Members of our Northgate News Team have decided to find out a bit more about staff at Northgate. With that in mind, our keen reporters Chris and Corey, met with Mr Oldfield, Head of RE and Citizenship and Laboratory school Coordinator, for a quick chat.
1) Where did you grow up?
My father moved to Glasgow for work which is where I was born but then we later moved to Bolton.
2) What is your role at Northgate?
I am Head of RE and Citizenship but more recently have become the Laboratory School Coordinator. Laboratory Schools are a network of schools which are committed to find the best methods of teaching and educating students through different research.
3) How long have you been at Northgate?
I have been working at Northgate since 2007, so 14 years! Before that I worked in Manchester.
4) What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy teaching about society and ethics – it’s an interesting subject to teach and I enjoy talking!
5) What are your hobbies?
I enjoy reading, playing on the Xbox, playing my guitar and watching and supporting Bolton Wanderers Football Club!
6) Xbox or Playstation?
Xbox – because the controllers are better
Facts: Mr Oldfield likes Cornish vanilla ice cream, his favourite streaming service is Disney+ and his favourite TV show is the US Office.
A big thank you to Mr Oldfield for taking the time to meet with us and answer our questions.
Members of our Northgate News Team have decided to find out a bit more about staff at Northgate. With that in mind, our reporters Mirren, Kourtney and Brigita, met with Mr Digby, Teacher of Science, for a quick chat.
Q1) What is it like working at Northgate High School?
It’s really fun!
Q2) How long have you been a teacher?
I have been a teacher for 4 years but I haven’t always worked at Northgate, I worked in a different school.
Q3) Have you ever worked in a different department / subject before?
No, I have always worked in science here in Northgate.
Q4) What is the best subject in school?
Being a science teacher, I would say science is one of the most important curriculum lessons in every school.
Q5) Who is your favourite Scientist?
My favourite scientist is Richard Feynman who was an American physicist. He was great at explaining Physics in everyday language – he said it’s “fun to imagine”….
Q6) Why are you so interested in science?
I was inspired to become a scientist as I have always been interested in science and find it quite fascinating. I always enjoyed science since I was a child and it was my favourite subject growing up. I also enjoy figuring things out.
Q7) What is your favourite part of science to teach?
My favourite part has got to be teaching about space!
Q8) Do you do science experiments in your free time?
Yes I do. I will sometimes practise experiments in my house before I bring them into school just to make sure they work! Right now though, aside from science experiments in school, I’m trying to make a speaker! I should probably ask the Tech department for help though.
Q9) Have you always been a teacher?
No, in previous years before my teaching career I was a research scientist in Antarctica for 2 1/2 years, and then an engineer working in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. I have been working as a scientist for twenty years now.
A big thank you to Mr Digby for taking the time to meet with us and answer our questions.
During our Year 6 Transition Days, new students to Northgate had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of lessons across so many subject areas, taught by Northgate and Dereham Sixth Form teachers. On top of this, they also had the chance to become crime scene investigators with a special visit from the team at Forensic Minds. Seren and Kyra, two Year 7s, were lucky enough to join in these activities and tell us all about the day:
‘For the last day of the Year 6 transition, they took part in many fun events and some year 7s also got a chance to participate in CSI activities for the day.
We took our fingerprints and learned how to identify what type of fingerprints we had using magnification. These were either a whorl, a loop or an arch which are found by looking at their bifurcations and ridges. We chose our best fingerprint and put it in a key ring to take home. We then compared the fingerprints of our three suspects to those from the hypothetical crime to see which matched up.
We used a dental antigen solution to make a mould of our thumbs and filled it with plaster of Paris to make a cast. This part was really enjoyable.
We also learned some of the multiple ways the CSI and other investigators study how crimes are committed. To help explain which methods are used, and discover how, two people smashed grapefruits. One was smashed slowly and gently and the other was smashed quickly and hard. We saw how the speed of impact affects the markings left on the ground.
One of the last activities of the day was investigating the velocity of blood spatter and discovering how height affects it. We used fake blood and dropped it on different materials from four heights. The fake blood was mainly made of tomato puree. This part wasn’t our particular favourite as it was a bit gruesome!
We hope these transition days have been fun and helped Year six prepare for September. It was great to meet them and see them so involved in the activities. We absolutely loved being part of Forensic Minds’ CSI themed day.’
A huge thank you to the team at Forensic Minds for such a jam-packed day. We are sure it will have inspired many of our students and given them a real insight into how crime scenes are looked at and crimes solved through the use of different techniques.
