Maths – Year 9 Higher

In the Year 9 Higher groups in Maths, we have just completed the unit on Fractions. This is a unit which the students visited briefly in Year 7 and Year 8, but having started the GCSE 3- Year Scheme at the start of this academic year, the work was covered in greater depth.

We began the unit revisiting basic fraction skills, such as simplifying fractions and converting between mixed and improper fractions.  We then looked at calculations involving fractions (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing). Pupils then applied these skills to various GCSE problem-solving questions, such as those involving area and perimeter of 2D shapes and combining the two different areas of mathematics.

Next, we looked at a new topic involving fractions – converting recurring decimals to fractions. Recurring decimals are decimals that contain a digit or a sequence of digits which repeats itself forever such as 0.3333333333….; this would be written as 0.3 or 13 if written as a fraction (unlike irrational numbers whose decimals have no pattern). Pupils really enjoyed learning this as it involved transferring some of their algebra skills from earlier on in the year. Emphasis was made on the layout of their calculations to ensure working out is clear and pupils secure all the marks if it was a GCSE exam question.

Miss Hasan
Mathematics Department

Problem Solving with Area and Perimeter

As part of their learning journey, 9H have been investigating how they can use different strategies to solve a range of problems involving the area and perimeter of rectangular shapes. Earlier in the year, they had worked on using algebra to form and solve equations and then more recently learnt how to divide quantities into a given ratio. These skills were recalled and utilised to help tackle area and perimeter problems like this one:

After some paired and class discussion, the girls were tasked to solve the problem using their preferred method. It was interesting from a teacher’s point of view to observe the thought processes involved and the direction that the girls decided to take to reach their answers.

The picture below shows Maariyah and Rebecca with their solutions. For part (b) of the question, Maariyah used algebra to set up and solve an equation whilst Rebecca took the ratio route to reach the same answer.

It was nice to see the students working both independently and collaboratively on the tasks and really thinking about how to break the problems down. I thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and although some may not admit it, I think they did too!

If you would like to test your own problem-solving skills, why not try this question that has particular relevance to recent events! 

The length of a football pitch is 50% more than its width.

The perimeter of the football pitch is 400 yards.

Work out the length and the width of the football pitch.

Mr McVey
Mathematics Department


Length = 120 m

Width = 80 m

Transformations and Symmetry

In Maths, we have been covering ‘transformations and symmetries’.

Transformations are when you move an object from one place to another. This can be done by translations (moving a shape left/right/up/down), rotations, reflections and enlargements. The reason this is useful is that we transform objects in real life by doing these manipulations. Also, it is useful being able to describe transformations as it practises the skill being able to describe instructions in detail.

Symmetry is when an object and an image look self-similar to one another. Two ways that an object and an image can be self-similar to each other is through line symmetry and rotational symmetry. According to the American scientist Alan Lightman, human brains actually strive to see things symmetrically. “The reason must be partly psychological,” he says. “Symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in as it helps us make sense of the world around us”. Also, this comes up in Biology as most animals (after vertebrates came about) tend to have bilateral symmetry, as this makes it easier to form organisms.

One thing that architects/designers will use for their designs is ‘tessellation’. Tessellation is a process where you will a way to translate a shape repeated times so that the self-similar shapes will cover a 2-Dimensional plane. This is used for wallpapers, tiling driveways, carpets, etc. Again, human brains are naturally drawn towards tessellations because of the amount of symmetry within these images.

Mr Rhodes, Mathematics Department

Life Skills News July 2021

All of the students started the academic year in Life Skills with a reflection on their experiences and thoughts about lockdown. KS3 students then looked at some of the content that they would have covered in the spring and summer term last year before moving on to this year’s program.

Year 7

One of the lessons recently looked at the right to education. This is some of the work that Miss Hollier did with 7P.

The students completed an optional extra task to create a biography on Malala after learning about the right to education.

Katie T, Chloe E and Faye G were awarded a heads commendation for their in-depth work.

This academic year, KS4 students spent time in some of their form sessions looking at this year’s content. Year 10 also recently took part in a sexual health and sexual content online drop-down day, which included a session from Tania Cockcroft who is the Community Sexual Health Education Lead for Lancashire Sexual Health Service. Tania discussed the importance of the ‘3 C’s’ with students – Communication, Consent and Contraception. Other sessions included sexual content online, fertility and infertility, routes in to parenthood and student voice with a pride month quiz.

The day was very successful and feedback from students was extremely positive. Here are a few of their comments:

“It has been very informative and helpful.”

“I found it interesting and I learnt lots of new things.  I was unaware about STI information and their symptoms and the types of contraceptives.”

“I think it’s good to learn about it, since not everyone knows about these things and they might struggle if they are in one of the situations if they didn’t know what to do.”

