Principal’s Blog – 20th January 2017

Year 10 Football Team

Anything Can Happen

The road to glory for the Year 10 Football Team continues. After a hard fought match against Garforth on Friday 13th January the lads are now through to the last 16 in the English Schools’ Football Association Cup – a fantastic achievement! My words could not adequately describe the titanic struggle that took place last Friday so I’ll pass you over to their proud manager Mitch Cameron who describes one of the greatest sporting successes of a Minsthorpe football team in over 20 years:

It can be said that the age-old superstition, Friday 13th, can bring with it an air of uncertainty or maybe an anticipatory fear of what the day holds in store. This was not the case for the Year 10 footballers of Minsthorpe Community College, whose focus and determination for success would be undeterred. On Friday 13th January these young men were ready to seize the opportunity of reaching the last 16 of the prestigious English Schools’ Football Association National Cup for the first time in their school’s history.

Previously, the Minsthorpe boys had seen off stern opposition in the form of Wolfreton School of Hull and Wright Robinson College of Manchester. Both reputable sides with high expectations of progressing themselves. However, Minsthorpe’s strength in unity would see them get the better of both teams – 3-1 and 5-4 respectively.

Now standing in their way was Garforth Academy. A very good side from a school with a reputation for footballing excellence. On a blisteringly cold evening, the stage was set at Minsthorpe’s own astroturf pitch. Shortly before kick-off, it was clear that word of the significance of the fixture had spread through the local community, as fellow students, teachers, parents and local sport enthusiasts braved the conditions to cheer on their local lads. It was an endearing sight and a pleasure to see such brilliant support.

Under the floodlights, the game got underway and the intensity and effort being displayed from the off was highly commendable. Garforth broke the deadlock mid-way through the 1st half after a well taken finish from Thornton. However, Minsthorpe maintained their focus and continued to probe. A free-kick, from all of 25-yards, flew into the top corner – Bradley Binns, who else?! A wonderful equaliser. 1-1 – Minsthorpe back in it… but not for long. A direct through ball that split the Minsthorpe defensive line allowed Branton to coolly dispatch past Kieren Hickes’ right hand post, leaving him with no chance.

Half-time: 1-2.

After the restart, it was the same again. Both teams showing their grit and strength to win every ball. Then, a shirt pull? The referee’s whistle sounded, penalty to Minsthorpe! Lewis McDermott being held, his opportunity to shoot being restricted unfairly. Bradley Binns steps up and sends the ball home to the goalkeeper’s right – no chance!

It was end to end action as the game went into the last 10 minutes. Then, a corner to Minsthorpe eluded everyone and landed at the feet of Euan Scott at the back post who smashed the ball into the back of the net, making no mistake. A deserved goal from a player who was at the top of his game. Surely this must be the winning goal?? No it was not to be…

2 minutes were left on the clock when a ball was sent into the Minsthorpe penalty area after a solid run from their winger, the ball falling kindly to Wood who rifled the ball into the bottom corner from close range. Devastation amongst the Minsthorpe ranks. So close. But, the fight went on. Resilience is not just one of our 6 Rs, it is part of our very nature.

Towards the end an eventful extra-time, it was time to consider who would hold their nerve as penalty takers. But, not content with the lottery of penalties, the Minsthorpe boys had other ideas. The ball fell to Bradley Binns in the middle of the park, who turned and sent a sumptuous through ball over the defence to Mason Kilmartin, who had timed his run to perfection. With the on-rushing goalkeeper bearing down, Mason lofted the ball impudently over the keeper’s head and into the net. A superb goal and a brilliant finish to the game. Jubilant scenes amongst the players and their supporters who deserved the victory.

Full time – 4-3 AET.

The team in the picture are as follows:
(Back – L to R) Euan Scott, Kieren Hickes, Lewis McDermott, Jackson Hart, Joshua Twigg, Harrison Fish, Jack Proctor (Front – L to R) Josh Proctor, Lewis Rhodes, Bradley Binns, Mason Kilmartin, Christian Elvidge, Tyler Maher, Josh Larkin

The team have been drawn against Gosforth Academy of Newcastle Upon Tyne, for a place in the Quarter-Finals. An away tie to be played on Friday January 27th. Howay the lads as the Minsthorpe hinnies will be headin up the A1 tuh sha the Geordies the true meanin iv the neerthern powerhoose!

Teacher Training At Minsthorpe – It’s All Good!

I am now able to tell you that Ofsted were incredibly impressed by the quality of teacher training that is provided by the Yorkshire Three Counties Alliance and it was just the fact that we have only been training teachers for 2 years (so do not have a long enough track record) that prevented us from being awarded the Outstanding judgement that our provision deserves. The inspectors noted the quality of our provision and were full of praise for the superb training that ITT students who are spread across the YTCA schools receive. As the leading school of the SCITT, Minsthorpe is helping to shape the next generation of teachers. The full report can be found here and you will see from the language used how impressed to inspectors were.

Our Strategic Lead, Alys Finch, was described as the most knowledgeable and best prepared ITT lead that the inspectors had ever dealt with and she has lead our SCITT superbly well since her appointment in January 2016. Much of this grade is due to her sterling work and also that of her team at Minsthorpe, especially Julia Morgan, Julie Miller and Jenny Read. The lead inspector paid us the ultimate compliment by saying that if his son ever wanted to train as a teacher, he would like him to come to Minsthorpe!

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies

Students should be happy at school – after all, they are supposed to be the best days of our lives. However, UK schools seem to be experiencing a sharp increase in the number of students experiencing mental health issues and a succession of reports have highlighted concerns about unhappiness, anxiety and depression among young people. The challenge for government and schools is to find ways to tackle this avoidable suffering. All week student assemblies have been delivered by a CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) advisor who has been suggesting to students that they need to give their mental health as much attention as the physical and they have been shown how to spot the signs of mental distress – either in themselves or others.

The student-led peer support groups that I described last week are offering a listening service and, through our Kooth Counsellor and pastoral care system, we are making sure that students get this important message: you are not alone. If times get tough, there is always someone here at Minsthorpe who will listen and offer a helping hand. As a parent, of course you want to be sure that we are providing a good education for your child and that this is resulting in good exam results.

However, you want to know more about this college than just its position in the exam league tables and I want you to reassure you that the well-being of students is just as important to us as exam success. At Minsthorpe, we prioritise the well-being of our young people and whilst this includes challenging and stretching students it also involves building their characters so that they can take the knocks, setbacks and pressures that are inevitable in life.

Ray Henshaw