Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Stepping into the past at Kenilworth Castle

Written by Destiny and Benjamin - student reporters.

On Thursday 30th and Friday 31st March 2017, two groups of Year 7 pupils explored the history and the making of Kenilworth Castle. 

It was a fairly mild day, great for a trip, with a few showers, but nothing stopped us from treading deeper into history! We all set off, after a quick class of Maths revision, buzzing in excitement! We rushed out of class, and raced down the Whitley Academy hill at about 9:30am. The coaches were there waiting for all of us!

Soon later, at about 9:45am, we saw a long, jagged silhouette, almost like a castle, we had arrived! 

First, we looked around the castle ruins, travelled up a case of stairs, and gazed at the spectacular view. Only now we realised we were so high up.


Then, we walked around the castle garden and spotted some initials (R.L because the castle was owned by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester) dotted around the ruins. The gardens were built especially for Queen Elizabeth and now we were in the royal gardens admiring the tall marble fountain and the birds that chirped away in the aviary.

After that, our teacher explained some important parts of the well established history of Kenilworth Castle. We were all in awe to know the Castle was first built in the 1120s! We were allowed to explore the ruins and even stood looking out of the arrow slits that once were used to defend the castle! In the kitchens we were able to stand in the old oven too! How fun! 

We then discussed things that had occurred during the time the castle was whole. We learned about Robert Dudley and his relationship with Queen Elizabeth I. They were childhood sweethearts. Robert Dudley was a suitor for Queen Elizabeth and he really wanted to marry her. He had even built her a guesthouse for when she came to visit. One visit lasted eighteen days, and we learned that Robert Dudley had made the castle extra luxurious just for her arrival. Wow! The garden was built and the castle was decorated fit for a royal arrival. We felt just like royalty on the trip too!

We ventured a bit further after that, going into Queen Elizabeth’s most private room, and finding out that two of the buildings had once been symmetrical. 


Then, we could all choose something from the gift shop! There was so much to choose from, from stress balls to swords, it was so hard to decide!

We had another break, but for half an hour this time, and walked around some more parts of the castle (it was so big), whilst some of the student reporter team took some snaps of the scenery and class.

The battle began!

We used the ruins of the old chapel to perform our battles. It was at this point we learned a lot about defending and attacking a castle. We split into two teams and had to form a strategy quickly, trying to find the best way to defeat our opponent. It was a lot of fun, and at the end there was an amazing gymnastic performance from Matae (7SGR). 

Lunch time!

All of us were hungry now, and we started snacking on our lunches, but, by the time it was lunch time, some had ate all of it! Luckily, Mrs Boyne was at the rescue, there were some spare school lunches! Yay! A feast fit for royalty, thank you Miss Boyne.


We had a run around once we had finished our royal banquet, not knowing we should have saved some of our energy for the treasure hunt race we had coming up.

In short, we had to find the places marked on the piece of paper, and describe what it looked like when we found it. The winning team got a prize. We had to be back by 2:00pm.

We didn’t get to complete the treasure hunt unfortunately due to restrictions in place at Kenilworth Castle. It was such a shame but the fun didn’t end. We were able to draw and sketch pictures of the castle and played games with the parachute too. The winner of the castle sketches won a king and queen pencil from Miss Boyne.

Unfortunately, none of us found out what the treasure hunt prize was in the end. But, anyway, we all had a fun-filled day, tracing the steps in history.

We were all sure to have a long snooze once we got home.

Hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as we enjoyed the whole day full of fun!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Pupils hold mock trial at Coventry Magistrates' Court

Written by Mansi, Year 9 pupil

On Saturday 18th March 2017, 12 perceptive pupils from Whitley Academy participated against six other schools in the Coventry Magistrates' Court 'Mock Trial 2017'.

This was a competition where pupils from different schools took up the roles of lawyers, witnesses, and magistrates, and then prosecuted or defended in a domestic criminal case.

I hoped this experience would teach me a lot of things about crime and how sentences are given, in a more interesting and fun way.

Outside, the weather wasn’t the best. Although it was warm, it was cloudy and drizzling. The warm air rushed around us when the cold water sprayed against our faces. It wasn’t ideal for taking photos outside. We felt very warm inside as the adrenaline started kicking in. We were so ready for the competition.

At around 9:00am, we familiarised ourselves with the court and practiced our roles. We checked the display boards for our court numbers - if your school name is at the top, you are prosecuting, and if your school name is at the bottom, you are defending.

