The Lakes School News Issue 4 a caring, learning community

Reagan and Chloe deserve to feature on the front page of this edition of our newsletter. Read on to find out why...

Welcome to our latest newsletter which is packed full of news from The Lakes School. So far, we have released 4 digital newsletters and they have been viewed by over 2,400 visitors! Amazing. Whether in a browser or on a mobile device, our fresh looking newsletter should look great. Simply scroll down to view.

Clothes Show Visit

Miss Anderson arranged for her textiles students to visit The Clothes Show recently and they had a fantastic time. Our talented students attended a career seminar and the official catwalk show as well as finding time to speak with designers and universities. They even met and spoke to Caryn Franklin MBE which was amazing! Here are some comments from the students about their favourite parts of the day...'meeting fashion journalist Caryn Franklin and listening to her inspirational talk because it helped us think about our future.' 'It gave me inspiration for my future and was very interesting. I didn't realise how much social media could effect the industry.' 'They told us how to get a job and what people look for.'

Titus Andronicus

Our production of ‘Titus Andronicus’ went brilliantly. The energy in the cast and on the stage was incredible. The nerves, adrenaline and excitement of the production was an amazing experience, the energy made the show even better. A lot of work went into the performance with the costumes designed and the props made by our technology department, along with learning lines, lighting cues and understanding how to be convincing with our characters. The lighting and sound added a wonderful atmosphere to the production, making the show polished and professional. I required a lot of devotion, but the turn-out was impeccable, and, if given the chance, I’d love to perform it again. Lucy Prescott

Titus Andronicus was amazing the energy we all brought was fantastic and the applause we got at the end of our piece was brilliant. Everyone did their best and gave it 100%. It was FANTASTIC! The best prop we had was definitely the pie, it made the audience laugh. Our costumes were brilliant and everyone who helped to make them did a fantastic job. One audience was effected by the blood on Izzy’s dress as it was splattered with blood. Hannah Griffiths

Christmas Pudding Logo Competition

Every autumn we run our Christmas Pudding Label Design Competition. We welcome designs from Year 7 students and the best labels appear on our selection of Christmas puddings which we sell at our Christmas Fair; although Mr Cunningham seems to buy most of them! This year's winners were Nicola Smith and Lydia Griffiths and you can see their original and digitized designs above along with a display from the pudding stall at the fair. Both Nicola and Lydia received a framed print of their design and an Amazon gift voucher. 

Christmas Fair

On Sunday 29th November, we held our annual Christmas Fair. The fair was again a huge success although the weather was not altogether kind to us with high winds and rain, but with over 40 stalls full of art, craft and food items, visitors were treated to a whole host of Christmas delights whether browsing for stocking fillers, larger gifts or decorations there was something for everyone. Even Father Christmas made an appearance giving gifts out to all the children that visited his grotto.

We would like to thank all those who donated tombola items, everyone who helped in the lead up to and on the day, and finally we would also like to say a huge thank you to all the local companies and individuals that donated the fantastic raffle prizes. Thank you all for your continuing support.


Staff and students left at school were rightly jealous as a good portion of the upper and lower VIth decamped to London for two days of culture. Students really made the best of their time with an itinerary that was unbelievably busy and varied covering trips to The British Museum, The Hard Rock Cafe and The Royal Albert Hall, visits to Tate Modern, The Photographers Gallery and others plus various photographic excursions to the East End, Theatre performances not to mention the requisite pre-Christmas visit to Camden Market and Oxford Street!

Listen to what our students said: “I really liked that rather than visiting all the landmarks that everyone goes to see such as the Tower of London, we toured the more interesting and unusual places we would never have gone to otherwise. The trip was also a great tool to inspire me with my Art and Photography. All in all it was a really successful and memorable trip!”

Richard Wehli A Level Fine Art & AS Photography

Go Herdwick!

THE HERDWICKS ARE COMING! Easter 2016 will see Rydal, Grasmere, Ambleside, Keswick and Windermere – the 555 bus route – invaded by a flock of life sized decorated fantasy Herdwick Sheep. You will see them in unexpected places; in parks, in the street, on buildings, in shops, cafes and restaurants and perhaps even the Lakes School turning circle! All paying homage to the Herdwick’s iconic home here in the Lake District. The sheep are part of a fundraising venture by The Calvert Trust, a local charity who deliver challenging outdoor adventure for those with disabilities. The Lakes School is hoping to raise funds to get two or even three of the fibre glass models to paint and display through sponsorship from local businesses and the Wear Your Christmas Jumper to School day. All of our Year 7 and 8 pupils have been set a design homework with the best entries being used to make plans to decorate the sheep. We will also be recruiting a team of Sheep Painters in the new year! If anyone knows of any local businesses or individuals who would be interested in contributing towards the project, or if you are a student who wants to become a Sheep Painter please contact Mr Hardy in the Art Department.

Year 7 Rugby

Year 7 "rugby boys" with our fantastic student Mr Williams. We wish him well for his next placement at Kirkbie Kendal school


Simon Edwards, PGA professional at Windermere Golf Club, has been down to school to give a series of lessons. Hopefully the boys will continue their interest in the game and become junior members at the club.

