This year has been fun and informative as students and staff have been learning about different cultures and celebrating diversity. As was said in our recent showcase assembly, ‘differences from our own is a great thing, and this deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated in every community.’
This year, we have provided opportunities to learn about diversity with a variety of activities in and outside the classroom. We celebrated the culture of Thailand, Chinese New Year and Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday celebration. In addition, Culture & Diversity Ambassadors and School Council reps have done a great deal of work throughout the year to help raise awareness about diversity within our society. They have:
- challenged stereotypes with an informative and moving assembly about refugees and asylum seekers
- focussed on the positive difference Doreen Lawrence has made helping to improve race equality in the UK
- contributed to our school achieving the Stonewall School Champion Bronze award
- led the mock EU Referendum, which created a real buzz amongst students and staff
- highlighted religious diversity with an assembly about Ramadan in June
In part, our programme of events is about helping us all gain an insight and understanding about the importance of our own, and other people’s cultures, traditions, religions & beliefs, languages and lifestyles. This will inform and prepare our students for life in a diverse society. It is also about providing opportunities for them to consider what their attitudes and values are, and how they can continue to grow to be the best of themselves they can be as a citizen of our world – part of this is seeing the value and the good in others too.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all students, staff, parents and carers for joining in and supporting our work. Keep up with those simple acts of kindness J
It is sometimes useful to know about organisations and support service in Nottinghamshire as well as nationally. As a starting point, please click here to view our signposting directory for parents and carers.
The School Games Mark is an awards scheme which rewards schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school. OfSTED use the Mark award as part of their inspection framework. Schools are awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold based on their commitment to Sport and Physical activity.
The West Bridgford School is one of the only schools in Nottinghamshire to achieve the prestigious Gold award. In order to achieve this the school has to provide all students with two hours of physical education per week within the curriculum and have extra curriculum provision in addition to this; engaging at least 50% of students in extracurricular sporting activity every week.
All of the staff at the West Bridgford School PE department are dedicated to promoting extra-curricular activities. There are opportunities for all pupils to partake in Sport every night of the week and they also have morning sports clubs before school starts. On a typical night there is over 100 pupils at Athletics Club, 50 Pupils at Cricket and similar numbers at Tennis Club. As well as providing all of the traditional Sports, such as Netball, Football and Rugby, The West Bridgford School also offer more unique sports such as Lacrosse and Handball.
They have had some great sporting achievements with their pupils this year. To mention a few: The U16 Girls Netball team made it to the National Final finishing 12th in the Country. The U14 Boys Football team made it to the Forest Vase County final, as did the U12 Girls, U16 Girls and U15 Girls Football team and their Dance group qualified for a National Competition in Milton Keynes.
The school enters every competition that is physically possibly and this is fully supported by the head teacher, school and parents. Due to the high numbers at extra-curricular clubs the school enters more than one team. For the U14 Girls Rounders competition this year the school entered five teams with their A and B team having to battle it out in the final. Three teams were entered for the U12 Girls Rounders and again it ended up being a WBS final, knocking out local rivals such as Rushcliffe and Becket.
Malcolm Kemp – School Sports Coordinator runs a highly popular Sports Leaders Award which has over seventy Y10 pupils volunteering each year, more than 50% go on to volunteer over 50 hours of their time during 1 school year. He works very closely with the local feeder primary schools, organising their sports day and provides lots of activities at the WBS to help with their transition into secondary school.
The WBS always have a large number of teams that qualify for the Sainsbury’s County School Games. They achieved the Fair Play award twice this year and have won the following:
U14 Badminton team – Gold Medal
U12 Girls Basketball – Gold Medal
U15 Rowing Team – Silver Medal
U12 Girls Sports Hall Athletics – Silver Medal
U12 Boys Sports Hall Athletics – Silver Medal
U12 Boys Cricket – Silver
U12 Girls Tag Rugby – Silver
U12 Futsal Boys – Bronze Medal
So many times we send our children off on school trips and on their return when we ask ‘how did it go?’ the reply can be more than a little lacking in detail! As such you may be interested to read the thoughts and feelings of one of our German Exchange students on her recent visit to Germany…
Thursday 23rd June
We had to get up really early in the morning but apart from that the day was great! The journey took around 13 hours from Nottingham to Kerpen via the Channel Tunnel but we watched Skyfall and Toy Story to pass the time. When we arrived we went into our families and had tea then went to bed.
Friday 24th June
Today I woke up at 6:30, had breakfast and then went to school on the bus, which isn’t something I am used to. When we got to school I was very surprised at how different it was to West Bridgford. It has around 4 floors and has paintings all over the walls. The lesson I was in was politics and at first I tried to listen to what the teacher was saying but when they started doing a worksheet I did my English homework!! After that I went on the coach to Bonn where we went to the Haribo shop, a museum about German history and finally into Bonn where my friends and I played card games in the park as the weather was so nice .When I got back home Miriam (my German partner) and I made pizza and had a look around where she lives and played board games before going to bed.
Saturday 25th June
After a nice long sleep we had breakfast and then we were supposed going to go to and meet lots people and play football and volleyball but it was raining so instead Miriam and I went into Cologne and did some shopping and we had frozen yoghurt for lunch (which they have a lot of in Germany). When we came back, we watched TV and played UNO before the rest of Miriam’s family went to their friend’s and left me and Miriam to have tea and watch Harry Potter in German, eat sweets and then go to bed.
