Inspiring Visits from Alumni

During Autumn Term our psychology teacher invited one of her ex-students, Emily Scott, to give a talk to our A Level Psychology students about study skills and life after Padworth. Emily was an enthusiastic speaker who shared her academic experiences and she gave the students lots of exam and revision tips. She was asked different types of questions related to particular study skills and her ability to cope with academic pressures. After the talk to the psychology students, Emily visited an A Level Economics lesson and also shared interesting study tips and revealed ways in which students can increase their academic confidence.

A lot of students who were here last year were very happy to see Emily and ask her about life outside Padworth. It was a lovely visit and we wish her ‘Good luck’ with her gap year and the next academic year when she is going to study Psychology at Winchester University.

In addition to Emily’s visit, we had another ex-student visiting Padworth. Robin Ajayi was a Business Foundation student last year and he gave a talk to this year’s students about Law projects and how to cope with academic pressures. Robyn is studying Accounting and Finances at Oxford Brookes and he was extremely pleased to be back and see his ex-teachers and friends.

These two visits were inspirational and useful, adding to a long list of alumni who return to Padworth and find the same warm familiarity while studying here.

Manga Workshop@Padworth

Last term we held a Manga workshop at our school. Steph O’Brien, an experienced British manga artist, helped our students. Steph taught us how to draw a basic manga figure and showed us different techniques for drawing eyes, from Pokémon eyes to Disney eyes. She even taught us how to draw her signature eye shape! Steph O’Brien also talked about her job as a mangaka (author of Manga) and showed us her some of her sketches of the current manga she’s making. Personally, I struggle a lot with hand shapes, but now, I can draw basic hands with ease. I also enjoyed the short stories we made with the story cubes. I think it’s very unique that we get to draw Manga at Padworth since most schools don’t accept it as “Art”.

 

By Jessica Crabbe, Year 9 student

Landmark Challenge (Year 9, E2 and E3 students)

Last week saw this term’s UK Landmark Challenge winner announced. E3 student Mommam received a landmark for an excellent piece of writing which meant that he finished the term with six. In second place was Chaiwat with five and Carrie finished third with four.

David, Ali, Kate and Cathryn would like to thank all the students for their hard work during this term and look forward to starting the European Landmark Challenge in January 2018!

Raising Money for the WaterBridge Outreach Charity

On Thursday the 23 November 2017, we, the four members of Access, organised a book sale with the main aim of raising money for the WaterBridge Outreach charity. In the weeks leading up to the event, we carried out primary research which helped us to cement our ideas. Teachers and students showed their support for the event by donating good quality books, DVDs and other gifts.

As a result of everybody’s hard work, we were able to provide fun games and activities such as bagatelle, pin the tail on the donkey, guess the number of sweets in the jar and there was also a lucky dip. In addition to that, we offered a range of refreshments to buy; such as apple juice; freshly made popcorn; homemade pizza swirls and cupcakes.

After setting up the place and assigning different roles to each member, we were ready for things to begin. Many students and staff came along and supported the event by buying books, greetings cards and bookmarks and by taking part in the different activities offered. We were really pleased that the event went so well and that we raised a good sum for the cause we chose.

Special thanks to Cathryn Shakeshaft and Judith Palka for their help in organising the event and providing the food.

By Abiola, Andrew, Kaydee and Savva

Fundraising Club supports Epilepsy Research

In our Fundraising Club students present charities they would like to support and then vote on a charity they would like to support for the term. A couple of students have a personal interest in Epilepsy Research (https://www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk/) and that is the chosen charity for this term. The teacher acts as facilitator to guide the students to allow them to work independently.

On 9 November 2017 the students held a Plank Off to support the charity Epilepsy Research and raised £13.50. The students learned a lot and afterwards had many ideas on what they would do differently next time.

Over the last few weeks we made Christmas snowflake decorations to sell at the Christmas@Padworth event which took place yesterday. The students sold the snowflake tree decorations successfully and held a Christmas competition with a prize for the funniest/best outfit organised by Karina to raise further funds for the Epilepsy Research.

