Chinese New Year Celebrations at the Anglo

Miriam Williams, Subject Leader Mandarin: “Chinese New Year celebrations started on Monday 8th February this year. We have been celebrating in style at the Anglo with a Chinese themed menu in the canteen and traditional Chinese dance and tai ch’i performances in assemblies. As part of our distinctive international curriculum, Year 7 have been doing a range of Chinese related activities in each of their lessons during the week; such as making dumplings in Technology, stain glass window paper-cutting in Art, exploring traditional Chinese music and playing an authentic Erhu in Music, and making rockets in Science. Students have really enjoyed the opportunity to explore a different culture and celebrate the Year of the Monkey.”

Jody Gee, Co-Headteacher “Chinese New Year is always a special week at Anglo European, with the whole school focusing on aspects of the Chinese culture, language and traditions.” 

Annual STEM Information Evening provides invaluable advice to students

We held our annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) Information Evening last week. Students from Year 9 to Sixth Formers, from both our school and other local schools, who were interested in pursuing a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths were invited to the evening.  It was an excellent opportunity for students and their parents to hear first hand from respected admissions tutors and professionals on both the characteristics of a successful university application and examples of what a career in a STEM related occupations involves on a day to day basis. 

Our speakers included Mr Dipendra Mistry, a Magnetron Development Engineer at E2V Technologies in Chelmsford, who talked about his career and was joined by two apprentices to speak about their experience of studying on the job, and Aerospace Engineer, Mrs Dee Amos, who is currently working in the Aviation and Aerospace industry and who talked about her career path and career highlights, plus the advantages and disadvantages of a career as an Engineer. Exploring the academic aspects of studying STEM subjects we had Dr Simon Fairclough from the department of Physics, Kings College London, and finally Mr Roshan Walkerley, Higher Education Adviser at the University of East Anglia who covered topics such as how to make a competitive application and the range of STEM subjects available at university. At the end of each presentation there were question and answer sessions.

This informative evening provided invaluable advice to students and parents alike about a future career options in this fascinating field.

Stuart Newton, Director of Sixth Form: “This proved to be a very informative event that was well attended by students and parents alike, and gave a real insight into the diversity of careers that studying STEM subjects can lead to. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from one of the E2V apprentices talking about her work on technology that could eventually produce a 3D map of the universe, Dee showing us a video of her life in the cockpit of a 777 Dreamliner, Simon talking about his work on nanoparticles some of which measure only 10 atoms across, and finally Roshan’s advice on how to make your university application stand out from the crowd. Hopefully the hard work that went into putting on this event paid off and inspired some of our students to pursue a career in a STEM related subject.”

Year 9 visit the British Film Institute for a Chinese film study day

On Thursday 4th February, 14 Year 9 students studying Chinese went to the British Film Institute in London for a Chinese film study day. In the morning, we watched clips from different Chinese films and explored themes such as rural versus urban, and tradition versus modern. In the afternoon, we watched Not One Less, a fascinating film produced by the Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Students enjoyed the opportunity to explore Chinese history and culture, whilst also stretching their language skills.

Another successful Enterprise Day led by lower sixth IBC students

We have once again held our Enterprise Days involving both year 9 and Lower Sixth students.

Our Enterprise curriculum is delivered through our Citizenship lessons across the school and each year group participates in activities related to economic well being and financial capability, threaded through the wider aims of becoming responsible, proactive global citizens.

To this end, our year 9 students have participated this week in an Enterprise Day organised and delivered by our lower sixth IBC students as part of their Approaches to Learning module which focuses on transferable work and life skills. The IBC course emphasizes critical and ethical thinking, intercultural understanding and the ability to communicate effectively – all skills that our lower sixth students had to adopt for this project.

The year 9 task for the day was to create an ethical café / shop and produce and present a business plan for it, including a budget & marketing strategy. The students were very fortunate in having some “experts” on hand to assist them in the task – namely representatives from Lloyds Bank, an Independent Food Retailer Dan Hull Foods and the Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society. These experts presented some key ideas on budgeting, marketing and corporate social responsibility to the students and were then on hand throughout the morning for students to “drop in” for more specific advice and guidance. In the afternoon each group presented their creations to our expert panel who judged them and awarded prizes.

