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Year 7 Castle Challenge

Year 7 student Niamh writes enthusiastically about a recent history project.

'Year 7 took part in a fun project where we had to design & build a castle. We had to choose a location and think carefully about the population, movement of people and goods as well as ensuring that the castle could be easily defended. Then we were tasked with writing a letter to the builder, detailing what we wanted to be in our castle and how we wanted it designed. Next, we were given a castle shopping list and told that we had 130 shillings spending limit, making sure that we had the necessary structures for a well-defended castle. These included: a keep, portcullis, barbican, towers, curtain wall, moat and many others.

We had to complete two drawings – a side view and a floor plan. These had to be labelled and have everything drawn on. In order to succeed in preventing our teacher from attacking our castle, we had to match everything up. The floor plan, letter to the builder and the budget sheet had to show all the same items.

The final task was to bring the castles to life. This could have been done as a drawing, model or it could have been a virtual castle. Building a castle was challenging because you had to follow the plans exactly. So if you had made your plan complicated, then it would be a harder job to create it. Creating the castles was also fun because it was a task that encouraged us to be creative.'

The winning castles, judged by Mrs Winship were as follows - 

1st: Harry and Niamh, 2nd: Leonie, 3rd: Natasha, Honourable Mention: Lilly, Virtual Castle: Gareth, Students' Choice: Lola and Most Creative Media: Amy.

Wear Red for Comic Relief

Sele Students were literally seeing red on Friday 15 March when the 2019 Comic Relief challenge was to exchange an article of their school uniform with something red instead. Articles of red clothing could be accessorised with a red nose for those who didn't mind being partially 'red in the face'.

Students rose to the challenge, paying a small fee for the privilege and raising over £200 for Comic Relief. We congratulate them on their sometimes imaginative interpretation of the 'wear red' brief and on their fund raising efforts.      

Year 7 PGL Trip to Wiltshire

Between 8th and 10th February, Year 7 students went to PGL in Wiltshire where they took part in all sorts of activities. One of the firm favourites with the group was the very exciting giant swing and zip wire where students wore safety harnesses and were clipped on to a metal bar.

As well as a variety of sporting activities, there was also evening free time fun, which included a disco and several rounds of party games. One student stated “My favourite part of the night was when we played Splash; in the game, we had to wrap up a water balloon in cardboard boxes and tape to protect it and then test if it would pop when being dropped from a high height.”

Overall, the trip was an adventurous and exhilarating expedition that the students  would love to do again.

Maths Club

One of our Year 9 Students writes about the enjoyment and challenge of Maths Club.

Every Tuesday after school from 3pm to 4pm the school’s Year 11 mathematicians run our Maths Club. Students from Years 8 to 11 who are very able in mathematics are invited to attend the club where we learn and practice problem solving skills with various types of puzzles like crossnumbers and relays and we race to see who completes the most problems in the hour. We also play maths games like Chess, Otrio and Mastermind or we complete Tarzia maths puzzles.

This is all practice to prepare for the national UKMT mathematics competition which takes place at Cambridge University each year. There are only four members per team so we work hard in order to be chosen to represent the school. I attended last year and I hope to be chosen again this year.

Race for Life - 14 December 

One of our Year 9 Students writes about our annual fund raising Fun Run - the Race for Life.

Every year, the PE Department holds a Race for Life at the school, where everyone is invited to take part and raise money for Cancer Research. We are encouraged to get sponsored to do the run and we can even wear fancy dress on the day!

The race itself is three laps around the perimeter of the school’s fields; which is a lot more challenging than it sounds! Most teachers took part in the race and the others are placed along the course cheering you along the way, however, if you are like me and jog the whole route, you won’t have much breath to talk back!

At the beginning of the race I wanted to walk, but when we were encouraged to jog at least some of it, once I’d got started I didn’t want to stop jogging. When I finished, I realised some of the others I had just gone past still had one more lap to go, which made me feel even better about what I had accomplished.

I managed to achieve 3rd place in my year and in the first fifteen of the whole school! I then also enjoyed cheering my friends on to the finish.

Year 7 Trip to Verulamium

One of our new Year 7 students writes about a school field trip to the historic site of the Roman town of Verulamium.

In the first term of Year 7, we went on a trip o St Albans to visit the Verulamium Museum. After arriving in St Albans, the year was split into five groups and we explored the museum.

At the beginning we watched a video about the history of the city. We then were given a worksheet, full of questions about the information displayed about the many items on display in the museum and gradually we all completed the worksheet.

We were took part in a workshop with the museum staff where we learnt more about the artefacts and even had the opportunity to touch and hold them! It was great fun and we all really enjoyed the day.

Sele triumph in the VEX Robot Rumble 2019

At the VEX Robot Rumble, held at the University of Hertfordshire in January, The Sele School Year 10 Robotics Team beat fifteen other schools to win the overall competition. This was the culmination of nine months of weekly sessions spent designing, building and programming the robot and was a first time win in this Tournament for The Sele School. 

One of the team reports that the Sele robot had four wheels and a claw that operated with brutal force but it seemed as though the team might be down and out when the claw stopped functioning while the team was lying in third place. However, there were alliances to be made and by working together with John Warner School and both teams playing to their robots respective strengths there was a points bonanza propelling the Sele robot through the quarter and semi finals and into first place. 

Congratulations to Izzy who built the robot, Callum the programmer, Bruno the strategist and to Tom, Josh and Megan who drove the robot through 14 challenges to take the title. We congratulate them all on this fantastic achievement.  

Sixth Form Enrichment Day 2018

Head Girl, Gemma reflects on a recent visit to Tate Modern

On the 24th October 2018 The Sele School Sixth Form travelled to the Tate Modern in London for a day of modern art. We split up into smaller groups allowing us to better investigate the various art installations that were within the converted powerhouse. For the A-Level Art students it gave them a chance to take photos to help with their portfolios and, for the rest of us, it was a day away from school where we could view art that we wouldn't normally see.

