The Keats Herald


A warm (despite the cold) welcome to all of our students, friends, families and visitors to Keats College. As ever, it is a busy time of year for us all and we continue to balance a hectic schoolwork schedule with making the most of the varying opportunities that come our way. We have seen a number of different successes for the college over the past half term. As always, it was a fantastic opportunity to see Year 11 work through a long and arduous set of PPE examinations and then come together to receive results, act on advice and build new steps to climb. We know our students will use their time wisely, as they prepare for the final stages of their GCSE education and we wish them every success.

Of particular merit is the increasing confidence and maturity of our Keats Herald Blog Team. I have just finished reading the Blog and I am stunned by how much effort this group of students continue to give and how much more sophistication and maturity they have developed in their communications, in such a short space of time. I can honestly say I look forward to reading their reports and I am sure that all of our friends feel the same way. My total admiration is with all of these wonderful young people and of course their devoted and hard working Editor Isla, who continues to give so much time and dedication to ensuring that we are indeed a mighty Herald and strong voice to be heard. Well done to you all – your blog continues to be a triumph!

It was with great delight that I was able to reward the Blog team in our recent Achievement Assembly and thank them for their hard work and determination. Similarly, it was a fantastic opportunity to reward a number of our students for their continued hard work, strong efforts and overwhelming compassion towards others. I must of course mention our fabulous Keats Prefects, who work so hard carrying out duties for the school and thoroughly deserve recognition and reward. They were recently rewarded with a trip to The Trafford Centre, where a lovely time was had by all and they will soon be taking part in some more key training to help them in their roles. We wish them every success.

So, as we approach the Christmas holidays, I must take this opportunity to thank each and every student in Keats for being an integral part of our family and making us who we are. Equally, a huge amount of thanks to our dedicated team of Keats Teachers, who continue to work above and beyond to support our students. Thank you. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our families and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year. We hope you all enjoy family time during the holidays and we look forward to sharing our challenges and successes with you in the new year.


Ms Watts. Head of Keats College.

Charity Fundraising: Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children
Year 11 Prefects
Excellence Awards
College Awards
Linguist Awards
English Awards
College Award
The Herald

Hark the (Keats) Herald Angels Sing….

As Christmas approaches, Keats College is delighted to have the opportunity to once again bring you an insight into life in our amazing college here at Ormskirk School.

Once again, I would like to say how honoured I am to be editor of the Keats Herald and how much I have enjoyed working with Alex and Nadia (Senior Assistant Editors), Scott (Technical Supervisor and Design), Joseph (Staff liaison) and Callum and Holly (Reporters).

We have worked hard to bring you the latest news from within our wonderful College and to introduce you to the pupils and staff who are at the heart of Keats. We have many excellent achievements to celebrate and news of exciting trips and events which have taken place since our last blog.

We hope that you enjoy reading about Keats College and the way in which its members work together and support each other to create our true family atmosphere.

This is the time of year when stars feature so much in our lives – on Christmas cards and in the Christmas story – and they always remind us of our Keats motto “Per Aspera Ad Astra” - “Through Difficulty to the Stars!” We will work together in 2017 to help every single member of Keats to move towards or even reach their own personal “stars” in 2017. It’s often a long road and an arduous journey, but we are Keats College and we’ve being showing grit and determination since the very start. This makes us winners every single day.

From all of us in Keats, we would like to wish our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! PER ASPERA AD ASTRA!


Isla Webster - Editor

Malaga Trip

In October, around 50 pupils including myself (Holly Hilton) had the amazing experience of visiting Malaga in Spain. Jess Noonan and Lucy Rostron, who are also pupils in Keats, were happy to join me to talk about their experiences and tell you about the trip.

Jessica: Along with many other pupils of Ormskirk School I was lucky enough to get a space for the Malaga trip and visit Spain with the school. It was one of the best experiences of my life so far because it was the first time I had been to a different country without my parents.

Lucy: We had to be at school for 3.45am! Plus to make matters worse I was so excited the night before that I hardly slept.

Holly: When we arrived at Liverpool Airport we all checked in and went through security. Then for 45 minutes we walked around the airport with our friends to get breakfast. Then we flew with Ryanair, it was really exciting!

Jessica: When we landed around 11am at Malaga Airport we got our luggage, got on the coach and went straight to the hotel we would be staying at. It was called the Hotel Bali – it was amazing! The rooms were so cool and my friends and I all had a beach view from our balcony! Even better, we were next to Lucy and our friends.

