News

Life Saving Skills for Stoke Students

Would you know what to do if somebody near you was suffering from cardiac arrest?

Thanks to their training in the Restart a Heart campaign, all Stoke students from Years 7-13 now know how to help someone in this situation.

With small group sessions from the local ambulance service, our students were able to practice giving chest compressions and rescue breaths which could save someone’s life.

If you would like to learn more about the techniques students were taught, you can find out here:

https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/restart-a-heart/restart-a-heart-in-6-easy-steps

Meet our PE Teachers

Mr Simon Quick is Head of Sport and Physical Education at Stoke College. He was previously Director of Sport at Craighouse School in Chile. Prior to his employment in South America, he was Head of Physical Education and Sport at Giles Academy in Lincolnshire where he implemented Rugby, Fencing and Rowing as new sports. He has diverse experience in both academic and practical Physical Education which he is looking forward to implementing here at Stoke College. With experience of A Level, GCSE and BTEC qualifications, Mr Quick is well positioned to expand our current curriculum and allow bespoke opportunities for our students to discover their passion for sport.

 

Mr Quick is a Level 4 Tennis Coach and has developed county players at a variety of age groups. He is aspiring to be an LTA tutor, allowing him to deliver and award tennis coaching qualifications to our students here at Stoke College. In addition, Mr Quick is familiar with the county Rugby set up in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and eager to become involved in coaching at a representative level.

He has a Masters Degree in Sport Science from Essex University and is currently writing his PhD thesis on ‘Developing an understanding of domain specific expertise in sports coaching’. As part of this on-going research, he has collaborated with Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Club and a number of High Performance Satellite Tennis Clubs.

 

During his spare time Mr Quick plays Tennis, Squash and Golf; his life-long ambition is to complete the infamous ‘O’ circuit in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.

 

Miss Ashleigh Fryers currently holds the position of Teacher of Girls’ Games and Physical Education at Stoke College. Teaching at the college is her first professional teaching post since graduating as an outstanding teacher from Liverpool John Moores University. She studied Education Studies with Physical Education for her undergraduate degree and Secondary Physical Education for her postgraduate degree. This has enabled her to have a breadth of knowledge within her subject and to be able to apply different pedagogical approaches to ensure students’ educational needs are catered for.

 

As a new teacher, Miss Fryers offers a fresh and diverse approach, with the confidence and desire to ensure sport excels within the college. Her vision is that our Physical Education department becomes as diverse as those that we teach.

 

Miss Fryers has a depth of experience of team sports, particularly in hockey where she played for her club’s first eleven team for a number of years and was captain of her school netball team throughout her time at school. She also enjoys individual sports, especially badminton where she tries to sneak the odd game in when she finds the time.

 

It is her life long ambition to hold the position of Head of PE.​

Building Eco-Houses and Building Friendships

We were delighted to host a group of 15 students from Beijing Hepingjie No.1 Middle School in Stoke College last week, where they took part in two days of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities led by Mr Swain, our Head of Science. This follows last year’s successful visit which focussed on art activities and was led by Mr Reeves.

Our own Year 9 students worked in groups with our visitors to design and build an eco-house to suit the needs of our changing world. They considered ideas about the climate and sustainability and built some incredible models.

The Stoke College students were excellent hosts to our visitors, taking care of them and making friends with them over the two days.

We are looking forward to welcoming more students from Beijing Hepingjie No.1 Middle School when they return for another visit next year.

Falcons Fly In

We launched our 2018 programme of enrichment experiences with a visit from Fens Falconry. All students from Reception to Sixth Form were able to see a range of birds of prey up close, including the fastest animal on the planet: a peregrine falcon. We had hour-long sessions for each age group where they could learn about how the different birds of prey live in the wild. Students could also handle feathers, eggs and even bird pellets!

The day was finished with a spectacular flying display over our sports field. We were all amazed by the way the birds flew over our heads and always returned to receive some food.

It was fantastic to see all the children so excited by the birds. Some of the teachers also faced their fears by watching these magnificent creatures.

We are already organising our next enrichment experience: a visiting planetarium to teach the children all about astronomy and the night sky. Check back for more updates next half term!

GCSE Results Success

Stoke College students were celebrating excellent GCSE results today (Thursday  23rd August) with a number of pupils achieving the top grades across many of their subjects.

The school’s results have risen for the third year in a row, with 100% of eligible students achieving five GCSEs at grades 9-4. (Equivalent to A*-C under the old grading system.)

Stoke students benefit from small class sizes and this year 90% of the eligible students achieved five GCSE grades 9 – 4, including English and Maths.

Harry’s results included five grade 9s and a grade 8, whilst former Head Girl, Olivia, achieved six grades 7 and two grades 8. Both will be returning to continue their studies at Stoke College’s Sixth Form.

Headteacher, Frank Thompson, said, “We are so pleased for the students who have worked consistently hard to achieve their grades.

We are particularly pleased with our Maths results this year where, once again, every student passed and the vast majority significantly exceeded expectations, with 50% of all students gaining grades 9-7 (A*/A equivalent).

At Stoke College we are proudly non-selective and close working relationships with staff allow pupils to make strong progress.

Our small class sizes benefit pupils of all abilities and we are particularly pleased to see how pupils at each end of the academic spectrum have exceeded national expectations.

We look forward to seeing a number of them again in September as they start their A levels.”

