Lymm Student Wins Cheshire Vote to join Youth Parliament

Student Imogen Walsh lands position in the UK Youth Parliament, representing the borough, after topping a poll of her peers.

March saw the borough hold the elections for The UK Youth Parliament.  The UK Youth Parliament consists of some 300 full members (and a similar number of deputies) who are elected by the young people in the area to represent them and put forward their views to the government.

Imogen, a Year 10 student studying at Lymm High School, won one of these seats and will hold office for the next 2 years.

Gwyn Williams, Headteacher at Lymm High School said:

‘We are very proud of Imogen’s well deserved election to the UK Youth Parliament – she will be an excellent, democratic representative for her peers, and will be tenaciously determined – she is a great ambassador for young people and embodies the ethos of Lymm High School perfectly. We wish her luck and she has the full support of our school community.’

Run by young people, the Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change. Every year the parliament chooses a national campaign and for 2017 candidates campaigned for better transport, the living wage and better opportunities for young people. Mental health was also chosen as a priority campaign for England.

As the area’s Member of the Youth Parliament, Imogen will now be responsible for rolling out her program and representing the youth in her area. She hopes young people in Warrington can have a say on issues directly affecting them such as environmentally friendly public transport and the promotion of mental health services, especially support in schools. She has also called for greater increase of school funding in Warrington.

With a new funding formula set to be introduced from April next year, Warrington’s schools face losing almost a quarter of a million pounds a year and the borough to become one of the worst-funded in the country.

Talking about the results Imogen said: “I am really pleased to have won and want to thank everyone for their support. The school funding proposals by the government are completely unfair for schools in Warrington. Young people of Warrington work really hard whilst at school and deserve the same opportunities as other young people in the country”

The Year 10 Student said: “I now feel I can give young people a voice to ensure the views of young people in Warrington are listened to by decision makers.”

 

Us, Them and Way Back When

 

The Lymm History Society, visited the High School on Friday in collaboration with The Relationships Centre as part of the Centre’s Heritage Lottery funded Project, “Us and Them and Way Back When” which aims to make links between young people and their local community.

The centre bases their work with young people from local schools on the period from 1877, when the premises in Museum Street was built, through to present day. The focus of the day for Lymm students was Cheshire’s contribution to World War One.

Students showed great interest in a story, visitor David, from the Lymm History Society shared about how both his grandfathers had met and fought together in World War One, with one of them unfortunately being killed in combat in 1918. The artefacts also inspired students to talk about their own heritage with many of them being aware of great grandfather’s that had fought for king and country. One student said ‘my Great Grandfather suffered from shellshock after the war and had terrible nightmares’, which brought home the harsh realities of war and the long-lasting effects that it had.

The society also shared personal stories taken from war records of individual soldiers listed on the War Memorials in St Mary’s Church, St Peter’s Church and High Legh. Brian informed students about how his  own Grandfather had reacted when seeing the memorial during his cousins wedding and how this was the only time where he had shown emotion about his time in the war.

Students were thoroughly engaged in the session with many asking insightful questions such as ‘How much would soldiers get paid?’, ‘Did your grandfather ever tell you about his time in World War One?’ and ‘What was the most common weapon used?’.

The society shared the research that they have compiled from the individual soldiers listed on the War Memorials and students enjoyed looking through these records for anyone that shared their name or had particularly courageous story.

The favourite artefact of the day however was a visitor’s book from a local military hospital in Lymm, where soldiers had written poems, drawn pictures, or simply said thank you to the nurses for supporting their recovery. It was a real find and the group were very thankful for the opportunity to handle such rare items.

The World War One visit, offered to members of the Lymm High School Scholar’s programme which aims to add further challenge and enrichment opportunities for students, highlighted the importance of learning about local history and how ordinary people do extraordinary things.

Jackie Cooling from The Relationships Centre said “It is our aim to enable the young people of Warrington to embrace their wonderful local heritage, and to build bridges between the young people and older generations who have many stories to tell.”

“We are so pleased to have Brian Smith from the Lymm History Society speak to students at Lymm High School about Lymm during WW1 and also telling them the real life story of his grandfather, Thomas Ingham Smith who lost his life whilst fighting for his country.”

