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    Children In Need 2016

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    The publicity team (Jack Wall, Lily Rowley and Stefan Miller) interviewing Millie Boult.

    Community Day

    On the 16 July, Wolgarston High School students took part in our annual Community Day. This day is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of certain villages and towns around the Wolgarston area. Activities such as coffee mornings, interviews with individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia and even litter picking were carried out. These are just some of the ways Wolgarston students helped out their community’s and with consistently positive feedback it is plausible to say the day was a huge success.
    Our Wolgarston students were seen in primary schools in Coven, Wheaton Aston and Dunston. Here they assisted with the teaching of core subjects to classes of Year 3s and 4s. When speaking to the teachers of all three schools, a pattern was recognizable which saw all of the helpers from Wolgarston being heavily praised for their hard work and enthusiasm. A highlight of the day for the teachers of St Paul’s in Coven was seeing Year 9 students Ben and Alex Turnock attempt to bake scones alongside the Year 4 students. The schools situated in the local area were thrilled with the efforts of the Wolgarston students and as mentioned on numerous occasions would “welcome them back gladly”.
    Coffee mornings in both Penkridge and Wheaton Aston saw locals of both villages come together for a day of relaxation and comfort thanks to both the dedication and coffee-making skills of Wolgarston students. These students took what could possibly be considered a tedious job and relentlessly provided their services with radiant smiles on their faces. Individuals of the villages that partook in the coffee morning were extremely impressed with the attitudes and consistency of the Wolgarston students which is a fair reflection of the entire day.
    One of the standout performances of the day was carried out by the students who attended the interviews of Dementia sufferers in Wheaton Aston. This was especially intriguing as students got the chance to learn about some of the incredible lives these individuals have lived and how they’ve managed to cope with their condition. Not only did they probe into the histories of the village residents but they also got an extremely in-depth knowledge of the disorder which affects around 850,000 people living in the United Kingdom. The Wolgarston students were continuously complimented on the questions they asked and one individual even went so far to say “the questions these young men and women asked me made me recollect memories I didn’t know I had”. Holly Hyde, a Year 10 Wolgarston student said “I didn’t anticipate how moving some of the stories were going to be, we met some truly inspiring people”.
    All students on the day showed an extremely high level of maturity while they were out in their village whether they were meeting and talking to local residents, cleaning up the streets or assisting in schools. The incredible efforts of the students engendered a sense of togetherness amongst each community which was delightful to witness as it brought together the young, the middle aged and the elderly citizens. The students that contributed to this day’s success met and in many cases exceeded all set expectations. Seeing Wolgarston students helping out people in our community as positively and willingly as they did was a very proud moment for the entire school. Well done to all individuals who took part in Wolgarston High Schools 2015 Community Day and let’s hope next year’s Community Day is as big of a success as this years.
    Here is a list of all our projects.

    • Alzheimer’s Project Wheaton Aston Village Hall
    • Coven Heath Allotments
    • Environment Project Wolgarston High School
    • Forestry Commission Project Cannock Chase
    • Little Treasures Nursery Penkridge
    • Noah’s Ark Mums and Toddlers Penkridge
    • Coffee Mornings and Pampering at Brewood, Penkridge and Wheaton Aston Churches
    • Pencric Centre, Penkridge
    • St Michael’s Church Clean-Up Penkridge
    • Penkridge Library
    • Marshbrook, St Mary & St Chads, St Michael’s, Penkridge Middle school, St Paul’s, St Mary’s, St John’s, Princefield and St Leonards schools.
    • Eco Committee/Student Council/Litter Picking in Coven, Penkridge and Wheaton Aston.

