Lancashire has fewer places in special educational needs (SEN) units compared with other local authorities. In January 2020 the Council approved the development of SEN units in mainstream schools in Lancashire so that more children and young people can get the specialist support they need in a mainstream school closer to their home.
One of the areas in which SEN units are needed for children is Preston/Leyland and this is why we are thinking about whether we should develop an SEN unit for children with social communication and interaction needs in our school.
At the moment this proposal is at a very early stage of development and we would really like to find out what families, staff, governors and other interested members of the local community think about this idea. In order to do this we are starting an informal consultation on 1st October, that will run for 6 weeks until 7th November 2021. More information about the proposal can be found here. You can also give your views and ask any questions about this proposal using the same link and filling in the questionnaire. You can get the same information in a booklet if you contact the school office.
We are also arranging a meeting for anyone who would like to find out more about this proposal during the informal consultation period. A member of Lancashire County Council’s Inclusion Service will also be at the meeting to answer any questions you may have with me, and other members of school staff/governing body, including Katie McGibbon our SENCO. This meeting will be held on Tuesday 2nd November, 4.00 till 5.00. Further details will be provided closer to the event.
We would very much like to hear your views about this proposal and so hope that you are able to attend the meeting and/or fill in the questionnaire. Please do get in touch with me at school or Lancashire County Council by email Inclusion.South@Lancashire.gov.uk or phone 01772 531597 if you would like any more information about this. We look forward to hearing from you.
On Friday 24th our students and staff enthusiastically participated in the nationwide Macmillan Coffee Morning, raising an amazing £416 for charity. There were hundreds of cakes on offer, with an impressive range of sizes, flavours and shapes! Many staff members also participated in the event and Mr Dean once again showed off his flair for baking by donating a very impressive book themed cake. The event was a real success thanks to the hard work of the Year 11 Student Leadership Team; however, a special mention must go to Ellie R, Year 11 for her determination in securing free cakes and coffee from Starbucks and Costa. Well done and thank you to all involved!
Carla D (Head Girl) right Eva W (Deputy Head Girl) left
We feel privileged to be able to represent Penwortham Girls’ High School; an outstanding school that works hard, year-on-year, to maintain exceptional academic results. More importantly, the teachers here feel a responsibility to help each student with her own character development. At this school, we are constantly encouraged to fulfil our potential, through a range of extra-curricular activities and enrichment days. These opportunities help students to feel fully prepared for their future, both on an academic and personal level.
Throughout our time at PGHS, we have been able to rely on our teachers for support; not just with our studies, but also our wellbeing. The staff at Penwortham Girls’ never fail to clarify their high expectations of us in every aspect of school life. They equip every student with the values and qualities that will enable us to contribute to society and become successful, confident young women.
We were absolutely delighted to host our Olympics themed Summer School this year and judging from the overwhelmingly positive feedback, the girls enjoyed it too! An impressive 98% said the Summer School was either ‘good’ or ‘great’, with 109 of the 136 surveyed selecting ‘great’! Every student surveyed said they would recommend our Summer School to a friend.
On the first morning, we were greeted by some anxious faces and looks of trepidation (from students and parents!) before all pupils went off to meet their form, to meet their new form mates, present their ‘All about me Projects’, play rounders and even paint their very own tile with Jane from Fired 4 U. Once the finished mural is mounted on the wall in the Quad, we will be sure to feature it in a future newsletter.
On the Tuesday, pupils were mixed into different groups and did some core skills work based on the Olympics, including numeracy bingo and TV news interviews. Wednesday was an action-packed day with the girls rotating around 8 different cultural blasts, with Japanese/Olympics themes tasks ranging from Sushi making, decorating fans and Japanese calligraphy. As the girls left the building with posters, tote bags and crabstick in their hands, they looked tired but happy- as did the staff!
On Thursday, the girls were again in new groups, meeting more of the year group. During the day, the girls rotated through 5 practical subjects, including hands-on tasks such as blossom painting in Art and making Pokémon key rings in Technology. On the final day, the girls were back in their forms producing presentations on the week’s activities which were presented at the Closing Ceremony in front of a hall packed with parents.
It was great to get to know so many of the new Year 7 students before they officially started at school and this hopefully smoothed over any concerns. In the final survey, over 100 girls selected that were expecting a good start at PGHS, with over 90% stating that the Summer School had made the transition to secondary school easier.
