In the summer term Year 7 visited the Tower of London with the History department. Artur and Luay of 7T reflect on their experience:
“My time in the Tower of London was inspiring and interesting. I enjoyed looking at how guards and archers used to protect the King or Queen. When I was looking around the Tower all of the things they had in that time was very different to the modern things we have today. This place is very interesting and has the real Crown Jewels. There are some very sad places you could visit like where Anne Boleyn was executed. Overall, it was very breath-taking and I would recommend it to anyone.” Artur Andrijauskas
“My trip to the Tower of London really expanded my knowledge of medieval history. We, as a class, got to see many interesting things! First, we saw the Crown Jewels, all the former King’s and Queen’s jewellery. After that we actually saw the first tower that was built, and entered it. It was full of ancient facts and interactive resources that extremely helped my knowledge! Last but not least, we entered the torture tower. In my opinion, I absolutely found that the best activity yet. The punishments were unimaginably horrible! Overall I genuinely loved the trip!” Luay Boettgenbach
This year’s Sail France trip was another supremely successful week. We were blessed with Goldilocks weather: not too hot and not too cold with enough sunshine and wind to suit all tastes. There was wind-surfing and stand-up paddle-boarding and canoeing and Pico sailing and Dart blasting and mountain biking and a host of evening activities so there was never a dull moment. We also climbed the highest sand dune in Europe and hung around in the trees for a morning. So much fun packed into week that flew by in the blink of an eye! Several pupils were heard saying things like ‘This is the best week of my life!’ and ‘This is the best holiday in the world!’
I would like to congratulate each and every pupil who came on their exemplary conduct and attitude and I hope that I did so adequately on the trip to teach them that good manners and behaviour are always noticed and rewarded. When I told our pupils that they were the best behaved, the safest and most enthusiastic group I have ever taken, they didn’t believe me and accused me of saying that to every group but I meant every word of it : we had no squabbles, no lack of attention to instructions that can lead to injuries and several instances of selfless altruistic behaviour which were rewards with some prizes at the end of the week.
The MD of our host company, Rockley Watersports, had so many positive reports about our pupils that she felt compelled to send me a very complimentary e mail regarding our pupils’ manners. Rockley staff always look forward to our arrival as we have a reputation of fun and good manners and this years’ pupils did that reputation proud!
Mr S Younossi
32 Year 9 geographers took part in a fantastic trip to Iceland before half term. Despite one forgotten coat (!), everyone wrapped up warm for the chilly weather and experienced the delights of the northern most capital city of Reykjavik. After managing to tear ourselves away from the wonderful, geothermal heated Blue Lagoon, the rest of the week was filled with a plethora of waterfalls – we even managed to walk behind one of them! – exploding geysirs and being in two places at once (well, crossing over plate boundaries at least).Donning crampons, hard hats and pick axes, we made our way up Sólheimajökull glacier on Day 3, viewed the James Bond ice lagoon at Jökulsárlón on Day 4, and went caving in a dried out lava tube at Leiðarendi on Day 5. An action packed week was enjoyed by all, and gave the group a fantastic insight into the topic of plate tectonics.
Well done to all of the students who attended the trip; they were impeccably behaved and a true credit to Graveney! Blue flash – keep your eyes out in your geography lessons, letters for next year’s trip will be appearing after Christmas!
Seven keen Year 12 physicists had the pleasure of hearing astronaut Dr Roger Crouch tell his tale of space adventure last Friday at the City of London School. Dr Crouch told the audience how becoming an astronaut had always been his dream but until recently had been scuppered by his colour vision. A change of rules at NASA meant this was no longer a barrier and at the age of 54 set off from Cape Canaveral into orbit around the earth. Problems with the launch meant that the mission had to be aborted after four days, but undeterred and with the support of his family, he set off again a few months later for a successful mission resulting in another nineteen days of space travel.
The students all had a great time and Jayden was particularly lucky as he won a ‘Space coin’ that had accompanied Dr Crouch to space!
On the 16th September 2015, a selection of Graveney chemistry students travelled to Queen Mary’s University to take part in a Masterclass on Mass Spectroscopy, Infrared Spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.
The day started with an hour and a half long theoretical lecture from a research doctor with a wealth of experience in organic chemistry, who specialised in the identification of elements from a mixture, using these methods. During this session we were given an interactive lesson by doing a variety of activities such as answering questions from the doctor; and answering a worksheet designed for higher education students. This highlighted one of the key benefits of the day: it was practically a day in the life of a chemistry undergraduate. This was also significant on a personal level as I am an aspiring chemistry undergraduate student.Following the lecture, we were split into 3 groups to go and observe the machines which perform these processes, one particularly astonishing aspect was the price of the equipment, with the NMR machine costing in excess of £500,000, and peaking just below the ceiling, there was also a 5ft ‘clear zone’ in order to ensure that the waves of radiation didn’t interact with one of us, which highlights the magnitude of the machine. We then had a campus lunch and a self-guided tour of the university for the students who were particularly interested in studying at Queen Mary’s.To conclude, not only was the trip a pleasant day out, it gave us an invaluable insight into the three methods of identifying a substance, which is likely to give us an edge in the A2 exam that inevitably asks a question incorporating all three methods.
