Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured‘. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity. Autism is a spectrum condition and all autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.
At Hazeley we arranged a number of events to celebrate and raise awareness of autism including a bake sale, fundraising selling hand-made ribbons (thank you to Jackie, Hazel and Sinead for organising this) and form time sessions for students to learn more about how to support the diversity of people in our society.
History year 7 castles trip
In the first term year 7 students explore and investigate the medieval period including environmental factors that had an impact on daily lives. As part of this study our students visit Warwick Castle originally a wooden fort, built by William the Conqueror in 1068 and rebuilt in stone in the 12th century. Following the visit students completed a homework project which results in an eclectic mix of work such as the building of impressive structures, the baking of impressive forts and the thoughtfulness of written pieces.
The department is always impressed by the hard work and determination which is shown by these students and it helps us to reflect upon the impact which this unit of learning has. The sense of togetherness and collective achievement shown in the students when they present their work is exceptional. The pride they show in their efforts is inspirational, and the commitment to their learning and development is refreshing to see.
The confidence which the students show in presenting their work shows that they do not only gain an understanding of how society was shaped in a previous time, but also an appreciation for the social skills required to demonstrate their work effectively. In presentation-based projects we often hear students talk about the cultural shifts in these historic environments, moving from defence-focus to one of greater luxury. Interestingly, this year students have broadened their scope by requesting to focus their research on non-British castles, including Eastern-European and Asian castles. The pride and effort shown by our students has been excellent to see, and it is wonderful to see them reflect our cultural values here at the Hazeley Academy.
Our student UNICEF Ambassadors planned and organised lessons to teach year 7 and 8 on the theme of World Water Day which is linked to the Sustainable Development Goal 6: water for all by 2030. Today, billions of people are still living without safe water despite all the work of charities such as Water Aid. Many houses, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggle to survive and thrive due to lack of water. Many groups which are marginalised are often overlooked including children, women, refugees, indigenous peoples and disabled people. The theme of this World Water Day is to consider why some people are left behind. Our students did case studies on Liberia, Malawi and Niger and considered how so many girls are given the task of collecting water leaving them without schooling and education and also causing damage to their spines and neck by carrying water for long distances.
Well done to Thomas, Daisy, Carla, Lily, Mobarak, and Jhamayia for teaching their lesson.
Our year 9s completed a litter pick in Milton Keynes as part of their volunteering and working with the Milton Keynes charity Get Involved in Volunteering. It was an amazing sunny day and the students agreed that getting out in the fresh air, helping their community and spending time talking was a really valuable way to help others, keep healthy and enjoy themselves. We stopped at the Westbury Arts Centre and saw the work of a range of artists including photographers and painters.
We won the school cup!!! Beating Oakgrove, Ackley and Thornton. The winning team needed to beat 156 lengths in 55 mins and got 171 with amazing support from the parents at the end, which was fantastic.
Massive thank you to Isabel Sousa, Luke Ryan, Andy Soper and especially Sarah Winkfield for all their support
The event was in support of MK charities: Willen Hospice, MK Safety Centre (Hazard Alley), Age UK Milton Keynes, MÓTUS, Bus Shelter (The Mayor’s Charity), MK Snap, Headway, MK Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Group
Swimathon house points go to:
1st place 100 points – Cobra 6 attendees
2nd place 75 points – Enigma 5 attendees
3rd places 50 points – Colossus 3 attendees
4th place 25 points – Victory 2 attendees
Having taught English for a number of years now, I wish I had a pound for every time a parent said, ‘My son always loved reading when he was in primary school, but now he’s just glued to his Xbox and I haven’t seen him read since he wore shorts to school’ or, ‘My daughter always loved reading when she was little, but now it’s all Instagram this, YouTube that or Snapchat the other’.
We hear you and we agree.
That’s why at Hazeley we are really pushing out the boat against this and doing our best to swim against the tide of digital distractions, algorithmic amusements and internet interruptions. As such, we celebrated World Book Day on Thursday 7th of March in a big way this year and bridged that gulf between students’ wonderful and memorable celebrations in primary school and the usually tokenistic experiences of the day in secondary School.
