Principal’s Blog – 10th June 2016

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Outward Bound!

During the holidays, students at Minsthorpe are always given opportunities to take part in a variety of activities. During May Half Term over 120 students in Year 7 took part in a series of 24 hour residential experiences. The students had an action packed time taking part in activities such as blind fold trail, Frisbee, relays, tug of war, football, rounders, capture the flag, treasure hunt, egg challenge, camp fire, kayaking, abseiling, climbing and the leap of faith! The students also experienced encounters with the White Widow (the spirit of the woods) and heard the blood curdling story about the place where they stopped. A massive well done to all students that went on that trip and for the staff who supported them. One of the best year groups we have ever taken!


Students from Minsthorpe also visited Belgium over half term and visited the cemeteries of those killed in the First World War. It was a very moving experience with Courtney Harrison and Demi-Jo Hargreaves laying a wreath at the largest cemetery for the British war dead, Tyne Cot British Cemetery. James Keith, Megan Mitchell and Joe Turford laid a wreath at the Last Post Ceremony at Vimy Ridge Memorial. There were also lighter moments that included a visit to a Belgian chocolate shop and an unforgettable Minsthorpe’s got Belgian Talent evening!

The students were very well behaved and this was commented on by the coach driver and all our guides. They said the students were engaged, extremely polite and respectful. Congratulations to the students for representing the college so well and a massive thanks to the staff for taking the students on such an important trip. Also a special thanks goes to Courtney Harrison’s grandfather who provided the group with remembrance crosses from the British Legion. Each student wrote a message of remembrance and left it on a war grave. You can see why I am so proud of the students at Minsthorpe.

Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

On June 10th 1752, Benjamin Franklin flew a kite during a thunderstorm and collected a charge from the lightning strike in order to demonstrate the power of electricity. Franklin was fascinated by electricity and coined a number of terms for it that we still use today – battery, conductor and electrician, for example. He also loved writing homespun proverbs such as: "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." Whether or not Franklin followed this advice in his own life, he came to represent the classic American overachiever.

One of the founding fathers of the United States, he had many accomplishments in business and science and is also noted for his numerous civic contributions. Among other things, he developed a library, insurance company, city hospital and academy in Philadelphia that would later become the University of Pennsylvania. Not bad for the son of a candle maker whose formal education ended at age 10 – proof that determination will always triumph over disadvantage!

Ray Henshaw