Principal’s Blog – 7th October 2016

  • Macmillan Coffee Morning
  • No Pens Day
  • National Poetry Day
  • Courtney Waterhouse


Ready, Steady, Baaaaake!

On Friday September 30th, Minsthorpe staff held a Macmillan Coffee Morning in our Training & Conference Centre. Staff had baked a whole variety of cakes (the quality of which would have impressed Paul and Mary in the Bake Off tent) and these were sampled over a cuppa during Snack Break 2. Over £260 was raised for Macmillan from the generous donations of staff.

A Book Is A Dream That You Hold In Your Hand

So said the fantasy author, Neil Gaiman. We believe in his sentiment and here is an opportunity for you to get involved in a new initiative described by our Head of English, Katie Gibson.

Research proves that children who enjoy reading do better at school in all subjects. Furthermore, as a parent, reading with your child not only increases the literacy skills of your child it helps to build a strong and loving relationship between you both. As a College and an English Department, we are committed to doing everything we can to help support your child and the Parent and Child Reading Group is a way of coming together to improve your child’s confidence and reading skills.

We will be running the Parent and Child Reading Group in your local library in South Elmsall (Barnsley Road, South Elmsall, WF9 2AA – 01977 723 220) every Monday evening from 6-7 pm.

Within the weekly session you will be able to select a book together, read the book together and enjoy a book together. You will be able to discuss plot, characters and meanings behind the books. We welcome all! Parents, grandparents, siblings to come along and enjoy this exciting new reading initiative.

Please contact Katie if you want any more information.

No Pens Day

On Wednesday October 5th we took part in No Pens Day. This is when we put down pens and encourage our students to speak and listen instead of writing. We recognise that poor language skills are often linked to poor behaviour in children and the aim of the event was to promote the speaking skills of our young people.

National Poetry Day

We also took part in National Poetry day on Thursday October 6th. This is a mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical in order to encourage people to read and appreciate poetry. Staff and students read the poem The Lake by Roger McGough over the course of the day, discussing during each teaching period what the verse they had just read might mean and how it fits the theme of this year: Freedom. Ask your child what they thought about it.

Minsthorpe – The Next Generation

The Year 6 Open Evening was really well attended on Wednesday October 5th. Parents and students were able to look around the college to see our well rounded offer. We provide academic, sporting and artistic excellence and staff and students showcased this to prospective parents. For the last two years our Year 7 numbers have gone up and up as more parents and children want to become part of the Minsthorpe success story. Many parents stopped me to say how impressed they had been by the college and by the work that they had seen.

Raw Recruits: Squaddies At 16

We are very proud of former student Courtney Waterhouse who followed a programme of Alternative Provision at Minsthorpe in Years 10 & 11 on the Military Preparation Course (MPC) in Wakefield. Courtney continued her studies into Year 12 at MPC and was then accepted onto initial phase 1 training with the Army at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. During her time at Harrogate AFC Courtney, along with 45 other recruits, took part in a ‘fly on the wall’ documentary for Channel 5 called Raw Recruits: Squaddies at 16. The series started to air on Monday 3rd October at 9pm on Channel 5. In the first episode Courtney began her training and has demonstrated great strength of character to get through the first few weeks of training.

Courtney graduated from her initial training at Harrogate AFC (see attached picture) and is now on her 2nd Phase of training at The Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut in Surrey. We wish her well for the future.

Be Safe, Feel Safe

My thoughts about Spencer are separate to my blog. This weekend, cherish your children and please, please talk to them about the dangers that surround railway lines.

Ray Henshaw