The day is brought to life here in our photo gallery.
Year 7 - PSHE
Wednesday 29th January was an absolute delight
as we saw Year 7 students immerse themselves in a variety of exercises to test
and extend their thinking, communication and collaboration skills.
Nearly 120 students participated in all of the
activity which encouraged problem solving and communication. Students
literally tied themselves in knots and had to untangle themselves.
honed their communication skills by describing simple images to a partner who
has to recreate the image in its entirety, as accurately as possible.
classic party game where students were given names of famous stars - real and
imaginary - and, through asking yes or no questions, they have to determine
who they are.
on a famous TV show (anyone remember Catchphrase… “say what you see”?) where
students worked individually and
collaboratively to solve cryptic image problems.
have to mime a given scene testing their ability to collaborate and to offer
creative and flexible ideas.
working individually and in pairs, students had to solve cryptic puzzles and
work out which part of the human body was being described.
Have a go at the following if you want to test
your own skills:
2. Mail male
3. KNOW it NO
6. Treasure box
7. Large bunny
8. Personal pronoun
9. Red bean
(The answers are below)
Students fed back at the end and agreed that
the key aims (to think individually, collaborate as part of a team, make
decisions, solve problems and be creative) were met in full.
Of particular mention are the following
students for their outstanding contribution to various sessions during the day:
Brian Tan, 7S
Ellie Sill, 7P
Ben Minah 7S
Lauren Hulme 7S
Demeter Kosa 7S
Oscar Hartney 7P
Cerys Howells 7Q
Adam English 7Q
Kaerishma Vijayakumar 7T
Ismael Mokrani Pedrayes 7Q
Mya Kelley, 7R
I’d like to thank all my colleagues who took
part and also every one of the students who participated with gusto and a
3. No two ways about it
4. Excuse me
5. It’s a small world after all
Assistant Principal, Development
Year 8 - Gothic Adventures
The Year 8 students had a fantastic and very productive Wider Learning
Day. We were lucky enough to have Marcus Sedgewick, the author, visit us for
the day. He started the day by giving a presentation to the whole year group
about what Gothic means and what ingredients are needed for a gothic fiction.
Following this, the year group split off into groups of about twenty where they
worked throughout the day preparing an opening scene to a gothic play.
What worked particularly well was that students were allowed to use
their individual talents and strengths to make their play successful. Some
students spent several hours in the art department creating ambitious props
such as gravestones, daggers and mirrors. Others spent the morning in music,
preparing innovative combinations of music and sound effects to add atmosphere
to the play. A few from each group got creative with bin liners and cardboard
to create sinister costumes for the actors who spent the morning working with
their writers and directors to give shape and style to the piece.
The students were incredibly self-motivated and creative, but were also
fortunate enough to be supported by staff from various departments across the
school. Art, Music, Drama and English
departments all worked with students to offer their expertise and, of course,
our resident author for the day assisted the writing teams to create the
effects they aspired towards.
Watching the students work collaboratively and creatively was great in
itself, but the pinnacle of the day came with their performances. All the
groups performed their plays in front of their peers and teachers. It was very
clear how much students had put in to and got out of the day. The performances
were all very gothic, built tension and created great atmosphere to show that
they really understood what ingredients were needed to make a truly gothic
play. All in all, it was an incredibly successful day.
- Rocket Science
The Science and Design Technology Faculty were very excited to be able
to offer Year 9 a day of building and testing water rockets. The overall aim of
the day was to build a rocket that stayed in the air for the longest length of
time - this was no mean feat! To begin,
students had to work out the optimal water:air ratio in a normal coke bottle -
the photos speak for themselves! Whilst
testing was going on outside, others worked on a design to modify the bottle
making it more streamlined. Some groups
even managed to build in a parachute!
Students gained points for presenting scientific data in a suitable way
as well as for their initial designs, however buying materials from Mr Cawson’s
shop earned negative points! In order to
succeed students had to focus on presenting all their findings in a poster as
well as subsequent testing outside.
Group reflection and evaluation were key - some teams found that trying
to streamline their bottle too much resulted in a shorter time up in the air, so
further modification was required. In
the end one group from each house went head to head…..and the winner? Fleming with a total time in the air of 8.0 seconds -
Many thanks to all staff in the Science & DT Faculty - in
particular Mr Maruniak, Mr Cawson and Mr Phillips who spent many hours planning
the day. Our technicians were also
amazing ensuring that all resources and spaces were ready for learning in -
thank you Ellisha, Zaki and Zul.
Leader - Science and Design Technology
Year 10 - PSHE
“Throughout the day, we had a range of activities from bullying to
yoga. We were divided alphabetically into groups and followed different sessions.
The diversity of the sessions made it really interesting, enjoyable and at times
Survival skills included lighting fires and pitching tents. In
particular, people seemed to enjoy trying to light the fire as it is certainly
not something that we get to do every day – not that putting up a tent is
either! However, these skills are useful and I think everyone enjoyed the
thought that if we ever go camping, we will be able to keep warm, eat and put a
roof over our heads!
