Educational trips and visits Autumn 2014
Sixth Form Trips to Motorwise and ‘Routes to Success’
In September, Year 12 students attended the annual Motorwise initiative at Carver Barracks, near Wimbish. This programme allows students to learn about road safety and the dangers associated with driving. Workshops included a talk by the fire service and the road traffic police, as well as demonstrations of the mechanics of a car, a tour of the operations of a cargo truck, and lectures on the effects of drugs and alcohol on driving.
One of the most poignant parts of the trip for students was the opportunity to drive a car (in many cases for the first time) aided by a qualified instructor away from public roads. Tom Forbes, 12CS, described the trip as a ‘fun and enjoyable experience’. ‘I learned about the dangers of driving, especially when under the influence,’ says Tom, who is probably going to begin learning to drive in the coming months. ‘It was great to pick up information about road safety, but it was shocking to see the effects of what could happen if we drive dangerously.’
All Year 12 and some Year 13 students attended a careers fair ‘Routes to Success’ event at Saffron Walden County High School in October. Students sat in an auditorium and listened to a variety of talks and conferences in the morning, aimed at educating them on future vocational options. This was followed by a walkabout fair, in which students could visit an array of stalls and gain information on apprenticeships, occupations and education from representatives of universities, colleges, apprenticeship providers and nearly 50 national and local employers. Organisations represented included GSK, Ford Motors, Addenbrookes Hospital, Stansted Inflight, Institute of Civil Engineers, Writtle College and Oxford, Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities.
A trip to Cadbury World and Alton Towers helped students with their business studies. The Year 10 and 11 students experienced business talks and tours to get an insight into how large corporations operate profitably. Sam Hector, deputy head of the sixth form, said: “Students enjoyed two fun-packed days, while boosting their studies.”
Other trips this term include:
A Level Photography trip to the National Portrait Gallery; Year 12 Geography Field trip to the Isle of Wight; Year 13 Vocational trip to Bluewater and GCSE & A Level Drama and Media visit to BBC.
Educational trips and visits Summer 2014
Beyond the Curriculum
On Saturday 12th April Twenty Twenty Learning transported the Beyond the Curriculum students at Helena Romanes School back in time to Victorian England, courtesy of Charles Dickens. The trip to Dickens’ World in Kent was designed to give students an insight into Dickensian England; in particular, the rights and responsibilities of people living then and how different it was to today’s society.
Students arrived bright and early and were collected by coach from the school ahead of the journey to Kent. On reaching Dickens’ World students were ushered into the large warehouse to begin their tour. As soon as they set foot on the premises an actor portraying a young Dickensian man introduced himself as the tour guide complete with not-so-trendy costume and a cockney accent!
Over the next two hours, students were shown around the streets of Dickens’ World and were given a real insight into the sights, sounds and smells of Dickensian England. Touring Dickens’ World with such a large group certainly made for an authentic feel of the cramped conditions.
As well as learning about life in Victorian England, students were also provided with lots of information about Dickens’ life. Students participated in a re-enactment of Sweeney Todd’s barbershop where Kyle was picked on to be shaved by Sweeney Todd and perfect his play-dead acting skills; as well as being sent out of a classroom for calling out of turn – children were to be seen and not heard in Victorian England! Kyle was not alone however and Teddy found himself picked on to play an escaped criminal in the graveyard!
After the tour, there was the opportunity to explore the streets, look inside the shops and speak to some of the characters. The students clearly enjoyed themselves, with many of them talking about embracing Dickens’ literature and reading Great Expectations or Little Dorrit on the journey home.
In March, prior to the Dickensian day out, our students were required to complete the controlled assessment for their Citizenship GCSE. The first part of the controlled assessment comprised of an advocacy presentation that was delivered to parents on the 17th March. The presentations went brilliantly and students displayed very confident presentation skills – both individually and as a team. Following the presentations, students sat their written controlled assessment on the 28thMarch. Students prepared for it thoroughly and approached it in a very mature way, highlighting how much they were developing throughout the programme.
