Headteacher's Blog - Friday 27th March 2020
It has been a week unlike any other that I have witnessed throughout my career and as I sit in college compiling my weekly blog I miss the energy and life that is usually pulsating through the building.
As everyone is acutely aware these are extremely challenging times and never before has it been more important for Team Wright Robinson and our community to ‘pull together’.
This week I read a quote saying ‘social distancing doesn’t mean giving up on each other, it means that we just have to be creative about how we look out for one another and how we stay in touch’.
There is no doubt that it is more important than ever at this time to ensure that where we can, we help and support those in our communities who are most vulnerable during this crisis. Clearly we must adhere to the government guidelines around ‘Social Distancing’ and non-essential travel. However, there are still ways by which we can care for those around us who need help. If the college can help in any way with this please do not hesitate to contact us.
Should any families be experiencing hardship at this time please follow the link below for information on how to access financial support.
With regards to Free School Meals the college went to great lengths to ensure that all students were provided for in accordance with their eligibility. Information will be provided on Monday as to how eligible families can apply to join the City Wide Free School Meals Scheme which will be accessible to students from Wright Robinson once the Asda Voucher has elapsed on Friday 3rd April.
All that remains is for me to wish everyone well. Please take care and stay safe.
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 13th March 2020
This week’s blog is heavily dominated by sport for which I make no apology as so many great things have happened during the past seven days in the PE & Sport arena.
Last Friday I was fortunate to watch one of the best schoolboy Basketball games I have seen during my teaching career. The under 14 Boys hosted St Aloysius from Islington, North London, in the National Schools Basketball Semi-Final. As expected it proved to be a closely fought encounter with the boys losing out by just three points, 77-74. There can be no doubt that some key decisions, in my opinion, wrongly went against us but the boys showed great sportsmanship and dignity in defeat despite feeling that it was an opportunity missed. Well done to Mr Simonneau and the boys on producing one of the ‘stand out’ team performances of the year.
In reaching the National Semi-Final the boys achieved a college first and as things often come in ‘two’s’ last Wednesday the under 13 girls Netball Team also achieved a first for the college when they reached the County Netball Final. Unfortunately, the girls lost to a strong Withington side in the final but only after dispatching Bury Grammar School, Stockport Grammar School, Saddleworth, Loreto Girls School and Altrincham Girls Grammar School in the group and semi-final stages. Well done to Mrs Haworth and the girls.
Also bound for a County Final are the year 9 Boys ‘A’ Football Team after they defeated a previously unbeaten Turton side 4-1 in the semi-final. The two sides look destined to meet again, potentially in a national semi-final, but for now it is advantage Wright Robinson. Well done to Mr Mason and the boys.
Also this week the year 11 ‘A’, 10 ‘A’ & ‘B’, 9 ‘A’ & ‘B’ and 8 ‘A’ Girls Netball Teams all progressed through to the semi-finals of the Manchester Schools Netball Knockouts, with the Year 7’s due to play their quarter final on Monday.
In keeping with the winning theme on Thursday our Year 10 & 11 Girls Football Team were crowned KS4 Manchester Schools League Champions for the 2019/2020 season.
Friday was Sport Relief Day and thanks to Ms Ashton Smith and the PE Department the occasion was marked with lots of fun sporting activities.
‘Sport Relief inspires the nation to raise life changing amounts of money and take on some of the world’s most pressing problems through the power of sport’. (Sportrelief.com 2020).
Team Wright Robinson played our role in helping raise those all-important funds to help the lives of others. Students and staff took part in a ‘get your kit on’ day, making a contribution to come to school wearing their sports attire for the day.
At lunch time several activities were organised, including ‘beat the teacher’ at table tennis, the crossbar challenge, ball drop from the balcony, shoot the hoop in addition to kick up and a tik-tok challenges. Students contributed to take part and prizes were up for grabs.
Before 9am I am told the college had already raised over £1000 illustrating the power of Team Wright Robinson.
Next Tuesday at 3.15pm Mr Daly, Ms Hodson and the English department will host the first Year 11 English Literature revision session for all year 11 students in the Auditorium. Last year the sessions were particularly well attended and the feedback from our students with regards to the sessions was excellent. I wish everyone well with this year’s programme.
Obviously the Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and in many ways daily life at the moment. Please be reassured that the college is doing everything it can to safeguard all students and staff from the threat of contracting the illness and we continue to emphasise the importance of good hygiene to everyone in the building on a daily basis. At times such as this it is important that the Team Wright Robinson community spirit remains solid. We must all be mindful of others who live and work in our community and keep a watchful eye on those identified as vulnerable under the NHS England criteria.
I would urge any parents / carers who have not signed up to the college’s ‘Parent App’ portal to do so immediately as this is an excellent conduit for the college to send information to you at short notice. Clearly the college remains open for business as usual and unless you hear news to the contrary directly from the college that will remain the case.
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 6th March 2020
There can be only one place to start this week’s blog and that is with Ms Loh and the college’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths) Robotics Club.
Last Thursday, the team of six joined several other North West schools at AstraZeneca Macclesfield to participate in one of the regions finals of the ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers EV3 Robotics’ competition.
Last year in the same competition, the Wright Robinson Team finished in last place despite a gallant effort.
However, in true Team Wright Robinson spirit not to be disheartened the students and staff showed great resilience to again. Such resilience and character clearly paid off as this year not only did the team come first being crowned North West Champions but they were also awarded special prizes for the highest scores in Team work and for creating the fastest robot in the competition.
The challenges included both creating the fastest robot and making a challenge robot that could complete a range of skills such as charging batteries, collecting discarded rubbish and recycling/collecting waste.
In addition, the students presented an environmental project based on their design which for Team Wright Robinson involved promoting making sustainable insect homes and bee hives from plastic collected at the college.
The team will now go on to the National finals, which will take place at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham on Friday 13th March. For the final they will face a new series of challenges and present from a booth at a ‘market place’ exhibition which will be visited by more than 80,000 people. I cannot commend Ms Loh and the students highly enough for epitomising everything that Team Wright Robinson represents.
On Monday the college hosted a Parents Event to provide information around ‘Managing Exam Stress’. Guest speakers from the Charity 42nd Street presented on recognising the signs of stress and strategies to alleviate it.
Parental feedback from the session was extremely positive and they enjoyed the fact that the session was interactive. Hopefully the information will prove to be useful to parents/carers and students as they approach the external examination season. Thank you to Ms Thomas for organising the event and to all of the staff that helped on the evening.
On Tuesday I attended the Manchester PE & Sport Conference at the new University Academy 92 building adjacent to Old Trafford Cricket Ground. The theme of the day was Inspiring Young People through PE & Sport. Opening and closing the conference with her own inspirational speeches was Gabriela from year 10. I must profess to be extremely proud watching one of our students speaking so confidently and eloquently in public. Well done Gabriela.
By the time I had returned to college on Tuesday evening Miss Thompson, Mrs Collard and Mr Constable were on their way with ten students from years 8-10 on a trip to London to attend the WE day UK event 2020, which was hosted by the DOVE self-esteem project. The event was held at the SSE Arena, Wembley. The students and staff travelled down to London via train and tube and enjoyed an overnight stay in a hotel. The students were all excited to be in London as it was the first time visiting the capital for the majority of the group.
The aim of the WE event was to empower young people in to ‘making a difference’. Young people from across the country and speakers from around the world attended the event discussing and debating the current issues that people are facing on a daily basis.
