Northgate News Team – Interview with Mr Fox

Northgate News Team – Interview with Mr Fox

In our latest Northgate News Team interview, Daniel spoke to Mr Fox, a member of the Science Department. He had plenty of questions to find out more about Mr Fox, who also helps run the after school STEM club.

What is your favourite science subject?

My favourite science subject is biology as it is the study of living things which allows us to learn and understand more about life on Earth.

What was your favourite thing to study in science?

One of my favourite things in science is haematology, the study of blood. I worked in the haematology department at the N & N before I became a teacher.

If you could meet any Scientist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would like to have met Charles Darwin. His theory of evolution was ground-breaking and it challenged many views and beliefs at the time.

What has been your weirdest experience as a science teacher?

During a trial run of the science show we hold during open evenings an experiment went wrong causing a ceiling tile to crack! It was quite a mess.

Did you have a teacher at school who inspired you to want to become a teacher?

During Year 13, I was taught by Mr Ashfield, who still works at Dereham Sixth Form. I was inspired by his teaching style and his personality made him approachable.

Did you have a dream job when you were younger?

When I was younger, I dreamed of being a professional tennis player because I loved sport and tennis especially.

When you were younger did you play any sports?

When I was younger I played an extensive number of sports from tennis, hockey, rugby, basketball, football and even skiing.

Do you have any hobbies outside of school?

Outside of school and playing sports, I like to go to the gym, watch films and television and play Xbox.

Tell me a random fact about yourself

Just before I started working at Northgate one of my front teeth was chipped while playing hockey. Don’t forget to wear gum shields!

What’s your best Science joke?

What did the biologist wear to impress his date? Designer genes.

What is the best thing about running the after-school STEM Club?

The best thing is when we run the science fair. The pupils spend weeks preparing a project to showcase in front of others and it is great seeing their ideas be presented.

A big thank you to Mr Fox for taking the time to answer Daniel’s questions. It’s always interesting to find out about the staff at Northgate. We look forward to the next interview. In the meantime, if you are interested in the after school STEM club, please speak to Mr Fox or any member of the Science department.

Northgate Council – May Bulletin

Northgate Council – May Bulletin

We are pleased to introduce our May bulletin. In our bulletin this month there’s updates from the Library, a review of the recent Spring Showcase and information from our Orchard Committee’s recent trip to Gressenhall’s Earth Day event.

We hope that you are able to take some time to have a look at all the goings on at Northgate from the last month and enjoy seeing what we’ve been up to. Please share with your friends and family via our Facebook and twitter pages.

Miss Theobald (School Council Coordinator) + Northgate School Council.

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Northgate Council – April Bulletin

Northgate Council – April Bulletin

We are pleased to introduce our April bulletin. In our bulletin this month there’s information about our recent Science Fair and a jam-packed World Book Week as well as news of a grant that our Orchard Committee has been awarded.

We hope that you are able to take some time to have a look at all the goings on at Northgate from the last month and enjoy seeing what we’ve been up to. Please share with your friends and family via our Facebook and twitter pages.

Miss Theobald (School Council Coordinator) + Northgate School Council.

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Space Centre trip is out of this world!

Space Centre trip is out of this world!

As part of Science Week, 100 of our Year 7s headed to the National Space Centre in Leicester with the Science Department for an amazing experience.

Mrs Simms, who organised the trip, gives her take on the day.

The annual National Space Centre trip to Leicester was exciting from the start, being able to take double the number of pupils than previous years meant being surrounded by double the excitement and expectations. 

As always, the entrance to the Space Centre is awesome, being able to see a Soyuz Capsule and different space suits used on different missions. Pupils were able to explore by themselves and most made it straight to the towers to see Thor Rocket and a piece of the actual moon.  Some pupils were engrossed in a launch simulator, being able to communicate with their astronauts successfully for lift off, taking it in turns to be part of ground control or in the capsule.

There was a new large and impressive exhibit which helped to highlight the challenges faced on our planet Earth, an interactive screen which shows the changing environments and loss of habitats while the planet heats.  Pupils loved stepping on the interactive floor making ripples and other patterns on the floor.

As always, the planetarium was an awesome experience, where pupils were made to feel like they were in space or on a centrifuge. They also learnt how dangerous travel to space can be with the help of Chad the astronaut. I think pupils this year appreciated the ability to learn more about the Space topic we have been studying in school in a completely interactive way, bringing to life the space race, how our knowledge has been gained and the different facts about our Solar System. 

This year I spent some more time in our Solar System exhibit, learning different facts about planets. I was particularly taken aback by the vastness of some other moons. Io, a moon of Jupiter, has a Volcano called Pele, which is so large that when it erupts it covers an area equivalent to France. It is so unimaginable and is awe inspiring, there are very few people on the planet who can appreciate how small Earth is in comparison to the vastness of the universe, and those that do have seen Earth with their own eyes and been brave putting themselves in danger to explore a very inhospitable environment.    