The final step in this year’s Beyond the Curriculum journey has just been completed; our Year 7 and 8 students have recently sat their GCSE Citizenship examination, and our Year 9 and 10 students their GCSE psychology examination. The students worked extremely hard in the build-up to these exams and we have every confidence in their success – we expect to see some fantastic results in the summer. As this year’s Beyond the Curriculum draws to close it has been wonderful to see how well the students have engaged with the programme again and really seized the opportunity to further their learning.
In April, Year 9 and 10 students spent five days in Normandy and Paris as part of their KS4 French course. Having previously written to students of a local school near Rouen, HRS students spent a day in the French school, learning about the French education system and practising their language skills with their French counterparts. Students also used their language skills to navigate around Paris, visiting the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, le Louvre and the Sacré Coeur as well as mastering the Metro system! Everyone also thoroughly enjoyed the delights of French cuisine by visiting a snail farm, tasting samples at a chocolate factory and savouring tasty snacks at the crêperie.
Mrs A Slack
Modern Foreign Languages
The Media trip this year was to the BBC Broadcasting House and the O2 British Music Experience. This was to enhance their institutional knowledge (one of the media key concepts at Key Stage 4 and 5) and to allow students to see the impact of the music industry culturally, socially and historically. The 10 O’clock News will never be the same, as the iconic studio now represents to me a trip that was not only educational but also extremely entertaining. Tommy B said he enjoyed the hands on experience at the green screen weather news desk. Thank you Mr N Stewart for organising and as always, I look forward to the next one.
Mrs S Stewart
Head of Drama and Media
Other trips this term include: a Sixth Form trip to the Higher Education Superfair; a Year 12 trip to the Applying to University Conference at Anglia Ruskin University; a Year 10 Geography field trip for GCSE river sampling work; Year 8 History students will this term visit the WWI battlefield sites in Ypres and Normandy, take part in the WWI Experience at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford and go to the local history WWI talks taking place at the Maltings in Dunmow; GCSE Drama visits to London theatres to see ‘War Horse’ and ‘1984’; Year 7 and 8 drama trip to see ‘The Play that Goes Wrong’ in Westcliff; a Music trip to the musical ‘Wicked’.
School Trips and Visits Spring 2014
Lessons came to life for gifted students as they took a trip to a science festival. Year 8 students were able to get hands-on practical experience at the Cambridge University event. They completed a treasure hunt through the city to look at different parts of buildings and their history, as well as looking at Braille maps to learn about diversity. The day also included a lecture on the science behind how your mind plays tricks on you. The idea of the trip was to inspire our students with science in a different learning environment. The enrichment experience was a reward for their hard work in lessons and gave the students an introduction to University life.
Miss E Platts
Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator
In January, a group of GCSE students took part in a day of workshops, demonstrations and performances to improve their skills on a trip to the Birmingham Conservatoire at Birmingham City University. The visit also provided valuable information for students considering continuing their music education beyond school.
‘MOVE IT 2014’
HRS dance students joined fellow dancers from across the country for a novel experience in March – with a day of performances, classes, advice and shopping! There was plenty to choose from, whether the dancers were interested in ballroom, ballet, hip-hop or keen to master contemporary technique, they found a huge range of dance styles to satisfy every dance enthusiast – no matter their ability. The dancers were blown away by stunning performances from former HRS students on the main stage with their current dance colleagues. It was great to see past students and see how they have blossomed into professional performers.
Pineapple Dance StudioTrip
Year 7 and 8 dance students were inspired by professional dancers from West End stage shows ‘Matilda’ and ‘The Lion King’. This was the latest personalised master-class that gave students the opportunity to see the studio that made Louie Spence a household name. The sessions increase our students’ skills in dance. The dancers worked incredibly hard and their behaviour was very professional. It was a fabulous day.
Year 7 students Lily-Ann and Francesca went on the trip. Lily-Ann said, “it was really exciting. So interesting to see how dance is taught at Pineapple.”
Francesca said, “The trip was really good. It was amazing to see the studio and the teachers were very enthusiastic.”
Mrs L Judd
Head of Dance
Other trips this term include: GCSE English trip to Poetry Live at the Cambridge Corn Exchange; Year 12 Physics Taster Day at the University of Cambridge; Art and Photography trip the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge; Music trip to ‘Wicked’. During the Easter holidays, some students will be on a French Exchange trip and others on a ski trip to Austria.