World Book Day is not something that should end once our students pass through secondary school gates. And how have you been able to get them to relive some of the fun of childhood? How else? We dressed up. Cognisant that some of our adolescents might be self-conscious, the staff at Hazeley have proved anything other. We had a huge range of literary characters: including both George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men; most of Hogwarts; two Dolores Umbrages; Lady Macbeth; Gangsta Granny and many more. But let’s not forget Professor Dumbledore, with an accent from the North East! Students were really buzzing when spotting literary characters and some didn’t even recognise Mr Nelson…
Sofia in Year 7 remarked that it ‘was like being in a movie or a book and it was fun guessing who was who’ and Eiden Toscano-Buzenet observed that ‘all the lessons were different to usual as they were related to books, which was a really good idea, and even the teachers were reading in silence in period 5’.
Hazeley celebrated a wonderful, productive and thrilling day in which students’ appetites were whetted as they sampled from a wide range of tasty texts on the menu at our library ‘restaurant’; had the opportunity to purchase at our book sale; had their teachers read out and discuss their favourite books; had reading flashmobs regaling them with snippets of literature; and engaged in book quizzes during form time.
But what was arguably most beneficial and productive of all was the DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) hour. It was truly a calm, soothing and peaceful atmosphere in which over 1500 young people and adults read in silence. Undeniably a dream for most teachers!
So, this year, World Book Day was big. Next year it’ll be even bigger!
But we didn’t just keep it to the day itself. Oh, no, all week, tutor groups have been involved in reading activities: quizzes, podcasts and online reading and writing masterclasses.
You see, at Hazeley, we want to continue to cultivate a culture of reading, through our fortnightly Accelerated Reader lessons, the first ten minutes of reading in English lessons and thrice yearly DEAR sessions. For us, even though that day sparked off a lot of enthusiasm, celebrating reading is not just about celebrating it once a year.
I really do think the more we do this, the far fewer comments we’ll be hearing about Playstations before prose, Nintendos before novels. Slowly but surely, we really might just get there. I may never get those pounds… but that’s okay.
Mr D Lane
On Thursday 28th March we took 17 year 11 Health and Social Care students to Aylesbury College to take part in a Health Tec session focusing on “The Patient Journey”. During the day the students got to experience how being elderly can affect the ability to move around independently by using equipment to restrict their movements and impair eyesight and hearing. This gave them a real insight into the difficulties encountered by the elderly population and the work involved in being a carer.
Linking in with the work of Paramedics students were also able to experience hands on CPR training, choking and the use of a defibrillator all within a totally immersive virtual classroom. Students also rose to the challenge of using a spinal board to transport a casualty to the ambulance, a tricky technique to master. Throughout the day students were able to test their hygiene efficiency with a UV hand-wash station and using equipment we had discussed in lessons such as; peak flow metres, blood pressure metres, digital thermometers and Oxygen saturation monitors. All of which linked into the work of nursing and HCA job roles.
The students engaged really well with all the tasks and it was clear to see their understanding and enthusiasm grow. Some of the less confident students in the group really surprised us by getting totally involved and volunteering for everything. This was an invaluable trip to really give the students some empathy of the situations we discuss in lesson and some practical opportunity to use the equipment they have been studying.
Thanks to Mrs Laurence and Mrs Batey for organising the trip.
As things are starting to warm up and the birds are starting to sing, the Gardening Club can get back outside and start working in their polytunnel and garden! Our main aim is to clear the raised bed of weeds that have grown over winter and start improving the soil ready for planting onions, potatoes, raspberries and flowers. The students were pleased to present the daffodils they had planted last October to the reception area ready for St David’s Day!
Our recent fieldtrip with our year 10 Geographers allowed them to experience a different cultural mix to one they would be used to by growing up in Milton Keynes.
Our fieldtrip was designed to determine whether the Olympics had encouraged regeneration of the previously run-down Stratford area of London. The students were able to witness first had the mixing of cultures in London as well as the interaction between the new richer areas and the existing poorer areas that have yet to feel the benefit of regeneration.
This, albeit brief, first-hand view of the disparities within London we believe will be invaluable in not only for their Geography GCSE but will also help widen their current worldview of different cultures and urban living conditions.
