DURHAM FEDERATION A CENTRE FOR EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE & INCLUSION FOR ALL
COMMITTED TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS
DEDICATED TO DELIVERING HIGH EXPECTATIONS
A GREAT PLACE TO BE
LADY ELSIE OPENS OUR NEW 3G PITCH
It was an incredibly special day and a fantastic opportunity to show Lady Elsie how Sir Bobby’s legacy is continuing to inspire our young people in school and within our local community. Lady Elsie spoke with our students and took a tour round our site. It was an afternoon that we will always remember.
In 2006 Sir Bobby Robson and Lady Elsie attended the official opening of the Sir Bobby Robson Centre and so it was an honor that students and staff welcomed back Lady Elsie to open our new 3G pitch.
This term our students and staff had the privilege of meeting Lady Elsie Robson who opened our brand new 3G pitch and our students continue their exciting partnership with Erasmus when they visited Hungary in October with a further trip planned to Poland in March. I am very proud of our students who continue to represent Durham Federation to a high standard and are a credit to our school.
As we look forward to continuing to work with you, if you would like to come in for a tour of our school and see for yourself, ‘a day in the life of Durham Federation’ please contact the school and we can arrange a convenient date and time.
Can I take this opportunity to thank you once again for your continued support and to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Mrs A Jobling
I am delighted to share with you the many exciting challenges, lessons and school experiences that our students have been involved with this term. At Durham Federation we continue to encourage our students and staff to inspire and be inspired as we continue our journey to academic excellence and in lessons our curriculum continues to stretch and challenge our students to ensure they get the best possible outcomes.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR
Welcome to our
The centre will be used by our students and our local football teams Deerness Valley Football Club, Durham United Football Club and Durham County Football Club.
sadly killed in action in France.
This half term has been very busy for the History department.
Alongside we welcomed Dawn Layland from Durham County Record Office to deliver a workshop on local soldier, Robert Mosley of Ushaw Moor who fought in the First World War and was
Students used their information to create an article detailing what they had found out in their time within the department. We all had a magical day together and the students can’t wait to come back and see the witches.
silence, then listened to Laurence Binyon’s famous lines;
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning.
A very moving and reflective day.
Furthermore, our auditorium hosted 127 primary school children along with their teachers to learn about life in the trenches with our very own Mr Rooney. Students were challenged with a range of source material and gained a vital understanding of the importance of remembrance.
Students had the opportunity to study census records and war office documents to investigate Robert’s time in the war.
Our students wrote a message, a quotation or drew an
image on their pebble linked to the idea of conflict. As
students placed their pebbles on the ‘pool’ they stood in
Year 5 and 6 joined the English Faculty on 25th September 2019. Students delved into the realms of magic, prophecy and witchcraft as they explored the mysterious death of King Duncan at our very own Dunsinane Castle. Using their skills of deduction they interviewed witches, explored the crime scene, and had conversations with other key characters from William Shakespeare’s, Macbeth.
The idea that the effects of war resonate across time is particularly pertinent to our year 9 students who are currently studying a collection of poetry entitled ‘Power and Conflict’. They were asked to imagine war as a pebble dropping in a still pool and then visualise the expanding ripples. Using
the ideas and images explored by poets such as Wilfred
Owen, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Carol Ann Duffy and
As November 11th marked 101 years since the signing of the armistice and the ending of the First Word War, students and staff have been working hard to show appreciation and respect for those who fought for us. The school auditorium was transformed into a
museum decorated with poppies made by students showing messages of remembrance including ‘lest we forget’ and ‘we will remember’.
"Double, double, toil & trouble; Fire burn & Cauldron bubble"
The English Faculty also commemorated Remembrance by creating a ‘pebble pool of remembrance’. The idea stemmed from our awareness that the effects of war do not begin and end in conflict, but resonate across time, through individuals, communities and nations. Many students were able to link the effects of war to their own communities, reflecting on the many war memorials, adorned with poppies in their own villages.
“The room is silent. I slowly draw up the questions on the board. I utter not a word while doing so. And then I turn to my class, still not talking, and I wait for them to tell me what I just did.“
Silent teaching is a teaching-without-talking technique in which a teacher uses examples instead of words to involve students. In some silent teaching lessons students must participate verbally, but the teacher never talks; the teacher communicates only by doing things that students watch and then join as they catch on. The teacher's silence demands visual attention from the students, and leads them to listen to each other.
