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July 20th, 2016

The final newsletter of the academic year can be read by clicking here.

After visiting the Impressionist Museum, the pupils drew their own impressionist drawings


In June, 12 pupils from Years 8 – 10 visited France for a week-long trip to improve their confidence in speaking French.

The group departed early at 6am on Monday morning, travelling to Folkestone before sailing over the English Channel to Calais. They travelled onwards to the town of Rouen, where they were given a guided tour during their two hour stay before completing their journey to Mesnières-en-Bray in Normandy.

While in Normandy, the boys engaged in a number of activities punctuated by regular French lessons and were encouraged to speak entirely in French as much as they could. Their first day was very food orientated, with bread making lessons in the morning followed by a tour of the Neufchatel en Bray cheese factory.

The pupils learning to bake bread


As well as experiencing the lifestyle of the French with their different food, the boys also travelled to the village of Giverny to visit the Impressionist Museum which features many of Monet’s greatest impressionist paintings.

On their final day, the group were taken to the Dieppe market to buy ingredients for lunch. This required them to be fully conversational in French so that they could ask about different food types, weights and prices without any assistance from the teachers. The days of being immersed in a French-speaking environment paid dividends as the boys all bought, and later cooked, their own lunch to celebrate the end of their trip before returning to England on Thursday evening.

For more images of the trip, click here.

The Sixth Form physicists visited a number of United Nations meeting rooms


In July, 17 physicists from Year 12 and 13 travelled to Geneva, Switzerland which to visit to the CERN Institute and the United Nations

On their first day in Geneva, they toured the United Nations building in Geneva. While there they visited the Conference for Disarmament room, a forum where 65 member nations discuss and debate multilateral arms control and disarmament agreements. They also visited a number of other assembly rooms on their guided tour.

After visiting the UN, the group went to Geneva’s old town. The national heritage sight is full of narrow passages and hidden courtyards that date back to the 19th century. They also visited the Geneva Council and went swimming in Lake Geneva.

However, the main purpose of their journey was to visit the CERN Institute. CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) is a pan-European research laboratory that focusses on particle physics and is most famous for housing the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which is the result of world-wide cooperation.

The physicists outside CERN

Once they entered, they were taken to the reception for a lecture about CERN’s operations and the history of the facility, which includes being the place Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. After the lecture, they were taken to the Large Hadron Collider and saw the assembling units of the LHC. The students were taught how equipment was assembled and tested for the machine – including testing metal parts of the machine which expand and contract by 80 metres due to their intense heat, and have to be kept at specific lengths.

As well as the Large Hadron Collider, the physicist also were shown the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer’s operation centre. The AMS is a particle physics experiment mounted on the International Space Station designed to measure cosmic rays and research dark matter. Hearing first-hand about research into the theories of dark matter was an invaluable experience for the students.

The pupils returned from Geneva with a greater insight into particle physics and an understanding of some of the different career paths science can lead to.

For more images of the trip, please click here.

The group visited Santander on their trip


At the end of June, a group of pupils visited the Cantabria region of Spain for a week to immerse themselves in the language and culture of Spain.

The group from Years 8 – 10 arrived arrived in Pueste Viesgo on Monday by lunch time. After eating, they visited a nearby mediaeval town called Santillana del Mar. While there, they were encouraged to put their Spanish to use by competing against each other in a scavenger hunt which was made easier to complete if they talked to locals.

While in Puyente Viesgo the group learnt prehistoric hunting techniques


On Tuesday after Spanish lessons, the group travelled to Ontanedo. While there, they visited Alceda Adventure Park which hosted a number of outdoor activities including tree climbing and involved a number of games that promoted team work. On Wednesday they visited the capital of Cantabria, Santander. As well as relaxing on the warm beaches, they were given a tour of the natural beauty of the Magdalena peninsula and later visited the shops of Santander in order to practice the Spanish that they were learning every morning.

The final full day of the visit saw them visit the prehistoric caves of Puente Viesgo. In the afternoon, the tour was complemented by a practical lesson in prehistoric hunting techniques where both the boys and their teachers tried their hand at spear throwing. The trip ended with a final Spanish lesson on Friday morning before going to the airport to make their way home more proficient in Spanish.

For more images of the visit click here.

Summer Concert

July 5th, 2016

The Concert Band performing Raspberry Beret

In the final week of June, Music School staged their annual Summer Concert. It showcased the hard work and commitment the pupils show throughout the year during their rehearsals which take place an hour before school starts.

The concert featured a varied programme of music, opening with the string group playing Bartók’s Echoes. Later in the night four members of the string group returned for another instrumental number – Hungarian Dances by Brahms.

The evening saw a mix of classical and contemporary music from a number of groups

Other instrumental numbers included the FretWrxToo guitar group’s take on the traditional Sakura, Tito Puente’s Oye Como Va as well as the full concert band performing the pop songs Twist & Shout and Bad Romance.

However, the majority of performances did feature vocals. This included Joydeep Shil singing Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself, the main FretWrx guitar group playing and singing Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl and the Chamber Choir’s a capella take on The Zutons’ Valerie, as made famous by Amy Winehouse. Another modern pop song made an appearance in a sixth-form exclusive performance as the Sixth Form Band welcomed the summer with Corinne Bailey-Rae’s Put Your Records On.

David Bowie provided lead vocals for Let's Dance, the evening's closing performing

Throughout the evening, tributes were paid to two music icons who passed away earlier this year: Prince and David Bowie. Early in the evening the concert band performed Prince’s Raspberry Beret and later the experimental Dance Electric, which was written by Prince but performed by André Cymone. The evening closed with Let’s Dance, with the Concert Band providing music and backing vocals and lead vocals performed by David Bowie himself.

For more images of the concert, click here.

Central Futures Week

July 5th, 2016

Year 12 listen to four different career paths taken by guest speakers

Last week Year 12 began their transition period into Year 13, their final year at Central Foundation. To help prepare them for when they leave school, the Central Futures team – who are dedicated to finding employment, training and further education for every pupil – ran a week long series of workshops, lectures and activities.

 

The week began by welcoming back a number of former pupils, including Tz Hey Lam from University College London and Otto Sumray from Pembroke College, Oxford. Having only left the school last summer, they were in a perfect position to reminisce on everything they have experienced in the past two years and give advice to the sixth formers.

This talk was followed by a carousel programme where small groups would spend six 20 minute sessions hearing from a guest speaker on the various choices they can make: a gap year, studying abroad, apprenticeships, school leaver programmes, leftfield courses and hearing more from ex-students.

Year 12s working with Slaughter & May tutors on their personal statements

The following day, having had a chance to think about the various options that were open to them, the students had a chance to discuss potential opportunities and risks of the paths they were tempted to take. This led to another carousel programme of employability sessions such as applications to graduate and school leaver programmes, effective networking and building resilience.

 

The final part of the week focussed on applications and progression. Pupils had to select and justify eight realistic university choices and at least one non-university route, after which they heard from a financial advisor.

The final part of the week saw tutors from law firm Slaughter & May sit with a small group of students and individually talked through their personal statements for UCAS forms or careers applications and how to improve them. Each pupil will have to amend and improve their statements for follow up sessions with the same tutors in the coming weeks as the Central Futures team continues to prepare them for leaving school next year.