This weekend three of our students travelled to the English Schools' Athletics Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium.
To even qualify for this event, the students have to gain a qualifying standard. These standards are incredibly challenging to achieve and there is a maximum of 25 students in each event. This by default makes them a top 25 student in England for their event. Previous competitors at this event have been Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and our own Abbie Donnelly, Catrina Thomas and Daniel Fleming. Once at the championships, the event is run professionally in order to prepare them for the transition to being an adult international athlete. The championships is sponsored by New Balance and they provide every athlete with a free rucksack for their kit. Athletes are required to check in before their event and have to be in the green room to be marshalled out to their event. There is even a parade on day two for all the athletes. They march out in their county teams and we sing the National Anthem. Hannah Molyneaux did not march out with the Lincolnshire team as she had to march with the other international athletes who had represented Team GB this season.
Charlie Smithers in Year 9 competed in the junior boys' 200m. Charlie doesn’t belong to an athletics club (as much as I’m trying to persuade him) and only trains at the Academy athletics club. His qualification for this event is through pure talent. He has worked tirelessly for weeks, every lunch time, training hard and focussing on perfecting his sprint start. He finished seventh in his heat and ran a personal best time of 24.10s. Hopefully now he will believe that he has the talent to achieve even greater things and get himself to Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club. Charlie also ran in the heat of the junior boys 4x100m relay, helping them to qualify for the final.
Archie Richardson in Year 12 has had an incredible athletics season leading up to this weekend. Archie was put into the faster of the three heats and is a year younger in his age group than the other senior boys. He ran an incredible 1m57s for his 800m and did himself proud finishing seventh.
Hannah Molyneaux, attending her fifth English Schools' Championships, competed in the senior girls' shot put. Hannah spent last week in Hungary competing for Team GB at the European Youth Championships and finished fifth. This had filled her with confidence coming into this weekend and she won convincingly, putting the shot an amazing 13.41m. No other athlete in the competition threw over 13m. Hannah claimed the gold medal, her fourth gold at this event (the fifth medal is silver).
It was an absolute pleasure to travel with our students and the rest of the Lincolnshire team. I am sure if you see them you will congratulate them. They deserve it.
On Wednesday 27th June seventy seven students travelled to Yarborough Athletics Stadium for our last athletic event of the season. We returned as Lincoln and Gainsborough Schools Athletics Champions once again. This makes us the strongest school in the Lincoln and Gainsborough area for 9 out of the last 10 years of the competition. This success does not come by accident and is a true reflection of all the hard work our squad puts in to their performance. We are very fortunate to have some exceptionally talented students, many of whom train outside of academy hours. However, the majority of our squad do not belong to athletics clubs and they have spent hours and hours at lunch time and after school getting themselves ready for this event. Their commitment to athletics is to be celebrated alongside their success. A demonstration of how hard they have worked- three of our high jumpers, who only train at the Academy, jumped personal bests at this event.
Our students really gain a lot of confidence from their participation and, in many cases, success. As a result the Academy holds a very strong reputation for this sport in the area.
In this competition each student takes part in an event and gains points for the position in which they finish. With eleven schools competing, each event holds a maximum point score of 11 for the winner. We finished the day with 879 points! The team in second place, William Farr School, finished with a total of 775, making our win a very convincing one.
As well as being crowned as the overall champions, we are also the year group champions in seven out of eight categories (and finished second in the other).
On the 23rd - 27th June, a group of Year 12s went to the Peak District. It was a very warm weekend for it and perfect weather, however they needed loads of sun cream as we would probably have got sunburnt a lot more than we did! We walked about 16-18k each day for about eight hours per hike. The first day we were all full of energy getting ready to get out of the bus after a two hour bus drive there. We had to carry all of our gear, clothes, tents and food for the four days all in one bag, which was slightly heavy! We had pretty flat ground for half of the day through fields which was very scenic and we got to understand more about the map and land. Nearing the end of the day we climbed up Mam Tor, which was quite a big hill and quite steep! Then some of us lay on our backs and slid down the rest of the hill going down the other side of Mam Tor to get to the campsite, which was really fun! There were a lot of vertical hills we had to climb up which varied from a 200m climb to a 2k climb, being all pretty difficult and a challenge to climb, but we got to the top eventually, just in time to have a break. The scenery was beautiful when we got to the top because you should see how far we had climbed up and all the valleys that we had walked across.
On the second day we still had a lot energy, with energy bars getting us through it! We went through some fields and then climbed up Jacob's Ladder which was fairly steep! It was a challenging hill as there were many steps…. Once we got to the top we had our lunch and then continued on to Kinder Scout, which was a very puzzling part of the Peak District because you could get lost very easily, as when you are on the top you can’t see the other side where you have to be. All you see is more land. We managed to find our way out of Kinder Scout at the end, however we ended up having two team members getting stuck in the bog which was kind of like quick sand! It ended up being a really funny memory to take back. Once we got off Kinder Scout, we ended up meeting another Gold DofE group who were lost so we took a route down some rocks, which was pretty scary at first but with a lot of teamwork and support we ended up getting down safely and getting back to camp whilst the sun was still out.
