June 2016 Contractor's 'Future Architect Project'
Building contractors Interserve set a real brief to year 7 Art students to design an ‘Innovative Student Hub’ - where students can socialise. The Hub needed to be designed around pre–set architectural restrictions to encourage the students to problem solve and to consider the sustainability of their designs. The Students who took part had four tasks to complete, for which they were awarded points. The tasks included producing a floor plan, producing elevation drawings or artists’ impressions and creating a 3D cardboard model.
Over the course of 6 weeks, students were given real experiences of how designers and architects work. Students were asked to find information on sustainable designing to develop their student hub idea. They explored and developed their ideas using a range of resources such as Google Sketchup, Illustrator, Photoshop, Lego, Minecraft, building paper and wooden architectural models.
Five final selected teams gave presentations of their work to a panel made up of Interserve representatives and our own senior leadership team. All students proved to be very confident and innovative in their designs and ideas to save money through collecting rain water and solar energy. One team even had plans to recycle school furniture and construct their hub from that. Hannah Fehr from Interserve said "We were so impressed with the quality and depth of work that the students had produced, including computer aided design, 3D models, videos, powerpoint presentations and drawings. The thought that went into the overall projects including sustainability, materials, waste and forecasting expenses and change, mirrored our industry perfectly. Students executed fantastic presentations and were able to offer well informed answers to questions that could challenge the current workforce. We look forward to welcoming students into our workplace to experience an insight of the construction industry first hand and anticipate some genuine talent for the future!"
The two winning teams were: for artwork Holly Marie Brown, Owen Nightingale, Spriha Shrestha, Yakup Zigal and for presentation Nathan Westbury, Jessica Halstead, Junainah Khan. The students will be presented with prizes in assembly from Interserve and then go on a site visit to see the new school being built.
April 2016 Contractor's Progress Report
The façade and roof are now watertight allowing attention to turn to the fit out of the building internals. We are progressing well with the internal partitions with the bulk of the classroom spaces, main hall, kitchen and staff spaces now formed. The mechanical and electrical services are currently being installed throughout the building with painting due to commence during April and joinery in May.
March 2016 Contractor's Progress Report
Works are progressing well on site with the majority of the roof waterproofing now complete to allow the roof mechanical plant to be delivered on Monday 14th March. All windows are now installed to the external façade and the brickwork is approximately 80% complete. Internal works are continuing with the dry lining being installed throughout all floors of the building. High level mechanical and electrical services are also being installed across all floors. Fixed furniture, internal doors and glazed screens are now in manufacture ready for installation commencing in May.
January 2016 Contractor's Progress Report
Works are progressing well with the main structural steel frame now complete and on programme to have the blockwork, window fixing and roofing complete to the North Block by the end of January. We have commenced internal wall construction and installation of MEP services.
External works are also progressing in line with the programme with the storm water and foul water drainage complete around the main building. Following removal of the external scaffolding to the North block we will start the external hard landscaping.
As reported in the Gazette newspaper (11/11/2015), the school is planning a large exhibition of archive material to celebrate the opening of the new school building in November 2016.
First Lesson taught in New Building
On Friday 25th September 2015 a group of students became the first to be taught in the new building - albeit in a classroom without ceiling or walls. Head of Art Mrs Sonnier took her photography class to the site as part of their GCSE coursework.
Following the signing of the Governing Body agreement with the Secretary of State for Education and the start of works on February 16th 2015, a ground-breaking ceremony was held on the site of the new Longdean School on Friday April 24th, after the initial preparation of the building and construction compounds. This was an exciting occasion which brought together people representing many different interested groups.
Guests included: The Rt. Hon. Mike Penning MP; Councillor Herbert Chapman and his wife Shirley (representing the Mayor); Councillor Terry Douris; staff from Interserve (contractor); members of the Longdean School Parents Association; Governors, Headteacher, senior staff and students of the school.
Headteacher Graham Cunningham said: "We started this process in September 2011 and it's hard to believe that it's actually happening now. The construction process has been smooth and swift - it has not affected the work of the existing school in any way. We now very much look forward to the foundations being laid and the steelwork being constructed - our students tell us that they are very excited about seeing the new building rise out of the ground. We plan to have a topping out ceremony in due course."
