On Monday 27th February the Year 9 students took part in a Mindful Me Enrichment Programme. Mindful Me is about equipping young people with the mind management tools to manage life’s stresses and aims to ‘help young people help themselves’. The bespoke sessions support to build aspirations and reduce anxiety, stress and low mood by teaching them the techniques to regulate, improve and take ownership of their actions. The students looked at the importance of mindful music, food for thought, having time and the correct space to relax and calm down, laughing with friends and family, how to be happy and performing random acts of kindness.
At the end of February students from Year 9 and 10 enjoyed an action packed weekend at Boreatton Park PGL in Shrewsbury. Arriving on Friday evening they soon gathered around the campfires to toast marshmallows. The next morning the students were set the challenge of engineering rafts to take on to the lake. With four teams the competition during the raft races became very competitive and splashing the opposition to slow them down was the most widely used tactic. Back on dry land students were soon zooming through the woodland in a zip wire after learning how to survive in the forest by building shelters and making fires. On their final day the students tested their sporting skills in fencing and archery sessions, followed by racing each other around the track on quad bikes before attempting the giant swing of faith. It was a great weekend and students had a fantastic time whilst being great ambassadors for the school.
During the week from 23rd to 28th January 2017, our Chinese Hanban teachers Jun Meng and Ting Hou, went to eight of our feeder primary schools to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year with the pupils and teachers. They delivered assemblies telling the traditions and taboos of how and why Chinese people celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year and offered workshops on Chinese paper cutting and lantern making for the pupils. They were warmly welcomed by the schools and the pupils were extremely enthusiastic.
Pupils and teachers learnt how to say 'Happy Chinese New Year' in Chinese with the right gestures and experienced the Chinese Lunar New Year culture by immersing into Chinese New Year songs and music, Chinese food and Chinese handcrafts. The teachers said it was a valuable experience for the pupils and they all enjoyed the day.
The annual Chinese New Year celebrations were very successful once again at St Chad’s. We started the festivities with our year group assemblies which were conducted by our Chinese teacher Mrs Kirkham who introduced the history and traditions of the Chinese New Year festival. The assemblies helped raise all students’ awareness of Chinese New Year.
During China week, the workshops were conducted by Mrs Kirkham and our visiting Hanban teachers, Miss Hou and Mr Meng. In the workshops, students participated in Chinese calligraphy, traditional paper cutting art and water painting. Our students learned to write their names in Chinese and how to write “Good Luck” with Chinese characters. Some students did the water painting of a panda which helped the students to experience these traditional Chinese art skills. Also, students enjoyed the paper cuttings representing the symbol for “Double Happiness”. The workshops were open to the entire school and everyone who participated really enjoyed themselves, getting involved with typical relish and enthusiasm.
Our China Week was very successful. Students at St Chad’s not only increased their own cultural awareness of China itself but it has also helped them understand the global dimension of the real world. The excellent Chinese New Year celebration activities were very popular and positively received by all.
Throughout this academic year, St Chad's have been working in partnership with Mexichem. They recruited a Spanish teacher to work 3 days at Mexichem delivering 1:1 lessons to senior employees and 2 days at the school to teach pupils and deliver a Mexican culture programme.
The successful candidate was Mr Riding, who took on the challenge of putting together an art competition based on Mexican culture as part of his school programme brief. The concept, suggested by Dave Smith, Business Director, Mexichem UK Ltd, was to allow students to design artwork based on their own research on Mexico.
The competition allows Mexichem to portray A1 canvas frames in its conference rooms and offices so that when employees from Mexico visit Runcorn or are involved in teleconferences, they are able to see the work that is on display. Neil was overwhelmed by the response, number of entries and outstanding work produced by year 7 to year 11 pupils. The competition was open to the whole school where a wide variety of designs where submitted.
Mr Riding worked alongside Mr Waller, Head of Art, and Mrs Wilde, Art teacher, on the competition with Dave Smith and Kathie Hessey, PA to Dave Smith from Mexichem.
Mr Waller suggested the idea of students using a postcards was a perfect way of communicating their understanding and sharing different cultures. The opportunity also provided an occasion to demonstrate their skills, techniques, initiative, and use of a wide amount of media. The whole enterprise opens other windows for St Chad’s to forge further links with Mexichem and other countries through art.
The competition judged on a top 10 basis, then further reviewed to the best six entries. The winners have been notified of their success and will receive a prize from Mexichem at their offices in Runcorn.
1st: A. Snell
2nd: H. White
3rd: I. Millett
4th: G. Rotherham
5th: L. Piercy
6th: R. Shearer
Congratulations to our winners, and well done to all who took part.