Principal’s Blog – 18th December 2015

Charity Week Non-Uniform Day

A Fond Farewell

On Friday December 18th we bade a fond farewell to a number of staff who have moved on to a new phase in their careers. Our Assistant Principal, Chrissie Yates, has retired after 9 years at Minsthorpe, a time that has seen her build up our hugely successful School-centred Initial Teacher Training partnership. We wish her a long and happy retirement. Our Creative Arts Curriculum Team Leader since 1998, Chris Phillips, has been appointed as Assistant Principal of the newly created Manchester Creative Studio and we know he will enjoy this new position. Laura Espin leaves us to become a Lead Teacher in Rotherham and Stephen Wren joins Horizon Community College as a Design teacher from January. Most exotic of all, Steve Ovendon is going to teach Maths in Malaysia! We thank all of these colleagues for their hard work and dedicated service to Minsthorpe and wish them every success in the next phase of their careers. In January’s blog I will be introducing the talented new staff joining the college.

Sweet Charity

Once again the students and staff at Minsthorpe have shown their generous and charitable nature. Charity Week ran from December 7th – 11th (with some events also taking place this week as well) in order to raise money for Diabetes UK, Age UK and Cancer Research UK – all charities chosen by the student body. The activities raised just short of £2,000 – a great effort that shows the big hearts of our students and staff. The event culminated in a non-uniform day on December 11th – you can see what a variety of outfits the day produced as people dressed in a certain way to symbolise support for a particular charity!

Celebration Evening

On Wednesday December 16th we welcomed back students – past and present – to celebrate their successes in the summer 2015 GCSE and A-level examinations. Our guest speakers were Darren Axe and Jo Barker – two people with a strong connection to Minsthorpe. Jo presented the A level certificates to ex-Year 13 students. Proudest of all was Jane Bourne who welcomed back many of her former Year 11 students, many of whom have stayed on as Post-16 students because of Jane’s influence. It was a fantastic night of celebration in which we paid tribute to the pursuit of excellence that our young people have shown. The award winners were there because of their persistence, enthusiasm, hard work and their determination to succeed. And what a range of talent we celebrated – academic, sporting, linguistic, artistic, civic, spiritual and personal. At Minsthorpe, effort and achievement go hand in hand and I salute all of these young people, their achievements and the family and friends who have provided them with such valuable support.

The United Dates of America

December 18th has proven to be a portentous date for America. On December 18th 1620 the Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth Massachusetts and the Pilgrim Fathers established the Plymouth Colony. The new United States celebrated its first national day of Thanksgiving on this day in 1777, following the surrender of General John Burgoyne and the British troops. And, on December 18th 1865, the 13th Amendment was formally adopted into the US Constitution with the abolition of slavery.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Ray Henshaw