Friday 11 February 2022
Dear Parents and Carers,
For the first time in a long time I can begin by saying we currently have NO staff absent with Covid! What a great way to end the week! I am also pleased to report that the number of students affected is at an all-time low. This is wonderful news and long may it continue, however we must continue to remind our young people to maintain all the good habits we have embraced such as regular hand-washing before eating. The virus has not gone away.
This bulletin is a bumper edition; there will be no bulletin next week as we head into half term.
Students have now had a substantial period of time in school without the disruption of lockdown and bubbles. It is fair to say, this re-adjustment back into school life, with school rules and high expectations around learning at the fore, has not been easy for some students. Getting back into a routine and dealing with setbacks has been tough for some but they have had unstinting support from staff to overcome their problems.
For a great many students, their resilience is being boosted the longer they follow normal routines. This allows them to know where the boundaries are and how they can maximise their learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom. As we head into Spring, there will be further after-school activities offered, more events at school and more trips to enhance the curriculum! Education and time in school really does allow young people to flourish; it gives them so many opportunities to find what they’re great at! Please do continue to encourage your child to make the most of all we have on offer at AC!
Zero tolerance of swearing
I would be most grateful if you could remind your child that swearing in school will not be tolerated. If heard, students will be reprimanded and there may also be a sanction imposed. Thank you for your support in this matter – we wish to ensure the highest standards at all times.
Chinese New Year Celebrations
We celebrated the Year of the Tiger on Tuesday 1st February with lots of wonderful food, form time activities and a raffle for a cuddly tiger! Our Catering Team dressed up, decorated the canteen and devised a special Chinese menu which was a huge hit with students and staff!
The raffle for the tiger was drawn this Monday after raising over £140 for the Wai Yin Society (https://www.waiyin.org.uk). The tiger was won by Aimee L in 7.5!
We chose this charity as we have seen several students start at our school this year from Hong Kong as well as two members of our Catering Team. Mrs Chan (pictured below), who moved to the UK from the Yuen Long district of Hong Kong in October 2020, says this is her first job since moving and she is really enjoying it!
Mrs Chan says she finds English people very friendly and her boys are love their new school. They moved for a better education and future for her two boys.
The Wai Yin Society helped Mrs Chan and her family settle in the UK.
Mrs Casey (our Languages Lead) created a special presentation for Chinese New Year which was shown in all forms and this week brought in a group of Y6 pupils from Cloverlea Primary School to learn some Chinese and other languages in our first ‘Languages Mini Morn’! The mini linguists had a morning packed with activities; children left clutching paper dragons and being able to speak some words and phrases in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.
‘Dancing Round the World’ was a very popular activity and Mrs Casey would like to say a huge thank you to Miss Matthews and Lola B for leading the Flamenco extravaganza!
February is LGBTQ+ History month and this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the first Pride march in the UK. Over the Spring Term the LGBTQ+ Space have been looking at aspects of LGBTQ+ History; this has included chatting about our own Queer Icons from Michelle Visage to Alan Turing and the history of the Pride Flag.
To reflect that this anniversary is one on a continuing and often winding journey towards full equality, which has suffered many setbacks while still moving forwards, LGBTQ+ History took ‘the arc is long’ as their tagline, from Dr Martin Luther King Jnr’s quote “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice”. The LGBTQ+ Space who meet on Monday from 3.20-4.20pm in the SSC have looked at some aspects of that “arc”. The Year 7s, with support from the Year 9s, have put together a quiz which has been shared with the school. The Year 10 and 11 students looked at influential members of the LGBTQ+ community through history and looked for those who are still making history. From this they produced an assembly which was presented to Year 7 and 8 by the Year 10s and to the Year 11s by their peers.
Further information on LGBTQ+ History month is available here: https://lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk/
Student Leaders: Anti-Bullying and Well-Being
Before Christmas applications were accepted for our new Anti-Bullying and Wellbeing Leadership Teams. As part of the application process the students were challenged to look at this year’s theme for Children’s Mental Health Week “Growing Together” and develop a campaign that could be rolled out during that week (7th-13th February). With support from Miss Duffy, the Anti-Bullying and Wellbeing Leadership Teams developed the “Bee-lieve in Yourself” campaign. The teams submitted postcard designs and the winning design has been made into postcards. The postcards have been distributed across the school with staff and students encouraged to write a positive, uplifting message to a colleague, teacher or student and post it in the post-box created by the LGBTQ+ Space. The teams will then distribute the cards before half term.
The winning design is by Gabia B in Year 9.
The students are hoping that the postcards will encourage Altrincham College to grow together even more through words of support, appreciation and encouragement.
For more information on CMHW please visit https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/
Safer Internet Day
This week there have been several ‘themes’ we have been focussing on in school. Safer Internet Day was marked on Tuesday 8th February and Mr McWatt shared information with Form Tutors so that they could help students learn about this year’s message: ‘All fun and games? Exploring respect and relationships online’.
Each year in the UK, Safer Internet Day explores a new issue or theme which is impacting the lives of young people in the UK. For 2022 the Day celebrates young people’s role in creating a safer internet and the ways they are shaping the interactive entertainment spaces they are a part of. The platforms young people use are spaces for connection, community and collaboration, which is why the Day challenges them to foster supportive relationships and respectful communities, whilst equipping them with the skills they need to keep themselves and others safe in these spaces.
Message from our Computer Science/ICT Department:
Calling all budding entrepreneurs, digital artists, game creators, web designers and programmers!
This term the Computing and ICT department are introducing a new homework initiative for all students. We will be asking all students to register and begin a vocational qualification called the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA. This is an international award-winning programme that helps young people to develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free.