School Trips and Visits Autumn 2013
Billy Elliot the Musical
On the evening of Wednesday the 11th of December I visited The Victoria Palace Theatre to watch ‘Billy Elliot the Musical’ written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry. The musical eloquently told the tale of a motherless young boy named Billy who developed a passion for dance during the miners’ strike of 1984-5. Audience members journey alongside Billy whilst his community, including his Dad and brother, were defending the coal industry by protesting against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s attempts to break the then powerful coal miners’ union, as coal mining was deemed economically inefficient.
Overall, Billy Elliot was an emotional and heart-warming performance. Having seen the musical twice, I appreciated it a great amount more after having researched the political context of the play. We saw that the real victims were those affected on a day-to-day basis as communities began to breakdown. When Tony Elliot yelled in the penultimate scene: ‘We can’t all be dancers!’ he was extremely true. On the 3rd of March 1985, the Telegraph published: ‘Britain has been put back a year but the scars will be with us for a generation. And that is the ultimate price.’ Although as an audience we cherished Billy’s achievements, we saw that he was purely an anomaly amongst the rest of his community who suffered and starved throughout the miner’s strike of 1984-5. (Extract from a live performance essay)
In November, A Level Travel and Tourism students organised an educational trip to Colchester Zoo. The trip was run as part of an A2 Event Management Unit. The purpose of the trip was to aid both Year 12 and Year 13 coursework. The students said it was beneficial to their education. Whilst at the zoo the students attended an educational seminar for based on customer service at the zoo. This will provide essential information to go towards their A Level coursework. I am very proud of the students for planning and executing this event. They had to write letters to parents, coordinate payments, take registers on the day, book the transport and talks and carry out an evaluation afterwards. The class worked well as a team and used their strengths to arrange this successful trip. A good day was had by all.
Mrs L Withers
Head of Geography
Sixth Form students studying Modern Foreign Languages attended the Languages Live event at Olympia in London in November. The annual event enables students to discuss career opportunities using languages as well as to experience taster sessions on additional languages such as Chinese, Arabic and even British Sign Language. They can access specialist advice on designing a multi-lingual CV as well as finding out about opportunities to study and work abroad. Priscilla Toledano, the school’s Foreign Language Assistant, accompanied the students. All the students concerned are studying Spanish with one student also studying French and Portuguese and another studying Italian.
The Languages Live event is an excellent opportunity for our students to realise just how far their language skills can take them. Businesses are increasingly demanding that prospective employees have language skills and this event helps our students to ensure that they present their skills in the best possible way to potential employers. Our students also had fun trying out new languages and some of them are now planning their own study trip to Spain to improve their language skills even further. It is wonderful to see how motivated our students are to achieve well and to grasp every opportunity available to them.
Mrs N Graves
Head of Modern Foreign Languages
Royal Albert Hall – Schools Prom
Most performers can only dream of being on the Royal Albert Hall stage. However, on 11th November nearly 100 of our Year 7, 8 and 9 students joined Year 5 and 6 pupils from Flitch Green Primary Academy and Great Dunmow Primary School to take part in a performance at the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. The concerts were organised by Music For Youth to highlight the UK’s best young musicians. Themed on celebration, the students performed a composition by British composer Karl Jenkins, Rondo Latino. It was a great musical experience for them. Nobody could hide up on that stage and the students have said how much it has improved their confidence. The buzz of the Royal Albert Hall was amazing. It was spectacular such an incredible experience for our children. Many parents came along, too, and the smiles on their faces were huge.
Mr P Charalambous
Head of Music
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
Since September, approximately 55 Year 10 students and just over 30 Year 11 students have been training for their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award regularly after school on Wednesdays. Much of the time has been taken up with planning their practice and assessment routes, but time has also been spent on first aid, map reading, cooking and menu planning. The students will also learn tent craft. Two parents’ evenings have been held, an initial welcoming one, and more recently one to explain the kit that is needed for each participant.
