Year 12 Trip to Brunel University for the UCAS Exhibition

Last Wednesday we took our Year 12 students to the annual UCAS exhibition at Brunel University. On the trip, students had the opportunity to speak to a large number of university representatives and other post-18 options, including Degree Apprenticeship Co-ordinators, and the Army and Navy. Students spent a few hours walking around the exhibition gathering information from different providers and speaking to current university students about what life at university is like. Students even got the opportunity to tour the grounds and buy lunch in one of the many cafés on campus.

‘On our trip to Brunel UCAS Exhibition I spoke to several universities which I am interested in attending and gained further knowledge on their entry requirements and open days. Many helped me narrow down my course options and career path into Psychology and Law, and gave me an idea for next steps into my university research, through attending future lectures and gaining work experience to improve my application. Overall, it was a very inspiring and helpful day enjoyed by all!’ – Libby

‘I found the trip great fun and it really opened my mind to all the options available to me post-sixth form. I managed to visit all the universities that I had an interest in and get a feel for a university environment. All the questions and sceptical feelings I had towards university were answered and explained. I would definitely recommend attending this event to the Year 12 students next year.’ – Luke

‘At Brunel UCAS exhibitions, we were able to see lots of different universities from all over the UK. It gave us an opportunity to find out more about the courses that are available and a bit more about university life. We could also find out about options other than university, such as apprenticeships and the army. It was very useful in helping me to decide what and where I want to go and do after sixth form.’ – Rebecca

TECH 4.0 Project – FANUC Visit, Coventry

On Wednesday 5th February we went to Fanuc Coventry, we saw many amazing robots and delved into what engineering careers had to offer. As we entered, we were greeted by members of FANUC. We were able to see some of their robots which were displayed. Robots in green were human friendly meaning if it comes into contact with someone it will stop what it is doing. Whilst yellow robots do not and are kind of dangerous.

We then had an introduction from representatives from the PPMA, who told us about the companies involved in the project. An apprentice then took us on a tour around the rest of the factory.

After the tour, we came back and they explained what the next 10 weeks would entail. They suggested how to set out a plan for the next 10 weeks and learnt a bit about Gantt Charts. We also had an activity involving Lego and one involving a paperclip.

In the end we had a great experience looking at robots and learning a few more things about engineering and robots. We are hoping to raise the 8% of women working in the industry to 50%!

Thea, Alice, Isabella, Louisa, Becky and Mariam (Year 9)

Year 12 Psychology Trip to Poland

In February, 28 Year 12 Psychology students flew to Poland for a short but feature-packed trip. We were there to visit the beautiful city of Krakow. However, this was not a sightseeing trip; we were there to visit the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was the scene of unspeakable atrocities during WW2, witnessing the systematic execution of over 1 million people: a dark time in recent human history, known as the holocaust.

Our weekend began with a VERY early flight. Once we had arrived in Krakow, we had the opportunity to try some traditional Polish street food – Zapiekanka, a toasted, open-faced sandwich – as well some other snacks such as waffles and ice-cream, despite the cold weather. This was followed by a walking tour of the Jewish quarter, Kaziemierz, with our tour guide, Monika. We really enjoyed the tour as it gave us an in-depth insight into what it would have been like as a Jewish person living in Nazi occupied Poland, having to hide in fear of being caught or being sent away from your home and family.

The following morning, we ensured we had lots of layers to wear as it was -5 degrees and we set off on our journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau. On the coach we watched a DVD in preparation for what we were going to see on the tour, highlighting some of the horrible things that happened at Auschwitz-Birkenau. One thing that was quite surreal was the videos of the children who suffered and how they couldn’t really comprehend what was happening to them. The tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau was insightful as much as it was harrowing. It was an experience we were grateful to have had as it’s important to try and understand why these sorts of events happen and how we can try to prevent them from occurring again. As part of our A-level Psychology course, we look at the concept of obedience and what factors may influence a person to obey. We have to relate this to the Holocaust to try and explain the behaviour of the Nazi soldiers and why they obeyed the orders to harm and kill millions of innocent people.