Lucy: When we arrived we were told the rules and we then went off to find our rooms. My friends and I got a bit lost finding our room but we soon found it and got settled. We then went to the dining hall for lunch.

Holly: After that, we headed to the pool for a few hours. The weather was great and we got plenty of sunbathing and swimming done.

Lucy: Later on in the day we did some salsa dancing, it was fun but tiring. Even so, everything was about culture and experience.

Jessica: Each day we were doing something! The second day was very busy and we were all exhausted by the end of it! But what an adventure and a fantastic and exciting opportunity for us.

Lucy: The second day we visited three different towns/cities; Ronda, Marbella and Mijas.

Holly: Ronda was beautiful and the views from the bridges were incredible. We were also able to get some souvenir shopping done. Marbella was an incredibly rich town and the beach that we visited there was gorgeous. Mijas was great fun as a few of my friends and I went to a Mayan Monkeys Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop and we were able to make our own chocolate.

Lucy: Then we came back to the hotel for free time.

Jessica: The next day we visited Malaga city centre. It was great for pictures and to buy more souvenirs, but mostly it was the excitement of being able to experience a different way of life and culture.

Lucy: We also had some pool time that day.

Jessica: The next day we went to Granada and that was amazing! It was a long journey there and back (two hours) but worth it. The city was brilliant and unique. My favourite day was when we went to the beach near to our hotel as it was so relaxing. We played a few beach games such as volleyball and we buried our friends in the sand! After the beach we went back to our hotel and played in the pool for a while. Then we had to go back to our rooms and get ready for the Hallowe’en party which was amazing and so much fun. We sang karaoke, danced and had a juice cocktail – alcohol free of course!

Lucy: My favourite part of the whole trip was meeting new people. I have made a couple of new friends who I did not know before the trip and I am so grateful. After having free time round the pool and the beach on Tuesday we got ready to come home and arrived at 2am on Wednesday morning!

Jessica: I would definitely go back next year and I would encourage anyone who is thinking about it to go as it is great fun and you will miss out on such a good opportunity if you don’t go!

Holly: It is a great way to improve your language skills in Spanish and is overall an amazing thing to do. I wish I could do it all over again! I will be taking up every opportunity for travel in the future.

Holly Hilton. Year 8. Reporter. Traveller. Adventurer.

Wider World Day

On Friday the 11th November, Ormskirk School held a ‘Wider World Day’. Pupils were taught about African/Ugandan culture. We were put into mixed year groups and together had to complete tasks working as a team - Keats certainly enjoyed the day and of course made the most of every opportunity!

Here are some of the tasks that the Keats pupils had to complete on the day:

• African Dancing

• African Art

• Ugandan maths

• Make and present a recyclable product.

The aim of these tasks was for pupils to work together with students from younger and older years in order to complete a range of challenging tasks and learn about other cultures.

Firstly, Keats had the opportunity to watch a phenomenal Ugandan choir! They sang, danced and amazed ALL the pupils as well as the staff! The energy, excitement and optimism of our fantastic guests was truly phenomenal…even at 9am! Equally, they returned to give an extended performance in the evening and this was an absolute extravaganza and completely inspirational.

After watching a brilliant performance in the morning, Keats were lead down to the sports hall where they learnt an African dance for themselves. The drama department and Sixth Form volunteers had choreographed a fun yet interesting dance for the pupils to try. All students and staff learnt the dance with enthusiasm and excitement – I don’t know who enjoyed it more, the pupils or the adults! Charlie Hall from year 7 said “My favourite part of the day was the dance. The choir were so good and amazing that it inspired me to learn an African dance which was also fun!” Ms Watts – Head of Keats College was also heard to comment “I haven’t danced with that much energy for years! I’ll feel it in my legs tomorrow, but I’ve had a great time – even if I did keep turning the wrong way. What a fantastic way for us all to come together.” The best part was seeing every single student and teacher involved, dancing and smiling. Our visitors had certainly set the pace and we were so grateful for this.

The second part of the day was split into 3 different sections: African art, Ugandan Maths and creating an usable object out of recyclable material. For the African art, the pupils had to shade a piece of paper to match an image they were given. Then, when all the groups had finished this they would be sent to Art where they would stick them all together to create an outstanding piece of art. Holly in 7K2 said that for her “the art was the best because she learned about African culture.”