On Tuesday 6th July, as part of the Festival of Performance and Arts, students in Year 7 and 8 were able to watch the ‘Open Mic’ concert at lunchtime. Luckily the rain held off and everyone was able to enjoy their lunch whilst listening to many fantastic performances. Eloisa-Mai started off the concert with her superb version of ‘Gonna Fly Now’ from the film, ‘Rocky’. Sea then sang brilliantly with guitar accompaniment, a piece titled ‘I Don’t Know What To Name This’. Jessica and Faye were next up with ‘Good for You’ which they sang fantastically well before Hannah took to the stage to perform a wonderful version of ‘Count on Me’. Katie then performed a great version of ‘Somewhere Only We know’, which was followed by Carly who had us all moving to her version of ‘Levitating’. India then performed a lovely acoustic arrangement of ‘Valerie’ before Jennah took to the stage to perform the hit song ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman. Natalie then performed brilliantly the classic, ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’ before Grace finished the show with her fantastic performance of the song ‘Electricity’ from Billy Elliott. All the performers did an amazing job and Mrs Little and Mrs Cattanach were extremely proud of them all. Next year, we look forward to doing these on a more regular basis. Well done, everyone!
What an extremely busy term this has been for our language learners here at PGHS. We have been writing letters to our penfriends, reading German fairy tales, baking some delicious German bakes and preparing for our speaking exams. It has been busy but fun with lots of activities taking place and lots of opportunities to further our love of learning languages. We have even hit a record number of pupils opting to take a language at GCSE in both French and German! This is just testament to how hard our team has worked this year to bring languages to life and also how hard our girls have worked during lessons and the success that it now brings.
Year 8 French
Year 8 have been learning about typical hobbies in different French-speaking countries. We also enjoyed reading the letters we received from our French pen pals, where they described their school day and their timetable. They have sent us the official brochure from their school and we are very impressed with how many languages they learn. They finished for the summer at the end of June, but we are not too envious. From reading their timetable, we realised they often finish much later (5 or 6pm) and have double lessons. Therefore, we don’t really wish for longer summer holidays. Non, merci!
Year 7 German
Year 7 have been busy learning all about school life in Germany and all the vocabulary related to school subjects, teachers, lessons and the school rooms and buildings. They have watched little videos about life in a German school and found out some super interesting facts. Did you know that German schools start at 7:45am and finish at 1pm and they do not wear a school uniform? Our girls think this is a great idea but didn’t really like the rule that if you do not pass your subjects or your head of year thinks you are not working hard, then you are in danger at some schools of having to repeat the year! Some pupils have also been writing their letters to their German penfriends and finding out about life in German schools. We cannot wait to make some videos of our school to send to Germany!
9J Fairy Tale Board Games
9J have been busy with Mrs Gill making their own fairy tale board games to depict a story from the Grimm Brothers. We had lots of fun making them and also playing them (although some liked to bend the rules a little bit!!!!) The girls added lots of German vocabulary on to them and made some of the questions really tricky. It was brilliant fun playing them together!
Year 8 German
Year 8 German pupils have been busy this term learning about travelling to Germany and staying in a youth hostel, giving instructions and directions to people, learning to tell the time and learning about all the wonderful festivals and celebrations that take place in the German calendar. We even got to see some of the fabulous traditional German costumes from Frau Gelder and Frau Gill. Our particular favourites were the Dirndl and the Lederhosen! We even made some German board games based around the festivals and had lots of fun playing them and learning all the vocabulary.
Frau Williams and the Café in Berlin
A small group of Year 8 students have been improving their reading skills by tackling a German book. It is about a young Sicilian man who comes to Berlin looking for work. He also needs a flat to live in and German lessons.
The students have chosen their favourite chapters and given you a taster of what is happening in the book. We have also created Avatars of the main characters.
Yesterday, Dino ate pizza at an Italian shop called o sole mio which is owned by 2 Palestinian brothers. They ate tuna fish pizza at a good price but it didn’t taste the best. The pizza place was a few metres away from the apartment. No one cooks and there are stacks of mysterious dishes lying around. Dino describes the fridge as a ‘black hole’ as when he buys something and puts it in the fridge, it will disappear shortly. They have separate compartments with their own food in the fridge but they say it is easier to eat out. They eat donner kebabs from Turkey, Berlin burgers, lamb from Pakistan and Palestinian pizzas and much more. A Berlin Currywurst is a speciality here. It has an interesting story. In 1949 a Berlin woman got Worcestershire sauce from a British soldier and Indian curry sauce and mixed it together with American ketchup and Currywurst sausage was made. It is typically German with multicultural mixes.
Chaper 2 Multikulti
My chapter explains all the diversity and different culture in Berlin. My favourite part is when they say that they have mysterious mountains of dishes yet no one even cooks! In German, it is ‘Niemand kocht, aber wir haben immer Berge von Geschirr. Es ist ein Mysterium’.
