Principal's Blog

Principal's Blog - December 2016

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Principal's Blog - December 2016

This term has gone remarkably quickly and a lot has happened at Hamilton, lots which I have written to you about already in my letters and in the school newsletter, but there has also been lots of other exciting things happening at Hamilton which I am keen to let you know about as we head off on our Christmas break.

Firstly, to update parents, carers and others on our progress towards becoming an academy and joining with the Rushey Mead Educational Trust. We are very pleased that, subject to ratification from the RSC, we will be moving forward with the Trust. This is a very positive move for the school, as we already have strong links with both Rushey Mead itself, but also with the primary schools which are already part of the MAT (Multi Academy Trust), such as Willowbrook, Thurnby Lodge and Northfield House Primary Academies who have been our feeder primary schools for many, many years. Working within the Rushey Mead Educational Trust will bring additional support and capacity to the college, and we are very much looking forward to working in partnership with this family of schools. In the New Year I will meet with parents, carers and others to discuss this next phase in the college's journey and to answer any questions that you may have at this time. I will, of course, write to you to inform you of the date and time of this meeting nearer the time.

There has been lots going on at the college in recent months and, as always, there's barely a week that goes by without something to report on. In October our Yr11 students went to Coventry to see their GCSE Drama text Blood Brothers. As always, students were exceptionally well behaved and really enjoyed the show. The opportunity to see a live dramatization of the play really helps students to understand the play, and it always engages them with their study of the text. As happens every year, there are always a few students who jump out of their skin at the end, but I won't give it away for you!

Our student Council have been exceptionally busy this term too. They have been getting involved in a number of projects which they choose themselves and then campaign on to ensure that they are a success. This term, Bosworth Council have been started a project to collect clean clothes for an orphanage in Ghana. This is especially close to students' hearts as it is an orphanage supported by one of our teachers, Mr Aduh. In the New Year, students will be giving assemblies to the other students to let them know how they can get involved.
Bradgate Council organised our Christmas Jumper Day at the end of term which raised over £800 for Save the Children and MIND, two brilliant charities. In addition to wearing our festive sweaters to school, the council also organised a number of games, a raffle and a cake sale which generated an additional £50 for these brilliant causes. Prizes were awarded on the day for students who designed the best Christmas Jumper. These were awarded to Vihar in 8VE and Tisha in 8VE. The Council also awarded prizes for students wearing the best jumpers on the day. These went to Xzavier, Cain and Roberto - well done to everyone involved.
Earlier in the year, the Student Council also collected tents, football shirts and other items for refugees in Leicester. The generosity of students and staff at Hamilton was, as always, quite overwhelming with brand new tents being donated, along with many, many other items which were very much in need. Our council are really very proactive in their drive to support and help others less fortunate than themselves and we are really very proud of them.

In October, students in Key Stage 3 took part in a Maths Puzzle Day. The Puzzle Company came in to school to run a number of sessions with students from across the age range, allowing them to test their problem solving and team-building skills on a number of puzzle-based challenges. It was a really good day, and students had great fun trying to solve the brainteasers!

During our half-term break 30 students in year 9, 10 and 11 worked through, taking no time off to relax, and made their way over to Brussels for our annual school visit to the European Parliament. They met with MEP Emma McClarkin, in order to discuss the hot topic of the day, 'Brexit', and Emma was kind enough to talk to students about her views on trade, immigration and the future of Britain outside the EU. As always our students proved excellent ambassadors for Hamilton asking many questions. Yasmin, in Yr9, asked her why she thought the UK had voted to leave the EU, and Megan, Yr10, was interested in how politicians can engage youth voice without giving them the vote until age 16. These were thought-provoking questions which really challenged the MEP! After the question and answer session they were given a tour around the hemicycle (debating chamber of the European Parliament) and visited the innovative museum, the Parliamentarium. There was, of course, also plenty of time for waffles and chocolate as students visited Bruges and a chocolate factory on the way home. Our thanks goes to Mrs Shortland, Mr Mee and Mrs Douglas for organising the trip for students.

Also over October half-term students involved in our upcoming show, We Will Rock You, went on a Music and Drama residential to Beaumanor Hall. This is the first time that we've run a residential trip for Performing Arts but, given the feedback I received, I doubt very much that it will be the last! Students had a fantastic time learning the lyrics and moves for their new show. There was also plenty of team-building fun to be had too, including quizzes, games and assault courses. Students have already put in their request for "same again next year, miss!" so I know that they had a wonderful time which they will remember for many years to come. Our thanks goes to Ms Iredale, Ms Austin, Wayne and Reece for all of their support in making such a wonderful experience happen.

In November, our students supported Children in Need by taking part in a Non-School Uniform Day. Students also took part in a Battle of the Bands which was absolutely fantastic. The worthy champions of this mighty contest was The Swifties - Tina, Alicia, Tiana and Alfie. They were absolutely fantastic, but everyone who played and took part deserves a mention for their talent. Overall, students raised more than £1,000 for this great cause - another fantastic demonstration of our students' generosity.

Also towards the end of the year, students have been taking part in sporting competitions and making us proud with their efforts here. At the end of November, our students were involved in a dance competition which we hosted here at Hamilton, then throughout December both our boys' and our girls' Dodgeball Teams have been competing in competitions too. Our KS4 Boys' Dodgeball team finished 3rd in the competition and won the 'Spirit of the Games Award' which was just fantastic to hear - we really value sportsmanship, teamwork and collaboration so for our boys to win that award really makes us very proud indeed.

Finally, there was a very festive feel around Hamilton during the final week of term. Our Christmas trees went up in both the Main and Student Receptions, and there's nothing like the scent of a real tree to evoke that joyful feeling. On Wednesday, students enjoyed a traditional Christmas dinner, with all of the trimmings. This is always a real nice event, as staff and students sit together to enjoy this traditional, celebratory meal. On Thursday, a number of students went on their Reward Trip. This year, those students with the highest attendance and tracking scores were treated to an ice skating outing and they had a fantastic time too. Then, on Friday, we rounded off the week with our annual Christmas Show. As always, this is a widely anticipated festive bonanza of singing and dancing with performances from students of all ages. It is always a really lovely way to end the term and to ensure that everyone leaves for the holiday feeling in the Christmas spirit.

I'm sure you'll agree that, as always, it's been a busy term for everyone associated with the college. I hope that you enjoy a really lovely Christmas break with your families, and I look forward to meeting with you in the New Year,

Warmest Wishes,

Katie Lowe

Interim Principal