Whitley Academy would be against Caroline Chisholm School in Northampton.

As soon as the session started, I was the first person to talk (as the prosecution lawyer). The nerves kicked in. Consequently I spoke a bit too fast. But after some time, I got back on track and continued to present to the court the credible evidence I had researched so far. 

I had to make sure the evidence was precise, even if it might suggest that the defendant is not guilty. Together with my prosecution team, we got to make sure the court reached the right verdict, not just a guilty verdict. 

Everyone in my Whitley Academy team performed their best and tried as much as they could. It was definitely not an easy job to talk confidently in front of so many people and the real-life magistrates.

After the round was over, the magistrate specially praised the Whitley Academy prosecution witness (Joe of Year 9) as he managed himself really well and responded smoothly to the defence lawyers with their very tricky questions.

It was time for some quick group photos.


Then Mrs Nguyen helped me to secure some minutes to talk to the Magistrate. He praised me for delivering such a difficult role impressively. He also advised me to control my nerves better for future public speaking opportunities. I agreed with him wholeheartedly. I felt the massive privilege to spend some precious minutes listening to such useful and effective feedback from him. It really made me feel ecstatic as no one else got any personal feedback from the Magistrate.

Then it was time for home.

We left the Magistrate Court feeling overjoyed with the experience we had for the day. Although we did not win the competition, we won by participating in it. For me participation is more important than winning. 

We all enjoyed the whole event and learned a great deal from it. We were so ready for next year’s opportunity.

Goodbye for now!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Pupils practise valuable skills for Duke of Edinburgh Award

Whitley Academy has recently launched the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Twenty Year 9 pupils have signed up to undertake this nationally recognised award and will be completing it over the course of this academic year. 

The Award is a personal challenge; it pushes young people to their personal limits and recognises their achievements. All participants must complete four sections; they must practise a skill, volunteer somewhere or for someone, partake in a physical activity and then complete a two day expedition in the countryside. 

In order to complete the expedition section, participants must attend a series of training sessions to learn camp craft, navigational skills and first aid. 

On Tuesday 14th March, Whitley pupils went on their first practise walk. Pupils walked around the Berkswell/Meriden area, in Warwickshire, and practised their map reading and navigational skills. 

The day was a huge success!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Pupils speak at Frankly Speaking Competition

Written by Duncan, Year 8 student reporter

At 6:00am, I woke up to get ready to go to London for the Frankly Speaking Competition, held at the Bloomberg L.P building, and organised by the Benjamin Franklin House organisation.

For your information, Benjamin Franklin House is the only surviving home of Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the USA. 

After a quick breakfast, I left for the train station.

There were five of us: Amy and Chirag - our Post 16 Head Boy and Head Girl, Imogen and Louise - Year 11 pupils, and myself, reporting for the school website.

At around 7:50am, we arrived at London Euston station. We headed to the underground and looked for the Northern Line. There were people walking back and forth, all around us, very fast moving.

When we got out of the underground, it took us sometime to locate which direction to go with. Thanks to Imogen’s Google map, we reached our destination well ahead of planned time.

On going inside the Bloomberg building, we couldn’t believe our eyes! It was massive. The building had a cuboid shaped block with frozen plants inside. There were real white flowers which had bloomed perfectly.

When we looked around we saw lots of security standing around, the building was highly defended yet beautiful at the same time.

Later on, we realised the main focus of the employees inside the building was to provide data for financial markets and investors. The data needs to be accurate, fast and relevant. We were also told that the data needs to be transparent so that there is no risk to everyone who got involved in it.

Back to our day…

After spending a short time at the reception desk, each of was given a nice pass with our photos on them. It was interesting to find out that behind the chairs of the receptionists, was a wall with a line of hidden cameras and we were asked to stand in front of the camera to get our pictures taken.

We were then lead up to the floor above. There were three security staff standing near the escalators and reminded us to scan our passes before going upstairs. The first thing we saw was an enormous aquarium with a large amount of tropical fish right in front of our eyes. They must have had every species in there.

On the way to our meeting place, we passed by a humongous room without any wall! What you could see was just food and drinks on display! It was a world of colours: the colours of the nice lights hanging from the high ceilings, the food, the cereals, the fruits and the flowers! Wow! And people! There were many people walking around.

We were then lead down the stairs to the nice and cosy auditorium.
Whist waiting for the other schools to come, we started wandering around the place. Everything looked new and shiny.