In the absence of teacher explanation or narration of events, students must piece together the pattern or meaning themselves, developing focus, attention, and problem solving skills.
As students catch on and participate, they feel empowered because the discovery is all theirs; nothing was explained to them. The opportunity to solve a problem is not "stolen" from students who need the extra time; they still get a chance to participate, figuring things on their own.
This half term our scientists have been working on improving their practical skills, with all groups involved in practical work linked to their lessons. Group 10s3 even managed to successfully extract copper from copper oxide.
Some of our Year 8 students had a go at following in the footsteps of Dimitri Medeleev and carried out the same task as he did to organise the periodic table. We clearly have some very talented Scientists as we got some excellent work from them.
We also have some very exciting activities coming up in the rest of the term. We have a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) event coming up with some of our year 8 students looking at climate change, as well as the chance for up to 30 students to go out to Newcastle University to see their Christmas lectures.
Year 7s have made an excellent start in science exploring
the basic principles of biology, chemistry and physics. They all enjoyed becoming radiologists for the day, identifying broken bones and fractures from real-life X-Rays and using their knowledge to create movable skeletons! In chemistry students have been using Bunsen burners to explore physical and chemical changes and determine how chemical reactions take place by burning metals!
While in physics they helped James Bond save the day by designing helicopter spinners (forces) and investigated thermal energy using marshmallows and hot chocolate. Yummy!
Year 11 GCSE Computer Science students spent a lesson taking apart computers to learn more about RAM the CPU and how fans and heat sinks work. With so many components to dismantle it took thought and care not to damage the hardware. Jade proved to be particularly determined to remove the outer case with 3 screwdrivers and brute force. However, Aidan and Tia removed and identified all the parts of their PC and then put it all back together again, a job well done. We now have a good selection of hardware to use for reference.
In year 11 RS this term we have been using focused
graphic organisers to discuss religious teachings and
practices. Students use these to gather information from
a variety of resources, discuss their findings and make comparisons to other religions and philosophical thought. From this students then show their knowledge and understanding by answering exam questions. This is a positive way to recall information and have concise notes in preparation for the GCSE exams.
Students were then presented with a challenge to find out staff links to languages at Durham Federation. It was fantastic to watch students eagerly retrieving as much information as they could about each member of staff. Well done to the winners of the competition: Ethan Simpson, Tavien Culpin and Connor Williamson who successfully found every answer.
The 26th September was the European day of languages. During the week students attended assemblies which focused on the importance and the benefits of learning languages. As Nelson Mandela once said: "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head, If you talk to him in his language that goes to his heart"
GEOGRAPHY UPDATE - CLIMATE CHANGE
In September 3 students from Durham Federation were invited to the City Hall to take part in a climate consultation.
Firstly, the students were introduced to the impacts climate change is having on their local area. They looked at scientific data and changes to the climate over 100's of years. Students then shown the hockey stick graph and asked to see if they could find a link between CO2 and Climate change. They were able to infer that increasing levels of CO2 does in fact correlates with the increasing global temperatures.
Secondary students were introduced to the natural causes of climate change and that throughout history we have had warm periods and cold periods which are linked to volcanic activity, solar activity and the earth orbit which changes on a 100,000 year cycle. We know that climate change is a natural phenomenon but can now see the link between the increasing rate of change and human influences.
During the consultation our students were asked to come up with ways to educate local families on what they could do to reduce their carbon footprint, what strategies and schemes the local council could implement and how schools could reduce their energy output and emission.
Following on from the Climate event we ran in July which looked at the causes, impacts and solutions to climate change as well as the increasing issue of plastic pollution. Here at Durham Federation we are beginning to tackle the issue in school.
All year groups have had an assembly focusing on plastic in school and the amount of water bottles we use in a year, which we have estimated that in school we use approximately 200 bottles per day, 1000 per week - this as around 39,000 a year.
There is enough plastic thrown away each year to circle the earth four times and 80% of plastic bottles end up in landfills. Each bottle that is thrown away takes approximately 1000 years to biodegrade, during this process harmful chemicals are released into our food and water systems. To produce these plastic bottles we also must damage the environment to extract the raw material, the energy used to do this and create the bottles release greenhouse gasses and contribute to the current climate crisis. Just one person switching to a reusable water bottle keeps 2,580 balloons of CO2 out of the air per year. We have over 300 students in school - think of how much we could help!
