Monday 22nd July saw the whole Northgate and Dereham Sixth Form community come together for a very special day. A chance to learn, celebrate and show the community our collective spirit for a common cause.
The morning involved groups of students from Years 7, 8, 9 and 12 mixing together to attend a set of three sessions. One session was called ‘Brain Power’. This session was designed to explore the links between Dementia Friendly Dereham and Northgate/Dereham Sixth Form. Pupils worked through a series of games and quizzes on the brain, provided by The Alzheimer’s Society and produced a fact sheet based on dementia or the brain. The second session was called ‘Mighty Mental Health’ and was designed to explore teenage mental health strategies. Pupils thought about what they can do to look after their own mental health and looked at some practical but simple meditation/relaxation techniques. The final session was called ‘Reaching out to the Community’. This session was designed to cement links between the Northgate and Dereham Sixth Form and those in the community who are elderly and possibly lonely and vulnerable. Pupils were given the name and address of someone to write to in a local care home and asked to write a letter to them which will be delivered by representatives of the school.
After lunch pupils had the opportunity to reflect on what they had learned over the course of the morning and then wrote a ‘pledge’ of how they will use what they’d learned during the day to help themselves and/or the community.
Whilst this was happening, other members of Year 7, 8, 9 and 12 were in the main hall along with their parents to receive their awards and certificates at our presentation afternoon. Pupils were nominated across different subjects and also in relation to Northgate’s 5Rs – Respect, Readiness, Responsibility, Resilience and Reflectiveness. The afternoon was hosted by Heads of School, Mrs Galley and Dr Hone, with special guest, author Alex Scarrow on hand to present some of the awards. There were also some special awards: for her work on eco projects within school, Abby R, Year 10, and for their perseverance, Paris A, Year 10 and Faith W, Year 8. There were community awards for Kieran L and Milo M in Year 7, Ashdon B, Lewis B, Maddison F, Freya M, Kieran T and Jack W in Year 8, Jimmy C, Chloe D in Year 9 and Rose H, Alice-Joy, Louise S and Bethany W in Year 10. Adam B, Lexie F, Ilana H, Laurence J, Lizzie M, George P and Lily T, Year 12, received volunteering awards.
2.30pm came along and it was time to head out to the field for the community day to start. Northgate’s new Year 7s were in fine voice as they sang two new songs learnt over the last few days in school. In front of family, friends and special guests they looked so proud as they sang in the bright sunshine. The community day was officially opened by Alex Scarrow after a welcome from Mrs Galley.
Everyone was then able to make the most of everything on offer and there certainly was something for everyone. There was the chance to have your picture taken with the EFL Championship trophy, race the F24 kit car around the tennis courts, meet some of the policemen and police dogs and sample some delights from the cake stall after Masterchef finalist, Dr Tim Kinnaird had judged the bake-off competition. People headed to the ELF to watch the Year 12 performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, whilst others met the animals in the ELF, or played some carnival themed games including splat the rat, target golf, hook a duck and more. There was a raffle, tombola, food stalls, representatives from Dementia Friendly Dereham, a School Council stand celebrating what they had done over the year, stands relating to the psychology of the mind, community and looking at future studies at Dereham Sixth Form. Residents of Sanford House were invited to an afternoon tea and an audience were treated to a sneak peak performance of Matilda. There was such an amazing atmosphere with everyone smiling and laughing, it was a real chance to celebrate all that is good about Northgate and the Sixth Form with the Dereham Community.
A big thank you to everyone who came and supported the event, members of the community and local businesses who had stalls and everyone at Northgate and Sixth Form, staff and pupils for their involvement. Money raised from the day will go towards Dementia Friendly Dereham and towards teenage mental health projects within Northgate and Dereham Sixth Form.