L6th IBC students:

“As part of the IBC programme we have the opportunity to run the Enterprise Day here at the Anglo. This day helps us develop skills such as time management, organisation, teamwork and event management.”

“We were able to discover skills we didn’t know we had, and were able to give back to the school.”

Year 9 student Emmie Bowlt:

“This event has been really challenging but this helps you for the future.  It has been really good learning from the professionals, seeing how they do it and applying it to ourselves.”

This statement is from the professionals – Vanessa Howard, Marketing Director of Chelmsford Star Co-op – Trust partners, Steve Wynne, Lloyds Bank (our school bank manager. We are participating in their school to work programme) and Dan Hull & Paul Beaney – Dan Hull Foods (local food entrepreneur)…

“It’s important to us as local businesses to support the community and the Enterprise Day gives us that opportunity. It’s wonderful to hear the students’ uninhibited ideas and then to take that creativity and help them craft it into a viable business opportunity is extremely rewarding. The students seem to enjoy the experience and they gain some valuable lessons in business over the course of the day.”

Fiona Bell – Enterprise Education Coordinator for AES – “These days are a unique multi faceted opportunity for both our year 9 and L6th IBC students. For Year 9 they experience being entrepreneurs considering the ethical, social and moral responsibilities of opening a business, developing their financial awareness, creativity, teamwork and presentation skills. For the L6th students they are organising a corporate event for the first time and have all of the responsibilities that this entails – business meetings with the experts prior to and after the event, coordinating resources, venues, students as well as themselves. They can see how their soft skills improve and develop between the 1st and 2nd days, receive expert feedback and start networking with professionals.”

Read the Brentwood Gazette Article: http://www.brentwoodgazette.co.uk/Students-business-ethical-shop-project/story-28652964-detail/story.html

Community of Masemouse complete Fish Farm Project

Anglo European School send their congratulations to the Community of Masemouse on the completion of their Fish Farm and feel very proud that, they helped lay the foundations for this sustainable development project.

In July 2015, the first group of Anglo students visited Malalea as part of what will become an ongoing relationship between the Anglo and Malalea.  10 Anglo students and 2 members of staff accompanied Ken from Africa’s Gift to work for 10 days with the Community in Malalea and Masemouse.  They spent time digging irrigation ditches, clearing reservoirs, harvesting and pruning, teaching and painting at the local school and laying the foundations for this fish farm, a sustainable development project.   The people of Lesotho made a lasting impression on all the students and they feel very proud to see this project completed and to also know that the irrigation ditches and reservoirs they worked tirelessly on helped retain water during the severe drought that Lesotho has suffered over the last few months.

The next group of students will soon be preparing to return to Lesotho in 2016 and will be working hard to fund raise for the Malalea Development Trust for future projects.

If you would like to read more about Africa’s Gift and the work they do, please go to their facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/AfricasGift/?fref=ts, or website: http://www.africasgift.org/

Head Boy and Head Girl election process is well underway

The Head Boy and Head Girl election process is well underway.  Caleb Boateng, Ryan Green, Duncan Lee and Hamza Qadri are running for Head Boy and Eleanor Allen, Amelia Coles and Ashley Fearn are running for Head Girl. 

Quote from student candidate: “The process was started off by having the lower sixth nominate potential candidates. If a student got five nominations, they were officially in the running. Then we had to come up with our policies, making sure they were feasible. We had meetings with the sixth form staff about why we want the position, and to check if our policies were alright. With just over a week to put together a manifesto, a poster and a campaign video, it was the first test to see if we could juggle the demands of the job with the demands of our education. The head teachers asked to meet with us, in order to get to know us properly and find out why we were running. Our posters went out on the 27th of January, and now it’s campaign week. Some have t-shirts, some have keychains, some just have their charisma to attract voters. The voting itself will be in tutor period on the 4th of February, and the results will come out the following Monday. Then, an entire year with your new representatives changing the school.”

Good luck to all our candidates. 

The Study Club’s popularity and success continues to grow

As the Anglo European School Study Club enters its ninth year its popularity and success continues to grow. This unique resource is open to all pupils free of charge every day before school from 8am, during lunch time and after school until 5pm. It offers independent learning where pupils choose to attend whenever they wish for as long as they wish, as long as they have school work to complete.

David Barrs Co-Head Teacher had a vision that all pupils should be offered the opportunity to complete all assignments and homework, whilst fresh in their mind, within the school environment, thereby extending the school day and alleviating the stress of homework away from the home.

