Black Country Museum
As part of their Topic lessons, pupils have been studying the Industrial Revolution and looking at how the local area was shaped during this time. 
On this visit, pupils were able to see replicas of some of the inventions from the industrial era including the first steam engine. 
We saw a short Laurel and Hardy silent film in the light cinema. 
The mine was not accessible due to construction works on site, but we did get a demonstration of how dangerous the mines could be due to the gases that build up in the coal. Pupils watched demonstrations of how carbon dioxide and methane were detected and found out that working class boys of a similar age would have been sent into the mines to burn off the gas with a high risk of being injured or dying. 
Pupils got to see the forge being fired up and spoke with the blacksmith who explained how the forge and bellows worked. We also spoke about the wages for these jobs and pupils were shocked to hear that they would only have earned 6 pence a week.  Pupils walked around the canal and past the chain makers yard and tried to lift the chains to an anchor but realised just how heavy the iron was. 
For lunch we treated ourselves to some beef dripping chips before heading to the sweet shop to buy some traditional Victorian sweets. 
"Gangsta Granny"
At the end of the term, pupils visited the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham to watch the David Walliams production "Gangsta Granny". 
Pupils have been reading the story prior to the visit. The enjoyed the production and were able to relate what they had seen at the theatre to what they had read in the book. They some of the differences between the theatre production and the book and discussed in their lessons why some of these differences might have occured. Snacks were enjoyed, excellent behaviour was on show and most importantly the students said they had an awesome time! 

Virtual Reality Criminial Exploitation Workshops

Virtual Reality Decisions

Some of our KS3 and KS4 pupils took part in a virtual reality desion making workshop about protecting themselves from criminal exploitation. staff also had an opportunity to use the VT sets to support their ongoing understanding of criminal exploitation. Feedback from staff and pupils was universally positive about the workshops.

Round Midnight - Virtual Decisions

VIRTUAL DECISIONS is a unique and interactive virtual reality tech for good program. We deliver real-life experiences for young people through the use of VR and creative arts workshops in schools and other educational settings across the UK.

Click on this link to visit the Round Midnight Virtual Decisions Webpage

Silver Group English lesson

This lesson introduces a poem, 'Stealing' by the poet Carol-Ann Duffy. 
The poem pinpoints with great compassion the feelings of someone who may be unemployed or homeless and for whom the apparently pointless gesture of stealing a snowman becomes a bid for celebrity, a desire to impress themselves upon a world that seems to have left them behind.
 
Studying this poem not only affords pupils the opportunity to explore Duffy's language or device choices, but the context of Thatcher's Britain; the opportunity to compare context to now - why do people steal? What do you think should happen? What does happen?  
 
Undoubtedly, this lesson can always be relied upon to evoke curiosity, empathy and opinion!

KS3 Pupil create Aboriginal art

KS3 pupils have been learning about Aboriginal art. They have had the opportunity to create some of their own art pieces in an Aboriginal style.

Pupils are enjoying working on our new interactive whiteboards. Like the staff, writing on them takes some getting used to!  

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Stargazer

As part of their Stargazer topic, KS3 pupils had the opportunity to visit the discovering amazing science about our planet and the exploration of our universe.

Practical Science

As part of their science lesson, pupils had the opportunity to dissect a heart. Squeamish at first, they soon began to understand the workings and structure of the heart 

PE Lessons

Our PE lessons this year have seen us take to the astro turf to hone our football skills. Pupils have been able to develop their skills and abilities ready to take on other schools in the Midlands 5-aside tournament.

Dry slope skiing

To support pupils' wider experiences we took them to the dry ski slope in Stoke on Trent. The boots felt weird, the skis too long and cumbersome, nothing felt right. But with perseverance all pupils managed to control their speed using the snow plough technique, and from their smiles, they had some fun doing it!

Hollybush Garden Centre

Pupils had the opportunity to explore a variety of species of animals and pets at The Hollybush Garden Centre. The visit formed part of their "Beast Creator" topic - seeing at first hand a selection of mini beasts and insects. Pupils were able to identify similarities and differences between the animals, discussing why the animals had these characteristics.

Hollybush staff commented how polite and respectful the pupils were, testament to the efforts they make in developing their interpersonal skills.