Beaumont hits the USA

Once again our USA History trip was designed to stimulate learning and curiosity, with each new experience a chance for students to learn more about their subject and America. We were fortunate with the weather this year; on average 25 degrees in Washington and a little less in New York.

This year we visited the Air & Space Museum for the first time, coupled with an IMAX experience into space students and staff were given a truly unique vantage point to witness the lives of astronauts throughout history, and the co-operation between nations, in navigating beyond our world.

Washington notables:
The whole group was given the opportunity to sit in the House of Representatives and learn about American democracy. (Luckily some students had Miss Bennett as our guide).

The Washington Nationals baseball match caught us out this year with an early afternoon start. Although the NATs lost the evening was sunny and students got a taste of the ballpark experience.

One big change was the security around the White House in Washington and Trump Towers in NY. This gave students an insight into current American politics.

New York notables:
On arriving at NY we visited the Top of the Rock in the early evening. As the weather was clear students were able to get amazing pictures of the Empire State Building and upper and lower Manhattan.

Following our experience of the last trip we ditched the idea of the subway in NY and hailed Yellow Taxis down to Battery Park for our boat cruise to Ellis Island; more beautiful weather.

On the last day students walked up 5th Avenue, which was hosting the Easter Parade. It was great to see the costumes and such a family event.

A big thank you to the students who took part, they engaged with the activities wholeheartedly. Many thanks to Miss Ashton, Miss Bennett, Mr Gray, Miss Shahrad and Mr Tatham for giving up half of their Easter to give students such a fantastic experience.

Ms Esmizadeh

2017 Rob’s Festival

The 2017 Rob’s Festival is being held on Saturday 24 June 2017 and the Rob’s team made up from Sixth Formers, members of staff and the BSA are busy planning all the activities.

This event is very exciting to be involved with and we are keen to hear from any parents who would like to help in the planning stages. We are also looking to hear from any local business who would like to sponsor the event, advertise in the programme or have a stall for the day. Please join us and together we can make this the biggest festival we’ve ever had! For further information please contact Mrs Rider in the Admin Office.

Focus on Fieldwork

At Beaumont, the Geography Department takes field work very seriously and offers every year group the opportunity to take part. As the famous traveller, Geographer and Monty Python star Michael Palin said: ‘Schools should place a renewed focus on traditional geography field trips to stop pupils being trapped behind computer screens in the classroom’ and we in the Beaumont Geography Department couldn’t agree more!

Our fieldwork year starts in September with the Year 7 trip to the River Lea in Wheathampstead. This day trip gives our students the opportunity to try out lots of fieldwork methodologies to work out which stage of the River they are in. Abby Harrison (7N) sums up her experience: ‘The most exciting thing when we went to the River Lea, was when we did the measurements and when we worked out how fast the dog biscuit flowed along the River. It was also fun having a good time with the teachers and our friends’.

In October, it is the turn of Year 11 to go on their residential trip to Sheringham in Norfolk. This trip enables our students to gather data for their GCSE controlled assessment. Fraser McFarlane and Jonny Light sum up their experience: ‘As a keen Geography student I was apprehensive about my controlled assessment. However, the trip turned out to be exciting, educational and excellent! It prepared us extensively for our controlled assessment. Overall I enjoyed the trip immensely and am confident it improved my Geography’.

In January our Year 9s get the opportunity to spend half a CED gathering data about the possibility of rebranding St Albans city centre. In February, our Year 12 A Level students go to Swanage in Dorset for two nights in order to learn methodologies that might be useful for their A Level, and visit case study locations. This is closely followed by Year 8 in March who also get half a CED to gather fieldwork data in St Albans. Josh Hobbs (8A) summarised what he did: ‘The year was split into 3 groups and sent to different locations in St Albans. We were all looking for a suitable location for the Griffin family to live. During this we had to record noise, how nice it looked, damage to houses and some pupils asked members of the public questionnaires’.

Finally, in April it the turn of Year 10 who get to experience a River trip to Epping Forest. This year will be the first time we have run this trip at Beaumont. Lucy Lechartier-Rutter (10N) is looking forward to the trip: ‘I think this is a great opportunity to learn more about physical Geography. Field trips can be particularly beneficial to some students because it allows them to learn in a different style especially if they are visual or kinaesthetic learners. Field trips are a fun way to learn and can also help students to remember key details in order to help with their exams. After researching Epping Forest I found out that it is London’s largest open space and it is made up of many distinct areas of woodland, grassland and other habitats. I’m sure Epping Forest will be an exciting and intriguing field trip for everyone’.

Ms Kent

World Book Day

We celebrated World Book Day (Thursday 2 March) in style with a visit from writer Sarah Crossan. We were delighted to welcome Sarah back to Beaumont. Since visiting us a year ago, Sarah has won the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal for her verse-novel One and has co-written We Come Apart, also in verse.

