Newsletter No 11 July 2014

The Okeha pton College
Keeping you informed
July 2014 Issue 11
This week our Year 10 students will be involved in work experience and our
Year 7, 8 and 9 students will be participating in various activities during
Curriculum Extension Week.
Please can I ask you to remind your son/daughter about the importance of
excellent behaviour throughout the week. I would like to wish all our students
an enjoyable an productive time and look forward to hearing how their week
has gone.
Daryll Chapman
British Gas Generation Green Energy Performance
This year Generation Green tasked school children from around the country to design an eco house of the future.
All of the entries were fantastic and, after a tough job whittling them down, six lucky schools came to Westfield,
Stratford on 19 June to perform on a specially commissioned energy-generating dance floor.
The day our pupils won an energy makeover for the College:
Many of you have already signed up for our cashless
online payments but for those of you who haven’t, please
note that during the next academic year we will be requesting that more events/trips need to
be paid for online.
Due to the ease and speed of online payments it is likely that students whose parents use this
method of payment may get an advantage on events/trips that require an early payment.
To help avoid any disappointment please ensure you have registered online with Squid.
If you have misplaced your child’s unique registration letter and require a copy please contact the
Curriculum Support office.
You will have no doubt read about this funding in the press recently but may not know whether this is
applicable to your family. To help you decide we have highlighted the basic criteria below.
If your child is:
● Eligible for Free School Meals (or has received a free school meal in the last 6 years)
● A Child in Care
● A Child who has been adopted from Care
● A Child with one or both parents serving in the Armed Forces
The College receives additional funding to support all children in receipt of Pupil Premium with their education.
Part of this additional funding enables the College to offer a grant of £150 to the parents of Pupil Premium
child to support ‘in school’ activities such as music lessons school trips and school uniform.
Please contact College Reception for more information about the free school meals criteria and to request an
application form.
As more of our information for parents is distributed by text and email it is increasingly important that we have
the most up to date contact details at all times. Please can we ask that you always ensure that your child’s
data is current - PARTICULARLY email and telephone number information.
Mathematics and Science Groups
September 2014
As usual the Maths and Science Faculties will be undertaking a review of Key Stage 3 and 4 setting
arrangements ahead of the start of the new academic year. This is to ensure all students are placed in a
group that will enable them to receive appropriate support and achieve to their potential.
Changes are often necessary to accommodate new students and to ensure that setting remains flexible to
take account of differing rates of progress.
Teachers have already spoken to students about this, but both students and parents should be aware that
this will result in some changes to groups in September.
Okehampton College
Sponsored Walk
12th September 2014
The summer break is a great time to tell
everyone you know about our Annual
Sponsored Walk on Dartmoor.
The entire College will be involved. This walk will
be done as a House activity and the aim is not
only to enable tutor groups to work together, but
also to act as a vehicle for raising funds for the
students’ chosen charities:
The routes, of approximately 10 miles, will all
begin and end in the College and the walkers will
be fully supported by staff. First Aid stations and
drop out points are built into the route.
As this is the end of the first week back of the
Autumn term after the summer break we will
be issuing *sponsorship forms before the end
of the summer term so that you have plenty of
time to get support for this very worthwhile
*Sponsorship forms will be given to
our students at the end of the summer
A big thank you…
to all parents and carers for sending in food ingredients so that
their youngsters can take part in food lessons.
I am about to retire from my job after teaching food and child
development at Okehampton for many years. I have enjoyed my
career and hope that my replacement will have a successful time and
have the same support I have been fortunate to have.
I have loved almost every minute teaching the youngsters some useful
life skills and I hope that they continue to enjoy cooking some of the
dishes we have made in school.
A big thank you to my lovely tutor group.
Please continue to look after and support each other.
I shall miss you all!
Mrs Radnor
Should teachers and parents cry
openly when reading a novel?
This is the big question in the news of reading this week
Ms Griffiths
Here Michael Morpurgo and Kevin Brooks debate this issue
Teachers should let themselves cry
in class when reading poignant
stories to help teach children that
books matter, the author Michael
Morpurgo has said. Morpurgo, the
former children's laureate and writer
of War Horse, said showing emotion
in schools when reading sad tales
should not be avoided, being an essential part of being
a "good teacher".
Speaking at the Chalke Valley History Festival, where he
discussed his First World War novels, he added it was
important to let children see stories can touch the adults
around them, to help them learn the value of literature. His
novels, including War Horse and Private Peaceful, are
known for their emotive subject .