A video of the ceremony, as well as time lapse photography and building models can be viewed by clicking here.
Thursday 5th January, 5pm
Yr 8 Parents' Evening
Monday 16th January, 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm
Tuesday 24th January, 7.00 pm - 8 pm
Senior Presentation Evening
Thursday 2nd February
Yr 11 Post 16 Option Choices Evening
Tuesday 7th February, 5.00 pm
Yr 11 Parents' Evening
Thursday 23rd February, 5.00 pm
Yr 10 Parents' Evening
Tuesday 28 February, 5.00 pm
Sixth Form Parents' Evening
Monday 6th March, 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm
Monday 20th March, 6.00 pm
Yr 8 Options (Choices) Evening
Thursday 30th March, 7.00 pm
Longdean Easter Concert
Watford FC Community Sports & Education Trust, April 2017
Longdean PE Teacher Becky Wyatt has been interviewed for The Hornet magazine about her involvement with girls' football through the Watford FC Community Sports & Education Trust.
Becky says "It's just about getting girls involved in sport. In Longdean we have girls come and play their football, then they do rugby, then netball, so we have the girls involved in so many different sports. As a PE teacher I just want to see the girls enjoying sports, and so when they go on from here they go and become part of a team, whether that's football or netball or anything else."
Since the interview, Longdean School went on to win the Premier League Schools tournament heat and will now go on to represent Watford FC at Stamford Bridge.
Epson Sign & Digital UK Project, March 2017
Following an in-house competition held earlier in the month, 6th form Fashion student Melanie Mantle has travelled to Birmingham to see her winning design incorporated into Epson's exhibition stand.
In an interview for Digital Printer online magazine Mel said "I put a lot of thought into the design which represents the changing seasons and features a woman with a floral dress that flows across the car and wall behind it in varying colours. I am really proud of the end result." Click here to read the complete interview.
Competitions like these are a great way to gain publicity for our students' talents and the Art department is looking forward to working with Epson again in the future.
Dacorum School Sports Network Dance Competition, March 2017
Longdean's KS3 dance club students took part in the recent DSSN dance competition along with 22 other schools. The 'Cartoon' themed event was held at Sports Space Hemel Hempstead and ran separate categories for primary and secondary schools.
Competing for the fourth year running, Longdean students were the youngest group in their category, and walked away with third place for their performance piece named 'Toy Soldiers'.
For further information about DSSN events, click here.
Epson Design Project, March 2017
Local company Epson have given a group of year 13 BTEC Fashion students the opportunity to create a design for a key signage trade show at the NEC Birmingham. Their brief was to create a design that would involve half a car exploding out of a backdrop, incorporating as much colour as possible to demonstrate the printer quality. Art department teacher Miss Levesley reports "the students were fantastic and created outstanding designs in a short amount of time to meet the EPSON deadline".
Congratulations go to student Melanie Mantle whose work was singled out by Epson as the winner, and there was an excited buzz at Longdean when the car was brought into the school premises and wrapped with Mel's design as a live event for every student to see! Mel (pictured above centre) received a congratulatory certificate and prizes from Epson, who also generously donated a specialist printer to Longdean's Art department. Epson will now transport the car to Birmingham for the Sign & Digital UK event, and Mel plans to travel to Birmingham to see the complete installation.
Longdean Alumni return for official opening of the New School Building & Awards Evening
On January 24th 2017 the new school building was officially opened by the Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng, who is a former student of Apsley Grammar School which became Longdean School in 1970. The opening was very well attended by Longdean staff, sixth form, alumni, ex-staff, Governors and representatives from the local community, and as he cut the ribbon Lord Boateng was joined by the Head Graham Cunningham, as well as alumni students Max Whitlock and Fehinti Balogun. Celebratory speeches were made by both Lord Boateng and Mr Cunningham, who said “I hope that this building gives you all an environment of which you are proud and in which it is a pleasure to work. I hope that it is a building that reflects what we stand for as a school and provides opportunities for both current and future students to be all that they can be.”
