Headteacher visits Harbin

Harbin 2018

This week Headteacher, Mr Knowles has been representing our school and Sunderland on an educational visit to Harbin in China. Below is the first of a number of posts from Mr Knowles showing some of his activities and the reasons for the visit:

Children in one of Sunderland’s linked primaries showcase their talents.

Children in one of Sunderland’s linked primaries showcase their talents.

In 2009 the cities of Sunderland and Harbin signed a partnership agreement to promote cultural understanding and friendship between schools. One of the results of this agreement was our international partnership with No.76 Middle School in Harbin. In 2012 Miss Paget and I led a student visit to Harbin (and Beijing) for 17 students. In 2019 on the 10th anniversary of the original agreement we aim to take another group with a group from Harbin returning in exchange.

Students in Harbin Experimental School in their Electronics and Robotics class

Students in Harbin Experimental School in their Electronics and Robotics class

During this visit I have been visiting a number of primaries assiting Sunderland Headteachers who have either not visited before or are establishing new partnerships. The trip will culminate with a visit to No76 Middle School and a formal banquet with the Harbin Director of Education. At this and a number of other formal occasions I have and will be delivering speeches, presentations and toasts about the partnership and showcasing the history, culture and bright future of Hetton, Sunderland and Hetton School.

One of the many formal banquets

One of the many formal banquets

On Sunday before the school visits began, I had the chance for a bit of sightseeing and visited some of the areas we will take students in 2019.

Harbin Tiger Reserve - This is a type of Safari Park conserving the Siberian Tiger

Harbin Tiger Reserve – This is a type of Safari Park conserving the Siberian Tiger

Harbin Grand Theatre - Yes it did climb the 330 steps to the top!

Harbin Grand Theatre – Yes I did climb the 330 steps to the top!

The pedestrianised Main Street of Harbin

The pedestrianised Main Street of Harbin

In our first two school visits we were treated to some amazing performances by the students (and teachers). This included, skipping, drumming, dancing, singing, poetry, matrial arts, Hover Polo and many more.

Hover Polo - practicing their skills. Image Hockey on Hovver boards!

Hover Polo – practicing their skills. Image Hockey on Hovver boards!

Martial Arts class in PE

Martial Arts class in PE

Below is a link to a short clip of a young student playing the Guzheng

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The teachers got in on the act showing their drumming skills

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I will post again in a couple of days including my visit to our partner school. After Easter Miss Paget and I will launch the 2019 trip and invite interested students from Yr7.

Chinese Language Lessons

Hetton School Life Visits and Events

Hetton School was honoured to be joined by language teachers (from Daqing near Harbin in China)

The teachers are here with students at St Anthonys School in Sunderland.

20 of our most talented linguists (and Mr Knowles) were given a lesson in basic every day Chinese language. Attached is the presentation from the lesson and some other presentations that everyone can have a go at.

Mr Knowles will be visiting Sunderland’s sister city, Harbin in March to re-establish our school partnership with a secondary school in the city.

The intention is that 20 students will get the opportunity to visit China in October 2019, mirroring our successful visit in 2012.

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Chinese Language Lessons – Part 1 Chinese Language Lessons – Part 2 Chinese Language Lessons – Part 3 Chinese Language Lessons – Part 4 Chinese Language Lessons – Part 5

Open Evening Thursday 21st September 6pm

General Hetton School Life Visits and Events

“It gives me great pleasure to invite you to our Open Evening. The evening will start with a brief introduction, but the majority of the time will be your chance to meet the students and staff of our school.

I would love you to take part in our interactive sessions and learn more by asking questions of anyone. I look forward to seeing you there.” Craig Knowles, Acting Headteacher


Acting HT & Former HT give evidence to MPs

Hetton School Life Visits and Events

Yesterday Acting Headteacher Craig Knowles and former Headteacher Phil Keay presented evidence to MPs in the House of Commons.

The Public Accounts Committee is made up of MPs who take evidence in order to scrutinise civil servants

The Public Accounts Committee is made up of MPs who take evidence in order to scrutinise civil servants

The focus of the Public Accounts Committee enquiry was capital spending for schools, essentially scrutinising the Department for Education and Education Funding Agency on whether it has delivered effectively on school buildings.

Mr Knowles gave evidence on the new building, ongoing costs and their impact

Mr Knowles gave evidence on the new building, ongoing costs and their impact

As a school that has gone through this process recently the school was invited to present oral evidence to the committee to give a context to the scrutiny questions to follow. Sitting on the committee is MP for Houghton and Sunderland South Bridget Phillipson MP, who helped organise the visit.