After having some refreshments (with help from the four Bloomberg staff), we were then lead to the main presentation hall and sat down. We were given a swift summary of what was going to happen and where everyone was going. The first names to be called out were Chirag and Amy of Year 12 and 13. Mrs Nguyen and I decided to follow Chirag and Amy for the first heat.

Devonte, the Bloomberg apprentice took us through some offices to another room where the debates for Years 12 and 13 took place. Chirag and Amy were against Prince Henry’s Grammar School in West Yorkshire. The topic was to maintain open borders to EU citizens after Great Britain has left the EU. How interesting!

Both teams came up with many sharp arguments, for and against the topic. Each speaker had a maximum of 7 minutes to deliver their speech and answer questions from their opponents. Sitting at the back facing the two teams, we could see how much the students had researched for their talks. The hard work had paid off after all.

Then came a short break before the second heat. During this time, Ms Nguyen talked to Paul, one of the two judges who also worked in the building. Paul told us he has 29 offices across Europe to supervise and spoke about how he didn’t go to university but still got the job at Bloomberg. How inspiring!

We then met Devante (the Bloomberg apprentice) who took us to Imogen and Louise’s debate on the sixth floor. Devante told us he was working in Bloomberg for a year before he goes to college to learn Economics.

There were a lot of offices behind the shiny glassed walls with staff working on their many screen-computers. Everyone was focused. There were some people walking around and talking to other people over the phones. Everyone worked.

We kept walking towards the room for the Years 10 and 11.
The topic was about the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (A.I). The format of the debate for this year group was exactly the same as the one for the Post 16 students. Our Whitley Academy team was in opposition.

Personally I found it fascinating to see how each team member worked. They took notes and raised questions whilst the speaker delivered the speech. It was challenging to keep track of your speech and make sure they responded to some points of information (POI) from their opponents.

Some points raised by Imogen from Whitley Academy really fascinated me, such as in around 40 years time, Artificial Intelligence will be more intelligent than humans. I need to do some research into this one day.

12:20 pm - Lunch time! 

After lunch we all gathered inside the Hall to listen to the results of the first half of the day. Unfortunately our two teams didn't win. We comforted each other with our ever fighting spirit, that it is the taking part that counts.

We will be so ready for the competition next year. 

We spent some time going through our two teams' performance, making sure lessons were learned. Finally and reluctantly, we decided to leave the impressive Bloomberg building.

However, we left on an extremely high note knowing that Chirag,  Head Boy of Whitley Academy, just received the brilliant news that he was invited to join in the Introductory and Finalist Residential on 9 - 12 April in London. It is hosted by the Sutton Trust US Programme 2017. Wow!

On the underground there was a delay and we ended up missing the train. We had to wait till 7:42pm until we could get back.

After an hour on the train we arrived back in Coventry and I was picked up by my dad. Overall all of us enjoyed the trip and learned lots about public speaking, despite the fact we did not win the competition.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Pupils meet famous authors and illustrators on World Book Day

Written by Holly and Destiny, Year 7 student reporters

On Tuesday February 28th, fourteen book loving Year 7 students gathered in the Learning Resource Centre, ready for a trip to the biggest book show on earth! Everybody was extremely excited to be going to the Warwick Arts Centre for World Book Day’s 20th anniversary.

We all knew we were about to observe a handful of authors and illustrators, their magic tricks, how they wrote their books, and how they had begun their journey of writing.

The presenters, authors and illustrators for the day were Steven Butler; Alex T. Smith; Holly Smale; Nick Mohammed; Julian Clary and David Roberts; Sam and Mark; and Jessica Ennis-Hill.

10:05 AM

After a short trip in the school’s minibus, the group arrived and took their comfortable seats in Butterworth Hall, Warwick University, in amazement. The room was just so BIG.

Curiosity enveloped every one of us, and in a rush of excitement, we were soon exploring the Warwick Arts Centre. After a few quick flashes of the camera, we returned to the Hall to watch the performances.

The first to perform were a group delivering a short section from one of Enid Blyton’s classic series of novels, ‘the Famous Five’. Even though the reading and acting was simply outstanding, most were absorbed in watching the cute, fluffy dog that sat with the group.

Second up, presenter of the show and author of ‘the Diary of Dennis the Menace’ was Steven Butler, to introduce Alex T. Smith.