Here at Durham Federation we have provided all year 7,8 and 9 students with their own reusable water bottles that they can fill up at home and in school to ensure they can stay hydrated at all times. We have given year 10 and 11 students the option of taking a water bottle if they wanted one.
Over the next few weeks we are going to phase out all single use plastic bottles in the canteen, so in the coming weeks these will not be available to purchase. We encourage all students to use their water bottles and fill up at every opportunity. Not only will this help reduce the impacts of climate change, decrease plastic pollution but it will also save students money on a daily basis.
Year 7 students have just completed basic food skills and produced a final developed product. They have made several dishes and become more confident working in the kitchen, whilst in Art students have been learning about colour and the elements of art experimenting with a variety of media.
Year 8 students have been studying food poisoning, environmental health and how to keep healthy, they have made several dishes to further develop skills producing soups, cakes and pizza. In Art students have been working on a portrait project, and have looked at the work of Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder.
Year 9 students have been producing a wide variety of dishes and focusing on presentation skills. They have made shepherds pie, stuffed peppers, Thai Curry, Sweet and sour chicken and Mince pies and in art they have been completing a variety of workshops including printmaking and acrylic painting.
Year 10 students have been introduced to the Hospitality and catering industry looking at the structure and job roles within the industry and in Art students are working on their first Unit 1 piece of coursework using the theme “Identity”.
3D Design students are starting their first piece of coursework "Insects, Construction and Elements." They will get the chance to develop final designs in a variety of materials.
Year 11 students have been working towards their controlled assessment, which consolidates their learning on healthy diets, food provenance and environmental issues within the Hospitality and Catering sector.
Students have been competing in a variety of house matches. Most recently we have held Inter-house Basketball matches. The matches have been extremely competitive and many students have risen to the challenge and represented their houses with pride. Heap are current reigning champions and showed massive potential at the start of the competition.
However, outstanding performances by Redgrave students in years 7 & 8 meant that for the first time in living memory Redgrave won an inter-house competition. Tinkler scored more points than in previous competitions but are still languishing at the bottom of the table. Tremendous spirit was shown by Redgrave students throughout the competition, spurred on by the rare opportunity to defeat the mighty Heap. The final matches played in year 7 were amongst the most exciting and nail biting. Almost nothing separated the teams,Redgrave were finally able to secure the inter house basketball championship 2019.
Well done to all, looking forward to the next exciting installment.
FUTURE BUSINESS MAGNATES
The Future Business Magnates was established in 2005 and has grown from its small beginnings to cover most of the secondary schools in County Durham. This exciting and fun competition aims to build enthusiasm in young people and introduces them to the basics of starting and running a business. School teams are supported by a business partner from a local firm who work with the team throughout the competition, lending their experience and expertise and guiding them in their first business venture.
We have a group of Year 8 students who have been selected to take part in this exciting competition. Our Team is Teagan Richardson, Caitlin White, Letitia Gregroy, Carly Taylorson, Ryan Ward, Ryan Wallace, Connor Powell and Ben Vaughan.
This years theme is "Build a Business to Protect the Planet". The students have to come up with a business idea for a product that will help to save the planet. It needs to take into account the materials used and how they can be treated once the product reaches the end of its life. We can also develop a business idea which aims to tackle one of the problems caused by climate change.
As you have already read we welcomed over 200 Y5 and 6 students in school for "The Murder of King Duncan" which gave students and primary colleagues the opportunity to experience a cross curricular transition day using detective and source skills to solve the The Murder of King Duncan whilst he was a guest at the castle of Dunsinane; a truly horrifying and grisly tale to unravel. Our partner primaries who completed this exciting challenge developed analytical and teamwork skills throughout the day whilst encountering key characters from Macbeth in our exciting crime scene.
In November Durham Federation welcomed our partner primary students and staff to the World of Fantastic Beasts. Over 100 year 4 and 5 students attended a collaborative day led by our Ebacc and Creative faculties. Within our Creative department students made their own version of Honeydukes biscuits in fantastic flavours.