Some of the speakers were more familiar than others with Laura Whitmore discussing the importance of self-care; Jamie Oliver talking around the topic of Healthy eating and obesity; Leona Lewis presented on Mindfulness and Idris Elba raised awareness around the problems people face in the community and how young people need to come together to support one another and make a difference in shaping their future.
I am informed that as expected the student’s behaviour was outstanding from start to finish. A big thanks must go to the staff who organised the trip. Well done everyone.
Positive Mental Health continued to be a focus back in Manchester. This week Audacious Schools were in the building performing in assemblies promoting ‘Positive Minds’. The group encouraged students to remember the A, B & C of having a positive mind-set. ‘A’ is for Active; ‘B’ is for Better and ‘C’ is for Connected. Performing live on stage Team Audacious shared their own personal stories and showcased their singing talents.
From Monday the college has been embracing National Careers Week which has included a focus on thinking about the future and what career path students would like to take. Our students have been wearing badges highlighting their chosen professions and alongside career themed assemblies and form activities etc., the initiative has gained great momentum. Thanks to Mrs Pugh for orchestrating events.
Referring to a slightly different form of orchestra this week the year 11’s have completed their practical music examination performance pieces. I am told that the standard was extremely high and I hope that this is reflected in the summer’s results. Here is a sample of a student performance…
Sport has been high on the agenda all week with the usual array of team and individual pursuits taking place.
Students from years 7 & 8 attended track cycling training this week at the national Cycling Centre in preparation for a competition later in the year.
Competition was also the order of the day on Sunday for fourteen boys and girls who took part in the Manchester Schools Weightlifting competition held here at Wright Robinson. Thank you to Mr Surridge and his coaches/volunteers for ensuring the event ran so smoothly. Particularly well done to our competitors all of whom came away with a medal after a great days work.
This week there have also been Junior NBA wins for both the year 7 & 8 Boys Basketball Teams and in football the 9 ‘B’ boys beat Burnage in the league whilst the ‘A’ Team cruised through to their third Manchester Cup Final in a row.
I will leave you this week with a series of pictures illustrating how the college celebrated World Book Day on Thursday. Ms McNiffe’s Book Club can be seen having a fun packed time sharing their favourite stories. Ms Lee ensured that large groups of students and staff attended college on the day dressed as one of their favourite characters and the event proved that Team Wright Robinson will always rise to the occasion. Well done Team.
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 28th February 2020
It is great to be back after the Half Term break even though many of our outdoor activities have been disrupted by the weather.
This week has seen the college continue to raise awareness on the importance of supporting children and young people’s mental health. Since Monday the college has been championing Empathy week 2020 during which all PHSE lessons have focused on nurturing the ability of students to understand and share the feelings of others.
The students have been encouraged to place themselves in ‘someone else’s shoes’ and explore how they can make a difference to the lives of others through empathy.
On a totally different note on Wednesday twenty Year 9 students enjoyed their first extra-curricular session aimed at teaching them certain aspects of the Japanese language. The course is being run in conjunction with the University of Manchester and on this occasion student’s experienced an introduction to Japanese pronunciation and practised greetings and making introductions of their own in Japanese. Ms Khan organised the event and I am reliably informed that everyone enjoyed the session and that they are looking forward to the rest of the course.
Next Thursday once again marks the college’s celebration of World Book Day. Students and staff are encouraged to attend on the day dressed as a character from a book of their choice and prizes will be awarded to those deemed to be wearing the most interesting or best matched outfits. We have also asked students to bring any unwanted books into college on the day which will be distributed out to local charities.
This Thursday the college received a visit from Mr Mel Ainscow Professor of Education at the University of Manchester, Professor Chris Chapman form the University of Glasgow & Dr Morina Madrid a researcher from Chile. The group came to discuss how the college had achieved its Outstanding Status from Ofsted and to see the college on a working day. I am pleased to report that all three were extremely complimentary about Team Wright Robinson. Once again I was very proud of all of our students and staff and so pleased to see them gain further recognition for the great work that they do on a daily basis.
Despite the weather related disruption the college’s Year 9 Basketball Team still managed to produce an outstanding result with the team performance of the week. The boys defeated close rivals St Peters 82-42 to reach the semi-finals of the National Premier Basketball Competition for the first time in the college’s history. It is a fantastic achievement. Well done to Mr Simonneau and the team who now await confirmation as to which London team they will face at home in the semi-final.
The Year 8 Boys Basketball Team continued in the same vein later in the week beating Manchester Grammar School 28-18 in the Junior NBA Competition.
The Year 8 ‘A’ Boys Football Team continued the winning form for the year group when they also registered a victory this week defeating Sale Grammar School 4-2 in the Greater Manchester County Cup Plate Competition this time earning a place in the final.
Not to be outdone the Year 11 Girl’s Netball ‘A’ Team finished in first place in the Manchester Netball knock out competition to once again reach the Manchester finals. Well done to all those involved.
As everyone is aware the news this week has been dominated by the Coronavirus. The school is receiving daily updates from Children’s Services and taking advice from Public Health England. Please be reassured that as a college we are following developments closely. The poster below offers some advice with regards signs, symptoms and prevention in terms of the illness.
I wish everyone well for the week ahead and hope that we can have some respite from the inclement weather.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 14th February 2020
Last week the blog started with the arts but this week it has to begin with sport. The ‘stand out’ achievement from the past seven days was undoubtedly last Friday’s win in the semi-final of ESFA Elite Trophy for the year 9 Boys Football ‘A’ Team. In the end the boys ran out convincing 5-0 winners against a physical South Hunsley side and booked a place in their fourth national final in three years. Goals from Junior (2), Alfie, Fareed and an own goal ensured a comfortable passage through to the premier schoolboy football final.
On Thursday the boys also progressed to round 8 of the ESFA Cup. This time due to competition rules the team was restricted to including only three academy players in their match day squad. Illustrating the strength in depth of the group the team registered a 12-1 victory against Branston Community College from Lincolnshire. It leaves the boys just a couple of games away from reaching two national finals in the same season for the second year in succession. A huge well done to Mr Mason and the Boys.
Tuesday was National Internet Safety Day. To mark the occasion Mr Gallagher led a series of enlightening internet safety assemblies to years 7, 8 and 9. They proved to be thought provoking inputs posing the question as to whether the Internet is a place where everyone is free to be themselves? Students spent a lesson exploring this question, and looked at how to make sure that they are Fairly treated, Represented, Equal and Empowered online (FREE).
Thank you to Mrs Harding, Mr Gallagher and the ICT Department for all of their work on this topic. I am certain that they have raised awareness across year groups on the necessity to be safety conscious when using the internet.
I am pleased to report that Tuesday also saw the college grant prefect status to a further fifty year 10 students. The number of prefects in year 10 has now risen to two hundred and twenty which illustrates the commitment the year group has in terms of supporting the ethos of the college.
Our Year 7 Geography students have been busy taking part in a microclimate field work enquiry this week. They used specialist weather analysis equipment to compare the microclimate around different areas of the college. Using the information collected the students utilised several data presentation techniques and analysed their results to draw geographical conclusions. No doubt one conclusion this week was that in every area of the college the wind was gale force and the weather extremely inclement.
This week also saw a group of gifted and talented Physical Education students and their parents attend a workshop at the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance. They attended the second in a series of seminars held in partnership with The World Academy of Sport (WAOS), that will hopefully enable our young athletes to gain an extra edge. The college is fortunate to be one of only a handful of WAOS Athlete Friendly Education Centres in the country.
