SIXTH FORM AT AUSCHWITZ BIRKENAU

We are privileged, through a partnership with the Holocaust Education Trust to be able to send a few Sixth Formers each year to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Last week, the group had a preparatory seminar in Leeds and on Wednesday they undertook a day long visit to Poland, followed up by a seminar on Sunday to reflect on their learning.

Lucy Cheetham, Abbie Dunwell, Nadia Schottler and Lily Thompson represented Boston Spa Academy and were impressive ambassadors for us. They write the following:

‘We were met at Auschwitz by the famous and haunting sign, ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ arched over the entrance to the camp, which was predominantly a labour camp. We saw multiple exhibitions that showed information and photos about the lives of many prisoners before and during the Holocaust. There was also an exhibition housing the possessions that the prisoners brought with them – which gave us a harrowing insight into the minds of the victims and the fact that they had no knowledge of what lay ahead of them.

After our tour of Auschwitz we met back up with our tour guide at Auschwitz II Birkenau, which was mainly used as a death camp, with 80% of those who entered not surviving more than a day. We saw the horrendous conditions that the prisoners who were selected to work lived in, with one small barrack housing up to 1,000 people and walked up to the selection point, where SS officers chose who would live and who would die. One of the most disturbing aspects of our visit was seeing the destroyed gas chambers, which were built to murder 2,000 victims in 15 minutes, a sight we are likely never to forget.

At Birkenau, we were joined by Rabbi Barry Marcus who led a memorial ceremony for the victims and we listened to testimonies and poems written by the prisoners. This service gave us a chance to reflect on what we had seen and learnt that day and light candles for those who lost their lives during the Holocaust.

This experience is not something that can easily be summed up and we are certain that we will always remember what we have seen and we now know of the huge responsibility that we have to ensure that the Holocaust is not forgotten and we look forward to starting our project to raise awareness and to make sure our peers understand all that occurred.’

WORLD CHALLENGE

We were pleased to welcome Suzy Fletcher from World Challenge into school on Thursday to launch our expedition to Nepal and to provide parents with essential information. This is a fantastic opportunity for Year 10, 11 and 12 students to visit Nepal for 3 weeks, spending time living amongst the community whilst working on a vital project, with the added challenge of a tough trek into the Himalayas. If your son or daughter would like to know more there is an additional meeting in Room 5 on Monday in Break 2, or they should speak to Mr Easton, Mr Brennan or Miss Miller.

HEALTH MATTERS

Our colleagues at The Stephen Longfellow Academy have drawn together an excellent electronic resource for families called ‘Health Matters’, a link to which we have posted on our website.

The graphic above gives insufficient credit to the quality and range of resource covered and we commend it to you. If you wish to talk further to a colleague in school about any of the matters raised please contact our Safeguarding Officer, Mrs Spink, via Reception, alternatively you can contact her through the ‘Tell Us’ button on our web site.

CASHLESS CATERING

I have written this week to families detailing the next steps in our plans to adopt cashless catering from 3rd June. The letter references biometrics, ParentPay, breakfasts, Sixth Form Diner, and new menus and pricing, where the majority of changes see prices come down.

To further speed up the serving of food, different items will be served in different places, so that students choose the queue which leads to their meal of choice. The queuing changes will take place on Monday 20th May, and will be explained to students next week. We will take the biometric data next week, and the cashless tills will be operating from 3rd June.

CELEBRATION ASSEMBLIES

I am delighted to see the huge number of certificates and badges presented this week in celebration assemblies. It shows that the focus of our students is on their progress and achievement, and I congratulate all who were recognised

I was really impressed with all of the following who have already achieved their Double Platinum award with 1,100 credits: Harry Brattley, Annabelle Shepherd, Quinesha Loney, James Hepworth, Molly Reynolds, Megan Reynolds, Eva Lindley, Evelyn Burns, Lily Barton, Natalie Moore, Oliver Thomas, Bella Coppock, Katie Mitchell, Ella Ritchie, Grace Taylor, Ed Heffernan, Tyler Cox-Walker, Phoebe Goodwin, Edward Gaunt, Amelia Bell, Daniel Hemsley, Ella Thomas and McKenzie Bilicki.

Yet some students have even exceeded this achievement, with four students, Harry Meaden, Emily Hessey, Emily Adair and Maisie Trutch achieving their Governors’ Award (1,200 credits), and three students, Daniel Myers, Kiran Hussain and Lily Wilkinson going even beyond this to achieve the Liz Bucktrout Award with 1,300 credits.

The full list of those brilliant students who have earned awards at Gold (700 credits), Vice Principal (800), Platinum (900) and Principal (1000) can be found here.

PD HOUR

Congratulations to all of the following whose work was celebrated in PD Hour this week: Alfie Allanach, Louise Douglas, Thea Sharpe, Amelia Edwards, Sarah Mohamadi, Annabelle Shepherd, Spencer Smith, Sophie Dennis, Joe Balmforth, Lilly Meehan, Dougie Darley, Jessica Taylor, William McDonald, Grace Miller, Paige Smith, Charlie Hunter, Tinaye Murahwa, Hollie Coulthard, Felicity Lawford, Jacob Priestley, Dylan Yarker, Jack Rogers, David Mawson, Max Lenighan, Lucas Parish, Jesci White, Isabella Elliott and Chelsea Varley. It was particularly pleasing to see Jesci White in this group, as it was only her first week at Boston Spa Academy!

SPORTS NEWS

The great British summer ensured that our Athletics and Tennis fixtures had to be cancelled this week. It wouldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our Year 7 boys’ and girls’ football teams though, with both playing against Cardinal Heenan in the final of the City Cup.

The girls controlled the game very well throughout the first half against very tough opposition and led 2-1 at half time. In the second half we showed our dominance and converted more clinically to win the Champions of Leeds Cup 5-2, the goals were scored by Grace Sykes, Connie Edwards, Izzy Srinivasa and Player of the Match Megan Sykes.

The boys’ game was a much closer affair. In an enthralling and entertaining, very even first half we took the lead through a sublime Harvey Collinson free kick in the final minutes. In the second half our opponents threw everything at us, however we not only stood strong through both excellent determination and work rate from the boys, but still created the better chances on the break. Neither side managed to score in the second half and we held on for a 1-0 win.

Last weekend Year 7 and 8 boys competed at the Festival of Football in Skegness. Both teams would have seven fixtures over the Saturday and Sunday with the finals taking place on the Sunday afternoon. The Year 7 team finished runner up in the group, narrowly missing out on top spot by a point. They managed 5 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat, conceding only 1 goal throughout the tournament.

Player of the tournament was Lucas Parish for an incredible work rate that was coupled with some goals that Mr Potter describes as ‘sublime’.

The Year 8 team found themselves in a very tough group and had a mixed bag of results, 2 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats saw them finish 5th in the group. Tyler Johnson was player of the tournament for his cool finishing in front of goal and his tireless running off the ball.

The staff tell me that all the boys were ‘a credit to the academy on and off of the pitch. They had a brilliant time and were an absolute pleasure to take away’.