Principal’s Blog: A Week at Penrice

What is a week like at Penrice? Never less than very busy. This week we have seen another range of new experiences and events and next week and the week after will be the same.

This week we want to congratulate Madi Cole in Year 9 who has won her way through to the final of Future Chef, to be held at River Cottage. The opportunity to compete against the best chefs from the South West – a region famed for the quality of its food – is going to be remarkable. Even more remarkable is that this is the second year in a row that we have won through to the finals, usually against older competitors, and is a great testament to the strength of teaching in the food and nutrition part of the Academy, as well as the huge talent Madi possesses.

Today we had some more Year 9 students working with Year 5 at Carclaze Primary. Year 5 are making an animation based on the idea of a Hollywood blockbuster; something they have been learning about all term and our students will be assisting with the final editing and polishing of that film to be shown at the White River Cinema next week. It is a great example of how schools in the Multi Academy Trust are collaborating and sharing in order to improve learning.

Next week we have the Express Yourself concert, an opportunity to showcase the musical talents of a wide number of year groups. Tickets are largely sold out although there were still a small number available this morning. The following week we have our Winter Concert, another opportunity for our young people to play and perform to the wider community and show how much they are learning at school.

In the last week of term Year 7 have organised, led by the indefatigable Mrs Stevens, a charity fund-raising event. We are asking students and staff to volunteer to run around the entire length of all of our sports fields twice, preferably dressed in novelty clothing. We very much hope you, your relatives and friends and neighbours will support this event either on the JustGiving site  or directly to students. All the money raised will go to support the charity chosen by Year 7 which is Cancer Research UK.

Finally this week we had our reunion with last year’s Year 11 who are now either at work doing apprenticeships, at Cornwall College or Truro and Penwith College doing a wide variety of academic and vocational qualifications. It was great to see them again and catch up with their stories and triumphs and to rather frighteningly realise that many are already having to start the process of choosing a university course to apply for – as by this time next year most will already have done their visits, made their applications and be holding conditional offers of a place. It is always amazing to us to see how fast they grow up and how confident and mature the young people we remember as Year 7s have grown.

The mini break last weekend seems to have rejuvenated students (and staff) and we will be going at top speed over the next two weeks with no let-up in pace. We will finish slightly early on the last day of term as we always do, but there will certainly be none of the wasted lessons we may remember from our own school days. We intend to use every minute.

David Parker, Principal