Head's Blog

"Hi all..." - The weekly email from the Head of College to our students

Hi all

Well done to Year 12 for fully engaging with the Next Steps Day. It was good to be able to review the achievements of so many of you this year in the Assembly and I hope that you found the presentations on universities and apprenticeships useful. Thank you to Faye for organising and to Caryn for her presentation. Two more ‘Hi alls this term – here is the penultimate one…

Common Room Vending Machine

As announced in the Assembly this morning, we are installing a hot-drink vending machine for Sixth-Form use from September 2017. It will serve the usual range of coffees / tea / decaf rubbish and (apparently) soup! Faye has suggested that the machine is known as ‘Phil my Cup’ though that joke went flat first time round…

Thanks to Sandra and Phil for sorting this out and I hope you will all enjoy the new facility. Just to say, for the umpteenth time today, the cold drinks ‘coke’ machine is not going – it is just moving to the other side of the Common Room. Panic over!

Results Day arrangements

The AS and A-Level results will be released on Thursday 17th August 2017. If relevant, GCSE results are released on Thursday 24th August 2017.  All results will be available for collection from Bramcote College.

On the 17th August, Bramcote College will be open for Year 13 students to collect A2 results from 8.00am.  Year 12 students can collect their AS Level results from 9.00am. On the 24th August, GCSE results can be collected from 9.00am. Results will not be issued to you prior to the times above - even if you arrive early.

If you are unable to come to Bramcote College to collect your results on either 17th or 24th August, please leave a stamped-addressed envelope with Melissa prior to the end of term and results will be posted out to you on the relevant date (s).  Alternatively, someone may collect your results on your behalf, but please note that you must inform Melissa who this person will be in advance by providing a signed letter detailing whom you wish to pick up your results. The person picking up the results must bring a form of photographic ID with them. Any uncollected results statements for which we have not received a stamped addressed envelope will be retained and will be available from Melissa from the start of the autumn term in September.

Year 12 - Summer Term dates

Please note the following dates for mock exams / work experience:

17th July          Year 12 Work Experience Week

24th July          Collect Mock Exam Results / Summer Holidays begin

Please do ensure that Melissa has received any outstanding WEX forms as soon as possible. Thank you.

INSPIRE: I IS FOR INTEGRITY 

Let’s face it; human beings are creatures of habit. Some of them good, some of them, well, not so good. We develop our habits sometime in childhood and unless we classify them and identify which ones we need to be free of, we remain on “auto-pilot” and just exist. Is this truly living though? One Psychologist said that “You resolve to change your bad habits. You mean it. Sometimes you succeed but often you fail. Why? Not because you’re a bad person. You’re probably not a bad person and, even if you are, that’s not why you’re failing. You’re failing because, simply put, habits are extremely hard to change. They’re hard to change because they’re so ingrained, because they’re so almost-automatic.”

C.S. Lewis said the quote above: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” After all, no one will question your integrity IF your integrity is not questionable.  Maybe we should all make the effort to change: we should all strive to be in a position where we don’t need anyone watching to want to do the right thing.

Volunteering …Part I

The newly refurbished Beeston library requires 6th Form students to volunteer their time to help celebrate their Fun Palaces event on 7th Oct 2017 from 9.30-3.30. This will entail meeting and greeting library customers and helping in general and art activities. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Volunteering…Part II

As you may be aware, the hall at Bramcote College is in dire need of a lick of paint. Therefore, on Thursday 20th July, we are looking to paint the hall (and the corridor behind the hall)

We will organise paint, rollers and extenders – all we’d like please is your time to help. Hopefully we can get the majority of the painting done in a day and make the hall look better for the next two years. If you’re able to help out - please could you let Melissa know so that I have a rough idea of how many rollers / brushes etc to order. We also need to paint other areas, such as Music, so if you are about to help – please let Melissa know. This can be used as WEX for any Year 12s who are still unplaced too.

And finally

The test for any organisation is whether it can continue to function effectively even when the most important people are away. Clearly Bramcote College has just about passed this test. The Geography Department’s annual beach holiday in Aberystwyth required Melissa to go as she has the necessary first-aid ‘Baywatch’ qualification needed. Today (and yesterday and, to be fair, Wednesday) were all busy days here at BC. However, with Faye giving orders, Phil carrying chips and pizza and me showing off (surely some mistake?) my silver service serving skills the college survived the absence of Melissa. For those of you who found your chips a bit dented or squashed – I apologise. And if the strength of the squash was a bit, ahem, strong, I also apologise. But as we slaved away working our fingers to the bone, as we were drenched with sweat and barely able to keep our eyes open - it appears that Melissa was doing exactly the same in sunny Wales. 

Have a good weekend.

Thanks,

James 

Hi all

I think it would be fair to say that we can all see the end now. As we will do in the ‘Year 12 End of Year Assembly’ next week, it is good to reflect and see the achievements of you as students, of all the staff and of the college generally in the last year.