The Ugandan Maths was next and to say that it was difficult would be an understatement. The groups were given questions in Ugandan!! They would have to translate, solve and then write their answer down….did we mention….in Ugandan!! Talk about challenging! It may sound easy on paper but trust us…it got our minds working! The maths may not have been everyone’s easy cup of tea, however for Connor in 7K1 it was great as he said he enjoyed learning new skills and challenging himself. We’re all about challenge in Keats!

Finally there was the recycling task. The pupils had to select some recyclable objects e.g. plastic bottles or cardboard boxes and in their small groups they had to work together and make a product out of what they had found. There were some fantastic and creative items made during this task! We had pencil pots and piggy banks made out of plastic bottles and Ipad cases made out of cardboard boxes. For me there were two ideas which stood out above the others. The first was a water collecting system made out of plastic bottles which could collect rainwater and put it in a bottle for people to drink. My second personal favourite was a kennel made for endangered animals made out of cardboard and plastic bags which was also personalised with images and colour! We must of course also mention the recyclable desk top Christmas tree made out of old magazines – absolutely stunning to look at. Georgina in 7K1 said she loved this challenge, because she got to work with pupils older than her and liked meeting new people from older years.

The final part of the day for Keats was the presentations. While creating their products, pupils had to prepare a presentation about them which they had to perform to their class as the final challenge. From these presentations an overall winner would be chosen.

Overall, the day was interesting and fun at the same time. Erin Kenyon and Callum Gallagher both couldn’t pick out a favourite part…they just enjoyed the whole day. Erin said “The whole day was amazing and it was an enjoyable opportunity”. Callum on the other hand said “I enjoyed the whole day because it was action packed and the activities were different to our usual ones!” In my opinion, the day was a great success and all pupils thoroughly enjoyed it and made the most of this wonderful opportunity. Keats College would like to say a very special thank you to our vistors and to everyone who took part and made our day such an enjoyable learning experience. Thank you.


Nadia Brady and Alex Gaughan. Senior Prefects for Keats College. Assistant Herald Editors. Multi Taskers.

Rachel Potter

I spoke to Rachel Potter who trains at Marshside Gymnastics Club in Southport. Her favourite piece of equipment is the beam and she trains 3 hours a week on a Monday, Friday and Saturday. Rachel began Gymnastics at the very early age of three, as her friends were also training and she wanted to be with them. She has continued ever since and all those years of hard work have really paid off as she has won silver medals in both vault and beam competitions. This is very admirable and something to be celebrated in our blog.

Rachel shows the true spirit of Keats and truly reflects our college motto “Per Aspera Ad Astra” (through difficulty to the stars). The many years she has spent training also show that she has one of the main qualities that Ormskirk School hopes to instil into all pupils – Resilience. It must have taken real determination to get to such a high level of gymnastic skill in such a short space of time and Keats College is proud to have Rachel as part of our family. We look forward to hearing more about Rachel and her future success.

Alice – Ormskirk School Production

In our college we have many children who are gifted when it comes to Performing Arts. As most of you will know, the amazing performance of “Alice” took place back in October. I have interviewed a few of the Keats students who were part of the production; Hervey Bracken, Joe Morrow, Isla Webster, Sam Walton and Ellie Hall.

Q: What made you want to audition for a role in “Alice”?

Hervey: I wanted to join as I knew I would meet new people and have fun.

Joe: I have been in a few plays before and had a big role in productions at Primary school, so I thought I would take part in “Alice” and see what the experience would be like.

Isla: Performing in a school production is a really good opportunity, as the Ormskirk School productions are always of such a high standard.

Sam: I enjoy drama and thought it would be a good opportunity to perform in front of an audience.

Q: Did you find it hard to learn your lines?

Hervey: At times learning lines became hard, but you have to show resilience and persevere.

Joe: This was because some of the lines Hervey and I had to say were in sync which made it even harder!

Sam: Learning my lines was quite easy because I only had a few!

Q: How often were rehearsals and how long were they?

Joe: Rehearsals were around four hours a day.

Sam: Well, there were times when it was almost too long for my liking!

Isla: It was every day and sometimes we were still at school at 9 in the evening! But it’s all necessary and all worth it in the end.

Ellie: They were long hours but very enjoyable at the same time

Q: Do you participate in any Performing Arts clubs outside of school?

Hervey: No I don’t but I would like to start, as I’ve discovered that I really do enjoy acting.

