Principal’s Blog – 7th November 2015

  • Oliver Watson
  • William Shakespeare
  • Nelson Mandela


Minsthorpe – "Studying good for England"!

Minsthorpe has been invited to take part in an Arts Council funded research project that aims to track the impact of arts learning on students and teachers. The exciting research will have a specific focus on Shakespeare’s work and the arts and we will be working with academics from the University of Nottingham, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Tate Gallery. Minsthorpe was selected because of the importance that we give to arts teaching here and because of the strong relationship we have with the RSC through our championing of the works of Shakespeare.

Power Tumbling!

Congratulations to Oliver Watson in Year 7. Over the half term he competed in the Yorkshire Championships Tumbling Competition held at Barnsley Metrodome and won a silver medal! In gymnastics, tumbling, also known as power tumbling, is an acrobatic sporting discipline which combines some of the skills of artistic gymnastics on the floor with those of trampolining. It takes place on a 25-metre long spring track. It was developed from tumbling performances by entertainers from very early times but as a sport is now codified, regulated, judged, and performed using standardised special acrobatic equipment. Well done Oliver – we are proud of you!

Togetherness not apartness

On November 6th 1962, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and called on all its members to end economic and military relations with the country. In effect from 1948 to 1993, apartheid, which comes from the Afrikaans word for "apartness", was government-sanctioned racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against South Africa’s non-white majority. Among many injustices, blacks were forced to live in segregated areas and couldn’t enter whites-only neighborhoods unless they had a special pass.

Black people suffered years of brutal repression at the hands of the white minority. After decades of strikes, sanctions and increasingly violent demonstrations, many apartheid laws were repealed by 1990. Finally, in 1991, under President F.W. de Klerk, the South African government repealed all remaining apartheid laws and committed to writing a new constitution. In 1993, a multi-racial, multi-party transitional government was approved and, the next year, South Africa held its first fully free elections. Political activist Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison along with other anti-apartheid leaders after being convicted of treason, became South Africa’s new president.

It is fitting that the last word on the subject of apartheid should be left to Mandela – "If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy." A quote every bit as relevant now as it was then.

Ray Henshaw