This partnership enables our students, parents and staff to learn from some of the highest quality research and education that modern sports science has to offer. Last month the students and parents were presented with information from Chris Bramah, who has extensive experience working as a Physiotherapist with both recreational and elite runners. He has worked for Team GB supporting their endurance athletes throughout numerous championships including the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2017 London World Championships. He discussed the prevention of injury and provided our elite athletes with information about caring for their body, the importance of sleep and recovery whilst providing practical examples for them to take away.
This week the students looked at Nutrition and the importance of fuelling their body for peak performance. The workshop was led by Jeannette Jackson who is a nutritional biochemist, published author (Penguin Books) and Sports Scientist. Students were encouraged to look at the food they eat before training, during competition and post activity. Jeanette demonstrated to the attendees how to identify food groups that prevent fatigue and boost energy. I am informed that the audiences have really enjoyed the sessions and have taken away some specialist advice which will help them on their pathway to achieving success.
On Thursday evening the college held its final Year 11 Parents Evening. I would like to thank everyone who attended. The rooms were filled with positivity which can only bode well for the summer.
This evening our Year 11 students will attend their Prom at Vermillion. I hope that the event proves to be as successful as in previous years and no doubt I will have lots to talk about in my next blog.
Finally, unfortunately there will be no blog next week as the college is closed for Half Term. I hope that everyone enjoys the holiday and returns fully refreshed on Monday 24th February.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 7th February 2020
There can be only one place to start this week’s Blog and that is with the college’s production of Sister Act. I was fortunate to attend the show on Wednesday evening and without doubt the performance can only be described as exceptional. It was great to see the team ethos permeating the evening with large numbers of students past and present in the crowd sat alongside staff, parents, carers and friends. The audience were captivated by the amazing work of the team of directors, musicians, crew and cast who made it all possible.
In total over fifty students were involved in five performances stretching over four days. The amount of planning and preparation that went into making the show such a success was immense. I would like to thank all of the staff who gave their time to help with the production adopting roles ranging from videoing the show, to stage design, to the choreography of dance routines, to collecting tickets, to selling popcorn. It truly was a Wright Robinson Team effort. In particular though a special thank you must go to Ms Rothwell, Mr Buckley and Ms Mooney who were responsible in the main for the overall production of the show. Well done one and all
This week has seen the college taking part in Children’s Mental Health Week, raising awareness as to the importance of supporting children and young people in terms of their mental health. The week was based on an initiative promoted by the children’s mental health charity Place2Be, focusing on the theme of ‘Find Your Brave’. Our students have enjoyed assemblies, classroom activities and extra-curricular clubs with an emphasis on looking at issues surrounding mental health. Students have been encouraged to try something new, ask for help and to push themselves to enjoy an experience which would traditionally be outside their comfort zone.
Robbie, our resident Wright Robinson College lion (a cuddly soft toy version not a live one!), has also been out and about in the college raising awareness and helping students to Find their Brave!
Well done to Mrs Collard and the staff for helping our students to ‘Find their Brave’ this week.
In keeping with the theme of positive mental health our year 10 students enjoyed a mindfulness focused assembly on Monday facilitated by Ms Pugh. With the impending mock examinations on the horizon students were taught how important it is to work on keeping the mind healthy during particularly stressful times. One concept promoted by Ms Pugh was that mindfulness is not necessarily always promoted through meditation alone and that other approaches such as focusing your mind solely on one activity can also be beneficial. The students enjoyed a period of relaxation which prepared them for the day ahead. Thanks to Ms Pugh for what I am informed was a well received assembly.
On Wednesday the PE Department hosted an Inspire Primary Basketball Event. As the title would suggest the day saw different Basketball themed sessions delivered by Wright Robinson staff and the college’s Young Leaders. Staff and pupils from Higher Openshaw, St James’ and St Clements were in attendance participating in a morning or afternoon session. The Leaders once again did a great job and the pupils really enjoyed their day. For some it was their first foray into the sport of Basketball and we would hope that ultimately it will inspire them to become fully affiliated members of Team Wright Robinson. Thank you to Ms Murphy for coordinating the event
There was another sporting first for many last Friday when a group of twenty two students attended a Pole Vault Taster Session at Sports City. The students quite literally threw themselves into a new activity. I must say big well done to the students who were prepared to push their personal boundaries and enjoy new experiences. I would envisage that many of those who took part ‘found their brave’ last Friday.
It has been a busy week on the sports front with the college teams recording some very important victories. The Year 11 Boys ‘A’ Team are through to the County Cup Final after an impressive comeback from 2-0 down in their semi-final against Walkden. In the end the boys ran out comfortable 6-3 winners to book their place in the final.
The Year 10 Boys ‘A’ Team also secured a final place this week this time in the Manchester Schools Cup. After gaining what appeared to be an unassailable 3-0 lead the boys experienced a nervy finish eventually defeating a strong Our Lady’s side 3-2. Well done to both the Year 10 and 11 Boy’s ‘A’ Teams.
In Netball the under 13 and under 15 girls ‘A’ Teams enjoyed home wins in the County Netball League against Manchester High School for Girls.
In the Manchester Netball Leagues the Years 7 ‘A’, 7 ‘B’, 8 ‘A’ and 8 ‘B’ teams also won on home ground defeating their counterparts from King David in all four games. It was great to see the Year 7 ‘B’ Team record their first win of the season.
On completion of this Blog I will be heading out to watch our Year 9 Boys ‘A’ Team in their ESFA Cup National Semi-Final against South Hunsley. I am hoping that the boys can continue in their rich vein of form and progress through to their fourth national final in three years. Good luck to Mr Mason and the boys.
That brings to an end this week’s Blog and I look forward to the week ahead in which Team Wright Robinson will continue to strive to be the very best at everything we do.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 31st January 2020
When I look back on the previous week it fills me with great pride to see the wide variety of opportunities our staff have provided for our students and the number of students who fully embraced those opportunities.
Intervention pre-school, post school and at lunchtime has run daily for the Year 11’s and they in turn have shown a diligent approach to their studies.
In assemblies we have been fortunate to be treated to scenes from next week’s production of Sister Act and if what we have seen hasn’t encouraged everyone to go out and purchase a ticket I will be very surprised. ‘Amazing’ is not an adjective that is used freely here at Wright Robinson when describing a piece of work but as you can see from the link, the performance of our cast, crew and staff in the production of Sister Act is exactly that, ‘amazing’.
Amazing is a description that can also be attributed to our student winners of the ‘Team Player of the Term’ Awards. In what proved to be a packed schedule these were also presented to students this week in assemblies.
It is a new initiative that aims to celebrate students who have consistently demonstrated outstanding teamwork and who fully embrace the Wright Robinson ethos. The recipients have gone beyond what is generally expected from students at Wright Robinson.
Each Faculty and Pastoral Team could nominate only one student from across the college. In addition, there was also a Headteacher’s Award. I am pleased to announce that my award was presented to Carys in Year 11 who unselfishly created a set of subject specific exam revision resources that all students could access via Instagram. There can be absolutely no doubt that Carys epitomises the Team Wright Robinson Spirit. Congratulations to the students below who won an award and to the many other students who were nominated.
Our prize winners were…
Year Team Awards.
