On Monday 12th March I had the privilege of taking 40 pupils across Year 7 to Year 10 to visit Magdalen College at Oxford University. The aim of the trip was to raise pupils’ aspirations and allow them to gain a better understanding of higher education. The pupils engaged in a workshop exploring university life in general, before looking at Oxford specifically. The pupils had the opportunity to interact with current Oxford students over lunch in the Harry Potter style dining hall, asking questions and finding more out about university life from a student perspective. The pupils were then given a tour of the university, getting the opportunity to explore and understand the different buildings, including university halls, buildings used for exams and graduation, as well as the main university library. All of the pupils were fantastic, engaging with all of the activities provided and asking excellent questions.
On Thursday 15th March, pupils at The Holgate Academy in Hucknall took part in the BBC School Report day,where they got the chance to research and produce articles about their passions as well as the opportunity to interview celebrities, footballers and local councillors.
The pupils wrote incredibly sophisticated articles tackling prominent issues in today's society and their interview skills were fantastic. Rachel Riley (countdown) even praised our students on their interesting questions, saying they were much better than the usual ones she gets from journalists!
In October 2017, Holgate Robotics Club had our first ever meeting. We were lucky enough to win two Lego Mindstorm kits with the aim of entering a regional, and hopefully national, competition in March 2018. The students were excited to get going, building a basic robot to race over a short distance. In the coming weeks, we would add sensors (colour, touch and gyro) to enhance our robots, work on gears to maximise the speed and hone our presentation skills. There were two challenges and two presentations to prepare for. The first was a speed challenge, a drag race over four metres. The second mat challenge involved gathering engines for a plane, collecting humanitarian aid to take on the flight and getting the engineer to the plane ready for take-off. Our robot then had to climb a steep ramp for bonus points. The codes were incredibly complex and took us several weeks and several meetings, but two days before competition, we were just about ready. Then came the snow.