Alex was very funny and shared with us very interesting stories. He was born and brought up in Coventry, and went to Coventry University to study for a degree in Illustration. Alex then talked about drawing a dinosaur, which turned out to be a turtle. He was witty and brilliant! Alex then shared with us some childhood memories of his grandad who inspired him to become an illustrator. 

Next, it was Holly Smale – the author of the ‘Geek Girl’ series!

Holly shared with us her school experiences of being bullied and singled out by her friends. We all went silent to hear her story. She also told us of how she became a professional model at the age of 15. She did not like it and left modelling after two years.

Holly then talked about how she started with her first book. It was the life of Harriet Manners, a nerdy 15-year-old girl who tried out modelling to reinvent herself. Harriet was a geek and always will be. Just like Holly’s life!

On next were Sam and Mark (the CBBC television presenters) who told us about their background since meeting and went on to read an extract from their first book. How cool!

After that, Nick Mohammed performed some magic with the help of two lucky members of the audience and introduced the four main characters from his first book.

Up on the stage next were Julian Clary and David Robert who got the audience to help create a new character out of three different animals that ended up making most people laugh.

Finally, Jessica Enis-Hill, who you may also know as an athlete, told us how she had to sit under the table with her publishers due to her son having a tantrum. She spoke a bit about her first book, and soon after, all of the authors and writers came back to the stage to sign autographs and to say goodbye.

After the show, we all raced to the University bookshop to ensure we got the books we wanted, and then went to get our copies signed by the authors.

It was an extremely inspirational and fun-filled day for all of the team.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Whitley pupils take to the slopes in Austria

On Friday 17th February, a large coach carrying pupils from Whitley Academy embarked on a long journey to Gmund, Austria, for a week long skiing trip. 

Members of the Whitley Academy P.E teaching staff took 26 pupils of all ages and abilities on the trip, with the aim of learning about, or improving their skiing, and gaining an understanding of a different culture. 

The ski resort was perfect for our students, with some good blue runs for the beginners, and some difficult red and black runs for our intermediates. In addition, the skiing instructors gave great instructions for how to improve the pupils' skiing techniques.

There was plenty of snow, however on Thursday it was close to 15 degrees on the lower slopes, so some what slushy by the end of the day. 

Students also got to try curling at night time, and did a town trail of Gmund. Gmund itself was a very picturesque town, with some beautiful buildings and architecture. It was also very safe. 

Overall pupils had a great time on and off the slopes, and we hope to arrange our next ski trip for 2019, possibly to America!!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Lights, Camera, Connect - From Whitley Academy to Kumamoto, Japan

Written by Tania Coke - RSA Fellowship

In April 2016, Kumamoto prefecture, in southern Japan, was shaken by a huge earthquake which destroyed hundreds of houses and displaced thousands of people, many of whom are still living in temporary accommodation 7 months on. 

It was in the wake of this disaster that the British Embassy in Tokyo and RSA Japan Fellows’ Network teamed up to run workshops with 300 high school students in the areas that had been worst affected. 

Within moments, the RSA networking machine was in action and it wasn’t long before I was skyping with Minh Nguyen, a fabulously energetic teacher at Whitley Academy in Coventry.

Read more

Monday, 13 February 2017

Year 11 students participate in science master class

On Friday 10th February, thirty Year 11 students participated in a science master class all day, to prepare for GCSEs in the summer.

Students enjoyed engaging with physics practicals, looking at Hooke's law, terminal velocity, energy transfer, and circuits. They then developed revision materials for chemistry, focusing on electrolysis, bonding and chemical reactions. 

This was followed by a walking talking mock. The students worked extremely hard and we hope they take the opportunity to use the resources at home to revise.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Year 10 pupils raise £320 for Coventry charity

Many thanks to Janet McConkey of the Coventry Children’s Boot Fund, who came into the Academy today (8th February 2017) to receive a cheque for £320 from our Year 10 pupils.

Janet (pictured here with Bill of 10MPU) said she was ‘thrilled’ that the Year 10 group had made such efforts in their endeavours before Christmas to raise money for the fund. 

The students held a raffle, tombola, washed cars and sold cakes to raise funds for an extremely worthwhile cause. Ms McConkey told the pupils that the Boot Fund had been in existence for 125 years, and that the average support for a family is £35 towards school shoes, so the Year 10s will have provided at least 9 children with essential footwear and relieved the financial pressure for those families.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Whitley debating team speaks at Rotary Youth Speaks final

Written by Holly (Year 7) and Ciaran (Year 8) student reporters

On Friday 27th January, a debating team from Whitley Academy  took part in the Rotary Youth Speaks Coventry Intermediate Final, a debating contest for pupils across Coventry.