Year 7 – Max
Year 8 – Tennille
Year 9 – Vinetha
Year 10 – Mabel
Year 11 – Daniel
Spanish – Maisie in Year 7
Art – Katie in Year 9
Geography – Levante in Year 9
Music – Jake in Year 9
PE – Gabriela in Year 10
Business – Pamandeep in Year 10
Maths – Jack in Year 11
ICT – Cerys in Year 11
D&T – Liam in Year 11
Science – Eleanor in Year 11
Computer Science – Jack in Year 11
On Monday Ms Pollard, Ms Hastings and a group of thirty Year 8 students attended an event hosted by the Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester, to recognise Holocaust Memorial Day. The theme for the event was ‘Stand Together’ something that we at Team Wright Robinson always do. Student groups from across the city were in attendance. All attendees watched three short films about different aspects of the holocaust and heard speeches from representatives of UK Jewish Film and Manchester City Council in addition to The Lord Mayor.
I am informed that the students represented the college in a noteworthy manner and that they made some really thoughtful and insightful contributions in the discussion and feedback sessions. A big thank you must go to Miss Pollard for organising the trip.
Last Friday as I wrote my blog another group of thirty students from Years 7 to 9 were also out of college. Mr Brennan, Mr Woodall, Ms Murphy and the students made the short journey to Eastlands to watch the British Track Cycling Qualifying Championships at the Velodrome. In my opinion it is not until you see live sport up close that you realise the pace, skill and courage that it takes to be at the top of the game. The staff and students found the whole experience exhilarating. Thanks to Mr Brennan for organising the trip.
This week we have once again enjoyed our usual array of sporting fixtures. I was particularly pleased to see the college represented by both boys and girls in the Manchester Schools Table Tennis Tournament held at Our Lady’s on Wednesday. Under the management of Mr Lea, Jandelle, Ashley, Ellie and Ella achieved a Wright Robinson first when they won the girls competition to be crowned Manchester Champions. The boys represented by David, Lasana, Ellis and Bailey also did exceptionally well finishing runners up in their competition. Well done to Mr Lea and the students on what proved to be yet another successful evening for Team Wright Robinson.
The Let’s Play initiative is also picking up momentum. On Thursday a total of 366 students took part in some form of extra-curricular physical activity with sessions starting as early as 7.30am. I really hope that these numbers can be maintained and I encourage everyone to get involved.
To coincide with this Ms Lee is about to launch the English Departments ‘Let’s Read’ and ‘Let’s Write’ campaigns which I await with great anticipation.
That brings to an end this week’s blog but be safe in the knowledge that moving into next week Team Wright Robinson will continue to strive to be the very best at everything we do.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 24th January 2020
Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s blog. The week commenced with the much publicised ‘Blue Monday’ and this coupled with some rather inclement weather, with days where the fog barely lifted, it could have been easy to succumb to the widely promoted negative view of early January.
I am pleased to report however that the resilience and positivity of Team Wright Robinson has seen the past seven days pass as enjoyably and productively as ever and once again I have much to report on.
At the end of last week Mr Beischer and I enjoyed our first meeting with the members and trustees of the Flagship Trust. I left those meetings feeling totally confident that the college retains the best support possible and I have a real sense of anticipation and excitement in what we will hopefully achieve as a college community moving forward. I would like once again to thank everyone involved.
It gives me great delight to announce that Wright Robinson College recently received an International School Award Foundation Level Certificate from the British Council for our work promoting an international dimension across the college.
Since 2018, staff across different faculties have been working on a project to achieve the aforementioned. They have been developing activities, resources and initiatives with a view to improving our students’ linguistic achievement, encouraging them to think globally and appreciate the benefits of cross cultural collaboration. As part of this the college were fortunate to secure an Erasmus Grant enabling staff members to take part in study abroad in order to further their personal linguistic skills and cultural awareness.
The award recognises all of the work that has been facilitated by the college including the introduction of pen pal projects using the E-twinning platform. To date three projects have been established, with student’s in MFL and EAL learning from and sharing with peers in Spain, France and Italy. This is just one element of our international work here at the college and we look forward to developing it further in the near future.
A big well done to Ms Khan and all of the staff and students involved in the projects.
Unsurprisingly it has been another busy week on the sporting front. Indeed, Thursday saw me come out of coaching retirement and don the tracksuit once again to assist Mr Mason on his trip to Northampton with the Year 9 Boys for their Quarter Final clash in the ESFA Elite Trophy. The last time the two sides met in 2017 at the semi-final stage of the same competition we ran out disappointing 1-0 losers. When the boys went 1-0 down after just ten minutes in front of a partisan home crowd that seemed to comprise of the entire Northampton school population and a drummer, one couldn’t help sensing a feeling of Deja vu.
However, by the seventieth minute an empty touchline with no sign of a drum or a drummer told its own story. Our boys took the game to the hosts and went on to impose themselves on Northampton, running out convincing 4-1 winners. Goals from, Junior (3) and Alfie sealed an impressive victory and earned us a first home tie of the competition in the national semi-final against South Hunsley High School. A massive well done to Mr Mason and the team.
There have been several other notable team performances this week with the Year 10 and 11 Boy’s Football ‘A’ Teams both progressing through to the semi-finals of the Manchester Schools Cup after defeating near neighbours TEMA at both age groups 3-0 and 7-2 respectively. The year 8 A Team Boys also enjoyed success beating Glossopdale 4-2 in the County Cup Plate.
Changing sports the college’s year 7 girls and boy’s athletics teams competed in their first Manchester school’s competition last Friday. Twenty-one schools competed in total and the standard of the competition was very high. There were some outstanding individual achievements with both Valentine and Levi finishing first in the 200m races which helped the boys team to a third placed finish overall.
The achievement of the day however went to the girls’ team who finished in first place, being crowned Manchester School’s Indoor Athletic Champions 2020. Both teams have now been chosen to represent Manchester in the county invitational competition this Friday. Well done to everyone involved and especially well done to our Year 7 Girls.
The year 8 Boys Table Tennis Team also registered a first this week when they competed in the Manchester Schools Table Tennis tournament for the first time. Proving that skill and ability can always overcome inexperience the boys finished runners up and are pictured here wearing their medals with pride. Well done Boys!
The college’s ‘Let’s Play’ initiative is now in full swing. Fortunately, the college was recently able to invest in ten new table tennis tables thanks to securing a discounted deal from Lancashire PE Services and it was great to see so many students participating in fun sessions of table tennis and trampolining at lunchtimes this week. As you can see we had large numbers of students getting active and taking part. Long may this continue.
I am pleased to report that the initial feedback from the Year 11 Mock Examinations is extremely positive. This week Mrs Timmons and I have enjoyed some very productive meetings with our Heads of Faculties and I am pleased to report that the general consensus is that the Year 11 cohort are progressing well. They are dedicated to the cause and I am hopeful that if current standards are maintained this Summers results will bring our students the success they fully deserve. Keep up the good work Year 11.
Finally, I have a reminder to all those interested not to forget to purchase your tickets for the forthcoming production of Sister Act. Tickets are selling fast. As I sign off this week’s blog please remember that Team Wright Robinson will always strive to be the very best at everything we do.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 17th January 2020
The week commenced with a very important event on the college calendar, Monday’s Year 11 Mock Examination Results Assembly.
Attended by the college’s Senior Leaders, Heads of Faculty, Pastoral Managers and Form Tutors the formal occasion was designed to provide our year 11 students with a taste of what is to come in August on official examination results day.
