Parental Communication 06.11.16

November 6, 2016 11:37 am

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope that you have had an enjoyable weekend. Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking Ralph Reader-Sullivan and Theo Drabble to the University of York to take part in the Principia Schools Conference. The UK Space Agency and its education partners organised two events, one in York and one in Plymouth, to celebrate the imaginative work completed by young people linked to Tim Peake’s Principia mission.

Following our success in winning the national Astro-Pi competition, we applied to take part in the conference and were delighted to be selected. Theo, Ralph and Henry Barker (who was unable to attend) created a PowerPoint presentation to deliver to other conference delegates and we set off early on Saturday morning for the to drive to York.

On arrival at the conference, Ralph set up our presentation before we were invited to take a seat in the conference hall. We were honoured to be seated in the front row of the venue which was a real treat, especially when Tim Peake took to the the stage to deliver the keynote speech! He gave an inspiring presentation outlining the key events of his mission, showing us amazing photographs taken during his voyage. After his speech we headed for refreshments where we were told that Tim was coming to meet us. With mounting anticipation we took a seat in the dining area. Tim arrived shortly afterwards and went from table to table, meeting Key Stage 4 and 5 students who had been invited to the conference. These students are impressive artists, athletes, programmers and scientists who had each linked their studies to Tim’s space mission in most impressive ways. Tim came and spoke to Theo and Henry and recalled clearly the computer games they had designed to test his reaction times. We realised that he had only completed their games a few times as he had taken so many different tests and experiments into space; he packed a lot into his six months in space.

After meeting Tim and having an official photograph taken, we went into the lecture theatre and Theo and Ralph gave their lecture. We listened to many other interesting talks before lunch and then had the pleasure of looking at an exhibition of poster displays completed by primary and secondary school students, capturing all the work they completed in their schools to learn from Tim’s mission.

We came away from the event inspired by Tim’s words and proud of Ralph, Theo and Henry’s achievements. We have also been asked to enter another games computing competition so who knows what excitement lies ahead!

As we start the second week of term, I hope that parents of Key Stage 4 students have received my email about the SAM Learning parents’ evening. I do hope to see many of you there so that we can collectively support your child’s revision programme. Please note that Year 11 mock exams commence on the 5th December so students should already be revising hard in preparation for these important exams.

I hope you have an enjoyable week.

Dr Mackenzie

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