KEVI Art Exhibition

The Art Department at KEVI have wowed the general public again this year with the showcase of artwork in our annual A-level Art & Design exhibition. This year the exhibition was titled “Surge” to make a comment about the significant number of students moving on to pursue a creative path of study after their time at the school studying art.

The exhibition took over the art department and contained exceptional examples of drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, textiles, film and sculpture. The work created was in response to themes ranging from the architecture of northern cities to retro toys and games, dreams and illusions to childhood memories.

Head of Art, Laura Summerson, commented, “We are so proud of the students’ hard work and dedication. They have been very independent and developed specialist skills in their own individual ways. Students are strongly supported by the art team and, in a time where many schools are squeezing the art, we are so pleased that are able to continue to provide fantastic opportunities for our artists, designers and architects of the future.”

Among the visitors to the exhibition was Morpeth’s Mayor, Alison Byard, who was equally impressed by the students’ achievements. She also paid testament to all of the teachers at the school, thanking them for their hard work and dedication to all of their students this year.

Photographed L-R: Laura Summerson (Head of Art), Alison Byard (Mayor of Morpeth), Sam Connor (Art teacher & Lead Learner), Laura Haley (Art Teacher)

Also photographed – a selection of A-level Art & Design work from the 2019 Art Exhibition ‘Surge’

Debate Team Quiz Night

The Debate Society recently entered a team of eight students into the regional round of the European Youth Parliament. Given the high standard of the other debaters we were honoured to be chosen as the winners. As a result the team have qualified to proceed to the National Session of the European Youth Parliament in Liverpool this September. This is a four-day event that will bring together 150 participants from across the UK and Europe to engage with the theme:

‘Overcoming the Challenges of Political and Economic Globalization’.

The Debate Society are naturally extremely excited about this, though the costs to attend, as well as accommodation and travel, are prohibitive. Fortunately this gives them an excuse to run fun events such as quiz nights, raffles and bag packs, things which will all also help in furthering our team work along the way!

ESU Oracy Culture Award 2019

In March this year, The King Edward VI School was awarded the highly prestigious English Speaking Union (ESU) Oracy Culture Award for secondary schools. This award, which was open to all English secondary schools, recognises the excellent work that we have done to promote oracy over the last twelve months. 

Oracy is the ability to communicate effectively. Employers put good oral communication at the top of their requirements for employees. At our school, we are aiming to elevate oracy to the same level of importance as literacy and numeracy.  The hard work of our staff and students reflects this principle, as recognised by the ESU through the Oracy Culture Award.

Although our Debate Society has a long and successful history of developing aspects of oracy such as presentational talk, this year we have focused on developing the oracy skills of all students by learning to talk and learning through talk. The introduction of oracy credits into the school behaviour system and oracy assessments for PSHE lessons has been an important way of developing and recognising our students’ speaking and listening skills. All Year 9 students have benefitted from a special oracy unit during tutor time where they have learnt about the particular oracy strands and how to develop fluency. The scheme has been very successful and will form an important part of tutor time for all students in school in the next academic year. 

The ESU judges commented that they were particularly impressed with the workshops and clubs that our high school students have designed and run within the first and middle schools in The Three Rivers Learning Trust. These successful projects have allowed our students to build on their own oracy and leadership skills and to share these widely with the future generations of The King Edward VI School students. 

Our prize was a full day’s ‘Discover your Voice’ workshop run by an experienced debater from English Speaking Union’s team on the 21st June.  Students from across Year 9 to 12 were treated to a wonderful variety of practical activities and skills sessions that were designed to challenge and develop their oracy skills. These focused on tone of voice, use of rhetorical features and how to express complex ideas in a powerful and concise way.  They were also introduced to a new format of debating and enjoyed the practical experience of applying this to a series of complex and engaging topics, including politics, sport and the environment. 

We came away from the session full of ideas about how to spread these oracy skills to our wider school community and look forward to building on our successes in the new school year. 

North East State Debating Competition

A huge congratulations to our students for winning The North East State Debating competition at Durham University today. The King Edward VI School won best team and all five of our participants were ranked in the top 10 best speakers and received excellent feedback from the judges . We are very proud of them!  To read more, please see our twitter feed: https://twitter.com/kevimorpeth/status/1145085775731732485?s=12