Minsthorpe Has The Future In Mind
I was privileged to attend the formal launch of the Wakefield Future in Mind Project on Friday 24th February and to listen to our Assistant Principal (and FIM project lead) Jeanette Collins show colleagues the massive impact that the project is having on staff development in schools and in providing timely help for young people experiencing mental health issues. It is a sad fact that schools are seeing an unprecedented rise in the number of cases of students suffering from mental illnesses and we need to find ways of getting help to these young people as soon as the problem emerges and in a place that is convenient to them – either in their school or local community. For well over a year now, Minsthorpe has been leading the development of this project for the SESKU area and we have a KOOTH counsellor based in the college who provides training for staff and support for Minsthorpe students and students in primary schools in the area. This is just one more example of the raft of support strategies and access points that we have developed at the college to try to provide a wrap-around care package for our students. Students know that they can approach the MAP Office, the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, the Peer Listeners, the Youth Hope Team and staff if they feel troubled or in need of a helping hand.
Do Something Booky!
Thursday March 2nd was World Book Day and, as we have done every year, we used the day to show students the excitement that comes from getting lost in a story. At the beginning of every lesson staff read to students an excerpt from The Darkness Out There by Penelope Lively. The story is written in the third person and is set in English countryside in the home of an elderly widow. It begins with the story through narrative. However, as the story progresses the narrative gives way to dialogue as Sandra (the protagonist) discovers that not everything is what it appears to be, and people have dark inside of them! Ask your child to give you a summary of the story and how the tension built over the day!
On Wednesday of last week we held a girls rugby tournament here at Minsthorpe welcoming over 120 students from 8 local schools including; Kings, De Lacy, Castleford, Featherstone, Crofton, Airedale and Hemsworth. We ran the tournament at two age groups – Years 7 & 8 and Years 9 & 10. Our Minsthorpe Year 7 & 8 team were superb and finished runners up losing narrowly to a very strong De Lacy team who finished on top of the tournament at that age group. At the Year 9 & 10 age group Featherstone finished runners up as they were defeated in the final by Castleford Academy who did not drop any points throughout the tournament, winning 8 games. It was a fantastic evening with over 100 students from the Wakefield area taking part and enjoying a great experience with lots of talent on show. What a great advert for Minsthorpe and girls rugby league.
A big thank you to the Minsthorpe Year 10 and 11 students who refereed over 40 matches. Aaron Lloyd, Tyler Lloyd, Todd Bethell, Kieron Walker, Taylor Goodwin, Ben Pickin and Callum Holling. Also a big well done to Zack Keeton and Jordan Lambert who helped make the event run smoothly.
Thank you to staff; Mr Max, Miss Bird, Mr Johnson and Miss Trusdale who played a huge part in the running of the tournament and thanks Mrs Merritt, a member of the leadership team, for coming down and supporting.
Tuesday February 28th saw the Year 8 Preferencing Evening take place at the college. Two packed houses listened to Mr Gilmore explain how the Choices programme worked for GCSE and gave students and parents some key words of advice to support the important GCSE preferences process. Every options subject was represented in the Training & Conference Centre and parents went from the presentation to the subject stalls to find out what each subject would cover over the next three years. It was a lively, buzzy atmosphere and my thanks go to all the staff involved and to the parents and students who turned out in such large numbers, showing the importance they attached to the next stage of the educational journey that we provide at Minsthorpe.