On the penultimate day of the last half term, children’s crime writer, Robin Stevens, visited our combined Year Five. She talked about her early inspirations, explained how to construct a murder mystery and helped her young audience put together and solve a dastardly crime set in a museum!
We discovered that Hazel, one half of the Wells & Wong Detective Agency, is modelled on Robin’s teenage self. Robin felt as though she’d been transported back one hundred years when, newly arrived from America and aged thirteen, she found herself at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. Just like Robin, Chinese Hazel finds the food, traditions and uniform at Deepdean School for girls bizarre, hates the English weather and playing games in the rain and feels clumsily out of place.
To comfort herself at boarding school, Robin read voraciously, devouring Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle mysteries. It’s not surprising that superior, calculating Daisy – the self-styled leader of the detective duo – is based on Sherlock Holmes while self-effacing Hazel takes the role of Watson and narrates the stories.
As a teenager, Robin was struck by the impossibility of solving Agatha Christie crimes and tries to emulate this style in her own writing – a fact that may contribute to the wide appeal of her work. A great number of students already had books by Robin Stevens and are eagerly awaiting publication of the next one. Now they can put a face and a personality to the author!
On Thursday 25th May, Y5 will be meeting Robin Stevens, award-winning author of the Murder Most Unladylike series, and will be able to buy signed and personally dedicated copies of all her books, featured below.
Agatha Christie meets Malory Towers in these thrilling detective mysteries set between the two World Wars. Neatly plotted, they have plenty of twists and a particularly engaging narrator in Hazel. Linking the books is the development of the two central characters, Wells and Wong, which is as fascinating as the crimes they strive to solve.
Blackwells Bookshop will be selling all the books on the day for a discounted cash purchase price of £5.00. Please note that we cannot, therefore, accept cheques.
The event promises to be exciting and inspiring and we are very much looking forward to it!
Over the last twelve months, the Writer’s Club has been meeting every Thursday lunchtime. The rules of the Club are quite simple-there are no rules! Pupils are encouraged to trust their instincts, experiment with form and enjoy playing with and manipulating the English language.
Pupils are challenged to explore many different writing ‘scenarios,’ using poetry and prose. Some of the ideas used have involved, for example, the humblest park bench, thinking about all the people who have sat on it; exploring memories linked to ‘Holding Hands,’ and using historical documents as a trigger for their writing. The recent terrorist attack in Westminster formed the basis for a powerful group- produced poem, ‘Proud to be British,’ which has been sent to the Prime Minister.
I hope you enjoy reading the selection of poetry from our young writer’s, who I am sure you will agree have produced a range of poetry and prose, which is thought-provoking, powerful and moving. Additional examples of writing will be added over the coming weeks.
Mrs Tina Wilkinson, English Department
We had our annual STEM day on March 17th this year. Students from all year groups had the opportunity to take part in a range of workshops ranging in hands on construction to looking at demonstrations that made them go wow!
British Science Week (BSW) is a national ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths – featuring fascinating, entertaining and engaging events and activities across the UK for people of all ages.
The resulting programme of events is a hugely varied and eclectic mix.
What happens in British Science Week?
BSW provides a platform to stimulate students and raise the profile of the STEM subjects too. BSW 2017 saw 20 workshops on offer from a range of external partners. Thank you to all of them for coming in to make the day such as success.To give you a flavour of the creativity, inspiration and fun that British Science Week brought to our school take a look at our photo gallery by clicking ‘continue reading’.
Members of Newminster’s ‘Writer’s Club’ took part in a fabulous Masterclass Poetry Workshop on Monday 6th March. The writing session took place in the Northern Poetry Library, at The Chantry in Morpeth. Our budding writers worked with the poet, John Challis, who provided a themed writing morning, based on the concept of ‘Place.’
Mr Challis began with examples of work by Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin and Katrina Porteous and led the pupils through a series of fascinating writing challenges; including ‘a braided poem.’ Students were encouraged to explore different writing techniques and consider poetry as a ‘way of talking to a past time and recreating things we have lost.’ The morning concluded with pupils selecting a book from the poetry collection, picking out words or lines which appealed to them and creating a poetry ‘collage.’
Grateful thanks to the staff of the ‘Northern Poetry Library’ and John Challis for providing a wonderfully creative experience for our students.
Enterprise day took place on Friday 10th February and this year the theme was ‘The Wedding’. The event saw the entire school involved and working with students from all year groups in teams. The full day challenge was delivered by an expert team 26 Business Ambassadors from the HMRC, DWP, Barclays, Northumberland County Council as well as Carole Richards from Northumberland Education Business Partnership, who organised this event.
The aim of the day was for students to be part of the Leisure Sector and set up a hotel which would offer a wedding package to the Business Ambassador. The students had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the Business Ambassadors in the afternoon session after being given a master class in presentation and communication skills.
Click continue reading for pictures from the day, a message from the assistant headteacher and student quotes.
On Thursday 9th February, NMS and CMS Bronze Arts Awards students went to work with the Laing Learning team and a professional artist, as part of the ARTiculate Project, to develop their ability to interpret the work on display in the exhibition Modern Visionaries: Van Dyck & the Artists’ Eye. They learnt about how artists communicate stories and ideas through their work.
Students participated in a visual literacy workshop at the gallery, worked with a photography artist to develop and refine ideas for their own interpretive artworks and took a self led tour of the work on display in the ‘Out of Chaos’ exhibition. This exhibition included powerful works by 50 international artists such as Frank Auerbach, David Bomberg, Marc Chagall, Chaïm Soutine and Alfred Wolmark, which address the universality of migration and resulting issues of identity and belonging.
An exhibition of the students work will be displayed at the gallery at the end of the project, with the opportunity to take part in a preview event for all participants involved towards the end of April.
Click ‘continue reading’ for the full article.
On Tuesday 18th October, the Year 8 students entered the world of work at AIS connect. Students traded their uniform for smart workwear as they stepped into the shoes of a ‘conference delegate’ for the day.
The purpose of the day is to prepare our students to make informed career choices for the future. The event highlights alternative careers pathways such as apprenticeships as well as the more traditional routes into employment.
We want our CEIAG programme to support learning and the important decisions that young people make about subjects, pathways, future learning and job opportunities. At Newminster we believe in supporting the development of skills learning, skills for life and skills for work.
To read more click ‘continue reading’.
This was the first time that we trialed a mini careers event for our year five students. The event took place on Friday 1st July where the students had a special assembly facilitated by Mrs Bowler involving a ‘What’s my line?’ theme.
The event was supported by ‘Primary futures’ who kindly recruited the visitors which included the following representatives:
- Wendy Bland, Accountant, BIS
- Steve Bullock, Welder/Safety Advisor, Express Engineering
- Kelly Green, Change Finance Apprentice, DWP
- Emma Youngs, Occupational Therapist
- Andy Jaycott, Tax Analyst, Deloitte
The year five’s thoroughly enjoyed grilling the guests!
To view pictures of the day click ‘continue reading’.
A group of 28 year seven students went along to the annual Big Bang Fair at Northumbria University to present their science projects. All the students have been accredited with a Bronze crest award and they had the opportunity to showcase their fantastic work amongst other schools in the North East.
The year seven’s also had the opportunity to attend inspiring STEM workshops and take part in a variety of challenges such as chocolate welding, bug eating challenges and one of our students Max Davidson won the Formula 1 challenge which was run by the NAC group.