Ethics brought up some interesting discussion points such as whether or
not it is moral to kill in order to save more lives and whether or not the
death penalty is justifiable. We also got a taste of how different all of our
moral values are when we had to arrange different virtues into order of
importance. Some things, such as courage, were valued quite highly by most,
while things like rationality were often dismissed. It was a challenging task
which required us to really think about our own beliefs.
Mrs Tam led the Sex Education session and this was a really useful and
informative double period. It was great that we were able to talk about issues
that concern us in a supportive environment. It is important that we are well
informed and this was clearly the aim of the session so that we can all lead
healthy and happy lives.
Last but not least were the yoga sessions. Some people thought that
yoga was not for them, and were rather surprised to find that they enjoyed
themselves. One student commented “I liked the yoga, even though I am as
inflexible as a stick!” The positions that we were supposed to get into were a
source of some difficulty for many of us, particularly those of us who confuse
our left and right!
The P.S.H.E. themed day served to improve our awareness of the world we
live in but also gave us some laughter and entertainment. All the sessions were generally well received
and most of us definitely learnt a lot from the day.”
Year 10 Student Voice
Year 11 - Community and Charity
“On Wednesday 24th January, Year 11 students had their
first Wider Learning Day of the term, focusing on two very important aspects of
the ‘parcel’ of Alice Smith education - charity and community work. Having a
sense of responsibility for the community and a strong initiative to help as
much as possible in the world and people around us is key to encouraging good
citizenship, something which we will always strive to achieve. Thus, it would
only seem fitting that a Wider Learning Day would be held to both make students
more aware of problematic issues regarding the wider community and definitely to encourage them to be more
To start the day off, the Year 11s had the privilege of
being audience to two representatives of WonderWorks, a charity dedicated to
‘empowering women and young girls in Nepal to escape the life of dance bars,
dohori and cabin restaurants and lead a life free from violence, exploitation
and social stigma’. A very informative, yet incredibly eye opening slideshow
put together by the WonderWorks representatives enabled students not only to
see things from an outsider’s point of view, but from the perspective of the
suffering girls in Nepal themselves. Photos that the young Nepalese women had
taken were displayed alongside their deeply personal written thoughts about the
lives they lead - although saddening, this motivated many of the students to
think about the ways in which action could be taken to help the charity and aid
the women in these conditions. Fittingly enough, the representatives of the
charity provided a multitude of ways in which the students could begin to raise
awareness of the situation in Nepal and assist the charity’s work.
Following break time, students brainstormed, planned and
prepared ways in which they would raise money on their individual group’s
charity day, of which the main events will be held during Induction Week. The
majority of this brainstorming time involved group members discussing the best
methods of raising funds - naturally, most of the ideas revolved around food!
Some of the most popular fundraising techniques groups came up with were bake
sales, pizza selling, and sponsored silences. A few of the more interesting
ones were half-marathon sponsored runs and the ubiquitous favourite: teacher gunging!
To wrap up the day’s work, each group put together a
presentation to show the rest of the year group what they would do during
Charity Week to raise awareness and funds. Although a little fatigued from the
long day, students listened attentively to each other’s proposals for community
work and came together to show a new sense of understanding of exactly what
charity and community work meant.
Year 11 Student Voice
Year 12 - Curriculum work
With the examination season around the corner and PSHE delivery
done in class time, the Year 12
curriculum focus was for subjects in Blocks A, B and C. Study skills and
subject specific teaching was laid on to hone and help build up skills leading
to the examination period. This will be repeated for the fourth Wider Learning
Day in March, for Blocks C and D, and then some time spent finalising their
Year 13 - PSHE
It was a very busy day for the Year 13 students. Students started the
day by completing a mock Critical Thinking exam, not everyone's idea of fun but
certainly useful for them to see where they are at in the development of their
understanding of Critical Thinking.
The students attended a series of workshops designed to help them with
their next steps of moving on beyond Alice Smith. The sessions were on dealing
with change, ‘third culture kid’ (TCK) issues, how to survive your first year
at University and sexual health.
There was much talk about issues as students moved between the
workshops. For some it was revelatory to
understand what the symbols mean on your clothes and how that relates to the
washing machine. Hopefully we now have a cohort of students who understand the
difference between washing powder, fabric conditioner and the importance of a
white wash. For any parents reading this, I think that some trial runs are
needed, maybe only on your kitchen towels though!
Ashlee Lim commented that the TCK and the sexual health sessions made
her realise that there are more to these topics than she has previously thought
about and fully enjoyed the opportunity to talk about important issues in
greater detail and in smaller groups.
It was a day enjoyed by staff and students. It was good to step away
from the classroom and explore simple, practical issues that will or are
affecting their lives.