On the evening of the debate (hosted at Bablake School), four Whitley Academy students prepared to wow the crowd. These student speakers were: Ciaran, Jason, Destiny and Sam. Jason and I (Holly) had another special mission to accomplish: writing the blog about the event.

5:45pm - 

We were greeted by a wet walk in the rain and some issues regarding where exactly the event was on the Bablake site. Eventually we found a very helpful student who helped us locate the theatre.

6:25pm - 

We were ushered into the Bablake theatre where the event was being held and told the rules. The three judges introduced themselves including Ms Davidson, Mrs C. Bond, and Mrs Ryan.

President Kennedy began the night off with the most heart-breaking topic of animals in sports, and the topic circulated around human pleasure at the expense of animal pain. The chairperson, Miriam, engaged us with her captivating introduction. It was a very strong team and they used all of their charm to get the audience’s attention to the topic. The speakers did it very well.

Next up it was Whitley Academy; our school! 

 We did extremely well. At the start we were unsure of the proceedings of the debate. Then the whole team quickly grasped the gist of their roles. Ciaran (our speaker) did us proud with his wonderful speech on the topic “The Silent Witnesses”. Sam was very articulate in his role as the chair person. Destiny – as the Proposer of the Vote of Thanks – interacted with the audience by asking them questions based on the stories Ciaran told the audience. It was not an easy topic to talk about. Everyone in the audience listened and gave Destiny very thoughtful answers. We, Holly and Jason, sat and watched waiting to write the blog.

Third up was Heart of England who had the subject of 'fantastic books' and why to read them. Zeeshan did a factual speech and even gave advice about reading to children and adults alike, in the audience.

Then Bishop Ullathorne put to the viewers a more sinister speech, “This House Would Arm The Police”. Joseph was the speaker who arrested our attention with a speech on why the police officers in Great Britain should be armed.

When Coundon Court hit the stage, eyes were fixed on them due to the fact that their speaker Hayarah was going to delve into the world of human rights. What a clever idea! Their topic was very current.

The sixth group to attack the audience with facts and opinions was the hosts, Bablake! Speaker Bhavan took us through a vast subject; “The Problem With Evil”; sadly, her team substantially ran out of time.

Penultimate to the last speech was Barr’s Hill with “America; Powerful Or Not?” The speaker Kajaanan was funny and informative, talking to us about soft power, hard power, cheeseburgers and the one; the only Donald Trump.

Finally Seva school wanted to share with us their thoughts on video games. Birjot ,the speaker, reviewed his personal opinions on games, as "violent and corruptive".

So all in all, not a bad day. We didn’t win but it is the taking part and having fun that counts. Fresh minds and a new experience under our belts, we left Bablake knowing that we had tried our hardest and that our clothes were very, very wet.

We would like to thank the Rotary Club of Coventry for giving us such a great platform to raise our voices on the topics of our concerns and interest.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Post 16 student successful in application to study at Cambridge University

Whitley Academy is very proud to announce that Post 16 student Natalie has been successful in her application to study Mathematics at Robinson College, Cambridge University.

Natalie achieved excellent GCSE results (3As & 7A*s, in 2015) at Whitley Academy, and has continued her success at A-Level, achieving exceptional grades in Maths, Further Maths and Geography. In addition to her independent learning, Natalie gave particular praise for the Post 16 staff and support at Whitley Academy during her university application.

“I applied to Robinson College and should I go, will start in October 2017. During my application process, the former Head of Post-16, Mr Elton, emailed my personal statement to someone who is familiar with Oxbridge applications. I received feedback from this allowing me to make improvements before sending my application off.

Additionally, when I found out I had an interview, a mock interview was set up with a teacher from Ernsford Grange who studied Maths at Cambridge; this was particularly helpful as it made me less nervous for my interviews now I knew what to expect.

I have been at Whitley Academy since Year 7 and decided to carry on Post-16 after my GCSEs. Advice I'd give to Post-16 starters, or those just starting in Year 7, is to not give up because you think something is too hard or unattainable”.

All staff at Whitley will now strive to ensure that Natalie has our full support as she begins preparation for her final examinations.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Post 16 students collect ecology samples in North Wales

On Monday 9th January, Whitley Academy Post 16 biology students travelled to Dol-y-Moch, Snowdonia, North Wales, to develop their understanding of practical ecology.  

