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Year 9 News - 18th November 2016

18 November 2016

Find out what's been happening in Year 9.

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A Word from the Year Leader

It seems like an age since we were in the sunny climate in Hainan, enjoying surfing and trekking in the rainforest. Some fond memories were created during the week and ones which will last a life time I’m sure. There has been no rest for our Year 9 students since their return from Sanya. Straight back into the swing of things here at school for most but for some it was only a few days until they were jetting off to Manila to be part of the U15 Fobisia sports tournament! More about that later.

As well as the normal business of learning in the classroom, our Year 9 students have been treated to a number of very interesting visitors. We were lucky enough to have visiting author David Greenberg come in to hold a session on Tuesday and on Friday bagpiper Ross Jennings met the Year 9 students to fill them in on his adventures around the world.

An important time for Year 9 students is approaching as we enter into our option process for IGCSE. Through our Guidance sessions we will begin to explore different career paths for the future and identify subject choices that would complement these careers. We very much hope to see you at our Options Evening on Wednesday 30th November where you and your children will have the opportunity to learn more about this process.

Project Week – here’s the reflection from the week in Sanya

Day 1

It’s been a very long and extremely busy day. A smooth run through to the airport left us time to refuel before catching our flight. Once we landed in Sanya, we hit the ground running. A quick turn around after checking in to our fab hotel and the students were straight out to a surf skills session and some team building activities. Everyone enjoyed the activities and has got a real taste of things to come. More happy faces at dinner when some old favourites were served. We wrapped up the day with a prep session for our service activity tomorrow. Our Insight leader talked through the schedule for tomorrow. Seeing as it was a going to be a busy one, everyone was tucked up in their beds ready for another early start on day 2.

Day 2

Another long action packed day in Sanya. 6.30 wake up call but smiling faces and a sunny start. 

Group 1 headed off for a morning of surfing at Hoi Hai beach. There was great fun had by all and many managed to catch a good wave or two and get to stand on the board. After a local lunch the group boarded the bus and went to the Bright Connection for the afternoon.

The afternoon is a very hands on session with lots of interaction with the children. Our students helped with the physical therapy sessions, exercising and also the educational sessions. They also got stuck into the laundry and helped with some of the day to day chores. Group 2 had a similar day but in reverse. In the morning at the Bright Connection everyone got involved in morning chores such as preparing lunch, clearing up the yard, moving equipment and general cleaning duties. Whilst this was happening the others were assisting with the children’s water break and morning exercises as well as playing games and singing with the children.

The afternoon session at the beach was also a huge success. Excited shrieks of laughter could be heard as almost all of them managed to ride the waves.

Then back to the hotel for evening buffet and some team building games. Which group could make the longest line! They can explain more later but let’s just say they used their initiative and creativity!

It was a tough day both physically and emotionally but they responded amazingly to the situation and did us proud. As always our students never cease to amaze us and rise to the challenge. All tucked up in bed now ready for another action packed day tomorrow

Day 3

Another rewarding day for all. A surf session and time spent at the Bright Connection centre made up today’s activities.

At the beach we were greeted by fantastic waves and a beautiful blue sky. The conditions were great for the surfers and again almost all were successful in standing on the board. There was fun and laughter in the water as the students persevered and attempted again and again to catch the waves. We enjoyed a local lunch in the sun and then played on the beach. Beautiful day.

At the Bright Connection we got stuck into all the chores involved in keeping the centre running. Preparing meals, doing laundry, sweeping and mopping and of course the most rewarding, engaging with the children.

As many of you will already know the centre caters for children with autism and cerebral palsy. The level of disability ranges from those who need some assistance with walking and communicating to those who are completely reliant on the care provided. It was difficult to see some of the gruelling exercises the children need to perform in order to help them with their stretching and walking and making their muscles stronger. I was very proud of how some of our students got completely involved with assisting the volunteers at the centre. For many it was a real eye opener and the experience I believe will be one that lasts for a long time. Many of them commented on how lucky they felt to be able to do the simplest things. The things that they took for granted like taking a drink of water. So simple to them but not so for many of the children at the centre who need to be spoon fed water.

Tomorrow will be another adventure as we head to Yanoda rainforest to do a gorge walk, some fishing and a rainforest trek.

Day 4

A fantastic trip to Yanoda Rainforest Park today. It was so busy and a buzz of activity. The dancing staff greeted us on arrival all shouting ‘yanoda’ and waving. We changed into unusual grass straws shoes required to make the walk through the gorge. We took a cart up to the top of the mountain and the entrance to Dream Valley. We made our way up through the gorge overcoming obstacles like the swing rope, tyre bridges, swing ropes and the scramble net. It was great fun. We passed waterfalls and beautiful rock pools on our way to the top. We then enjoyed a local lunch in the restaurant. After lunch we headed up to take a trek to the rainforest. It was sensory overload! Beautiful views, sounds and sights. We crossed a bridge where you could hang up wishes for friendship, kinship, love and happiness. It was amazing. Then back to the hotel for our final dinner and an art competition held by our insight staff. A brilliant day! Everyone is packed up and tucked up.

The week was finished up with some relaxation by the beautiful pools in our hotel. Everyone enjoyed splashing and playing with classmates in the pools.

U15 Fobisia

Six Year 9 students were selected to represent the U15 Sports Fobisia team who travelled to Manilla last week. It was an achievement in itself to be selected but the accomplishments of the teams were fantastic.  Stand out performances from Matthew Ward who scored 8 goals in 6 games and Jake Lonsdale, who despite being ill in the opening days of the tournament, stepped up and showed true tiger spirit and performed excellently in midfield for the boys in football.

The girls also earned their place on the team. Yukiko competed excellently in all 4 sports across the 3 day tournament. Nehmat was solid in goal and contributed to their 3rd place position in football. Both Sofie and Allessandra played their socks off in football and basketball and saw the girl’s team finishing in gold medal position for Basketball.

Visiting Author

On Tuesday Year 9 were treated to a workshop with our visiting author David Greenberg. He had fantastic stories to tell from his life growing up in New York City. His father was an attorney for Martin Luther King and this led to some great stories. If anyone would be interested in purchasing some of his books they can collect an order form from their tutor.

More details about David can be found on his website:   


On Friday we had a bagpiper come to visit us! He spent time talking to 9 students about what it’s like to be a traveling bagpiper. His aim is to be the first bagpiper to play in every country in the world! Read more about him here: