National Justice Museum

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Year 9 Excellence Academy pupils had a day at the National Justice Museum, Nottingham.

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They acted out a court scenario from a real case from a few years back taking on roles such a judge, barrister and the witnesses. The pupils took these roles very seriously and it seems that we have a few pupils who would suit a career in law. A very informative day looking at the old justice system and how it has changed over the years.  

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A huge well done

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The stars of the week for last half term are:

  • Hedoncrofte – Kara H – 40
  • Riseholme - Olivia T – 55
  • Sefholme – David T – 72
  • Sudtone – Nicole S – 67
  • Wawne – Kahlen W – 77

A huge well done to Kahlen who has been at the top of Wawne’s leader board 3 out of the 5 weeks!

Pupils who have won star of the week will be entered in to a prize draw to win x2 cinema vouchers to spend at a time of their choice. There are 3 lots up for grabs!

Each pupil who has won ‘star of the week’ will be entered. The more times you have won the more times chances you have to win.

The draw will take place on Wednesday 21st March and the 3 pupils who win will have their vouchers presented to them that day. 

Miss Mennell

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Sierra Leone visit

Our partnership began in October 2016 with a ‘Rivers of the World’ Project. Teachers from around the world united in the British Council building in London to discuss this project and how we could connect the classroom work of schools from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Nepal and many other ‘underprivileged’ schools across the globe. Inspired and enthused, we all shared ideas and engaged in collaborative planning to ensure all our pupils could begin their own enquiries across connected topics which all fed into the theme of rivers.

Soon after, Kathleen Guthrie (the Global Schools Coordinator) put us all in contact with our partner school teachers in the hope that we would further develop ideas and maintain contact, across classrooms, working towards agreed common aims.

As a result, pupils of Winifred Holtby and Albert Academy achieved their most successful collaborative piece to date: Rivers of the World. This piece was exhibited across classrooms in Sierra Leone and Hull; all pupils involved achieved phenomenal outcomes which are testament to their engagement and commitment throughout the collaborative global project. Not only were the pupils involved already over the moon with the fact their work had been exhibited around the world – but that they were part of a team chosen by myself to take part in the most prestigious group of artists at the academy. Showing pupils photographs of the schools in Sierra Leone completing similar lessons with huge smiles on their faces, despite being in a lot less-privileged setting, really made them think and embrace the culture.

Astounded, inspired and motivated by the phenomenal outcomes of the Rivers of the World Project, several teachers were invited to take part in a project which would enable them to take the partnerships formed to the next level and truly connect global classrooms.

In May 2017, the British Council launched their next project: Connecting Classrooms. Teachers engaged in a series of planning workshops which continually pushed our creativity and imagination to ensure we were able to offer our pupils additional outstanding learning experiences. We set targets and goals to become more experimental with the way in which we approach pupil learning.

Upon completion, the British Council explained a unique and incredibly exciting opportunity: Global Team Teaching. Teachers across Hull were given the chance to apply to travel to Sierra Leone and teach with colleagues across the globe with our partner schools. Once confirmed, the excitement continued to build alongside our ongoing collaboration of ideas.

In February 2018 the wait was over. A group of teachers from Hull travelled over to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Our main objective was to share ideas, experience and planning with our partnering schools. Throughout the time there we were warmly immersed in their culture and society. The hospitality was incredible; the staff at many schools that we visited joined us outside of the school time to show us not only how they plan and teach – but how they live and socialise.

Travelling to Sierra Leone required a little more than just jumping on an aeroplane. With no direct flights and the actual airport itself not being in Freetown (it is just outside in a town called Lungi), we knew this was going to be a trip to remember. Roughly twenty hours, three coaches, two flights and one very rocky boat trip later, we arrived at the hotel in thirty-three-degree heat.