We are pleased to introduce our September bulletin. In our bumper edition bulletin this month you will find out all sorts of information and updates including links to recent blogs, upcoming events, photos, merit update and more. There’s news about a recent grant we received from Breckland Council as well as our Year 7 Flying Start Summer School and Brilliant Club graduation.
We hope that you are able to take some time to read our bulletin and enjoy seeing what we got up to at Northgate in July. Please share with your friends and family via our Facebook and twitter pages.
Miss Theobald (School Council Coordinator) + Northgate School Council.
During the summer holidays we welcomed lots of our new Year 7s to Northgate for our annual Flying Start Summer School, organised by Miss Lynn. This gave students the opportunity to experience a number of different subjects including English, Maths, Drama, PE, Music, Computing and First Aid, as well as getting to know each other and the school a bit more. Split into three groups, which students named ‘Sunset Lobsters’, ‘Shrek’s Sidekicks’ and ‘Marine Team’, students were supported by six of our fantastic Year 12s from Dereham Sixth Form.
The first morning began with some ‘getting to know you’ games and a bumper quiz. The Maths and English sessions were both, coincidentally, on the theme of Harry Potter. In Maths with Miss Theobald, students were looking at representations of 9 ¾, converting between galleons, sickles and knuts in Gringotts Bank and some Bertie Bott’s every flavour bean number puzzles. In the English session with Mrs Christie, students did some creative writing based around magical creatures. The final session with Miss Lynn in the Learning Hub involved learning more about each other and creating ‘get to know me’ posters.
Day two in Maths the Harry Potter theme continued and this involved using proportions to scale ingredients lists for various potions and then creating their own potions – there were certainly some wild imaginations on display with some fantastic potions created. Finally, students looked at reading timetables for the Knight Bus. In English, everyone got crafty, creating magical creature masks, bookmarks or Hogwarts house ties. The third session involved some extremely competitive games of bench ball and dodgeball with Miss Lynn, new sports for some. In the afternoon there were two activities available. Groups first had the chance to be code breakers, looking at Morse Code, Pig Pen Ciphers, substitution codes and Caesar Ciphers. They worked in teams to crack codes and find out a bit more about the code breaking completed during World War II. The second activity was a Maths related treasure hunt. This allowed everyone to get to know the school a bit better as they ventured round with iPads in hands, scanning QR codes at various locations. Maths questions were answered, along with bonus questions in quite a competitive challenge. All in all, another great day was had.
Day three was a little different and involved a carousel of activities. There was the opportunity to create origami, decorate biscuits, create something for a time capsule and play a Pictionary style game. The Year 7s also got competitive in a few games of capture the flag.
On day four, there was a mini medics session with Mr MacDonald, where everyone learnt some basic first aid skills, including how to put someone in the recovery position, how to do CPR and basic bandaging skills. In Drama, with Miss Sanders, they looked at different ways to express themselves on stage, looking at facial expressions, voice, accent and more, and then had a go at creating small scenes themselves. The third session of the day was music, and involved the students putting their skills into practice on the ukulele. During the afternoon, the groups were put to test in an escape room style activity. They had to solve a number of puzzles, riddles and ciphers to gather clues, in order to uncover the location of a final prize.
On their final day, there was a computing session with Miss Brooks, where Year 7s were shown how to log in to their school accounts, including their school emails, which they then used to email Miss Lynn. They also had the chance to explore Google classroom, and complete a quiz. With Miss Sanders, it was time for a wellbeing session, where they explored emotions and looked at ways they can manage nerves and anxiety about starting high school. Their third session of the day was junk modelling and the students had to put their creativity to the test and create something related to school using a variety of recycling. They created a wide range of items, ranging from mini replicas of the school buildings to computers and lunchboxes. The week-long Summer School was finished by playing a number of group games including follow the leader and splat. The students were also awarded certificates for completing the week and completing ‘a flying start’ to their time at Northgate.
A big thank you to Miss Lynn for organising a fantastic Summer School and to all the staff who lead sessions and Sixth Form students for their amazing support of the groups. We hope everyone had a great time. We certainly enjoyed finding out a bit more about our new Year 7s and look forward to seeing them fly throughout their time at Northgate.
Here are some comments from those who attended the week:
“I really enjoyed coming to Summer School, and it has given me a boost of confidence for September.”
“Summer School has been a great way to make new friends before September, and I feel better knowing that there will be lots of familiar faces in my year group.”
“Summer School has made me really excited to start high school!”
“Summer School was an amazing experience.”
“Summer School has made me feel better about finding my way around the school.”