Colette said of the trip, ‘The space trip was out of this world! My favourite part was the rocket tower, although there were so many stairs! Whilst we were there, we explored the museum and saw what happens to the human body in space. The museum was super fun and interactive. Me and my friend tried to create a successful space launch but I think it may have been a one-way mission! This was a fantastic trip and I would definitely recommend it (the only thing I would not recommend would be walking up the stairs to the rocket tower 4 times!)’

Northgate News Team – Interview with Mr Fox

Northgate News Team – Interview with Mrs Kaufmann Ward

In our latest Northgate News Team interview, Milo and Emma talk to Mrs Kaufmann Ward, who has been at Northgate since 2011. Having been Head of the English Department since 2018, she has recently taken on a new challenge as Assistant Headteacher – Standards and Outcomes.

What is your favourite season of the year to teach and why?

I love to teach around spring time – I like to look out of the window to see the light coming in from the field with warmer weather. I do love the summer term too but it can get a bit hot and sticky in the classroom.

What is your favourite breakfast cereal? 

Oreo-o’s, an American cereal that I discovered as a teenager…it isn’t overly healthy!

What was it like to be head of department? 

Amazing. It was amazing to work with a team that believes passionately in our subject, and all believing so strongly in bringing out the potential of our students. There were some struggles however, particularly with covid. Trying to give students the best education possible was challenging being apart, but so was everything in that time for everyone. Being head of department and working so close to, well my second family really, was incredible and it still is.

What is your favourite and least favourite Shakespeare play and why? 

It alternates between Macbeth and Othello. At the moment, probably Othello as I just saw it with Year 13. Although generally, I am really not a fan of Shakespeare’s comedies.

What are you looking forward to in your new role within the school? 

I’m looking forward to making even more of a difference to more children and staff amongst the school.

What is your favourite literature text? (A-level and GCSE) 

An Inspector calls 100%. It hits home personally for me, and even though it was written in 1945, its themes are (sadly) still just as relevant today.

What hobbies do you have?

I like reading, watching films, swimming, cooking, singing and dancing around my house singing karaoke.

Did you always want to be an English teacher? 

Definitely not. I loved performing as a teenager so thought I would train to be an actor or perhaps join a band. I only decided upon being an English teacher after realising my rockstar dreams would be short lived. After university, my passion for helping children was properly brought into life and I began teaching English.

What topic area is the hardest to teach? 

Without a doubt, English grammar.

What do you enjoy most and least about your job?

I mostly enjoy connecting with students and being able to help them with anything they need, not just English. I also love connecting with parents and working with them to support their child. In terms of what I enjoy least…probably giving instructions 3 times and still being asked what the task is!

A big thank you to Mrs Kaufmann Ward for taking the time to answer Emma and Milo’s questions. It’s always interesting to find out about the staff at Northgate. We look forward to the next interview.

Science Fair Success

Science Fair Success

Tuesday 21st March saw Year 7 – 9 students take part in the annual Northgate Science Fair.

Students who attend the weekly STEM Science club had started their preparations before Christmas which culminated in a fair to present their findings. Initially they were informed of the theme for the fair – ‘connections’. They researched potential projects and came up with an equipment list for the Science Technicians. They were working to a budget too, so any items required had to fit with this. In the weekly meetings, students researched, did their experiments and collected data. They then had to put it all together in a presentation for other students, staff and family members to see.

There were so many incredible pieces of work on display which showed that a lot of time and effort had gone into them. The projects also covered such a wide range of topics on the theme of connections. Mr Brett, Head of Science, had the tough job of deciding on the winners and runners up.

The winners were Teale N and Harry W (Year 9). Their project looked at reaction times after eating a mint and perhaps surprisingly, they discovered that people’s reaction times improved after they had eaten a mint. Dr Hone even tested it out and it worked! Harry said, ‘Our project was if mint made your reaction time quicker or slower. Most people’s reaction time was quicker but some were slower. So we did the ruler drop test and we found 2 other reaction tests on the internet. I have enjoyed this year’s science fair even more than last year’s one!’

Runner’s up prizes went to Wyn E and Evelyn W (Year 9) whose project looked at the transpiration of plants in different weather conditions. They were able to simulate different conditions in their experiment. Wyn said of his project, ‘Our project was about transpiration in plants, and delving into how it is affected by different conditions such as warm, windy, or humid environments. When doing this project, I most enjoyed replicating the conditions in accurate ways to observe the effects it had and collect data. A challenge I faced was the setup of the potometer as we had to be careful to make sure no air bubbles were trapped.’

Additional runners up were Bella B (Year 9) and Harry B (Year 7). Their project looked at the connection between friends and family and how to have good mental health, even suggesting activities such as juggling to help promote good mental health. Bella commented, ‘I’ve enjoyed this year’s Science Fair very much and I have learned that there’s many other sciences that people may not think are that interesting, but they are and they’re very fun to research about.’ Harry, who took part in his first Northgate Science Fair, said, ‘I enjoyed that we could see other people’s work and also tell people what we had found out.’

A big well done to everyone who took part, for the time and commitment shown as well as the scientific knowledge and understanding. Mrs Simms and Mr Fox were extremely impressed and will now be sorting out Crest Awards for students who have met the award criteria.