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Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven. I also had the opportunity to experience the Chinese education system and was very impressed with Beijing No. 20 School. The school is immense and I found that students are more disciplined, hard working and keen to be well educated. They are very competitive and allocate all available time to their studies.
However I did notice that students always felt tired and believed they did not have enough time with their families due to the long school hours. Students in the UK are less stressed and have more of a social life; however Chinese students are more advanced, especially in Maths and Science; therefore producing some of the best scientists and mathematicians in the world. The Chinese also believe that they should be unified; develop leadership qualities and learn how to be a team player. Students help teachers to prepare lessons, which students never do in this country, which also indicates their determination to learn.
I found the city to be immaculate and very safe to travel around in. The cost of travelling on the underground is much cheaper than the UK and the service was a lot more efficient.
Skills Show London 2015 We recently took a lovely group of Year 11 & 12 students to the Skills Show London 2015. This is London’s biggest jobs and careers event for 15 - 24 year olds and their families.
The show was packed with over 200 exhibitors providing information on over 45000 jobs. These included top employers, colleges, training providers and advisers. Our students had the opportunity to discover more about Apprenticeships and try their hand at demos; bringing the world of work to life.
There was also a wealth of independent careers information, advice and guidance.
The students were a credit to the school and all came out with bags of information and freebies. Even Mrs Smith and Mrs Sumray got in on the act with Tottenham Hotspur football club and the Army!
The visit began with an atmospheric evening crossing on the Sandbanks Ferry, followed by fish and chips!
On Friday there was a lot of worthwhile fieldwork to be done on the beaches of Swanage and Studland, along with a very interesting boat trip to Old Harry’s Rock.
Saturday was mostly dry, which was a blessing as we took a scenic trip in the mini bus over to Lulworth Cove. After a tour with a local ranger we reached the climax of our expedition; visiting Durdle Door!
Despite the incoming rain, this proved to be a highlight of the trip and much fun was had observing the ancient geological features of the area.... and throwing pebbles into the sea!
Frankenstein Trip On 25th November our Year 12 Literature students were pleasantly surprised, partly shocked yet totally enthralled by Danny Boyle’s stage production of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.
The trip was set up to establish the focus areas for each school. The areas are:
1. Gastronomy (food preparation).
2. Science (nutrition and the dietary needs we all have).
3. Ethics (fair trade issues and ethical standards in food manufacture and consumption).
A great deal of preparation had gone into the trip prior to the first meeting. The logistics and viability of this learning experience, right through to the financing, had all been tendered for by Mr Hawthorne.
The reputation that Mr Hawthorne has generated through his consistent enthusiasm and knowledge of the Comenius Project has been a major factor in Oaks Park gaining this wonderful opportunity and the staff who attended from Austria and Holland were full of praise for Mr Hawthorne’s effort and dedication over the years that the Comenius Project has been running. Without Mr Hawthorne’s reliability and reputation our students could have missed out on this chance to explore other cultures in Europe through the topics covered in food, science and ethics.
The school in Austria will focus on gastronomy; Oaks Park will focus on the science elements and the school in Holland will focus on ethics. Each school is expected to contribute to all focus areas and specialise in one of them. At Oaks Park the projects in Food Technology tackle issues of science and ethics as well as the primary learning function of food preparation and hygiene. There have been numerous opportunities for students to look at fair trade production in Geography lessons and the Science department has covered digestion and the needs of the human digestive system. Each of the departments within the school have fantastic cross-curricular links which support students’ knowledge in other subjects.
Over the next 18 months our students will have the opportunity to visit the other schools involved and pay host to the schools in the group. In October, HLW St Viet from Austria and Oaks Park High School visited Holland where they were taught the ethical issues with food production; in March 2016 Oaks Park students will travel to Austria with students from Reguis College Schagen, Holland and in October 2016 the schools from Holland and Austria will visit Oaks Park to learn about our focus area. A minimum of six students will participate In each of the visits and be accompanied by staff.
The students were able to challenge themselves on both the High Wires and Climbing Wall, which they all seemed to thoroughly enjoy. They were a real credit to Oaks Park High School and many came away excited about returning in the future.
Poetry Video Conference On Thursday 19th November a small group of Year 11 English students ember were chosen to take part in a Poetry Video Conference with J. Ivy and Broad Run High School in Virginia America. J. Ivy is a renowned Virginia, American performance poet, spoke word artist, recording artist and spoken author. He was also awarded a Grammy for his contribution with Jay Jay-Z on Kanye West's The College Dropout album.
The renowned artist’s new writing campaign called ‘Dear Father’ is based on his ‘Dear eponymous poem. In his memoir, Ivy deals with the pain of being abandoned by his father and growing up in a tough neighbourhood in Chicago’s South Side. The school campaign aims to get students to write letters to their own fathers to encourage them to connect with their fathers and families.
Year 11 students, both at Oaks Park and across the water in the US, created heartfelt and moving testaments to their family through their poems. Broad Run High School met students from Oaks Park via VC and discussed how influential Ivy was in inspiring them.
In November I attended an event at Imperial College London, where students who participated in the Nuffield Research Placement Scheme proudly displayed their achievements. This annual scheme gives students across the country the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Students apply in the autumn term and if successful, are tasked with.
carrying out a detailed scientific research project during the summer holidays.
The competition is tough - just 160 out of the 1,000 students who applied in the last round were offered a place, including two Oaks Park Year 13 Chemistry students - Tayyib Siddiqui and Rosie Parker.
