The latest news from schools in your area.
School teachers gather in Berkhamsted
The third Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference at Berkhamsted School (TLAB) took place on Saturday, with approximately 230 teachers from the state and independent sectors gathering at Berkhamsted School’s Kings campus for an event that is run by teachers for teachers.
TLAB aims to inspire teachers by sharing best practice through a range of workshops delivered by educators from both the state and independent sectors. Attendees came from across the country, with around 70% from state schools, and 30% from independent schools.
The theme of this year’s conference was ‘All in the Mind’ and keynote speakers included Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, and Professor Barbara Oakley, a Professor of Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan whose research focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience and social behaviour.
Close to 30 workshops were delivered across various subject areas, with a number of staff from Berkhamsted and other local schools presenting.
Competition fever swept through The Cavendish School in Hemel Hempstead last week as students and staff tackled a host of competitions launched in support of World Book Day.
First to be judged was the Book Bake-Off which revealed some exceptional talent among the younger students. The winning design, Book Worm was created by Milli Winks and Katlyn Palmer.
The cakes were donated to be sold and students then ran a cake stall raising almost £55 for Comic Relief.
In other competitions over 140 students made entries in Guess Who Is Reading; 42 tackled Opening Lines; and 47 made bookmarks.
Many staff read extracts from books or showed book-related videos in their lessons, demonstrating the connections between books and a wide range of topics, and promoting interest amongst the students.
Visit from Hong Kong students
To further develop the many international links the school has built, Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead played host to 31 students and three teachers from the Lutheran School of Hong Kong.
The visitors saw a range of lessons and spent time with Longdean students. There was a joint musical event, drama workshop, maths event and many other activities.
The students from Hong Kong taught lessons on Chinese calligraphy, recited Chinese poetry, played a Hong Kong v UK basketball match and demonstrated cookery by making sweet dumplings.
Everyone involved greatly enjoyed the experience and making new friends from a very different part of the world. A return visit will be plannned in the near future.
National recognition for excellent GCSE results
SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers Network, recently undertook its annual in-depth analysis of official Department of Education data on all state-funded schools in England and identified the success of theJohn F Kennedy Catholic School in Hemel Hempstead.
Students at the school were noted for their exceptional attainment in the 2014 GCSE examinations.
The school has qualified for an SSAT Educational Outcomes Award by being in the top 20% of non-selective schools nationally for high everage grades, and has been invited to a regional celebration ceremony hosted by SSAT at Holland Park School in London on May 12.
Sue Williamson, chief executive of SSAT, said: “These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership team at John F Kennedy Catholic School and show what can be achieved when skilled teachers have high expectations and ambition for every young person.
“I am proud that this school is a member of the SSAT network.”
Elite athletes from Abbot’s Hill School attend training camp at Loughborough University
Thirteen girls from the Abbot’s Hill School elite athlete programme travelled to Loughborough University for a two-day training camp. Some of the greatest names in British sport are alumni of the university including Lord Sebastian Coe, Sir Clive Woodward and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.
The team was welcomed by student ambassadors who took the girls on a tour of the facilities and discussed life at university.
The visitors were amazed by the state-of-the-art facilities available for a wide range of sports for university students participating at both elite and recreational levels.
During their tour the girls were delighted to see paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds training in the elite gym, Powerbase, the U11 national gymnastics competition and the British athletics team training in the High Performance Athletics Centre (HIPAC).
The girls then took part in a fitness testing session, led by an MSc student, who measured their acceleration, speed and agility using speed gates and leg power using an impulse mat. This allowed the girls to use advanced technology to recognise their strengths as well as areas of fitness to improve upon. The afternoon sessions included a presentation on sports psychology, which covered the importance of a positive mental attitude and the strategies to achieve one. This was followed by a presentation on sports nutrition, highlighting the importance of achieving energy balance and eating the correct nutrients to provide energy and to replenish and repair the body.
Two pupils had the opportunity to meet a senior strength and conditioning coach to discuss their training regimes, nutrition and seek guidance on balancing academic life with sport at this stage in their athletic careers.
The athletes thoroughly enjoyed the trip and were certainly inspired to train hard and excel in their sport, many announcing their intention to attend Loughborough University in order to pursue a sporting career!
One of the girls said: “I feel so motivated and inspired. It is amazing that to the students studying at Loughborough, being around such amazing athletes is so normal.”