Principal’s Blog – 10th February 2017

  • Book Bunting
  • Young Sounds Concert
  • Frickley Athletic


Reading For Pleasure

A growing number of studies show that promoting reading can have a major impact on children and adults and their future. Research has found a significant positive relationship between enjoyment and attainment indicating that students who read more are also better readers. We are not sure if higher attainment may lead to more enjoyment of reading or if the greater enjoyment leads to higher attainment but, whatever the reason, it is a win-win situation. The relationship between reading for pleasure and wellbeing is particularly interesting, with evidence showing a correlation between reading for pleasure regularly and lower levels of stress and depression. Reading also seems to reduce the risk of dementia, with frequent readers having lower incidence of dementia in later life.

Reading for pleasure is now a firm part of our P&A curriculum and students celebrate their reading totals by putting up book bunting in the form forms. We are trying to make this a lifelong habit in our students.

Young Sounds

On Tuesday February 7th Year 13 BTEC Music students staged the Young Sounds Concert as part of their programme of study and what an excellent show they put on. The X Factor-type competition saw some of the incredibly varied musical talents of Minsthorpe students pitched against each other in a competition that raised money for the Prince of Wales Hospice. We saw drum solos, heavy metal guitar, vocals, piano and cello and a packed house thrilled to the sounds and to the judging comments of Ms Bigland, Mrs Lewis and Mrs Gibson. Who needs Cheryl, Nicole and Sharon!

Frickley Come Learning

We hope to form an exciting new partnership with Frickley Athletic that will see the formation of their own full time youth team Academy for talented 16 to 18-year-olds pursuing a career in the world of professional football. We intend to set up a Football Academy to help promising young footballers reach their full potential in the game, whilst ensuring they also study at Minsthorpe in order to attain a range of academic and practical qualifications to use for alternative career pathways.

Ray Henshaw

Principal’s Blog – 3rd February 2017

The Reconnect Project

Time To Reconnect With The Real World?

Last year I read a fascinating article in the Times Educational Supplement about a project being run in schools in which students – and staff – were invited to give up digital technology for one week to raise awareness about the time that they spend online. I imagine that for some of you, the very thought of this might cause you mild panic but it does pose an interesting question about how much of our lives we spend talking to online friends instead of engaging with real people. I contacted the project leader, Erin Cotter, to see if Minsthorpe could get involved in the massive study that she has had commissioned by Channel 4 to get students to think about their reliance on digital technology and the issues that are created when we start living our lives online. In March we will be delivering the Reconnect Project through our Computing and Digital Media lessons and will invite students, their teachers and their parents to limit their online activities for a week. Here is a video describing the project.

The ethos of the Reconnect Project is not anti-technology – the benefits of online connectivity are obvious to us all. At its best, digital technology provides a valuable lifeline to the wider world. But it’s a question of balance. When students spend too much time looking at their screens, there is a knock-on effect in terms of health, happiness, concentration and employability. It’s not surprising that so many industry leaders in Silicon Valley (most famously the late Steve Jobs) enforce screen limits within workplaces. In January France passed a law that allows staff the right to disconnect from technology when they leave work. Sometimes we all need to switch off and not be contactable – let’s see how we manage for a week here!

Prince Ea sums it up better than I ever could – plus I cannot rap!


On Wednesday I popped into one of the beGr8 sessions that are held after college. What an incredible atmosphere! 17 Year 11 students were working on home learning projects or revising or helping one another – all in a really mature way. Tea, coffee, soft drinks and snacks all contributed to the adult learning environment and it was a pleasure to see our students acting so responsibly – I really hope that they stay with us post-16!

Wor lads was up a height, man!

