German Exchange – by Shaun Wright

We arrived at Manchester airport for 5:00 and had about an hour to spare before boarding the plane to Munich, leaving behind what looked like a weather forecast from hell – which is obviously typical “summer” weather for the north west of England! We had two flights to catch, both of which were short and punctual, which was expected as we did fly with Lufthansa (German efficiency!)  After arriving in Nuremburg, we took two trains to Lauf an der Pegnitz, but Matt Davies (now Head Boy!) left us early to go to Allgäu with his host family. Allgäu is the home of the “Neuschwanstein castle” which for people not into Germany’s culture is known as the Disney castle.

When we arrived in Lauf we were greeted by our partners at the train station, and all 16 of us parted ways for the weekend. However lots of the German partners were friends and it was often the case that there was more than one exchange student with you at once, which was especially good for people who were shy. However…this was not always the case, and some people spent the weekend in a German household, where they hopefully learnt that Germans do not only eat sausage… which was a nice surprise for me! Many people went to restaurants for dinner and experienced some typical Bavarian food, which from my experiences was very nice eg: Klöße (potato or bread dumplings). Over the weekend people went swimming to the big outdoor swimming pool, where the temperature of the water depended on the temperature at the time and it just so happened that in Lauf it was about 28 Celsius so the pool was a “comfortable” (in the words of my exchange partner!) 20 Celsius. Let me tell you that when you have just ‘bombed’ into the German Freibad, without any indication of how cold the water is, 20 Celsius is anything but comfortable!!

Many other people went into Nuremburg, Franconian Switzerland, and visited the toboggan that looked like it was built in the 1960s (it probably was!) and even learnt some new sports…a certain member of the trip spent a full day at judo practice and found himself so enamoured with it that he has now taken up judo as a full time hobby!

On Monday we experienced a day in a German school, where I had to get up at 6am however there were many people who had to get up earlier to get the train to come to school. It was sweltering hot throughout the day and everyone experienced the lessons that their exchange partners were having, which was between us all was a varied spectrum of lessons. After school finished, which was approximately 2pm, we had the rest of the day to do whatever we liked with our partners. On Tuesday we visited Franconian Switzerland (a beautiful area of the German countryside) which has the highest density of breweries in the world, where we found ourselves in a series of limestone caves learning about how stalactites and stalagmites are formed! After that we visited a chapel and a falconry centre, which made for a very nice day. On Wednesday we had the chance to have a look around Bamberg, which is a very old and colourful town not too far by train, our tour guide was one of many classics teachers from the school and he had no problem telling us all about the history of the buildings and the towns overall historical heritage, which was again very interesting! After our tour of the city we had the chance to go shopping with friends and have another look around for ourselves. On Thursday we went to Nuremburg and more specifically to the “Doku-Zentrum”, which had thousands of artefacts from Nazi Germany and more information regarding the time period than anyone could ever imagine, which for everyone, especially those taking GCSE / A-Level history was amazing!We then had a tour of the grounds around the building, learnt how the architecture helped soldiers march in time and stood where Hitler addressed the thousands. After that we again had the opportunity to do some shopping and have a better look around the city, which is amazing. In the evening, most of the people were met by their German counterparts and met up together in the centre for a meal, which was a good opportunity for people to buy presents etc. On Friday morning we went into school with our partners and experienced some more of their lessons, before saying an emotional farewell to our partners, and setting off on the journey home.

Overall the trip was great and everyone learnt countless new things regarding the culture of Germany, the wonderful German language, and even their schooling system. The weather was great and all of the host families were amazing. All of the Lymm pupils had a great time and are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of their partners to England in October, where the partners will learn loads about our country, culture and language.

Year 7 Ty’n-Y-Felin Residential

Over the past few weeks our Year 7s were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to visit Lymm’s very own residential site, Tyn-Y-Felin, in Anglesey. Two forms per trip; the groups travelled in their halls and this was an excellent opportunity to get to know each other even better as they continue their seven year journey through Lymm High School together. Whilst the weather was changeable for each trip, all the students spent some time on Silver Bay beach, went crabbing with string and bacon in the creek and took part in team building exercises at the residential site. In addition, each student was given the opportunity to go ‘Coasteering’ in Trearddur Bay. This is an amazing experience where students, in wetsuits and lifejackets, are lead around the rocks and cliffs and given the opportunity to jump into the sea from various heights – depending on how daring they are! The students had a great time and were very grateful to be given this experience and they are all looking forward to getting back to Tynny as soon as another opportunity arises!