After catching up on sleep, we were greeted by a group of extremely welcoming Sierra Leoneans who had planned a jam-packed welcome weekend to immerse us in their culture. Locals gave up their weekend and together we explored local museums, parks, churches and restaurants. We soon learnt that Freetown is one of the most exciting and energizing cities in the world. The atmosphere was electric: happy faces greeted us around every bustling corner. It is incomparable in the sense that we have nothing like it in England or Europe as every corner you turn feels like a new story or photo opportunity. The things we saw on a day to day basis was like watching a two-week long movie. The hospitality was tremendous.

You could tell that all they wanted was for us to return with a great experience of their city. The stories they told us about their city and the way in which they were just constantly happy to relive experiences about the good times and quite upsettingly the bad times, was amazing. Just after spending two days with this very warm and welcoming group of people, we knew this was going to be a fantastic trip.

After an amazing opening weekend, teachers from Hull all split up and travelled to various schools around the city of Freetown. I headed to Albert Academy: Winifred Holtby Academy’s partner and this is where I spent most of my week.

Albert Academy is an all-boys school at the base of Oriol mountain in the east of Freetown, with roughly 1200 pupils attending each day. The first couple of hours we walked around the Academy observing the way in which the Sierra Leoneans learn. It was very old school: chalk boards and crammed classrooms in all rooms. However, the passion and drive were infectious; an unbelievably unanimous desire to learn.

Pupils hung on to every word each teacher said. When a teacher explained something to the pupils, you could hear a pin drop. When the pupils were writing down answers their hands would fly in the air when complete to show they were ready to move on. The atmosphere around the school was tangible as all pupils really were just trying 110%.

Pupils were so eager to learn about our culture in the UK: question after question was fired my way- pupils inquisitive and eager to learn about all aspects of British life, although football proved to be the most popular topic of debate. Just before I left for Sierra Leone the overwhelming generosity of pupils, staff and teachers of Winifred Holtby, alongside Tiger’s Trust, shone through. I received parcels packed with equipment, cleaning products and clothing. The faces of the pupils- and adults- as I revealed over seventy Hull football and rugby shirts was incredible. They were so grateful and they threw the shirts on instantly.

Other than wandering around the classrooms and getting to know the pupils and teachers, the time I spent there was mostly in the art classroom and in the staff room when the group projects got a little large. The pupils were so grateful to get the package we put together. We took paper, pencils, watercolours, paints, palettes and brushes. When we got to working we created a huge banner that will be put up in Winifred Holtby which incorporates the meeting of the two schools and the collaborative work we will continue with them. Thirty pupils were involved in this banner, and this was a similar group to the pupils that completed the rivers of the world poster a year ago.

As I left the school the drama department put on a huge display for me including a play all about the founding of Freetown. I have brought home many artefacts and souvenirs that the pupils have insisted on me bringing – so these will all be used in the future lessons at Winifred Holtby.

Throughout the week I did choose to go and visit other schools, I wanted to see the various teaching styles and the way in which the pupils were taught the crucial building blocks at primary school. The Bill Clinton primary school was a very small school in Allentown and teaches 4-year olds all the way up to 20-year olds. The school is split into four different buildings each around a 400 metre walk from one another. The pupils were fantastic here and all wanted to get involved in the drawing lesson we had later on in the day! Their timetables, just like Albert Academy, are split into different lessons, English, Maths etc just as an English school would teach a rounded curriculum. They would start the day with a huge singalong including religious songs, school songs and the national anthem. Explaining to the teachers there that we do not sing the national anthem before school did not go down well, they could not understand why!