Next Steps – Friday 14th July

As suggested by the title, next Friday is about you finding out about the different routes available after you complete Year 13. The Next Steps Day will start with an Assembly at 9.15am to celebrate your achievements this year and also to run through arrangements for Year 13.

ALL Y12 students need to be in from 9.15am on Friday 14th July for the ‘Next Steps’ activities.  These will include:

        - End of year assembly including some awards

       - Outside speakers discussing Universities and Job Opportunities

- Registering for UCAS and apprenticeship services — the only opportunity to link your applications to Bramcote College

- Key information about UCAS personal statements and the application process for both universities and apprenticeships.

- Getting information on jobs, CVs and interview techniques

- Drinks and refreshments provided, including FREE food at lunch-time

This is a compulsory event and lessons are suspended for the day to allow you to attend.    You will need to assemble in the common room to sign in at 9am.  Please see Faye or Melissa ASAP if you have any issues.

Year 12 Mock Exams

Thank you for getting the Year 12 Mock Exams off to a good start. Please ensure you follow these timings:

  • Morning exams start at 9.00am. You need to be in the Dining Hall no later than 8.45am.
  • Mid-morning exams start at 11.15. Please be in the Dining hall no later than 11.00am
  • Afternoon exams start at 1.15pm. You need to be in the Dining Hall no later than 1.00pm.

Year 13 and 12 – Results Day arrangements

The AS and A-Level results will be released on Thursday 17th August 2017. If relevant, GCSE results are released on Thursday 24th August 2017.  All results will be available for collection from Bramcote College.

On the 17th August, Bramcote College will be open for Year 13 students to collect A2 results from 8.00am.  Year 12 students can collect their AS Level results from 9.00am. On the 24th August, GCSE results can be collected from 9.00am. Results will not be issued to you prior to the times above - even if you arrive early.

If you are unable to come to Bramcote College to collect your results on either 17th or 24th August, please leave a stamped-addressed envelope with Melissa prior to the end of term and results will be posted out to you on the relevant date (s).  Alternatively, someone may collect your results on your behalf, but please note that you must inform Melissa who this person will be in advance by providing a signed letter detailing whom you wish to pick up your results. The person picking up the results must bring a form of photographic ID with them. Any uncollected results statements for which we have not received a stamped addressed envelope will be retained and will be available from Melissa from the start of the autumn term in September.

Year 12 - Summer Term dates

Please note the following dates for mock exams / work experience:

13th July          Mock Exams finish

14th July          NEXT STEPS DAY – Find out about all your options after Year 13.

17th July          Year 12 Work Experience Week

24th July          Collect Mock Exam Results / Summer Holidays begin

Please do ensure that Melissa has received any outstanding WEX forms as soon as possible. Thank you.

INSPIRE: E is for ENGAGEMENT

This year we have been really pleased by the massive increase in the number of you completing NCS. Going forward, I’d like Bramcote College to really develop more of a volunteering ethos: to be willing to give up our time to help others.

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all is that they find it both challenging and rewarding.

Please have a look Where volunteering begins YouTube campaign which tells five inspirational stories from ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The films illustrate the diverse range of volunteering opportunities available and the different people who give up their time.

I guess it is important to understand why volunteering matters. A quick list might read:

  • You make a difference to the lives of others
  • Help others less fortunate or without a voice
  • Feel valued and part of a team
  • Spend quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle
  • Help the environment
  • You gain confidence and self-esteem

For some, volunteering can be a route to employment, or a chance to try something new which may lead to a career change. From this perspective, volunteering can be a way of gaining new skills, knowledge and experience, enhancing your CV and therefore improving your employment prospects. Community Engagement matters: let’s make sure it is something we look to build on in 2017-2018.

Speaking of volunteering …Part I

The newly refurbished Beeston library requires 6th Form students to volunteer their time to help celebrate - Fun Palaces event on 7th Oct 2017 from 9.30-3.30. This will entail meeting and greeting library customers and helping in general and art activities. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Speaking of volunteering…Part II

As you may be aware, the hall at Bramcote College is in dire need of a lick of paint. Therefore, on Thursday 20th July, we are looking to paint the hall (and the corridor behind the hall)

We will organise paint, rollers and extenders – all we’d like please is your time to help. Hopefully we can get the majority of the painting done in a day and make the hall look better for the next two years. If you’re able to help out - please could you let Melissa know so that I have a rough idea of how many rollers / brushes etc to order. We also need to paint other areas, such as Music, so if you are about to help – please let Melissa know. This can be used as WEX for any Year 12s who are still unplaced too.

And finally

Clearly this email will take all credit for the recent media focus on a certain Jacob Rees-Mogg. In recent politics. Social media cults of personality are common on the left of British politics - think of Corbynistas or the Milifandom. So it should be no surprise that young right-wing activists have been seeking their own social media star. And they seem to have found one in Jacob (described by the Daily Mash as coming back from 1923 to save us all).