This year’s expeditions for Bronze will be to Thetford for their practice camp on 17th and 18th May, as is traditional in this school, but we will use the Skreens Park facility near Chelmsford for the Bronze assessment (14th and 15th June).
After the soggy winter, we are hopeful of some dry weekends, but we will have trained all the participants to cope with whatever the weather throws at them! We are fortunate this year that several new members of staff have taken an interest in helping. I am glad to welcome Mandy Este, Ben Amos and Mike Duffy as assistants, especially when it comes to route planning with fifty-five Year 10s all in one room!
Mr J Pearson
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in-school Coordinator
On a cold November evening, a group of forty students and nine staff members travelled from school to Wembley Stadium to watch England vs. Chile football international. We were allocated excellent seats in the family enclosure that were close to the pitch so all the action could be seen. The students and staff thoroughly enjoyed their evening despite the 2 – 0 defeat. It is rumoured that the England team will have some more matches at Wembley before departing for the summer finals so we are hopeful we can once again be successful in the schools and clubs ballot and take another trip to famous Arches. Well done to the students who were respectful and polite throughout.
Mr L Cooke
Head of Employment and Enterprise
Other school trips this term included A Level Art and Photography trip to the National Portrait Gallery; A Level BTEC Art/Textiles visit to the Barbican Art Gallery, A Level History visits to the US Embassy and RAF Lakenheath for Cold War studies; A Level History visit to the Vietnam War Experience at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford; GCSE Geography trip to Clacton-on-Sea; Humanities trip to Philosophy and Ethics Conference; A Level trip to the Languages Show at Olympia; A Level Spanish trip to British Film Institute for Spanish cinema event; A Level Dance trip to the Laban Centre; GCSE and A Level Drama trip to see Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ at the Albany Theatre; GCSE and A Level Media visit to the O2 Arena; GCSE and BTEC Textiles trip to the Clothes Show Live at the NEC, A Level Travel and Tourism trip to the Radisson Blu Hotel at Stansted Airport and Sixth Form Motorwise training at Carver Barracks.
Trips and Visits Summer 2013
Trips this term include: a Beyond the Curriculum trip to The Old Vic performance of Terrence Rattigan’s ‘The Winslow Boy’; Year 12 trip to the Higher Education Fair at Colchester University; drama trips to performances of ‘Teechers’ at the Mumford Theatre in Cambridge; and the reward trips in July.
Modern Languages Conference
Eleven of our brightest Year 10 students were selected to take part in the University of Essex modern languages conference at the campus near Colchester. The students took part in a range of language taster courses in Chinese, Italian, German and Portuguese as well as sessions on linguistics and studying abroad. Megan Knight won the linguistics challenge, beating students and teachers from around Essex with her knowledge of the science of language learning and how the brain works to store information.
It was a very enjoyable day for the students and really challenged them to apply their language learning skills to new situations. The conference helped students to realise the potential for developing and using their language skills in an increasingly competitive, global marketplace. It has encouraged them to think more seriously about studying languages at A-level and as part of their future university careers.
Isle of Arran Field Trip
In June fourteen Year 12 students set out to explore the Isle of Arran, just off the West coast of Scotland, for their A Level Geography course. The five day field trip focussed on three different elements: a detailed river study; an exploration of coastal formations and researching rural settlements. On each of the days the students were given a title to investigate and ways in which they should gather data in the field. This enabled them to statistically analyse their results in the evening to confirm or challenge theory. It is really important that students understand how to gather data but also how to critique it. This is an essential part of the exam and how better to learn than by actually doing it. The students continually went the extra mile, pushing themselves to work up until 8pm every evening despite having being out all day. We were really impressed and felt it said much about their personalities and the calibre of our students.
The trip was blessed with unusually good weather that brought out the suntan lotion, as well as the insect repellent. Students were also able to partake in a cultural highlight; the battered Mars bar.
World War I experiences
In preparation for their studies on the subject of Twentieth Century warfare Year 8 students tried on the uniforms of British, French and German soldiers to try to imagine what life was like during trench warfare. The students took part in workshops provided by Robina Hodgson, from the Imperial War Museum Duxford, with the aim of learning the nature of trench warfare and how different nations adapted to this type of conflict. The students were able to handle genuine WWI artefacts, from standard issue British infantry bayonets to handmade trench weapons such as knives and clubs. Student Danny Wood said: “The coat was itchy and uncomfortable. The weapons were much heavier than I was expecting. You would really struggle to carry them around 24/7.”