"If you cry in front of children when you're reading a book
it's good teaching," he said. "How else do children ever get
to know that books matter, that stories really matter, unless
they see grown-ups touched by them?" He added: "I find it
profoundly difficult to read the Carol Ann Duffy poem [about
the Christmas Truce]. I think that's the point of literature, it's
about something different: engaging us deeply, making us
When asked why many of his children's books were so
"melancholy", he added: "Young people are thinking
people. I know your life isn't perfect. There are really good
bits about your life and maybe some bits that are not so
good. If you just write stories for young people and wrap
everything in a little pink bow and say everything's fine, they
know you're not being honest. I have to be honest with
people, look them in the eye and tell them a story - not try
to pull the wool over their eyes."
Speaking at the Hay Festival last year, Morpurgo disclosed
he did not write for children in mind, or consider their age
when telling a story. He added they are "quite capable" of
judging what they can cope with, and equipped with the
mental tools to process the reality of the modern world.
Morpurgo, who has tackled difficult subjects throughout his
128 novels, including the execution of a young soldier,
urged authors to stop shielding children from the issues of
the real world.
"We all know children are growing up so fast these days,
the world cannot be hidden from them," he said. They must
read literature that reflects that world, that is serious about
that world, that makes them think about it. I like to look
children in the eye. I don't think of them as seven, eight or
nine; I just tell the story. I rely on their intelligence, their
sensitivity to understand it as best they can. Children can
accept what they can accept. Provided you're not pushing
the whole thing at them and pushing it down their throats,
they're quite capable of saying 'that's enough' and
responding to that."
Speaking last week, Kevin
winner of the Carnegie Medal
said children do not need their
books to have “patronising”
happy endings but should learn
life is not always "all right in the
end". Brooks argued children’s
novels do not need to include an
“element of hope”, which leaves
young readers cossetted and
sheltered from the real world.
Speaking at the presentation of the medal, Brooks added
that being “patronising and condescending” is the “very
worst” offence an author can commit.
“There is a school of thought that no matter how dark or
difficult a novel is, it should contain at least an element of
hope,” he told an audience. “As readers, children – and
teens in particular – don’t need to be cossetted with artificial
hope that there will always be a happy ending.
This article can be found online at:
Key Stage 3 and Year 11 Graduation Ceremonies
Okehampton College recently held
its Annual Awards Evening where
almost 800 guests attended over 2
ceremonies to see more than 350
students receive awards from
College staff.
The evening commenced with the
Key Stage 3 Awards, where teachers
in each faculty area nominated
Excellence, Improvement, Effort and
House Awards which reward students
for their contribution to either their tutor
group or active participation in House
activities. The ceremony also included
the presentation of Junior Graduation
awards by the Principal, Mr Chapman.
The Year 11 Graduation Ceremony
During Year 11, students accrue
Graduation Points for the various
aspects of College life that the College
and the Community think are
important. In order to graduate, each
student must gain a minimum score in
areas of progress, exam entry, praise
points and attendance. The more
points gathered and recorded, the
further up the Graduation Board a
student graduates.
Guests also had the opportunity to
watch the work of Year 11 Media
Studies students who had put together
video trailers as part of their course
Arron Wilson, Awards Evening
Coordinator said, 'This was an
opportunity for parents to glow with
pride and the College to publicly
recognise the progress made by many
of our students. The evening was a
real success and I thank everyone who
supported it’.
Okehampton College Head Boy Jed Chapman and his friend
Kyler Burns take on The Three Welsh Peaks Challenge
On 14th July 2014 students from
Okehampton College will return to Bulgaria to
spend a week working in a state orphanage
in which they organise play and educational
sessions for the children that are housed
there. This project is closely linked to the
work of the Okehampton charity, 'The House
of Rachel'.
(descent via the Miner’s Path)
Okehampton College Head Boy Jed
Chapman and his friend Kyler Burns decided
to raise funds to subsidise the trip by
attempting to walk the following three
mountains in Wales: Snowdon in the north,
Cadair ldris in the west and Pen y Fan in the
Brecon Beacons.
Known as The Three Welsh Peaks
Challenge, at 4.32 am on Sunday 22nd June
and after a delicious cooked breakfast at the
Youth Hostel, Jed and Kyler set off to climb Snowdon via
the Pyg path. To begin with they found themselves climbing
in thick cloud, but an hour into the walk the sun broke
through, revealing an awe inspiring landscape.
Completing the walk in just 2.5 hours, they were then
driven by Jed’s father to the foot of Cadair Idris. Following
the Pony Path they reached the summit of Cadair Idris at
11.30 am.
At 12.30 pm they then set off by car to the Brecon
Beacons and there was time to grab some much needed
sleep before climbing Pen Y Fan. Another Okehampton
College boy, Aaron Kimber, happened to be camping in
Brecon with his family and keen to offer his offer support
he joined Jed and Kyler for the final ascent. Whilst Pen Y
Fan is deemed to be the easiest of the three peaks, by
now muscles were beginning to ache!