Ecology is a branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings.

The aim of the course was to give the students opportunities to apply their learning to three different environments, the rocky shore, sand dunes, and a forest. Students gathered samples in each of these environments, ready for the ecology essential practical required for their exams. 

The students made excellent progress and were very enthusiastic in conditions that made collecting samples challenging. We hope this experience has given them confidence to perform well in their exams.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Primary schools visit for 'International Whitley'

On Monday 23rd January, pupils from a selection of local primary schools joined us for ‘International Whitley’, an international themed morning, aimed at giving Year 6 pupils a taste of Whitley Academy's facilities and lessons.

The PE department prepared our Sports Hall for a morning of PARKOUR, an obstacle based sport developed from French military training where the aim is to get over all the obstacles in the quickest and most effective way possible. 

Whitley Academy staff and student leaders gave a helping hand throughout the morning, offering help and guidance to the Year 6 pupils.

In History, the focus was on the French revolution, with pupils creating battle shields. 

In Modern Foreign Languages, pupils were learning about the French language, and building their own Eiffel towers. 

A big thank you to Stretton Primary school, Whitley Primary school, Manor Park Primary school, and Aldermoor Farm Primary school for bringing the pupils along. We hope they enjoyed the day. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

The amazing African adventure, at Year 7 'Africa Day'

Written by Ben Davies and Duncan Van Den Top, Year 8 student reporters.

On the 20th January 2017, the Year 7 pupils from Whitley Academy got the opportunity to “taste” some passion from Africa. Throughout the day, Mr Purslow – the Director of MFL, had prepared many African activities such as Arts, Fashion, Languages and Sports.

The day began with a short assembly presented by Mr Purslow and Mr Haxby. The pupils were shown pictures of African geography, including the countries, the wildlife and this vast continent’s complete biological diversities. We also learned about some challenges that African people still suffer including malaria, which comes from mosquitos.
Then Mr Purslow showed us a photo of Mrs Nguyen and Mr Purslow receiving the British Councils’ International School Award for the School in October 2016. For your information, this award was to recognise Whitley Academy’s school links nationally and internationally, and is valid for three years from 2016-2019. How cool!

When the assembly was over, the classes went back to their tutor rooms to follow a completely different timetable for the day.

We decided to visit Miss Routledge’s 7KRO group.

The class was doing a quiz where the students were shown a photo and they had to guess whether it was Africa or not. Everyone talked and of course all students surely wanted to win.

In Mrs Latue's classroom, pupils did a quiz where they had to find the answers to questions in an atlas such as “What is the tallest mountain?”

Did you know that whereas the UK only has 76million phone users, the whopping number of 650 million phones are used in Africa? Wow! They must have super mobile phone masts with very hectic and invisible highways of signals! Over all, the whole experience was extraordinary.

Next, it was time to make African masks. In FO8A and F18 (two rooms on the first floor), the pupils were enjoying making their unique African masks out of only paper, a pencil, pencil crayons and string. We interviewed a Year 7 pupil named Tyler and he said: “They are used for religious festivals to represent the spirits of their African ancestors”.

It was now time for some African languages. The students were really getting involved in the activity. Then they did an interesting quiz about Africa. Did you know that  languages spoken in Africa include Arabic, Berber, Swahili, Hausa and Yoruba?

And time for some Drama with Mrs Latue in G08A…

The class sat in a circle playing wink murder and when Mrs Latue said that the murderer was wearing shoes, everyone took off their shoes! You could imagine how exciting the ambience of the room was!...

Meanwhile in the Auditorium, Year 7 girls were learning the steps to the famous Whitley Academy 'African dance'.

Then riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing! End of period 6 and also of the day!

Thank you to all of our teachers who made the day so enjoyable for all of the Year 7 students including us – Duncan and Ben – the Year 8 reporters.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A bird's eye view: Improvements to the Whitley Academy buildings

Something that students won't really get to see, although the benefits will be felt, is the new roof overlay system recently installed on part of our existing roof.  This recent works is phase one of a three part roof replacement project envisaged to be complete over three academic years.

After securing a government grant for most of the £220,000 cost, the system will provide at least another 25 years of dry, secure weather protection for our building. With a further two phases to come (pending further grants being secured) the school will be in ship-shape condition for the next generation’s students.