World War I battle sites
Sixty-five Year 8 students visited the Ypres Salient on Friday 28th June, touring the battlefields and cemeteries of the First World War. The trip allowed students to put into perspective the mass devastation and human sacrifices made by all countries involved in the war. The tour included visits to Tyne Cot Cemetery, Hill 62 Trench System and Langemarck German Military Cemetery, all under the expert guidance of Frank Toogood and Iain Stewart from Anglia Battlefields Tours. As part of the tour, three students were selected to lay a wreath of remembrance on behalf of the school during the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. The tour was also special for two students in particular, George and Lauren Woosey, who were able to lay a cross of remembrance at their Great Great Grandfather’s grave, Company Sergeant Major C.R. Coan, who was killed in action on 16th March, 1916. The trip was a rewarding and reflective experience, providing all those involved with an everlasting memory of those who gave their today for our tomorrow.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme – Bronze
During May and June, fifty-five and forty-four students respectively took part in the latest Bronze DofE expedition weekends, accompanied by eight staff. Of those taking part in the assessment last weekend (June 15/16), all forty-four have now passed the expedition section of the award. Eleven have still to complete the assessment section in a ‘catch-up’ weekend.
Both weekends involved walking with full rucksacks, carrying all their food, bedding, clothing and camping equipment for a total of fifteen miles over two days with a camp overnight. Walking in groups ranging from four to seven people, students also had to cook two meals. Spirits varied along with the weather, a particularly heavy cloudburst on Saturday dampening their enthusiasm, but as always the rain was soon forgotten as the friendship and comradeship took over. A sense of achievement was all pervading at the end. There were a number of notable personal successes, including that of Morgan Sawyer for her leadership and sense of responsibility on the practice weekend at Thetford; this was recognised by her receipt of the month’s Jack Petchey award.
Trips and Visits Spring 2013
This term students have taken part in trips including an Art and Photography trip the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and A Level Law visits to Chelmsford Crown Court.
Students in the Year 9 Skills class have been working at developing a range of useful life skills including problem solving, team work and communication with the best the country has to offer. During the spring term sixteen students spent two sessions each with The Police and The Army working on practical tasks associated with the training and day to day activities these jobs involve.
At the Police the students had to work as a team to conduct a mock room search. This required planning, good communication and creative thinking to find the items that had been hidden. The second week saw them conducting a mock interview with a rather slippery ‘suspect’ played by a detective. The interviews took place in pairs in an interview suite while the rest of the class watched via a video link. Students were able to appreciate the need for acute communication and listening skills.
A problem solving indoor assault course met students as they arrived at The Army for the first session. It required students to scale heights, overcome fears and work through problems blind folded. The second week saw them take part in some camouflage and concealment exercises. Both tasks help students to practice their team work and communication exercises, with most getting rather frustrated at others not listening to them – a good life lesson learned indeed but in a fun, realistic and hands on manner.
Ski trip to Kitzbuhel
A wonderful time was had by all who went on the ski trip to Austria during the first week of the Easter holiday. The group travelled to Kitzbuhel spending six days skiing in the mountains. The snow was fantastic and great progress was made by all.
As we approached the Alps just south of Munich, excitement was growing amongst the Year 7 students. Upon arrival in the resort we were soon kitted out with ski equipment ready for skiing the next day. The hotel sits in a valley and is a traditional Austrian village with attractive buildings. In the morning we headed off to the resort where the students were put into groups according to ability. At lunch time we all met up in the mountain restaurant where we heard all about the morning’s progress before heading out for our afternoon ski. Once back at the hotel we used our coach to go to the Aqua Arena where all relaxed in the pool and on the slides. It was then back for dinner and the evening activity. Every night a different one was arranged including bowling, a games night, quiz evening and a candle lit walk. At the presentation evening, on our final night, the tourist board gave Zara Lennox an award for her seventh consecutive visit to Kitzbuhel.
