Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Science has a blast at the Big Bang!

Thursday, 23rd June 2016
Students from Year 8 had a blast at the ‘Big Bang Science’ fair at the Ricoh Arena. While they were there, they helped design video games, watched the ‘School Robot Challenge’ final, and went to a lecture on space exploration. The students particularly enjoyed working with the ‘Medical Mavericks’, learning about how medics monitor health. This included learning how to take blood samples, measure blood pressure and body temperature, learning CPR and what an ECG is.

Friday, 24 June 2016

England Selection For Whitley Student

A big congratulations to our Year 11 Student, Jay Goodwin, on being selected for the England Under-19s Ten Pin Bowling Team! We will endeavour to keep you updated on his future competitions.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A Win For Whitley! Students Debate at the Warwick University Debating Society.

Award Winners: Louise Ainge (left), Imogen Foley (right)

Written by Amy Pitham, Year 7 Student Reporter.

It was 8:20am Monday morning of 20th June 2016. Whitley Academy was due to compete in the Schools competition of the Warwick University Debating Society.

It rained a lot but we got onto the school mini-bus on time, eagerly and excited. We didn’t know what was going to happen, would we win or would we lose?

For your information today was ‘Solstice Day’. In a way it was the longest day of the year and it was raining hard! Very typical English weather but it became sunny later on.

We arrived at the Warwick Art Centre around 9:10am, getting a bit lost but managing to find our way around to the Social Sciences Campus. Students arrived from different places around the West Midlands. We were shown into one of the Lecture Halls. Down the corridor there were plenty of nice biscuits cakes, tea and coffee for us to grab before the start of the day.

Student Reporters: Amy Pitham (left), Duncan Van Den Top (right).

At 9:30am, we got a welcome speech from Professor Kimberley Scharf. She is one of the Professors of Economics of the University. She told us she had to be in London in the afternoon. She was very funny and we enjoyed her short speech a lot. She mentioned the fact there might be a debate for teachers and she did not want any physical punches if the debate became very heated! She also thanked her staff who helped organise the event. Quite a number of the organisers were her students from Economics.

The main event organisers included Eleanor, Craig, Katy, Rosie and Felix. They wore black jackets with the words WDS (Warwick Debating Society)  at the back. It was quite easy to recognise them whilst many people were around.

We were then told about the proceedings of the day. There were three rounds (or motions) for each team. The fourth round, also the final, would be in the Lecture Hall.

All of the groups were mixed up and we, the Year 7, would compete with students of Years 8, 9 and 10! It would be a very interesting experience for all of us.

We had only 15 minutes for the preparation, not including moving into different rooms around the Social Sciences Department. Time ran fast.

Each school had two teams and there were two students in each team.

Back in school we already spent time to get used to the British Parliament Debating style. Specifically there were four teams in each round:

Opening government
Opening opposition
Closing government
Closing opposition

We found this debating style very interesting as you got to listen to everyone around the table in order to build up your argument, raise your opinion or question the other team members.

After a short time of preparation we took turns and presented our points to the judges. There were four judges in each round. The judges took notes very carefully so that they could give us feedback and helped us improve in the following rounds.

At 12:50pm, we finished round 2 and were given time for our lunch.

Everyone was tired. We had one hour for our lunch. We needed more energy ready for the afternoon’s third and final rounds . We were offered a very nice array of food including vegan and vegetarian options which was very kind of the University to consider people’s varied needs.

2:00pm - Time for the third round.

We headed to our rooms then we had fifteen minutes to prepare. In this round the topic was quite tricky: ‘Should we send only one EU football team to the World Cup 2022?’. The topic was much harder than what we expected. All students in our group (Amy and Duncan of Year 7) struggled.

However; we managed to deliver the speeches to our best.

We did not win. It was the first time we took part in a wide scale debate. We got to learn as much as we could to improve our debating skills later on.


Names of four teams with the highest scores in the last three rounds were read out. Our Whitley Academy Team A was top scorers with 8 points. They were our Year 10 students: Imogen Foley and Louise Ainge.

All of our little hearts beat fast! We were very nervous for our team mates.

However, as it was the rules of the competition, we had to leave our teammates alone to get on with their own preparation. The topic was: ‘Should Great Britain leave the EU?’ and our team had to argue to agree with the topic. It was very challenging to be on the same side of the topic even though most of us thought about it the other way.

After fifteen minutes of preparation, it was time for the speech delivery.

The lecture hall was packed with school students, teachers, the organisers and judges from many cities further afield. It was very hot and cramped inside the hall. We all went quiet and listened to all four teams.

Do you think their preparation paid off? Yes, it did.

All eight speakers delivered their speeches in a very interactive, friendly but firm way.

Our Whitley Academy Team won the FIRST PLACE against three other schools. Imogen and Louise  won special pens for themselves and also a glass trophy for the school, they deserved to win.

On the way home, I remembered Mrs Nguyen’s words: ‘Yes, we can do it! It’s a long journey, but we can do it.’

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

RSA Academies Sports Day 2016

On June 6th 2016, sports teams from each of the RSA Academies visited Whitley to compete in the RSA Academies Sports Day.

