PGL Windmill Hill 2017


Years 3, 4 and 5 had a wonderful PGL stay last weekend. They fenced, climbed, leapt, built, swam, crawled, and zipped their way to exhaustion over two and a half days. Everyone was magnificent.
The group was led by a brilliant centre leader who fortunately had enough enthusiasm and verve for 10 people, which suited Mrs Clark and Mrs Koike who were definitely flagging by Sunday afternoon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

All our pupils took everything in their stride with a smile and a skip. We had different stars who knew that some activities, like climbing, trapeze, the giant swing and the zip wire were going to be a big challenge for them. All of them stepped up however, and by the end of the weekend had succeeded at facing their fears. We were proud of all of them and the courage it needed to jump off the zip wire tower, or climb a 40 foot wall or drop 30 feet in the air and swing.

While some overcame their fear of heights to climb the zip wire tower and look out over the edge, others pushed their limits to zip down the wire and enjoyed it so much that they did it again! One pupil was determined to climb to the top of the trapeze pole only to realise that he now had to come down! It took him a while but eventually he gathered his courage and pushed off the platform. Although very apprehensive, another pupil made a quick decision at the top and flew off on to the bar of the trapeze. What courage!

 

Our youngest three, were among the most intrepid with one using her dance skills on the challenge course to carry a cup full of stones on her head on the balance beam and was a very supportive partner on the giant swing.

Another pupil used his listening skills to enable him to dig deep and achieve far more than he had anticipated, improving on every activity! Others displayed different talents with some providing entertainment with their general enthusiasm and others showing that a ‘can do’ attitude can spread to everything whether the activities involved water, heights or problem solving.

To anyone who will listen, Mrs Clark and Mrs Koike have said what a fantastic time they had and how they are looking forward to 2018!

Jaguar Land Rover

In June, our Business Studies and Geography students traveled by coach up the M42 to the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Solihull.

The plant is a small village in itself, comprising shops, restaurants, a medical centre and a bank.
The main focus of the outing was the use of machinery and robots in the manufacture of the Range Rover car, and the impact this has had on sectors of industry within the UK. For example, robots are far more accurate than humans and they can work faster and without the need for a break. This increases the productive efficiency of the company and means that the original plant workers have had to be retrained to do jobs in other areas.The final stage of quality control is still manned by real people, though. The interesting anecdote to support this was the imprint of poor ‘Freddie the Fly’ who had been caught in the aluminium press one doomed summer’s day. There are 60 sheets which slipped through the net before the mistake was spotted. As a result, the metal panels now have to be checked under fluorescent lighting with keen eyes, to make sure the owners of these very expensive vehicles are not getting an unwanted pattern on the bonnet!

 

 

We learned how the staff are treated by the company to ensure they are motivated and happy, such as asking the workers to come up with improvement ideas, something they are well placed to do as they are at the working end of the business. If the change is implemented 10% of any money generated as a result goes to the said employee.

 

Our students were fully engaged in the processes and the tour guides’ recollections.
This was a long day, but well worth it for the insights into the world of work elements of both the Business and Geography syllabuses.

 

Moon Hall reaches out!

Years 7 and 8 pupils at Moon Hall were so horrified by the recent terror attacks in the UK that they wanted those that had been affected by the loss or serious injury of a loved one, been a witness to a terror event, or affected from the after effects of others who were involved e.g. taxi drivers, to know that they are not alone and that people are thinking of them.
In their PSHE class the pupils discussed what ‘empathy’ meant and how these events can have a rippling effect on so many for years. The pupils were asked to meditate on either a place where they feel happy and content, an object or things that makes them smile or an experience that brings them joy, peace, calm or tranquility. From this they were then asked to draw what came to mind for each one of them personally.

The resulting pictures and emotive words were both beautiful and moving and are to be sent to Victim Support Manchester where it is hoped that they will help lift the spirits, particularly of those of a similar age to the Moon Hall pupils.

To support the younger pupils, a mufti day was held and 4 of the school’s Yr 10 pupils organised a Manchester Charity Cake Sale, with all money going to the Red Cross for victims affected by terror attacks.

Moon Hall is proud that their pupils recognise that there are always ways in which they can reach out to people.

Year 6 climb to the top!

Our Yr 6 pupils recently scaled the heights in a thrilling five days at the PGL Centre at Marchant Hill, Beacon Hill, near Hindhead. They made the most testing of tasks look straightforward as they attacked every challenge put before them with courage, zest and enthusiasm.

The activities included the usual mixture of rock climbing, abseiling and ladder climbing towers. The year group showed no compunction about conquering their own ‘Everests’ in a sustained display of joyful defiance and exuberance. Under the guidance of a most experienced PGL hand in our Mrs Koike, plus the well trained encouragement given out by a series of superb activity leaders, the children succeeded in every activity.

Our pupils showed attributes that we are deservedly proud of; a sense of enjoyment and wonderful climbing skills. Courage and doggedness were displayed as one pupil,
never to shirk a challenge, got stuck (literally!) into the mud challenge, placidly resigning himself to the fact that he would be plastered in cold, muddy water while crawling on his stomach underneath wire meshing.

