Schools news (including student’s Costa Rica adventure, the Big Toddle and more)

The latest news from schools in your area.

Sunday, 26th October 2014, 8:15 am
Longdean students during a World Challenge event

On Friday, September 26, sixth-formers from Hemel Hempstead’s Longdean School put their best foot forward and set out to raise as much money as they could for Macmillan.

They wanted to go beyond a coffee morning so arranged a whole series of events to raise the money.

The day started for them at 7.30am so they could set up a coffee morning for the staff before school. This was a huge success! More than 50 members of staff were treated to an early morning welcoming committee, tea, coffee and cake. They returned this hearty welcome with some very generous donations.

People taking part in the Big Toddle in Berkhamsted PNL-141017-141728001

The students had previously arranged that each member of the sixth-form was to pay £2 for the privilege of having a ‘dress down day’ and every single member of the sixth-form obliged.

Throughout break and lunch the students continued to sell and set up games like ‘Guess how many sweets are in the jar’ and ‘Beat the Goalie’ too.

Now that all of the money is in and has been counted the school is proud to share with you that Longdean sixth-form raised an impressive £516.89 for a very deserving charity and had great fun doing it!

On Friday, October 10, a group of GCSE textiles students from Londean visited The Knitting and Stitching Show at London’s Alexandra Palace.

People taking part in the Big Toddle in Berkhamsted PNL-141017-141653001

The purpose of the trip was for students to gain first-hand industry experience at this internationally renowned textiles fair.

Textiles Teacher Laura Moore said: “Students gained an understanding of how the textile industry works and how materials are sourced.

“They also spoke with textile designers and other students about future career opportunities within the industry.

“The students experienced an action-packed day and were involved in sessions that varied from sourcing their own innovative materials, to watching textile designer Diana Bates demonstrating embroidery techniques used to create beautiful corsets.

People taking part in the Big Toddle in Berkhamsted PNL-141017-141707001

“Students also attended a fashion show, met and interviewed designers and saw examples of textile designers’ sketchbooks. The day was a resounding success and supported the students with their GCSE textiles course.”

Thirty Longdean students travelled to the amazing country of Costa Rica in the first two weeks of the summer holiday on their World Challenge expedition.

They trekked through the rainforest, taught English to children and adults, built a football stadium and replanted part of the forest.

They saw amazing wildlife and learnt a great deal about the ecosystem, the country and themselves. Students are to lead assemblies to explain what they did.

Longdean's Macmillan fundraisers PNL-141017-141238001

Participant James Hobson, from Year 13, said: “A World Challenge expedition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to the furthest reaches of the world and develop lots of skills.

“We took part in a five-day trek through the national park in the Osa Peninsula, along rainforest paths through the wildlife.

“The trek was challenging and we needed to work together as a team to support each other.

“The whole experience has developed my teamwork and leadership skills, everyone gets the opportunity to be the team leader for the day, meaning the team organises the trip themselves with little input from the expedition leaders.

“The project phase allowed us to give something back to the locals; we built the bleacher seats for their football pitch, painted the bins for the school, planted trees, cleaned up the beach and helped to teach English.

“Throughout the expedition we had regular team meetings, most evenings, to discuss the day’s events and reflect on what had happened.

David Dein is pictured with Hemel Hempstead School sixth-form students and a member of staff PNL-141017-142033001

“This allows us to take something from our experiences, whether it is what we did well or what mistakes we made and how we could improve.

“During the rest and relaxation phase we went white water rafting, which was an amazing experience. The river was completely surrounded by rainforest. We had to come out of our comfort zone and take part in things we’d never done before.

“World Challenge trips feel safe. Although it’s a brand new experience and the trip is organised by the team, the expedition leaders are always happy to help if there are any problems.

“The trip has given me countless skills, new friends I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise and a new enthusiasm to travel to more places round the world. Although the fundraising can seem difficult and there are a few fitness tests, I would definitely recommend World Challenge to everyone!”

Football bigwig visits school

Former vice-chairman of Arsenal Football Club and of the Football Association David Dein recently popped in to the Hemel Hempstead School.

Mr Dein now spends much of his time touring schools and prisons as a public speaker.

Addressing Hemel Hempstead School, he said: “Thank you for making me feel so welcome.

“It was a great pleasure giving a talk to your sixth-form students. They were attentive, engaged and asked really good questions - a smart group!

“I do hope that they might have learned something from my experiences which could help them in their careers.”

Aliens visit Big Toddle

A team of tremendous tots took part in a special mission to raise money for charity.

More than 30 little ones and their childminders took part in the Barnardo’s Big Toddle to raise funds for disadvantaged under 5s.

The event, which took place at Butts Meadow in Berkhamsted earlier this month, was organised by the Berkhamsted Childminders Network - which meets at Kings Road Church every Wednesday morning.

The children, aged between six months and fours years, raised more than £800 for the organisation.

Childminder Alexandra Edmonds said: “The theme of the toddle was space and the children all had a great time making jet packs and alien antennae to wear. Initially we hoped to raise around £200 but we have been blown away by the support and generosity of the children’s parents and families, many of whom came along to join in.”

As well as the toddle the children enjoyed playing space related games and activities. They each received a medal and sticker for their efforts.