On a heavy pitch in the North East that was still hacky with clarts, the Year 10 football team came up against a powerful team in the shape of Gosforth Academy and went down 6-2. You can tell a lot about a team when they win – but you can learn even more about them when they lose – and our lads never let their heads drop and competed until the final whistle. Well done lads – we are proud of you. As ever, only our resident football pundit and reporter, Mitch Cameron, can fully describe the event

Ray Henshaw

Principal’s Blog – 27th January 2017

Michael Jordan

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going

The theme of my assemblies this week has been resilience – one of our 6Rs. Through discussing the experiences of famous resilient people such as Michael Jordan, Albert Einstein, James Dyson, Thomas Edison, Harland David Sanders and JK Rowling I have tried to get students thinking about the benefits of being resilient in the face of life’s inevitable challenges. At Minsthorpe we see the development of character as being every bit as important as examination success and we have an embedded Character Education programme here that offers both caught and taught opportunities within lessons, P&A time, after college clubs and sporting opportunities.

Howay The Lads!

The Year 10 football team showed great resilience in the titanic struggle against the team of giants from Garforth Academy two weeks ago, bouncing back from a deflating last minute equaliser from the away side and going on to win 4-3 after extra time. On the morning of Friday January 27th I spoke to the team just before they set off on the long trip north to Gosforth Academy. Win or lose, getting to this stage in the cup is an incredible achievement.

Year 11 Parents’ Evening

There was a really good turnout of students and parents for the meeting on Thursday 26th January. The mock examination results were given out and a number of presentations and workshops were put on by staff to help parents help their children manage the tricky months ahead between now and the GCSE season in the summer. It was great to see so many parents give up their time to show support for their sons and daughters at this crucial time in their education. Success is a team effort and when students, parents and the college are able to work together in a supportive way, we give our young people every chance to achieve and to move on to the next stage in their lives.

Communication, Is The Name Of The Game!

If you’ve not already done so, can I please ask you to download the Schoolgateway app from your app store (Android and iPhone). It is totally FREE to you and will become our main way of communicating with you. We will use the app to keep you up to date with general messages from the college but also specific ones about your child. You can reply to us via the app totally FREE of charge.

Ray Henshaw

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

Principal’s Blog – 13th January 2017

Anti-Bullying Ambassadors at Minsthorpe

Minsthorpe Students – Here To Help!

Minsthorpe is a fantastic place to make friends, socialise, and (hopefully) learn! But things aren’t always the way we want them. Just around the corner may be a bully, or family problems lurking in the shadows. It’s often hard to shine a light on the matter, especially with adults who seem too different from those being affected to understand. My Blog this week is devoted to the student-led activities that we have here in the college that provide our students with someone to provide help and support them when the going gets tough.

The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors

In 2015 Minsthorpe hosted an Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Conference for hundreds of students from both primary and secondary schools. It was a hands-on event designed to inspire young people to creatively explore bullying issues and to think about how they could help to tackle the problem of bullying in schools. Two years on, Minsthorpe has a thriving Anti-Bullying Ambassador scheme with sixteen trained students from Years 7, 8 and 9 who make themselves available in the MAP Office during Snack Breaks every day to offer a listening service for students who feel that they are being bullied. The students are an important peer support group who refer cases to Heads of Year who then deal it with via our anti-bullying policies. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are great role models and play a vital role in our policy of zero tolerance to bullying in the college.

Peer Listeners

Throughout 2016 we have been training a group of students to become Peer Listeners. The service will be launched by Mrs Collins this month and, like the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors scheme, because it is led by students it represents a real drive to understand the problems being faced by our young people because it is being led by students who have often experienced similar issues themselves. Whatever the worry that a student may have, be it the blues or unhappiness at home, this friendly, confidential service will try to get them back on track.

Students HOPE

The dreadful events before Christmas showed how important it was for students to have someone to talk to and we remain eternally grateful to The Samaritans, the Kooth Counsellor and both teaching and associate staff who were there for our students who experienced the whole gamut of emotions after the tragedies. Out of this has been born Students HOPE (Students Helping Other People Every day). Led by Mrs Pridd and the Year 12 Health and Social Care students, this will be a Post 16 student buddy service in which our sixth formers will act as big ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ to our younger students, be a friendly face around the college and direct them to the many sources of help that we provide if they are troubled by something.

