables scientifically, but please do not try this at home!! Visit GM online at www.gmschool.co.uk Years 7 – 9 Academic Review Day 13 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 experience! 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 immense. 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 be. 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. phoenixeducation.co.uk) and Libertarian Education (www. libed.org.uk). A renowned expert in Student Voice initiatives all over the world, David spoke about a number of schools, including the innovative Room 13 (www.room13scotland.com), a totally student-led and studentfinanced Art classroom in Scotland; the Tokyo Shure school for schoolrefusers in Japan (www.shure. or.jp); and the Butterflies programme for Street Children in Delhi (www. 14 butterflieschildrights.org). 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 Majid, Arthur Velavs, Daniel 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 BLOG 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 currently working towards 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@ sch.lbwf.gov.uk) or of course students can hand deliver recipes to the school office. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD GM students recently gave their verdict on what we are doing 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 Learn”. 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 prize. 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 www.gmschool.co.uk 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 15 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 activities throughout their 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 qualifications? 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]. gov.uk) or letter. Joanne Tiddy Curriculum Leader for PE The new climbing wall 16 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 every Tuesday after school, the GM ladies already have 2 wins to their name and are in 2nd place in their division. Leading goal scorers include Shanice Edwards (2 goals), Irene Nabakuuma (1 goal) and Team Captain Natalie 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 a loose end on Fridays after school? Basketball with ‘Coach’ until 4.30pm. Hendrik Calitz School Sports Coordinator 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
Building Schools for the Future
really supported each other through meeting with your bank manager. (particularly good as they were the the process – a positive experience The students were either lenders only students in for the...More information