Thursday, 15 December 2016

An 'Eagle Huntress' documentary screening at Warwick Arts Centre

Written by Destiny of 7CLA

There's one more day to go before our Christmas break!

It was a mild morning, when 14 hardworking Year 7 and 8 students were chosen as a treat to watch the film ‘The Eagle Huntress’ at The Warwick Arts Centre. Mrs. Boyne led the way as the driver on the minibus, accompanied by Mrs. Nguyen at her side, with the students chattering in excitement in the back.

We arrived and parked right outside the Warwick Arts Centre, and Mrs. Nguyen was not at all hesitant to take pictures of her crew. Then everyone bustled up the stairs and awed at the magnificent displays of winter hanging from the ceilings of the Warwick Arts Centre.

A member of staff from the Warwick Arts Centre introduced us and led everyone in to the cinema. We sat down for a few moments, but in all of the exhilaration, jumped back up again before the movie started, and explored the Centre surroundings. The campus was humungous, vast, and massive! 

Quickly, the team had returned, and eyes were now (finally) transfixed on the screen. The movie was beyond words, except, simply, amazing.

It was based on a true story, about a girl named Aishol-pan, a young 13 year old living with her Kazakh family. They lived in the mountains with a nomadic lifestyle and within harsh conditions. Her only dreams were to follow her father and her father's father’s footsteps to become an eagle hunter. The eagle-hunting is a tradition that has been handed down from fathers to sons for centuries.

An eagle hunter: the one and only thing that truly would make Aishol-pan happy. However, as mentioned above, it was not traditional for a young girl to become an eagle hunter. Many people disapproved of this, but she carried on with her father in hope. She captured her own eaglet, looked after it and trained it, and eventually competed with it.

In her first participation in the regional eagle-hunting competition, Aishol-pan and her eagle won. She then began to train in harsh conditions, where temperatures occasionally dropped to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. There, her young eagle caught its first fox, to make into some warm clothing. She was the first eagle-huntress winner in history. How amazing!

We all thoroughly enjoyed this visit, along with Miss Boyne and Miss. Nguyen.

Mrs. Nguyen stated, with tears in her eyes: ‘It was really good , I was born in a place like this where girls were only treated as 2nd class people.’

Ellis thought it ‘Amazing! Very interesting, I loved it.’

Ben’s verdict was: 'It was an exquisite film! Very thought-provoking!’

We realised how lucky we are to be born and brought up this way where all of us are encouraged to be the best we can be; regardless being boys or girls.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A look back at 2016

Whitley Academy has had an incredible year, and we would like to take this opportunity to reflect on pupil successes, and the progress the school has made during the year. 

You can revisit some of our stories by clicking the links in blue below, or by viewing our full news page.

Most recently, Ofsted have published a report investigating the availability and effectiveness of enterprise education and work-related learning for pupils in secondary schools.

In the course of their visits to 40 secondary schools, inspectors looked at how well schools and businesses were engaging with each other and how these schools were promoting alternatives to university, including apprenticeships.

Whitley Academy was one of the 40 schools visited and praised in the report for their use of “the RSA’s Opening Minds competence framework as the main vehicle to cover enterprise capability and employability skills”.

On Monday 14th November, Mr Purslow and Mrs Nguyen collected the British Council's International School Award at a ceremony in London, on behalf of Whitley Academy. This is a very prestigious award which recognises our school's rich network of international partner schools, and there impact upon our students learning, confidence, and life experiences. 

On Friday 16th September, Whitley hosted the visit of Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of England) in a live BBC television event. This was an invaluable experience for our students, who were given the chance to observe the BBC live production team, work with BBC reporters and presenters, and quiz Mark Carney on issues impacting their families locally. 

During the summer, Whitley proudly celebrated the best GCSE results we have ever had at the school, with 77% of students achieving 'C' grades or higher in English and Maths, a rise of 19% since last year.

On September 23rd, Whitley Academy pupils set off for the town of Ypres, Belgium, to visit the site of the most intense and sustained battles of the First World War. This was an invaluable experience for our pupils, who were given the chance to visit the town's historical monuments, and the remnants of the Somme's trenches.

