Category Archives: Education

STUNNING NEW SCIENCE FACILITY AT KINGS HALL & DofE WITH A DIFFERENCE

by Vicki Crandley, King’s

This term we have moved into the most amazing new science faculty with twice the space of before and a facility surely equal to the best available to children this age anywhere in the country. The much anticipated completion of our stunning new Science faculty presented us with a unique opportunity to launch an exciting new event at King’s Hall School: Monday 11th September marked the beginning of our first Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Week.

As part of this event, we were delighted to welcome the BLOODHOUND-SSC Project – an international education initiative focused around a 1,000mph World Land Speed Record attempt.

The main objective of the Project is: ‘to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology and maths – by demonstrating how they can be harnessed to achieve the impossible, such as a jet and rocket powered car capable of setting a new World Land Speed Record.’

During their two-day visit, BLOODHOUND treated the children to presentations, workshops, talks and tours of a life-sized model of their record-breaking car. Even our staff enjoyed getting to grips with building and racing balloon-powered cars!

If you would like to learn more about the school, we are holding an Open Day on Friday 6th October.
For further details please contact our Admissions Team: 01823 285920/admissions@kingshalltaunton.co.uk

At King’s Hall meanwhile some of the pupils have been tackling the DofE in an innovative way…

As well as the usual method taken to achieve the DofE Gold Award expedition, six pupils from King’s College decided to take a different approach lately … instead of walking they would travel by canoe.

At the end of August, 17 Lower Sixth pupils headed off to Dartmoor to complete their final DofE Gold Award expedition on foot, and, at the same time, the water-based expedition set off down the River Wye.

Having previously shown an interest in learning to paddle, Harry Cooper-Simpson, Dan Bernardo, Jack Mead, Angus Lyon, Bradley Rickard and Oliver Martin requested the option to canoe, and under the tutorship of Mr Chris Pearson set about perfecting their boat-handling skills as well as preparing for various rescue scenarios.Commenting on their practice sessions, Chris said: “All their preparation and hard work paid off when the group embarked on their practice expedition on the lower stretches of the River Wye, taking three days to make their way from Hoarwithy, through Ross-on-Wye and into the spectacular Symonds Yat gorge. On entering the gorge at the infamous rapids they spent several hours learning introductory white water skills – always a challenge, particularly in a tandem boat loaded with expedition kit! The coordination and understanding needed to successfully navigate a tandem boat is not to be underestimated and requires a deep level of communication and trust between the crew; there’s nothing like the threat of capsizing to sharpen the mind and focus attention.”

With this newly acquired skill and experience under their belts, the boys began their four-day journey, starting at Glasbury, and wending their way out of the Black Mountains in Wales and into the rolling hills of Herefordshire, down into the wide plains below the city of Hereford itself. This was the first time the group would find themselves truly on their own – although accompanied by a GPS tracker that allowed Mr Pearson to monitor their progress whilst giving them the remote experience that is key to the Duke of Edinburgh ethos.

The weather was kind and sunny for the first three days as the group made stops at the wide variety of bridges, where they compared design, style, age and usage for their presentation as well as exploring their surroundings from the unique perspective of the river. On the final day it was a race against the weather as the group embarked at 6.00am to try to finish before the impending rain storm took hold. Alas, the last few hours were cold and damp and resembled any trip to Dartmoor on a rainy day!

Speaking of a rainy Dartmoor… the walkers all completed their expedition in challenging Dartmoor conditions, and should be commended for their resilience and determination.

 

NORTH DEVON SCHOOLS SHOW JUMPING LEAGUE: OVERALL REPORT & REPORT FROM SOUTH MOLTON COLLEGE

Thank you to Vicky Fiddes for sending us this report of the North Devon Schools Showjumping League semi-finals, which took place last weekend. Vicki writes:

On Sunday 30 July North Devon Schools Show Jumping League held their semi-finals at Coxleigh Barton Equestrian Centre in Barnstaple.