    Finally over a hundred students organised their own individual projects within their communities helping family and friends with their specific needs ranging from chores to support for those with medical problems and basically anyone who needed support.
    Mr Curtis who helped to organise Community Day stated,“Congratulations to everyone who took part in our annual community day including our feeder schools and local groups some of whom we could not help this year such was the demand. I would like to thank Mel Baines for her role in the Alzheimer’s project which will result in us publishing a book about the dementia issues faced in our communities. Also to our local clergy, Greg Yerbury, Rachel Dale, Malcolm Lockey and our organisation members such as Jan Wright, Liz Hobbis, Penny Hunt and Ros Burton of the South Staffs Community Volunteering Association. We are extremely proud of our students’ academic results and equally of their all-round maturity and contribution to our wider communities.”
    Our community day for 2016 will be announced shortly.
    Produced by our publicity team Jack Wall, Lily Rowley and Stefan Miller.


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    Careers and PSHE Day

    On Tuesday 14 July we held our annual Careers and PSHE Day for our current Year 9 and Year 10 students.
    Throughout the day our Year 9 students were provided with a Quantum Theatre Company production called “personal best” which advised them on healthy living. They were also trained by fifteen West Midland Ambulance Service staff in “Heart Start” a two hour course designed to enable students to be qualified in saving lives.
    They received a further session of training, this time from a team of seven health advisors about sexual health in personal lifestyles.
    Finally our Year 9 students joined the Year 10 students in entering our careers event showcase.

    Year 10 students were trained in their PSHE “Heart Start” last Careers and PSHE Day in 2014 and their day in 2015 focused entirely on Careers and planning for their futures.
    Firstly each student was provided with two hours in our showcase event which attracted over 40 advisors from different companies and sectors of education. Students from Year 9 and 10 were encouraged to stop and talk to the advisors to raise their self-awareness of the different vocations available to them. Many students were joined by their parents for this aspect of the day.
    The popularity of the event has risen considerably and now we have a significant number of companies who support our event with all signs that for next year we will be attracting even more advisors.
    Advisors varied from those offering apprenticeships and further education to local businesses. We were joined by engineers, the armed forces, construction, training companies, careers advisors and legal experts. Some students were able to witness demonstrations of tree surgery carried out by M Bissell, Trees and Hedges and South Staffs College arrived with exhibits from their Animal Care unit including reptiles, rabbits and even tarantulas which some brave students actually handled.
    One business, UTC Aerospace reported that they had received over forty applications for work placements and information about potential apprenticeships a theme that was repeated throughout the stalls.
    However, the overall intention of the day was not only to raise awareness of education, employment and training opportunities.
    When not in the careers event students were required to complete a questionnaire using “Fast Tomato” which is a software package available for all students on our school website, details to follow. Fast Tomato rates employment characteristics and suggests vocations for students to research.
    This session was coupled with a session providing examples of how to write CV and application letters. Finally, each student was given time to view our work placement packs and take home a copy. Importantly students were given their log in details to search the Staffordshire database for work experience opportunities and recorded up to five potential placements to apply for during Year 11.
    Finally, all Year 10 students received a seminar on Interview Skills from expert Dave Chesters of Track Training Services UK. They were given practical advice about how to prepare for and best present themselves at interview with an interactive session in our Lecture Theatre.

    Overall we think the day was a success for our students and here’s some of the immediate feedback from our visitors.
    “Please pass on our thanks to Mr Curtis for a lovely day. We hope that the pupils learned a little about Sainsbury’s, that may have been a surprise. Please keep us in mind for the next careers event that you do.”

    “Just a quick word to say how pleased I was with your arrangements and especially your Year 10 & 9 students at the careers event yesterday, they were a credit to your school.”
    Chief Petty Officer David Casewell
    Careers Adviser
    Armed Forces Careers Office

    “I gave independent information and guidance to at least 60 young people throughout the event. I have since been in touch with the majority of them, to contribute to them making well-informed decisions about their future. The range of employers and providers at the event provided coverage of a wide range of occupational sectors and levels of entry in to the world of work.”
    Gillian Cotton – Careers Adviser Entrust
    Careers Event 2016

    Throughout the year we make every effort to contact as many different employment sectors as possible. Our success in attracting them is limited by the advisors availability on a specific day, which is often affected by other commitments both personal and business. We would like to continue to grow our annual careers event and If you would like to offer your help or services please make contact with Mr Curtis at Wolgarston High School on 01785 788400.

