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Mr Woolf's Blog

Here is a round up of our blog posts, keeping you informed about the life and times of Pinner High School.

 

June 2021

  • Walk to school!

    Published 25/06/21, by Chris Woolf

    We are so proud of the diligence and commitment shown by our Year 7 and 8 students on the Mandarin Excellence Programme as they participate in a series of national Chinese exams. Only 76 schools across the country take part in this prestigious programme, and we are so impressed at the levels our students are reaching. We wish them all the best of luck as they show off what they have learned.  These tests present a fantastic opportunity for our students to familiarise themselves with the format and experience of taking GCSE in a lower stakes setting 3-4 years early!

    A few green fingered Year 10s volunteered to help improve the environmental quality of the school this week. Under the guidance of their teachers they learnt how to plant new flowers, construct a new flower bed and even clean up the school pond.  Mr. Smith commented that “The teamwork and positive attitude of the students was magnificent and the transformation in such a short time was nothing short of remarkable.“

    Next week is 'Walk to school week'. Please encourage your child to walk to school.  If they would usually travel by car, please encourage them to be dropped further from school to reduce congestion and pollution around the school.

    ‘Solutions not Sides’ came into school yesterday and hosted a workshop with some Year 9 students on the Israel/Palestine conflict. They hosted a Zoom call where students could speak to and ask questions of both Israeli and Palestinian people. The programme that they offer gives a critical approach to education on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, aiming to tackle Antisemitism, Islamophobia and polarisation around the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UK. The programme has been formulated with the input of both Israelis and Palestinians as well as senior members of Jewish and Muslim communities, and is designed to prepare students to make a positive, solutions-focused contribution to debates on Israel-Palestine. More info is on their website: https://solutionsnotsides.co.uk/

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  • Stand Up

    Published 18/06/21, by Chris Woolf

     

    Another very positive week at Pinner High School, with highlights including Mandarin Excellence, refugee week activities, anti-discrimination workshops and a Careers Talk series.

    We are so proud of the diligence and commitment shown by our Year 7 and 8 students on the Mandarin Excellence Programme as they participate in a series of national Chinese exams. We wish our students all the best of luck as they show off what they have learned.  These tests present a fantastic opportunity for our students to familiarise themselves with the format and experience of taking GCSE, in a lower stakes setting. Last year, the hurdle tests were cancelled due to distance learning in the summer term, so this is the first time that our students have been able to benefit from this valuable experience. We are so proud of all that the students are achieving, and look forward to celebrating with them! 

    National Refugee Week activities focused on learning about isolation, highlighting inclusion and making connections on the theme of ‘we cannot walk alone’. It leads in really well to Diversity week, the theme of assemblies next week. The anti-discrimination charity ‘Stand Up’ have been at Pinner High in the last few days leading anti-discrimination workshops with all of Year 9 in their Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE) classes. Their website is https://www.standupeducation.org/ if you would like to find out more.

    During the last two weeks our Founding Head of Sixth Form, Mr Stump, has hosted four online Careers Q&A sessions with inspirational women working within STEM:  Dr Hannah Thompson shared her experiences of working in cancer research; Noemi Gyori gave us a taste of what its like to study for a doctorate in Computer Science; Lucy Eckersley – from the Royal Veterinary College – inspires us with how passion for animals helped her overcome social anxiety. Last but not least, Dr Ruth Faram proved that you don’t always have to get things right first time to achieve your goals.  Dr Faram failed her A Levels first time around, but her perseverance and passion for science saw her graduate from UCL before undertaking a doctorate at Oxford. Dr Faram is now the Head of Research and Development at 'Higher Steaks' and is a trailblazer in the world of laboratory-cultivated meat products. The talks were live but we will share the recordings in due course. If you or someone you know would be interested in speaking to our fabulous students, please complete the form here: https://forms.gle/C7933QdZ7y45qbhL7 Thank you in advance.

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  • A great week!

    Published 11/06/21, by Chris Woolf

    This has been the most ‘Pinner High School’ week in a long time. Team building activities, academic enrichment, Head’s Challenge events, student led initiatives and sports clubs all featured for our students, and was brilliant to see them embracing the opportunities available to them. And more new spaces open in Computer Science!

    Years 7, 8 and 9 were all out on the field for a full day each of team building activities led by ‘Wise Up’. They provide a range of different tasks that required diverse skills, and the students rose to the challenge together really successfully. One student summed their day up as ‘really tough and mind bendy, but really great!’

    I am very grateful to Bridget from the ‘Meat Like it Used to Be’ butcher in Pinner for coming to school to demonstrate how to properly joint a chicken, and donating one to each student in the Year 9 Food Technology class so they could do it themselves. This was extremely generous, and I am very grateful for her time and effort- and the chickens! Students were utterly absorbed in the process and made real progress. Thanks to Mrs Stephenson for organising it all.

    Colleagues in the English department are running a Poetry competition for Year 7 and Year 8. More details are here: Foyle Young Poets – of the Year Award The poem can be any length and any theme. The deadline is Thursday 29th July and the students can submit their poems via dedicated Google Classrooms. The winner will be announced in October! The Google Classroom codes are here: Year 7 code: lzdycd7 Year 8 code: f2zugkb

    In the last week I was pleased to be approached by two student groups hoping to launch new initiatives, Year 10 led Wellbeing Wednesdays looking at different ways of offering support for each other, and Year 9 students looking to start an Aspiring Activists group. I watch both with interest, and am grateful to my colleagues providing the support to help this happen.

    The same colleagues are able to provide 19 sports activities every week, running outside the Head’s Challenge activities which started coming back last half term, and gradually continue to do so over the next few weeks. It was brilliant to have our Silver Duke of Edinburgh participants training this week before their forthcoming adventurous journey, and plans coming together for an onsite Year 7 camp.

    And in the background, 1505 Teacher assessed GCSE grades being moderated and processed, and the Year 11 Leavers Celebration assembly on Monday. It could be a lump in the throat moment after 5 Trailblazing years!

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