In August The Durham Federation was awarded a grant from the British Council to run an Erasmus project with schools from Norway, Turkey, Greece, Poland and Hungary. The purpose of the project is to improve the literacy and writing skills of our students, looking at how each country teaches these key topics and developing shared resources to help develop our practice.
One of the key parts of the project is to visit each country to see how their school’s work and also have the opportunity to explore the country and its history. In November, we hosted the first visit with teacher’s from all six countries meeting to arrange how the project would work.
During the visit, the teachers from our partner schools had a tour of school with our year seven students, observed a number of lessons as well as a number of trips out of school. These included Durham Cathedral, The Baltic art gallery and The Stadium of light.
The visit was a great success and we hope that during the next two years our students will enjoy working with, and visiting our partner countries to help to develop their skills. In March Mr Potter and Mrs V Elliott will be taking four year seven students to Athens in Greece for the next part of the project.
A new campaign for Alcohol Awareness Week (19-25 Nov) warns parents about the risks to their children from alcohol and encourages them to delay the moment when their child first starts to drink.
It comes as new figures suggest parenting tactics aimed at creating a safer relationship with alcohol and introducing drinking at a younger age could actually be giving our children a taste for booze.
Balance are launching the What’s the Harm campaign in Alcohol Awareness Week (19-25 Nov) to raise awareness of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidance that an alcohol free childhood up to 18 is the healthiest and best option, and that if children do drink this should not be before age 15.
Many parents know drinking increases the risks of accidents, injuries, smoking and drug taking. But many are less aware of the damage alcohol can do to children’s developing brains, liver, bones and hormones, affecting their mood, their mental health and risking them falling behind at school.
Parents are encouraged to visit http://whatstheharm.co.uk/
to find out about the facts and the myths about children and alcohol, and how best to have a conversation about alcohol with their child.
An alcohol free childhood up to 18 is the safest and best option – but definitely not before 15.
Here are some photographs of last weeks remembrance service.
STEM Family Challenge Event
This week the whole of year 7 and 8 had the opportunity to take part in an exciting STEM Challenge Event. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us, Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives, Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home and Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives.
The STEM Challenge Event was an exciting way for exposing our students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts which will enable them to develop a passion for it and hopefully pursue a job in a STEM field. The challenges encouraged independent learning and important skills such as working collaboratively and being resilient to overcome failures along the way.
Year 7 students had to design and produce a prototype car, powered by elastic power, which could travel the furthest distance but at the same time being within the design budget.
Year 8 students had to design and create a model roller coaster which would provide the longest rollercoaster experience.
The students worked together in groups of 5 or 6 and competed against all of the other groups in their year group. The winning group all received great prizes- either a blue tooth selfie-stick or a blue tooth mini speaker!
On the evening parents/carers and family members were invited in to take part in the STEM family challenge. There was excellent competition between the families taking part. A big well done to Cameron Sugdon and his family for winning the Family Challenge with their brilliant design. The prize for the winning family was a £20 Amazon Voucher! A big thank you to all of the families who attended for a wonderful evening
This week, some of our Year 9 Science students, had the exciting opportunity to work with Sunderland University, exploring careers in the medical profession. They looked at the various career options available to them within the medical industry: from nursing, midwifery and becoming a paramedic through to studying to be a doctor or surgeon. Students role-played as Doctors and looked at how various patient assessment methods are used by Doctors to assess a patients health. They got to experience bandaging, using a stethoscope to listen to the heart rate, checking for vital reflexes, assembling a model body and exploring the role of our vital organs.