    Careers Advice
    Please visit our school website, “Student Information” then select “Careers”, “Links to Local and National Websites” and “Work Experience” for further details.

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    Year 9 Educational Visit to the London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

    On Monday 23 June  43 Year 9 students had the trip of a lifetime to the London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We arrived in London just in time for a picnic lunch and a game of Rounders in the sunshine next to the Olympic Stadium and in the shadow of the impressive Arcelormittal Orbit.

    Ex-Wolgarston student and current Team GB Canoeist, Mark Proctor, came to visit us for a quick chat and answered lots of the students’ questions. From there we had a tour of the Olympic Park where we learnt about the Legacy of the Olympics and about how the area around the Olympic Park has been developed both before and after the Olympics! We finished our tour at the base of the Orbit where we stopped for a quick drinks break before we got the lift to the top floor to enjoy some amazing views of the London skyline!

    After a hectic but enjoyable afternoon we headed back to our hotel to get ready for our evening activities. We walked into the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre where we had some time to explore the countless shops and grab ourselves some dinner before heading back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep before our busy second day.

    We started Tuesday’s activities at the Copper Box which is where the Handball was held in the Olympics, we had opportunities to play both Handball and Volleyball while we were there, before it was time to split into groups for the rest of the day’s activities.

    BMXing was the majority of student’s favourite activity with everyone getting the opportunity to ride the Olympic track that was used in 2012- although there were a few cuts and bruises there were no serious injuries, two groups even got the chance to pop in for a quick look around the Velodrome!

    Swimming in the Aquatics centre was the final activity of a memorable 2 days with some students even getting the chance to swim in the 50m competition pool – which is 3m deep at all points! We got to complete some lane swimming and even had a few races which included Mr Greenwood beating Mr Skinner.

    After finishing these activities it was time to board the coach home, and not even a long delay on the M1 could dampen the mood amongst the students after what had been an exciting once in a lifetime trip!

    Students Comments:

    We had a great time and we experienced things we would never have done if we hadn’t overcome a lot of challenges, we would love to come again! Leah Hobbs & Meg Bulmer

    An amazing and once in a lifetime experience, visiting the venues was good but actually performing sport inside them was unforgettable! Marcus Bazzi & Cameron Duke

    The teachers were amazing and helped us with everything we needed- overall this was the best trip, we would definitely go again! Nicole Briscoe & Jade Lucas

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    Chinese New Year – January 2014

    The Library theme for January is celebrating cultural diversity through Chinese New Year.

    Many of the departments within the school will be incorporating this theme into their lessons. For example, the Science department will be covering work on Chinese fireworks, Food Tech will be cooking Chinese cuisine and the Humanities department will be looking at the Chinese Zodiac, the Chinese one child policy as well as China itself.

    The kitchen will also be busy preparing Chinese delights for students to try for themselves.

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    St Michael’s Church Visit – December 2013

    As part of our preparations for the Christmas period, house tutor groups and tutors collected food parcels for local charities. To celebrate our work for those charities students in Year 9 and Year 10 visited St Michael’s Church, Penkridge where students presented details of how the local community benefited in a short Christmas service. The visit took place on Thursday 19 December 2013 morning and lasted for approximately one hour which comprised part of a day in which all our students focussed on personal, social, health education issues as part of our broader curriculum.

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    Harry Potter Month – November

    Harry Potter Month – Promoting the Power of Literacy and Creativity
    This month at Wolgarston High School we’ve been busy celebrating all that is Harry Potter.  Not only is it fun but it is also a good way to promote literacy and learning.  Throughout the November our house teams have been converted to those found at Hogwarts.  All students in Rockies have found themselves in Slytherin. Those in Himalayas are in Hufflepuff, whilst Pyrenees and Rockies have been Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. Miss Roberts has been organising activities during tutor time such as the sorting hat quiz and general knowledge quizzes about each house.  There has even been an inter-house quiz on Thursday 28 November organised by our Sixth Form.  For the past month during break times and lunchtimes Miss Roberts has been organising activities in theLibrary for students to take part in such as anagrams and activity sheets.

