Category Archives: Education

Orchard’s Nativity

Orchard’s Nativity
Early this afternoon I was invited to watch the Orchards School Reception Year’s dress rehearsal of their nativity play.
 
I was joined by residents of Rose Lodge residential care home and the children of two local nursery schools as the “test audience”.
 
We were all wowed by the delightful, colourful and musical show. The young children spoke, sung and acted well and we were all transported to Bethlethem, to see Joseph and Mary take their important journey.
 
Parents get to see the full show this Thursday. I don’t think it will be too much of a spoiler to say there’s a happy ending, but trust me on this, you will all be very pleased and very proud of what your children have accomplished. A fine show by Orchard’s Reception Year children. Well done!

School Dinner

School Dinner

Tonight I was invited to a rather special dinner.

Students of Thomas Clarkson Academy who are studying catering prepared a three course meal and served it to parents and guests.

As one of the guests I was treated to a truly exception meal, prepared and served flawlessly. Everybody seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.

The students and staff must be congratulated on the fare, which was as good as any restaurant i’ve eaten in recently. Better than many.

Thank you for inviting me.

*Thank you to Editor, John Elworthy, who acted as escort for the Mayoral Chain at very short notice.

Photos Courtesy of Wisbech Standard

Library Reading Challenge Awards

Library Reading Challenge Awards

Yesterday I accompanied the Leader of Wisbech Town Council, Cllr Sam Hoy, to present the awards for the Summer Reading Challenge at Wisbech Library.
 
The Summer Reading Challenge is a reading initiative run by local libraries to encourage children to read during the Summer holidays.
 
A huge number of children took part this year and it was fantastic to see such a great turnout of young people and their proud parents and grandparents. The kids clearly loved being a part of it and were enjoying the whole thing immensely.
 
We handed out a small mountain of certificates and medals to the children who had completed the challenge, who ranged in ages dramatically.
 
My hat goes off to the Library staff and volunteers who worked so hard to make this all possible.
 
It was a very nice event and it was a joy to be a part of it.

School’s Out For Summer

School’s Out For Summer

I was doing my DJ bit for the end-of-term party at St. Peter’s School tonight.

Kids were well-behaved as ever and the teachers had created a really nice event to mark the end of the school year.

Some of the youngsters are going on to Senior School now, albeit TCA or further afield – I’d like to wish them all the best. They really are a charming bunch, well looked after by an excellent school. I am sure they will do very well wherever they are heading onto.

Wisbech Grammar School, Speech Day 2017

Wisbech Grammar School, Speech Day 2017

This morning I made my way to Wisbech Grammar School, for its annual Speech Day.

Speech Day is a celebration of the achievements of students at Wisbech Grammar School throughout the last year and is a chance for students to receive awards for their academic, sports and other successes.

In a hall packed full of guests and proud parents, the impressive achievements were acknowledged and rewarded – and an impressive lot they were!

Wisbech has a lot going for it and there is no doubt that the grammar school is one of our jewels. It was wonderful to see the excellence for which the school is known in all its glory.

Congratulations to all the students who merited awards today, and to the school, its staff and all of its pupils for shining bright every year here in Wisbech.

Sorry, not many photos as the ceremony didn’t allow photography. But I did manage to get a snap with some students after the event has concluded.

What a day!

What a day!

Orchards School held their annual Wisbech Reads day, celebrating books and reading and related subjects.

Theatre shows, Choirs, Storytellers and performances, Drama, Crafts, workshops and learning activities. Most of the school became a giant adventureland as Orchards welcomed coachloads of other schools from across the area.

From Wisbech St Mary to Elm, Leverington to Wisbech, Junior Schools filled the classrooms and the schools fields – where tents and pagodas were scattered wide, offering fun educational activities.

Quite literally thousands of children made their way through, all behaved fantastically, and laughing and smiling and dancing.

I was pleased to run a disco for the event to add some tunes to the festivities from 9AM to 3PM and those kids ran me ragged – rushing about energetically, performing dance routes, jumping and singing and laughing.

Orchards School really do pull out all the stops for this one and this is the second year where they have provided an interactive, buzzing, exciting and frankly amazing experience for so many of our children. The organisers must be congatulated and thanked, as should the teachers, TAs and volunteers who shepherd the kids safely to the event, around it, and back.

I have said this before, but it bears saying again – I am constantly pleased to see such excellent behaviour, such creativity and such joy at these events from the children of the area. Parents of the area don’t get enough credit, but these kids are great. Thousands of them, all buzzing with high energy, and not a single problem all day that I saw. It’s a miracle really.