Merseyside STEM Winners

Congratulations to the Merseyside STEM Robotics challenge day winners: Grace Cooke and Gwen Tavernier and to the Merseyside STEM Medical challenge day winners: Jessica Ward and Hannah Maudsley-Barton. As part of Lymm’s scholar programme, the girls attended Liverpool John Moores University on Wednesday 6th July to take part in an annual Science Technology Engineering and Maths challenge day against students from seven other schools. We are really proud to say that Grace and Gwen from Year 8 came in first place in the Robotics challenge based on their teamwork and programming skills. They programmed an autonomous robot to complete a task set by the organisers and outscored over 90 other students. This was made even more impressive by some of the other challengers being in Year 9. We are equally proud of Jessica and Hannah, also from Year 8, who came in first place in the Medical challenge based on their teamwork and diagnostic skills. The girls diagnosed a patient based on symptoms described to them by a junior doctor and also outscored over 90 other students. Again, this was made even more impressive by some of the other challengers being in Year 9.

Cheshire Librarians’ Book Quiz 2015/16

StudentsThe final of the Cheshire Librarians’ Book Quiz 2015/16 took place at The King’s School Chester on Tuesday 14th June. The top four scoring teams competed in the evening’s thrilling final which really put their literary knowledge to the test. The overall winners came from the Queen’s school, Chester.

The guest host this year was author Teri Terry whose successful dystopian teenage series ‘Slated’ was followed up by sci-fi thriller ‘Mind Games’ and supernatural page turner ‘Book of Lies’. Teri gave a talk outlining her writing methods and style and presented book tokens to the finalists.J Timson

Lymm High School students from Years 7 and 8 who took part in the quiz received book tokens, signed book marks and signed copies of ‘Mind Games’.

‘Mind Games’ was a popular book choice amongst the group. Over the school year they have read and answered questions on six set books and completed six general fiction quiz rounds in the competition against 25 schools from Warrington, Halton and Cheshire.

Lymm Live


Saturday 25th June started as a mixed day weather wise, with grey clouds looming over the vast fields of Lymm High School.  However, undeterred by the showers, preparations continued for one of the last events of Lymm Festival and a great showcase of the diverse talent of Lymm High School and the Lymm community. For those of you who have had the misfortune to miss this unique event in the past, let us highlight what Lymm Live is all about…

Picture a school field transformed into a mini festival ground (but minus the Glastonbury mud!).  The covered stage equipped with PA systems expertly set up by the Lymm High School Music Tech students, is surrounded by an auditorium of hay bales kindly lent to us by a local farmer. However that is not all, as surrounding the stage and temporary natural seating are numerous activities for families including a bouncy slide, face painting, sweet stall and the obligatory fast food van.  There is of course an ice cream van too, as well as a bar run by the volunteers of the Lymm High School PTA selling hot, cold, soft and alcoholic beverages. So the scene is set and as the afternoon goes by many students, parents, grandparents, friends, Lymm Festival supporters and members of the Lymm community wander into the grounds to experience a wide range of entertainment organised by the school.  There is music of various genres, from brass to strings, orchestra to rock bands and singing from some of Lymm High School partner primaries as well as students, teachers and parents.  The atmosphere is laid back with friends catching up with each other, children enjoying the freedom of an open green space and of course soaking up the wonderful talents displayed by the children and students on the stage. This year in addition to the musical entertainment we are pleased to host one of the Lymm Festival acts; ‘Comedy Sportz’, which the children in the crowd find particularly amusing. Volunteers are plentiful when the performers ask for assistance with their act, whether it involves working with the players on the stage or making strange noises into the microphone, or simply coming up with ideas for the teams to base their next activity on. It is plain to see that everyone is having fun and even the sun makes an appearance to warm everyone up and keep the rain away.

Lymm Live has now become an annual event so make sure you put it in your diary for next year – the last Saturday of Lymm Festival.  Tickets are available at the Festival Box Office in the Village Hall Annexe leading up to the Festival or at the School shop or you can just pay at the entrance. All this could not happen without the support and hard work of the performing arts teachers and the talented students but also the ‘invisible’ work done behind the scenes setting up gazebos, bars and then manning the activities on the day by the Lymm High School PTA.  Contrary to popular opinion, although Lymm High School is a large school with well over a 1000 pupils, the PTA is really very small and it is down to a handful of people who give up their time freely to make events such as this a success, so next time you see a PTA request do come along and support those few people as we are always looking for more friends to help us out, even if it is just for one event.