Students were addressed by both Mrs Timmons and I before leaving the Auditorium to collect envelopes containing their mock examination results.
Although nothing can totally replicate the experience that is to come in August it is hoped that this experience will inspire students for the ‘final push’ over the following months.
Monday also saw the college’s first visit to the headquarters of B & M Waste Services in Bromborough, the company responsible for recycling the college’s waste.
Members of the Lead Council accompanied by Miss Murphy and Mrs Woolston took time out to learn about the recycling process and how it helps the environment.
The day consisted of a series of games to discover facts about recycling, observing how the machinery worked and making something useful out of rubbish. I am reliably informed that some of the facts were shocking and a real ‘eye opener’ for staff and students.
The students are now planning to raise awareness about recycling and how to help our environment by designing posters and presenting in assemblies through which they will promote the phrase ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’.
This week’s assemblies have focused on the next exciting phase of the My Mind, My Body initiative; ‘Let’s Play’.
The aim of ‘Let’s Play’ is to provide greater opportunities for our students to get active and engaged in physical activities and sport. We hope to encourage all of our students to enjoy a minimum of sixty minutes of physical activity a day through participation in more readily available extra-curricular clubs.
Students will vote on the types of activities they would like to see offered at college and all students have been provided with a unique QR code to log which activities they attend and for how long they participate in each activity.
There can be no doubt that in terms of sporting performance Wright Robinson is renowned nationally for producing successful teams and high performing individuals. However, it is equally important to me that all of our young people develop a healthy and active lifestyle in a wide variety of activities. Ultimately the aim is that this participation continues long after they have left Team Wright Robinson.
During its campaign the ‘My Mind My Body’ initiative also took on a cross curricular theme and many departments embraced the idea. This week Ms Lee presented Kussay, Bachir, Gabriella, Mia, Morgan and Lewis from Year 7 with their own ‘My Mind My Body’ college branded water bottles as a reward for winning the English Department’s ‘My Mind My Body’ poetry competition. Within their Literacy Lessons students were given the opportunity to read about the importance of keeping active and of maintaining a heathy diet before producing work of their own. Well done to all of the winners and a big thank you to Ms Lee for running the competition.
It has been a massive week of competitive sport for the college with wins recorded in a variety of sports. There have been far too many fixtures to mention them all but to follow are a selected few. In netball the year 8 ‘A’ girls beat MCA 19-1 in the Manchester League and in football the Year 8 girls ‘A’ team won through to round 5 of the ESFA Trophy defeating Penistone Grammar School 4-2. The same team also claimed victory against Our Lady’s winning 6-1 in the quarter finals of the Manchester Cup.
The Year 9 Boys did what they do best and won in round five of the ESFA Cup away in Sheffield with a comfortable 7-2 victory.
Some may think my team performance of the week award somewhat bizarre given the amount of notable victories but nonetheless it goes to Mr Hibbert’s Year 10 Boys Football Team who were narrowly touched off 1-0 in extra time during the quarter finals Of the ESFA Elite Cup. Their opponents on the day were three time National Champions Thomas Telford who incidentally knocked the boys out of the same competition last year when they inflicted a far more comprehensive 5-0 defeat upon us.
Against a school that selects on sporting ability it was a fantastic team effort and the scores were level with only two minutes of extra time to play. The game could have gone either way and a penalty shoot-out would have been a fair outcome. However, it was not to be but the progress of the group was clear for everyone to see.
Well done to everyone who has represented the college this week.
The college’s Sports Leaders had a busy Monday with sixteen students from Years 9 and 10 attending training to be Basketball Leaders facilitated by Manchester Giants. The students will now take the lead at the Year 5 Basketball Festival which will be held here at Wright Robinson on 5th February.
Also on Monday twenty four Young Leaders supported staff at Sports City leading and officiating at the Primary Sports Hall Finals.
As always the feedback from organisers, spectators and participants was extremely positive. Well done to all those involved.
Also out this week were the year 7 Interform Football Winners. Mr Constable and the group didn’t have to venture far after winning a trip to The Manchester City Etihad Stadium where they enjoyed a full stadium tour. The students enjoyed the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes and experience the life of a Manchester City Player. Well done to 7C1 & all of the students who took part in the competition. Thanks also to Mr Constable for making it all possible.
On Thursday BBC Bitesize visited Wright Robinson to talk to Years 8, 9 and10 about what types of careers are available in the creative industry. Guests included representatives from the BBC, JD Sports and Manchester United. The students listened intently and I have no doubt that in the years to come several members of our alumni will be represented in one or more of those organisations.
On Thursday, a party of forty-four students from years 8 to 11 departed for a residential at the Hollowford Centre in Castleton that will run until Saturday. Under the tutorage of Mrs Rothwell, Mrs Mooney, Mr Buckley and Mr Nicholls the students set out to complete an intensive reading and rehearsal programme to prepare them for their forthcoming performances in the college’s production of Sister Act. The show to be held at Wright Robinson, will run from Monday 3rd to Wednesday 5th February and I await its release with great anticipation. I hope that all followers of this blog will attend on one of the evenings with tickets available from the college.
The schedule for the week ahead looks equally as busy so don’t forget to follow the blog next Friday to discover what has been happening here at the college.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 10th January 2020
I must commence by taking this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a somewhat belated Happy New Year.
I hope that you all enjoyed the festive season and that you enter the New Year refreshed and looking forward to the challenges ahead.
The first week back of any term can often be a little less hectic than the weeks that follow but here at Wright Robinson it has been very much business as usual.
At a time when the majority throw themselves into a New Year fitness regime the PE and Sport programme at the college has continued where it left off.
There have been some notable team successes since our return with wins for the Year 9 Boy’s ‘B’ Team away at Shrewsbury School in the ESFA Cup; the Boy’s Under 16 Basketball Team at TEMA in the semi-final of the Manchester Basketball League Play Offs and the Girls 7 ‘A’ and 9 ‘A’ Netball Teams in the Manchester League against St Bedes. Starting 2020 as they ended 2019 the performance of the week must go to the Year 9 Boys ‘A’ Team, who ran out convincing 9-1 winners in the County Cup at Manchester Grammar School.
The college had a visit from Company Chameleon on Thursday who delivered dance workshops to some of our PE and Dance students from Years 9 to 11. Students were put through their paces taking part in an intense technique and choreography session. All off the students worked incredibly hard throughout and had lots of fun producing a fantastic final performance piece. Well done to Ms Davies and everyone else involved.
This week also saw our Year 7 students launch their 2020 vision. In assembly on Wednesday the year group reflected on their achievements from 2019 and identified areas in which they could excel further as a team in 2020.
Each form has a developed a vision board upon which they have set themselves specific goals/targets to work towards during this next half term. The students will review their vision boards immediately before the February break. In addition, each student has been given a personal pocket vision document in which they will set themselves one personal target each week for the remainder of the term.
The idea is that students will practice visualisation and become motivated to achieve their goals. A big thanks to Ms Thompson and the year team for introducing this initiative and good luck to Year 7. I await the outcomes with anticipation.
In keeping with the theme of visualisation and a healthy mind, the college will continue to focus on the ‘My Mind My Body’ campaign throughout the year. It was great to see other Manchester Schools following our lead and introducing similar campaigns this week and I wish them every success with it. It is always great to see Team Wright Robinson leading the way with new initiatives. It is after all what an Outstanding College should be doing.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 20th December 2019
It has been a really enjoyable final week of term here at Wright Robinson with the classrooms, halls and corridors bursting with the magic and joy of Christmas. As part of the celebrations every year group enjoyed a Christmas Concert, Christmas Lunch and a Festive Film.