Vocabulary – Currywurst
• Berge von
• Geschirr = Mountains of dishes
• Niemand kocht = No one cooks
• Ein Mysterium= a mystery
Year 9 Penfriend letters and Cards with Frau Gill
9P have been busy in German returning letters to our German partner school, Sickingen Gymnasium. Our pupils were very excited to receive their letters earlier this term and we quickly got started on returning a letter ourselves. Our focus was to use the imperfect tense that we have been learning in lessons so we used it to describe our past weekend for our German friends. We even designed little gifts to put in the envelopes to send over to Germany. We are hoping that they receive them before they go on their summer break.
Y9 French penpals
Year 9 have written back to their French pen pals. In their previous letters, they had told us all about their ideal holidays. We then wrote back about our favourite celebration and described our favourite food. The students were delighted to receive our letters which arrived on their last school day before “les grandes vacances”.
Year 10 German
Year 10 German have been learning all about friends and family and how to discuss relationships and life at home. The pupils took on the challenge of doing their practice speaking exam. They really showed just how much progress they have made in recent months and completed a role play, a photo card description and a conversation. It was a real success and despite finding it a little daunting at first, once they started they realised it wasn’t as bad as they had thought and there were lots of smiles all round. The more practice we do on these speaking tasks, the more confident we become! Everyone put in a super performance but some stand out performances were from Donalia M, Yusairah B, Ellie R, Nur A, Ellie M, Sophia R, Zahra A, Zahra N, Carla D. Well done, everyone!
French Food and Culture with Madame Raine
Louise from 9J has kindly written about our French lessons: “Recently in our French lessons, we have been studying the food culture in France and the typical dishes from different parts of the country. This included ‘la quiche Lorraine’ – bacon quiche from the North East of France, ‘les crêpes Suzette’ – pancakes drizzled in orange sauce from the North West and ‘la bouillabaisse’ a fish stew from the South. We also learnt about ‘les moules-frites’ which is a dish consisting of mussels and chips. As a big mussel fan myself, I was excited at the prospect of eating this dish one day and even wrote about it to my French pen pal asking if she had ever tried it. Over the holidays, my family and I went to a local restaurant and to my surprise “moules-frites” was on the menu! I knew I had to try it and so I ordered the speciality. It came with the mussels in a creamy, white sauce with lots of “aïl “(garlic), a pot of chips on the side and two pieces of salty bread. I enjoyed every bite – c’était délicieux! “ Louise P-R 9J
Year 9 German
Year 9 German have been learning all about how to describe what we used to do as a child and what items we had when we were very little. We have also been reading some fabulous German fairy tales and learning all about the Grimm Brothers. We even got chance to write some of our own little stories!
Year 10 French
Year 10 have been learning how to describe their town and region. We practised new complex structures; we can now write about and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of where we live and how we could improve our area. Madame Raine has spotted a few politicians in the making! We have learned new tenses to help us reach higher grades. We listened to a recording of a GCSE speaking test and we now have a better understanding of what the speaking test will be like. We can do this!:)
Despite Year 11 having finished their exams and are no longer in school, Year 11 French and German students were given the opportunity to meet virtually with Sally Conroy from Cardinal Newman College and her students from the MFL department to discuss learning French and German at A Level. It was a fantastic meeting and gave a super insight into A Level French and German. Our students were able to listen to all the information and then ask questions directly about language learning and the college. Hopefully this gave them lots of things to think about as they further their language learning.
PGHS is delighted to maintain their record of academic success despite the challenges of the past 18 months. The school has maintained its legacy of excellence with a rigorous process, which means they have complete faith in their students’ results and their abilities. Yet again, there have been some stunning individual performances, with 110 Grade 9s across all subjects and 18 students gained top grades (7-9) across all subjects.
Headteacher, Karen Pomeroy, is full of praise for the students’ resilience, work ethic and ambition. “I am immensely proud of their achievements and have no doubt that they will be equally successful in the next stage of their journey”. Chair of Governors, Ms Lorimer Russell-Hayes, also acknowledged the dedication and commitment of the staff. “Teachers at PGHS worked tirelessly to support students throughout the process, enabling them to achieve their full potential.”
Looking ahead to the future, the school community will be returning to a resilient school that has thrived, despite the challenges of the past year. With extensive improvements to facilities during the holidays, as well as ambitious plans for the future, including an exciting programme of enrichment and extra-curricular activities, PGHS is determined that September sees a return to school life bigger, better and stronger.
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.
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.
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.