Following the session, students will take part in a Remembrance Ceremony and look around the memorials, conducting their own research into ancestors who may have fought in World War One.

They plan to use their research as inspiration to design a war memorial, write a poem or create a memory square to be displayed at 19 Museum Street in Warrington during the summer. An opening night at the Parr Hall is planned where a selection of students that have entered pieces will be able to visit with their families to see their work and the contributions of other Warrington primary and secondary schools.

 

Year 9 Democracy Day

Year 9 had a brilliant off-timetable day, learning about our fundamental political processes and considering their own beliefs and values.

The sessions focused on how our democratic systems work in the UK. Students also learnt about the different political parties and their platforms, ideologies and policies.

They were given the opportunity to consider where they stood on the political spectrum and which party, if any, most aligned with their views. This then led to students formulating their own questions on key current issues.

The day culminated with a wonderfully executed Question Time event in the school hall.

Our panel members included local councillors from the different political parties who were grilled by our students on their stance on issues ranging from mental health support, to school funding and the effect of Brexit on our local economy.

This was a fantastic day when students really put their learning into practice!

Huge thanks to our visitors: Councillor Rebecca Knowles, Councillor Kath Buckley, Councillor Sheila Woodyatt, Councillor Josh Booth, Councillor Ian Marks and Councillor Peter Walker, as well as to Mr Wright and the team for superb planning and delivery.

 

Spring Concert 2017

On Tuesday 28th March, Lymm High School held their annual Spring Concert— a celebration of the wide range of musical talent we have within our school.

The evening was kicked off by the Big Band, with guest singer Suzie Underwood. It was evident the band have made real progress and sounded fantastic. Suzie featured on the night with an arrangement of Halo, and it was a treat to hear some good jazz in the form of  improvised solos in a piece called The Chicken.

Lymm Flutes, thanks to Mrs Dawn Savell, provided a small ensemble contrast. They are growing in confidence and in style, and the contributions from the junior strings and brass featuring our primary players showed us the superstars of the future.

Wonderful performances from the Senior Strings and Senior Brass completed the second half and demonstrated the high end level of talent that we have here at Lymm.

The performers reacted to the large audience well, and we recognise the efforts of Mr David Nicholson in promoting the event.

A huge thank you goes to our directors Mr Ray Kelly, Mrs Jacqui Leighton-Jones and Mr Tom Wyss who made an amazing team!

 

Snow Dragons at the Lowry

Following their spectacular performance of Lizzie Nunnery’s play ‘The Snow Dragons’ last month, our Drama department were thrilled to be given the opportunity to perform it again, taking the show to The Lowry as part of The National Theatre Connections Festival on Saturday 1st April.

The National Theatre Connections festival is a celebration of young people, theatre-making and the importance of access to the arts. Each year they commission ten new plays for young people to perform, bringing together writers and theatre-makers of tomorrow.  Students once again performed spectacularly and were thrilled to be able to perform on a professional stage.

‘The Snow Dragons’ tells the story of Raggi and her friends, who spend their free time in the woods and mountains around their sleepy fjord town playing games of Vikings, dragons and war. When soldiers occupy the town, they watch from their hut in the mountains: their friends and families beaten, silenced, abducted… Let down by the adult world they form The Snow Dragons, ‘the last line of resistance’ carrying out sabotage missions.

The Lymm High School students began the day with a technical rehearsal in the professional theatre before watching two high quality performances by other groups. As the evening approached, families turned up in support and the audience grew ready for the curtains to rise at 9pm.

Throughout the day they were joined by two National Theatre representatives, Louie and Adele who gave feedback throughout the day having been very impressed to Lymm’s approach to the process.

Quite the accolade – they described the cast as ‘A theatre company in residence’ and a pleasure to work with stating that past student James Allen’s experience, going from performer in the cast to now current director and composer exemplified what the Connections project is all about.

 

North Wales Geography Trip

Last Friday Year 8 students with an interest in history and geography took a trip to North Wales. Although a very wet day, the weather didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. Students headed on a quarry tour to learn about sedimentary rock formation and had the opportunity to search for treasure…well in the shape of fool’s gold, granite and slate.

