On Wednesday 12th February, a number of dedicated GCSE Musicians took the opportunity to perform their performance pieces in preparation for their GCSE Coursework submissions. It is often a nerve-wrecking experience performing in front of an audience, however by providing girls with this opportunity, we hope that this minimises their nerves during the exam process. There were some excellent performances on the night where the performers really shone and we are confident that they will go on to record excellent performances in their final submissions. During this concert, Brass Group also performed two pieces: ‘Ghostbusters’ and the traditional march, ‘Blaze Away’. The ensemble is performing really well at the moment and we hope to hear them again at another future performance. The girls raised money on the night through ticket sales and refreshments and this will be divided between our Soroptomist project and Galloway’s.
Mrs Cattanach Associate Assistant Headteacher and Curriculum Leader for Music
For the third year running, we have managed to raise an outstanding amount of £640, yet again ensuring that we can sponsor the education of two girls in Swaziland. Sadly, around May last year, Zodwa, the original girl who we sponsored went missing. We posted an article in the newsletter at the time but sadly she has still not been found. There are still charities out there searching for Zodwa but we decided in the meantime to sponsor the education of another girl who deserves a chance at academic success. Thanks to the school’s fundraising efforts this year, Sazile and Sinethemba will have the opportunity to better their lives through education. As well as achieving enough money to sponsor the girls, we still have money left over. Therefore, if anyone has any suggestions of charities or projects that you would like us to work on or with, then let us know and we will be more than happy to explore them.
Our annual ceremony will be the week after half term and the theme of our ceremony is ‘Empowerment for Women’. As an all-girls’ school, we believe that all women should feel empowered, confident and equal to men.
During the ceremony, a couple of Soroptimisses will be singing a song that links to empowerment called, ‘Sit Still, Look Pretty’. The poem below will also be shared.
Equality amongst everyone
Making yourself strong and confident
Working with one another
Exceeding in your rights
Realising your worth
Moving to kindness
Entitled to freedom
Never giving up
Togetherness with women
– Written by Louisa T (Year 11)
We are still recruiting new members. If there is anyone wishing to come and see what we are about, then you are always welcome.
This year Ash Wednesday is on Wednesday 26th February. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the forty day period known as Lent. On Ash Wednesday, Christians attend a religious service at their local church where the priest will bless ashes and mark a sign of a cross on their foreheads. This comes from the biblical idea that all humans come from dust and will return to dust. The importance of this teaching is to highlight that we are all equal, no matter how rich you are or how powerful you are, everyone will return to dust in the same way. The practice represents that humans are sorry for having done something wrong and will spend the period of Lent making up for this, by sacrificing an item to thank God for his sacrifice through Jesus.
Even if you are not a Christian, maybe you could benefit from sacrificing something during this period of Lent. Giving up social media may help you realise what is truly important in life by spending more time with your family. Giving up fast food could help you improve your cooking skills or help you become aware of the negative effects fast food can have on your mental and physical well-being.
Year 10 have spent some sessions in Community Studies looking at exploitation and coercion. This is an important safeguarding topic and is also part of the healthy relationships unit based on the new statutory RSE content for the next academic year. The resource used has been produced by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP), which helps young people learn to stay safe from sexual exploitation. It educates young people in how to identify features of an exploitative friendship or relationship in contrast with the development of a healthy relationship and gives them clear information about how to report abuse and access support. This is based on a set of learning points promoting awareness and positive behaviours. It aims to help young people learn:
• That in a good relationship, both people want what’s best for each other.
• That some people make you think they are your friend, boyfriend or girlfriend but really they are using you e.g. for money, status or sex.
• That some people make young people feel special (e.g. giving them gifts or paying them compliments) in order to gain control over them.
• That some people use pressure and threats to try to gain control over others.
• How to tell when a situation is unsafe and set boundaries about what you want to do and don’t want to do.
• How to tell if someone wants a relationship with you for the right or wrong reasons.
• That there are many people who can support you if you feel at risk, including teachers, parents/carers, and organisations like CEOP and Childline.
Students watched the video ‘Exploited’ as part of the sessions which is available to view on YouTube. They also used the characters of the video to discuss the learning points and finished with a story board on their understanding of exploitation.
We were delighted to learn that one of our former students, Dame Karen Pierce, has been appointed to such an extremely prestigious post of ‘Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States of America’. Here at Penwortham Girls’ we have been following her illustrious career with great interest and it has come as no surprise to hear of her most recent success, given the high esteem in which she is clearly held.
Like so many of our alumnae, Dame Karen Pierce is an inspiration to our students. She is a shining example of what can be achieved if you have the determination, ambition and commitment to fulfill your dream. We would like to take this opportunity to wish Dame Karen every success in her new role.
Well done to our amazing Dance Leaders who took part in the Dance Leaders Day on Tuesday 4th February. Broad Oak and Middleforth Primary School attended the event, taking part in 6 different dance styles. To end the day, all primary school students chose their favourite dance and performed it on the school stage wearing different costumes. It was a fantastic event and the primary schools thoroughly enjoyed themselves and they thought the Dance Leaders were outstanding.
At the time of writing, our Year 9 and year 10 students have just sat the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Intermediate Mathematical Challenge 2020. This always represents a fun opportunity to challenge our students with higher order mathematical problems and promote a wider range of skills that will be useful in later life.
As usual, the students approached the challenge with an infectious enthusiasm and gave their best efforts to achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. The department looks forward to receiving this year’s results and would like to congratulate all students who took part and wish them good luck.
In advance notice, the Year 7 and 8 students will take part in the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Junior Mathematical Challenge 2020 later in the year and, again the department looks forward to preparing for this and hopefully achieving another set of successful results.
The Maths Department has recently updated the student homework skills grids to provide additional focus on STEAM and Financial mathematics. Successful completion of these additional tasks will be rewarded with extra merits and provide a greater insight into the usage of mathematics in the world of work.
Since 1990, the amount of jobs that utilise STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) has increased from 9.7 Million to 17.3 Million (a 78% increase). To help prepare students for this, the department has introduced STEAM questions to Years 7 and 8 to help incorporate Maths within Science based topics to show the evident link between these two subjects.
For university (and adult life), there is a growing amount of stress amongst young people today about being able to budget, knowing how to understand interest rates and understanding if you’re paying the correct amount of taxes. The department has also introduced these questions within the Year 7 and 8 booklets to give an insight into some of the financial issues that may be important later in their lives.