Principal’s Blog – 21st July 2017

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Places In Time

Last week I received my copy of Places in Time. This is an anthology of poetry from Year 7 students studying at Minsthorpe and is an excellent read and shows the incredible talent that we are nurturing here. It is available to purchase for £5 and can be ordered via our SchoolGateway App and I heartily recommend it to you – some of the poems will bring a lump to your throat.

STEM Challenge

Last week the Smallpiece Trust worked with our Year 8 students who have chosen Separate Sciences as an option next year. They set up a STEM challenge to show students the possible careers that studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths can open up. Students built and raced solar powered cars in a series of activities that demanded that the cars took a particular route and stopped at a pre-determined point – activities that drew upon all of their STEM skills. The Smallpiece representatives commented on the excellent behaviour, attitude and effort of our students – this is what one of them said;

"It was a real pleasure to be in your school on Tuesday. The staff, the pupils and the atmosphere in the school makes my job so much easier."

Early Careers Coaches

On Wednesday 19th July twelve Year 8 volunteers began training to become Early Careers Coaches in a programme that is being provided by an organisation called Talentino! This is part of our broader aim to create a range of different peer coaching and peer support mechanisms in the college. The students spent a morning in the Library Learning Centre being shown how to use a careers programme that will help students in Years 7 and 8 make some broad careers choices that will be gradually whittled down by the Learning For Life curriculum and the MAP Office as the years pass at Minsthorpe and students begin thinking more deeply about their future lives and careers. The students will become our Careers Ambassadors and represent the college as the student voice element of the national work being done by the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Oliver Takes A Tumble!

I have reported on the achievements of Oliver Watson before. He took part in the semi-finals of the National Development Plan and qualified for the finals in Telford on July 8th where he was placed in eighth position. He is getting better and better and is moving up a level to National 4 and is already training for next year – well done, Oliver!

Hot Chocolate with The Head

A number of students who designed the new uniforms for Next received prizes that ranged from £15-£25 that were kindly donated by the company in recognition of their hard work. I was proud to present them their prizes in a Hot Chocolate with the Head ceremony on Wednesday July 19th.

A Fishy Story

This week students from Minsthorpe came 5th in the National Fishing Championships. The event was held at Hallcroft Fishery at Retford on Wednesday 19th July. It was a tough day for fishing and the competition was extremely close. All the Minsthorpe anglers however successfully caught something. The catch of the day was by Levi Bateman who landed a 10 pound carp. A big thank you to our coach Barrie Spencer.

3 of the team are in Year 11, and will be too old to compete next year. If you are a keen angler and wish to be considered for next year’s competition please see Mr Mann in the PE Department.

Last Night At The Prom

On Tuesday 18th July the Year 11 Prom took place at the King’s Croft Hotel, Pontefract. The students looked fantastic, the girls in glorious ball gowns and the boys all suited and booted. This was a triumph for the girls in Year 11 who organised the event and, as Head of Year, it was a fitting event for Dave Lloyd to see his year group mark the end to their period of formal education. Proud parents and staff witnessed the grand arrivals of the students in an incredible variety of vehicles and it was a fantastic evening. As ever, our students did the college, their family and themselves proud, behaving superbly throughout – my thanks and congratulations to everyone involved.

That Was The Year That Was

I cannot believe that another academic year has gone by. With the tragic deaths of Bradley, Spencer and William before Christmas it has to count as one of Minsthorpe’s toughest years. It would have been Will’s birthday next week and we plan to hold a memeorial service for him early in the next academic year. As tough as it was these tragedies brought out all that is good at Minsthorpe and showed the strength of the relationships between staff and students as we supported one another through those dark days, weeks and months.

It was also a triumphant year with a number of external visitors and assessors paying the highest of tributes to our students and to the Minsthorpe culture. Minsthorpe is an incredible college with the highest of aspirations for our young people and from September we start it all over again. In the meantime, I wish everyone associated with the college a happy, enjoyable and, above all, safe summer break.

Ray Henshaw