Our group turned out to be budding geologists asking the ex-slate miners many questions about rock formations such as why there are very few fossils in slate and why there was so much piled high around the mine.

Students then went back in time, imagining the mines during the Industrial Revolution where Welsh miners would walk to work and use hand tools to quarry slate. They got the chance to use hand drills and climb the chains and listened to three personal stories of the Welsh miners.

Our cohort were also taught the two main rules of mining ‘no women in the mines’ and ‘no whistling’ as both were considered bad luck likely to bring the devil.

Later on Thursday the group travelled to Padarn National Park and travelled on the LLanberis steam railway before heading to our accommodation at Tyn-Y-Felin. Students enjoyed a pyjama party and film night watching ‘Fantastic Beasts and where to find them’.

On Friday the group headed to Beaumaris to visit the Medieval Castle. Students learnt about concentric stone castles and the purpose of them before then working as a team to build a replica castle out of foam blocks.

Finally students scaled the upper turrets of the castle and had a beautiful if not windy view over the pier and sea.

Year 8 were not the only students to visit North Wales however, Year 12 students also recently undertook their A level geography field trip to assist in their studies.

Year 12 went to five different locations during their visit including Criccieth and Aberffraw on Anglesey. The students are now ready to plan their own investigation in year 13 which will count for 20% of their final mark.

 

 

Government Response to Petition on School Funding Formula

I know that many of you have already signed the petition urging the government to reconsider their proposals for a national funding formula (if you haven’t, then please do spare a minute to do so by clicking here). If so, then like me you will have a received an email in response from the government.
Click HERE to read our latest update on school funding with details about the email I received. I have also provided a response of my own in red text. This is a complicated issue and is only really beginning to be understood by most people – partly because schools have worked so hard to maintain the quality of their provision in the face of cuts to funding, but also because the government has done a good job of suggesting the cuts are somehow not real, or are not significant. I hope my responses at least help to provide some clarity.

Four fashion students receive offers from the prestigious London College of Fashion

Four Lymm High School Sixth Form students have secured offers from the prestigious London College of Fashion.

The successful applicants are Ellie Turner, Hattie Lofthouse and Alfie Chambers who applied to study Fashion Design Development, with Izzy Barnes being offered a place on the Fashion Contour degree course.

Currently ranked as the second best fashion university in the world, it is an amazing achievement for the school to have so many students securing offers after their interviews.

The four aspiring fashion designers are making history, being the first from the school to be offered places at the esteemed university after staying on to study the BTEC Level 3 Fashion and Clothing course. The course was added to the post-16 curriculum offer in 2014 after noticing a lack of provision for the subject within the North West.

Applicants were initially requested to upload digital portfolios to showcase their design ideas. This led to the four being shortlisted to attend a formal interview for which they had to provide a second, more extensive portfolio of their work.

Throughout the application process students were supported by the school’s Art staff, acting as referees and mentors with specific support provided by Miss Doherty, Head of the Technology & Art Faculty.

Mrs Doherty said: “I am immensely proud of them all. They have shown an exceptional commitment to their studies and we are so proud to see them being rewarded for their hard work and preparation. In the fashion industry, most aspire to gain a place at the UAL and to have four applicants receiving offers underlines the quality of our programme of support.”

The four are now focusing their attention on their final projects, creating a 10 piece fashion collection for the school’s upcoming fashion show which takes place Wednesday 3rd May.

Student Alfie Chambers, who has an interest in designing sportswear said: “I’m completely overwhelmed with excitement at the thought of receiving an offer.”

“It has been such an intense process and now all of the hard work has paid off.”

“I cannot thank the staff at Lymm enough for encouraging and supporting me throughout the application process.”

Mum of student Ellie Turner said: “As a mother of Ellie I’m thrilled that she has been accepted to such a prestigious institution as the London College of Fashion. I’m so very proud of her achievements and eternally grateful for the support her teachers, especially Mrs Doherty, have given her”

Headteacher, Mr Williams, added:

“Huge credit must go to the students involved, as well as to their teachers; this is an extraordinary achievement and we are delighted for everybody involved.”