All three groups will co-ordinate their efforts and share intelligence through the College Action Teams that operate via the Student Council.

During testing times there are different types of people: those who turn up their sleeves, those who turn up their noses and those who do not turn up at all. The staff care deeply here at Minsthorpe and I am so proud to see that our students do too and are prepared to stand up and be counted.

Ray Henshaw

Principal’s Blog – 16th December 2016

Languages Food Box

Presentation Evening

On Wednesday December 14th we welcomed back students – past and present – to celebrate their successes in the Summer 2016 GCSE and A-Level examinations. Our guest speaker was Barbara Mawtus who taught at Minsthorpe from 1984-2013. Barbara is a much-loved former employee who still has strong connections with the college and many of our current and former students remember her with enormous fondness.

Hannah Abbott welcomed back many of her former Year 11 students, many of whom have stayed on as Post-16 students and Lynne Bigland paid tribute to all the hard work of the Post-16 students who left us in August. We are so proud of both sets of students who achieved such fantastic GCSE and A-Level results this summer.

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.

Reverse Advent Calendar

The Languages team have been putting together a food box that was donated to a local soup kitchen. This is part of our usual Christmas hamper programme in which we donate food to those who need it at this time of year.

In Memorium

On Monday 12th December the college held a memorial ceremony for Spencer Walker in The Oasis, a garden that we dedicate to the memory of Minsthorpe students who have lost their lives. It was a moving tribute to Spencer attended by members of his family, close friends and members of staff. We planted a Nandina domestica (or heavenly bamboo) in his memory, an evergreen shrub that is native to eastern Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. It produces bright red berries and foliage that will always remind us of Spencer in his trademark bandana. Thursday December 15th would have been Spencer’s thirteenth birthday and we held a special assembly for him with Year 8 students to honour his life.

Have Yourselves A Very Merry Christmas

It has been an enormously tough half term but one that has shown the strength of the bond that exists between the staff and students at Minsthorpe. Overall, it has been a long and tiring term and we are all in need of a break so that we can come back refreshed in January. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Ray Henshaw

Principal’s Blog – 9th December 2016

  • Home Learning Image 1
  • Wakefield Wildcats Image 1
  • Wakefield Wildcats Image 2
  • Wakefield Wildcats Image 3


Home Learning Pays Off

At Minsthorpe we have moved from homework to home learning and, in doing so, we have watched the learning grow. Bad homework is a drag for both students and teachers – it might produce a big pile of marking but often having failed to encourage much in the way of learning. Staff now consciously set longer term extension tasks that stimulate and engage students with the topic in hand and, often, the whole family joins in as well so the learning is inter-generational. Have a look at some of the Year 7 work that was handed in last week.

Home Learning Image 2

Learning, Fun and Rugby – The Wakefield Trinity!

Year 9 Flex students have been attending Wakefield Trinity Wildcats for the last 6 weeks on a learning skills programme run by the rugby league club. Students have learned lessons in teamwork in The Wildcats Learning Zone that included how to safely drop an egg, the quickest way to stack drinks cups and how to peg out washing! The students also interviewed the Chairman, Mike Carter and learned how the grass was mown in Victorian times. Learning was never this much fun in my day!

The M Factor!

Thursday night saw an outstanding Christmas Concert. We were treated to an incredible night of musical variety that ranged from choral music to thrash metal to post-modern disco! It was simply astonishing and a massive thanks go to the music department, Dean Jones, the compere beyond compare and Claire Kelly who masterminded the whole event. From Year 7 to Year 13 Minsthorpe really does have talent!