Report by Year 13 student Jake Mitha
In mid September, Year 11 Geographers took the department’s annual trips to Norfolk, this year saw two groups of ‘Team Crayola’ students descend on Hunstanton (a westerly facing east coast town) to investigate whether or not the sea defences there would protect the town against the threat of coastal flooding. Students spent the day exploring the town to collect data that they are now using to write up their controlled assessment. This one piece of work is worth 25% of their overall GCSE mark. The town of Hunstanton is fairly small by London standards but students found no end of visitors and local stakeholders to canvas as they conducted questionnaires and extended interviews. The initial results seemed interesting, many people were well aware of the flood risks in the town but only a few local businesses right on the sea front seemed severely affected by the risk of flooding. One local shop that had been run by the same family since 1950 was at particular risk, so much so they had invested in their own sea defences to stop water crashing through the shop windows!!
With 18 hours of lesson time to write up their findings, students are certainly in for the long haul, but as with previous years the Geography department are looking forward to seeing some good work at the end of it. All the year 11s that came on the trips represented the school to the highest standard and showed what true role models they are - well done!!
Graveney Music students excelled once again in last term’s Sounds Exciting music weekend.
Around forty of our students left Graveney at lunchtime on the final Friday of June, and made their way by coach to the beautiful countryside of Surrey. As with last year, we were fortunate to share the weekend with students from St Philomena’s in Carshalton, with whom new friends were made, as well as some friendships reunited from last year’s trip. After a weekend filled with the various activities Sounds Exciting has come to expect (disco, team-building, quiz, eating) parents were amazed at the quality and quantity of music learned. Few could believe that in the space of just one weekend, over an hour’s live music could be produced to such a high standard.
Many students are already looking out for when the application forms for next year’s weekend will be available – make sure you don’t miss out!
Year 12 students from Philosophy and Religious Studies and Psychology travelled to Amsterdam in June.
Students enjoyed the main cultural attractions as well as seeing the city both on foot and by canal. The variety of activities and trips, including the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue and Body worlds, provoked much interesting discussion among students as they were able to make links with the topics they had been studying at AS.
On the 24th January 2015, 48 pupils and 6 teachers headed out to France for a week of skiing. The variety of pistes in the beautiful mountains of Risoul was an ideal place for first time skiers to begin learning and for experienced skiers to improve their technique. Despite their good intentions many of them spent most of the week “hitting” the snow after some of their spectacular drops, many of the most impressive ones coming from the teachers! However by the end of the week, without exception everybody could ski all be it at varying degrees. After skiing many activities were arranged for the group including, quiz, ice-skating, bum boarding, crepes evening, bowling the incredible luge ride which left many screaming and of course the much anticipated disco. However the most memorable of these activities was the karaoke which saw some amazing performances. The trip was a chance for pupils to see and experience a different country and culture. The French were brilliant hosts making us feel very welcome. Both staff and pupils will have lasting memories of their ski trip to Risoul. The experience was one that many of the pupils would recommend to their peers and by all accounts they tell me they “can’t wait to go again!!!”
Ms D. Ibe – trip organiser
The History Department and Year 10 took a three day tour to the battlefields of Belgium and Northern France this November as part of the memorials for WWI.
The tour took them to the Flanders Field Museum at the cloth hall at Ypres where students took an interactive tour, to the evening commemoration at the Menin Gate where they observed the Last Post and to the battlefields of the Somme, Lochnagar Crater in La Boisselle, Thiepval Memorial cemeteries & to walk in the trenches preserved in Beaumont-Hamel, Delville Wood near Longueval.
Informative and touching, the trip was an unforgettable chance to participate in the centenary of the War to End All Wars.
As part of their GCSE studies into International Relations and the Cold War, the History Department and Year 10 took a three day tour of Berlin.
Despite some difficulties with flights (!) the students had a fantastic time in the city. We took a walking tour of Babel Platz, the museum quarter, the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate and stopped for ice cream at Unter den linden. We took a tour of Potsdam, in the footsteps of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and had a picnic in the Sans Souci gardens. We even managed to look at the impact of recent changes to Germany''s history with a tour of the Hohenschoenhausen STASI prison.
The trip was a great mix of the sombre and thought provoking but also involved lots of opportunities to explore and enjoy the city.
We were lucky enough to be given funding by the Century Club to bid for some School Book Benches (based on the London-wide exhibition by professional artists last Summer) and were successful in our application. We allocated one bench to 7L who read ‘A Christmas Carol’ and designed their bench based on the novel. Another bench was given to 8S and Ms Mackenzie who read ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ and designed their book around that. The English and Art department worked together very successfully; once the novels had been read and ideas discussed, Ms Vaughn and Ms Hepple oversaw the design and painting of the benches. Pupils worked through lunchtimes and after school and did a fantastic job – they look like they have been painted by professionals!
The benches were then sent to the ‘Books About Town’ exhibition at a gallery space in London Bridge along with 50 other book benches which was open to the public. We I took a group of 7L and 8S pupils who had worked on the painting of the benches to the exhibition to see theirs alongside all of the others. It was a fantastic trip which the pupils really enjoyed. Their benches looked fantastic and there were lots of lovely comments from other children.
Graveney School, Welham Road, SW17 9BU
Tel: 0208 682 7000 | Fax: 0208 682 7075