Nunnykirk News - Summer term 2010
Welcome to the Summer Edition of Nunnykirk News.
As ever, this term has been dominated by the demands of exams for our older pupils and we wish them well when their results arrive during the summer holidays. Much hard work has been visible in both Art and Photography, with the exhibitions filling the school and impressing visitors, staff, pupils and parents alike.
Our younger pupils have benefitted from enrichment activities linked to the curriculum, during a very successful Activity week and also on Mr Smith's Scottish Adventure.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish Mrs Bell a very happy Retirement and to thank her for everything that she has contributed to the school over the last 18 years. I would also like to thank Mrs Lewins for all her hard work at Nunnykirk -- she has been cooking food for your children for 24 years and we wish her well in her new job.
We are very proud that several of our Year 11 and 6th form pupils are leaving us to attend further education colleges and universities and we wish them success and happiness for the future. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on. Have a great summer.
On April 26th there was great excitement in the Junior classroom as the Living Eggs project arrived. The class monitored the 12 eggs closely making sure they were kept at the right temperature, on Wednesday morning we were greeted with chirping eggs, which could be heard around the classroom.
We didn’t have to wait long for our new arrivals as the first one hatched at 11:10am, and by 9:30 the following morning we had 12 new arrivals. The pupils have loved feeding and handling the chicks. All the pupils have been fascinated by the way the chicks have grown, and astounded that at a week old they are already finding their wings.
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A NOTE FROM MATRON
This term the boarders and I have been building a dam in the river to create a pool for cooling off in on hotter days. It has been an activity greatly enjoyed by us all and inevitably involved a lot of getting wet (Mr G included as he waded in to help look for lost spectacles on one occasion!) The project demonstrated excellent team work as the different year groups worked alongside each other, sharing their ideas and working out solutions to problem areas. A very big well done! Praise also goes to our fishermen who have enjoyed success this term too. Their weekly trips to Fontburn have seen them bring back a record number of fish this season. The younger boarders have enjoyed Warhammer, and when not in battle, have equally enjoyed painting their armies. Next term we hope to get started on designing and building a scenery board for their battles. It has been met with much enthusiasm and they already have a catalogue of ideas. Other evening hobbies remaining popular this term include; woodwork, walking, photography/IT and archery. Sadly it is time to say farewell to our upper 6th Form boarders who are leaving us for pastures new. Our best wishes go with them.
The term started with Year 10 attending Broomley Grange activity centre near Stocksfield, this as part of Year 10 Skills Week. They took part in a day’s team building activities. This involved high wire courses, tunnels, zip wire, spider’s web and a blindfolded rope walk through a cold river! The students thoroughly enjoyed the day putting a great deal of effort in. This was proven by the very quiet sleepy bus trip back to school! Well done to Year 10.
Year 12 students Ian Cowan, Jake Cooper, Hannah Scott, Patrick Burman, Alex Simpson, Michael West and Oliver Hanney from Year 13 all completed their one hour of leadership coaching to gain their Sports Leadership Level 1 Certificate. This took place at Willowburn Sports Centre in Alnwick. Students coached swimming to pupils from first and middle schools in the Alnwick area. In addition Ross Sharkey and Andrew Bassarab from Year 13 have completed their Level 2 Award in Community Sports Leadership. They also completed their ten hours of leadership coaching in swimming at Willowburn Leisure Centre. Congratulations to all Sports Leadership students.
The Cricket Nets that were purchased last summer have now been permanently placed in their new home which is a concrete wicket next to the football field. The concrete has an all weather Astroturf wicket on top. Pupils will be able to practice their batting and bowling techniques in the nets for years to come using the new equipment also purchased last summer. Thanks to Mr Bowles for the back breaking work he has put in to clearing and concreting this area. Thanks also to the tall sixth formers who helped put the net on!
The annual School Swimming Gala took place on Monday 14th June at Willowburn Sports Centre in Alnwick. The usual strokes were featured with a new event featuring Year 10; this was the freestyle 50 metre race (2 lengths). All students who took part created an excellent atmosphere in which everyone within both teams was encouraged in their particular race or races. This provided for a keenly fought competitive gala with Coquet winning narrowly with 74 points to Wansbeck’s 66. Well done to all swimmers, a great advert for the school.