The 50cm team competition was won by Chulmleigh Primary School’s team, The Cubs. The riders in the cubs team were: Zak Flanagan, Ella Otto, Morgan Callister and Fred Barlow. The 50cm individual winner was Lilli Fiddes from Braunton Academy, riding Redvears Peregrine.

The 60cm was won by Braunton Academy’s team, Trivium: Lilli Fiddes, Sienna Gray, Katie Holton and Poppy Priscott.  Katie Miles riding Apple Blossom from West Buckland took the individual win.

Sadly, during the 60 competition Chulmleigh rider, Ella, has a fall and broke her collar bone. We would like to take this opportunity to wish her a speedy recovery from everyone at NDSSJL and hope to see her back in action next season.

The 70cm team class was won by Bethany Robinson, Ellie Dawson, Molly Mellett and Caitie Streete, who were riding for Park Community College’s team 1. The individual winner was Grace Sinclair, riding Annandale Royal Warrant from South Molton Community College.

The 80cm team comp winners were South Molton. The riders making up Team Storm were Izzy Beard, Molly Matthews, Maisie Atkinson and Grace Sinclair. Grace and her horse Cregg Surprise  also took the  individual win.

The 90cm was run purely as an individual competition with Molly Matthews on Million Dollar Girls taking the win. She rides for South Molton Community College.

Head judge and course builder, Sara Gallagher, commented: “I have seen such an improvement from every one of the children, especially those who would not normally have the chance to go out and compete. I do love the team encouragement for each other.”

Show jumping trainer at NDSSJL,  Nancy Hutchings, said she had thoroughly enjoyed training lots of the individual and team riders and that the improvement in all the riders from the first show to now has been incredible to watch.

Organisers Jo Gay and Lucy Jenkinson and myself have thoroughly enjoyed running the series and can’t wait for the Championship event on 1 September at Coxleigh Barton. The League has been an absolute pleasure to run. Each and every child has done their school proud! They have all been fantastic to watch, have shown great team spirit and been very polite throughout every competition.

After our championship show at Coxleigh on 1 September, the new league will be starting on 1 October. The competition is open to all school age children in North Devon. Full info on how to get involved can be found on the North Devon Schools Show Jumping League facebook group or at Coxleigh.com.

And thank you to Mrs Sherwood, who sent us a report detailing how South Molton Community College got on at the semis. Here is what she wrote:

Showcasing show jumping talent, this year is the inaugural North Devon Schools Show Jumping League. A friendly, local competition held at Coxleigh Barton Equestrian Centre, the newly established league is encouraging and welcoming all North Devon pupils to take part. Representing their respective schools, the successes of individual pupils have been tallied across the league tables since the first event in April. The monthly qualifiers came to a head on Sunday 30th July.

Pupils from South Molton Community College have consistently performed exceptionally well – claiming first and second place in the 80cm class and first and second in the 90cm.

Horse riding requires huge amounts of dedication and resilience, winning classes has not been down to luck or chance. Our students have worked hard throughout the cold and dark winter months to prepare for this league. I am always impressed with how well they turn their horses out and how considerately they ride – always putting the horse or pony first.

The school’s Show Jumping Team have been sponsored by Acorn Saddlery this year, who have provided the team with their purple livery.

Andrew Finney, Principal of South Molton Community College, said: “We are immensely proud of our students and how well they represent our school and local community. We’re very much looking forward to the Championship in September.”

A lot of the students at South Molton Community College are part of their local Pony Clubs and often train and attend additional competitions. Most recently, Jess Cumings, Josh Flanagan and Molly Matthews qualified for Grass Roots Area Eventing, with Jess Cumings, Molly Matthews and Lily Cronk qualifying for Grass Roots Show Jumping. Caroline Sherwood said: “SMCC students are kind, motivated and hardworking – they can achieve anything they put their mind to – inside or outside of the classroom.”

Editor’s note – Exmoor Mag would like to hear from all schools with their individual reports if they want to send them in. Don’t be left out! Email  editor@exmoormagazine.co.uk to let us know how you got on at the Championship! Good luck to all the riders!