Sarah is a great lover of poetry and, in an enthralling talk to Year 7 and staff, set about showing us ways to enjoy it for ourselves. This included performing a scene from Romeo and Juliet (feat.Harry Styles!) which brought laughter and squeals from the audience. Sarah encouraged students to ‘start with the heart’: to think first about how a poem makes them feel rather than worrying about what it means. She also suggested that students try reading verse-novels as there is now a wide selection of titles available for young adults. These novels are less wordy than regular prose fiction, therefore less daunting and quicker to read, particularly relevant for reluctant readers.

For more on Sarah’s visit, please read the library blogs:

Copies of all Sarah’s young adult novels are available in the Library.

Ms Shepard

Maths Challenge Success

Intermediate Maths Challenge (Year 9–11) Students at Beaumont School achieved 7 golds, 25 silvers and 12 bronzes in this year’s UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge. Well done to all involved.

Congratulations to the following students who qualified for the follow-on Olympiad and Kangaroo papers: Zak Smith, Jamie Biswas, Isobel Todd (Year 11), Rujun Feng, Theo Mitrache (Year 10) and Nick Powdrell, Lauren King (Year 9).

Beaumont School continued its success by taking a team of 4 students to the Regional Finals of the Junior Team Maths Challenge and achieving a sixth place result out of 35 schools. The team consisted of Lauren King, Nick Powdrell (9L), Ben Whitehouse (8R) and Jack Raffo (8N) who worked very hard preparing themselves in the run up to the event. Thanks to Zak Smith (11R) for his help in preparing the team.

Miss Rosler

National Science Week – Monday 13 – Friday 17 March

Students have taken part in various activities during National Science Week. Year 7 have completed an Engineering Challenge including egg parachutes and boat building, Year 10 students have participated in the International Biology Challenge, Year 7 and 8 saw a robotics demonstration and all year groups had the opportunity to do an eye ball dissection. Additionally, there have been several competitions and quizzes for students to participate in.

Overall, a very successful week with lots of students involved.

Dr Jones

Duke of Edinburgh

On Saturday 4 March, Beaumont DofE held our annual Expedition Training Day. 63 Bronze, 46 Silver and 12 Gold students learnt first aid, navigation, campcraft and team building skills in preparation for this summer’s expeditions. Highlights include making cheesy pasta in a trangia, learning how to pack a rucksack and put up a tent, and walking blindfolded through an obstacle course.

Many thanks to the team of staff and parents who led the day.

Ms Dickson, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Coordinator

Year 8 History, CED Tuesday 7 March

Year 8 History students were involved in a variety of activities designed to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Firstly, Emily, Karene and Maisie from the Trestle Arts base performed a shortened version of the musical ‘Yarico’ based on the story of a slave called Yarico and the relationship that she had with a white man – Thomas Inkle. This was followed with an interactive drama workshop led by our Trestle guests where the students explored the feelings of the slaves through the use of masks and actions. There was an also a storyboard activity led by History teachers which provided opportunities to use their evaluative and creative skills.

Students were asked to provide feedback about the day. Some of the comments included:
“Informative, interesting, fun, exciting, involved, educational, interactive, variety, a lot to it, learning something in a different way, helped us understand what being a slave felt like”.

I asked some Year 8 students to write thank you messages to Trestle on behalf of their year group, here is an extract from one of them:
“thank you for the spectacular show….it was very educational…you have put loads of work into performing it and I have definitely learnt something from it”.

Here is the full message from Maisie Jay (8S):
“Thank you. I learnt a lot about Barbados. I am from Barbados it was really good to know about it. I did not realise so many slaves were from the Caribbean. You showed the story really well and your acting was great”.

Our thanks to Year 8 for their positive participation, and all the staff involved in helping to make the day such a success.

Ms Wensley, and the rest of the History Department

Year 8 Drama Club

Year 8 Drama Club premiered their ‘What Goes Up, But Never Comes Down?’ show recently. It was a beautiful piece of drama exploring different stages of life as we grow. It was a promenade performance which led the audience through different performance spaces around school. The audience found this very unusual and exciting. The characters change from playing tag and dreaming of being super heroes, to showing the pressures of teenage life and the transition to becoming adults where the circle of life begins again!

Completely devised by Year 8 with the direction of the Year 12 Drama Captains and assistants, congratulations on a fabulous piece!

Miss McPhee

On Monday 6 March, the Beaumont Junior Drama Company, made up of Year 9 Drama students, took part in the Welwyn Youth Drama Festival with their production of Arbeit Macht Frei, by Paul King. The play explores the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis in the Second World War, showing glimpses of this harrowing event in history.

After the week’s long festival, made up of 21 youth theatre groups, and approximately 400 young actors from across Hertfordshire and North London; Beaumont Youth Drama Company were nominated for the Adjudicator’s award, winning the Technical Theatre award and winning first place for the Junior award category! Our group, made up of 38 students, are thrilled and proud of their result.

Ms Wallace

Samuel Ryder Schools’ Exhibition

We were asked to be involved for the Fifth year in a row in the annual Samuel Ryder Schools’ Art Exhibition. The exhibition was a huge success with a broad range of work from many different schools. This year we chose work from Year 13 students, Conor Quinn, Jess Hall, and Megan Hodges.

Miss Finlay