The opening ceremony was followed by the school's annual senior presentation evening, where Fehinti Balogun, who graduated from RADA in 2016, delivered an extremely inspirational speech to the students, sending the powerful message, “You can be whoever you want to be”. Fehinti handed out awards to over 200 students from Years 9 to 13, and in turn was presented with ‘The Complete Words of Shakespeare’ by Head Girl, Molly Workman and Head Boy, Adam Hatchett as a nod to his recent stint in King Lear at The Old Vic and his love of everything ‘Shakespeare’. All students who received awards have worked extremely hard and thoroughly deserved to be acknowledged and celebrated in an event such as this. The new school hall was full to capacity with people wanting to share in the youngsters' numerous successes. To read Hemel Today's online article about the event please click here.
A Level Art and Fashion Students go behind the scenes at Harry Potter Studios, January 2017
Congratulations to Longdean's Olympic and Paralympic heroes Max Whitlock and Jessica Stretton on their recognition in the New Year’s Honours.
Max was honoured with an MBE for services to gymnastics, and Jess was honoured with an MBE for services to Archery. For further information, click here.
Global Literacy book collection, December 2016
As well as organising another book donation to School Aid and Musangu this month, Longdean also received a thankyou from Zambia for all the books which were sent in the summer, with photographs from the school shown above. Co-ordinating teacher Haya Redwan says "our students have proudly worked hard to make sure all the books were packed and sent, we have definitely made a huge difference with all our book donations - past, present and future!"
St Benedict's Tree Festival, December 2016
Each year Longdean sponsors a tree at the local St Benedict's Church Tree Festival, and this year the decorations included baubles designed by Longdean's sixth form and art students.
The Festival is being held on 2nd December, details available here.
Maasai Warrior Visit, October 2016
Students in years 7 and 8 at Longdean were entertained by a seven-piece group of Osiligli Maasai warriors from the village of Oleopolos and surrounding communities in southern Kenya, around thirty miles south of Nairobi. This performance was very relevant to our students as it provided links to the transition task and Learning Skills work which is based around the African continent. It also has strong connections with our link school in Ghana, and of course, with the Performing Arts faculty at Longdean.
The show started with an interesting presentation about the Maasai charity which was set-up to help relieve the effects of poverty in the Osiligi Warriors’ community and in the wider Maasai area. It was of great interest to see the colourful traditional clothing worn by the warriors. The warriors are stunning performers - they thrilled the students and staff with a show featuring song, movement, mime and of course jumping, for which the Maasai are famous. Some of the students had the opportunity to join the warriors on the stage, which was very exciting.
There was also time during the presentation for our students to ask questions, showing that they were keen to find out about Kenya and the lifestyle of the performers.
Rio Paralympics, September 2016
Longdean School sixth form student Jessica Stretton won gold at the Rio Paralympics in the women's W1 archery event. Arriving at the Paralympics, she was the reigning world number one and ranking round world record holder in her division, as well as the youngest archer on the qualification field.
Jess told the official paralympics website: “This is an amazing experience and an amazing opportunity. I guess I was pretty nervous, I felt like I was taking a step for the youth that can be in para-sport and showing them that it can be done and it will be done. It feels just amazing. We’ve had a podium like this at the Europeans and it’s just the most amazing feeling ever to do it at the Paralympics. I hope to continue to compete and hopefully go to the Tokyo 2020 Games. I just love the rush of it, the feeling of satisfaction when you compete well and get medals.” You can read more of this story at the local Gazette's online news website, and also the Paralympics organisation's own website. To view exciting footage of the archery team's performance on day 10 of the Paralympic Games, including the moment when Jess won gold for Great Britain, click here.
Jess was subsequently welcomed back to Longdean at a special assembly where the whole school celebrated her fantastic achievement; click here to read coverage of the event in the Hemel Today online news report.
A Level Exam Results, August 2016
Local newspaper Hemel Gazette reported on the school's strong results in this year's A level examinations. Amongst the students celebrating after securing their A Level results were Head Girl Molly Workman and Head Boy Thomas Dignum, who between them achieved 5 A grades and a B at both AS and A Level. The full online report can be read here.
World Challenge Zambia & Botswana, July 2016
30 students and 4 members of Longdean staff completed an amazing expedition to Southern Africa. They worked in two teams to complete a three day trek along the Zambezi Gorge, built a girls' dormitory building to encourage more remote families to send their children to Nsongwe School, they visited the stunning Victoria Falls (Mosi au Tunya), zip wired and white water rafted across and down the Zambezi gorge and river and completed a river and land safari in the Chobe National Park in Botswana. Students will be leading assemblies to show their life-changing experiences to all our students and the next World Challenge in 2018 is already being planned.