On the third day we had not as much energy, but were raring to go as it was the last night! We started our walk climbing up the same hill we had climbed up the day before, but this time we headed left and went down a stone pathway for about 3k. Then we went through fields until we got to a big upper field where we had to climb 200m up as it was very steep and felt like more than 200m! We all eventually got to the top and started walking through the lake reservoir which was so scenic and beautiful. We continued for a further 6k through the lake reservoir. We started walking through fields and seeing all the sheep.
Then we approached the final day. When we looked up we realised we had to walk up the hill that we had slid down on Mam Tor, which was going to be interesting! As we had been walking for three days in a row now, we were a little bit tired, so we did take a couple of breaks. However, we were determined to get to the top so we fought through it. Once we got to the top of the hill we went to the other side of the hill, and were walking through some fields with the lovely hot weather! We then went through forests with shade which was really nice after being in so much heat. The walking was quite hard, but everyone was quite peppy and we had a sing-a-long whilst we were walking to keep the positive vibe. We had a few water stops as it was up to 37 degrees and therefore very warm. We ended up meeting the van in Edale at around lunchtime and we stopped for a break but then realised we were able to leave and go home!
I thoroughly enjoyed the few days we were in the Peaks as we got to see the beautiful scenery and spend time with new and amazing people, who were very funny and kept up a positive vibe for the whole time, which made the experience worthwhile.
On Friday we placed fourth in the Northern Final for Rock Challenge which is an incredible feat considering we have never managed to place before. There was some stiff competition from other schools but Hannah’s Story proved to be the most emotive performance with the judges struggling to give feedback when asked for their thoughts. We had amazing support from the audience and it was lovely to see so many staff and students there. Our students did us proud and showed courage beyond their years. Special thanks go to Mr Walker for stepping in last minute to improve our set (we were complimented on our set function so thank you!) and our expertly lead Year 12 stage crew (some of whom who were drafted in the day before!).
We couldn’t have done it without the organisation and encouragement of Mrs Boiling, Miss Bush, Miss Dickinson and Mr Stones and the financial help from Mrs Hopkinson and the Priory Association.
Here is a list of the other awards we won: Award of Excellence for Concept; Excellence for Drama; Excellence for Choreography; Excellence for Soundtrack; Excellence for Entertainment; Excellence for Lighting; Excellence for Stage Crew; Excellence for Stage Use; Excellence for Visual Enhancement.
Bring on next year!!
The Rock Challenge Team
Leeds University Medical and Dental School held a taster day on Friday 29th June in their state-of-the art facilities. The purpose was to give Year 9 students from across the region an idea of the breadth of careers available to them in a health care setting, and the sort of qualifications required to get into those roles.
The visit involved practising lots of practical skills: looking down ears with an otoscope to see if a patient had a perforated ear drum or just lots of wax; learning how to analyse an x-ray or ultrasound image, in some cases to find out what the patient had swallowed; practising CPR and using a defibrillator on a patient who’s stopped breathing.
The highlight of the day for many was the chance to use a Moog Simodont Dental Trainer. This is an incredibly realistic device that simulates a dental drill in 3-D. We all got the chance to try and drill out an area of decay, and it included using a mirror for hidden features and even the noise of the drill itself. Fortunately there was no patient to scream when we got it wrong!
The day was a great success. We had a great time and we are all now aware of the range of jobs we could look at in the future, including ones we didn’t know about before, such as audiology and radiography.
On the 20th and 21st of June, a group of KS4 food and nutrition students went to the Lincolnshire Show to take part in the Schools' Challenge. Over the past 18 months our healthy eating campaign has progressed from nothing to something that has impacted the canteens and influenced students and staff to eat healthier. With the campaign at an all-time high we took this opportunity to compete in the Healthy Schools category for the second year. With an unexpected presentation on the first day we persevered and managed to pull it off with half an hour's warning. We were able to impress the judges and prepare them for the high standard of work yet to come. After two long days of explaining our campaign to as many people as possible we managed to pull a first place out of the bag and win our category. We are incredibly proud of the team and all their effort that has gone into this project. We can’t wait to carry on the HELP Yourself campaign and hope to bring the trophy home next year for the second time.
We would like to say a big thanks to Mr Goffe for all of his help and support throughout this process and to anyone that has shown an interest, supported us or done anything to help or influence the campaign.
On Tuesday 26th June over 200 students took part in an It’s a Knockout fundraiser for Help for Heroes. Help for Heroes supports those with injuries and illnesses attributable to their service in the British Armed Forces.