Students also explored adaptations and how animals are able to survive within different climates. Led by student ambassadors and our language specialists,students learn the parts of the body vocab and how French adjectives work in order to describe their fantastic beasts. Students then demonstrated their new knowledge in a musical presentation to parents/ carers and our primary colleagues.
We look forward to Spring transition led by our Maths Faculty in which we will invite our primary students to use their numeracy and problem solving to solve the challenge of the Crystal Maze.
Year 7 nurture students are working well together to create a real love of reading across the school. Students have created an individual reading log where they share evidence of a range of reading, using a range of strategies. For example: individual reading, reading out loud 1:1, paired reading, whole class reading, listening to others read, reading for pleasure and reading for purpose. This half term, we are studying autobiographical writing. In addition to our weekly class read, students are encouraged to read for purpose; analysing a range of autobiographical writing and expressing their opinion on the writer's intentions.
When thinking about themselves and the question, “If I were a book, what would I look like?” students created a self-sculpture using tin foil. This was a representation of themselves, focusing on personality and attributes.
ANIMAL CARE UPDATE
Year seven students at Sacriston site have recently been building their animal care skills on the farm. They have been learning how to feed, clean and care for the federations wide range of animals. They enjoy their time on the farm and see it as a reward. They have recently been learning the correct techniques for handling certain species of animals and we hope hope to build on this increasing their animal care knowledge.
Students from external providers Croft and The Oakes have also been accessing the farm facilities since September. They have become very engaged in farm activities and have started to become confident handling a range of the farms animals. The students enjoy handling and caring for the animals on the farm and have started to develop a bond with a range of the farms animals, especially the school dogs Charlie and Cooper. Since starting the students have covered cleaning, feeding, handling and some medical care of certain species. We hope to further their knowledge in these areas and include animal health and welfare.
Students and staff donated items which were delivered to the local collection point, Evangel Court, Chester-le-Street. In total we raised enough food to prepare 59 meals!
CHILDREN IN NEED
Children in Need is very important as it helps to change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. To help raise funds for this worthwhile cause our students sold cupcakes, wristbands and students and staff even wore odd socks for the day. We raised £302.50 for this amazing cause!
IN OUR COMMUNITY
In October, four of our year eight students, accompanied by Mr Potter and Mrs White, travelled to Szeghalom in Hungary for the fourth meeting in our Erasmus project.
After a busy day of travelling on the Sunday we were welcomed into school on Monday and were introduced to staff and students from our five partner schools. The focus of the week was to explore writing and storytelling, and students were involved in workshops to write a fairytale as well as present their own work on their favourite British authors.
During the week we were also introduced to the local area through a series of trips and activities. This included reenacting a battle in a medieval castle, creating our own paper and pottery and a fantastic afternoon spent horse riding and practicing archery.
We had fabulous hosts and were fed well on traditional Hungarian Goulash, lots of chicken and a fantastic Hungarian meat platter. This was most evident at a brilliant end of week party where the students danced to traditional music from across Europe.
The final day was spent in the Hungarian Capital Budapest where we visited the castle, cathedral, historic shopping market and had a tour of the Hungarian Parliament. The week was rounded off with a night time boat trip along the River Danube.
Our Erasmus project has been a fabulous way for students to visit Europe, meet and work with other students and discover new styles of writing. Four further students will visit Poland in March and I'm sure they will have as enjoyable time as those who have been involved in the visits so far.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Since 1993 the charity, run by international Christian aid relief organisation has collected over 168 million shoe boxes full of gifts which are donated by the people of the world and sent as Christmas presents to children in over 160 countries who are in need. The staff and students at Durham Federation have been involved this year and collectively we have donated 17 shoeboxes for those children who would otherwise receive nothing to celebrate Christmas and this special time of year.
We have packed our shoe boxes with love and filled them with gifts, ranging from school supplies, of pens, pencils, writing and colouring materials to hygiene items, such as toothbrushes, soap, flannels, and small toys, hats, caps and scarves. These shoeboxes may well be the first gifts these children will receive due to poverty, war and disasters.
In November we opened our doors and welcomed Councillor Katie Corrigan following her appointment as Chairman of Durham County Council and Mayor of Durham. Councillor Corrigan gave a motivational and inspiring assembly to students delivering the message follow your dream.
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For more information
or to book a school tour, please contact Main Reception
0191 373 0336
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