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End of the School Year, by Yousuf S in Year 9

We can all agree that a lot has happened this year. The biggest positive breakthrough is the coming together of the global community behind a common purpose, whether it be fighting racism, striving for social justice eradicating wars and unrest, or dealing with the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst we may feel like we’ve been knocked down hard, we’re resilient, and won’t let obstacles stand in our way. We fight for what’s right. We share positive messages through social media. We notice when something is wrong, and we do all we can to make it right. We’ve seen some examples of these in our school. Times where we’ve coped, struggled and thrived. Welcome to this year’s End of Year Article.

The School This Year:

For the new academic year, we are excited to be moving to our new site and looking forward to enjoying the fantastic facilities it has to offer. Our temporary site on Tolpits Lane had been through some amazing renovations before the beginning of the current academic year. We had new technology rooms built, as well as lots of new equipment and resources given to all the subject departments; our learning was truly enhanced this year!

We also held our PE lessons at Merchant Taylors’ School, allowing us access to more sports facilities. A lot of work was put in place to ensure our safety and enjoyment. We’re going to say “Bye!” to our temporary site and “Hello!” to our official school in only a couple of months!

In-School Events:

One of our very first events of the year was Languages Week, hosted by the MFL Department. It was a great way for all the students of different year groups to get to know each other. There were language competitions and fairs. There’s no argument that the cake competition was the biggest success!

Year 9 were extremely lucky to have a visit from Ziggy Schipper, a Holocaust survivor, as a part of the Judaism topic in REPS. The talk was extremely moving and gave us a valuable insight into the past and the type of views people held. Unfortunately, it’s still shocking that these prejudices still exist. For example, there are Concentration Camps in China for Muslims. However, we are all spreading news in regard to these events throughout social media, and by doing this we are getting our voices heard.

The Christmas Concert this year was also a huge success. A wide variety of talents were displayed and it was thoroughly enjoyed by the parents, staff and the other students!

At Home Events:

Earlier in lockdown, our school took part in the NATRE Spirited Arts Competition. The aim was to create a piece of art, that relates to one of five religious’ themes. In the end, 10 entries from across the school were selected to go forward into the national competition. You can see the winning school entries on the CDS Humanities Twitter feed.

Recently we took part in a virtual sports week. It was a week in which all the year groups took part in various sports activities. We were sent a slideshow with all of the different activities we had to complete and we had to record our results and send them in a form. It was a well-organised and fun week for all of us. Good job to Cassiobridge for winning!

The Pastoral Challenge was also a fun addition to spending time at home. We were challenged to complete a range of activities like making a cake, to hosting a family quiz, juggling for 30 seconds, and practicing basic phrases in different languages. It was a fun way to add up the house points which will go towards the end of year rewards trip.

Academic Encouragement:

This year the school really pushed the boundaries of learning. Croxley Danes School had its first ever World Book Day! At the start of each lesson, we listened to a story and discussed it. Also, there was a Book Day Fair, where we could buy books, or get tokens for a discount off books at some shops. This was a great encouragement for the reading journey of our school!

We were also extremely fortunate to have two authors come into our school to talk to the students. Nizrana Farook, author of ‘The Girl Who Stole an Elephant’ came and spoke to the Year 7’s about her debut novel. Year 8 were also treated to a visit by author and journalist Charlotte Seager. She spoke to the students about their digital footprint before introducing her recent novel “Follow Me, Like Me…” which shows the darker side of social media.

These are just a few ways in which our learning took off this year. The MFL Department also held many language events throughout the year. These have allowed some students to clearly form a love for languages.

GCSE:

Headlining the long string of firsts this year at our school is the selection of GCSEs for Year 9's. They selected their GCSE options and were lucky to have a wide range to pick from. The Year 9 students were tremendously supported throughout the selection process by the school hosting subject assemblies every week, having a private meeting with a member of the Senior Leadership Team and having career talks relating to GCSEs. It’s going to be a big step from Year 9 to 10, but with the support and guidance provided by the school, we all look forward to positive results in Year 11!

So...

Let’s all have a restful summer. Learn a new life skill. Try to discover some of your past. Have an adventure. We’ve all learnt that time is valuable and that you shouldn’t waste a moment of your life. Have a great summer and be safe. Thank You!

by Yousuf S.