Cross-Country and Fell Running

Year 7 boys that were selected to run in the South Lakes X-Country Championship at Sedbergh School.

LUKE BOWEN in Year 11 was once again selected to represent Cumbria Schools in a Midlands Invitation Inter-County Cross-country event on a wet November Saturday. His selection was based on his performances in Cross-country last season and given that Luke usually prefers to both train and compete in fell running, he found the flat and fast conditions more challenging than usual and unfortunately did not finish as well as he would have wanted. However being the athlete that he is, Luke is determined to keep training and work hard towards his goal of reaching English Schools Finals later this academic year in either cross-country or athletics. A tough ask of a student in Year 11 with exams - we wish him the very best of luck in the pursuit of his goal!

English Schools Fell Running Championships - A small number of our students who are keen fell-runners out of school, travelled to Calder High School, Mythholmroyd in September to take part in the English Schools Fell Running Championships. Many thanks to the parents who supported them at the event. Huge congratulations to the following students who produced some impressive results, given this was a national competition! Year 7: James Thornley - 12th place; Bethan Rowley - 6th place. Senior Boys: Ben Kent (11th).

During October, twelve Year 7 students took part in the County Year 7 Cross-country Championships at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith. 6 girls and 6 boys ran their respective races, with the top 3 finishers in each event counting towards the team result. As a team, we achieved unprecedented success with the boys team finishing in 9th place overall and the girls team in seventh place overall in the County! Very well done to all those who made up our teams! You can see pictures of both teams below.

South Lakes Schools District Athletics Trials

This event took place at Sedbergh School on a fantastic day weather-wise for running (sunny, still and dry) however, conditions underfoot meant that the course was treacherous in places and challenged the most hardy of competitors, with log-jumps and water jumps to negotiate as well as steep uphill and downhill sections which quickly become muddy and slippery. However this did not put-off our enthusiastic group of runners and our Year 7 teams continued to perform exceptionally with the girls team finishing in equal first place and the boys team in 3rd place - WELL DONE to all our Year 7 runners!!

The whole purpose of the trials is to select a team to represent the South Lakes District in the County Championships in January. CONGRATULATIONS to the following individuals who finished their event in the top 16 and who will compete at this higher level next term: Year 7 Girls: Bethan Rowley & Annabell Taylor (Reserves: Giselle Meschino, Georgia Britt, Holly Dobson). Year 7 Boys: James Thornley & Jack Ellis (Reserve: Max Hinman). Junior Boys: Leo Taylor (12th) (Reserve: Archie Hodgson). Inter Boys: Luke Bowen (11th). Inter Girls: Hannah Durkin (8th). Senior Boys: Ben Kent (5th). We wish them all luck!.


During November many of our students took part in a computational thinking challenge. This is known as the UK Bebras Contest and versions of it take place in countries all over the world. The challenge is available in different age categories. Y7 take part in the Juniors, Y8/9 are the Intermediates, Y10/11 are Seniors and the VIth form are in Elite.

The aim of the challenge is to encourage young people to engage with the sort of thinking needed in computer science. A logical mind, the ability to see the core issues of a problem, to be able to think quickly and clearly are all important to success. Put these together with a strong imagination and you have what it takes to be an excellent computer scientist. Many of the concepts in the challenge are very familiar to the A level Computing students, but here they are presented in a way that everyone can engage with.

Over 52,000 students took part in these categories and the organisers made the 2015 questions quite tough, so to reach the top was a huge challenge. Parents can see an example question here. Each question needs to be answered in about 2 mins 20 secs, so it is easy to see how hard the contest is.

Amazingly, Stephen Slader in Y7 scored 200/200. He was one of only 32 students in the UK to do this, out of the 14,328 Juniors who entered, in other words one of the top 0.2%. I am hoping that Stephen will be invited to take part in a national event for perfect score holders, but we are still awaiting the details. Congratulations also go to our 'Best in School' winners. They were Ben Walton, the best Elite, Joe Harrison and Alexander Knowles who were joint best in the Seniors and Ben Chapman, the best Intermediate. A special mention should also go to Lisa Morton of Y8, who came 3rd in the Intermediates beating almost the entire Y9.

I am sure that the UK Bebras will run again in 2016 and look forward to it immensely. In the meantime, the Hour of Code materials will have been highlighted in school, so there is lots of opportunity to engage with computing in addition to our normal lessons. For Year 7 the release of the BBC Microbit is also coming soon. I have had a sneak preview of these devices through my work with the Lancaster University School of Computing & Communications and I am sure they will be an interesting project for many students.

You can find out more about these by searching for 'UK Bebras', 'Hour of Code' and 'BBC Microbit'. Mr Revell

Sixth Form Students Visit the Scottish Highlands

Outdoor education would have little value if the students at our school did not explore the wonders of the West Coast of Scotland by boat and by foot!

Day 1 - the journey began at the quaint village of Morar about an hour north of Fort William on the road to Malaig. Here, there begins the beautiful freshwater Loch Morar that meanders east for some 11 miles whilst sitting neatly in amongst many beautiful mountains.

