News from Politics

Year 12 Parliament Trip

Well, that was quite a visit, and, in truth, I am not entirely sure it wasn’t just some crazy dream sequence we all experienced collectively. Previously, as reported in the Head’s update, we have never got beyond the door at No.10 before going on to Parliament, but this time we found ourselves on our trip shaking hands with the PM’s wife and eating our packed lunches on the state dining table.

As well as getting a tour which took in the famous staircase with all the prime ministers’ portraits (which features in ‘Love Actually’) and the Cabinet Room with the feted oval-shaped table, we also had a Q&A session with Mrs Murty and officials (civil servants and ‘spads’) who work for the Prime Minister. We learned a lot.

For example:

  1. We learned how “Downing Street” got its name. (It was built by Sir George Downing who was a political operator at the time of the English Civil War – siding sometimes with the King and sometimes with Parliament. No.10 is effectively 3 houses joined together by the architect William Kent and gifted to the Prime Minister of the day by the Crown)
  2. We learned the difference between a ‘spad’ (special advisor) and a civil servant. (Civil servants are neutral, work for any government and don’t change – spads change with the politicians and are not paid for out of taxpayers money)
  3. We learned that speech writers have to be very adaptable in how they work with PMs (David Cameron always operated person to person and never touched a keyboard whereas it wasn’t uncommon for Gordon Brown to send 100 emails a day)
  4. We learned that Rishi’s Media spad had a passion for cheerleading when she was young, and
  5. We also learned that Rishi and Akshata met while they were studying at Stanford University in the States and that he proposed to her on a beach in California where a Scottish bagpiper played.

The trip round Parliament seemed a little more subdued than normal in comparison, although the political aficionados among us spotted that the group in front was being lead round by John McConnell (Jeremy Corbyn’s ex-shadow chancellor). We also subsequently had another Q&A with Lord Aberdare in the parliamentary education unit before returning home at 7pm.

It was a long day!!

News from Food Tech

Presdales Afternoon Tea

On Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd May parents, friends and staff were delighted to attend an amazing Afternoon Tea prepared and hosted by our Year 10 GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition students. It was lovely to welcome visitors into school to share in the student’s success. Working under strict exam conditions the students baked all morning producing delicious breads, cakes and scones. We are delighted to report that our students coped really well working under the intense ‘Bake Off’ pressure. Their freshly baked products were finished and presented to a professional standard along with homemade preserves. The whole group are justly proud of their fantastic results and received extremely positive feedback from our guests on the day for their fabulous food.

Once again a special thank you goes to the Art Department for the loan of the student artwork and to both Mrs S Eyre and Mrs A Wall for setting the lovely scene in our Afternoon Tea room.

Mrs N. Garcia

News from Business

Year 12 Thorpe Park Trip

We took 28 Business students to Thorpe Park this month and they were absolutely brilliant! The students took part in a marketing workshop and were able to get some context to what they have been learning in lessons. After the workshop sessions the students were given some free time to enjoy the rides, which they loved.

Mrs Lawrence and Mr Walker

News from Art

Bar Mock Trial 2023

On Saturday 25th March the Royal Courts of Justice in London made space between the celebrity squabbling of Prince Harry, Elton John and the Daily Mail to host the National Finals of the Bar Mock Trial for this year.

Presdales, as winners of the Outer London heats, was represented by a team of Year 12 students: Adesola Jinadu-Adewale, Zoe Drewitt, Evelyn Youngman, Callum Tredgett, Matilda Endersbee, Jasmine Kelly, Rebecca Mansford, Ruby O’Neill, Seren Miller, Kim Pittaccio, Francesca Caira and Yu Qiong Chen who took it in turns to go head-to-head with other school teams from all over the UK (including from Scotland, Wales and N Ireland and numbering 22 schools in total) over 3 separate rounds.

After Round 1 we were all ready to go home, having come up against a highly talented side from the Wirral Grammar School for Girls, who later went on to be the eventual winners. But Round 2 and Round 3 saw spirited performances by Presdales “seeing off” lesser opposition in the shape of schools from Huddersfield and Norwich.

The ultimate team trophy still eludes us but we didn’t come away empty-handed as Evelyn Youngman won an individual award for “best defence witness”, awarded by none other than Sir Brian Leveson (High Court Judge of Leveson Inquiry fame).

Year 12 PE Trip