In December a group of pupils worked with myself (Miss Jones) to take part in a project linked with the Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre . The aim of the project was for the academic health community to consult and work alongside young people to come up with realistic and practical ways in which the health of Manchester citizens may be improved.
The first group of pupils, ranging from years 8 to 10, attended a workshop day with myself and Miss Maders alongside a number of other schools. On the day they listened to a number of speakers from the MAHSC present concepts of health and the current health outcomes in Manchester and then they worked in small groups to come up with solutions to specific health problems.
The students were very creative and worked hard to come up with ideas, which they presented confidently to a large room of teenagers and adults. One of the ideas presented by the MCA students “Health Hubs within Schools” was valued by the MAHSC researchers and the students were invited to take part in the next stage of the project, where they came up with a four-minute play depicting their idea.
One Day Christmas Camp Monday 22nd December 2014
MCA embarked on a first ever Christmas Holiday Camp on Monday 22nd December. The day provided an opportunity for parents to finish off their last minute shopping and/or Christmas preparation. Different to our standard offer there was only one camp available, combining sports including team races, football, basketball and the Christmas film Elf. 63 children attended the day; this included 32 boys and 31 girls. 92% of the attendees were from our target post codes of M8, M9 or M40.
Parents were extremely positive about the camp; one commented “You are a lifesaver.”
On Saturday 13th December, MCA hosted a Christmas Market in partnership with local small enterprises. A number of local businesses held stalls at the market selling a wide range of goods and Christmas gifts. In total, more than £260 was raised for Brainhouse on the day.
On Wednesday 10th December the MCA Community Team hosted an open evening, showcasing the wide range of activities on offer to the local community. Despite the inclement weather, over 40 local people attended the event and received information from MCA and our partners. Information was provided on local opportunities for education, volunteering, and employment and also other projects such as the Collyhurst Big Local with entertainment provided on the evening by students from MCA who sang throughout the event. The evening was a success, with a number of local residents signing up to join in with free activities and courses. A further open evening will be held in early 2015, please check our website for details. If you would like any information on community activities please call us on 0161 202 0161 and ask for a member of the Community Team or email email@example.com
This term the Drama and English Department are running a cross-curricular project based on Willy Russell’s “Our Day Out.” Prior to commencing the scheme, Miss Jackson and Mrs Nuttall organised a trip to the theatre for the whole of year 8, in a bid to inspire them and to give many of the students an opportunity they haven’t had before.
In English, many teachers have found that students were able to engage with the text on a deeper level, much earlier than in previous years. There has been a big focus on studying themes, issues from that era and gaining a thorough understanding of characters from the play. We were able to give the students an unseen exam style question for formal assessment and they had to answer in a way that shows they understand the text as a whole, again something we would not have been able to do in previous years.
Furthermore, Carly Henderson from Oldham Coliseum Theatre, who was the assistant director of ‘Our Day Out,’ came in to the academy to deliver a specialist workshop in drama. She ran the original audition workshop that was used to cast the actors for the production. Needless to say she was overwhelmed by the talent of our students!
A definite ‘love of learning’ has been achieved throughout this scheme. It most definitely has been more successful than previous years and we are now able to teach the scheme in a way that will prepare our students for the ‘new style’ examinations which will be first tested in 2017.
A roaring success! Miss Jackson.
The Academy has been working with some architecture students from the University of Manchester, who are working on a project in Cheetham Hill. Today, 17 year 11 students have been helping them with the project. Our students played Jenga, drew plans of their own homes and highlighted local areas on maps to help the architecture students with their own designs. The Jenga bricks have words that describe the local area on them and the maps are highlighted with areas the students like and try to avoid. The architecture students found the event really helpful and are now able to design the buildings in Cheetham Hill inspired by our students. Our students have had the chance to meet university students and take part in a project which will help them decide if a career in architecture or design is right for them. Some of our students who are thinking about becoming architects in the future will be able to visit the School of Architecture for some work experience later in the year.
Year 10 GCSE Art and Design
On Friday 19th September the Year 10 GCSE Art students went on a trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as part of their GCSE course. The trip was to form the starting points for their first unit of work. The park has many artists that create outdoor sculptures and these are displayed over a vast area of countryside. We were lucky to have good weather allowing the students to be able to spend the day exploring the artwork and creating drawing of the work in sketchbook using a range of drawing techniques as well as using Photography skills to capture the work.
‘How do artists express themselves?’
On Monday 20th October English and Art held a year 7 exhibition to celebrate the work that had been produced in the ‘How do artists express themselves project’. Year 7 students had been looking at the Year 10 GCSE work in their lessons and had chosen a student to analyse the work of and be inspired by. The students looked at the artists the Year 10 students had looked at as well as learning about how the work had been created and the meanings behind the work. Students then created podcasts where they explained the work and gave their opinions about the artwork. These podcasts were then shown at the exhibition showing the fantastic speaking and listening skills of the students.
North Manchester and Harpurhey Handmade Film Festival
MCA again played host to the North Manchester and Harpurhey Handmade Film Festival. A strong audience in excess of 150 local people attended the event on Friday 24th October. They were taken down Memory Lane, celebrate the magic of the movies with the added entertainment of Laura Harrison and the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra.
Courtesy of the North West Film Archive 3 short films were enjoyed by the audience. ‘Round The Clock’ was screened containing scenes from the CWS Biscuit Factory in Crumpsall. There was a glimpse of a popular dance rendezvous as the era of the ‘Flirtation Waltz’ was relived. Finally the audience revisited some 1950s street games. Groups of boys and girls were seen playing an array of games using their environments of cobbled streets, pavements, alleyways, waste ground and walls.