On Friday the 28th November 2014, 8 Year 11 boys from the BTEC Countryside and Environment group went to the Lake District to explore the many sites there.
We started off our journey by going to Scout Scar which gave us a magnificent view of Kendal and the Southern lakes. We then went up to the summit and stood inside the observation point. On its roof we saw details of the whole area engraved onto one long metallic panorama. Once we had been there we travelled down to Tarn Howes which was a lovely walk through the wooded valley with wonderful waterfalls to the lake that is one of the most perfect in the whole National Park. Strangely enough though – it is not natural, it was created by a wealthy Victorian businessman.
We then travelled to the fantastic Coniston copper valley which has been scared over the centuries by copper mining; it had some amazing features for example: the large lake, abandoned youth hostel, huge waste tips of coloured rock and mine levels heading deep into the earth. All of us ended up getting a bit wet crossing the braided river channels, stepping over stones isn’t as easy as it looks!
Around midday we went down to the picturesque town of Ambleside where we stayed there for an hour to have our lunch and wander around the little shops which make it the tourist centre for the Lake District.
Once we had finished our lunch in Ambleside we drove down to the edge of Windermere to ascend a famous mountain. Orrest Head was the first peak Alfred Wainwright ever climbed, it set him on a monumental life that would change the landscape for millions – his crowning achievement, the production of 7 hand drawn pictorial guides to all 214 of the Lakeland fells. You can see why the summit inspired him, the views were the best in Lakeland – we could see all the way to Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.
After descending it was past 4pm and night had drawn in. We went down to the shores of Lake Windermere, and in honour of Wainwright Mr Machin treated us all to his favourite food – chips!
Unlike our trip to the Dales (we got stuck in traffic for 3 hours!) we had a pleasant and quick trip back to Sandbach. Everyone was exhausted after a very eventful day. Michael slept in until 2pm the next day!!!
This morning, Mrs Manson, Curriculum Leader for English and Mrs Gatward, Assistant Curriculum Leader for English, had their first meeting with the Student Curriculum Leaders Jack Hollinshead, Conor Reeves and Jacob Donderici.
The meeting focused around projects that the Student Leaders wanted to get involved in to support the continued improvement and love of English for all boys in the school.
The projects that will be the first priority were agreed. Jack is eager to organise a team of student journalists to report on sporting fixtures and drama productions. Conor is going to promote the Cheshire East competition to inspire as many boys as possible, from across the whole school, to write a piece about children and war. Jacob and the whole curriculum team are also going to undertake a revamp of the artwork on the English stairwell.
The meeting was very positive and we are all looking forward to working together throughout the year on a range of projects.
On Friday 7th to Sunday 9th November, 30 boys from Year 9 went to Machynlleth in Wales to visit the Centre for Alternative Technology (http://www.cat.org.uk) to have an eco-weekend learning about sustainability and renewable energy.
The following report has been written by Kyle Cornish, Ed Deathridge, Jake Fletcher, James Michell and Matthew Murray.
We arrived at the centre on Friday to discover our ‘eco cabins’ weren’t like normal residential accommodation. We had to monitoring our electricity and our heating supplied entirely by solar panels, wind and hydro turbines. If we ran out of electricity, we couldn’t use any of the sockets and the lights would go out. The temperature of the hot water for showers depended on a good strong fire, some were more successful that others!
On our first night, we had a vegetarian dinner followed by and activities up to 9pm. We had a number of competitions and tasks based on the eco cabins, learning about a future ‘Zero-Carbon’ Britain. We completed some puzzles and had a game of quick on the draw before heading back to the cabin for games, hot chocolate and pot noodles.
After a good night’s sleep, we started the next day with a guided tour followed by a workshop on wind turbines, presented by staff at CAT. The wind turbine workshop was a competition to see who can design and create the best wind turbine, learning that a small wind turbine was the most efficient. We then had a workshop on Zero Carbon Britain learning how the UK could improve its renewable energy supply. After lunch (vegetarian again) we embarked on the hooded adventure. Ever tried walking around a forest blindfolded with a number of obstacles? We had to follow a rope around a challenging course. In the end, Ed, Matt C and Matt L fell into a pond, someone went round a section of the course in circles and someone who stopped following the rope and followed a stick! We learnt lots about using our senses to explore the nature around us.
In the evening we completed a range of activities including how we could make Sandbach School more eco-friendly and sustainable. In groups of five we created a presentation looking at the possibilities of getting a biomass boiler to save the school money as well as putting solar panels on different buildings around the school. We all agreed that the school should invest in LED lighting technology and improve our recycling around the school. Mr Jennings and Mr Roberts were the judges and they gave us keywords which we had to work into our presentation for bonus points! We then went back to the cabins for games, toasted marshmallows and a much needed sleep.
The final day, we went for our final vegetarian meal and exploration of the site, giving us the opportunity to reflect and review our weekend. We collected a certificate of participation and made a commitment to do something differently in our lives to reduce our impact on the environment. It was a great weekend and everyone slept well on the journey home! Thank you to all the teachers and the staff at the Centre of Alternative Technology.
Follow the Geography Department on Twitter @SandbachGeog
Students have been producing some fantastic Home Learning during the first Half Term and this has been celebrated recently.
Teachers from across all departments were asked to nominate students that had produced Home Learning above and beyond that expected from Years 7, 8 and 9.
The nominations showed examples of real creativity and talent from outstanding research in Design and Technology to 3D model making in Geography and Science. All 30 nominated students celebrated with a lunchtime reward and certificate of achievement presentation in assembly.
Congratulations to all students and we look forward to celebrating more Home Learning achievements later in the year!
Sandbach School is pleased to receive The Prince’s Teaching Institute Mark for 2013/14.
The Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) launched the Schools Programme in 2007 to recognise and reward school departments that develop inspirational ideas and activities which enhance teaching regardless of pupils’ backgrounds or abilities.
Our Geography and Languages departments received the Mark in recognition of increased challenge within the subject curriculum; developing staff specialist subject knowledge; developing subject-based links outside school; and enthusing their pupils through subject-based activities beyond the curriculum.
Mrs Burns said, ‘We are delighted to have been awarded the PTI Mark for our Geography and Languages department’s innovative work, and will be proud to carry the Mark on our stationery and website as evidence of our commitment to inspirational teaching.’