The staff and students fully embraced all of the festivities which helped to make the time so special. It was refreshing to see everyone singing along as one with wide smiles on their faces in the Christmas Concerts, lost in the moment and able to forget any tribulations. This week the competitive nature of staff and students has shone through via the various Christmas quizzes. Well done to Mrs Orton and the Year 10 Pastoral Team who each won one of the competitions.
The festive period has also presented staff and students with an opportunity to look at how Christmas is celebrated in other countries. Ms Benitez our language assistant has been telling students all about the Christmas traditions in her own town of Carmona near Seville, where the residents transform the buildings into one large nativity scene.
The nativity was the focal point again on Monday when students from Years 9 and 10 attended a Carol Service at St Clements Church accompanied by Ms Johnston. Thank you to everyone who took part.
The positivity has been spread far and wide this week with several ‘in house’ initiatives running. There was a particular focus on promoting positive Mental Health and goodwill as Christmas for many can bring added stress and strain. Based on the NHS’s ‘Mental Elf’ Christmas Campaign students were encouraged to pass positive messages on to their peers and staff who in turn repeated the process raising positivity around the building. I must profess to being cheered by the message left on my door last Friday which was initiated by Sophie of 11A3 aided by her peers and Ms Collard. Thank you to all those involved.
Our Year 7 students have also been heavily involved in work around positive mental health this week. They were each encouraged to identify one personal positive quality that they contribute to Team Wright Robinson and record this on a sticker for everyone to see. Students have been wearing these stickers around the building throughout the week, once again spreading the theme of positivity.
We have also had the Year 7 Christmas Tree of Gratitude on display in reception all week. This has enabled staff, students and visitors to view messages of gratitude from students which are displayed on the tree encouraging everyone to reflect on the positive aspects of life.
On Wednesday the college was visited by staff from Social Sense UK who ran workshops around mindfulness for students from all year groups. The feedback was extremely positive and the students particularly enjoyed the meditation sessions. Thanks to Ms Thompson for organising the day.
Interspersed amongst the festivities normal college service resumed and there have been the usual array of sporting successes this week. I am pleased to report that there were many stand out team performances. Firstly, the Year 7 Girls Football Team beat Didsbury School 5-0 in the 9-a-side PlayStation Schools Cup and then the Boys Under 14 ‘A ’Team followed suit with a convincing 10-0 win against Spen Valley High School in Round 4 of the ESFA Cup. The Year 11 Boys ‘A’ Team breezed into the semi-finals of the County Cup following the 6-0 mauling of near neighbours Audenshaw and to complete the set the year 7 boys Basketball team went unbeaten on Tuesday evening in the Junior NBA tournament. Drawing with Trinity and then going on to beat Manchester Grammar School and St Peters the boys progressed comfortably to the next stages of the competition. Well done to all those involved.
On Tuesday evening the English Department introduced the first of a series of Literature Intervention Seminars. Any doubts over the commitment of the Year 11’s to their studies in Christmas week were soon dispelled as a packed Auditorium listened intently to inputs from Ms Hodson, Mr Daly and Mr Carey. It certainly bodes well for the New Year. Well done once again Year 11 and thank you to all involved.
Our Christmas celebrations concluded on Friday with the student talent shows. The range of talent on display and the confidence displayed by our young people never ceases to amaze me. Once again the students set the bar high and audiences were left captivated at the performances that took place across various venues within the college. Thanks again to everyone involved in facilitating the shows and to all those who took part.
All that remains is for me to thank our staff, students, parents and carers for all of their hard work and commitment throughout the year. A school is not outstanding by chance. It takes teamwork, dedication and resilience to create the kind of educational environment that we are fortunate to experience here at Wright Robinson. I intend to sign off my final blog of the year with a video that illustrates what Christmas means to our students and what for me encapsulates exactly why this is such a special time of year. However, before I do so, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for the festive season. I look forward to seeing you all soon and ready to go again in 2020.
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 13th December 2019
I’ve got to open by saying that it is difficult to know where to begin this week’s blog as so much has taken place over the past seven days.
Last Sunday evening Ms Rothwell, Mr Buckley and the vocal group brought the curtain down on their public appearances for 2019 with a roof raising performance at the Royal British Legion’s Annual Christmas Concert held at Gorton Monastery. In all they performed four songs for which they received rapturous applause. Well done once again to everyone involved and thank you for being such fine ambassadors for the college throughout 2019.
On Tuesday Ms Murphy, Ms Bane, Ms Woolston, Mr Woodall and I were out in Manchester City Centre with a group of students from the college’s Charity Club. The purpose of the visit was to distribute bags of essentials to the homeless, illustrating once again that Wright Robinson College is an establishment that cares for the members of our community and for people city wide. The bags were made up from the many contributions that the charity club received from the families and friends of our students and staff. I would like to thank everyone for their kindness in supporting this venture.
As you can imagine the bags were extremely well received and hopefully their contents made life a little more comfortable in the short term for their recipients. In all we distributed around seventy bags and in doing so we covered 11,000 steps as I am reliably informed by one of the students. Well done to the staff and students for supporting such an important cause.
In keeping with the topic of Charity, Wednesday saw the staff out again this time with the lead council on a visit to Manchester’s Children’s Hospital. On this occasion the students were delivering the vast array of presents which had been donated to the Charity Club through what was a dual charity this Christmas. The college also presented a cheque for £150 to the hospital which was money the students had raised themselves in college time.
The community theme continued into Wednesday afternoon when the college hosted its annual Senior Citizens Party. Thanks to Mrs Shaw, Mrs Jones, Mrs Worthington, Ms Penkethman, Ms Salerno and Ms Woolston for all of their hard work in organising the event and to the other members of staff who assisted on the day. Thanks also to all of the students who worked as chaperones and helpers throughout the afternoon and the catering and caretaking teams for helping with the food and set up. There were over sixty senior citizens in attendance and we have received many lovely letters of thank you to further underline that the event was a huge success.
Whilst the festivities have started the college’s pursuit of sporting success has continued in earnest. This week there have been some notable team and individual successes. On Tuesday the Under 14 Boys Football Team won a tricky away tie at Thomas Telford 4-0 to book a place in the quarter final of the Elite ESFA Cup. Also on Tuesday the under 14’s Boys Basketball Team posted a notable win in the English Schools Basketball Competition beating our close rivals St Peters 82-49. These two results show the strength in depth the year groups have in terms of sporting ability.
The Under 15 girls continued the college’s run of success when they were crowned Greater Manchester Futsal Champions earlier in the week following victories against Flixton, Wellington and Whalley Range at Platt Lane. I have asked the PE Department to order in some more silver polish as the teams continue to add to our already extensive haul of trophies. The girls now proceed to the regional stage of the competition which will be held at the Beacon of Light Sports Centre, Sunderland on 12th March 2020.
The stand out individual sporting performance of the week must go to Favour in year 9. Earlier this year Favour competed in the Greater Manchester Indoor Rowing School Games competition becoming the fastest rower across all of Greater Manchester’sSchools. That success led to her qualification for the 2019 Mizuno British Indoor Rowing Championships which were held in London last weekend.
