Year 8 ‘Big Bang Fair’ Competition success

Congratulations to all of our Big Bang Fair Competition Entrants – on Thursday 4th October they presented their CREST STEM projects to judges at the Regional Fair, which was part of the ‘Bring It On’ exhibition at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland. Pupils spoke confidently about their work, the judges were extremely impressed and two projects were awarded with prizes. One of our projects will be representing the North East at the Big Bang Fair National Finals 2019 at the NEC in Birmingham, and these pupils have also been invited to a special event at Parliament next month. Well done everyone, we are very proud of you.

Guy Bass – Author Visit


On November 9th, Year 5 children were treated to an energetic and entertaining performance from Guy Bass, award-winning author of the Spynosaur, Stitch Head and Dinkin Dings series.

Guy explained that his books reflect the way he pictured the world as he was growing up and confessed that he created the Spynosaur series to indulge his childhood ambition to be a dinosaur!

Guy drew upon his background in the theatre to debunk some of the white lies we tell our children – carrots help you see in the dark; spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them; the ice cream van plays its jingle when it has run out of ice cream – and reduced the audience to helpless laughter with his portrayal of an aggressive spider!

Aided by a member of the audience dressed as Spynosaur, he rounded off his performance with a lively reading from his latest novel, Goldenclaw and took time to have a proper conversation with every child that had bought one of his books.

We all enjoyed this event enormously and the clips will give you a flavour.

Year 7 ‘Energy Quest’

On Tuesday 14th November, all Year 7 students took part in an Energy Quest workshop ‘The Energiser Event’.

The STEM workshop included hands-on activities, careers information and stories from real engineers working in energy.

Concepts of energy generation, sustainability and technologies were explored and pupils were left with exciting ideas to explore.

Local Democracy Week

On Monday 9th October, 16 members of the Newminster Student Voice went along to the Council Chambers as part of Local Democracy Week. During the course of the day the Student Voice deepened their understanding of youth democracy opportunities such as the Youth Cabinet, Youth Parliament, and the national youth consultation – ‘Make Your Mark’. All the students passionately campaigned about issues which they cared about.

Many of the students prepared questions to pitch to the local Councillors Dodd, Thorne, Murray, Dunbar and Moore.

Abbie and Tom proudly received a certificate of participation at the end of the day. The visit was followed up by workshops for our KS2 students on Thursday 12th October.

Year 5 Hopes and Dreams Day

Year 5 had a full day dedicated to thinking about their future careers and study pathways during the ‘Hopes and Dreams Day’ on 30th June 2017. The purpose of the day was to raise an awareness of a range of different careers.

This is the first year that we have trialled a full day of CEIAG (Careers education information and guidance) for our year 5 students and the day proved to be popular with the students.

Here are some quotes from the students…

“It was a fun way to think about what you want in your future.” Lily

“Amazing day and it really helped me to think about what I could do in the future.” Anna

“I enjoyed the police workshop and looking at all of their equipment.” Elliot

The event was supported by a range of organisations as outlined below.

  • NERAP (North East Raising Aspiration Partnership) – An organisation that works in partnership and on behalf of all of the North-East Universities – they facilitated a fun, interactive activity that outlined the benefits of higher education, focusing on the careers it can open up
  • British Army – a variety of army equipment was brought in for the students to see / touch and try on. This included clothing / webbing / power suits / headsets etc. They also brought along a Land rover vehicle so that students could take a look inside
  • Northumbria Police – A hands on and interactive session. The session explored separate roles within Northumbria Police
  • Accenture (IT and technology company) – The team from Accenture outlined who they are and what they do as a business. They will be brought mini robots for students to programme and test.

National Women in Engineering Day

National Women in Engineering Day was set up by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary.

The premise of the day is based on highlighting the  great opportunities for women in engineering, at a time when it has never been more important to address the engineering skills shortage.

The  year 7 girls took part in a full day of activities on 13th J

une to celebrate International women in engineering day. Throughout the day the girls were involved in a themed ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ activity where they carried out a range of practical activities and problem solving exercises to avoid getting infected by the zombie virus!

The RAF roadshow at the end of the day gave all the KS3 girls and insight into a range of careers in the RAF.

We would like to thank the following organisations for their support during the day by sending out Ambassadors to either run or support activities.

  • Nissan Sunderland
  • Institute of civil engineers
  • MWH Global
  • Teeside university
  • RAF engineering roadshow

A special thank you to Fritha Bevin-McCrimmon for facilitating the Zombie Apocalypse

Here are some quotes from the girls..

“My favourite part of the day was the RAF presentation, I might end up joining!”- Louise

“Girls can do it too”-Fran

“It has made me think about my future and what I want to be”-Chloe

“I really enjoyed today, because the theme was fun” Amelia

Children’s crime writer, Robin Stevens, visits!

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!

Robin Stevens – Author Visit

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!


Writer’s Club

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

British Science Week 2017

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’.

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