Excitement began to rise as we arrived early on the first morning this was followed by the inevitable unloading and packing of boats, every port hole was full with camping gear, food and extra clothing making ready for a journey that would last the next 3 days. We set off with a favourable wind which would push us gently east for the next 7 miles.

There is a narrow land bridge at south Tarbet Bay where a portage is necessary in order to attach trollies and pull the boats along a short path of approximately one kilometre. The reality though is very different as a closer inspection of the map reveals that a contour height of 130 metres has to be gained before dropping down to the sea loch at north Tarbet Bay. The path itself is very overgrown and quite rough underfoot, all of which meant that this part of the journey was hard work and time consuming.

Leaving the beautiful bay behind us the journey continues east again and passes through the ‘narrows’ of Kylesknoydart where the water rushes through with some force before things calm right down and the by now tired muscles are alleviated by the stunning landscape that unfolds before you for the remaining 4 miles, your eyes being drawn along the vista towards Scurr na Ciche (Munroe) which rises straight out of the head of the loch to over 3000 feet!

A choice of venue for the night was either the bothy at Scourlies or camping at the end of the loch. The latter became the preferred choice on 2 counts, firstly, it was a beautiful evening for camping even in October, and secondly, the high volume of mouse droppings in the bothy put most of the students off.

Day 2 was a beautiful morning in which to enjoy breakfast and soon we were all beginning the walk up the magnificent peak of Sgurr na Ciche a distance of 4.5 Km to the summit and a height of 3400 ft. After the initial steepness of the first few hundred feet the ridge angle eases off to give way to really pleasant walking underfoot which allows you to take in the impressive views. There is something magic about the combination of mountain and seascapes. Geology, huge volumes of ice and deep time and a bit of weathering have evolved a magical landscape for all to enjoy, and it’s for free, save the effort to get out there and see it.

After summiting some of the group decided to simply go back to the bothy whilst others wanted to experience more of this landscape coupled with the challenge of completing yet another Munroe (there are currently 283 in total). The next mountain is Garbh Chioch Bheag, however for the uninitiated you first have to lose at least 500 feet of height before re-ascending to the next summit for it to count as a separate Munroe. This route was followed by a lengthy descent into the glen to the south followed by a long walk back to the bothy. That was not quite the end of the story for Mhairi who was determined to walk a third Munro, named Sgurr nan Coiriechan, and I must admit I was very keen as the mountain was so close, so off we went towards another mountain top. The only real consequence of pursuing the extra mountain, apart from the additional effort and tired limbs, was that we only just made it back before dark. Mind you it was worth the effort!

The bothy proved to be a great base from which to cook and generally chill and it is always nice to meet misanthropic types you often find in these remote places. The fellow in question was a professional landscape photographer from Norway.

Day 3 – the 23Km kayak journey back to Malaig proved to be ‘gob’ smacking and for many reasons, the wind and tide were favourable giving us a gentle push in our direction, the sun was shining, the scenery was fantastic set against the azure sky, and the Isle of Skye appeared close enough to touch, but perhaps the climax was the sighting of a pod of porpoises which came fairly close to us.

Eventually, we arrived at the port of Mailaig but for us we had to paddle another kilometre before finally arriving at a very small sandy beach, this was followed by a 100m carry of all the gear up to the road where I managed to hitch a ride by a kind old local lady who lived very close to where we started, and incidentally, had family connections with Windermere!

Tired bodies were soon fast asleep pondering thoughts of a fantastic trip as we travelled back for the next 5 hours. Here’s to the next venture!

The group, who were a pleasure to be with, included: Mhairi Callingham, Jakob Crook, Jamie Hill, Matthew Rigg and Isaac Johnson.

Mr Robinson

Outdoor Education

Good News Stories...

Every Friday morning the staff at The Lakes School get together for a short meeting where we share good news stories. Here are a few that we thought we would share with you.


Keen photographers in Year 7 and 8 are invited to sign up for the next Camera Club, this time run by ex-Lakes School student and first class Photography Honours graduate Beth Irwin. This will be held in the first half term after Christmas - please sign up on the board in Room 29 (be quick as it’s sure to fill up fast!)

Look who it is! Mr Robinson's Outdoor Education group were treated to an impromptu meeting with Greg Rutherford during November who was spotted at our local Spar garage. The European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic champion was more than happy to chat and pose for this photo. Best wishes to Greg from all of us at The Lakes School.

Thanks to Cllr Dyan Jones for her donation to school which has been used to purchase headphones to support students whilst working on computers.

...and what about Teagan and Chloe?

Here they are again enjoying a reward for finding a mobile phone whilst on an Outdoor Education trip to The Langdales. As they arrived back at school with Mr Tomes, a gentleman arrived at reception. He had tracked the phone back to the school using the Find iPhone app and was thrilled that his wife's phone had been well looked after. In fact, he was so thrilled that he even made a donation to the school fund. Well done girls for being such amazing ambassadors for the school.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and we look forward to bringing you our next issue. If you ever have information you would like to share through our newsletter then do get in touch.

North West from near the Gilpin Lake House
The Coniston Range early autumn
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