Champion School Status!

National Citizen Service (NCS) has awarded ‘Champion’ status to The King Edward VI School (KEVI) thanks to its great commitment to working alongside NCS to build awareness of the NCS programme and having exceeded expectations in promoting the programme as well as recruiting students to take part.

The NCS programme supports young people’s transition to adulthood by developing their strength of character and life-skills which enables them to contribute to society with a greater sense of purpose, optimism and belonging.

Open to young people aged 16-17 the NCS programme takes place in school holidays and includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.

Leanne Johnston, Assistant Headteacher at The King Edward VI School in Morpeth says:

“We are of course delighted to receive the recognition of Champion School. However, what we see, through supporting NCS are our students in Sixth Form who have completed the programme more motivated, engaged and independent learners. The benefit the programme gives to students in terms of experience and crucial life or employability skills is superb. The quality of applications for Post 18 progression are superior for those students who have completed NCS.”

Hayley Phillipson, NCS Recruitment Coordinator for Northumberland says:

“We always receive a warm welcome from staff and students at KEVI so I am delighted to present an award to mark their NCS Champion status. Current year 11s can now sign up to the 2019 summer NCS programme – places fill up fast so I’d encourage them to take action before it’s too late.”

NCS is making a positive contribution towards developing our country’s future talent and is proven to increase confidence, communication and leadership abilities. University participation rates for those who take part in NCS was on average 12% higher than those who didn’t take part*.

Izzi Dorrian, Head of Education engagement at the NCS Trust comments:

“Through working closely with schools and colleges across the UK, we are able to ensure more young people have the opportunity to be aware of the amazing benefits which come with participating in the programme. This collaboration is helping us to ensure the programme is embedded in local communities and reminds us exactly how the programme is helping change the futures of thousands of young people each year.”

For any students in Year 11, you can sign up to participate in NCS next summer at NCSYES.co.uk or calling 0191 247 4020. A range of departure dates will be available for summer 2019. Use the code NCS35! To book a place for just £35.

First Edition

A team of students worked together to get their vision of a school newspaper up and running. The self-starting group have shown great determination and resilience to get together the content for their first edition, even meeting with a marketing and branding expert for advice.

The editorial team includes all year groups, but is led by one of our Year 12 students. Getting the first edition together has been a real accomplishment and we look forward to their second edition scheduled for release in February.

The Red and Black Winter Edition

 

Live on BBC Radio Newcastle

The new academic year got off to a great start this week with BBC Radio Newcastle dropping in to talk to our Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl about the value and importance of women’s right to vote.

The interview took place in our Advanced Study Centre with the girls ‘going live’ at 8:50 (link to the show https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/p06hpvzb). Despite being nervous Claudia and Phoebe provided thoughtful comment on such an important issue. The girls were joined by Penny and Philippa Supporters and educators around the Women’s Suffrage movement. Penny is part of the Morpeth-based Emily Inspires group and Philippa, a third generation descendent of Emily Davison.

Whilst being interviewed live on local radio was both nerve wracking and exciting, it was a great opportunity to see and discuss modern broadcast media. Laura from Radio Newcastle discussed the importance of work experience within the journalism industry. Indeed, the technology that was used was surprising… and iPad and microphone!

Another successful KEVI poet

Congratulations are in order for Evie Ashcroft, 10W, who has recently won the Rotary Club’s annual creative writing competition.

The competition – which was against other schools in the region – was based on the theme “a different perspective.” Three age categories were available to compete and Evie won in the ‘intermediate’ category.

Evie’s poem “I Hate Uniform” was deemed “outstanding” by the judges. Miss Camsell, school facilitator of the Creative Writing club regards it as a “bold and clever piece, filled with rich symbolism and allusions to wider societal issues.”

Well done to all students who took part in the competition; these students receive a certificate for their original work.