Below is the TV recording of the committee meeting (courtesy of Parliament TV), with the section from 1-38 minutes being the section Hetton School is most mentioned in.

Public Accounts Committee 13.3.17

Mr Knowles said, “This was a great opportunity to help MPs challenge the DfE and EFA on the real, day-to-day impacts of decisions that have been taken. As a school we have a fantastic building that , although not without its faults, is a great environment for students and staff to develop in. However, we have had unforeseen costs this year that we believe should have formed part of contingency within the EFA budget and have now fallen on the school. These costs have to be found from our depleted revenue budget and therefore means we have less to spend on our real priorities of high quality teachers in every classroom, supported by high quality non-teaching staff. Despite these difficulties we have a clear plan for the school’s future that will allow us to continue to prosper as a good school.”

Behind Mr Knowles & Mr Keay sat representatives from the DfE & EFA prior to their questioning. Also behind is public seating. There were around 50 people in the committee room

Behind Mr Knowles & Mr Keay sat representatives from the DfE & EFA prior to their questioning. Also behind is public seating. There were around 50 people in the committee room

Although the committee focussed on whether the school building programme nationally was delivering effectively, Mr Knowles was able to convey our own school position and give the key message that the measure of the effectiveness of a school building is how well it allows students to learn and teachers to teach. In this regard Hetton School is performing at a much higher level than was ever possible in our previous crumbling buildings.

Mr Knowles concluded by stating, “One thing for sure, the future is bright at Hetton School, because we prioritise the most important thing – putting our students first”

It was a late finish at the Houses of Parliament for Mr Knowles on the parliamentary PAC

It was a late finish at the Houses of Parliament for Mr Knowles on the parliamentary PAC

 

Hetton’s Got Talent

Hetton School Life Visits and Events

This Thursday students at Hetton School put on a series of great performances to prove that ‘Hetton’s Got Talent’.

HGT

The show was the first in Hetton School’s new buildings and was a massive success. It was presented by ‘Ant and Dec’ (kind of…)

'Ant and Dec' presented the show

‘Ant and Dec’ presented the show

The show also involved a guest performance from ex-student and ‘The Voice’ contestant Harry Davidson

Surprise mystery guest

Surprise mystery guest

The judges had a tough decision to make

David, Alicia, Amanda & Simon posing for the camera

David, Alicia, Amanda & Simon posing for the camera

After some fantastic performances the winners were Madeline Taylor and Ella Collings with their ‘Rock n Roll with a twist’ dance.

Proud winners

Proud winners

Judges getting in on the photos again

Judges getting in on the photos again

Well done to everyone involved and a special thanks to Miss Duff, Miss Miller and Miss Davies for orchestrating the event. Event Programme – Hetton’s Got Talent

Rotary Foundation Award for Staff

Hetton School Life Visits and Events

On Monday evening two members of Hetton School staff were surprised with an award for their contribution to international relations. Julie Chalk and Lisa Paget were each named as a ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. The award states that it is in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among people of the world. As the award was presented by Peter Riding, he stated that they become some of only a few ‘non-rotary members’ to have ever received the fellowship. A proud Mrs Chalk said, “We were so surprised, but at the same time delighted to be recognized in this way. The work we put in, is for the students of Hetton School and if we have had a positive impact in the areas of the world we have visited, then that is the icing on the cake.”

'Surprised, but delighted!'

‘Surprised, but delighted!’

In the last few years Miss Paget and Mrs Chalk have between them led student visit to places as diverse as China, Tanzania, New York, Cambodia and, this summer, to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Although fantastic fun and great experiences for Hetton School students, one of the main aims of the visits is to further international friendships. The school firmly believes that we should all celebrate both our similarities and our differences with other cultures, and it appears that these two dedicated staff are at the vanguard of this ethos. Below are some of the experiences from this summer’s adventures.

That's what you call a volcanic crater

That’s what you call a volcanic crater

Teaching English as a foreign language

Teaching English as a foreign language

Who's ready for a zip wire through the rainforest?

Who’s ready for a zip wire through the rainforest?

Helping to build a school

Helping to build a school

Trekking in the rainforest

Trekking in the rainforest

Y10 Visit to St James’ Park

Visits and Events

Our Year 10 students are visiting St James’ Park today as part of the Building my Skills programme.

One of our students Beth Laybourne is currently being interviewed by Capital radio, Heart radio and Made in Tyne and Wear tv programme.

 

Mrs Chalk

Zoo Lab

Visits and Events

Year 8 students participated in a Rainforest Workshop as part of their current topic in geography which is Brazil. They investigated rainforest animals such as tarantulas, snakes, chameleons and millipedes. A fun and interesting experience had by all and thanks to Discovery Zoo for delivery.

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