With so many parents working long hours, homework can be an added burden. Added to this, the schools unique ethos contributes too many pupils choosing to travel long distances and time becomes a key factor in stress at home at the end of the day. Offering a resource where there are resources and staff on hand to give support and guidance to any pupil should they need it, alleviates this issue.

The Anglo European Study Club opened its doors in the spring term of 2007, with one member of staff whose challenge was to integrate this resource into the normal school day where pupils and staff were all familiar with the benefits that could be afforded by using it.  Mrs Hill, the Study Club Manager, quickly recognised that communication and promotion would be key to this, and regular assemblies with pupils and communication with all staff have greatly contributed to its success. By the end of the first year it was apparent that its success with pupil’s attendance meant that additional staffing was required and Mrs Whitehead joined the team. The aim at this stage was to promote the resource as soon as pupils entered the school, with the view that they would continue to use it as they progressed throughout their school life. During this period, it was recognised that those pupils who travel on the school buses were missing-out on having the opportunity to use the resource as travel times are controlled. To meet this demand lunch time Study Club was introduced and managed by Mrs Whitehead.   

As the popularity of the resource continued to grow with pupils, additional staff members have been introduced into the team and three members of staff are available to support and guide the pupils. Staff who work in the resource are completely committed to giving all pupils who attend the support, guidance and help that they can to ensure that the pupils can complete the task they have. If this is not possible pupils can be re-directed to the many subject specific clinics that are available to them to use within the school.

All pupils within the school are familiar with the resource and fully recognise the benefits that they can get from using it. Pupils are aware that they should only use the resource if they have a task to complete, whether that be homework or revision and attendance is therefore very high for all three sessions of Study Club, with After School Study Club attendance consistently in excess of 50+ pupils every evening. Those attending can be from any Year group, those who can complete the task in hand without assistance and those who require support, all know that there will always be a member of staff available to assist them. Creating a stimulating ever changing working environment for the staff who never know what subject area or at what level they might be required to give support in. 

When asked how pupils feel they have benefited from using the resource, comments have included:-

“I didn’t come in Year 7, but then my friends started to go, so I thought it would be easier to do homework than go home and then trying to get on with it.

I found I liked the atmosphere because there are people around you and people to help you. If I was to do my homework at home, like I use to, it would be in the lounge but here there is noise, but its good noise”.

“Coming to Study Club has benefited me in revising for exams and completing my homework the resources are good there are computers that I can use and there are always staff here to help. Also I enjoy knowing that I can get all my homework done then go home and have my own free time”.

“I come when I need to do my homework, not every day. I come and work independently but I know there will always be someone there to help me if I’m stuck”.

 “I’ve attended since Year 8, it’s good, I think it’s had a great impact on me because you can get stressed out at home but at school I feel less stressed in Study Club. I like that I can come and do what I need to do and just go. It’s in a good place where there is plenty of room, better than a class room, we have good resources and we can ask the Study Club staff for anything, if they don’t’ have and they will get it for us quickly”.

“We do not have a computer or printer at home so I would really miss it. I will always use it because it helps me and it’s a really nice place to come”.

By using the resource, pupils can benefit not only from having staff on- hand to help them, if they require it, and all the resources they may need, it also fosters friendships across the school within different Year groups, where pupils work together to help one another.

As each new academic year commences, Mrs Hill sets- out to achieve another goal. Over the past two years, the focus has been around ensuring that those pupils taking their GCSE exams are fully prepared. By focusing pupils at the beginning of Year 10 on the benefits of preparation through promotional assemblies it has been Study Club’s aim to ensure that all GCSE pupils have the opportunity to use the resource. This has proved extremely successful during the last academic year, and currently by the end of the autumn term 2015, 148 of the 209 Year 11 pupils currently on roll, have already used the resource, with on average 25+ Year 11 pupils using the resource every evening, in addition to other pupils from different year groups.

When asked his thoughts on what impact he felt Study Club had on his Year group last year Mr Burrows commented :-

“The Study Club is a lifeline to GCSE success, it’s as simple as that. It’s no coincidence that those students who performed the best, were the same students who had the self-discipline and work ethic to make use of the business-like and supportive environment of the Study Club every night after school until 5pm. Highflyers like Jelani Watson-Gayle, Pippa Blunden and Harry Tomsett had a lot of extra-curricular commitments and were still able to get the best out of themselves thanks to the Study Club and their own perseverance in using it.