Farewell, William

The funeral of William Patrick was held at St Mary’s Church in South Elmsall on Monday 5th December 2016 at 1:45pm. Many Minsthorpe students and staff joined with William’s family to pay their last respects. It was a beautiful, moving service. The college granted a leave of absence to students who wished to attend the funeral and their behaviour was impeccable and respectful. William was a very able, high achieving student who was held in high esteem by everyone who taught him. He had a strong circle of friends and his loss has been deeply felt at the college.

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

At the college we send our warm messages of sympathy and support for William’s loved ones at this time. We intend to hold a memorial service in The Oasis at the college and to plant a Lebanese Cedar Tree there as a tribute to William, his life and his achievements. The choice of this tree is an appropriate one as in mythology and symbolism the Cedrus Libani is thought to represent purity and eternal life. Farewell, William, we will not forget you.

Ray Henshaw

Principal’s Blog – 2nd December 2016

Letter To MAP Office

ITT Inspection

We have had two Ofsted inspectors in from Monday to Wednesday this week doing the Stage 2 inspection of our Initial Teacher Training programme. Stage 1 looked at the training of teachers and Stage 2 focuses on the teachers in their first jobs. Minsthorpe is the hub school of the Yorkshire Three Counties Alliance SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training) and places trainees in up to fifteen other secondary and special schools. From September 2017 we will also be responsible for primary school teacher training as well.

Whilst I will not be able to announce the result of the inspection until after Christmas I can tell you that the inspectors have been impressed with what they have seen – both in July 2016 and this week. A huge vote of thanks goes to the SCITT Team of Alys Finch, the Strategic Lead, Julie Millar, Admin Support and Julia Morgan the Lead for School Mentor Support. Also my thanks go out to all of the Minsthorpe staff who mentor and support the teacher trainees and the newly qualified teachers that we develop through our SCITT. I am so proud that we are helping to develop and train the next generation of teachers.

The Yorkshire Cup

The Year 9 Rugby team is through to the quarter finals of the Yorkshire Cup – one step away from the Nationals – after beating an outclassed Salendine Nook team by 24-8. A superb team performance that featured expansive back play coupled with some strong defence. It was the best game for the college from Jo Allen who marshalled play expertly from 7 and this was bolstered by some gritty defence and strong ball carries from both Harvey Milner Tepper and Morgan Mears. A quality match from a quality side.

On the MAP

The MAP Office provides outstanding support and careers guidance for our students. However, it does much, much more than this. Students know that the care that staff show about their career choices extends way beyond this and includes their lives and life choices as well. It is no surprise that the MAP office was a magnet for our young people over the last month as they know that that they can always find trusted adults there who care about them. One of our students handed in the note that you can see this week – it says more than I ever could.

Ray Henshaw

Resource Download
Letter To MAP Office Download File

Principal’s Blog – 25th November 2016

Year 7 Football team in their new kit

For Minsthorpe, England and St George!

Many of our students went to St George’s Park this week. This is the English Football Association’s national football centre in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire. Mitch Cameron takes up the story…

"It was a brilliant day, despite the treacherous conditions! Upon arrival at the fantastic facility, it was evident that the media had got word of Minsthorpe’s star footballers’ attendance – a frenzy of cameras, microphones and journo’s forced us to dash through reception to meet our coaches and get our tour started. There was mention of a Gareth Southgate interview for the England Manager’s job taking place in the same building? Obviously not as important…

The tour of the Centre included a gander at the ‘Signature Wall’ of many sporting legends, including Messi, Ronaldo and Mourinho; a look around the state-of-the-art, Wembley spec football pitches (20 in total, indoor and outdoor); some fabulous changing rooms, one of which was kitted out and occupied by the Women’s U19 England team; a huge gymnasium and a superb on-site healthcare centre. So inspiring, as it really is the best of the best!

The students were then led to the David Beckham pitch where they took part in a UEFA A Level standard coaching session. Many brilliant goals were scored and the students displayed some excellent skills – the coaches speaking highly of their talents!"

