It hardly seems possible that half a term has passed already! We have been so proud of how hard our students have been working in and out of lessons, since they returned to school in September. Your support with this, and in particular in ensuring your child has excellent attendance, has been invaluable and we’d like to say a big thank you to each and every one of you.
In this final communication of the half term we thought we would like to share with you a quick round up of what’s been happening in school during the past few weeks and what’s coming up after the half term break.
Our students are loving the newly refurbished computer science lab in F26, which has been designed as high-end, with new benching, chairs, lights, high spec computers, dual projectors and the biggest white board in the school! This has made a huge difference to the lessons.
The clubs have also been incredibly busy this half term. We have a huge variety of clubs on offer and the students are already making use of the new code lab space in F26, which includes a huge robotics table to test their programmed robots on.
We have also completed our first trip with our GCSE students to Bletchley Park. Students had a fantastic guided tour of the museum and saw first hand how computers were built to crack the German codes by Alan Turing and his team, before having a workshop on code breaking.
Mrs C Taylor – Head of Computing and Business
The Performing Arts department and over 50 students spent a fantastic and enjoyable weekend at school for our ‘Musical in a Weekend’. Students and staff arrived at 7am on Saturday 8th October, when the production was cast. They quickly set about learning songs and choreography. Students were positive and focussed throughout the day supporting one another and rehearsing wherever they could! Students also supported by creating scenery and gathering together costumes. The whole team left the building at 7pm for some dinner and a sleep and were back again at 7am on Sunday.
Sunday saw the team running the show from start to finish. Technical teams arrived and sound and lighting run throughs took place throughout the day. The stage crew created programmes and a front of house display. Last minute changes were made and staff even decided to add in a megamix for good measure! At 5 pm the doors were open to the audience and the performance began at 5.30 to a packed house. Students involved were an inspiration, fully embodying our core values and were a joy to spend the weekend with. What a team!
Mrs E Isham – Director of Performing Arts
It has been a fantastic half term of extra-curricular sport at Durrington. So many students have attended after school clubs and represented the school in a range of sports. Thank you to our fantastic PE department for organising and running the clubs and fixtures. Special mentions go to the Yr7, 8 and 9 boys football teams for reaching the district league semi-finals. The Yr7 team in particular are still going well in both the county and national cup competitions.
The Yr9 rugby team won their county cup match against Shoreham Academy 38-14 and the Yr10 rugby team have won all four of their district league fixtures. The U14 girls’ football team have won all of their games so far in the league, with the semi-finals/final scheduled to take place after half term. The year 9 girls came 4th in the netball tournament out of 12 local schools. We look forward to another busy and successful half term of sport after the half term break.
Mr T Pickford – Director of PE and Dance
As is typical for our young geographers, it has been a fascinating couple of weeks in geography lessons since the beginning of October. Our wonderful Year 7 students continue to combine the exploration of Extreme Environments with practising vital cartographic and writing skills to debate the future of tourism in Virunga National Park. Meanwhile our fantastic Year 8 students have been developing their understanding of energy use and its contribution to the climate crisis at a time when these issues are of major significance to us all. Year 9 students have been hard at work analysing and comparing the differences between tectonic disasters in low-income countries and high-income countries.
At GCSE our Year 10 students have been impressing with their efforts to explain the various social, economic and environmental opportunities and challenges faced by residents in Newcastle upon Tyne, whilst Year 11 have begun their transition superbly from coastal to glacial landscapes in the UK at a time when mastery of this powerful knowledge really begins to matter. We’re incredibly proud of how well all of our geography students have performed since September, and we look forward to another brilliant half term with them throughout November and December.
Mr S Atkins – Head of Geography
Y11 Brighton Urban Photography trip
On Monday 17th October the Art department took their Y11 photography students to Brighton to take a series of creative shots exploring their urban landscape theme.
Reflections, urban decay and graffiti are just a few of the focus areas that students were focusing on.
All the students that attended the trip had a fabulous time. We are looking forward to seeing how these shots get edited to form fantastic final pieces.
Mr S Bloomer – Head of Art
In Science Club we have been doing lots of practical experiments and getting used to working in a lab! We had a spooky pumpkin that exploded with elephant toothpaste and learnt about exothermic reactions. We dissected a squid and had lots of fun identifying the different parts of a squid. We powered lightbulbs using fruit – students worked out that lemons were the best battery. Students tested their engineering skills by creating their own crumple zones to protect their eggs, we definitely have some future car safety engineers. Next half term we have exciting science fun of Alka-Seltzer rockets, we shall be going on a moss safari, getting gooey with slime and much, much more. Science club every Wednesdays 3:10 – 4:00pm G10s, come along.
In STEM Club this half term we have been conducting investigations with the theme “sustainability”. Y8 students have been purifying water using different sized stones, sand and charcoal, building batteries from coins, foil and vinegar and making ropes from plastic carrier bags. The Y9s, who completed their CREST Discovery Award last year, have been working on their own projects, which will hopefully result in them being awarded a Bronze CREST award.
Ms J Chan – Head of Science
Whole School Challenge
A huge thank you to Team Durrington for making our Make The Minutes Matter challenge such a huge success. We raised nearly £1000 for Pakistan and it was brilliant to see so many of our staff and students taking part. We were so impressed by the enthusiasm, commitment and energy of our staff and students who completed well over 300,000 minutes of extracurricular activity during the week to exceed our target. We also enjoyed rewarding our most engaged students last week with SSLT hosting a pizza lunch. A special mention must go to Mrs Owen and her tutor group for clocking up the most minutes and truly embodying our KAPP values. Congratulations also to Coubertin, who despite some fierce competition from Mercator and Da Vinci, managed to clock up an astounding 72794 minutes as a company to win the challenge.
Our next challenge is for our staff and students to complete their kindness passport. Students looking to get their gold or platinum kindness badges need to complete all of the challenges and for those aiming to achieve bronze or silver, they need to complete at least 10 points for their bronze kindness badge or 18 to achieve silver kindness. We look forward to sharing with you how the students are getting on.
Mrs A Ward – Assistant Headteacher
Monday 31st October – 7-10 SME Parliament visitor morning.
Thursday 3rd November – Y11 mock support evening, 5.30-6.30pm
Thursday 10th November – Drop in for Y7 Parents, 4.30pm-6.00pm
Advance notice: Friday 25th November – INSET Day
A huge thank you to all of you for your support this half-term, we really do appreciate it. We hope you find some time to relax during the week and we look forward to seeing students back in school on Monday 31st October.
Shaun Allison & Chris Woodcock