Dance Showcase, July 2016
A group of Longdean students took part in a showcase named ‘Dance through education’ at Sandpit Theatre, Sandringham School. The showcase involved students from over 10 different schools, with ages ranging from primary to university standard.
The group of 6 girls who represented Longdean were all from year 7 and 8, so we were one of the youngest groups there. They performed a contemporary piece named ‘Yearn’, which they had been working on at dance club for about a month. They behaved extremely professionally throughout the evening, and other schools commented on the high standard of their work.
@SandPitTheatre tweeted after the event "FANTASTIC community show this evening! Showcasing the very best of #dance, roll on next year!"
Games Day, June 2016
This year’s School Games Day event took place at Jarman Park Athletics Track and involved every student in Years 7- 10 representing their House in at least one athletics event.
Despite the poor weather conditions at the start of the day Staff and Students pulled together to make the day an enjoyable and successful one with many students participating in events that they had never tried before. It was also great to see many students entering into the spirit of the event; the students were all dressed in House colours and supported their House throughout.
Although it was a really close event this year with a number of different House winners and lots of records being broken, Pascal House again won the overall award of School Games Day Champions. The final placements for each House is as follows: 1st Pascal 2nd Franklin 3rd Da Vinci 4th Gates.
The PE Department would like to say thank you to staff and Year 12 students for officiating, Form Tutors and the Directors of House for motivating and organizing their students, as well as parents and friends of Longdean who came along to watch and support the event.
Science Enrichment, June 2016
The science department and its students welcomed the return of Jungle Jo and her exotic animals, and over a 2 day period year 7 had the opportunity to attend a session to learn about classification through hands on experience.
Over the two days Jo brought in a: giant african land snail, stick insect, millipede, tree frog, pacman toad, jumping tarantula, bird eating tarantula, boa constrictor and Rosie the python. Pupils were able to feel, smell and hold these animals, many pupils were able to overcome their fears and get involved in this, for most, a once in a life time experience. A brilliant time was had by all over the two days.
Pupils' Book Collection for Global Literacy, June 2016
Year 9 students at Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead have been collecting text books and fiction books to donate to The Musangu Foundation, which sends them to schools and libraries they have set up in Zambia.
English teacher Haya Redwan said: “We have collected text books from subjects such as maths, history, art and food technology, as well as fictional books. Students have been excited by the project and are proud to be playing such an important role as global citizens.”
Geography Field Trip, May 2016
Year 7 Geography students enjoyed beautiful weather on fieldtrips to Ivinghoe Beacon and Chesham, where students were able to practice collecting a range of primary data in both a physical and human environment.
In Ivinghoe students measured the footpath erosion on the path leading up to the Beacon, whilst in Chesham they were investigating if it was a ‘Clone Town or a Home Town’ by looking at the range of independent and chain stores Chesham has to offer. Students also carried out a questionnaire with members of the public, which included questions on their purpose of visit and how they had travelled to Chesham.
Rocket Science Experiment, April 2016
Year 9 pupils have embarked on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space. In September 2015 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station where they spent several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March this year. The seeds were sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.
Longdean school has now received 200 seeds from space and the Rocket Science group have begun their 35 day experiment. 100 of the seeds have been in a micro-gravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS), and 100 have not. We will be germinating these seeds and determining whether exposure to micro-gravity has any effect on germination and growth over the 35 days. The pupils are really excited to see what will happen, and had lots of fun setting up the experiment – under the watchful eye of Tim Peake!
PE Sports Tour, April 2016
Our annual Sports Tour visited Barcelona at Easter with 64 students from Years 8,9 and 10 playing either Netball or Football. The week-long tour was a huge success with our students faring really well against International competition.
Geography Field Trip to Snowdonia, April 2016
27 Year 12 students completed geography fieldwork in amazingly sunny conditions in Snowdonia during the weekend of 16 April. They completed a river study up on the moors of North Wales, followed by a day of coastal studies on the Lleyn peninsular in and around Criccieth. This included visiting and analysing landforms and coastal erosion management techniques. The students also studied flood management in Llanrwst which was one of the worst hit areas in the December 2015 floods.
