On Friday April 7th three of our Year 8 students took part in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ pitch for The Prince of Wales Hospice in competition against a number of other Wakefield schools. The final was held at the National Coal Mining Museum and the group pitched a Gift Bag idea for the Hospice and designed and made a bag for the event. It was a great community focused activity that was made even more relevant to our students by being for a charity that is close to our hearts here at Minsthorpe. The students showed great teamwork and communication skills. They came a close second to a team from Castleford Academy but the group was really awesome and the judges complimented the students on their excellent presentational skills. The school lead on this, Molly Morgan, takes up the story.
I was proud to be able to attend our Young Firefighters Passing Our Parade on April 7th. Seven Post 16 students went through the training and treated us to a thrilling display of their teamwork and firefighting skills and a superb water carnival display as well. The event was attended by proud friends and family.
English Schools Cross Country Championships
We are proud of our own Katie in Year 7. Her consistent running performances have seen her selected to represent Wakefield and then West Yorkshire. Katie is the first student from Minsthorpe to represent our county at Cross Country for a considerable amount of time and performed incredibly well in the English Schools Cross Country Championships before Easter. She ran the 4km race in 12 minutes 25 seconds and was 4th in the West Yorkshire team and 43rd in England – excellent running, Katie!
On April 25th and 26th Year 9 students experienced the inspirational Humanutopia workshop. The aim of these workshops is to help young people make positive changes and to improve their life chances as a result. The students were given information, practical examples of coping strategies and took part in activities designed to lead to improvements in their hope, confidence, happiness and relationships that, in the process, should enhance their employability skills.
At times it was an intensely emotional experience for both students and staff as difficult issues such as image, bullying, self-harm (and the impact that these can have on a person’s success at school) were examined in an uncompromising way. A number of brave students shared with their peers the difficulties that they faced and how sometimes they have been made to feel as a result of the words and actions of others. The overarching message of the conference was that students have a duty to look out for one another and to support each other. Rachael Paul, the CCTL for Year 9, described this as the best experience that she had ever had as a Head of Year. It was truly powerful stuff.
At Minsthorpe we work hard at whole person development. Yes, exam results are important, but not if this makes our young people troubled and unhappy and the college prides itself on also developing the crucial life skills that will help our young people put their qualifications to good use by being able to handle both success and setbacks equally well.