Not only are dozens of Facebook pages devoted to Jacob - the biggest have tens of thousands of likes - but after recently joining Instagram, Jacob's quips about his life on the campaign trail have built up a huge online following. He is now more popular on Instagram than the personal account of Prime Minister Theresa May. Many of these Facebook groups have a more serious purpose - namely to persuade Jacob to stand for leader of the Conservative Party. There is actually a Facebook page "Ready for Rees Mogg" which was set-up after the recent General Election. As and when JRM is anointed as PM then I’m rather hoping to be appointed Minister for Sport (just to go to lots of great events, basically) or Minister for Communities (not because of volunteering: just so I can have Milton Keynes obliterated)

The Daily Politics show put together this short film on Tuesday available from this link. If that was not enough publicity for my cousin, then he took just about everyone by surprise when he announced the name of his sixth child this week. If my parents had called me Firstus I would have been absolutely furious.

Have a good weekend.

Thanks,

James 

Hi all

If you’re in Year 12 – hope that you’ve had a pleasant day off. If you’re in Year 13 – I hope that last night in Rock City was (at least in part) memorable. If you’re already abroad – Hola! Congratulations on finishing your A2 exams – I still remember the feeling I had when my A-Levels were finally completed and I am sure it is a great not to be going home to another night of revision. You have all impressed us with your hard work and commitment – so you deserve a few days of relaxation and fun.

Social Science Night Out

Speaking of night’s out – I hear you that all had a great time on Tuesday.

End of Year Assembly

The Next Steps Day (Friday 14th July) will start with an Assembly at 9.15am to celebrate your achievements this year and also to run through arrangements for Year 13.

Year 12 Mock Timetable

The final mock timetable for Year 12 exams is attached. Exams start NEXT FRIDAY MORNING and finish on Thursday 13th July. Mock Exams are only for subjects where all exams are at the end of Year 13. If you’ve already taken an AS-Level exam this summer in a subject then there is no mock exam this time around.

Year 12 Mock Exam Arrangements

 Please ensure you have all read the following carefully.

  • Morning exams start at 9.00am. You need to be in the Dining Hall no later than 8.45am.
  • Afternoon exams start at 1.15pm. You need to be in the Dining Hall no later than 1.00pm.

I am sure you all know the regulations around conduct in exams. Just as a refresher:

  • Phones must be switched off and handed to Melissa;
  • You may not communicate with any other candidate once in the gym / exam room;
  • Smartphones may not be worn;
  • Bottles must have all their labels removed;
  • Coats and bags should be left at the back of the gym / exam room

Year 13 and 12 – Results Day arrangements

The AS and A-Level results will be released on Thursday 17th August 2017. If relevant, GCSE results are released on Thursday 24th August 2017.  All results will be available for collection from Bramcote College.

On the 17th August, Bramcote College will be open for Year 13 students to collect A2 results from 8.00am.  Year 12 students can collect their AS Level results from 9.00am. On the 24th August, GCSE results can be collected from 9.00am. Results will not be issued to you prior to the times above - even if you arrive early.

If you are unable to come to Bramcote College to collect your results on either 17th or 24th August, please leave a stamped-addressed envelope with Melissa prior to the end of term and results will be posted out to you on the relevant date (s).  Alternatively, someone may collect your results on your behalf, but please note that you must inform Melissa who this person will be in advance by providing a signed letter detailing whom you wish to pick up your results. The person picking up the results must bring a form of photographic ID with them. Any uncollected results statements for which we have not received a stamped addressed envelope will be retained and will be available from Melissa from the start of the autumn term in September.

Year 13 – Disabled Student Allowance

Please see the information below about the Disabled Student Allowance, which you can now apply for online.  This will only apply to students beginning courses in September/October 2017. You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) if you have a disability, for example a:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia

You must also:

  • be an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
  • have a condition that affects your ability to study
  • qualify for student finance from Student Finance England
  • be studying on a course that lasts at least a year

If you have any other questions, please see Faye.

Year 12 – BMAT Testing

The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is an undergraduate admissions test. It is used by UK universities for applicants to Medicine, Biomedical Sciences and Dentistry courses. They have introduced an alternative test session, taking place on Saturday 9 September 2017. This gives you the opportunity to take BMAT and receive your results before making your UCAS application.

Please click here for more information or see Faye.

Year 12 - Summer Term dates

Please note the following dates for mock exams / work experience:

7th July            Mock Exams start

13th July          Mock Exams finish

14th July          NEXT STEPS DAY – Find out about all your options after Year 13.

17th July          Year 12 Work Experience Week

24th July           Collect Mock Exam Results / Summer Holidays begin

Please do ensure that Melissa has received any outstanding WEX forms as soon as possible. Thank you.