On June 6th 2016, sports teams from each of the RSA Academies visited Whitley to compete in the RSA Academies Sports Day. All four schools proved to be very competitive, with some very tight games and close calls to be made in a number of sporting contests. 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.

The Whitley Academy Year 11 Leavers' Prom is always a fantastic evening, and so it proved again during the summer. Everyone at Whitley Academy is proud of the ex-Year Group for the fantastic efforts the pupils put into their exams, and we hope you can all be happy with the grades you received this summer.   

Here's to an equally fantastic year next year!

Whitley hosts successful Christmas Fair

Written by Amy – Year 8 student reporter

One of the most festive times of the year is fast approaching. Whitley Academy has already started celebrating the special occasion of togetherness by hosting the Christmas Fair on the 5th December for students, their families and our primary school feeders’ families.

With a lot of reds and greens, the festive spirit was everywhere. At 5pm, the school canteen was full of people and children. Amongst the noises of people talking, you could hear children running around asking their family members to buy Christmas presents for them.

Many people were enjoying themselves, entering a tombola, playing guessing games, such as guessing how much the cakes weighed, and guessing how many sweets were in the jar. There were some craft activities and biscuit decorating. You could buy many Christmas hand-made cards (by our History teacher Miss Wright), books, biscuits, Christmas teddies, and little bags made out of old material.

There were songs playing throughout the evening. One of the songs that some parents, students, and teachers particularly liked was ‘Walking through the Air’ by Howard Blake; it was in the film ‘The Snowman’ by Raymond Briggs.

Another song playing was ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ by Mariah Carey.

It was held in the school canteen, as soon as you stepped outside there was a cold blast of wind! It was dark and cold outside. Younger siblings of students were playing outside in the cold icy wind with faint cracks on the nearly frozen lake.

There were some very helpful students who gave up their time to help show some of the people where to go and they manned the stalls for teachers.

Mrs Roberts stood by the door noting all the students’ names in case of a fire alarm at the end of the night. She must have been cold, but she kept smiling all night long. 

It was very full evening but also very fun. 

Written by Sam - Year 7 student reporter 

Last night at the wonderful event, Christmas at Whitley Academy, I ran a stall for Macmillan Cancer Support to offer a whole range of cakes. I decided to do this because Macmillan has helped millions of people worldwide every day.

I had an amazing night, everyone was jolly, laughing hysterically; and best of all, eating delicious cakes , and the most important thing, all enjoying themselves.

 At around 3:10pm, after school, myself and Miss Reynolds made our way down to the canteen to get the best table (in our opinion). As we did so, the time was ticking on and I was getting more nervous because I didn’t know if anyone would buy any cake and if I would even raise any money while doing so. 

Then I got a text from my Mum: "Outside with the cakes". Then my heart relaxed, I went out to get them and brought them in to set them up on our table.

It was 5 o’ clock. There they were, the first customers standing in front of me. They spoke, I answered. I gave them their change and their goods (my auntie’s home-made cakes). All customers were happy. FINALLY I felt relaxed.

6 o’clock! Everything had been sold and gone. We opened the tub. It’s on the table. We counted £70.00! 

I was so proud of not only me but everyone who had helped: my Mum, my Auntie, Miss Reynolds and my classmates. It was a fantastic night and I hope everyone enjoyed it and had a good time.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Post 16 student has interviews to study at Cambridge University

Whitley Academy would like to wish Martyna, a successful Post 16 student, all the best in her interviews at Cambridge University to study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences.

Good luck!

As part of my preparation for higher education in 2017, I have applied to study Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. I aspire to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, as well as a Master of Science degree further in the future.
My career plans are not finalised, however I am interested in becoming a clinical or educational psychologist, or alternatively continue my studies to become an academic or researcher in a university. I am looking forward to attending Clare College for both of my interviews, and beginning the journey to undergraduate studies in Psychology at my chosen university in the near future.

– Martyna.