The students had a fantastic time, as did staff after school, and got soaking wet as they tackled various courses in order to gain victory for their team. Over ten bottles of washing up liquid were used and numerous litres of water to ensure the courses were difficult to tackle. The staff from Graham Fisher's International It's A Knockout were also on hand to provide light entertainment and we would like to thank them for helping to support this cause.
Whilst the winning teams on the day should be very proud of themselves, all those involved should be too as approximately £1,400 has been raised for Help for Heroes.
Well done everyone!
On Tuesday 26th June, Mr Milner and Mrs Griffin took a group of ten Year 11 students to Christ’s College, Cambridge to take part in the Preparing for Sixth Form Conference run by Dr Mark King.
As part of the day, we attended a talk welcoming us to both the College and the University, followed by a tour and lunch in the Upper Hall. In the afternoon there was a presentation and Q&A entitled ‘What Next? A-Level subject choices and how to prepare in Year 12’. This suggested many different ways students can enhance their school curriculum and prepare themselves for applying to competitive courses and universities in the future.
A particular highlight was when a former Priory Academy LSST student, Jake, ran through his own experiences in successfully applying to Cambridge to study Law. He also told us about all the other opportunities that have come his way as a result, including forthcoming trips to Malta and Hong Kong and learning how to row! Jake tried to dispel a few myths about who should apply and why the stereotypical image of a Cambridge student in not accurate. He is pictured in the photo in the specialist Law Library at Christ’s with two of our Year 11s. Can you tell which one he is?
We had a really enjoyable and interesting visit that left us inspired and excited about the future.
The STEM club recently had a visit from Flt Lt Curtis who is the STEM ambassador at RAF Coningsby. Students were challenged to design and build their own rockets which we then launched using compressed air. The results were amazing with some rockets flying the full length of the Old Hall! The winning team comprised of Aimee Killeen and Erin Clifton whose rocket travelled the furthest distance- well done to them!
In the photo: Year 7 students Wiktoria, Harriet, Ebrar and Flt Lt Curtis
Wednesday 20th June saw Team Alpha travel to Nottingham to contest the Regional Final of the Young Enterprise competition. The sun shone, our spirits high, as we gathered on the minibus expertly driven by Mrs Cavill. The challenges began before we even got to the Nottingham Trent University Business School; Mrs Cavill’s driving skills could not overcome the obstacle that was the maximum head height in the multi-storey car parks. Panic ensued… we took to the streets to seek guidance from the locals. Sadly being told ‘it’s a shame that one isn’t open’ wasn’t going to solve our dilemma, and after several loops of the city centre, we managed to seek guidance from the Young Enterprise organisers.
Finally the team arrived and were able to set up their trade stand. Given that the interviews and presentations take place in alphabetical order, we knew we would be up first (note to self, make sure next year’s team give themselves a name starting with Z). The awesome foursome interview team aced the questions thrown at them whilst the others made the trade stand look amazing. We would be lying if we said we didn’t seek the opportunity to suss out the competition; perusing their trade stands we could tell that we faced very strong competition…
With fire in their bellies (or was it hunger?) Team Alpha’s fantastic five took the stage first in the evening’s formal presentation slot. The story of Harry the Hedgehog was received very well by the audience. In a nutshell, this is how the story goes… Harry is a homeless hedgehog who needs a safe place to live in a cold, scary place called Lincoln. A group of illustrious students collectively known as Team Alpha, make him a home. They battle the issues of entrepreneurism in a harsh business world to continue to make their Creature Cabins for Harry’s friends and educate local school children about wildlife. Special mention must go to the Managing Director here; he has a hidden story telling talent. When rehearsing their presentation earlier in the day he was told, and I quote, ‘you should get a job on CBeebies’.
Anyway, as previously said, the competition was very tough. The standard of presentations was incredibly high and it was left to the judges to deliberate. Even Rosemary Conley (yes the Rosemary Conley, other weight loss plans are available) approached us to say that she very much enjoyed the story and the team’s presentation. After a nervous and very long wait, it was time for the awards. Mrs Cavill and I again were sitting there, everything crossed (well as best we could, given last time’s efforts and the fact that it’s not easy to contort yourself as you get older) as the awards were read out. Team Alpha scooped the awards for ‘Environment’ and ‘Health and Safety’ (watching one team member try to put on latex gloves was a sight to behold). As the tension built, the awards for Runners Up and Winners were announced, but sadly neither was awarded to team Alpha.
Nevertheless the team did an amazing job. They made a fantastic product and the resilience they have shown over the past few months has been admirable. We are sure they will agree with us that they have gained invaluable skills for future employment.
On behalf of Team Alpha we would very much like to thank the Technology Department. Their generosity allowed the team to cut out the templates for the cabins, cutting costs dramatically. We are very grateful for all of their advice and support in making the cabins.