Revision Resources – Applicable to Year 12 and 13

Our website has been updated and this page contains resources created and collated by us for the Easter Intervention sessions to help you with the key areas of revision in the weeks coming up to your exams:

1) Effective Revision Skills

2) Note-Taking Skills
3) Essay Writing Skills
4) Learning Quotes
5) Mindfulness

Please also remember that what really matters at this time of year is that you don’t rev in neutral: if you need help, guidance or advice about how to plan / how to revise / mindfulness – please let us know as soon as possible. We are happy to help individuals or even to deliver some group sessions to help support your achievement. Please do come and talk to us: no issue or problem is too small.

The good news is that experts agree that the right preparation can improve your results by two grades. There are many ways to review work, and hard work, planning and starting early will maximise your chances of getting the best grades you can. The top of the webpage also has the complete examination programme for summer 2017. 

INSPIRE: R IS FOR RESPONSIBILITY

In our society being a WINNER is what symbolizes success. Victory is the ultimate factor and we live and die by it. We don’t tolerate failure and it isn’t an option. If somebody fails in our society he or she is often demeaned as unsuccessful. But “don’t panic” I am only mentioning extremes. Most people fall somewhere in the grey area (more closer to the winning side) between Winning and Losing. The general public is generally successful at something’s but then lose at others. They are successful enough to be recognized but then don’t fail enough to be forgotten.

To give you a better idea of this scale, an example of person who is failing at life could be a homeless person, who while having the resources around stays homeless. And an example of a winner could be somebody like Steve Jobs who reached the apex of his career and changed the world as Faye mentioned last week – innovation. So if you’re fed up with losing or just simply want to win more, you have to put in the work. With a lot of dedication and a little bit of knowledge any person can easily change their life and become a winner. And there are two key traits that set winners apart:

  • Winners Take Responsibility

Winners hold themselves accountable for what happens in their lives and don’t blame external factors. They feel they are in control of their destiny and don’t let others decide that for them.

  • Winners Are Eager To Learn

Winners are always learning and are always looking for new ways to challenge themselves. They never feel like they know enough and they truly understand that Knowledge really is Power.

Year 13 – Apprenticeship Opportunities with Siemens and HMRC

Degree apprenticeship to become a chartered surveyor: 

https://careerfinder.ucas.com/job/19218/hmrc/?TrackID=1675&BatchID=513#sc=jbe&me=email&cm=2017-06-23

Higher apprenticeship with Siemens:

https://careerfinder.ucas.com/job/18672/260888-higher-apprenticeship-data-analyst/?TrackID=1675&BatchID=499#sc=jbe&me=email&cm=2017-06-09

And finally

The INSET today focussed on clearing out rooms ready for next year. It has been quite interesting to see which staff are ‘Natural Born Hoarders’: Steve McKay was somewhat embarrassed to find trip letters that he’d written from 2000 in his filing whilst I was slightly ashamed to find my timetable from 2005-2006 on my shelf. Maybe it is because we are both historians that we can’t leave the past behind.

Have a good weekend.

Thanks,

James

Hi all

I hope that all of your hard work preparing for your exams is paying off. We discussed this morning how impressed we all are with the time and effort that you have clearly put in to your revision: I cannot remember seeing so many notes / charts / mind maps being used across the college as this year. Perseverance and hard work will pay off.

Another week, another sad tragedy I’m sorry to say. As I originally come from London, I found the events of Tuesday night hard to watch. In the midst of this terrible loss-of-life we should, however, remember and be grateful for the selfless work of the hundreds of men and women from the Fire Brigade who were called to the 24-story block in the early hours of Wednesday to tackle the horrific fire which ripped through and up the tower. Sixty-five people were rescued from the burning building by the fire service, who worked throughout the day and into the following evening. According to the BBC, at the height of the incident, 250 firefighters and 40 fire engines were working on the scene.

Photos showing scores of fire-fighters lying on the ground and sitting against walls in a state of exhaustion have since been circulating on social media as people paid tribute to the men and women in the fire service for their bravery. Someone poignantly wrote: “First ones in, last ones out.. Incredible”. Their selflessness and dedication can only be called inspirational. Have a listen / watch of this – a very moving account from the wife of a firefighter: https://www.facebook.com/BBCRadioLondon/videos/10158889968605154/

Year 12 Mock Timetable

The final mock timetable for Year 12 exams is attached. Exams start on Friday 7th July and finish on Thursday 13th July. Mock Exams are only for subjects where all exams are at the end of Year 13. If you’ve already taken an AS-Level exam this summer in a subject then there is no mock exam this time around.

 A2 / AS / Year 12 Mock Exam Arrangements

 Please ensure you have all read the following carefully.

  • Morning exams start at 9.00am. You need to be in the Dining Hall no later than 8.45am.
  • Afternoon exams start at 1.15pm. You need to be in the Dining Hall no later than 1.00pm.

I am sure you all know the regulations around conduct in exams. Just as a refresher:

  • Phones must be switched off and handed to Melissa;
  • You may not communicate with any other candidate once in the gym / exam room;
  • Smartphones may not be worn;
  • Bottles must have all their labels removed;
  • Coats and bags should be left at the back of the gym / exam room.