Media Trip to the Harry Potter Studio and Wembley
In December, media students went on a trip to Wembley and then the Harry Potter studio tour, both places were magical and breath-taking. I was there as a Media Student, but also as a photographer for the school to capture the excellent day. Wembley was amazing and we got the full tour round the stadium and then got to stand in the main stadium which left people speechless. After that we went to the Harry Potter studios to have a workshop where we learnt about camera angles and why directors use them, which was educational to say the least. Then we came to the best bit of the day, where we got to go around the studio looking at all the props that went into the films.
In February 2013, our neighbours both young and old received visits from some of our Year 10 students who volunteered to visit a primary school and care home to read during National Storytelling Week. They read with Year 3 pupils at Dunmow St Mary’s Primary School and shared stories with residents at Croft House Care Home in Great Dunmow. The primary pupils were very excited to be working with our students and the residents at the care home loved chatting to the teenagers about their personal stories and experiences.
Vietnam War Experience at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford
In February 2013, fourteen Year 12 History students were accompanied by Mr Knight and Miss Ingham to the famous former First and Second World War airfield to gain an insight into the notorious twentieth-century conflict, the Vietnam War.
Student Samuel Day reported:
“The trip was an in-depth look into the war, outside of the classroom. The students got a personal tour around the museum, learning new things about aircraft which served in the Vietnam War and other interesting facts about the conflict. At the end of the tour the students got a chance to get up close with the kit which the soldiers wore during the war. Lorna Johnston and Jordan Moorby were volunteered by the group to try on the kit and get a real experience of what it was like for the soldiers out in Vietnam. The students seemed very pleased with the day saying they learnt valuable things which could not be taught in the classroom.”
The students received a lively and comprehensive lecture on the Vietnam War by the museum’s expert, Robina Hodgson. They then had the opportunity to handle artifacts from the museum’s Vietnam War collection which enabled them to fully understand the nature of the warfare used during this conflict and its effectiveness.
The day also included a brief interlude from Vietnam in the form of the Battle of Britain Exhibition where students were given a tour of aircraft used during this pivotal moment in Britain’s history by Richard Ashton, the museum’s Director, who is also the Humanities link Governor for HRS. Students were lucky enough to have the opportunity to see conservation in action when they met Joe Kennedy, who has the enviable job of working with one of the most famous aircrafts of all time: the Spitfire.
Many thanks to Imperial War Museum, Duxford and all those involved with the visit.
GCSE Poetry brought Alive
In January 2013, around thirty students from Year 10 boarded a coach to the Cambridge Corn Exchange in order to watch ‘Poetry Live.’ The event is an opportunity for GCSE pupils in England and Wales to see and hear live performances from a great selection of the poets we are studying. Some of the key poets that performed included: Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Simon Armitage and the magnificent John Agard.
Upon arriving at the Corn Exchange, there were many different schools filling the room. Whilst the poets were reading their poems, we annotated our anthologies. Afterwards, there was a question and answer session which allowed us as students to see not only the story behind the poems, but their sentimental meaning to the poet as well.
My favourite poet was Simon Armitage as he was hilarious. I also loved his poem ‘Out of The Blue’ in which he talks of a man who is trapped in the Twin Towers during the 9/11 attacks. After studying a considerable amount about 9/11 last year, including Simon’s poem, it was great to finally hear the words from the poet himself.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learned a great deal about the poems for our GCSE. We would like to say a big thank you to Mr Harris, without whom the day would not have been possible.
Lucy Cook and Megan Knight
Health & Social Care Trip
In A2 Health & Social Care we are currently studying Anatomy and Physiology. In this Unit, we have to learn about the different body systems and the dysfunctions which may occur. To aid our learning we planned a trip to the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. At the museum, we observed a range of exhibits explaining a large variety of diseases and illnesses which can affect different parts of the body and how they progress in the body. Some examples of what we saw included how a foetus developed and how the joint replacement in the body works. We believe that this is a valuable learning experience and has helped us extend our knowledge on this subject. We are grateful to Mrs Curran who organised this trip.
Esme Andrews and Holly Blackwood