Tayyib completed his placement at Queen Mary's University and researched ‘The Synthesis of Novel Manganese Complexes and Catalysis of Dye Bleaching by Hydrogen Peroxide’ under the supervision of Dye-Bleaching Dr Sheriff. Rosie was based in the Jeffery Lab at University College London and investigated t the question ‘Can Rats Dissociate Different Locations of Objects Using Specific Contexts?’
Cycle Reward Trip to Lee Valley Velopark On Monday 12th October 13 students and 2 m members of staff took a trip to the Lee Valley Velopark. This was a reward trip from London Borough of Redbridge for achieving 1st place in the Borough’s Big Pedal Scheme, which measures cycle use to and from school over a certain number of days.
When we arrived the students were given helmets and bikes for the first event of the day - mountain biking. There was a 10 minute briefing on rules and how to stay safe and then they were off - the students all had fun cycling round 5 miles of outstanding trails!
The students then returned to the hi centre to swap their bikes for road hire racers, which they used for an hour around the road circuit. They all agreed that this was much more fun than the mountain biking - probably because they could reach pretty high speeds!
When all the bikes and equipment had been returned we visited the Velodrome (which is the fastest track in the world) and watched the cyclists racing around the track whilst eating our lunch.
This was a fabulous trip and all the students enjoyed it immensely. Thank you to Mr Chapman, Mr s Quinn and Mrs Fage for their help during this trip and a big thank you also to everyone who cycled in during the Big Pedal - without your support, these trips wou not take place.
would The Travel Plan Team Senior Maths Challenge This term some of our sixth form students sat the Senior Maths Challenge (SMC). This is a nationally occurring event, run by UKMT and involves answering 25 multiple choice questions in 90 minutes. The top 10% of students nationally receive a gold certificate and this year they needed to obtain 82 or more marks out of a possible 125 to achieve this goal. The next 20% or students (achieving 65 – 81 marks) t received a silver certificate and the next 30% (obtaining 50 – 64 marks) received a bronze certificate.
Well done to everyone involved - an outstanding effort!
Senior Maths Team Challenge On 18th November, Vytene Janiukstyte (13E), Stefan Robert Chajee (13R), Kiran Mann (12L) and Luke Dodd (12L)all represented Oaks Park in the Senior Team Maths Challenge(STMC) at Queen Mary’s Octagon room. The STMC is a competition which tests mathematical, communication and teamwork skills. With a range of school from across East London our team competed across three rounds.
Our students worked hard; however they unfortunately didn’t make it through to the next round. On the day their marker described them as some of the most enthusiastic maths students they had met ibed enthusiastic and said that they were pleased to see young people so happy to be working hard on maths problems.
The Team created small groups made up of both Year 13 and Year 12 students. E Each group thought of an idea for an activity and successfully planned, advertised and executed it throughout the whole
school during the Children in Need week These activities included:
A delicious bake sale took place, selling over 300 sweet treats in an hour. Teachers described the excitement of the bake sale as ‘a mad house with cake.’
Sports Awards Evening We started off the year with our annual Sports Awards Evening, in recognition of student achievement in various sports over the previous year.
We were very lucky this year to have our special guest JJ Jedege, a Great re Britain Long Jumper join us. He gave a very motivational and interesting speech and also presented the awards. JJ also worked with some of our PE students this term.
Cross Country 2015 This year’s Cross Country saw Oaks Park achieve some fantastic results. Every student gave their all and were a credit to the school. Particularly good individual results were: Mungo Prior - 1st, Petar Maljenovic 9th, Tamia Mullaney Downer 10th, Ergest Kraja 4th, George Montgomery 13th, Craig Jeakins 4th, Jordan Burnett-Quarry 7th, Ishmail Raymond 8th and Josh Hurst 9th.
The senior squad won the team event and Mungo Prior finished 1st in the Inter-Boys Competition. Both Boys will represent Redbridge in the County Championships in January 2016.
Girls Rugby The U13 Girls Rugby team has had a great first term; training weekly and attending development training sessions held by local rugby clubs. They have played 5 games so far and are going from strength to strength!
The girls first took on a big challenge in Robert Clack, who are well known for their strong sports teams.
Despite some great runs, Robert Clack came away with the victory. Next they played Boswells, a less experienced team but no less talented. It was a well fought game which saw some great tackles made;
however the team lost by just one try. The team recently took part in an emerging schools festival at Thurrock RFC where they were drawn in a pool with Robert Clack, St Clere’s & William Edwards.
They won their games against Robert Clack and William Edwards 20and 30-20, only to lose in the final minutes against St Clere’s 30We look forward to seeing how much the girls can progress over the next two terms!
For anyone in Years 7 or 8 interested in joining, training is held on Thursdays after school.
Cordelia Murugathas; Clio Goodwin (C); Iman Chekkour; Sophie Watkinson; Katie Clark; Ninuja Uthayakumar;
Chante Ramsay; Kushmeet Roopra; Tasfia Hannan; Natasha Thiyagaraja; Aecy Asemota; Roxie Smart.
Year 7/8 Indoor Athletics The Year 7 & 8 Indoor Athletics Teams have now competed in the first round of the Borough Championships. Overall, the Year 7 Girls finished 3rd; Year 7 Boys finished 8th; Year 8 Girls finished 3rd and Year 8 Boys finished 4th. All teams will take part in the next round, with the winning school going forward to represent Redbridge in the London finals.
Training for Indoor Athletics takes place every Tuesday morning from 7:45 – 8:15 am.
The Year 9 team lost their semi final match in a close game against Isaac Newton; however they should be very proud of their performance as they were playing teams a year older then themselves.