Year 13 and 12 – Result’s Day arrangements

The AS and A-Level results will be released on Thursday 17th August 2017. If relevant, GCSE results are released on Thursday 24th August 2017All results will be available for collection from Bramcote College.

On the 17th August, Bramcote College will be open for Year 13 students to collect A2 results from 8.00am.  Year 12 students can collect their AS Level results from 9.00am. On the 24th August, GCSE results can be collected from 9.00am. Results will not be issued to you prior to the times above - even if you arrive early.

If you are unable to come to Bramcote College to collect your results on either 17th or 24th August, please leave a stamped-addressed envelope with Melissa prior to the end of term and results will be posted out to you on the relevant date (s).  Alternatively, someone may collect your results on your behalf, but please note that you must inform Melissa who this person will be in advance by providing a signed letter detailing whom you wish to pick up your results. The person picking up the results must bring a form of photographic ID with them. Any uncollected results statements for which we have not received a stamped addressed envelope will be retained and will be available from Melissa from the start of the autumn term in September.

Year 13 – Disabled Student Allowance

Please see the information below about the Disabled Student Allowance, which you can now apply for online.  This will only apply to students beginning courses in September/October 2017. You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) if you have a disability, for example a:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty like dyslexia or dyspraxia

You must also:

  • be an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
  • have a condition that affects your ability to study
  • qualify for student finance from Student Finance England
  • be studying on a course that lasts at least a year

If you have any other questions, please see Faye.

Year 12 - Summer Term dates

Please note the following dates for mock exams / work experience:

7th July            Mock Exams start

13th July          Mock Exams finish

14th July          NEXT STEPS DAY – Find out about all your options after Year 13.

17th July          Year 12 Work Experience Week

24th July           Collect Mock Exam Results / Summer Holidays begin

Please do ensure that Melissa has received any outstanding WEX forms as soon as possible. Thank you.

End of Year Assembly

The Next Steps Day (Friday 14th July) will start with an Assembly to celebrate your achievements this year and also to run through arrangements for Year 13. 

INSPIRE: P IS FOR PERSEVEARANCE

Perseverance is a trait for people focused on success. Perseverance is the ability to keep trying no matter how many failures you might have. By learning this trait you will eventually be able to be successful at anything you try.  Especially if you mix in both having the right attitude and a good, healthy amount of self-confidence then you will have the right formula for success. Even if you fail 100 times with enough perseverance you will continue to keep trying and that is all that matters.

Some benefits of perseverance are that:

  • You will build more self-confidence
  • You won’t give up easy
  • It will lead to more success
  • You will get more things done
  • You will learn more
  • You will develop more self-confidence
  • You will have more experiences
  • Failures will become less painful

When you persevere you are going to keep trying at all costs. Knowing sometimes that things won’t always work out the way you plan and that you will have failures. You will also learn that failures equal a great learning experience for you to make improvements. Once you entwine this into your personality you will find it easier and easier to not give up on anything you try.

When you succeed at things you will start to build up a healthy level of self-confidence. Each triumph no matter how small is still an accomplishment and each one brings more belief in your talents and abilities. As your talents and abilities develop you will have an easier time reaching your goals.

When you keep trying and growing you will be led into more situations and in turn have more life experiences. That is why perseverance is such a very important trait to have. Can you imagine having the ability to fail and still grow stronger? Or what happens if you succeed? Either way it is a win, win situation if you persevere.

Once you fail at something you don’t need to keep trying it the exact same way that you have been. Try something different or change your approach. In order to make that success you need to do things just slightly different from the time you had failures. If you need to make changes start out with something small and if you still feel like you are way off just scrap your current strategy and start fresh. Sit down and make a list of the parts of your strategy that worked well and the ones that were a disaster. Keep the ones that worked out well for you and try to take the ones that didn’t and turn them into something that can work out for you next time. Take the time to research your task at hand and learn everything you can before trying again. Spend time making a plan and set some realistic goals. If you have the opportunity to try something that you failed at in the past by all means try again if you get a chance. If you can challenge something from your past that you have failed at and give it another try – that is perseverance and succeeding will only help boost your self-confidence levels.

And finally

After last week’s family revelation, I have been incessantly asked if I am aware that I speak in a posh accent. Clearly this is something that I ‘just do’ but for those of you who want to mimic my cousin or oneself, here is a brief guide on ‘How to speak posh’.

  1. Listen and copy

Find videos of The Queen and other ‘posh’ people (here is one of J R-M) speaking in a posh accent and try to copy them. Pay close attention to how certain words are pronounced and how they form their sentences. Why not do this with a friend so they can check if you sound the same as the person in the video or record yourself and play it back to compare the accents?

  1. Pronunciation and enunciation

Pronunciation is the way you say words and enunciation is how clearly you say them. To speak like The Queen, you need to make sure you pronounce words correctly AND you enunciate everything you say (speak very, very clearly and with confidence).