Ellie: Yes I go to a Performing Arts school called “Loretta Legge” in Maghull.

Joe: I used to, but as I participate in other clubs I stopped going. But I still enjoy drama lessons in school and stay on a Wednesday for a school drama club.

Isla: I would like to but unfortunately I do not have time at the moment. I used to attend a club called L.Y.P.A. at Edge Hill which I enjoyed.

Q: Will you be auditioning next year for any roles?

Ellie: Yes, the experience of “Alice” was incredible and I can’t wait to see what it will be like next year.

Joe: Yes definitely it is such a good opportunity

Q: Is acting a career you would consider in the future?

Ellie: Yes, acting is such a good job option and it is really fun.

Hervey: I love acting and would definitely consider it as a job when I get older.

Keats are very proud of all of our pupils who performed in “Alice” or who took part behind the scenes and we can’t wait to see them all perform in the future!

By Holly Hilton. Year 8. Reporter.

The “Peak” of Success!

Toby Eastwood tells us about the fun and challenges of being a Scout and about the best thing he has done…so far!

Toby is in 8K1 and is a proud member of Keats collage and a keen Scout. He joined the organisation when he was only 6 years old and has spent many years enjoying the challenges it offers with his friends from school.

Toby enjoys a wide range of activities and told us: “I like doing lots of activities in Scouts and some of my best have been camping and climbing. My most memorable moment in scouts so far is taking part in an international camping event called “Peak”.”

“Peak” is an amazing gathering of Scouts from across the UK and abroad which has fun packed days filled with every activity and entertainment you could imagine - over 65 different ones to choose from!

Toby thoroughly enjoyed this event (who wouldn’t?) and thought it was wonderful to meet so many new people – he was certainly guided by our school motto and made the most of this “Opportunity”!

We love to hear about the adventures which members of our college enjoy outside of school – please tell us what you get up to in your spare time!

By Callum Gallagher-Tate. Year 8. Reporter.

Volunteering Victory- Our Senior Prefect is an Inspiration.

Alex Gaughan, our 11 Keats Senior Prefect, has been named Young Volunteer of the Year at the Lancashire Sports Awards which took place in Blackpool on Friday 25th November 2016.

Alex started coaching as a volunteer in year 9 and over the last 2 years has given up 500 hours of his time to coach a wide range of sports, including rugby, indoor football, indoor and outdoor athletics and cricket.

His work has included being responsible for organising and running events at local primary schools, helping at secondary school sports days and competitions and doing work in the community including coaching at Ormskirk Cricket Club, Ormskirk Rugby Club and Town Green Football club.

Competition for the prize was extremely tough and Alex was up against 7 other young volunteers who had also spent 500 hours coaching various sports. Alex was of course thrilled when he was chosen as the winner. We are absolutely delighted for Alex and although we can see how worthy the other pupils were, we have to give credit where it’s due and we know just how thoroughly deserving Alex was of this award. As a Senior Prefect for the College, he is a huge inspiration and everything we want our Senior Prefect to be.

Alex is studying GCSE PE and hopes to continue with his coaching. When asked for one of his favourite memories from his volunteering career, Alex said that he was delighted when one of the indoor cricket teams he was coaching won the local and then went on to win the country championships. It’s clear to see that Alex takes a great amount of pride in his students and they respect him completely.

Our college is extremely proud of Alex who has done so much for the school and the community, and who continues to be an inspiration to so many of us every day. Congratulations Alex! Per Aspera Ad Astra.


Joe Morrow Year 9 Reporter

A POEM – by Holly Frost 8K1

This is about my favourite time of Year

When everybody’s filled with cheer.

Children play in the soft, white snow

As the twinkling fairy lights glimmer and glow.

Carol singers spread the joy,

As children wish for their favourite toy.

The star shines on the tree, giving light,

As the presents are left, late at night.

All can tell when Jack Frost’s been around,

Because he leaves ice all over the ground.

When holly trees are in their glory,

Carol singers tell a story.

And the children say he’s on his way,

With all their presents in his sleigh.

Children are rushing up to bed,

He won’t visit if you’re awake it’s said!



Isla Webster - Editor ➖ Alex Gaughan - Reporter➖ Nadia Brady - Reporter➖ Callum Gallagher-Tate - Reporter ➖ Joe Morrow - Reporter and Staff Liaison ➖ Holly Hilton - Reporter ➖ Scott Mackin - Technical Supervisor and Design

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