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The Charter School

North Dulwich

Spring Term Newsletter

Read about science week, sports successes, a Sikh saint soldier and STEM in our latest newsletter


The Charter School End of Spring Term Newsletter 2015
This newsletter is also available on the school website with photos included.
Save the date!
Jo Brand, talented writer, actress and comedian, will host The Friends of Charter School annual Quiz night on May 15th 2015. Tickets are £15 (including fish and chips) and will go on sale after the two week Easter holiday through ParentPay.
Other important dates to note are set out at the end of this newsletter
News contents:
1. Exam preparation
2. Library News – Drop everything and read!
3. Science Week
4. Sir David Verey CBE visits The Charter School.
5. Visit by Sikh ‘Saint Soldier’
6. Jazz at JAGS
7. Sports News
8. Year 8 adventures ahead
9. CERN trip for physics students
10. Year 7 App competition
11. Sainsburys active kids vouchers
12. Key dates
1. Exam preparation
Many of our students are working really hard towards important exams at the moment. Our teachers and support staff are also working hard to prepare and encourage pupils. In the key dates section of the school website you will find all the information about revision sessions, dates of external exams for years 11, 12 and 13, and dates of practice exams for years 10 and 11.
On our website home page you can also find tips from teachers on how to help your child revise; stay healthy and avoid stress during exams.
2. Library news – Drop everything and read!
What an exciting term we’ve had in the library!
World Book Day was on Thursday 5 March, the big book-loving, all-reading day of the year. We celebrated with a pop-up library, posters of ‘secret bookworm staff’ everywhere, with prizes for guessing the teacher behind the book in the posters.
At several moments during the day, students and staff heard a mystery voice on the tannoy announcing ‘Drop Everything And Read’, so stopped whatever they were doing to instead read for 10 minutes. Everyone was well prepared and had a book in their bags. Watch this space for more ‘Drop Everything and Read’ news.
On World Book Day we also launched our first Readathon , with 34 of our students setting themselves a reading challenge between now and the end of April. They’re all gathering sponsorship money which will go to Readathon charities, improving care for ill children, and supplying hospitals with books for children – please give generously if a student asks you for sponsorship.
We are proud to have become an Accelerated Reader (AR) school this term, having signed up to the international programme that works with each student to find their optimum reading level and take the right steps to a lifetime of reading for pleasure. With fun quizzes and other incentives, we use AR to support and encourage selected students on their reading journeys, analysing data to follow their progress.
Our Year 7 and Year 8 Carnegie Medal and Southwark Book Award (SBA) Reading Groups have had their first meetings. Each student has taken at least one of the shortlisted books to read over Easter, after which we’ll meet weekly to discuss, review and blog. Watch our website for updates, and to read the students’ online microsites. The Charter School was one of 3 Southwark schools to agree on the SBA shortlist, which has been exciting.
We’ve welcomed visiting authors Jeannie Waudby and Maria Snyder this term, to discuss their brilliant new books ONE OF US and SHADOW STUDY with Years 7 & 8 (book cover images attached). Each has been a fascinating experience for various class groups, bringing the worlds of writing and publishing to life for Charter students. If you are or have connections to a published writer for young people/teenagers who would like to visit our library, please do get in touch with Ms Emily Seed:          
3. Science week – students undaunted by cloudy eclipse!
What happened on Friday 20th March that has not happened since 1999, and will not happen again until 2090? If you hadn’t been told, you may not have noticed anything odd happen at 9.30am on that Friday morning.
However, Charter students noticed that it seemed to get colder and even darker as the maximum time of a partial solar eclipse approached - the time that most of the sun's disk was covered by the moon.  If the clouds had not thwarted us it would have been a spectacular sight to see.  As it was, the Charter School pupils managed to find more inventive ways of using their eclipse viewers they had made during the week. Although we only saw it as a partial solar eclipse, it will be the last time a full solar eclipse will be seen from somewhere in the UK for the next 70 years, and it marked the end of a very enjoyable Science Week for the pupils at the Charter School.
This Science Week was all about our senses.  More specifically about tricking our senses so that we may not always be able to trust what our brain is telling us to be true.  Students in Key Stage 3 took part in a range of activities during their lessons – from trying different flavour squashes to dunking their hands into different buckets of water.  There were also a couple of assemblies and some optical illusions around the school, including a magic eye treasure hunt.  After Easter, the pupils who have the most right answers to the treasure hunt, juice and crisp tasting combined will be given an amazing prize – a device which attaches to your iPhone/android to produce a mini microscope!
Science week STEM careers event at Dulwich Gallery
Also during science week, 17 of our Year 12 physics students had a great opportunity to learn more about possible careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).Our students were kindly invited by Dulwich College to a STEM networking event at Dulwich Picture Gallery on Thursday 19th March. The event was hosted by Dr Joseph Spence, The Master of Dulwich College. Students were able to meet and talk informally with 25 business people all of whom are working in STEM careers. Companies and organisations represented at the event included Google UK, UK Power Networks, Cisco Systems, Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies, Genesis Oil and Gas, BlueOptima, London Underground, Kings College London, The Medical Research Council, The Society of Biology, and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
4. Charter students meet Sir David Verey, Philanthropist