If you want to speak with a posh accent, you will probably need to change the way you pronounce certain words and letters. For example the ‘r’, ‘u’ and ‘t’ sounds are pronounced differently. Visit this website for a detailed lesson: http://www.wikihow.com/Speak-in-a-British-Accent

A simple trick for speaking posh is that many words are pronounced as they are written (e.g. when people say the word ‘February’ they usually pronounce it ‘feb-you-ry’ or ‘feb-you-air-ree’ but if you want to speak with a posh accent, you should pronounce it ‘feb-rue-air-ree’). You should also try to make your vowel sounds longer (e.g. instead of pronouncing ‘lovely’ as ‘luv-ly’, posh people pronounce it ‘laahh-v-ly’). Media becomes ‘mee– dee - are’.

  1. Learn posh vocabulary

If you want to speak ‘posh’ then you will probably need to start using different vocabulary. For example, you should start using ‘oneself’ to replace ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘you’ and you should replace ‘common’ words with more ‘elegant’ ones. To accept a dinner invitation, instead of saying “Yes, let’s go for dinner”, you could say “Indeed, one would be delighted to join one for dinner”. The loo, or toilet now needs to be referred to as ‘the lavatory’.

  1. Practice, practice, practice

When you have mastered all the above, it is important that you practice as much as possible. The more you practice, the easier it will become and the more naturally posh you will sound. Why not arrange a post-exams ‘talk like The Queen’ evening at your house where everyone has to speak with a posh accent all night?

Have a good weekend. Keep revising.

Cheers

James

Hi all

As I am sure you know, the result of the election last night was a hung parliament (see link for an explanation). Aside from Jeremy Corbyn, undoubtedly the biggest winner was the voice of young people who played such a huge role in determining the final outcome. Experts believe a 'surge' of young people backing Corbyn proved pivotal in the general election results. The BBC polling guru Prof John Curtice says three things indicate that this may be correct:

• The swing to Labour was "a little bit higher" in places where there were more young voters;

• Turnout increased more in constituencies with more young people;

• Labour turnout "did better" where turnout was higher.

"It looks as if the Labour party profited from younger voters," he said, with Mr Corbyn's "bold vision" paying off. Interestingly, voting here yesterday gave Corbyn’s Labour Party 60% of the vote (The Tories came second with 18%). Some estimates predict turnout among 18 - 24 year olds yesterday was as high as 72%. This compares to only 43% in 2015 and shows us all the power of young people using their democratic right to vote. The age breakdowns of the Brexit referendum polling last year showed that the vast majority of younger people backed Remain while older people voted Brexit. Whatever my own political beliefs, I think it is great that the younger generation clearly stood up and spoke up. Clearly many feel that the only voice in town was the 52% who voted for Brexit and the cries of the 48% who voted remain were continually ignored. That would be part of my explanation for last night’s result, anyway. My only regret? That too few young people registered to vote in the Brexit referendum last year. 

Federation Election Results

Slightly different from the national picture but backs up what I was saying above. Thanks to Sophie for organising the election and Caroline for promoting it here. 

  Alderman White School The Bramcote School Bramcote College
The Conservatives 8% 9% 18%
The Green Party  14% 18% 5%
The Labour Party  57% 54% 60%
The Lib - Dems 10% 4% 12%
UKIP  11% 15% 5%

The Bramcote School Ofsted Report 

Three weeks ago, the Bramcote School received its latest inspection. The full report can be found here, but the overall judgement was that The Bramcote School is a GOOD School. This is the first time that The Bramcote School has received a Good Ofsted judgement and it is very gratifying that the hard work and dedication of teachers, support staff, directors and, of course, students is recognised in such a positive way. The fact that this follows so quickly on the back of our excellent Ofsted report into Alderman White and Bramcote College completes the hat-trick for the Federation.

Exams

This week and next sees the bulk of the A2 examinations in particular. A massive thank you to everyone for their punctuality which has allowed for every exam to start on-time. Please keep this up. Thank you again and well done.

Year 12 Mock Timetable

The final mock timetable for Year 12 exams is attached. Exams start on Friday 7th July and finish on Thursday 13th July. Mock Exams are only for subjects where all exams are at the end of Year 13. If you’ve already taken an AS-Level exam this summer in a subject then there is no mock exam this time around (that would be just a little cruel). 

Completion of Year 13

Just to confirm the procedure:

  • Examination Subjects: You finish each A2 subject the moment the invigilator says ‘Stop Writing’ in your last exam in each subject. From that moment on, you no longer need to attend lessons in that subject.
  • BTEC Subjects: You finish the course when your teacher confirms you have met or exceeded your target grade which will not, for most of you, be for another three weeks. Until that point you must attend every lesson and intervention session. 

Year 13 and 12 – Result’s Day arrangements

The AS and A-Level results will be released on Thursday 17th August 2017. If relevant, GCSE results are released on Thursday 24th August 2017.  All results will be available for collection from Bramcote College.