Twelve students went to the Wanderers Athletics event on Wednesday 16th June. This took place at Monkton Stadium in Jarrow. It was a beautiful hot day, much better than last year’s rainy conditions. Pupils competed in a variety of track and field events gaining 26 medals in total. Well done to the following pupils for their effort and commitment on the day; Lance Kerr, Oliver Kerr, Jonathon Docherty, Bradley Meadows, Dillon Anderson, Paul White-Smith, Ashley Hutchinson, George Stevens, Sacha O’Connor, Jake Augur, Molly McWilliams and Bradley Owen.
On Monday 5th July eight students attended the Wanderers Sportsfest 2010 at Monkwearmouth School in Sunderland. The pupils tried their hand at a variety of minority sports including fencing, Urban funk and Frisbee throwing. A great day was had by all.
Sports Day took place on Wednesday 7th July amidst some excellent sunny weather. Pupils competed in track and field events in the glorious conditions. It was an impressive sightseeing pupils busy competing in events or cheering on their fellow students. This contributed to a keenly fought Sports Day between the two houses. It all came down to the relay, with a winner takes all theme. Coquet won, so they were the overall victors with 114 points to Wansbeck’s 111. Patrick Burman won the 6th Form Challenge which was another very competitive competition. Overall this was a superb day with pupils, parents, staff and the good weather of course, producing a great atmosphere. Coquet win the Inter-House trophy and they also won the Swimming Gala trophy. Better luck next year Wansbeck! Well done to all pupils for their efforts in all this year’s sporting activities. We look forward to next year and to bring more sporting events to the school.
Year 12 and 13 students have completed their BTEC First Certificate in Construction they have been studying at Northumberland College every Wednesday during term time. Specialising in painting and decorating they have passed all the practical and theoretical units of the course to gain the Certificate. So congratulations go to Ian Cowan, Patrick Burman, Michael West, Alex Simpson, Ross Errington, Tom Glaister and Andrew Bassarab. Well done.
Orienteering at Bolam Lake
On Wednesday 30th June the eleven students involved in Activity Week participated in some Orienteering at Bolam Lake Country Park. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the twenties. Students were slightly apprehensive about the activity
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initially but soon got into the game of finding markers. Competing in three groups all completed the course in ninety minutes. Students commented on how they enjoyed the activity particularly hunting through the ‘jungle’ to find markers. One group even had time to indulge in some bird watching! So a good morning was had by all, aided by the fantastic weather. Well done to all students.
Belsay Hall – Extraordinary Measures Art Exhibition
On a glorious afternoon we visited Belsay Hall to view the Extraordinary Measures art exhibition which contained giant hyper-realist figure sculptures as well as miniature ‘artworlds’ scattered both in the buildings and around the grounds. There were
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huge wooden sculptures of running horses as well as a giant glass – mirror structure in the grounds. We had a very pleasant walk to the castle area via the beautiful grounds and gardens where we had time to have an ice cream and a drink! Some pupils brought their cameras along and will hopefully have some interesting images. All in all a very nice day out on a beautiful summers day.
Monday of Activity Week saw the sun shining and everyone heading for Druridge Bay Country Park. After a quick warm up and game of stuck-in-the-mud in the play park, the kids were divided into two teams, kitted out with gear and sent to the lakeshore, where the
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serious work of building started. Each team had 4 barrels, 6 poles and loads of rope to use. An hour (and much teamwork and debate over design) later, two beautiful crafts that any navy would be proud of, took to the water. The big raft race commenced! The aim; to paddle out into the lake, round a buoy and back to shore first. The long thin raft quickly took the lead over the wider, more stable one, and it looked a sure thing until, half way round, some of the crew mutinied and abandoned ship or fell off, giving the other raft the chance to slip past to victory.
It was a great day and was enjoyed by all who took part, including lots of folk just walking past who stopped to watch the fun. Thanks to Coquet Shorebase for running the activity.
Chillingham Castle and Ingram Valley
Thursday of Activity Week saw us heading off to Chillingham Castle after swimming at Alnwick. This castle never fails to entertain with its shabby and eclectic collection of antiques. The guns, swords and knives were of particular interest. We were given a tour by Dave, including a visit to the torture chamber and dungeon. Turning the lights out in the torture chamber resulted in some fun, but sadly no one saw any ghosts. We lunched on the lawns and then headed off to Ingram Valley where the pupils enjoyed plodging in the river and having ice cream before reluctantly heading back to school.