KEVI Science Gardens: Past, Present and Future

The development of our three Science gardens depicting the past, present and future has been inspired by one of our Alumni, Alan Davison Emeritus Professor of Environmental Biology (Newcastle University).

Alan became a Foundation Governor to the school later in his life and as he moved into retirement, his passion and drive to continue working with the school, helped us to find new ways of enriching the learning experience for our students and galvanised us into action.

The Present: The Mulberry Science Garden

Between 2014- 2016 we worked with Alan and utilised his expertise and knowledge to develop the first science garden. With support from Brims Construction Company, 4 raised beds were built and Alan designed 10 different environments with particular plants in each section for students to study. Additional help came from Wyevale’s ‘Heighley Gate’ Garden Centre and Morpeth Town Council in looking after the plants and maintaining the new space.  The final step to completion was with the science charity Opal who helped us to begin a small wild meadow area.

The garden has been a great success with staff and students enjoying it and using it all year round in a variety of subjects. Alan died in August 2016 and to honour him we are continuing his work with the development of a further two science gardens. In the future we will host community events and invite the public in to view our special gardens. The first public event is planned for this summer to commemorate the death of our famous Morpeth botanist William Turner.

The Past: The KEVI William Turner Garden – under construction

Alan’s interest in local history has led us to explore our past and recognise the possibility that William Turner, the famous botanist, physician and theologian who was educated in Morpeth, may well have been a former pupil of our school. The King Edward VI School began life as a church school in the Morpeth Chantry back in the 1300s and was later re-founded (1552).  As a boy, William Turner (1508-68) lived in Morpeth and received his early education here before leaving for Pembroke Hall, Cambridge.

To develop our Turner Garden, we have worked closely with the Friends of William Turner Morpeth group (FOWTM) and received expert advice from plant historian Dr Marie Addyman. The preparation work began in 2017 and with everyone’s help; we have now completed the first phase of planting with recognised plants from the 1500s.

The Future: The Carbon Capture Garden – 2018 – 2020 project

Alan’s interest in the future of the environment has led to us furthering our links with Newcastle University. With the help of Professor David Manning and his Research Assistant Kevin Stott from the National Green Infrastructure Facility, School of Engineering, Urban Sciences Building, we are now embarking on a two year scientific project to develop a Carbon Capture Garden. This garden will be a site of experimentation for students and will be based on the knowledge that the NCl University team have acquired during the development of their ‘SUCCESS’* project.

Click here for a list of plants used.

Carmina Burana

School Choir

On Saturday 17 March 2018, the King Edward VI School Choir were joined by the Mid Northumberland Chorus to perform Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at The Kings Hall, Newcastle University.

In this sold out concert, the combined choir of nearly 150 singers performed alongside professional singers Alex Jones (Baritone), Isolde Roxby (Soprano) and Robert Chavner (Counter Tenor), concert pianists David Murray and Sarah Gordon Robinson and a team of six professional percussionists.

The first half of the evening heard The KEVI Community Orchestra performing exciting symphonic music such as Gabriel’s Oboe from the film ‘The Mission’, the main theme from ‘Game of Thrones’ and music from the soundtrack to ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ with the Newgate Brass Quintet giving their first public performance with a jazzy rendition of ‘Just A Closer Walk’.

Robin Forbes conducting Carmina BuranaThe second half of the evening saw the KEVI Choir and Mid Northumberland Chorus sing the musical masterpiece, Carmina Burana, which is probably the most frequently performed choral work of the 21st century. The name has Latin roots as “Carmina” means “songs”, while “Burana” is the Latinised form of Beuren, the name of the Benedictine monastery of Benediktbeuren in Bavaria. The work is very challenging to sing not only because of its complex rhythms and wide vocal range but because the texts in the songs use a diverse mix of Latin, Middle High German, and medieval French!

It was a great achievement for all who were involved and the audience gave all the performers a standing ovation at the end to show their appreciation.

Conductor for the evening was Mr Forbes, our Head of Music.