Principal’s Blog – 8th January 2016

Minsthorpe Community College

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to everyone!

New Year, New Staff

In December we bade a fond farewell to a number of staff. Now, in January, we welcome a number of talented individuals to Minsthorpe.

Alys Finch is the Executive Lead for the Yorkshire Three Counties Alliance SCITT. A Cambridge Graduate, Alys was the Teach First London Programme Lead and the National English Lead responsible for the leadership and management of all English secondary subject provision in England and advisor for the provision in Wales. We are pleased to have secured the services of such a high calibre candidate to lead our initial teacher training provision.

Deanne Martin joins the Creative Arts team. A multi-talented teacher, Deanne has experience in ceramics, printing techniques, digital design using Photoshop, book binding and jewellery design. She also teaches photography and was the lead for the most able provision in her previous school. Deanne is also a keen Girl Guider and will be an asset to our thriving extra curricular provision at the college.

Richard Ritucci becomes our newest member of the Design Technology team. He was responsible for integrating Computer Aided Design right across the curriculum in his previous school and is well versed in a number of CAD packages and skilled in the use of both Macs and PCs. A dedicated athlete, Richard has a keen interest in Road Cycling and Triathlons, especially the Ironman distance.

New Year, New You?

Planning to exercise more, drink less or eat fewer sweets in the New Year? If so, you’re taking part in a tradition that stretches back thousands of years. More than 4,000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians celebrated the New Year not in January, but in March, when the spring harvest came in. The festival, called Akitu, lasted twelve days and saw the crowning of a new king, or reaffirmation of loyalty to the old king, should he still sit on the throne. Centuries later, the ancient Romans had similar traditions to ring in their new year, which also began in March when the old magistrates would affirm before the Roman Senate that they had performed their duties in accordance with the laws. Then, the New Year’s magistrates would be sworn into office. As the Romans gradually became less warlike, the switch from celebrating the New Year during a month associated with Mars the god of war to one associated with Janus (a god of home and hearth) took place in January. The first half of New Year’s Day in Rome would have been taken up by public ceremonies, oath-taking and temple sacrifices while the second half of the day was for social activities. Citizens would bring each other gifts of honey, pears and other sweets as presents for a "sweet new year".

Today, New Year’s resolutions have become a largely secular tradition, and most people who make them now focus on self-improvement and the most popular resolutions are: losing weight, volunteering more, stopping smoking, eating better, getting out of debt and saving money. Sadly about 88% of those who make a New Year resolution fail so, if you are setting a resolution, then set yourself small, measurable goals and get the support of others!

Ray Henshaw