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Year 12 Geography Field Trip

30th September saw 38 Sixth-form Geographers visit Cwm Idwal IMG_6603and the Nant Ffrancon valley in Snowdonia to study upland glaciation. Students learnt to describe key glacial landforms observed, explain how they were created and outline periglacial and fluvioglacial processes have change the post-glacial landscape.

The day began with a two hour coach journey to the hamlet of Ogwen Cottage, where they had a brief stop at the new visitor centre before the long walk ahead. The trek started at the base of the Cwm Idwal corrie, at this point they were divided into three groups each with the expert of a teacher. Groups discussed the landforms surrounding them and how they were shaped by the glacier, many in owe of how powerful this was. After the geographical talks they re-grouped and headed off on the hike around the tarn (a meltwater lake left behind in the armchair shaped hole eroded by the glacier) where they had a moment of fame on the Google street view camera! The walk started comfortably but the challenge started when students climbed up the back wall (a steep rock face weakened by freeze thaw weathering. After a much deserved lunch midway up the corrie back wall the students crossed a small waterfall and then headed back to the visitors centre where tea and cakes were needed.

Finally they set off down the Nant Ffrancon glacial trough IMG_6606(a u-shaped valley with a flat base and steep sides, formed by the glacier moving down what was once a v shaped river valley, and erosion such as plucking, abrasion and freeze thaw weathering). They regrouped once again to discuss the glacial features shown here such as a misfit river, truncated spur, hanging valley and roche mountonnee. From the top of the valley there was a clear view of the misfit river within the glacial trough as well as the hanging valley and truncated spurs. Hanging valleys and truncated spurs are formed when tributary glaciers run into the main glacier, but erosion is not as strong therefore there is less depth and sometimes hanging valleys cause waterfalls but this is not the case in Nant Ffrancon valley. After the walk along the valley the students came upon a roche mountonee situated in the centre of the valley, this is an erosional process as the rock was surrounded by softer rock consequently that rock eroded and a roche mountonee was left behind.

The fieldwork has prepared students with geographical skills and understanding that can now be applied in the classroom.   The students had a brilliant day and were a credit to the school.

By Olivia Simon and Alexandra Chenery

A photo gallery can be found HERE.

British Science Association recognition

Mrs Sykes has received an award from the British Science Association in
recognitiongemma (Small) of how the Science department here at Sandbach School is providing outstanding enrichment opportunities within science.

Mrs Sykes guided 30 students through their CREST award last year and is one of a handful of teachers across the country to receive this award. CREST award is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh award and aims to build communication skills and scientific curiosity through extended projects.

The students who have completed the award last year have a display in their honour outside room 22.

MFL Department Awarded Princes’ Teaching Institute Mark

Sandbach School MFL Department has successfully Langauges 2 (Small)gained the

Princes’ Teaching Institute Mark for the third year running thus completing the Schools’ Programme.

Mrs Clare Haynes (ACL in MFL) has had responsibility for the PTI remit over the course of the 3 year schools’ programme. Each year she has attended the Schools Programme Day at Crewe Hall the purpose of which is to review the completion of the annual objectives.

Over the last academic year the department has been working to fulfil the objectives that were set out in July 2014. The aim is to enhance the learning and teaching that takes place, and to raise further the profile of MFL at Sandbach School and in the wider community.

In order to gain the PTI mark the MFL department has contributed to the development of A Level resources for teaching the Guided Study option of film. Dr Helga Hopkinson was invited to conduct a seminar on her experiences of life in the GDR, both pre and post German re-unification.  In addition to this, Year 10 pupils took part in a day of workshops working with employees from Bentley Motors. This gave them the opportunity to gain experience of aspects of the business and the relevance of languages in the world of work. Year 5 and 6 pupils visited the department for a language experience this July and Sixth Form MFL students supported the delivery of this. The event was enjoyed by pupils and staff and feedback from the visiting Primary school has been very positive.

These are just some examples of the type of events and activities which have enabled us to retain the PTI mark for another year and to complete the Schools’ Programme. We look forward now to embarking upon the Associate Department Programme. For the next 3 years we will be working on a project which will help us to make the transition from the current MFL GCSE to the new GCSE due to start teaching in September 2016.

Alps Visit 2015

Day 1– Everyone arrived at school on time and ready for the coach journey to take us to Manchester Airport.  From there we caught our plane to Geneva. After a few hours traveling, we landed at Geneva Airport and many people spent most of their money on the “discounted” merchandise (chocolate/drinks) the airport sells! The prices were a bit of shock! We all collected our luggage and headed on to the coach which was going to take us to our destination, “Notre Dame de Bellecombe.” Finally, after a long coach journey we got to our hotel, un-packed and ate a traditional French dinner. After dinner we completed our evening activities.

