Principal’s Blog – 9th October 2015

Open Sesame

Wednesday October 7th saw our Year 6 Open Evening. The college was packed with parents and prospective students eager to learn about what life at Minsthorpe College is like. Student ambassadors showed the visitors around the college and spoke of how they felt five weeks into their career at Minsthorpe. Staff and students ran taster sessions throughout the evening to showcase the teaching that goes on in Year 7. Parental feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to welcoming the next generation of students to Minsthorpe in September 2016.

Poetic Licence

Thursday October 8th was National Poetry Day and at Minsthorpe throughout the day verses from a poem about the murder of a young woman in the West Country were read out to students during each lesson. The poem is a right whodunit. It has all the ingredients of a classic tragedy; a brutal murder in a desolate location, a pretty young victim and a spurned lover who was hanged – despite claims of his innocence. The murder took place on the 14th April 1844 and it is said that the ghost of the victim still roams the moor on this date wearing the Sunday best clothes she was killed in! The tragic events involving Charlotte Dymond and her lover, Matthew Weeks, inspired poet Charles Causley to pen the Ballad of Charlotte Dymond. This poem beautifully summarises the story with an appropriately haunting melancholy and students had the opportunity to discuss the murder – and to consider alternative suspects – in instalments as the substance of the story unfolded via the poem over the course of the day.

Good Morning Minsthorpe!

The Creative department are entering a competition advertised on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to promote their anti-bullying campaign. This is a nationwide competition where students are asked to produce a 60 second feature film that contains a strong message about bullying and its impact. The winning prize for the competition is a re-shoot of the film with professional producers and a screening of the feature film in Odeon cinemas all across the country. If they win the competition students will also be invited to London, Leicester Square for a premiere of their film. Fingers crossed!

Brassed On!

A brand new initiative has been launched exclusively to KS3 students giving them the opportunity to learn a brass instrument and be part of the new Minsthorpe Brass Band. The scheme has been developed to give students the opportunity to learn an instrument completely free of charge, including instrument hire and tuition. The students will be taught by the principal cornet of Rothwell Temperance Band (currently 10th in the world rankings) and will have the choice of 18 instruments that have been kindly donated to the school by the general public and the Crofton Silver Band.

If anyone has any brass instruments at home that are not being used they would be gratefully received so that more students can be part of this project. Please contact Mr Jones at the college if you have any instruments to donate.

They came, they saw, they conquered

Our Year 8s beat Castleford High A Team by 40-18 on Tuesday and were simply incredible throughout. This is the first time that Minsthorpe has ever beaten Cas A in over 8 years and to do it in their back yard on their new £750,000 facility by playing the open, expansive rugby it was designed for was very special. Congratulations to Mr Max and to all of the players.

A Righteous Gentile

German businessman Oskar Schindler died at the age of 66 on October 9th 1974. A member of the Nazi Party, he ran an enamel-works factory in Krakow during the German occupation of Poland, employing workers from the nearby Jewish ghetto. When the ghetto was liquidated, he persuaded Nazi officials to allow the transfer of his workers to the Plaszow labor camp, thus saving them from deportation to the death camps. In 1944, all Jews at Plaszow were sent to Auschwitz, but Schindler, at great risk to himself, bribed officials into allowing him to keep his workers and set up a factory in a safer location in occupied Czechoslovakia. By the war’s end, he was penniless, but he had saved over 1,200 Jews. If evil is to triumph it simply needs good people to do nothing. Whilst Schindler himself was a flawed man, his actions remain an inspiration to us all.