DULVERTON JUNIOR SCHOOL WATER WHEEL PROJECT

Earlier this month 50 pupils from Dulverton Junior School took part in a Junior Hydraulic Motor Engineer Competition organised jointly by the school and Dulverton Weir & Leat Conservation Trust.

In the weeks before the event the pupils worked in groups to construct water wheels in the classroom as part of their Technology curriculum.

Carrying the wheels through the town, they placed them in the moving waters of the leat (mill stream) to find out whether their designs worked and whether further improvements had to be made on site.

Lady Dulverton presented certificates to the two winning teams who were:

Year 5 – Luke Hurtfurt, Zara Westcott, Martha Williams, James Cochrane, Jack Clark-Thomas, Lily Gibb-Green.

Year 6 – Alyssia Campell-Farmer, Olivia Hooper Smith, India Russell-Marsh, Mya Nurcombe, Lewis Hayes.

This is a short film which was made about the event: www.dulvertonweir.org.uk/arts-on-the-leat/2017-dulverton-schools-competition www.dulvertonweir.org.uk/arts-on-the-leat/2017-dulverton-schools-competition

WATER SAFETY TRAINING AT DULVERTON SCHOOL AS PART OF THE DULVERTON WEIR PROJECT

Pupils from years 5 & 6 in Dulverton School recently received water safety training from Linda Steer, Swimming Lesson Manager, Mid Devon Leisure.

The children participated in a lively exchange of ideas about potential dangers in and around water, including swimming pools, canals, rivers, beaches and around the home. In a lively and instructive lesson, Linda was able to get the children to spot potential hazards around the different areas and learn safe behaviours when they are near water. Linda Steer said, “The children responded really well and interacted in the discussion, some bringing their own stories. We want all children to be able to go out and enjoy the water; they need to be aware of the potential dangers around water to stay safe.”

Dulverton Junior School Head Teacher, Sally Fulfor, added, “The pupils are very excited about taking part in the Dulverton Weir and Leat project and learning more about the ancient weir and its history. This is an important part of their heritage and it is a key part of the school’s mission for pupils to become involved in opportunities which link to the local community. The study of the weir and leat will provide the basis of year’s 5 and 6 topic work for the summer term allowing the pupils to apply practical and real life experiences to their work across various subjects such as art and science.”

Mid Devon Leisure offer a range of water safety courses and Linda Steer can be contacted by email: lsteer@middevon.gov.uk

More information about Dulverton Weir and Leat Project can be found on the Trust website www.dulvertonweir.org.uk

NORTH DEVON SCHOOLS’ SHOW JUMPING LEAGUE: HAT TRICK FOR SOUTH MOLTON

Tuesday 4 April saw the first leg of the new North Devon Schools Show Jumping League, held at Coxleigh Barton Equestrian Centre, near Barnstaple, where teams from South Molton Community College picked a hat trick of firsts in each of the four classes.

Maisie Atkinson, riding It’s About Time took individual first in the 60cm class, and South Molton’s team Thunder won the 70cm class (Maisie Atkinson on It’s About Time, Anna Drury on Jet; Molly Matthews on Mystic Meg; Chloe Sanders on Tickled Pink).

Team Storm (Maisie Atkinson on Little William; Izzy Breard on The Grand Sort Jury; Molly Matthews on Million Dollar Girl; Grace Sinclair on Cregg Surprise) took first place in the 80cm and 90cm classes.

Schools competing in the League included the Community Colleges from South Molton, Chulmleigh, Pilton, Park School, Holsworthy, Torrington, Bideford, The Gateway Federation and West Buckland School. The under-11 years were also represented by The Chulmleigh Cubs and The Shirwell Shooting Stars.

Each of the four classes included a team and also had a number of individual entries – a total of 58 combinations jumped as individuals throughout the day. The South Molton Community College pupils also picked up a number of additional individual rosettes.

The series is the brainchild of Vicky Fiddes and consists of four monthly competitions to be held at Coxleigh Barton, Barnstaple, and Mullacott Event Centre, Ilfracombe, throughout the summer of 2017.

