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Cambridge Chemistry Challenge 2017

Congratulations to Nelson Chan, Stan Huang and Alex Wang who all received a Copper award from the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. (pictured here with Headteacher, Mrs Nicola Walker)

At the end of the summer term some of the A1 Chemistry group took part in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge 2017

In the same week that they were relaxing after AS module examinations and preparing for the summer holiday, they sat a very difficult examination designed to test both knowledge and problem solving skills.  The chemistry questions were based on topical issues.

The Cambridge Chemistry Challenge is set by St Catharine’s College of Cambridge University; to be taken by the most talented Chemistry students from across the country The questions are designed to be more challenging than AS papers . Some of the questions are on familiar topics but most is completely new to AS students and requires them to use all their scientific skills and to work through the problems logically.  Those setting the questions repeated in their feedback to schools that “problem-solving skills are essential for the study of science at university and in industry” “The ‘resilience’ of A level students and the importance of students keeping going with questions even in the face of difficulty, is still much talked about and is highly desirable by Universities.” .

Over 7000 students from 500 different schools across the country took the challenge.  From Saint Michael’s College, five students took the challenge.

The scores are given levels; Copper, Silver, Gold and Roentgenium; (less than 9% of all the entries gained over 50% in the Challenge) The organisers felt that a mark at 33% and above represented a very good achievement on this paper and showed the students were able to think their way successfully through unfamiliar material.

 

 





Welcome To Our New Head of Boarding

My husband and I are very excited to be joining St Michaels school in September.  We are moving to St Michaels from the seaside town of Scarborough in Yorkshire.  I have been head of a boarding house for the last four years at Scarborough College, I have also previously taught maths and been the school librarian.
 
Mr Robinson has been part of the boarding team while also working as a problem solver for a utilities company. We are passionate about boarding life, family and community spirit.  We love spending time with young people and providing a loving family atmosphere, encouraging pupils to develop confidence and be adventurous.
 
We hope that over the coming years all St Michaels pupils will develop a sense of belonging and will remember their school life here with great fondness.
 
Jenny Robinson, Head of Boarding




Exciting Focus on Accelerated Learning

 
We are enhancing our support for academic study in the new term (September 2017). We know that our students want to make excellent academic progress in addition to improving their English.
 
Our English programme is very successful and students make rapid progress and gain high IELTS scores enabling them to apply to the University of their choice. However, we also realise that students need the right subject specific vocabulary to help them access the highest levels in GCSE and A level study.
 
Our new curriculum will team academic teachers with English teachers so that students can have focussed subject specific English  lessons, which target their academic needs. So for example, every week for a student studying A level  sciences they will have access to three extra English lessons which teach the vocabulary and grammar they will need in A level Biology, Chemistry and Physics. A student studying GCSE Business and Economics will be able to attend English classes which focus on the language requirements of GCSE Business and Economics.
 
These lessons will be available in the majority of subjects at both GCSE and A level and will make our curriculum and English support for academic study quite unique. We know that this partnership between subject teachers, English teachers and the pupils will help and support students to achieve their best and that is always our aim.




Poetry Workshop

By Danny Teofilov (Bulgaria)
As part of the Tenbury Poetry Competition a local poet visited St Michael's to run two poetry workshops for a selection of our students. First year A Level student, Danny Teofilov from Bulgaria, gives us his views on the workshop that he attended; 
 
There is no better thing than a Monday morning and some poetry. Really! I have never known how interesting and self-reflecting poetry can be. From discovering new things about yourself by interpreting different poems, to writing some yourself allowing you to relieve any hidden emotions you might have. A big thanks to Jean Atkin, the poet that came over to show us the way.
 
It really was an eye opening experience for me and hopefully for the rest of the class. Some were open minded and wrote lots ready to present, others were still drowsy from the good night’s sleep they got and some were hiding away their poems not to reveal too many inner secrets about themselves.
 
Overall, it was a great experience learning new things and expanding our horizons.
 
You can learn more about Jean Atkins here; https://jeanatkin.com/about/ 
 
And the Tenbury Poetry Competition here; http://www.poetryintenbury.org/ 




Monday Assembly

Monday morning assemblies have a sense of sparkle about them these days.  On a cold winter morning it could be a moment to set our pupils up for the week.  Inspiring models of behaviour are the watchwords here and the other week our pupil Nashm prepared a poem to read to the assembled school.  It…

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Peruvian Students

We have been fortunate to welcome a group of Peruvians students to King’s College Saint Michaels this term. They were a great addition to the school joining in lessons whilst improving their English. An impressive programme of weekend visits took them far and wide including a trip to Oxford, watching a Manchester United match at…

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Valentine’s Day disco

If you went up to the Common Room on Saturday you would have been confronted by a room festooned with balloons, rose petals, hearts, decorations and other accessories for the annual Valentine’s Day Disco. There was a lot of dancing, with good music played by ace DJs Martin and Nashm.  Mostly upbeat, thumping rhythms were…

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Cardiff Market

Trip to Cardiff

What a day to go to Cardiff!  A little peaceful shopping perhaps?  A jaunt around the celebrated castle ruins and reflection upon medieval times?  Not on this day, anyway.  Yes, we could go shopping, yes we could go around the castle, but our attention was drawn principally by the feel of carnival around us.  Drummers…

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Scholars’ Dinner in Madrid

We arrived late afternoon and noticed how different it was from the UK before even getting off the plane.  It had been a while since we’d last seen the sun still shining after 5 p.m. The ride over to the hotel had us gawking at the marvelous city.  Seeing Madrid made me realize that love…

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Contemporary Dance Class

by Frista & Alina   This term we are practicing contemporary dance.  This is a style of expressive dance combining elements of several dance genres, including Modern Jazz, Lyrical, and Classical ballet.  Contemporary dancers strive to connect the mind and the body through fluid dance movements. There are around 15 of us taking part and we…

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Christmas Lunch

One final tradition took place of the last lunchtime of the year.  Christmas fare was served to one and all by Mr. Higgins, in full Father Christmas attire, and Mrs Hall giving support to our new chef Mr Astley (elf for the day). Students were treated to a medley of festive songs, even making their…

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