Students in Year 13 and Year 9 were able to meet Sir David Verey CBE, in school on Friday March 20th. Sir David Verey is a senior adviser at Lazard & Co Bank, and Lead Non-executive Director at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Sir David has had an impressive career in the banking sector, and has devoted much of his time to philanthropy. He is a passionate supporter of the Arts. He was a Trustee of The Tate from 1992 until 2004 and Chairman of the Trustees from 1998. Sir David led the incredible efforts to raise funds to build and open the Tate Modern on the South Bank of the Thames, which millions of people now visit each year. He has been Chairman of the Trustees of the Art Fund since 2004, and is Chair of The Government Art Collection Advisory Committee. He is also a Trustee of both The Teaching Awards Trust and The Pilgrim Trust. Sir David kindly gave his time to come and speak to students and answer questions. He talked about his own education, career and voluntary work. His talk led to a lively debate among Year 9 students about philanthropy and which charitable causes they felt were most important to support. 
5. Sikh ‘Saint Soldier’
Year 8 students were recently treated to a presentation and performance by a Sikh Saint Soldier, Mr Jas Singh. Mr Singh discussed what it means to be Sikh, how he became a Saint Soldier and the lessons we could all learn from inner respect, caring for other, being in control of yourself and having discipline. Mr Singh gave the whole year group an amazing performance of the martial arts that he has been learning for over 20 years. 24 students then enjoyed a further interactive Martial Arts workshop.
6. Jazz at JAGs
Our Year 11 Jazz band known as “The Band With No Name” gave another wonderful performance for the third consecutive year at the Dulwich Helpline’s annual Dulwich Jazz Festival hosted by JAGS last Friday evening.
They played a 20-minute set, with no sheet music (the only group to perform from memory), playing a range of jazz standard genres. Their improvisations around the “head” (the main melody in jazz) were strong and convincing; the audience were impressed and reported how well they play as a unit, as well as commenting on their individual strengths and skills as musicians.
Very well done to Jonah, Louiza, Joey, Eve, Armand, Temi and Brianna, from the proud Music Department staff Ms Williams, Mr Winston, and Ms Marshall.
7. Sports News
National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships
Last week, 22 Charter School students travelled to the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in North London to compete in the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships. In total, there were over 2,700 competitors taking part from all over Britain, making it the biggest indoor rowing event ever recorded. All students performed excellently and represented the school well.  Some stand out top 50 performances included:
- Leila, winning the Year 11 girls event.
- Callum, finishing 11th in the Year 8 boys event.
- Sami, finishing 15th in the Year 11 boys event.
- Jose, finishing 27th in the 6th Form boys event.
- William, finishing 28th in the Year 11 boys event.
- Rory, finishing 30th in the 6th Form Boys event.
- Albie, finishing 31st in the Year 7 Boys event.
- Samuel, finishing 34th in the 6th Form boys event.
- Guy, Finishing 40th in the Year 8 Boys event.
- Lamarrie , finishing 46th in the Year 7 boys event.
The Charter Indoor Rowing Club is on Monday nights 3-4pm in the sports hall.
Millwall Academy Taster Session
Year 8 boys attended the Millwall Academy in early March when Mr D O’Brien successfully organised a taster session for them. The year 8 pupils experienced the life of an Academy player and were taught the fundamental values of becoming a professional football player. The boys were first taught in class about the 'four corners' of a player’s development: technical, physical, social and psychological. The pupils then completed a fitness workout with the Academy Physiotherapist before starting a coaching drill aiming to improve their ability to cross the ball and attacking the ball from a cross. The session ended with a small sided game. This was a wonderful experience for the boys, who really enjoyed meeting the professional football coaches. Millwall aim to build positive relationships with local schools, and their coaches have said they may like to watch our school football matches in the future to identify talent for their academy.
Football stars!
Charter  6th form football team are second in the South London league after a hard fought victory (1:0) against Graveney School. James Pagel scored the decisive goal to send us top of the league. This was an important victory for us because Graveney School knocked us out of the cup earlier in the month. David Kolawole was man of the match with his outstanding performance on the left wing. He was a nightmare to play against and caused their defence problems the entire game. Next match April 22nd against Southfields Academy, if we win this match we could be top of the league!
8. Year 8 - adventures ahead
Plans and arrangements are coming together for the Year 8 Cornwall Trip and Year 8 ‘CR8’ week in mid-July. Students will certainly have a challenging and adventurous week.
9. CERN trip for Physics students
Twenty two A level Physics students will be going to CERN, Geneva, on Friday 3rd July. The highlight of the day will be a guided tour of CERN itself, and, time permitting, a short visit to the centre of Geneva to admire the lake and fountain. At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. The particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives the physicists clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. This experience will hopefully inspire students to take Physics at degree level, and we hope it will become a permanent fixture in the school calendar.
10. Year 7 App competition
The whole Year 7 cohort took part in an App design completion just before February half term. Local and international companies set the students a challenge of designing and app for a specific need. The students engaged brilliantly in the task and during an extended assembly, students, (selected by their peers) where able to present their apps. The professionalism of the students was immense as they confidently demonstrated their well thought out and developed apps. All students were rewarded with a Charter School USB key for their efforts but Merrie Woodcock and her team were chosen as the overall winner. O2, were one of the companies that set the task and they wrote a blog about it here ( We would like to thank O2, Brixton Therapy Centre and local consultant Dylan Fuller for their excellent support. The students really benefitted from a real life challenge.