Intelligence and grit got others through the hardest tasks that PGL could offer, while others never became flustered nor appeared apprehensive and encouraged the more nervous of the group when the towers appeared sheer, intimidating and impossible to climb.

All of our pupils came back having achieved their individual challenges – well done to all.

Mr Cattanach
Junior school teacher

Maths Cafe

 

 

 

Our Maths Café was open today for business as our Year 7 pupils used their everyday applied maths skills to sell cakes and juice to our junior and senior pupils. Prior to opening the pupils had to design menus and create a pricing structure for the food and drink and develop an appropriate marketing strategy. In addition they provided waiter/waitress service at tables and a strict seating system was observed. Year 7s will now work on the accounting aspect of their proceeds. This will lead to a charity of their choice receiving any profits made.

Geography Trip to Queen Elizabeth 2 Olympic Park

After a postponement because of torrential rain, the Geography trip for Year 10 went ahead this week. We travelled to the park using several different transport methods including the DLR – a driverless train. Accompanied by Ms Mackie, who previously worked as a Landscape Architect on the site, we went to the park to carry out an investigation into its sustainability (a real Geography buzzword at the moment!). The students conducted themselves really well and worked hard carrying out surveys and more challengingly questionnaires. This was a great opportunity for our pupils to gain confidence and experience talking to members of the public and they all rose to the challenge. A highlight of the day was ascending the AcelorMittal Orbit tower- a great place to observe the changes and on-going development of the area. There were 455 steps to walk down as we all chose not to take the 40 second, 15MPH slide down – in parts it appeared to be vertical! It was worth the walk as we spotted a huge birds nest tucked into the structure of the tower.

 
A final excitement was another aspect of a trip to London – ‘celeb’ spotting. Not exactly David Beckham or a member of 1D, but we saw the actor Don Warrington who is currently appearing in ‘Death in Paradise’. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get an interview with him!

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs Mills – Head of Geography
Ms Mackie

Battlefield Trip 2017

After a very early start (4.00!), we took all of Year 9 and three very brave parents on our trip to the battle fields of the Somme. The weather was glorious and yet again the sun shone for us.

It was a long day but much enjoyed by all of us. We visited numerous cemeteries and battlefields and were told story after story by our fabulous guide Andy. He had photographs of soldiers who had lost their lives and was able to bring these stories alive for our students. Although I have been on this trip many times even I was enthralled by Andy’s knowledge and ability to captivate our students.

What was especially moving was our visit to a cemetery where all the graves were from the same regiment. This helped to make the students understand just how terrible the First World War actually was.

We finally arrived back at school by 22.10 exhausted but full of the stories of the day.It was a fantastic trip which I look forward to repeating next year. Many thanks to Year 9 for being so enthusiastic and an absolute credit to the school and their parents. Also thank you to the parents who came with us and to Mrs Loder for accompanying us.

Mrs Hadley Head of History

Science Week

As it’s Science Week we had a Science themed assembly. Mr.Dennis from the Science department and a number of senior pupils started the day with a bang, carrying out various experiments. This included a hair raising experiment using the Van der Graaf generator and igniting hydrogen and ethanol.

We also had a demonstration by Mr.Dennis of Force = mass x acceleration and energy transfer by the breaking of wood, roof tiles and breeze blocks. Mr Dennis is a 7th Dan black belt in Taekwon-do, ranked 20th in GB and we are extremely fortunate having him run our afterschool Taekwon-do club.

Art trip to the Tate

The Year 10 GCSE Art and Design students are just about to embark on their second unit of coursework, titled ‘Interiors and Exteriors’.  This unit will form an important part of their GCSE portfolio and in order to make a positive start on their project work, the students were taken to the Tate Modern for the day.  This trip was designed to provide a wealth of visual stimulation, photographing structures such as the Millennium Bridge, moving and static vehicles, street scenes showing perspective, looking at architectural details and of course viewing some of the exhibits within the gallery itself.

The Year 10s were clearly on task from the very start, cameras were out by the time we reached Three Bridges Station and the students used every opportunity to photograph a wide range of visual imagery.  Luckily the weather not only remained dry, but the sun shone down on us for much of the day – resulting in some excellent photography which we hope to exhibit later in the academic year.

The students also toured the interior of the building, working their way around the gallery in small groups, taking notes and using their cameras to record information on selected exhibits.

Both Mrs Squire and I were hugely impressed with the positive attitude displayed by our students at all times.  They were an absolute delight to take out!

Junior School Assembly

 

Our junior school gave an informative assembly today as they presented their half term challenge. This cross curricular activity covered Science, History and Geography with Year 6 investigating Louis Pasteur and Sir Alexander Fleming, Year 5 discovering historical facts about Ancient Greece and Year 3 and 4 continuing the Ancient Greece theme but from a geographical viewpoint.

 

The assembly ended with an enthusiastic display of Greek dancing led by Mrs Clark!