The final day was spent scaling the 892m high mountain of Moel Siabod which sits directly under the summit of Mount Snowdonia. The students endured wild conditions near the top but all made it up and down despite a couple of scrapes and bumps.
All worked extremely hard and enjoyed a practical and hands on active revision session in some spectacular scenery. Thanks to all involved for their excellent attitude and enthusiasm and you deserved the world class ice creams!
Geography Field Trip to Iceland, March 2016
Thirteen A level Geography students, accompanied by Miss Lilley and Mr Goatley, visited Iceland to observe volcanic, glacial, fluvial and coastal landforms at first hand, as well as the human responses to living in this challenging environment. The four day trip was packed with activity: as well as a visits to three spectacular waterfalls, columnar basalt cliffs, the ice features at a glacier, exploration of the ‘Bridge between Two Continents’ (where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are moving apart), boiling mud pools, the natural hot springs at Geysir and a tour of Kerið crater, the group visited a geothermal power station, and exhibition about the Eyjafjallajökull eruption and an earthquake simulator, and the Heritage Site at þingvellir, scene of the world’s first Parliament (and the setting for Game of Thrones!) Less strictly geographical experiences included a dip in the Blue Lagoon thermal pool (and another in the geothermally-heated City Pool in Reykjavik), quad biking and sampling the local ice cream on a dairy farm.
The weather was fine (and sunny and warmer than in UK!) but the Northern Lights did not make an appearance on this trip. Maybe next year!!
History Trip to Ypres, March 2016
Students from Longdean paid a two day visit to Ypres, Belgium, as part of their Year 8 study of the Great War.
Day 1 involved visiting the cemeteries at Essex Farm, (where the poem “In Flanders Field” was written, and Britain’s youngest soldier at 15 is buried). They also visited the largest cemetery of all at Tyne Cot, where some 47,000 British and Commonwealth casualties are commemorated. In the evening the students witnessed the “Last Post” ceremony at the Menin Gate, an event that has taken place every single evening at 8pm, since 1928. Most poignant of all was that some students were able to identify the names of relatives who had died in the war.
On day 2 they visited two museums, “In Flanders Field” and “Passchendaele”, where many artefacts are preserved, along with a reconstructed Trench and Dugout system. Both Staff and students found it an informative experience that helped them at least appreciate the horrors experienced by those who fought and died.
Inspirational Writer Visit, February 2016
Early in February Matt Dickinson (Everest Files, North Face) ran three workshops for our year 7, 8 and 9 students. Matt Dickinson, who is an award-winning writer and filmmaker with a passion for climbing and adventure, and has worked as a director/cameraman for National Geographic television, the Discovery Channel, the BBC and Channel 4, took the students on a 'journey' up the Everest Mountain where they had to face many challenges along the way! Students were presented with vivid images of what it was like – physically and mentally to conquer the Everest climb. Matt left students thinking about their Everest, what would they consider as their challenge?
Headteacher ‘very proud’ after Ofsted highlights ‘outstanding’ practice, December 2015
The Gazette has reported on the School's Ofsted visit which took place late in December, quoting the Ofsted report which praised the school for ‘effective teaching across the academy’, pupils’ progress in maths and English plus an ‘outstanding’ commitment to students’ welfare.
Headteacher Graham Cunningham, who has been at the helm since 2012, said: “This report confirms we have moved forward since our last inspection two years ago, and it is testament to the hard work from our staff, pupils, parents and governors. I am very proud.”
The full Hemel Today online report can be read here.
Presentation Evening, December 2015
Rt Hon.Paul Boateng, Lord Boateng of Akyem Wembley, gave an entertaining and thought-provoking address at the annual Presentation Evening for senior students on Thursday 17 December 2015. The awards evening celebrated the success of nearly two hundred students who achieved great success in the school year 2014 – 15. Their progress is a result of their efforts and excellent attitude to learning, assisted by the staff and supported by their parents/guardians. Awards were made for academic success, progress, contribution to the school and for the many students who represent the county or nation in sporting disciplines. AS and A level students were also awarded prizes and trophies, before returning to their second term at university.
