In the penultimate week of term, usual timetables were suspended for students in Years 7, 8 and 9 as they participated in different cross-curricular activities.
Year 7 participated in 'Decisions Week', which involved three days within the science departments and a further two days with the English and Geography departments. They got the opportunity to learn about the issues plastics are causing for the environment and the ways in which we are currently trying to address them. They also designed, built and tested water powered rockets looking at modifications to increase flight time and then to design a suitable landing craft to safely return their EGGstronauts back to Earth. Each group headed out to Robin Hood's bay for a day to learn how to gather data whilst out in the field and got outside to see what is living and growing around the academy grounds, taking part in bug hunting, nature art, ice sculpting and global warming animation. In addition students spent time working on the production of a newspaper; they debated the ethical and environmental issues that their readers will be interested in before following the story through to publication.
Challenge week saw Year 8 students take on tasks created by five departments across the academy. These tested the students' physical and mental capabilities along with their reasoning, perseverance and collaboration skills. Students worked together in their tutor groups to complete 15 challenges throughout the week, scoring points for how well they managed to do so.
This year's CaVEs took place on the penultimate week of the summer term. These 'Cultural and Vocational Experiences' offered Year 9 students a fantastic opportunity to develop an area of interest within an intensive week long programme. All students chose one course from a selection of nineteen options.
Popular CaVES included Face to Face, Pins and Needles, Murder, Clay and Print. The CaVEs involved visits to and from local businesses and schools. We also had some German students visiting the academy which included some time spent in the local area seeing the sights of Middlesbrough. Whilst students thoroughly enjoyed developing a particular area of interest, this is a further example of giving our students the opportunity to develop 21st century skills for the workplace; solving problems, communication and collaboration.
Behaviour was excellent throughout the week, with both students and staff showing real enthusiasm and enjoyment. The commitment and preparation from staff enabled a well-planned, exciting and unique experience for all students. At the end of the week, there were food tastings, theatrical performances, music and entertainment, and many displays and presentations where students proudly showed off their work.