The challenge was completed in just 7 hours walking, and
including driving between the peaks, was completed in just
over 12 hours, a remarkable achievement. The smile on the
faces says it all!
Funds raised in excess of the actual cost of the trip will be
donated to the House of Rachel for the Bulgarian
orphanage. (Last year Jed's additional sponsorship helped
towards the funding of two teenagers from the orphanage
through Varna College).
It is hoped that other students at Okehampton College will be inspired by this challenge. Not only have Jed and Kyler raised
much needed funds for an excellent cause, they have gained a great deal from the experience. In Kyler’s
own words, ‘What would I have done this weekend if I hadn’t done this? Probably just drifted into town, and spent some
money. I will never forget those stunning views! ‘
Swimming Update
Grace James - Following on from her recent success at the County Swimming Championships where she qualified
for 11 events, made 7 finals and won 1 silver and 2 bronze medals, Grace subsequently qualified to compete in the
200m butterfly at the South West Regional Swimming Championships.
The day started with some trepidation finding herself ranked 14th out of only 14 who had achieved the qualification
time across the 6 counties. During the first heat Grace found herself in last position at the half way stage only to
power back and win the heat with a massive personal best time, this left everyone waiting to see if it was fast enough
to make the finals, and it was! Placing her ranked 6th.
After many hours of waiting for the finals for the 200m Butterfly, this energy sapping race was upon her. A great
performance was again produced with another personal best attained and a further position improvement as the 5th
fastest in the West – Well done Grace.
The pioneering work that we have undertaken in recent years on energy management and renewable
energy was held up as a national exemplar in an awards ceremony, The Responsible Business Awards
2014, held at The Royal Albert Hall attended by Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.
The considerable achievements at the College have been made with the ongoing support of EDF Energy
who were presented with a Responsible Business Award as part of the Business in The Community Awards
Scheme (BiTC) of which Prince Charles is patron.
Keith Webber and Tim Andrews (6th form) pictured above were invited to the ceremony as representatives
of The College.
Switching off a few lights and being more energy aware has produced some interesting outcomes.
Getting ready for Dementia Awareness Day in Okehampton
Waitrose very kindly sent along a partner to support Dementia Ambassadors
and visitors to our Dementia Café on Tuesday 8th July in the making of table
decorations. A stunning collection of flowers was provided by Waitrose, plus
expertise in cutting and arranging flowers. Ambassadors worked with guests
to create the displays which will be used at the Dementia Awareness Day on
Friday 11th July in the Charter Hall.
The Dementia Awareness Day will provide information on Dementia and
discuss how we as a community can tackle the challenges that living with
Dementia presents.
Dementia Ambassadors will be involved in presenting two sessions and will
attend as young representatives of our community.
The Dementia
Awareness Day in Okehampton is the first to actively involve members of the
community under 16. The conference, organised by Devon Senior Voice, is
the 8th Community Action Day provided for towns in Devon.
Year 9 students who have opted for Catering courses in Year 10 will provide the buffet lunch and Media students will
record action from the day.
Thank you to everyone who supported
our recent Coffee Morning on June 21st.
It was a very hot day and we were in competition with a number of other events
being held on that Saturday.
The money raised was around the £250 mark. If you were unable to
make that coffee morning we will be holding our next one on Saturday
13th September and look forward to seeing you there.
We would also like to say a big thank you to Mrs Joanne Camies, who ran
the London Marathon and raised £256 for the PTFA. It is much
appreciated and we will be letting Mrs Camies know what the money has
gone towards.
Thank you everyone for your support and look forward to meeting you at
future events.
Carol Chapman
PTFA Treasurer
Okehampton College
ROOM 301 (6th Form Art Studio)
3.30 – 6.30pm
(there will be a list of students whose work has been selected
on the board outside the Art rooms by the end of the week)
Dates for your diary & forthcoming events
Monday 14th to
Friday 18th
Thursday 24th
Last Day Of Term
Wednesday 3rd to
Friday 5th Incl.
Non-Pupil Days
Monday 8th
All Pupils
Monday 27th to
Friday 31st
Half Term
Monday 3rd
All Pupils
Friday 28th
Non-Pupil Day
Friday 19th
Last Day of Term
Christmas Break
Monday 22nd to Friday 2nd January 2015 Inclusive
Link to web site term dates:
Important Information for Parent/Carers
Please be aware of new safeguarding guidance, ‘Keeping Children Safe’
Paragraph 117 - Parents/Carers using Facebook, Twitter and other social media to make derogatory
remarks about staff is not acceptable under the prohibition on reporting and publishing allegations
about teachers in section 141F of the Education Act 2002.
Schools across the country are reporting issues relating to the misuse of social media sites.
If any such abuse of these sites regarding Okehampton College takes place, appropriate action will
be taken.