The guest speaker, Lord Boateng, is a former student of Apsley Grammar School which became Longdean School in 1970. He was renowned at school for his acting and debating, skills which he has developed over thirty years in public life in law, politics and diplomacy. He was a Cabinet Minister before becoming High Commissioner to South Africa and subsequently elevated to the peerage as Lord Boateng of Akyem Wembly and now holds many global positions including Chairman of the English Speaking Union and President of the International Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. He spoke of the opportunities offered by hard work and academic success but how, when these are allied to wisdom, practicality and moral integrity, there is nothing that cannot be achieved. His entertaining and thought-provoking speech was very well received by the packed audience in the Hall.
The Headteacher, Mr Graham Cunningham, spoke briefly on the theme of ‘Cooperative values’, highlighting the work of the East Dacorum Cooperative Trust and the vote of thanks was given by Head Boy, Tom Dignum and Head Girl, Ameira Yanni.
Ghana Link School Visit, November 2015
At the end of November Longdean School hosted a four day visit from two teachers from Bedomase Methodist Junior High School in the Ashanti region of Ghana. This latest visit was the result of an established link between the two schools that has seen them working together on numerous exchanges and other educational and cultural projects over the past 8 years.
During their visit teachers Owusu Mercy Serwaah and Barimah Isaac participated in lessons, took part in question and answer sessions with students and shared teaching and learning strategies with staff. They were looked after during their time in school by student members of the International Schools Group, who had helped to plan the programme for their stay. The group meets regularly in order for students to take part in extra-curricular global learning activities, including exchanges and other projects with link schools.
Ms Owusu and Mr Barimah also visited Watford UTC, which has recently developed a link with the newly opened village upper school in Bedomase, Fast Track College. Both Hertfordshire schools, with the support of the East Dacorum Cooperative Learning Trust, have been instrumental in securing the opening of the new college, which saves students from Bedomase a 30km round walk to what had previously been their nearest upper school. The visit also provided an opportunity for Ms Owusu and Mr Barimah to carry out a presentation formally thanking both Longdean School and the Trust for their support with the Fast Track College.
The Co-operative School's Network has also announced that the Ashanti School Project will be one of their sponsored projects for 2016.
Footballer Visit, September 2015
Students and staff at Longdean were treated to a visit from Liverpool footballer and ex-student Sheyi Ojo. Ojo returned to the school he left four years ago to donate two full kits and give a question and answer session to GCSE PE students. Hemel Today's online newspaper article covering the event can be viewed here.
During his visit the school's Art department also took an imprint of Ojo's hands, to be made into a plaster cast and displayed in the PE department's hall of fame.
Access Art Share-a-Bird, September 2015
Longdean Art department are pleased to have received an original artwork of a Kingfisher called Kenny. This was made by a local artist Ella Robinson, a donation made possible through the Access Art Share-a-Bird initiative to bring art into schools. The artist writes: 'Kingfishers are beautiful and exotic birds, with very long beaks and beautiful turquoise feathers. If I am very lucky then I might spot a Kingfisher when I walk along the canal in my home town of Tring. They like to sit on branches and look into the water for small fish. You can't see all the detail in my Kingfisher because I have only stitched the outline of their silhouette. Within my art practice I enjoy using found materials, and this is on a piece of colourful driftwood I collected whilst beachcombing in Brighton. I have been saving this piece for a special occasion. I stitched the bird using yellow thread because I thought it worked well with the orange background to create a vibrant composition, almost like you are looking at the Kingfisher at sunset. I hope this artwork inspires you to make some colourful creations yourselves!'
Kenny will be on display in the 'Fish Tank' gallery in the art block. Students are also welcome to visit him at art club (Wednesday 3.20- 4.20pm) and be inspired to make their own art work.
6th Form Leadership Team meet with local MP, July 2015
Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning visited Longdean School to meet with the Sixth Form Leadership Team to discuss the nature of leadership and public speaking. Ameira Yani (Head Girl), Tom Dignum (Head Boy) and their deputies Gabbie Brown and Bilal Altaf used the session to quiz him about his experiences of leadership in different organisations and in Government throughout his life. They did this to help prepare them for their role in which they will act as ambassadors for the school as well as running elements of the school council and student voice at Longdean. Specifically they asked him about how to motivate yourself and your team as well as maintaining a high level of commitment and enthusiasm for your role.