Roll on next year!

On Track Education Centre

On Track Education Centre

This afternoon I visited the On Track Education Centre, a Wisbech school that specialises in working with young people with statements of Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) (SEBD) and other barriers to learning including Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Aspergers and Autism and ADHD.

I love this place. I first visited it as the Deputy Mayor last year and I was truly blown away by the work they do there. Some of the young people that go there start off in very difficult circumstances and the school has a way of nurturing them which helps them grow confident and brings out their natural talents.

The staff are some of the most dedicated I have ever come across. The care and attention they provide must be one of the key reasons why the young people in their care manage to achieve so much and come on so well.

While I was Deputy Mayor I was thrilled by the genuine and caring ethos of the place. Each year the school presents awards to the students to celebrate their achievements and I was there last year to present those awards. I was moved to give a donation towards a trip that the staff wanted to take the students on. It seemed a very worthwhile cause indeed.

Going back this year as the Mayor it was plain to see that the school continues to work wonders with the young people in its care. These students are engaging, funny, cheeky, cocky, sassy, upbeat, confident and bright – everything you want to see in teenagers. They have taken the challenges dealt them and with the help of the staff they have torn those challenges to shreds and come on in leaps and bounds.

I presented this year’s awards as the Mayor and it was an honour to do so. These youngsters deserve those awards, every last one of them. They all receive a beautiful folder when they leave, personally inscribed, which showcases their awards and achievements and provides a great C.V. to help them move into the world of work.

What this school does is SO important and it does it SO well, I cannot express. It is my great pleasure to support them again this year with another donation equal to the one I gave last time. It was also my great pleasure to meet and cheer these young people who are able to work hard and turn their education around.

Just when I thought that the last award had been given they surprised me and presented ME with an prize. A CD and Video of the trip that they went on last year and where they had such a fantastic time. I was quite choked up, to be honest. What a wonderful day.

Wisbech Reads Orchards School

Wisbech Reads Orchards School

The Orchards School Wisbech Reads Festival today was just amazing. A huge event with thousands of kids from loads of different schools. Workshops, dramatics, poets, storytellers, archery, street dancing, Thomas Clarkson Academy Performances, Arts and Crafts, there was cool stuff packed into every corner, nook and cranny.

 Really, you have to give it to Nicola Parker and her team over there, as well as all the many volunteers and organisers and performers and teachers and helpers – how many places get something like that put on for the kids? Educational, fun and (thank you weather) gloriously sunny.

I was honoured to be asked to be DJ and compere for the event and even though I was shattered when I got home, the day just flew by and was just all great fun.  From doing Whip Nae Nae and DJ Casper dances with hundreds of kids, to watching the talent and enthusiasm of pupils from across the area, I may well have looked a complete ninny but everybody seemed to have a brilliant time and I certainly did also.

 What an exceptional day. It was an absolute joy.

Emneth Roars

Emneth Roars

Tonight I attended the Lion King production put on by Emneth Junior School at the TCA, in my role as Deputy Mayor of Wisbech.

It really was quite extraordinary.

You would never believe they could put on a show as professional and impressive as this with a Junior School. Just UNBELIEVABLE.

There is another show on Friday. There are no tickets on the door, you need to get them from the Emneth School Office. If you love great kids’ productions, or if you have a young person of your own who you want to get enthusiastic about taking part – get a ticket. Go along. Trust me on this.

Michael Clayton’s blog about the production is a great read and can be found here.

Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending the Visual Arts Exhibition at the Wisbech Campus of the College of West Anglia.  I was there as an official engagement as the Deputy Mayor.  I took my wife Marie and my Son Joe and it was a good decision, because we all enjoyed it immensely.

The exhibition is on for several more nights – I highly recommend a visit. Such a lot of talent, and much better “in the flesh” as it were. These pictures do not even scratch the surface of what there is to see, experience and enjoy.

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Me in front of the big model creature.

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This is a bad photo but I included it because it looks like the shadow is placing a hand on my Son’s shoulder. :)

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Joe with small models.

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I loved these interesting pieces.

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Just some of a large body of clever clothing design work on display.

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A variety of interesting things.

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Piglet sculpture.  We liked it a lot.

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I liked this design work and thought the play on words clever, before I realised the artist was a friend of mine.

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You would know you were at a party in these shoes.

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So much to see!

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Joe and the model creature.

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The eyes seem very real, up close.

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Marie and some students, who also happen to be her ex-students.  Small world.