One of the first rooms that we explored was a room with nothing in it. It was an exhibition that took a slightly different form to the art that you would normally expect to see. The room had been filled with an organic compound designed to make us cry. Its goal was to have you think about the immigration crisis currently impacting the world, to think of all those that had been displaced by the various wars. The organic compound was certainly overpowering and some did cry. Many of the pieces throughout the galleries were designed to be thought provoking, forcing you to stop and think for a minute. Others were simply demonstrations of the amount of time, dedication and effort people have to put into their work. However, there were also some that were just peculiar, including a Sainsbury’s receipt for a transaction amounting to just over £53.00.

This Enrichment Day certainly had been interesting and we all came away from the day better informed.

For more images of the Sixth Form visit to Tate Modern please see Galleries.

Sele Science Students experience Japan

Two sixth form students from the Sele school, accompanied by teacher, Robin Atkins, spent ten days during the summer taking part in a prestigious UK - Japan cultural and scientific exchange.  The school was selected for the second year running by the Clifton Scientific Trust in Bristol, as one of only six schools in the UK to be invited to the 2018 exchange.  After a rigorous selection process Victoria  and Jordan were invited to represent the school in Japan.

This year the trip was centred in Sendai a city in the North of Japan at the renown Tōhoku University.  Here the students attended workshops where Victoria investigated cellular viability using fluorescent probe technique and Jordan researched and produced innovative science supported defence and avoidance strategies in the wake of natural disasters.  The science workshops culminated with each workshop presenting their findings to their peers, university professors and sponsors representatives including Tetsuya-Kodama, Chair of Barclays, Japan who addressed the presentation event.

The exchange also included a full cultural programme of visits and activities. There was a trip to Tsuruga Castle and visits several sites in near Sendai affected by the Tsunami caused by an earthquake of the Pacific coast in March 2011.

There were newly constructed Evacuation mounds 11 metres high as the tsunami of 2011 had reach a height of 8m and penetrated 5km inland.  Alongside the new defences was a memorial to those who had lost their lives in the tragedy.  At these Millennium Hope Hills Victoria said, “I have felt inspired by how the Japanese work as a community to restore their lives and prevent future devastations.”  Adding “Japan is a very beautiful country and I have loved every second, so I am very grateful for this opportunity.” 

This part of the itinerary culminated at the Yuriage Junior High School where over 800 people sheltered from the tsunami on the top floor school roof. Whilst the first two floors were inundated by water and debris.

Having left Sendai on the Shinkansen “bullet” train the students travelled to Tokyo for an overnight stay and a day of sight-seeing.  Here the Sele students accompanied by teacher Mr Atkins visited the Tokyo Skytree, one of the world’s tallest buildings at 540m, the Pokemon Mega Centre in Sunshine City and a shrine dedicated to Benzaiten.

Reflecting on the trip Jordan said “Japan is beautiful. That first bus journey was an awesome showcase of the natural beauty of Japan: green, glowing, healthy rice paddies as far as the eye could see. Meeting the Japanese students was nerve wracking but looking back the trip has been one of the most influential starting points for any event of my life so far.”  Neil Dunn the Head of The Sele School is confident that his students will once again be invited to participate in the 2019 exchange planned for at both the UK workshops in Cambridge University and the Japan workshops in Kyoto city, the ancient capital of Japan.

 

Sele Students visit the Big Bang Fair 

Recently Mrs Lee took a group of Year 8 and 9 students to The Big Bang Fair regional event held at the University of Hertfordshire.

The Big Bang is a UK-wide programme led by EngineeringUK to bring science and engineering to life for young people.

The students had a great day exploring science, technology, engineering and maths! They dipped into the Heavy Metal Mayhem of the Marine World in ‘The Blowfish’ seminar. They attended the ‘Night School’ presentation by Professor Richard Wiseman where they explored the new science of sleep and dreaming. In The National Space Academy lecture they explored the ideas and concepts of space and what it is like to be an astronaut. In the ‘From Cradle to Grave’ dynamic and interactive presentation, engineers showed how engineering improves our quality of life from before we are born!

Ivy from 8 Shire said I really liked the Night School because it was talking about how your brain reacts to different things and we got to look at illusions and we learnt more about what happens in your brain when you’re asleep.

Eni from 8 Shire said I found the Royal Veterinary School information station really interesting because I like how the people informed us about the different animal bones and organs. We held sheep’s brain, pig’s brain and giraffe toe! I also held a horse jaw! The station was fascinating and the Vet at the stall was telling us about her research. It was great.

Sele Students meet Prince Edward

There was delight and excitement when five students from The Sele School were invited to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award exhibition at the University of Hertfordshire, which took place in June. The event was run especially for Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, who was there to see the excellent work that schools from Hertfordshire are doing for the Award. 

The Prince, who has taken over as patron for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, took a keen interest in the students’ performance.  After watching The Sele School students perform a dance which was based on the values of the Award; challenge, teamwork and independence, he then spent a few minutes speaking with the dancers about their experiences of doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award.  

Frejya Coltman-West, one of the Sele dancers, said ”We had an amazing experience performing in front of the Prince; it was an occasion I will never forget”. Josh Mockridge, Brooke Mills- Ward, Teagan Fossey, Freyja Coltman-West and Daisy Corbett, who are all doing their Bronze award, produced a flawless dance routine, which they had spent many weeks preparing under the guidance of their dance teacher Erin O’ Dell and with the support of Richard Eversley, Design and Technology teacher and Duke of Edinburgh leader, Richard Eversley.

For more images of the Duke of Edinburgh Exhibition Event please go to Galleries.