Day 2– On the second day, we woke up very early, got some breakfast and had our pack lunches ready to then board the coach to visit the “Les Gorges du Fier”.  The Gorges was created by years of erosion, resulting in a beautiful rock formation, which carves into the land. Once we had arrived, it was a great photo opportunity for all of us, because of the beautiful scenery and footpath inside the Gorge. After a talk about how the Gorge was created by the teachers, we then went onto a half-day excursion to Annecy town. Annecy was very beautiful, with many gift shops, restaurants, historic buildings and more photo opportunities. During our time there, we had to complete tourism surveys but this was helped by eating our 6 scoop ice creams. We had our lunch altogether in front of a huge aqua blue lake in high twenty-degree heat with the Alps in the background.

We later arrived back at the hotel and evaluated on the day and studied the rocks and landforms we had seen. Only two days in and we had already seen some amazing views and had learnt how the Gorges Du Fier was created.

Day 3- We woke up early and departed on a local coach to go and view Aiguille du Midi and to use the highest cable car in Europe. The cable car goes 3800m to reach the top, which gives us stunning views of the Alps and yet again, great photo opportunities! Surprisingly there was a café, restaurant, gift shop and a mini museum. After traveling back down in the cable car, we caught a train at Montenvers Railway to take us up to Mer de Glace Glacier, a twelve thousand year old ice cave carved into a Glacier. To get down to the Glacier we had to take a ten minute cable car. The ice caves were nice, cool and had sculptures, information and mood lighting. It was a great experience. Once we had arrived back at the hotel, we got time to have dinner, pack and get our rooms sorted for tomorrow. We all completed a Mr Machin quiz special for a night time activity and also had time to pack and relax so that we were ready for our early start the next day.

Day 4- All of us had to be down by half six in the morning all ready and full from breakfast for our long day travelling in front of us. We left the hotel and headed to Geneva Airport in the coach getting to see the amazing views one last time. We checked in at Geneva and departed on our flight at about 11:25. We arrived back at Manchester, and took a coach from the airport, back to school.

Some of the highlights of the Alps trip were being able to see just how big a glacier is and go on the highest cable car in Europe.  This trip was inspirational and we have been left with many memories as well as educating us about glaciers, fold mountains, gorges and lots more. All of this will help prepare us for our GCSEs. I personally had a great time and would advise the future years to go and explore the French Alps. Thank you to all the teachers involved!

Written by Christian Hough (Year 10)

Christian also created this great video of the Alps trip.

Year 12 Students Visit Price Waterhouse Cooper

On Friday 10 July seven Year 12 students PWCwent to PWC (Price Waterhouse Cooper), one of the top 4 global Accountancy firms. The students took part in the “So you want to be an Accountant” challenge which involved a number of sessions and seminars to give them an opportunity to gain an understanding of the Accountancy profession. The students completed a number of challenges indicative of the range of work available to them in the field of accountancy, including fraud, audit, and tax challenges. They had the opportunity to meet accountants from a number of departments within PWC and there were also representatives from the PWC recruitment team, and the ICEAW, the accounting professional body in the UK. Some comments from the students show what they got from the day;


  • My visit to PWC was the first time that I had been to a global company. It was amazing to see the career paths that the company offered and the different sectors of the business. During the day I learnt about the numerous functions that the business carried out, as well as the everyday life and work of an accountant. I found the trip both inspiring, informative and definitely something to aim for. Alex Murray – Head Boy
  • It was a good way to see how such a big global business works, and how all the different sections work within the business. There were sections there that I have never considered before and now I have a brief knowledge about those sections. Also, it was very interesting to see the many different routes you can make to work for a company like PWC. Matthew Beeston – Yr12 Business
  • It was a great insight into the corporate world. 10 out of 10! Really interesting to hear the views of people who actually work there about what they do and what they enjoy about Accountancy. It was very inspiring to see where hard work can get you. I managed to learn a lot but also enjoyed it at the same time. Cameron Crampton – Head Boy Team
  • It was a great insight into the corporate world and has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of the diverse area within business. Overall, the day at PWC was an extremely helpful day and has been of huge benefit to me. Sam Winstanley – Head Boy Team
  • Informative, interesting, insightful. George Pemberton – Yr12 Business
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