Chillingham Castle and Ingram Valley
Thursday of Activity Week saw us heading off to Chillingham Castle after swimming at Alnwick. This castle never fails to entertain with its shabby and eclectic collection of antiques. The guns, swords and knives were of particular interest. We were given a tour by Dave, including a visit to the torture
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chamber and dungeon. Turning the lights out in the torture chamber resulted in some fun, but sadly no one saw any ghosts. We lunched on the lawns and then headed off to Ingram Valley where the pupils enjoyed plodging in the river and having ice cream before reluctantly heading back to school.
On Tuesday of activities week we ventured over the water to the Beamish Museum for a day in the past with Drift mines, old colliery village life, trams, street life from the start of the last century and perfect ice creams. The weather was glorious and the students were perfect, just like the children of the time!
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The day dawned beautifully fine once again for the BBQ on the final day of Activity Week. This is a regular feature and over the years I can only remember one such day being postponed due to lack of co-operation from the weather. As well as the food, of which we all consumed terrific amounts, there were kites, games of cricket, the digging of enormous holes, sand dune surfing and a great many very wet people. I have been assured while asking pupils about their thoughts of the day that it was ‘absolutely fabulous’.
PGL DALGUISE (SCOTLAND)
Mr. Smith avoided injury this year and with 8 pupils spent a week in Dalguise on the PGL trip, all having a fantastic time. Lots of team work involved in raft building, Jacob’s Ladder, climbing wall, absailing, catwalk, rifle shooting, archery and the most popular being the ‘Leap of Faith’, i.e. jumping from 50 ft up a tree to a trapeze 6 feet away -- no problem for Mr. Smith of course. PS. Spain next year!
GYM - PHASE 2
Recent fund raising activities have enabled us to embark on Phase 2 of the gym extension. The gym has proved to be very popular as a lunch time activity and hopefully with this new extension we will be able to use it further in the evenings. Quite a few of the pupils have won various medals in weight lifting which is very pleasing to see, plus it is a welcome addition to the PE department.
This term has been mostly concerned with the art and photography final exhibitions. Once again the school was filled with artwork -- we had to use the cellar for some A level Art exhibitions as we had run out of wall space! The visiting moderators commented on
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the variety and quality of the work as well as the layout and presentation. All the students from years 11 through 13 were involved in some aspect of art or photography with many students working on both art and photography GCSE or A level courses. Well done to all the students for presenting their work so successfully.
Some of the Upper 6th students are moving on to study art or photography courses. Oliver Hanney has a place on an Art & Design Foundation Course at De Montfort University while Ross Sharkey and Tom Glaister are doing Diploma courses in Photography at Stevenson College, Edinburgh and at York College. Of course we wish them all the very best in their future learning.
SPORTS DAY BBQ
What a wonderful evening! The weather couldn’t have been better; the children were in fine fettle and the adults in the mood for relaxation and fun. Fighting on the bar over the pool proved as popular as last year and as wet, with water bombs being thrown enthusiastically by all. The food was excellent as ever (thank you cooks) and the additional entertainment provided by Plucking the Duck of Luck was quite unexpected. Mr. Smith’s circuit of games was again successful, as was the Go Kart driving on the field, the evening ended on another wet note with a free for all in the pool. Thanks to the PTA for organising the raffle and the tea and cake stall, both proved very popular.
GLENDALE COUNTRYSIDE DAY
The Juniors went to the Glendale Countryside Day on June 10th. They thoroughly enjoyed looking at and handling different animals, and watching the sheep dog display and the sheep being shorn. Another great hit was the skeletons of Chillingham Wild White Cattle which the pupils enjoyed handling and finding out information about. The day was rounded off with a Doddington’s Dairy Ice Cream which was thoroughly enjoyed despite the cold.
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty (SpLD), often inherited and is a lifelong condition. Dyslexia is much more than the traditional definition of ‘difficulty with words’ or ‘word blindness’.
Nunnykirk School is very happy to offer a taster day for any child with dyslexia whose parents are considering sending them to the school.
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