Blog JANUARY 2024
Hi All and Happy New Year,
It’s great to learn that our students all seem to have had a fantastic Christmas and we are delighted to sat they have returned to school full of energy.
I always love the Spring term as it feels like everything is ‘on the up,’ especially as the cold and dark nights start to fade away and it gets lighter, for longer, at both ends of the day; the daffodils will be out before you know it!
British Council Intermediate International Award
I reported that the school had been awarded the British Council Intermediate International School Award earlier in the school year and, on 15th January, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Palace of Westminster in London to be awarded with the certificate on behalf of the school. Here I am receiving the certificate from the Deputy CEO of the British Council.
The award acknowledges all of the fantastic international initiatives that we ran at Blacon High School during the 2022\23 school year. We were involved in a variety of activities such as our annual exchange programme to Bulgaria for students in Year 10, fielding a team of talented sports boys and girls to represent the UK at the International Youth Games in Senigallia, Italy, and also, taking over thirty students on a Spanish language and cultural trip to Barcelona. In addition, during the year we hosted three large groups of foreign students, two from Spain and one from Italy who were taking part in language immersion trips. Also, we had a foreign language theatre group in school on two separate occasions who performed plays that were delivered entirely in French and Spanish to Key Stage 3 and GCSE Language students. This is just a flavour of some of the initiatives at Blacon High School that have an international focus.
This year, we are hoping to achieve full British Council International Accreditation, which is the highest level of the award. We have already had a number of events in school such as a range of activities and menus to celebrate European Languages Day. Our next event is on 9th February when we will be celebrating the Chinese New Year. We have a representative from the University of Chester who will be leading sessions in Chinese calligraphy and sharing the significance of the Year of the Dragon. Meanwhile, the event will be supported by a host of other ‘fun’ activities in Drama, Art and Food Technology. Lunch in the Diner will offer a range of Chinese-themed dishes.
ESFA National Small Schools Cup
Our Year 10 boys team played the fantastically talented Moorfield School at home this week in a last sixteen, ‘EFSA National Small Schools Cup’ tie.
It was a tightly fought game with superb goals by Denis Kostadinov and Lucas Chao, both in the first half. The Blacon lads defended brilliantly in the second half and went on to win the match 2-1.
The win earns Blacon High School a place in the quarter finals and we are still waiting to find out who our opponents will be.
Historically, Blacon High School has done really well battling their way into the later stages of this competition on several occasions, and we look forward to cheering the team on in their quarter final match.
Congratulations to Mr Sabri and the Year 10 team.
Chester Schools Together Rowing
In collaboration with the Chester Schools Together partnership, a group of ten students from Year 8 have begun rowing at the King’s School Rowing Club.
Students are really enjoying mastering the fundamentals of rowing in the gym, and developing the basic skills and technique they will need to shape their rowing careers. They are excited to be rowing on the River Dee next week as they work towards the Warrington Indoor Championships, which will be held on Wednesday 24th January where they will race both individually and in team relays.
Watch this space to see how they get on.
Cheshire International Links Association
As I’m sure some of you will know, there is a group called the Cheshire International Links Association that focuses on forging positive international links for the county of Cheshire around the globe. It meets once a month in the Town Hall in Chester. On 9th January, Head of PE, Mr Cairns, and I were both invited to present at the meeting and, along with a group of students and their parents, we were able to share some of the huge range of events, trips and activities that have had an international focus that we were part of at Blacon High School during 2022\23.
Mr Cairns led a trip to Senigallia in Italy in July 2022, where Blacon High School students represented the UK at the International Youth Games; this is the fifth time that students from Blacon High School have represented the UK at this event. As well as taking part in mixed national teams in a variety of sporting events, they also enjoyed a range of cultural activities.
Mr Stockdale shared some of the wide range of other activities that the school has either led, joined or hosted, as detailed in the notes on the British Council Award above. Students find out such a lot about themselves on these trips, which offer amazing opportunities in terms of personal growth. Students develop cultural awareness, communication skills, independence, resilience and the power of compromise amongst other things. Perhaps more importantly, they make friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.
After the presentations, the audience were invited to chat with the students and their families about their experiences and what they had gained from the trips.
Well done Blacon High School students. You prove consistently that you can represent yourself, and your school, confidently in any forum.
Here, some of our students and parents are pictured after the event with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Chester – Razia Daniels.
It is still only January but we are really busy, both in and out of school, as we strive to offer the young people of the Blacon community the best academic experience that we can.
We are looking forward to welcoming Year 11 parents on Thursday 25th January for the first Progress evening of 2024, and would ask that you complete the online appointment form to avoid queuing.
As always, we need to thank you for your continued, ongoing support; we really appreciate it.