Through a series of online challenges, you can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry-recognised awards which will help you stand out from the crowd. You could choose from hundreds of challenges; for example, you could create and code your own game, create a website, develop an entrepreneurial idea or complete a course on on-line safety
To achieve the Bronze Award, a total of 250 points have to be earnt. To earn points, students have to complete badges, 5 to 10 points are awarded for each badge.
We would really like it if KS3 students could try and collect five badges by the end of the half term holiday!
Best of luck,
Mr McWatt and Mrs Osborne.
Katherine Johnson Award: Maths
The Maths Department launched the Katherine Johnson Award Competition this month. Katherine Johnson (seen below) was an African American Mathematician for NASA. She was a trailblazer for her time and the film ‘Hidden Figures’ was based on her career.
On 1st, 8th and 15th February, a NASA themed Maths problem will be released on ClassCharts for all students. All entries should be submitted to Mrs Oates (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Monday 28th February and the winner will receive an Amazon voucher!
Our recent fundraising event by Year 10 has taken place in school. Their “Own Clothes Day”, raised £144 for Macmillan Cancer Support! This is an amazing effort from students, showing how much they care about those facing serious illness. Well done to them and a huge thank you to their Head of Year and Form Tutors!
Upcoming Event Alert!
Here’s a message from Mr Madden, our Head of Music:
I am delighted to invite you to Live Lounge, a special occasion for students in Years 10 -13 to showcase their musical talents before a supportive audience of family, friends and teachers. You will hear a range of solo, duo and small-combo performances, many of which have been prepared by our GCSE and A-Level students as part of their performance coursework.
Live Lounge takes place on Thursday 3 March in the School Hall, starting at 6:00pm. The date of this event has been carefully chosen to avoid conflicting with mock examinations and the school production of “Bugsy Malone”.
There will be an interval when refreshments will be served, and we will have a collection in support of a nominated school charity.
The concert is expected to end around 8:00pm.
Please complete the online Microsoft Form linked below, indicating how many seats you wish to request. We are not selling tickets for this event (it is free of charge), but we do need to know how many audience members to expect.
This form must be submitted by 3.15pm on Thursday 17 February.
I look forward to welcoming you into school to celebrate the dedication and talent of our young musicians!
Did you see our recent Tweet? If not, please see below and celebrate Nicolas’ success with us! Many congratulations Nicolas – this is an amazing achievement!
A group of Year 11 students took part in a netball masterclass this week with former England netball international and head coach Tracey Neville MBE! The session, at Neston High, was to help the girls to develop their skills and advanced techniques. They really enjoyed meeting Tracey who inspired them with lots of helpful tips which they can put to practice in future games! Well done girls!
Y13 Art Student success
Our Sixth Form staff are Very Proud of Gemma D in Year 13, who has received a conditional offer for UAL (University of Arts, London) to study Textiles Design. UAL is ranked “second in the world” for Art & Design!! Well done Gemma!
Athletics Primary Event
A big thank you to Mr Stephenson and the Year 10 Challenge DFE students for the fantastic Primary Indoor Athletics event yesterday; it went brilliantly. The Y6 students loved it, and the Challenge students were outstanding - looking after and supervising the younger students. Well done!
The students pictured are Ronnie (left) and Malachi (right) in Year 10.
Department in Focus: Business Studies
Welcome to the Business Department at Altrincham College!
Business Studies at our school is one of the most popular subjects chosen by students at KS4 and KS5. Whether it is the GCSE option students decide to take or the recently reformed Cambridge technical qualification in our Sixth Form, students thoroughly enjoy gaining an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in local, national and international businesses. Students are encouraged to keep updated on the news, in particular on Business and Economic matters, as these truly bring content covered in the classroom to life through real world scenarios. To aid student interest in Business news we have introduced ‘Business news story of the week’. In two lessons every week we will cover relevant and engaging business stories with the class, followed by a brief discussion on the impact on the business, their competitors and their customers.
The Business Department consists of Mr Mahmood (Head of Department) who started with us in January, Miss Gilmartin and Mr Keegan. We are all keen enthusiasts when it comes to Business discussion in and out of the classroom! In light of some Covid restrictions being lifted, the Business Department has some exciting extra-curricular activities lined up in the coming months including the ‘Tenner Challenge’ where students put on their own Richard Branson hat and attempt to use their £10 investment to gain high returns and profits!
The department is will soon also be creating a weekly business podcast where our Sixth Form students broadcast some interesting business stories to the rest of the Altrincham College family.... watch this space!
Stars of the Week
Our student star of the Week this week is…. Arron S in Y11! Arron has shown wonderful resilience and determination with lots of sheer hard work and has achieved 98% in his Grade 6 Drum Exam (Trinity College London)! His drum teacher Chris Jopson says it’s the highest Distinction mark he’s ever known at that level… and it’s also officially worth 12 UCAS points! Well done Arron – we can’t wait to hear you play at our Live Lounge event in March – you are a star of the future!
Other nominees were: Xenon M (Y8), Aidan B (Y12), Freddie G (Y9), Amelie I (Y11), Miley M (Y7), Lola B (Y8), Chloe M (Y12) and Erin L (Y9). Many commendations from staff about these students – well done to all of them!
Staff Stars of the last two weeks were……Mrs Gigg (Science Technician) and Ms Greenhalgh (English)! Both members of staff were nominated by colleagues for their compassion and support – many congratulations!
I hope you have a wonderful half term! Don’t forget that FRIDAY 18TH FEB is an INSET day so students will break up on Thursday 17th February at the usual time.
Thank you for your continued support of our school!
Ms K Earle