Mrs Sherwood, South Molton Community College’s team coach, said, “How amazing that we had such a winning streak on our first time out. I know that most of our young people have experience of riding for the Dulverton West Pony Club and this seems to have stood them in good stead in the first leg of the League. Well done to all of them, some of whom are on new ponies for the 2017 season. They rode very well, looked smart and were a credit to our sponsor Acorn Saddlery, who kindly donated the numnahs and sweatshirts, in the school’s new purple livery.

However, there are still three other elements of the competition to go and we know that anything could happen from here on in!”

Watch this space…

And you can follow the League on Facebook.

PHOTO: Team Storm. Left to right: Molly Matthews, Izzy Beard, Grace Sinclair and Maisie Atkinson.

COMBE MARTIN BIOBLITZ – 4 SCHOOLS AND 300 SCHOOLCHILDREN

A survey of coastal wildlife at Combe Martin attracted over 300 children from four Devon schools to celebrate British Science Week. The children moved round three different activities on their Bioblitz day to survey and find out more about coastal wildlife. They started with wildlife surveys in the rock pools and on the beach. Then they studied creatures and seaweeds under the digital microscopes in Combe Martin Museum. Finally they visited four stands with different science activities on the school field. The event was hosted by Combe Martin Primary School, one of the major partners in the Coastal Creatures project led by North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“The children lived and breathed science for a day,” said AONB officer Cat Oliver. “Their knowledge and enthusiasm was infectious, whether delving into rockpools, magnifying shells and seaweed or drawing the coastline with a long piece of rope. We would like to thank our major funder the Heritage Lottery Fund and our sponsors of the day, North Devon Council through their councillor grants. Without their support, this fantastic event would not have been possible.”

“Seeing the children from different schools working collaboratively and fully engaged with discovering our coastal wildlife was truly inspirational,” said Combe Martin Primary’s Sea School teacher Graham Hockley. “Such a large number of children working as mini inter-tidal ecologists, each one helping to find and identify coastal species will hopefully inspire them to go on and study STEM subjects, becoming the next generation to understand and protect our stunning coastline.”

The day was attended by Combe Martin Primary School and Tiddlers Nursery, Bampton CE Primary School, Woolacombe School and Caen Community Primary School from Braunton. The activities provided on the school field included matching animals with their habitats on the AONB stand, making wildlife badges with the National Trust, identifying what bats eat with the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat project and drawing the coastline with Exmoor National Park’s rangers.

All the wildlife survey forms completed by the children, Coastwise members and Museum volunteers from the day were checked by the Marine Biological Association. These will contribute to science nationally by being uploaded as records on the National Biodiversity Network.

PHOTO: Dave Edgecombe from the AONB, surrounded by fascinated children explains the life of limpets.

 

 

WELLINGTON SCHOOL PUPILS PONDER PHILOSOPHY

The Wellington School Philosophy Team returned to King’s College, Taunton, last night in a bid to retain its trophy as winners of the Inter-School Philosothon competition.  The team of 11 young philosophers from years 9-11 dazzled and impressed a range of judges with their insightful contributions to discussions but alas ultimately had to surrender the much-loved trophy to Bristol Grammar School on the evening.

The Philosothon is a philosophy competition judged by leading Professors and lecturers in philosophy.  The idea is new to the UK and was born in Australia in 2007.

The fourth ever Inter-School Philosothon was held at King’s College, Taunton with a large number of participating schools from around the region.

The team, which spanned Year 9 to Year 13, consisted of Reyhan Taraq, Will Davis, Hamish Hunter, Marianne Baly, Dak Natakala, Lizzy Fanshawe, Edmund Tallack, Freddie Renyard, Sophie Bennett, Isabel Elliott and Amy Green.

The team were given a number of philosophical stimuli – this year these included a Dostoevsky passage and a lesser-known issue raised by the Charlie Hebdo attack – which they had to discuss whilst being judged by teams of eminent philosophers.  The Wellington team, though separated throughout, performed at a very high level in each of their groups and scored highly for their ability to articulate conceptual difficulties as well as include and carefully build on the ideas of others within their groups.