    Friday 29 November was the last day of this month’s library theme and the staff at Wolgarston celebrated it in style.  All of the staff got involved dressing up as different characters out of Rowling’s books ranging from Dobby (thank you Mrs Richards) to Mad Eye Moody (thank you Mr McKenzie).  We even had some teachers dress up as Muggles.

    Throughout the day Miss Roberts had groups of students in the Library taking part in reading activities from the Harry Potter books.  Miss Edwards and Mr Liddle brought their tutor groups down to listen to Miss Roberts reading from Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone.  Miss Kent’s and Miss Challinor’s Year 9 English groups joined Miss Roberts for more fun literacy activities.   We also brought the magic of the movies to Wolgarston thanks to Mr Dellicompagni and Mr Brown by having our photographs taken (students and staff) with the use of a Green screen, bringing more magic and fun to Wolgarston.

    Computer Sciences in the ICT department caught Harry Potter fever as Mrs Kirk’s Year 9 students were creating apps.  Our very own Millie Simmons created an app that brought to life the Harry Potter Flags on an android phone.  It basically enables the user to choose the colours of whichever Harry Potter house is their favourite.  Bill Gates eat your heart out!

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    Inspirational Quotes

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    Busy in PE

    There is so much happening in PE. In recent weeks, we have had:

    Brent Benson: Birmingham Knights star player was in school on 30 September. Brent came in for a photo with 5 of our Year 11 girls; the girls have been selected in the Knights ‘Street Cheer’ squad for this season. Brent who has just arrived in the country from Georgia, America also popped into the Year 11 BTEC Sport lesson to complete a question and answer session on his career and take on Will Whitehouse in a shooting competition! We will let you guess the winner…..

    Rebecca Adlington: On Saturday 29 September four year 11 students got the opportunity to attend the official opening of the newly refurbished Cannock Chase Leisure Centre. The centre was opened by double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington and local girl and GB swimmer Emma Wilkins. All of the students got to meet the special guests and got to sit poolside for the official opening ceremony and watch Rebecca complete a coaching master class. The Wolgarston presence did not end there as two of our most talented swimmers Heather & Pippa Roebuck got the opportunity through their swim club (Chase) to participate in a coaching session overseen by Rebecca. It was a great experience for all students’ involved!

    Daniel Caines: Our Sky Sports ambassador for the year is former 400m world champion Daniel Caines. Daniel also represented team GB at the Sydney Olympics making the 400m final!  Daniel popped in on Friday 27 September to speak to the Year 13 BTEC sport group about how he could work alongside them to support the work of the PE department are doing. Daniel has been back in school during October to meet more PE groups and discuss his inspirational story with them.

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    Miss Edwards and the GCSE Dancers

    Wolgarston Dance, Dance, Dance to ‘Save the Children’

    Monday 7 October was a day to be remembered for Miss Edwards and her Year 10 GCSE dancers, as they completed a 5 hour danceathon to raise money for ‘Save The Children’. The whole school had dressed up for the event sporting 70’s/80’s Disco gear and paying £1 towards the much worthy charity.
    The dancers began their 5 hour stint with a bit of a shuffle, a lot of twists and even some moon walking. However as they hit the 2 hour mark they were joined by the whole school on the playground for a bit of “YMCA, Macarena, and Hey Baby!” along with many more classic party hits. The rest of the students and staff joining in gave the GCSE dancers and Miss Edwards, the energy boost they needed to get through the final 3 hours. As the last hour approached 50 other students, including Sixth Formers, joined the group for a bit of Zumba, and finally ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to finish the day off.
    The group raised a total of £510 for the charity and I think it is fair to say they were all aching for the rest of the week, but openly admitted ‘It was well worth it!’
    Wolgarston High School hosts a number of dance, performing arts and music events throughout the year and welcomes all members of the public to the evening shows they produce. Coming up before Christmas there will be a dance event involving not only Wolgarston High School, but also showcasing all of the middle schools in the surrounding area. It is great to see the youth of today becoming so involved in such events and we look forward to welcoming you into our school for the productions. Dates and times will be on the school website soon.

    Miss C Edwards


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