Schools news round-up (including a visit by a TV presenter)

Kate Bellingham (left) with students from the Hemel Hempstead School
Kate Bellingham (left) with students from the Hemel Hempstead School

The latest news from schools in your area.

TV presenter pops in to see A-level physics students

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131656001

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131656001

TV presenter, National STEM champion and electronic engineer Kate Bellingham visited the Hemel Hempstead School recently.

She spoke to A-level physics students about how her career developed since graduating from Oxford University with a physics degree in 1984. She earned her MSc in Electronic Communications Systems from the University of Hertfordshire.

School spokesman Sally Cooper said: “An extremely energetic Kate showed clips of when she presented on Tomorrow’s World in 1994 about a new thing called the Internet.

“Since then she has followed a number of career paths related to Science Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and has a passion for encouraging others to take up the challenge of helping to make the world a better place.”

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131621001

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131621001

Hemel Hempstead School Year 12 student Camille Lecoeuche described Kate’s visit as ‘truly inspiring’.

Students from Year 8 of Hemel Hempstead School recently got the chance to celebrate the European Day of Languages.

They were offered the opportunity to participate in a variety of different languages, including Cantonese, Hindi, Japanese, Latin, Spanish, Gaelic, Maori and Sign language.

The students were given an insight into the cultural differences between their lives and those of the native speakers of those languages and were also given a chance to speak, sing and perform in the languages that they were learning.

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131632001

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131632001

School spokesman Sally Cooper said: “Both students and staff found International Languages Day thoroughly rewarding and highly enjoyable.”

Go4it, you warriors!

Hemel Hempstead’s Brockswood Primary School holds Go4it weeks every half term – and the latest one was an event for true warriors.

Designed by HTI children’s toy manufacturers, Go4it is a leading, national, recognised awards process for schools demonstrating creativity and innovation. Ultm8 Warrior came in to Brockswood to give the staff and pupils a highly energised physical education lesson. Ultm8’s Warrior aims to create a safe and controlled environment where children can challenge themselves with new exciting forms of physical exercise.

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131642001

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131642001

Brockswood aims to increase the challenge and participation in physical activity amongst children from nursery to Year 6. All Ultim8 Warrior activities are aimed towards developing the fundamentals of movements: agility, balance and coordination.

The staff and children at Brockswood jumped obstacles, crawled under camouflage, fired arrows and held shields.

Assistant headteacher Sally Newing said: “The exhilarating day left the child happy, but rather damp due to the weather. However, a great sense of achievement was felt.”

School fuels desire to share skills

Pupils at Rudolf Steiner School in Kings Langley have been taught about renewable energy since Grand Union Community Energy (GUCE) began installing solar panels in 2013.

GUCE is now planning to teach like-minded community energy groups across Herts and beyond how to thrive after signing up to the Co-operative’s UK-organised Energy Mentoring programme. GUCE will provide ‘peer mentors’ to help community energy projects navigate complex financial, regulatory and organisational hurdles.

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131706001

Hemel Hempstead's Brockswood Primary School pupils during a Ultm8 Warrior day PNL-140310-131706001

GUCE secretary John Ingleby said: “Grand Union Community Energy is a small group of volunteers and one of the best uses of our limited time is to share our experience and help others avoid the pitfalls we encountered.

“We have already documented our hard-earned experience in a freely available online toolkit and hope our involvement in the Energy Mentoring programme will bring about more rapid development of new community energy schemes.”

The community energy sector is crucial to creating a viable energy mix locally and nationally, said Mr Ingleby.

He said: “Generating energy close to where it’s used avoids wasteful transmission losses, while the benefits of energy generation are then more equitably distributed through ownership in the hands of the local community.

“The scale of renewable technologies makes them particularly suitable for community schemes. And numerous relatively small community energy schemes will achieve greater impact upon national carbon reduction targets – in a shorter timescale.”

GUCE is one of 11 organisations to have pledged support through the Energy Mentoring scheme. And GUCE’s involvement is crucial according to organisers Co-operatives UK, the country’s apex body for all co-operative enterprises.

Petra Morris, Energy Mentoring project leader at Co-operatives UK, said: “Without the commitment from GUCE and the other 10 community energy groups, this project would simply have failed to get off the ground.

“Providing support in this way demonstrates GUCE’s commitment to renewable energy and a sustainable future for all. It reflects fantastically well on GUCE that it is dedicated to helping organisations which operate or plan to operate in the same sector.”

New and existing community energy generation organisations are now being invited to apply for free support through the Energy Mentoring programme. For details visit www.energymentoring.org.uk

Student success at Hemel’s Longdean School

Two students of Hemel Hempstead’s Longdean School have been recognised for their successes.

Year 10 student and cerebral palsy sufferer Jessica Stretton has recently been offered a place on Archery GB’s World Class Talent Confirmation Programme.

A small number of people from the UK Academy have been successful in gaining a place on the Confirmation Programme and it is the step before paralympians join the World Class Programme to enable them to compete directly in major sporting events.

Chloe Orriss, also a Year 10 student, has successfully auditioned and been invited to appear in the St Albans pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

Chloe has been dancing since the age of five and performs ballet, modern, tap, street jazz and pointe to an intermediate standard outside of school.

Chloe studies GCSE drama at Longdean.