Philosothons encourage students to investigate complex philosophical and ethical questions within a small group known as a ‘community of enquiry’. In this setting, students do not see other group members as rivals but take their place as a fellow philosopher attempting to offer solutions to some of the world’s most controversial and problematic ethical and philosophical questions.  In the process of preparing and participating in Philosothons, students have the opportunity to develop higher order thinking and communication skills.

“The joy of Philosothons is that they do not aim to identify and reward the loudest or the most confident, but rather to bring out of students their original ideas, help them to formulate complex ideas and questions and play their part in moving towards answers through courteous and inclusive questioning and discussion,” commented Katja Sass, Wellington School’s Head of RS and team coach.

PHOTO:  Wellington School’s Philosothon team. From left, back row: Lizzie Fanshawe, Izzy Elliott, Will Davis, Edmund Tallach, Freddie Renyard, Reyhan Taraq, Dak Natakala.
Front row: Rachael Davies – RS teacher, Sophie Bennett, Amy Green, Marianne Baly, Hamish Hunter and Katja Sass, Wellington School’s Head of RS and team coach.

EXETER BECOMES FIRST POETRY PIN CITY

Thank you to Chris Jelley of Storywalks for sending in the latest news about Poetry Pin…

A new year and the launch of Exeter City Poetry Pin – the first virtual poetry city has happened and with such a great reception too. As of writing, the poetry pool has been open just seven days and already has over 60 poems pinned across the city.

So what is Exeter Poetry Pin, and how does it link with Storywalks?

Well firstly, these are parallel projects which do a very similar thing, i.e. geo tag content to place. In respect of Storywalks, these are trails which pupils can edit and then re-write, and are specifically designed for use in the classroom – so very focused and appropriate content. As for Poetry Pin the systems tags words to the authors physical location by using the GPS in their smart phone. The Poetry Pin is open to the public without restriction, so anyone with a smart phone can visit the trails (there are now three) and post poems inside.

So how did Exeter become the first Poetry City?

After the terrible fire at the Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter city councillors saw the Exmoor Poetry Boxes on national TV and wondered whether a similar approach could capture the sentiment of the disaster. It was decided that boxes were perhaps less appropriate in the city. The Exeter Poetry Pin went live on the 9th January 2017.

Who can use it?

Anyone with a smart phone, just travel to the city, visit the web page exeter.poetrypin.info Go seek out poems pinned across the city, then pin your own.

Is it appropriate for school children?

The Exeter Poetry Pin is public, and open to all so it is quite possible that someone may add some content which is not appropriate for younger eyes. But that said, at the bottom of each poem is a button to ‘flag’ inappropriate content. With a whole city let loose publishing poems we needed a way to allow the audience to monitor and flag poems which were inappropriate, and so far this has been really successful. When a poem is flagged it is immediately removed from the field, plus there are profanity filters which block poems with specific words inside, keeping the system as clean as can be (hopefully!)

How long is the project going to last?

The Exeter Poetry Pin is open for at least a year and we are hoping to do some school workshops in the spring time with Daisi – Devon arts inspired learning. Please get in touch to note your interest.

More about Storywalks here, and of course [if you work in a school] I would love to come and visit you, get your pupils writing out in the wild, with poems and tales.

Kind regards

Christopher Jelley

MEMBERS OF DEVON YFC GAIN PLACES ON 2017 TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS

The Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs recently held their travel interviews which saw over 40 members from across the county apply for the 2017 scholarships. The members completed application forms and attended interviews at the Devon Young Farmers centre in Exeter.

Extended thanks to the interviewers; Marion Cann, Neil Grills, Clare Edworthy, Chris Berry, Faye Heal and Mark Davis who have all previously been members of Devon YFC and travelled on the scholarship programme. Difficult decisions were made to who the places were awarded to, as the standard of members was fantastic, making decisions extremely tough.

