Principal’s Blog – 4th November 2016

  • Peer Tutoring
  • Debating Matters
  • Spencer Walker


Peer Tutoring

This week sees the start of our Peer Tutoring programme. A group of Year 9 students have been trained on how to support reading in younger students and, before the half term, the mentors and mentees met up to introduce themselves and to talk about the books that they are currently reading. As you can see from the photograph, the conversation flowed during the get together. Each week the Year 9 students will meet their Year 7 mentees in order to encourage their reading. Just a reminder that the Parent Reading group is also going on this week – get involved if you have not already done so.

Wakefield Young Achiever Of The Year

We are proud to announce that our very own Kai Brooke in Year 9 has won the Wakefield Young Achiever of the Year Award. Kai has been helping youngsters at the Oak Forrest School & Wilderness Skills at Howell Wood in South Kirby for the past five years. Every Saturday morning he has selflessly given up his time to work with students from Key Stage 1 upwards and the students nominated him for this prestigious award. Kai won the award over thousands of other nominees and we salute this young hero.

Debating Matters

Before half term four of our Post-16 students pitted their oratory skills against students from Benton Park School, Notre Dame Sixth Form College and Abbey Grange Academy in some very hot topical debates on Wednesday October 19th. Courtney Birks, Kavan Price, Harry Elstub and Faye Cartwright did the college proud and were able to mount some compelling arguments against some very skilled opponents. Unfortunately they didn’t win, but they can hold their heads up as it was a very close decision where they were praised for their understanding of their topic and ability to vocalise this. Well done, folks.

Minsthorpe Down The Toilet!

Over a year ago our STEM students pitched an idea to build a compost toilet to Natural England. Based on the cleansing action of reed beds, their idea was to use natural filtering processes to clean up the sewage from the toilet. The judges were so impressed by the idea that, together with Leeds University, they have made a grant of over £12K to the college for us to build a working prototype of the toilet. Mr Lewis and the STEM students will be working with undergraduates from the university and engineers to scale up the idea so that Natural England can install these toilets in all of their nature reserves in the UK. What an incredible idea!

Farewell, Spencer

The funeral of Spencer Walker was held at St Mary’s Church in South Elmsall on Thursday 3rd November at 10.30am. Hundreds of students and members of the local community joined Spencer’s family to bid a farewell to Spig. It was a beautiful service with Spencer’s coffin transported to the church in a white carriage pulled by a pair of white horses. Spencer was a hugely popular student and his death has had a huge impact on both the community and the school. The college granted a leave of absence to students who wished to attend the funeral and their behaviour was impeccable and respectful. Many students dressed in black sportswear – Spencer’s preferred attire – and many donned his trademark red bandanna as a tribute to his memory.

After the funeral Spencer’s body was laid to rest at a private ceremony at Carr Lane Cemetery and then mourners went on to a reception at the Westfield Lane Centre.

At the college we send our warm messages of love and support for Spencer’s loved ones at this time. Spencer’s birthday would have been on December 15th 2016 and the college will mark this with a number of memorial events on that day. He will never be forgotten.

Ray Henshaw