The event held at the Velopark in Lee Valley Olympic Village saw Favour compete in several rowing based pursuits. I am pleased to report that Favour won a Gold Medal in the 500m School Games row and a Silver Medal in the British Rowing Association 500m row, placing her second in the United Kingdom in this category. To complete the set Favour then went on to win a Bronze Medal in the 400m row. Well done Favour for flying the Wright Robinson Flag high in the capital.
Friday marked what I view to be the official start of the Christmas celebrations for the students. This year the Year 7’s set the ball rolling enjoying a Carol Service, Christmas Lunch and a Christmas movie before departing for home full of festive cheer. It filled me with great pride to see staff and students singing along to the Christmas carols and songs and it left me with the one thought, that nobody does it quite like Team Wright Robinson.
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 6th December 2019
Today the curtain falls on what has been an excellent two week ‘My Mind, My Body’ initiative. The focus has been on developing the students’ understanding of the mental and physical benefits that an active lifestyle can have on them.
Whilst Ms Collard and Mr Simonneau have orchestrated proceedings there have been inputs from a wide range of professionals. The morning ‘wake up walks’ did exactly that, particularly earlier in the week when the temperatures were very low. I am pleased that staff and students alike fully embraced the walks and this is something we are looking to continue in the future.
A ‘big win’ with the students was Ms Loh’s ‘duelling’ taster session, which thankfully was more akin to fencing with foam replicas as opposed to daggers at dawn.
The raft building and canoeing activities on Debdale were particularly well received by the students and there was some great feedback on the sessions run by the Army, The Fire Service, Audacious Church, Sala Soccer and Sale Harriers. My thanks goes out to them all for supporting the event. I must also thank the English, Science and PSHE Departments in addition to the Pastoral Team for ensuring that the message was spread across the curriculum. I would also like to thank Ms Moore and the kitchen staff for providing more healthy options on the daily menu throughout the campaign to encourage students to enjoy a heathy diet.
On Wednesday, Ms Naughton’s Spanish class enjoyed a traditional taste of Spain when a selection of Tapas was brought into college for the students to eat. With ‘la tortilla’, ‘el chorizo’ and ‘el jamon’ on offer the students got a sense of some of the culinary delights Spain has to offer. I believe that next on the agenda is a trip out for the group to a traditional Tapas restaurant at which time I am sure I will have a space in my diary.
This week also saw the launch of Mr Gunn’s Journalism Club. Accessible to students from years 7, 8 and 9 it is hoped that the experiences gained will help to hone the students’ journalistic skills. This week the group focused on preparing a press conference which I am led to believe involved the journalistic interrogation of Mr Gunn.
In a conversation on Thursday evening with a parent it was interesting to hear that one of our past students Dillon, is mid-way through a journalist based degree course. His studies have most recently seen him adorn the press boxes of several football league clubs, where he has been preparing match reports for publication. It is a field of work that has always interested me and hopefully at some point we may even see a member of our own Journalist Club reporting in one of our national newspapers. In the meantime who knows, we may even see a Journalist Club Blog. Well done to Mr Gunn and the students.
Remaining with the topic of parents evening I would like to thank all parents, carers, students and staff who attended Thursday’s Year 10 Parents Evening. Parents Evenings are a critical part of the education process providing a platform for all stakeholders to have informed discussions around student progress, attainment and well-being. As is always the case at Wright Robinson the event was well attended despite the inclement weather.
In keeping with the theme of attainment and progress well done to Boluwatife and Olateju from year 11 who won Ms Walsh’s Photography Intervention prize after each attended intervention sessions on forty two different occasions.
The sports and arts continue to play a major role in life here at Wright Robinson. On Wednesday Ms Davies, Ms Mooney and four students from years 7 and 10 were out working with the National Theatre. It was a great opportunity for them to explore pupil voice, develop campaign skills and bring awareness of issues to a range of audiences using drama and theatre.
On Monday Ms Ashton Smith and a group of girls attended the first workshop of the ‘Game of Our Own’ Programme which took place at the Leigh Sports Village Stadium. The presentation was delivered by members of the Youth Sports Trust Learning Academy and the FA PE Unit Staff. The Game of Our Own programme provides face to face training to support and engage girls in physical education through football. Furthermore, it identifies and develops life skills and supports girls to be empowered to lead football-related activities for others.
Lilly-Rae, Aisha and Natasha proved to be excellent ambassadors for the college at the event working with other schools to determine what motivates girls in sport and how they can overcome any potential barriers they may face.
In terms of sports performances this week’s stand out results go to the boys and girls under 15 football teams. The boys navigated their way through a very difficult Elite English Schools Cup Tie to beat Cardinal Heenan of Liverpool 4-3 on penalties after a hard fought game. However, possibly eclipsing that achievement, the girls were crowned Manchester Futsal Champions after defeating MCA, Newall Green and Whalley Range.
Well done to everyone who has been out representing the college this week.
Next week is potentially the busiest of the academic year to date as the festive period looms ever closer. Hopefully it will bring much for us to celebrate.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 29th November 2019
What a week it’s been at the college, as the pace of life quite rightly shows no sign of abating as we approach the run up to Christmas.
The year 11’s commenced their mock examinations on Monday and I think it is only appropriate that this week’s blog begins with me saying how proud the staff and I are at the way the year group have approached the whole process. The students have demonstrated a level of maturity beyond their years. Their behaviour and conduct has been impeccable and we have seen a real desire to succeed across the group. Hopefully this desire will bring the results our students deserve not only in the mock examinations but in next Summer’s external examinations.
This week saw the PE Department launch a new initiative in ‘My Body, My Mind’. I am pleased to report that it has captured the interests of staff and students alike. The primary focus of the programme is to raise awareness on the importance the role that physical activity can have on improving an individual’s positive mental health.
I must profess to being alarmed having watched the presentation that four in five eleven to seventeen year olds do not participate in the recommended one hour a day of physical activity.
I can say without hesitation that the college is determined to redress this alarming statistic and we will do everything within our power to encourage and enthuse our students to become more active.
This week students have been involved in a number of different activities both within their physical education lessons and across other subject areas. These have included bike ability sessions, group walks in the local community, the Joe Wicks form time work outs and presentations around how to improve sleep patterns and maintain a healthy diet.
Students have enjoyed finding new ways to be active whilst experiencing first hand the benefits these activities have had on them both physically, mentally and socially.
All students and staff have fully embraced the programme and I am certain that just like me they are looking forward to the wake up walks that will take place during form time next week.
In keeping with the theme of physical activity the last seven days have seen our school teams accrue many miles on the road with trips to Harrogate, Merseyside and the Midlands. Once again our wins have far outweighed our defeats.
The stand out team performances of last week must go to the year 8/9 boys and girls Athletics Teams who completed another historic double when they were crowned Manchester Indoor Athletics Champions.
The stand out individual performance must go to Stanley from Year 9 who cleared 1m 80cm at the Manchester schools Athletics finals to finish in Gold Medal position. In doing so Stanley broke the Manchester and Wright Robinson Year 9 High Jump record.
It has been another busy week for Ms Rothwell, Mr Buckley and the college Vocal Group. On Wednesday they recorded the college song ‘Not just when it’s Christmas’, as an entry into Virgin Radio’s Twelve Schools of Christmas competition. The winning groups will enjoy a Virgin Radio Experience Day which will include a pop-up cinema screen being brought into the college, hot food and drink stands and a movie premiere style red carpet. The overall winning school/college will also play host to the Chris Evans Breakfast Radio Show on Friday 20th December. I think the age old phrase of ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’ certainly applies here and despite the certainty that the standard of opposition will be high, let’s hope for a successful outcome.
