A Time To Celebrate

At the end of the Spring term, teachers in the humanities and social sciences faculty like to look back at what has been achieved so far this year. It may be a more unusual year but there have still been several moments that we are keen to celebrate to share with you.

In economics, Mrs Kinghorn has selected the achievement of a year 13 student, Nicole Redmond, to celebrate. Nicole has completed an AMAZING one hundred hour of UpLearn, an interactive learning programme. In addition, Mrs Kinghorn would like to celebrate the achievement of Ashwin Aravindan and Roshni Vara, both in year 10, for their significant contributions to the year 9 economics Options presentation.

Mr Malik has selected his year 10 business studies students to celebrate. He is extremely proud of the excellent progress that they have made of the past two terms. He has noticed a clear progression in terms of their confidence in answering exam style questions. Mr Malik says, “It was a joy to have them back in the classroom and they have been engaged and focused as ever”.

Pictured is a year 10 class trialing a new ‘Twitter sticker’, where students have to write a succinct summary of their learning. I am excited for what next term has to bring!

Our new KS4 economics teacher, Mr Booth, who usually works as one of our outstanding IT technicians, is celebrating stepping out of his comfort zone. He writes:

“Throughout my 3 and a half years at BMS, I have been a hard-working member of the BSJT IT Support Team. This term I have started to teach some Economics and it has been great. It is very new to me but I have relished the challenge and opportunity. I have had some great feedback from the students and it is great to see them enjoying and embracing my lessons.”

Mr Booth thanks key members of the faculty for their support, especially Mrs Kinghorn and Mr Malik. Quite rightly, Mr Booth is extremely proud of what he and his students have achieved this term and recognizing the skills that he is developing from teaching that he feels will keep driving in his career in the right direction. Will be sure to keep me driving my career in the right direction!

There has been lots to celebrate in the geography department. Miss Dunsby writes

“A highlight of this challenging term has been the resilience shown by the students, especially the year 11 and 13 geography students. Despite having a very tumultuous GCSE and A Level experience they have thrived and been working so hard. I have enjoyed teaching all the students both in person and online. Every student attended the live lessons and handed in exemplary work which made me very proud. The progress they have made has been incredible and I cannot wait to see what they achieve in the future.”

Mr Mitchell has enjoyed teaching his Key Stage 3 geography classes this term and giving them the freedom to choose aspects of the topic that they find most interesting. He says that this has “given the students an opportunity to be creative and highlight their strengths. “Mr Mitchell particularly liked some of the creative ways students linked ideas in their posters to geography.

Mrs Bartholomew feels that the highlight for her is the use of technology to enhance discuss and to access prior knowledge in order to embed learning.

In history, year 7 have been creating outstanding castle designs after studying the Norman Motte and Bailey design. Mr Lyley explains that “the idea was for students to develop a castle, (using a required shopping list of items) that was superior to the Norman design.” An activity enjoyed by all was when the class carried out a hypothetical siege following their designs to see whom the greatest Lord of the Manor was!

Mr Lyley particularly commends Luxman Aravindan, Briana Ciuhureanu and Adam Szertics.for their outstanding efforts.

Like Mr Mitchell, Mr Newbold also says that it has been great to see the students back in school and engaged with their learning. Mr Newbold’s best moment of the term is with his year 8 history class who are studying their new history module “Slavery and the Slave Trade”, covering how Britain became involved in the slave trade triangle and why this was so profitable. Mr Newbold is looking forward to next term’s lessons where the class will reflect on their learning and debate how those involved in this awful business should be remembered in the context of the Black Lives Matters movement.

Mr Dowty feels that his year 8 history class have also been really engaged in the work since the return to school. They too have been studying slavery. They have been researching and creating presentations on African kingdoms before the slave trade. Mr Dowty comments how his class “have enjoyed taking ownership of their learning and discovering what Africa was like before European intervention. They have enjoyed learning about different cultures and histories, whilst also using their research to teach me something new!”

Ms Falusi’s highlight of the term was Alec Apikian in Year 7 contribution in RE during Flair Week!
Alex, Ms Falusi says, “has become the EXPERT for our current topic: Festivals.”
Here is a picture of him sharing his knowledge!

Ms Brown is delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate the achievement of several specific students in her GCSE psychology class: Lily Purser, Irene Jacob, Nithursha Jegatheeswarn and Riyana Hirani all achieved grade 9s in an end of topic test on Memory. Clearly their memory was working brilliantly that day!

Mr Monks comments that he feels that the return of his psychology and politics students have “brought the school to life with their enthusiasm, curiosity and attitude to learning.” Highlights for Mr Monks, who is currently Acting Head of 6th, include the year 13 students sharing their UCAS updates and offers with him. He would also like to celebrate the year 13s preparing presentations on psychology core studies during Flair Week and Rasmi Parthipan and Andrea Amang, both in year 11, achieving an outstanding grade 9 in their end of topic test.

For myself, I have so many highlights this term I have found it extremely difficult to narrow it down. Personally, I enjoyed the sharp learning curve or ‘Live Lessons’, having to learn to use new programmes like Jamboard and virtual whiteboards in order to help lessons to be interactive. Alongside this, I particularly enjoyed the lively and, sometimes highly amusing, ‘chat comments’ that my students populated the lessons with. This week’s Flair week has also been a real moment of celebration. I was delighted that so many students across the school wanted to take opportunities to shine, from producing fabulous work, such as Reiss Totesaut, in 7 Elms, independent work for geography on Taiga Biome to students leading lessons and running quizzes and activities in lessons.

In law, 13 students across both years 12 and 13 stepped up to the challenge to complete some research into something of their interest and to either produce a written piece or to present it to the class. The topics have ranged from how ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ illustrates the importance of racial equality to get a fair trial to questioning whether our legal system is inherently misogynistic; from questioning whether recent sentences are too lenient to an insightful, mature look at US Death Row and a look at significant cases from 2020 and their importance to a look a law in films like The Children’s Act and Provoked. I have been so impressed at the enthusiastic way in which students have stepped up led lessons and discussions on all these topics.

As you can see, despite ‘Lockdown’, the Spring Term has been full of highlights and real moments to celebrate.

The faculty is looking forward to watching the students next term continue to show engagement, enthusiasm and excellent next term as we all continue our journey together.

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