Similarly, students who hadn’t given a good account of themselves in the past, post-mock exams, were able to turn things around and get good results. That’s because they changed their ways and buckled down. They became regular faces in the Study Club from 8am until 5pm, every single day. This was from late January right up until May. I wish I’d had a Study Club for my GCSEs, I had to use my grandparents’ house”.

Miss Dempster past Year Leader commented on the impact Study Club had on a particular student in her Year group:-

“I never appreciated how much Study Club can help students grow in confidence and overcome some of the challenges they face at secondary school until I worked with Mrs Hill, our Study Club Manager, as a Year Leader.  One of the students in my year group was struggling with completing homework as they did not always understand what to do.  I suggested going to Study Club to help overcome this and it was met with worry from the student.  They reluctantly agreed to go and see what happened.  As soon as they arrived Mrs Hill introduced herself and put the student at ease, from which point forward, they attended regularly and credited the support received from Study Club as one of the reasons for their success at GCSE and beyond.  Study Club provides a safe and supportive environment for all students to complete work and gain extra guidance and support and I know students of all abilities and years appreciate it and find it invaluable, especially when worrying about exams”.

When asked her opinion as an overview of Study Club Mrs Keans Science Teacher commented:-

“As a teacher, I have found the Study club has been a very useful resource. I know that if my Year 7 students forget their instructions about using Showmyhomework they can obtain guidance at Study Club (and so avoid a homework detention!).  Similarly, if a student has missed a lesson, the staff at Study Club will find the appropriate topic in a Revision Guide, to help the student to cover the missed work.  The staff are also adept at helping students to find appropriate websites to tackle individual research projects.  I particularly valued the help given to a GCSE student who was struggling to prepare for his Controlled Assessment.  Mrs Hill kindly took the time to familiarise herself with the precise requirements of the assessment in order to guide the student through his preparation.  Many thanks to all the staff at the Study Club”! 

Mrs Hill believes that:- “With the ever increasing expectations on parents, more families find themselves in a situation where both parents work long hours, putting greater pressure on the family unit when they join together at the end of the day. This is a time when they should have family time together and not have this compromised by the additional stress of completing homework. By offering a resource that enables pupils to choose to attend if they have homework to complete both before and after school, it is meeting two requirements; it not only takes the pressure away from the home it also give pupils empowerment to be responsible for their own learning making them independent, self-disciplined learners who will develop the independent commitment to learning that is required of them to achieve the very best GCSE grades”.

When asked, parents have expressed their delight at how the resource has impacted on their children and their home life, commenting:-  

“Just one of the greatest things that The Anglo European School offers.

My daughter, Serena, finds this club very useful to her; it contributes to how well she does at school too.  “One continuous day’s work, better than bringing it home to do” says Serena. She enjoys the atmosphere around her, the help she receives from Mrs Hill, when stuck on tricky homework. She makes use of all the resources that are available to her.

Once homework is done, she has the evening free to relax and continue with her outside school activities.

Serena’s life has been so much more organised since attending Study Club. Thank you very much for offering this club! We are truly grateful to the staff”.

 

Another parent commented:-

“I would strongly recommend any parent to encourage their child to attend Study Club. Mrs Hill gives every child tremendous support. It is a welcoming environment with all the resources required at hand to help with any homework, revision or questions your child may have and there are other students of all ages and abilities that attend who all help each other.

Mrs Hill provided fantastic support for my son who attended regularly from year 7-11”.  

A template such as this, is certainly a great additional resource that any school could replicate. By giving the pupils, rather than the parents, the responsibility of choice, it is not an ‘After School Club’ rather an independent learning resource and therefore holds no responsibility to the school for the pupils time once they have completed their chosen assignment. Resources such as this give flexibility to the extended school day and works particularly well in areas where pupils commute to school, as well as to those who live in close proximity. Additionally, by offering a Study Club resource at lunch time it ensures that those pupils who travel by school transport, and therefore must leave at the end of the normal school day, are not penalised from having use of the resource and the support and guidance of the staff within it. This also ensures that at all times the school is offering independent learning opportunities for all pupils when they are not in lesson time.