Principal’s Blog – 19th June 2015

  • Stockingate Image 1
  • Stockingate Image 2
  • Stockingate Image 3
  • A Cool Million
  • SHINE Logo


Those that can, teach!

Some of our most able Year 7 students have been involved in a great cross-phase project with Stockingate Primary School in a project led by Miss Williams. There is no better way to show that you understand something than if you teach it to others and this is what our students did this week when they taught the topic of evolution to Year 6 students at the primary. A tough enough idea in itself for Year 7 to understand, the students researched the topic and broke it down into bite-sized chunks and engaging activities that thrilled the Year 6 students. The next step is for some of the most able students in Year 6 to teach the same topic to Year 5 and for Year 5 students to teach it to Year 4 in a cascade model. As Minsthorpe develops a Primary Multi-Academy Trust with our feeder primary schools we will be doing more and more projects like this.

A Cool Million

Have you ever thought of the origin of this term? It comes from the novel of the same name published on June 19th 1934 by Nathanael West. The novel tells a story of hopeful gullibility and blind faith in strangers, tearing down the American dream of striking it rich. During the course of the story the main character, Lem, loses his money (over and over) as well as his eye, his teeth, his thumb, his leg and his scalp, but never his blind hope; the same cannot be said for his dignity, however! The novel has left us with the word ‘cool’ being used to express the idea of something being ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ as opposed to its original usage in Shakespeare’s time to mean ‘unenthusiastic’ or ‘disinterested’. Cool fact, huh?

We SHINE at Minsthorpe!

SHINE is an education charity that changes the lives of disadvantaged young people by providing them with extra English and maths support and creative learning opportunities at school. I am pleased to announce that the SHINE Trustees have awarded a grant of over £6,000 to Minsthorpe to fund a project called ‘Caught in the Act’. The bid was led by Mrs Gibson and Mr Ruston and will be aimed at improving the literacy and oracy skills of boys in Year 8 via creative writing and reporting – using technology such as our green screen filming equipment called Class Act, tablets and smartphones. There was great competition for this grant – 155 schools put in a bid for the grant and Minsthorpe made the final shortlist of 30 and then won the bid! This project will attract national interest amongst teachers and we will publish our findings via the Times Educational Supplement. Well done to all concerned – once again Minsthorpe is at the cutting edge of educational research.

Primary Sports Festival (17th – 19th June)

The annual Primary Sports Festival was held at Minsthorpe on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Students in Years 2, 4 and 6 from our Primary Feeder Schools took part in various sporting events that included relay races and tug-of-war and also some funky dancing in between races! We were pleased to welcome so many proud parents and family members to the events to cheer on their sons and daughters and the event was a great example of the way in which Minsthorpe opens its doors to the local community. A big shout out goes to Mrs Trusdale for organising the event and to Miss Jewson and the Post-16 students who helped make the festival such a success.

Ray Henshaw