Year 7 and 8 trip to Comillas, Spain, June 2018

It was a case of second time lucky for our hotly anticipated Spanish immersion trip earlier this month, after our first flight was cancelled because of the French air traffic controllers’ strike.

But that didn’t deter our Spanish adventure and with something of a sense of déjà vu just over a week later, we set out for the second time to Stansted bound for Bilbao and the small coastal village of Comillas in northern Spain.

Our wonderful host, Jose Herrera, who organised the trip in Bilbao, met us at the airport and took us off to our hotel. After a swim in the pool before dinner, we had a ‘relatively’ early night to be ready for our first action-packed day and experience all that Spain had to offer.

This began with several hours of intensive Spanish tuition in the beautiful historic tourist centre-cum-town hall with Ana and Estella. We then departed for El Soplao, an amazing network of caves with some of the finest examples of stalactites and stalagmites in Europe.

Day 2 began with a visit to a Spanish school ‘Antonio Robinet’ where our students had the opportunity to put what they had learned into practice with Spanish students of a similar age. It didn’t take long for our students to get into the spirit of Spanish culture with some of them learning some traditional Flamenco dancing while the rest took part in a football tournament with our Spanish hosts.

We then went for some retail therapy in a shopping mall in Santander followed by more culture at the Capriche de Gaudi, a wonderful art deco house designed by Gaudi himself.

Day 3 we set out early for a trip to the Cabarceno Wildlife Park. Spanning across acres of parkland, our students enjoyed seeing a whole variety of wild animals up close including bears, rhinos, elephants, tigers, leopards and much more. We were even treated to a spectacular falconry display and a thrilling cable car ride which took us high above the tree tops.

On our return to the hotel we enjoyed a Spanish treat of ‘churros and chocolate’ before a treasure hunt around the village aided by the local villagers which gave us the opportunity to practise our Spanish. After another swim followed by dinner, our students couldn’t resist some more flamenco practice before we headed for bed.

Day 4 started with Spanish immersion lessons in Comillas with Ana and Estella before heading out to the museum at Altamira. We enjoyed a traditional lunch of paella followed by a visit to a replica of the prehistoric caves of Altamira, renowned for its numerous cave paintings of local fauna and human hands.

Our visit was almost at an end but not before Alis explained about prehistoric man and showed how to make fire without matches! A spectacular end to an action packed and exciting trip.

Stoke College extends our special thanks to Mrs Smith and Miss Stansfield for organising and accompanying the trip, and to our students who were excellent ambassadors for the school throughout the trip.

 

Head’s Blog – Fire and Lightning

The Prep School pupils had a good week last week. The youngest class, the Finches, had a visit from the local fire brigade so that they could bring a dramatic end to their Great Fire of London project.

Finches have been studying the Stuart disaster this term and built model Pudding Lane houses as part of the project. On Monday they had the practical experience of observing the dangers of building houses out of flammable materials. Just as importantly, they also got to see first-hand how the local fire brigade puts out fires.

The site of an operational fire engine at work on the play ground brought the rest of the Prep School out to watch and also a number of staff. The lucky members of Finches then got the chance to use the fire hose for themselves!

On Tuesday senior school students in Years 9 and 10 got the opportunity to attend a fascinating talk at The Welding Institute. This is the fourth lecture we have attended this year and it proved to be the most popular. The talk was on the new combat plane for the RAF, the F35 B Lightning. As part of the talk, the students also got to hear about how the latest Navy aircraft carrier has been designed specifically for this ultra-modern plane and to appreciated some of the complex logistics involved. It was a fascinating evening for anyone with an interest in cutting-edge engineering.

The Prep School finished the week with a thoroughly enjoyable visit to Thurlow Country Park and there were many happy smiles and excited talk of puppies on the way home on Friday.

In the meantime the Year 11 students have been hard at work with their GCSE examinations. They are now into the full flow of public exams and we are very grateful to all the volunteers who are helping as scribes and readers.

Next week will be equally busy for them and we will ensure they have all the study support they need.

Others however are looking forward to the ISA National Athletics on Tuesday – we wish them the best of luck. Meanwhile many younger members of Senior School will be heading to Spain with Mrs Smith. Que te vayas bien! 

Maths Challenge Success

We have recently received the results for the Senior Maths Challenge, sat by our A Level Maths students. We are very pleased to announce that Howard achieved a Bronze award, Danny achieved a Silver, and Amaris not only achieved the Gold award for best in year and best in school, but scored so highly that she qualified for the next round, the Kangaroo Round, which she sat on Friday 1st December.

Students will be presented with their awards when we receive them from the competition organisers, and you can expect to see pictures of our very proud students (and their very proud teachers!) in due course.

Cross Country Winner!

Back in the warm indoors, Lilia enjoys her Gold medal

Twenty of our students from the Prep and Senior Schools competed in last week’s Cut Hedge Cross Country Trophy event at Gosfield School. The students faced wet and windy conditions, hardly conducive to this open air endurance event, but we were delighted with our results, competing against thirteen other schools.

Lilia came first out of 80 girls in the Years 5&6 race, and is pictured here with her gold medal. Lilia ran a superb race, really impressing our own and other schools’ PE teachers with her pace and determination.

Patrick also performed really well, coming fifth in a field of nearly 50 Years 7&8 boys.

We are very grateful to Mr Kelsall and Miss Fryers for all that they do to train students for these competitions, and to all the students who took part for representing Stoke College so exceptionally well at external events.