The juniors who have gained a space on the exchange with Finland – Ben Kittow (Culm Valley YFC), Charlotte Lake (Witheridge YFC), Ben May (Newton St Cyres YFC), Henry Govier (Meshaw YFC), Ellen Abel (Tavistock YFC), Tim Laarveld (Winkleigh YFC), Ellis Sage (Sid & Otter YFC), Lauren Rich (Dartmouth YFC), Jack Broom (Honiton YFC), Keziah Hoskin (Meshaw YFC) with leaders: Laura Stanbury (Withleigh YFC) and Tom Rycroft (Chittlehampton YFC).

The seniors who were successful at gaining a place on the 2017 scholarship and travelling to Slovenia include James Westcott (Culm Valley YFC), Louise Kittow (Withleigh YFC), Laura Grist (Cheriton & Tedburn YFC), John Malseed (Chagford YFC), Ben Warren (Chittlehampton YFC), Olivia Haddy (Kingsbridge YFC), Ryan Colwill (Woolsery YFC), Richard Rossiter (Kingsbridge YFC), Ryan Dobson (Yarcombe YFC), Adam Howe (Culm Valley YFC) and Charles Mill (Bradworthy YFC).

Members travelling alongside them have won their place through Senior Member of the Year, John Spear Memorial Award and George Hingston Award, they include Alice Giles (Bow YFC), Michelle Batting (Culm Valley YFC), Jack Frankum (Cheriton & Tedburn YFC) and Clifton Ford (Chulmleigh YFC).

Georgina Davie, Devon YFC International Travel Chairperson, said, “We are extremely grateful to all those organisations and groups within Young Farmers that have sponsored the members spaces, allowing us to run this fantastic programme.”

Three members from Devon were awarded places on the National Federation Scholarships after tough competition from across England, with Skype interviews taking place in December. Congratulations to Daniel Grist (Cheriton & Tedburn YFC) who will be travelling on the RYE European Rally to Latvia, Kate Palmer (Totnes YFC) who gained a space on Africa’s Gift and Holly Gilbert (Cheriton & Tedburn YFC) who will be off to Argentina.

The Devon YFC Federation are also offering a lucky member the opportunity to travel on the International Farming Youth Exchange trip to the US in 2017, with interviews taking place in January.

For more information about the Devon Young Farmers Federation, visit www.devonyfc.co.uk.

 

BEACH SCHOOLS SOUTH WEST & SOUTH WEST WATER TEAM UP FOR FREE WINTER SAFETY AND EDUCATION SESSIONS

Award-winning outdoor learning company Beach Schools South West have teamed up with South West Water to help promote clean water, conservation and seaside safety to youngsters in the region this winter.

The Exeter-based water company is adding its weight to a new pilot education project which will see children being taught both on the beach and in schools about taking care not only of themselves but also the life cycle of water and how to keep it clean.

It will be part of free winter-time school sessions from Beach Schools South West who are offering to go into schools to give children talks on how to stay safe on the beach.

Tess Stuber, Director of Beach Schools South West, said, “We are delighted to have such a prestigious and influential company as South West Water back our passion to teach on the beach – and teach about the beach.

“Beaches are a year-round outdoor classroom and we want children to not only access and understand the world around them but also to stay safe there. That’s why we are offering free sessions to schools this winter. Last summer saw some truly awful tragedies around the UK’s shoreline and we are trying to help to stop that happening again.”

As part of the safety talks, children will also hear how to look after the water and how doing that can start at home, not just on the beach. South West Water’s Love your Loo campaign teaches them about only flushing the three ‘Ps’ (pee, paper and poo)..

Alan Hyde, Head of Communications at South West Water, said, “We’re so lucky here in the South West to have some of the finest beaches in the world and South West Water is committed to helping them stay that way. Everyone can play a part in that by being careful about what they flush or wash down the sink, and so linking up with Beach Schools South West is a great way to get that message across to children while they are also learning about safety and – of course, having fun outdoors.”

Beach Schools South West is an award-winning Community Interest Company dedicated to teaching children curriculum-linked learning on the beach.

Any schools wishing to apply for the free sessions anywhere in our area along the coast can contact the team on info@beachschoolssouthwest.co.uk or through the website www.beachschoolssouthwest.co.uk.