There was certainly no time for staff and students to dream of what might be, as on Thursday evening the Vocal Group were out on public duty once again fulfilling their role as Bridge GM’s official choir. In the company of the Mayor of Manchester they performed at an event held at the Consular General Iraq Offices in Manchester City Centre.
The college’s ‘Spanish club’ run by Mrs Naughton and Ms Benitez continues to be hugely popular with students. The group have learnt many new and interesting facts about Spanish culture and the Spanish language. They have also looked closely at countries other than Spain in which Spanish is the first language. As part of their studies they have looked at the history surrounding Mexico’s ‘Day of The Dead’ or ‘Dia de Muertos’ celebration. This multi-day holiday is a time where family and friends gather to pray for and remember the passing of those close to them. In addition, the students have translated a chart-topping hit and taken a look at some famous Hispanic celebrities. I think the only other task I would now set the group is to see if they can conjure up some traditional Spanish weather for us just before Christmas.
The MFL department are also keenly promoting language learning not only in their classrooms but also around the college and wider community. To help the department with this Mrs Naughton and Ms Khan have enlisted the help of a group of committed students who have undertaken the role of language ambassadors. The Language Ambassador Scheme has been initiated to support Ms Khan’s Erasmus grant. The students selected are all keen linguists and are determined to spread the MFL message.
As my Blog draws to a close for this week I would just like to say that I hope the college has inspired all that read this to take part in some form of physical activity not only this weekend but during the week ahead, in support of our ‘My Mind, My Body’ campaign.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
Headteacher's Blog - Friday 22nd November 2019
It has been another busy week for staff and students at the college with lots of positives to reflect upon. For the first time in the colleges history, Wednesday saw four students from Year 11 enter the UK Mathematics Senior Team Challenge held at the University of Manchester. In a competition that is traditionally aimed at seventeen to eighteen year olds the team fared exceptionally well. They finished a more than respectable 26th out of the 50 teams who entered, the majority of which were from Higher Education College’s. Well done to Mrs Heeks and the team for putting Wright Robinson firmly on the Mathematical Team Challenge Map.
Whilst on the subject of maps, to many Corsica is a little known island situated in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the eighteen regions of France. This week as part of the school’s Erasmus Project managed by Ms Khan students from Mr Jones’ Year 9 French Class exchanged letters with students from the College Camille Borrossi, based in the small village of Vico. By participating in this process our students learnt more about life on the island, whilst ensuring that the name of Wright Robinson continues to spread far and wide.
Last week Ms Murphy took eleven students from year 10 to interview for a position on the Young Local Organising Committee for the Greater Manchester School Games. I am pleased to report that one of our Young Leaders Gabriella was successful following what I am reliably informed was a rigorous interview process. Well done to Gabriella on this much deserved success and also well done to all those who were successful in making the interview stage.
This week Ms Murphy was out with a group of year 10 students attending a peer mentoring network event. The group looked at several initiatives and ideas which will hopefully prove beneficial in their work back here at HQ.
Earlier in the week Mrs Seddon took a group of year 9 and 10 girls to the University of Manchester to attend a Youth Sport Trust workshop looking at ways to make sport and exercise more appealing to young females both within a school context and the community. Twenty-five professionals from the sports sector were also in attendance at the event. I look forward to seeing how the discussions shape changes in the future.
In keeping with the theme of students accessing community based events, Ms Thompson (Year 9) took a group of students to attend a youth summit facilitated by the personal care brand, Dove. Looking at self-esteem and body positivity students from years 8 to 10 attended the event held at Manchester Hall in the city centre. As a follow up to the course the group have now entered a competition to produce a media presentation that they will share across the college in the hope of winning a £750 first prize.
As is the norm at Wright Robinson since the last time of writing we have played some fourteen official fixtures in a variety of sports. In addition to this the Under 13 and Under 14 girls took part in a rugby tournament this week, promoted by England Rugby and held at Platt Lane. I am pleased to report that the girls ran out winners in three of their four matches.
Finally, Monday 25th November will mark the start of the Year 11 Mock Examinations. Whilst this is a particularly important time for students at the college it is important that stress levels are managed and that our young people make the most of their ‘downtime’. College staff have spoken to the students about the importance of this, providing details on a healthy diet, exercise and the need for consistent sleep patterns. Hopefully this advice will be heeded and the students will perform well. I wish them the very best of luck with their revision and the examinations. You can view your Mock timetable here.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
The first Headteacher's Blog - Friday 15th November 2019
Welcome everyone to the first Headteacher’s Blog. It has been a very busy week with lots going on both in college and out in the community.
On Sunday 10th and Monday 11th November staff and students were involved in a variety of ‘Remembrance Day’ activities with visits to the Cenotaph in Abbey Hey, Gorton Monastery and Heroes Wood, Debdale. The choir had major inputs at all three events and they were back performing again on Thursday at John Lewis, Cheadle, in their new role as the official Manchester Choir following their appointment by last year’s High Sherriff. I must extend my thanks to Mr Buckley and the students who have accrued many miles this week showcasing all that Team Wright Robinson represents.
As always the traditional Remembrance Day Service here at Wright Robinson paid a fitting tribute to all who have passed in armed conflict. Many students attended in uniform that represented various groups including the cadets, scouts and guides.
I must profess to being extremely impressed at the performance of Macbeth by students from various year groups under the tutorage of Ms Lee and Ms Mooney this week. If I had to pick a ‘stand out’ moment, I think this would be it. The group performed in Manchester as part of the ‘Shakespeare in schools Festival’ on Thursday evening and they have received excellent reviews. The students command and recall of the Shakespearian language was particularly impressive.
On Thursday evening the ‘Careers Pathway Event’ was very well attended by students, parents and carers. We had a large number of outside agencies offering support and advice to those in attendance and the feedback was extremely positive. Thank you to Mrs Pugh for organising and coordinating proceedings.
This week saw a group of Year 10 students take their first foray into their new leadership roles as Peer Mentors. Working to support the year 7’s in a variety of areas, this marked the next step for the students in the college’s leadership pathway. This important initiative led by Ms Murphy is at the very heart of everything we believe in here at Wright Robinson.
As Parliament itself was suspended the college’s Year 9 and 10 students took part in UK Parliament Week facilitated through their citizenship lessons. Learning how parliament works and debating topical issues our young people have enjoyed a taste of what life is like for the candidates currently trying to secure votes from the public across the country in the build up to the General Election.
In the sporting domain the college has enjoyed another excellent week with high numbers of participation and multiple wins in different sports for both boys and girls. There are far too many to mention individually but to see the Under 14 and Under 16 Girls Netball Teams competing in the national competition this week was really pleasing. Equally so was the Boys Under 14 football win in the ESFA Trophy away at Sandwell in West Bromwich on Thursday in what the staff described as the worst conditions they have ever experienced.
It was great to see the PE staff throwing their full support behind this year’s Children in Need Campaign. Ms Ashton Smith co-ordinated events this morning including mass participation in the Joe Wicks inspired ‘Big Move’ and the ‘duck race’ all of which were shown live via video link in the Sports Hall. At the time of writing the PE Department had raised in excess of two hundred pounds. For PE updates follow @wrirobPE
Hopefully next week will bring more of the same and thanks again to every member of Team Wright Robinson for their contributions to college life.
For the latest news and events follow us on Twitter @WrightRobinson
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