We look forward to seeing exciting initiatives of our Fundraising Club in the new year 2018.

Aldermaston Primary School visited us

A group of Year 3 students from Aldermaston Primary School visited us for an afternoon of activities. After arriving and being welcomed by John, our Principal, the students listened to tales read by students from Mexico, Thailand and China before answering fun questions on the stories.

After this, the students had to put together a jigsaw puzzle which gave them the first clue in a treasure hunt around our grounds. They then worked in small groups to answer questions, have phrases translated and collect certain items to complete the hunt. When all the groups had finished they were offered a delicious combination of apple juice and home-made cookies provided by Amit, our Head Chef, and his team.

Thanks to Carrie, Chaiwat, Emi and Nathanael for their help during the visit. We look forward to our next collaboration with Aldermaston Primary School in the new year.

Students exploring Winchester

To help bring history, English literature and British Culture to life, our students spent the day in Winchester. Kate Flack gave an excellent tour of the city which included the many historical sites and buildings with literary links. The students visited Winchester Cathedral and marvelled at its size, incredible architecture and cultural significance. After a brief break for lunch, the students then followed the River Itchen round to the City Mill where they read about its history and enjoyed the hands on activities available. Following this, a number of postcards were purchased, written and then sent to members of staff at the school! Although tired after all the walking, the students had a thoroughly enjoyable day out in the beautiful city of Winchester.

World Philosophy Day

By celebrating World Philosophy Day each year, on the third Thursday of November, UNESCO underlines the enduring value of philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and for each individual.

As some may know, the Year 9 English group had recently gone on an excursion to Reading boys school to take part in the BBAs. First, what are the BBAs? The BBAs stand for Berkshire Book Awards and it’s a children’s book contest. Unlike other book awards (like the Carnegie Award) where all the judges who vote for the best books are librarians, the BBAs is voted by children from the ages of 9-14. Every year there is a host which explains the book awards and the pros and cons of being an author. The 2018 BBAs was hosted by Ali Sparkes, a popular children’s author who has written many books for children aged from 10+. At the beginning of her presentation, Sparkes talked about how she couldn’t read very well. Her KS1 teachers had taught young Sparkes the alphabet, however, they had done it in such a way that she still had no idea what she was reading. Although she couldn’t read very well, she had gotten into reading books by Enid Blyton (she had written Malory Towers, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven). That was the start of her passion for writing exciting childrens novels. Now that she’s a renowned author, she had given a few tips on becoming an author.

Firstly:

  • Try to make your first sentence of your story as interesting as possible. Do this to catch your readers eye
  • Be persistent! Never give up trying to publish your books if you think that your story is extraordinary
  • Accept rejection. It took Sparkes roughly 4 years before she published her first book.
  • Keep your audience in mind – if you’re writing for children make sure you keep your sentences rather short and punctual, and if you’re writing adult fiction, remember to write more complex sentences laced with figurative speech

Remember these tips to improve your writing!

Written by Jessica Crabbe, Year 9

Celebrating Remembrance Day

Students and teachers listened to a selection of poems and extracts from books at the weekly assembly on the horrors of war. Volunteers from across the school read poems  by poets from many different nations including Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Laurence Binyon, Marie Luise Kaschnitz, Mary Wedderburn Cannan, and Kenny Martin. Readings included extracts from “Birdsong” by Sebastian Faulkes, “Toby’s Room” by Pat Barker and “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque. One of the students talked about the history of the poppy prior to the Head Girl ending the readings with the well known poem “On Flanders Field” by John McRae.

Students teaching languages and cultural awareness

To celebrate European Languages Day, a group of Year 9-11 students from China, Thailand, Mexico and Japan visited The Willink School (in Burghfield Common) for the morning to run a series of language workshops for their Year 7.  The Willink students were taught greetings, colours, animals and numbers and a little bit about the four different cultures.  It was a joy to see how enthusiastically our students interacted with the students from the Willink School and how their language taster sessions engaged the younger students’ interest and attention.  Everybody involved learnt a great deal from the visit and we look forward to develop further our links with local schools.