11. Sainsburys active kids vouchers

We are collecting these vouchers which will help us buy sports equipment for the school. Please save your vouchers and ask your child to bring them into school. There is a collection point in Reception.


12. Key dates to note

Friday 27th March, School closes at 1pm for Easter Holidays

30th March – 2 April, Easter Revision Week, Years 10,11,12,13


13th April, School reopens to students

14th April Friends of Charter committee meeting: 6 – 7pm in the School Cyber Café. All welcome

21st April Achievement Evening for Year 10 parents

30th April Junior Maths Challenge Years 7 - 8


6th May Achievement Evening for Year 8 parents

15th May Friends of Charter School Quiz night hosted by Jo Brand

18th May School closes at 1.10pm (meetings for parents of children joining Year 7 in September)

19th May All welcome to the Friends of Charter committee meeting, 7pm to 8pm, The Plough, Opp Dulwich Library

4th June Final day for Year 11 with a final assembly.

7th and 8th July  EPQ initial sessions for year 12 students

16 June Friends of Charter committee meeting: 6pm to 7pm the School Cyber Café, All welcome

20th June (tbc) Sessions/tests for incoming September 2015 Year 7 students

29th June Inset day, School closed to students

30th June to 3rd July ‘Destinations week’ activities for Year 12

1st July Financial Awareness Workshops run by PWC for Year 12 students

3rd July Visit to a University for all year 12 students (tbc)

3rd July A Level physics students visit to CERN in Geneva

17 July School closes to all students at noon