Students also sought advice about public speaking as this will be a key part of their role. Head Girl, Ameira Yani said: “I thought it was very helpful and inspiring. Mike gave us good advice on how to work together as a team throughout our year in post.” Headteacher Mr Cunningham said: “We really value the work that our Sixth Form Leadership team put in, acting as school ambassadors with primaries, parents and with current and future students. They do all of this on top of their A Level studies and it is important they get high level training from experienced people to support this.” Mike Penning said “I really enjoyed meeting with the Sixth Form Leadership Team at Longdean. They are great ambassadors for the school and we had a very interesting discussion about the role of a leader and about public speaking.” Press coverage of the visit can be viewed on Mike Penning's website.
Art & Interserve Project, July 2015
Building contractors Interserve are collaborating with the Art department on a project at the site of the school’s new building. The project, for which Interserve are providing the materials, will see the site security hoardings decorated with designs by students from the school’s Art department.
Mrs Sonnier, Director of Learning for Art at Longdean, said “the building site is clearly visible as students go about their daily lessons, and the artwork reminds them that they are all a part of the new build and reminds them of the values of the school and the future development.” Each design reflects some aspect of the school such as the house system, decorative elements that can be found in the school grounds as well as portraits of students and staff. The boards will also be used as a treasure hunt for students to find out where the images came from when inducting new students. Art Club students will continue working on the designs when the new school year commences in September.
Longdean Pupils hit the Racetrack
On the 19th of June 2015, Longdean School took part in a nationwide sustainable car race at Ford Dunton, the international Ford research and development centre used to develop the RS and Cosworth series of racing cars.
Eight pupils aged 11-13, were taken by their teacher Mr Reeves and school site engineer Mr Bird to the track in Essex, along with the electrically powered single seater racing car which was built by the pupils during the Summer. Facing competition from many other schools including specialist Engineering and Technology schools and colleges with pupils aged up to 16, Longdean pupils held their own, at one point coming 10/19th on their very first visit to the Greenpower formula 24 racing series! Although not winning a podium position, our team were awarded the ‘Best Presented Team’ and had a fabulous day's racing as well as learning lots about engineering, design and most importantly, team work! Pupils who took part were Archie Horwood, Jason Xanthakis, Honey Panchal, Ben Smith, Natasha Fenn, Pennie Rumsby-Ferris, Paige Seggary, Ruth Glasheen. The event was held by Green Power racing and organized by Nicola Gregory, Project Specialist, Community & Outreach manager.
Pictured is the Longdean Team accepting their prize from Chris Taylor, Manager, Vehicle Evaluation & Verification Proj, getting ready to race and preparing in the pitstop!
STEAM Week, June 2015
Year 7, 8 and 9 students at Longdean School took part in a week of activities from 22nd June, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. Students took part in a fantastic range of activities, including 'I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here', where they developed robotics, rollercoaster design, rocket building, and balloon powered racing cars. In CSI Longdean, students investigated the murder of a mad scientist using Forensic Science Techniques to establish the Murderer’s Identity. In the Performing Arts ‘Making a Scene’ activity, students acted out scenes from Macbeth and Frankenstein, and edited the videos of the scenes to make their own podcasts to support their English curriculum next year. The ICT team took the students Geocaching and to review a digitally animated movie. Mathematics led the way in the Formula 1 challenge, which the school won at the National BETT education technology show earlier in the year, where all Year 7 students developed their virtual formula 1 cars and raced against people across the country.
Longdean School Charity Walk, June 2015
Students and staff took part in the school's annual 8 mile charity walk on Friday 19th June 2015.
House fancy dress themes were Super Heroes, Minions, Pirates and Disney, with Sixth Form students dressing as Zombies! This year the money raised will be divided between the four charities nominated by students in each House: St Francis Hospice (Da Vinci), Age UK Dacorum (Franklin), Keech Hospice (Gates), Guide Dogs for the Blind (Pascal).
Longdean School Games Day, June 2015
On Wednesday 17th June 2015 students from Years 7 to 10 will took part in the games day held at Sportspace Athletics Track at Jarman Park, with points for events being awarded to competing Houses. This year Pascal House successfully defend their title as overall winner, coming 1st with a total of 1468 points. Gates secured 2nd place with 1281 points, Franklin 3rd with 1253, and Da Vinci 4th with 1228 points. For an infographic view of all the house results click here.