Mentioned in Dispatches

Last week I informed you about the great work that Daniel Britton in Year 9 was doing as part of the Takeover Challenge. On Monday I got this lovely email from John Wilson, the Director of Children and Young People Services for Wakefield:

"I hosted Daniel Britton today for the Takeover Challenge for a couple of hours and wanted to let you know what a splendid ambassador he was for your College. You should also know that he was very positive about his school experience – ‘what would you say about Minsthorpe?’ – very supportive! I asked about his experience over the last few weeks and he was absolutely unequivocal in that he thought the school had done a good job in supporting pupils and families through the horrendous recent tragic events. Thought you would like to know."

I am proud of how our staff and students have handled themselves over the past month and comments like this from John (and the Revd Margaret Gallagher, the KOOTH counsellor and The Samaritans last week) show that others also see how much care and support that we provide here at the college.

Constructing a Winning Team

Our partner Futureworks (Yorkshire) have sponsored our Year 7 football team – the press release can be found on the Futureworks (Yorkshire) website.

Ray Henshaw

Principal’s Blog – 18th November 2016

  • Daniel Britton in the UK Youth Parliament
  • GCSE Food Dish Image 1
  • GCSE Food Dish Image 2
  • GCSE Food Dish Image 3
  • GCSE Food Dish Image 4
  • GCSE Food Dish Image 5
  • GCSE Food Dish Image 6
  • GCSE Food Dish Image 7
  • #beGr8 Logo


Takeover Challenge!

Wakefield’s Youth MP is our own Daniel Britton in Year 9. Last week he took part in a debate and vote in the House of Commons. On Friday November 18th, the Children’s Commissioner launched the Takeover Challenge. This is a project that puts young people into the heart of the decision-making process and Daniel shadowed me for the day as the college examines our state of readiness for the Ofsted inspection that is due to take place next year. We intend to use the current College Action Teams as a seed bed for the creation of a new College Ofsted Team, made up of students, who will help us see what it is like to be a student at Minsthorpe and help us continue to improve the quality of our offer.

Can cook, will cook!

I noticed lots of students coming in to college on Monday morning laden down with bags full of produce and cooking utensils. It turns out they were doing an assessed practical for the new Food GCSE and had to plan, prepare and cook three dishes that represented the cuisine of a country that they had chosen. The dishes they made were unbelievable – home-made pasta, jams, lemon possets, burgers, curries, brownies – the list is endless! The students were an absolute credit to themselves and the college choosing to work through their break to get completed in the four hour timed slot. I would like to pass on my congratulations to the students involved and to thank their parents for their support in buying the ingredients. All students enjoyed and achieved in a session and this would not have been possible without this great parental support.


This week the college has launched the pilot of the beGr8 initiative with Y11 students. The students involved will be encouraged to see their progress towards GCSEs in the summer in multiples of 8. It starts with 8 hours sleep – research is overwhelming in its findings that the brains of young people need at least 8 hours of good quality sleep a night. Then, it is important to do 8 hours of study a day – and this means a minimum of 2 hours extra each day after college. Finally, we encourage them to have 8 hours rest and recreation – after all, when you work hard you also need to play hard!

15 students attended the first session on Wednesday November 16th in our Post-16 Café in a mutually supportive, relaxed working atmosphere that gave the students a taste of the independent learning skills that they will develop if they stay on next year into our sixth form. If your son or daughter is involved in the pilot please support them and take an interest as this will help them beGr8!

Charity begins at Minsthorpe

Friday 18th November is a Non-Uniform Day. We have decided to donate some of the money that we raise to the families of Brad Parish, Spencer Walker and William Patrick. We also intend to donate to The Samaritans who have been incredible in their support for both students and staff over the past month. We have had numerous external agencies in college helping us during this difficult time and all have been astonished by the level of support that we offer here at Minsthorpe.

Ray Henshaw