Principal’s Blog – 10th July 2015

  • Science Enquiry
  • Year 11 Prom Image 1
  • Year 11 Prom Image 2
  • Year 11 Prom Image 3
  • Sports Day 2015 Image 1
  • Sports Day 2015 Image 2
  • Sports Day 2015 Image 3


Tomorrow’s scientists – today!

On Monday June 29th and July 6th Year 8 Science students presented the findings of their scientific enquiries to staff and parents and the range of topics was incredible. The students were able to show their understanding of issues such as cloning, DNA, space travel, telescopes, mobile phone technology and more! The winning entries from Davy were Millie Andrews for her project on DNA and the runner up was Ryan Inman for his explanation of the Hadron Collider. In Moore, Evie Sellars won – also for her project on DNA – and Frances Addinall was the runner up with a cloning presentation. Rebecca Farnell won the Innovation Prize for her fully functioning, jointed human hand that used wool tendons to move the fingers. Impressive stuff!

The Year 11 Prom – 2nd July 2015

This was the date for the first ever college-led Prom which was held at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster. What an evening! The students – as ever – did us proud and looked absolutely magnificent. Ten years ago most British schools didn’t have school proms – they probably had a simple school disco at the end of term. Disco – how that term dates me: usually the only people who talk about ‘discos’ are under 10 or over 50! Now, however, more than 85% of schools in Britain have a prom. For many young people – and their parents – a senior prom is a watershed event, a coming of age ceremony that separates the end of high school from whatever more worldly experience comes next. In both parents and adolescent there’s a desire to mark the occasion, to make it special, to make it memorable with the 4 grown up D’s – dating, dressing up, dining and dancing at a fancy, expensive, exciting celebration.

In the past, Minsthorpe students have organised an unofficial prom – but this year Ms Bourne wanted the college to organise an official Minsthorpe prom and to tie behaviour, attendance and attitude to learning to attendance through a Passport to the Prom. This was one way of ensuring that all of our Year 11 students were able to attend the prom by remaining focused and hardworking over the course of such a crucial year. It did exactly this and was a fantastic event. Many thanks to all of the Minsthorpe staff who attended the event and a very big thank you goes to Jane Bourne, Erica Patton and Janice Brooke for organising such a superb evening which has set the bar incredibly high for any future proms! Of course, there is always a danger that the event can become too stressful for students to actually enjoy – the need for the perfect date; the need to look one’s best; getting the coolest transport – sometimes the occasion can seem too important to entirely relax! For Year 10 parents who will be embarking on the preparations for the 2016 prom my advice for a satisfying prom is this: Keep the financial investment modest, the arrangements simple, the expectations moderate and the companionship focused on friendship. Then, not only will your son or daughter go to the ball – they will also remember the prom as one of their important rites of passage.

Sports Day – 3rd July 2015

Once again the Sports Day was a spectacle. It is not often that you get to see superheroes, Roman gladiators, combat soldiers, Greek goddesses and construction workers taking part in competitive sports! A huge thanks goes out to the staff who supported the event, the PE staff who marshalled and directed and to Mr Mann who organised the whole shebang like a military operation. It was a day of joy and our students did us proud – especially so in the impeccable and respectful way that they all observed the minute’s silence at 12pm to remember those who lost their lives in the senseless terrorist attacks on Friday June 26th.

At Minsthorpe we believe in the value of sport as the importance of sports and games in school goes far beyond just the benefit of physical activity. Supporting each other, staff and students were able to deepen and strengthen their relationships and this pays dividends back in the classroom. Increases in self-esteem and mental alertness make school sports and games necessary for every school age child. Sport helps develop motor skills development, performance and educational potential. There is a proven positive relationship between taking part in sporting activity and psychosocial development. Not only do young people learn the values of team work and rules, they also learn how to cope with winning (and losing) and these learning aspects highlight the importance of sport on young people’s social and moral development as well as developing their physical skills and abilities.

Although the benefits of school sports are undeniable, with a diminishing economy, many schools are cutting out sports and physical education programmes to the detriment of students nationwide. Not here!

Sports Awards – 8th July 2015

Continuing the sports theme, the Sports Awards Evening was a magnificent affair and a huge thank you goes to Luke Abbott and all the PE team for their efforts. The hall looked wonderful and the special guests (Beth England who plays for England under 23s and Danny Cowling who plays for Doncaster RLSC – both home grown talent – were a great addition and excellent role models to put in front of the students. The PE team were out in force, looking fab and really hammering home the fact that there is no ‘I’ in team!

Ray Henshaw