In the afternoon, we had a walking tour of Krakow Old Town, including Wawel Castle and St Mary’s Basilica. This was followed by some free time to explore the large market square, taking in the beautiful architecture and local stalls. The evening was spent having dinner at a Polish restaurant before heading back to our hotel.

This was one of the best trips we’ve ever been on and we want to thank Mrs Simmonds, Mrs Sykes and Mrs Miller for giving us an experience we won’t forget.

By Jasmine Cooper and Rosie Hough

Bar Mock Trial, Snaresbrook Crown Court

“Oh my word. We can’t have done it again, surely?” was the thought running through Miss Catterall’s and Mr Spurgeon’s heads as the lady from the Bar Mock Trial competition read out the names of the two schools who had made it through to the final of the Outer London heat.

This was 2pm Saturday 23rd November and we were in the familiar surroundings once again of the Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Tired from an early start, the team kicked into action in the euphoria of the news, rushed to collect bags and belongings from our allotted station and assembled outside Courtroom A. We were to face Heathcote School, Chelmsford in the final.

A coin was tossed. Safia called correctly and “yes, thank you, we would like to be the defence counsel”. In we piled. Safia presented her eloquent opening speech in true barristerial style, Maddie and Meena submitted their evidence to the jury under intense cross-examination and Talitha summed up brilliantly. Mila’s officiating as court usher was at the same excellent standard as the rest of the team, but had we done enough? (The tension was getting too much for some.)

The judge deliberated for what seemed an eternity, complemented all the participants on an excellent contest and finally announced that ………………Presdales had won!! (cheers) ….by one point 74-73 ! (gasps)

Next stop: the National Final on 21st March

Venue: The Old Bailey in London.

A reward well-deserved.

International Partnership Seminar

Duisburg Germany 28th November – 1st December 2019

At the end of November, we represented Presdales School and travelled to Germany to take part in a seminar with students and teachers from all over England and Germany. We worked together to understand our cultural differences and build up long lasting friendships in our respective countries.

The British Council organised 24 schools (12 English and 12 German) to work together for 4 days, staying together in a youth hostel in Duisburg. We took part in many icebreaker activities which helped us build our confidence and social skills. On the second day, we went to the ‘Gymnasium am Neandertal’ in the small town of Erkrath with Anne and Raik (the two students representing their school). All the children were excited to see us and we got asked lots of questions about our lives and life in England. We were shown a lot of hospitality by all the staff and students. We met with the headteacher, Herr Gruttmann and two of the teachers who teach English at the school to discuss what it would mean to partner with the school. After having a tour, we spent break time exchanging numbers, taking photos and chatting with the children. Once we had returned to the youth hostel for lunch, we played more icebreaker games with both German and English students. In the evening we played football in the sports hall. On the third day, we went on a trip to the Düsseldorf Christmas markets with Anne and Raik. Together we ate German food and bought souvenirs for ourselves and our families. We got back to the hostel and played more sports. Exhausted, we all went to bed. The next day we met with our partner schools to construct a presentation about our hopes for the future of an exchange. We used the last of our free time saying goodbye to the German students and spending what time we could with the English students.

This trip has been a huge success. We found an amazing partner school and we look forward to a full partnership, exchanging cards, letters and emails, doing projects together and reciprocal exchange visits with the school in the future.


Adelaide Peart and Rhianna Venables (Year 9)

Year 9 French Trip to Nantes

On the morning of Friday 8th November, seventeen Year 9 Presdales students and thirteen Year 9 pupils from Richard Hale set off for France to take part in a French Exchange with the pupils from the Collège Gaston Serpette in Nantes. The seven day trip was a great success and as you can read from the accounts below, the pupils found the experience extremely enjoyable and rewarding.