Our student UNICEF Ambassadors have been working on a social enterprise project to increase access to education in Liwonde, Malawi. They have been working as part of a network of schools called j8 which promotes social justice and children everywhere having the opportunity to go to school. https://j8educationalpartnerships.co.uk/
The Ambassadors have been selling j8 Fairtrade coffee and have so far raised £50.
Well done for their commitment to improve the lives of children, raise awareness and focus on supporting the rights and needs of children everywhere!
We have twins!
Two twin boys, of the four footed furry variety, have joined the Science Department.
Caramel and Ginger are two adorable Cavia porcellus (guinea pigs) that have moved into B6.
They are currently adjusting to lots of attention and cuddles from students and staff alike.
They have an important part in classroom, as they will help students to learn about life processes (MRS GREN).
We also have a complete aquarium ecosystem, consisting of snails, worms, woodlice and plants. This will allow students to directly observe ecosystem cycles.
Newly hatched African snails are taking over the Science Prep. Room. These adorable creatures need amazing homes. They are easy to care for.
If you are interested in purchasing one, please contact Ms. Wisbey,
A massive congratulations to Felicity Jackson 9EA2 who single-handed raised £888.71 for Willen Hospice, a real achievement for an amazing cause! Felicity said it was really hard doing a sponsored silence as she couldn’t talk all day!
Willen are based at a peaceful lakeside location in Milton Keynes and are an independent charity offering specialist care to individuals with life limiting illnesses. They have a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, social care professionals and other health care staff, provide round the clock care to their patients and provide ongoing support for their families. Being diagnosed with a life-limiting illness can often leave people in a lonely, uncertain, and confusing place, so Willen’s care looks to give individuals comfort, help them find confidence, ease their pain and reduce their anxiety. The donation from Felicity will go towards all the services Willen provides.
Willen Hospice have some fun events planned over the half term. For more information please see click here:
National Speaking Competition
5th February 2019
By Lesley Mckenzie
We were delighted to welcome teams from Malcolm Arnold, Shenley, Bedford, Bedford Modern and Northampton High School to Hazeley for the ESU debating competition. The ESU was founded in 1918 and has 35 branches in the UK and is present in 50 countries worldwide. The competition develops key skills for the future with students researching topical subjects, learning how to think analytically and using evidence to support conclusions. Shenley spoke on the topic ‘Is mental illness in school children getting the detention it deserves?’, Northampton spoke about whether Britain should pay reparations for the harm done by empire, Ousedale had ‘Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind’, Bedford ‘The internet is a drug and we are all addicted’ and Bedford Modern ‘Men and women will never be equal’. With many thanks to Roger Cornwell for chairing the debate, the judges Tony Wood, Anne Kaye and Hilary Eltringham and timekeeper Stephen Hibberd.
Well done to Shenley for winning the best speaker and to Bedford for winning the overall team!
Art of Brilliance!
6th February 2019
We were delighted to welcome Art of Brilliance to work with year 9 today to develop life skills, resilience and how to stay positive! The team, who are Paul Field, Gary Thornton, Anthea Marris and Mike Martin, specialise in training and development to make you a more positive, motivated and brilliant person – how to be your best self. Year 9 learnt how to cultivate a ‘can do’ attitude and the positive psychology, humour and thought-provoking activities really gave them something to think about. Paul told the students how he had been shaking being on the 103rd floor in a glass box in Chicago and students reflected on what it was that made them feel worried and how to overcome obstacles on the journey of life. The students took part in a number of sessions through the day including ‘Our amazing brain!’ which taught them how to grow intelligence and how to be develop resilience skills.
By Lesley Mckenzie
Our UNICEF club students meet every week and are working on a number of projects including supporting a school in Liwonde, Malawi and raising awareness about the issue of collecting clean water. We were delighted to welcome David Schiff to discuss the water issues in Uganda. David visits Uganda at least twice a year to learn about and support water issues. We learnt that much of Uganda is open water and swampland but this water is undrinkable. Over 4,500 children die every year in Uganda from diarrhoea caused by drinking poisonous water and other water diseases.
Children that David visits have to carry water for four miles twice a day. Children in Uganda who cannot read and write don’t go to school so these children do additional work carrying water.
David brought in a can and we filled it with water to see just how heavy it was. All of us were shocked that children could pick it up let alone many children who carry the water on their head and who, as a result, get spinal injuries.