The morning started well, with the Year Group Rounder’s Tournament kicking off in the sun for Year 7, 8, and 9.

All four schools proved to be very competitive, with some very tight games and close calls to be made. After lunch the athletics got started, and the weather and competition really heated up.

A short video of the days events

Holyhead School had some speed demons on the track, with the boys winning the majority of their races. Arrow Vale looked strong in Year 9, with the boys and girls winning or coming a strong second in most of their events. Whitley were consistent across the board, winning Shot, Discus, and 100m in Year 7. Ipsley had some good performances in 200m, 400m and the Relay in Year 8, to put them in good stead. The Javelin and Shotput events proved successful for RSA Academy.

On the day it was close, but Whitley Academy managed to keep hold of the RSA Shied and were crowned overall winners on 186 points. In Year 7 and 8 Whitley won the Year Group prizes, both on 68 points, and the Year 9 Group was won by an impressive Arrow Vale team, on 63 points.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Whitley Students Take to London

By Ciaran Wyllie and Duncan Van Den Top – Year 7 Student Reporters

6:00 am - a strange time to be standing outside the school gates but here we were; out in the cold yet warm from excitement, as we waited for our transport to arrive.

A few minutes later the brilliant Johnsons coach pulled up, and soon we were all on and ready to start our journey.

It was an early morning but none of us wanted to have a short sleep. The excitement built up and up!

9:00am - The sight of the London Eye brought out a weird magic in all of us as we, for some strange reason, we began singing Christmas songs and anthems. It was strange what happened in London, but soon we were asked to stop our silly songs, for we might have made a sing-a-long and caused our driver to lose concentration.

We noticed on the pavements people walked by fast and very fast. No one talked. People just kept on walking towards the front. It was rush hour in London and it was Trafalgar Square!


9:20am – We were dropped outside Portcullis House, opposite the London Eye.  After a 5 minute walk, filled with excitement, we finally arrived at the Houses of Parliament Education Centre. Following the proper security check, all of us felt disheartened as our phones and bags were stored in a big storage cage. We suppose it had to be this way, as we are about to enter both Houses where the Prime Minister and the MPs work.

We then walked into Parliament. We could see armed Policemen around Westminster buildings. Within the impenetrable fortress, we enjoyed a long fact filled tour by two very nice staff members of the Education Centre.

Did you know:

After the bombing on Parliament in WW2, the workmen found tennis balls whilst doing the renovation. The tennis balls were used by King Henry VIII!

The Houses of Parliament are also called the Palace of Westminster and was a royal palace. The last monarch to live here, Henry VIII, moved out in 1512, and Parliament has met in the Palace of Westminster since around 1555.

We were divided into two groups and taken around the two Houses: House of Commons and the House of Lords. We learned some amazing facts, such as there are 650 MPs elected to the House of Commons and the chamber has only 427 seats. We were also shown a copy of the Hansard series. For your information, Parliament produces 80 million printed pages a year and they are recorded in the Hansard.

Concluding the tour, we had a workshop on Election and Voting. We were divided into four groups and were asked to come up with the names for our political parties. We came up with hilarious names…. Well a couple were at least! To name them, there was ‘Spongebob’ and also 'Jackie Chan’. As for ‘Jackie Chan’ team, a team member has first name as Jack and he was the ‘VOICE’ for his team.

At the end of the workshop, we met and talked to Spencer who worked for Mr Jim Cunningham - the Coventry MP. How cool was that? Spencer was very young and had a very clear voice. He talked to us about how he ended up working for Mr Cunningham. When being asked who he would like to swap places with for 24 hours, the answer from Spencer was …Mr David Cameron from Number 10 Downing Street.

It fast approached mid-day. We could see that some students were getting tiresome after cheesy jokes and info hence after lunch the real fun would start…

12:45pm - We got back on our coach and were headed to Madame Tussauds in a jiffy. On the way Ollie saw a shoe shop around Trafalgar Square which was the same brand as his and he shouted “Oh! I have shoes from here!”, which amused us as the prices of shoes near Trafalgar Square - they cost at least double the prices than in our Coventry shops.


Madame Tussauds building was like the roof of the Taj Mahal and instead of going up with floors, it would go down in floors. Weird! As a BIG group, we had to wait outside and get our tickets, but soon we were inside.

As soon as we walked in, instantly the illusion of real looking waxed figures blew us away. The air conditioner was blasting (pun not intended) and we just filled up with excitement. Alex and I (both from 7KRO) even thought that the waxed model of a random punter taking photos was real.

In the dark spacious room full of visitors Duncan accidentally touched a real person in mistake for a model and took a selfie. You could imagine how shocked Duncan was when he realised what he just did! The real person did give him a laugh afterwards.

Moving on we past celebs varying from Robert Pattinson to Tom Daley. Even ironically Henry VIII! My (Ciaran) two favourite parts were when Alex and I were riding the Spirit of London taxi, it broke down! Second - the Marvel area with 4D cinema. Duncan’s  favourite bit was also the 4D cinema.
But sadly, just as any other day, it came to an end consequently we had to go back to the coach and return to reality.

If you ask anyone who went on this trip the majority will say they have massively enjoyed it. A day to remember for a long time.