From the awkward meeting to the emotional departure, the French exchange was a trip to remember for my lifetime. The highlight for me was the group ice skating trip: we ice skated for 3 hours with the French and English correspondents (with a break in the middle to eat crêpes) and it was amazing! I also loved the trips I went on with the family (like going to the beach). My French partner was the best part; she was very good at English and we would chat until late at night about what it’s like in our different countries. The language barrier really didn’t affect us much. Overall it was such a great trip and I made new friends who I would have never have spoken to otherwise.

Adelaide Peart (Year 9)

The French Exchange was like nothing I’d ever done before, but I don’t regret it in the slightest. Of course there were the nerves and excitement before we went, but once there we were welcomed completely. The way things work is slightly different and a little daunting, but learning more about the culture and language is interesting like the way we see crêpes as solely sweet things, but in France they also have savoury crêpes which are honestly delicious. We also did a day out sightseeing at the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany and the machines of the island where we rode a huge mechanical elephant. The whole exchange was an unforgettable experience and, if you can, I would advise you to take this opportunity with open arms.

Evelyn Youngman (Year 9)  

Sixth Form Russian Conference

On Friday 22nd November, a group of sixth form students went to the Russian Conference which took place at Oxford High School. It was a long journey there and back but well worth it! The conference was opened by Dr Roy Allison, lecturer from Oxford University, who gave a speech on the fall of the Soviet Union and Gorbachev`s new thinking. It was a very interesting insight into Russian modern history. Oxford professors Andrew Khan and Julie Curtis continued the conference talking about Russian poetry, starting from Alexander Pushkin all the way through to the symbolism in Alexander Blok`s poems. The highlight of the Conference was the talk given by Sir Christopher Mallaby, the former British Ambassador to West Germany, who was in service during the fall of the Berlin wall. It was tremendously exciting for the students to hear stories about Soviet spies and the behind the scenes work of the British Embassy. All the Presdales students enjoyed the Conference and were very glad to meet up with fellow students from the schools across the UK who also study Russian as an A-level option. It is fair to say that the trip was not only of educational value (mock exams are starting next week!) but also very pleasant.

Mrs O. Parry

Year 12 V&A Museum of Childhood Trip

On Thursday the 7th November, Year 12 Sociology students visited the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green to learn more about our theme of childhood and how it has developed over time. We were fortunate enough to have a private session with one of the museum’s curators. We were able to see portraits of children in the 17th century before and after the boys had been breached (dressed in trousers for the first time from around the age of 6). We also looked at when gender neutral toys and clothes were first introduced to society.

Following our session, we were able to look around the museum itself. We completed a series of questions to help us with future work in class. We were able to see the development of clothes, dolls houses, action figures and other educational toys over time. It was fascinating to see how different childhood was centuries ago compared to now.

It was a relevant and enjoyable trip that will now support our future sociology studies.

By Evie Pettit

The sociology trip to the childhood museum was very informative and allowed the student to see how types of toys have progressed over the years. This trip aided the students in showing what the meaning of childhood is and whether it could be seen as a social construct. Some students found it strange to see some of their childhood toys on display at the museum but this only showed how rapidly society is progressing in terms of the digitalisation of toys. In the following lesson the students discussed how the trip related to the course and some students came up with the fact that it helped us understand why people may think that childhood is a social construct. Some students also came to the conclusion that childhood may not have been enjoyable for children in earlier centuries as children were dressed as miniature adults and were painted in that fashion. Overall, the trip was highly informative and many of the students agreed on the fact that the trip would be an amazing contemporary example to be used in their A Level examinations.

By Alaina Nwosa

On last week’s sociology trip to Bethnal Green – The Museum of Childhood – we were given an interesting talk by the curator of the museum, about the evolution of childhood toys and how they are stereotypical. We learnt that the marketing of the toys were stereotyped as blue for boys and pink for girls as a way to brand their products and sell more. After the talk we were assigned a task which entailed sorting a range of boys’ and girls’ toys which in fact proved harder than you may think and by the end of the talk we were very informed on the progression of childhood and how toys have played an instrumental part in the evolution of childhood.

By Luke Gibson and Morgan Peacock  


Trip to Russia