On August 17th, Bramcote College will be open for Year 13 students to collect A2 results from 8.00am.  Year 12 students can collect their AS Level results from 9.00am. On August 24th, GCSE results can be collected from 9.00am. Results will not be issued to you prior to the times above - even if you arrive early.

If you are unable to come to Bramcote College to collect your results on either 17th or 24th August, please leave a stamped-addressed envelope with Melissa prior to the end of term and results will be posted out to you on the relevant date (s).  Alternatively, someone may collect your results on your behalf, but please note that you must inform Melissa who this person will be in advance by providing a signed letter detailing whom you wish to pick up your results. The person picking up the results must bring a form of photographic ID with them. Any uncollected results statements for which we have not received a stamped addressed envelope will be retained and will be available from Melissa from the start of the autumn term in September.

INSPIRE: S IS FOR SUCCESS

In the early 1950s, many people believed that it was impossible for humans to run a mile in under four minutes. Runners had been trying to break the four-minute barrier since the late 1800s. The world’s top coaches and most gifted athletes had been trying to go sub-4 minutes for years. They were dedicated, and they’d tried all sorts of training plans. Yet, it seemed, the four-minute barrier was beyond reach. People had tried to break it for so long that many were starting to believe it was impossible — that the human body just could not go that fast. Then in 1954 Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. A month and a half later, John Landy ran even faster. Once Bannister’s time proved to other runners that it really and truly was possible, they were able to make the impossible possible and run the distance in under four minutes, too.

Your beliefs are powerful. If you believe something is impossible, that belief will erode your confidence and turn that impossible belief into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Positive beliefs are just as powerful. If you believe you can and will do something, you will find the means to make the impossible possible. For proof of this, look at History: imagine how the world would be if U.S. President John F. Kennedy believed that it was impossible to put a man on the moon. What if Martin Luther King Jr. had believed it was impossible to achieve civil rights in the United States or if Gandhi had believed it was impossible to overthrow the British occupation of India without violence. Could Barack Obama have become the first African-American president of the United States if he’d thought the quest was impossible? Highly unlikely.

Believing that something is possible is the first step towards fearlessly reaching goals. Fearlessness is a state of mind, not a genetic trait. You can acquire it and strengthen it. Start to build your courage now by reminding yourself of all of the amazing feats you’ve already accomplished in your life. Chances are, you have probably already made the impossible possible several times in your life. What have you already accomplished that you once thought could never be done? Write it down. Keep this list handy and read it whenever you are tempted to believe that you don’t have what it takes to begin to make changes in your life. In a nutshell: Be Fearless: make the impossible, possible.

A tale of Dinosaurs in Inner Mongolia

This promises to be a fascinating glimpse into Inner Mongolia’s Gobi desert and the adventures of an intrepid palaeontologist. Professor TAN Lin will guide us to the Cretaceous Period and explore some of the strangest members of the dinosaur family. Remarking on his long career, he says that "every discovery is a story”, and the professor has many great stories to share! “Only with great patience, rich knowledge, hard work and a little bit of luck, can you bring those long-lost land-shakers into the present” The talk is at Alderman White School on Saturday 17th June from 16:45 to 18:00. Please see the attached poster for more information.

And finally

As many of you know, I am related (he is my cousin) to Jacob Rees-Mogg MP who is often referred to by the newspapers as ‘The MP for the eighteenth century’. This is because he is as traditional and as old-fashioned as they come. Jacob is, it must be said, a genuinely nice man. He is also the poshest man I have ever met, though he does not represent all alumni of Trinity College, Oxford as neither Karsten nor my Dad are anything like him. In 45 years I have never seen him not wearing a pin-stripe suit. He uses a gold-chain to attach his security pass to his jacket. He is also famous for saying the longest word ever used in Parliament – see here. As the BBC says, Jacob has made the record books with the use of floccinaucinihilipilification in the House of Commons. Here is a different clip where Jacob gives his explanation to Andrew Neil - the 29-letter word meant the "act or habit of estimating as worthless" and that the word "came to mind as it does from time to time".

That said, however posh you are, one of the greatest assets in life is not taking life too seriously and being able to laugh at yourself. Whilst out campaigning (he was re-elected last night as the MP for Somerset North East) with his mini-me eldest son, he came across a tattoo parlour that did not encourage conservative supporters as customers as the poster clearly states “Keep sane and don’t vote Tory”. At least Jacob’s Instagram account could see the funny side. 

Jacob Rees-Mogg: We shall have to take our business elsewhere.

Have a good weekend all. Keep revising.