Sunday 26th June
First I helped make the breakfast, then I went to church. Parts of it were the same so I understood, but other bits I didn’t. Then we went to a medieval market. It was very interesting and for lunch I had a pancake. I also found out that there is a type of bread that they put on a stick and then bake. It was really nice. Afterwards, we went into Cologne, and despite the long traffic jams and the rain, we enjoyed ourselves a lot, especially after a large ice cream by the Rhein. When we got back, some friends came to watch the football as Germany were playing, but Miriam’s mum and I went outside to play Fast-ball which is a mixture between tennis and basketball. Emily (Miriam’s little sister) wanted to pick up the shuttlecock whenever we dropped it which turned it into a very amusing game. After that we had tea and talked before going to bed.
Monday 27th June
After waking up and having breakfast we took the bus to school. Our first lesson was biology and the second was German. Part way through German, we went to the hall and had a presentation/celebration of all the English speaking exchanges including one from Texas which was really fun, especially the Texan line dancing. As part of the celebration we ate lunch and played games. We were meant to have a Germany v England football match but, sadly, it was cancelled due to the rain, so instead, Miriam and I went to an ice cream café with one of her friends. When we got home we had tea and watched Harry Potter in German again (the voices are very different). Then to bed.
Tuesday 28th June
Today at school we had English and, as it was the end of the school year, we watched Sherlock Holmes and then we went on the coach to Dusseldorf with the Germans. When we arrived we had a city tour, learning about the history of the town and they told us how they wash the windows of the Radio Tower (they lower it into the river on April 1st!) We went on a boat trip along the River Rhein. I had lunch on a bench overlooking the river and then walked along the river and back. We all went bowling. After we got back we had tea, played games and watched Harry Potter in German yet again.
Wednesday 29th June
First we went to the bakery to get breakfast to eat in the Spanish lesson. Once that was over, the English group went to Cologne where first we had a tour of the city, and learned that when there is a concert you are not allowed to walk above the concert hall, which is underground, as it disturbs the concert. Then we had lunch by the river again, after which we went to the Sports Museum, which had lots of different sports to try, including boxing. We went to the famous chocolate shop and my friend bought some 99% chocolate which was disgusting. Once I got back we had tea, went to the Kölner Dom (Cologne cathedral). At this time there was a service so we listened to the choir. I was surprised that we didn’t have to pay. Then we went to an ice cream café. We sat outside and talked about Brexit.
Thursday 30th June
Once again we took the bus to school. We had a chemistry test first. I was really looking forward to this day and I wasn’t disappointed. We went to Drachenfels and Königswinter. Drachenfels is a rocky outcrop which is a remnant of a volcano and we went up it by train. First we looked at the view across the Rhein which was amazing and then we went to the ruined castle, then to the not ruined castle. Then we went back down and into Königswinter, which is a little village at the bottom of the hill. It has a Sealife Centre and lots of ice cream cafes. Once again my friends and I played cards. When we got back, Miriam’s family and I went to play crazy golf, but it was closed so we went to get chips instead. When we got back home I packed my bags and then we had pancakes.
Friday 1st July
Once again an early start – we left at 5:50am as the coach was leaving at 6:30am. The journey was much the same as on the way there, although everyone was much more tired. We still had the energy to play cards. We got back to West Bridgford at about 6:45pm in the rain.
A big THANK YOU to Mrs Youdale, Mr Peacock, Mr Patterson, Miss Fletcher and Miss Matthewson, without whom we would not have been able to go on the exchange.
Most of us were a little apprehensive to go to Brussels to say the least. The recent arrest of terrorist suspects in Brussels preyed on our minds. Then, after the Brexit vote 6 days earlier, we were saddened by the news and scared for our futures- so going to the EU parliament and seeing the British flag still hanging there was an emotional experience. Nevertheless, we wanted to make the most out of our experience and took it all in.
The parliament building where Farage had sat the day before was astonishing and extremely interesting. To think the decisions about the EU had been made here in this very room. As we had tagged along with a German politics class trip, everything was in German and it gave us a chance to really utilise our language skills. After visiting the parliament, the group was introduced to the German MEP Axel Voss. He started off by talking about Brexit and Mrs Youdale expressed our feelings to him and occasionally translated for us. Some of the German students asked some insightful questions and interesting topics were discussed such as terrorism, the European championships, climate change and of course, Britain's potential new Prime Minister. Axel Voss was very kind and shared our views as a group. We were given EU parliament goodie bags which were well received.
After we left parliament, we walked to La Grande Place which was totally magnificent and we had two hours of free time
to explore - we sixth formers wasted no time and started exploring via a waffle café and traditional Belgium chocolate shops!!
Although our journey from Germany to Belgium was a long one, we all thought it was an amazing day and well worth the coach journey. There was no hint at anger, weakness or anxiety - just another city fighting back whilst still maintaining its historic glory.
It was great for the Year 13 German students to experience this memorable day.
Rebecca Gale, Sara Rashid, Amy Reast, Matt Daynes, Elliot Farnsworth, Joe Bales and Calum Law.
These photos show Winston, the West Bridgford School Guide Dog puppy.
He has now completed his puppy training, and will soon be on his way to Manchester to start training to become a fully-fledged Guide dog.
He is developing well and should make an excellent companion for a blind or partially sighted person in the future
Winston is pictured beside the grave of Mr Phil Winstanley, the former Head of Post 16, whom he is named after.