There was also some extremely good feedback on the question about anything that the students would like to see in Life Skills lessons in the next academic year. The responses have been considered as part of the program of study for next year as student voice is important.

Finally, thank you to the parents/carers who completed the parental forms questionnaire on the RSE and Health Education Policy and also general questions about Life Skills. Again, the overall response was extremely positive. Your feedback is important to us and I look forward to working with you in the next academic year.

Mrs R Cahill

Life Skills Co-ordinator

SEND Rewards Picnic 2021

As part of this year’s Festival of Performance and the Arts, the SEND department took a number of students whom we support from all year groups for an afternoon of picnicking and pebble painting in Hurst Grange Park.

Not only was this a fantastic opportunity to get creative out of the classroom, the students were also able to develop their social interactions with both staff and peers in a relaxed environment.

The trip was organised to reward the resilience of our students during what has been and incredibly challenging year; some of them have had the upheaval of studying for GCSEs through multiple lockdowns, some of them have had to cope with the transition to High School in unprecedented circumstances. We are proud of each and every one of them and it was an absolute joy to see them connecting with the outdoors and embracing the fun of the afternoon.

Some wonderful pieces of art were created and we hope to display them in the Garden of Reflection which is scheduled to be developed over the next year.

The afternoon was a roaring success and many girls asked when we could do it again; as a result, we hope to make this an annual event.

Thank you to all staff and students involved for a glorious afternoon!

Mrs K McGibbon (SENCO)

Chatsworth House

On Friday 9th July, Year 10 and the English department went back in time to imagine what it must have been like to live during the Regency era.  Following in Darcy and Elizabeth’s footsteps in ‘Pride and Prejudice’, we visited Chatsworth House to explore the House and its extensive gardens.

Many Year 10 are studying ‘Pride and Prejudice’ for GCSE English Literature and Chatsworth House was the inspiration for Pemberley in the novel.  It was also a filming location for the version starring Keira Knightley.

Students were able to visit many of the locations mentioned in the novel, allowing them a great insight into the context and setting of the novel. 

Chatsworth is also home to many priceless works of art – a Da Vinci masterpiece, ancient sculptures from Rome, Greece and Egypt, plus priceless tapestries.  It was a fascinating day out, as students were able to make links across the curriculum to many other subjects and also learn more about the role that the aristocracy have played in Britain’s history.

One highlight of the day for many of us was the opportunity to explore the estate.  Students enjoyed the grotto, the maze and the woodlands – lots of great places for picnics!

At the end of the novel, Elizabeth is asked by her sister when she fell in love with Mr Darcy.  In a tongue in cheek reply, she says “It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.”  Who can blame her?

Mrs Woodhouse

Curriculum Leader for English

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The English Department was delighted to welcome Quantum Theatre into school to perform ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for Year 8 on Thursday 17th June – just short of Midsummer!  Usually, we host many performances throughout the year, or take groups to the theatre, so it felt like a welcome return back to normality after a year of “bubbles”.  Fortunately, the weather decided to be kind to us and we were able to watch the performance outside, transforming the netball courts into an open-air theatre for the morning.

The theatre group were also delighted to be able to perform – we had initially booked the group back in 2019 and have had to postpone it numerous times.  It felt like a milestone to get them into school!  The performance was a lively introduction to Shakespeare on stage for Year 8 and they were a fantastic audience; attentive and appreciative.

The performance was highly engaging; the talented performers incorporated comedy, music and great costumes into their entertaining show.

Year 8 are currently working on drama skills in their English lessons, so this will have given them an insight into the importance of physical and vocal skills when developing a performance. 

Mrs Woodhouse

Curriculum Leader for English

Online Introduction to UK Parliament

The whole of Year 10 had the opportunity to engage in a live online workshop delivered by staff from UK Parliament. During the session, students learned about the work and role of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Students learned about the difference between UK Parliament and Government, the work of MPs and members of the House of Lords, how laws are made and how to get their voices heard.

As part of the session, students were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to engage in a live Q&A session with Katherine Fletcher, the MP for South Ribble. Across 6 different classrooms, students submitted questions about education, her views on current affairs and life after Covid.

The session proved to be really engaging and left all students with a good understanding of the basics of UK Parliament – perhaps inspiring some future politicians too!


Mrs Snowdon
English Department

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Everyone in our school community has struggled at various points this year and throughout the year we’ve endeavoured to find ways of promoting the emotional health and wellbeing of our students.

Wellbeing Bingo is a really fun way for our students and their families to keep mentally healthy and we’ve provided a huge list of enjoyable activities to tick off!

Of course, your daughter may need more help and so there are several sources of help listed too.

  • Artsmark Platinum Award - Awards by Arts Council England
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • International School Award
  • Artsmark Platinum Award - Awards by Arts Council England
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • International School Award