Cheers

James

Hi all

As I am sure you have seen, the UK in general and Manchester in particular is still reeling from the disgusting and shocking attack following the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena that left 22 dead and 119 injured on Monday night. This awful terrorist act has been met with an inspirational response from people in the city of Manchester and beyond. Stories of Mancunians’ defiance and incredible selflessness prove that terrorism will never win – whilst a huge sum of money has been raised via online fundraising pages. As happens in our open and democratic society, the callous and cowardly attack has brought out the very best in humanity in response:

  • Incredibly, so many people gave blood as soon as they could on Tuesday morning that no more donations were needed – and Give Blood NHS described them as lifesavers.
  • Many people were inspired by the heroics of homeless man Chris Parker, who described the moment he comforted a dying woman – so much so that an online donation page has been created for him to buy him his own house.
  • Others went out of their way to provide food and water to those in need of help – including the city’s Sikh temples, who threw open their doors without hesitation, offering food and shelter to people in need.
  • NHS workers attending a conference in the city offered to pitch in and help despite being off duty.
  • Taxi drivers turned off their meters and managed to get terrified people caught up in the attack away from the area.
  • Heroes of the day included Paula Robinson, who has been dubbed the ‘Angel of Manchester’ for rushing to help traumatised teenagers, taking them to a nearby hotel and sharing her number online so concerned parents could contact her.
  • A fundraising page set up by the Manchester Evening News smashed its £300,000 target. It is now over £1.5 million.

No amount of security and intelligence gathering is ever going to make us perfectly safe. We are fortunate enough to live in an open society and not a police state. So the best response to a tragedy like the one in Manchester is to go on with your life, eyes open. Alert, but not paranoid. As the government advice states: If you see something, say something.

Completion of Year 13

 Just to confirm the procedure: 

  • Examination Subjects: You finish each A2 subject the moment the invigilator says ‘Stop Writing’ in your last exam in that subject. From that moment on, you no longer need to attend lessons in that subject. But up until that point – all remaining lessons in each subject are compulsory.
  • BTEC Subjects: You finish the course when your teacher confirms you have met or exceeded your target grade which will not, for most of you, be for another five weeks. Until that point you must attend every lesson and intervention session. 

INSPIRE: N is for NURTURE 

We are all born unique at birth and acquire different skills and knowledge through our lives, yet many people try so hard to copy others in order to fit in that they lose their sense of uniqueness and originality. There are enough copies in the world as it is, while an original is one of a kind and impossible to duplicate. Many pieces of art work are valued because they are an original, and the fact that there is not another one like it anywhere makes us appreciate these pieces even more. When it comes to people this is also true, but many cannot see this because they are worried about not fitting in or being liked or popular.

The very best thing you can do is to be yourself, and nurture yourself to be true to who you are. Don't waste time or effort trying to make others like you or worrying about what someone else thinks. If you copy others then you are a clone and there is nothing special or unique about how you are pretending to be, you’re just another sheep in a flock. Your uniqueness is what makes each and every human being special in their own way and you should embrace this instead of trying to hide or eliminate it. Make sure that people know the true you, the one on the inside and who you truly are, and not the person that tried to be just like everyone else and snuffed out your unique special traits in the process. As I read somewhere recently: in order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.

Want to be a poet? 

Please find a link to Nottingham City of Literature’s search for a new young Poet Laureate. This might be of interest to those of you with a creative mind: http://nottinghamcityofliterature.com/blog/launching-the-search-for-nottinghams-young-poet-laureate

Want to be a teacher?

The Future Teaching Scholars programme is a new and exciting route into teaching maths or physics. Applications are now open for cohorts wanting to start either autumn 2017 or autumn 2018. 

  • What’s on offer

The Future Teaching Scholars programme is an exciting new initiative from the Department for Education to get more maths and physics students into teaching. Successful applicants will be awarded a significant scholarship programme that includes a £15,000 grant whilst they study at university, a place on an initial teacher training course paid as an unqualified teacher, support in finding their first teaching job, as well as extensive personal and professional development support for six years through a network of outstanding Teaching Schools.

Interested? Applications for the current round are open until 31st May 2017. To find out more and / or apply, visit www.futureteachingscholars.com.

Year 13 - Apprenticeship Opportunity

We have been contacted by Claudio, the community manager of Bridge & Stitch Ltd. They are a forward-thinking Nottingham-based project management firm for clothing brands and they provide textile and clothing design, manufacturing and consultancy services.

They are currently offering a job opportunity especially targeted to a Year 13 student who wants to kick start their career in the office administration within the clothing industry. The post would be called “Apprentice Project Administrator” and the role would provide you with a very good understanding of how the industry works. Please feel free to visit their website http://bridgeandstitch.com/ Melissa has a copy of a more detailed job description if you’re interested. 

And finally….

#ACITYUNITED

I thought the above hashtag to be rather clever (if obvious once you think about it). Twitter has changed much of the way we live in the past decade – from how we find out about what’s going on in the world, to the way we interact with celebrities (the most re-tweeted tweet is still, I think, the selfie of Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars). Hashtags have also captured the events and feelings around some of the world’s saddest moments, such as the Paris attacks with #JeSuisParis and the one above referring to events in Manchester. I was surprised to find out earlier this week that the most tweeted hastag ever is #FridayFeeling (or #FF). I can understand why today though: Fridays are all the better when it is a half-term Friday too.

Have a good break and keep working hard.

Cheers, 

James