The other school that I visited was Penn-Sped school for Autism. It is run by two fantastic leaders called Mary and Alice who have Sierra Leonean family but have lived in USA and England studying Psychology. They moved back to Sierra Leone to set up the first school for Autism. They explained the stigma surrounding Autism in Sierra Leone, which we found very difficult to hear of. However, we wholeheartedly respect and support the work that is being done to break this down. Along with the help of donations from the area, Mary and Alice have established a very well-structured, welcoming school which is currently home to 25 pupils – all with unique and challenging learning needs. Despite the obstacles that they face, all pupils were so happy. This school has been put together in the last four months and already has a waiting list of 200 pupils, so the owners are putting a huge push on the continuation of funding. They are putting together a football game with John Keita, the manager of Sierra Leone national team, facing off the east of the city versus the west of the city which already has got a huge following from the public of Freetown.

Seeing all three of the schools in action has given me a massive spring in my step about teaching and what we have achieved in the last few years at Winifred Holtby. The improvements that are needed to get our partner school where we are, are huge. The only thing we can do as a team is keep up the partnership and try to get as many departments involved as possible. I plan on keeping the link there for my remaining time in teaching and getting more teachers involved so hopefully they will one day catch us up as that is what the passion and drive of all the students deserve.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved in this partnership so far and look forward to seeing what we can achieve as we continue to work together.

Photographs and article by Joey O'Mara

Swimming competition

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WHA Team PE had the pleasure of hosting the Hull Active Schools Swimming competition this afternoon.
Well done to all that took part.

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Y10 Space Seminars

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Year 10 Excellence Academy pupils were off timetable today for 1 hour for a seminar masterclass session on space and physics.

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The winners of the rocket competition have been invited to the National Space Centre in March. Well done to everyone, you were all fantastic today working together in your teams, a credit to our Academy, our guest was well impressed with your efforts.

Year 7 Parent Consultation Evening

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Tuesday 27th February 2018 4.00pm – 7.00pm.

We would like to invite you to your child’s Parental Consultation Evening. This evening is an opportunity for you to discuss in detail your child’s current progress, attendance and attitude in each of their subject areas.

As this is the first time this year you have had the opportunity to talk to subject teachers, it is important that you make every effort to attend.  Success in Year 7 will underpin future academic success for your child at Winifred Holtby Academy.

An attendance certificate will also be issued.  If there are any ‘N’s recorded (no reason for absence), or 0’s (Unauthorised absence) you should see a member of the House team on the evening to clear up these unexplained absences.

Your child has been given an appointment sheet – please check that they are arranging appointments with their subject teachers, however, staff will make every effort to see you with or without appointments.

On arrival at the Academy please enter through the main entrance where you will be supplied with the ‘Pupil’s Progress report’. Academy prefects will be on hand throughout the evening to guide you.

If you have younger children, a fully staffed crèche will be available throughout the evening.

We look forward to meeting you on the evening.

Back To Ours Festival 2018

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During February half-term Winifred Holtby was once again packed full of families enjoying the incredible Back To Ours Festival as part of Hull’s City of Culture legacy programme. Funded by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Spirit of 2012, families were entertained with music, laughter and storytelling.

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First off they were treated to The magical, animated world of Claymation with two of Nick Park's best-loved films, Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Workshops included animation making their own Claymation character, helping chickens fly, attending flight school, becoming members of the Inventor’s Club and helping the scientists make fun contraptions.

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The Amazing Bubble Man amazed everyone with his unique show. From square bubbles, bubbles in bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, caterpillar bubbles and even people inside bubbles, The Amazing Bubble had the audience laughing and gasps of amazement from everyone. A colourful, loud and funny show ended our half term fun at Winifred Holtby.

We look forward to lots more events during the Back To Ours Festival 2018 programme.

Five shining stars

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Congratulations to the following pupils who are this week’s Star of the Week. Each pupil has gained the most achievement points in their Houses. All five are a credit to our Academy, enjoy the half term break.

Remember - the Star of the Week prize draw will take place at Easter, each Star will be entered into a prize draw to win some Cinema vouchers.

  • Hedoncrofte: Kara H – 135 
  • Riseholme: Roxy F – 221
  • Sefholme: Callum U – 49
  • Sudtone: Leia T – 39
  • Wawne: Kahlen W – 32