Thanks to all those who came to Lymm Live and especially those who stayed to enjoy the rock bands who patiently waited for their moment of stardom at the end of the afternoon/early evening.  It was once again a success and we look forward to many more. If you would like to see other musical or performing art events held at Lymm High School throughout the year then keep checking on the school website for dates and times.

Afritwin CPR Project

Afritwin Logo shieldIn the UK we have a poor record compared to other similar nations in saving lives with CPR and this project is aimed at improving that. We have had a manikin in school for some months now with students in the sixth form practising their skills and being assessed for their effectiveness. The next stage is to spread the word further. Two of the most up to date manikins have been secured by Professor Mackinnon and we are due to take them with us to South Africa this summer. One is destined for each of our partner schools. We have teamed up with the Cardamon Lounge Restaurant in Stockton Heath for a “Curry and CPR” night on Wednesday 13th July. We have arranged a two-course meal and Ralph will be there to teach us how to do effective CPR between courses. We are selling tickets for this event priced at £20 per head and £15 for under 16s. Funds raised on the evening will be used towards the cost of transporting the manikins to South Africa.

Oxford Student Road Trip

The Oxford Student Road trip visited Lymm High School on Wednesday 22nd June and students from Year 10 and 12 were able to benefit from the advice the under graduates offered about applying and studying at Oxford University. The students are currently studying a variety of courses from Law to Biochemistry at Pembroke College. In the morning they gave a brilliant presentation to Year 10 students about life at Oxford University as well as inspiring them to continue their hard work towards their studies and to ensure they are aware of their capabilities to progress onto the highest level of education. Following this, the Gateway Programme students in Year 12 were given a workshop to support them with their interview technique and writing their personal statements in preparation for their UCAS applications.

Oxford Roadshow

Performing Arts – Great North Swim

PA Great North Swim

Well done to the Performing Arts Team of  Mr Hardacre, Mrs Richards, Mr Starkey, Mrs Packman, Ms Oakes and Mr Shooter, who completed the Great North Swim in Windermere. This 1 mile outdoor swim was all in aid of charity to support a number of staff who have been affected by cancer over the past year. We are incredibly proud of them. If you would like to make a donation, the Justgiving link is still open:

The Science Faculty Takes Part In ‘Space Seeds’ Experiment

Space Seeds

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening has partnered with the UK Space Agency to embark on an ‘out of this world’ educational project and Lymm High School is taking part!

The project, Rocket Science, will give around half a million UK children the chance to learn how science in space contributes to our knowledge of life on earth, using the invaluable expertise of the European Space Agency (ESA) and RHS Science team. As preparation for the experiment, rocket seeds were sent to the International Space Station as part of British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s six-month Principia mission. After several months on board, the seeds were sent back to the UK, and were packaged up with identical seeds that have stayed on earth. Participating schools received two packets of 100 seeds to grow and compare.

The Year 7 Scholars students will be working with Mrs Donlan to monitor the seeds and record their findings. They began by sowing their seeds on Wednesday 27th April and will be monitoring their growth until Tuesday 31st May.

So far, the seeds are growing well, however there are some differences between the two groups of seedlings:

  • Blue – fewer seeds have germinated but the plants are maturing faster, and the seedlings are larger.
  • Red – almost all seeds germinated but the seedlings are growing slower.

We don’t know which group has been to space, but it is interesting that there do seem to be differences!

At the end of the 35 days we have to add our data to the national database, where all of the data will be analysed to see if going into space had a significant impact on rocket seeds.

Gateway students attended the Oxbridge conference

gateway-news-300x225On Wednesday 16th March, a group of 25 students from Lymm High School Sixth Form Gateway Programme visited the Oxford and Cambridge Conference at Aintree Race Course. The conference will hopefully inspire them to go on to achieve their potential of gaining A and A* grades across all subjects.  The students’ UCAS applications will benefit hugely from being able to access talks from Oxford and Cambridge University Admission Officers on how to make a competitive university application, student finance and careers, as well as specific course lectures delivered by Oxbridge professors.