The April newsletter is now avalable. Click here to access the newsletter.
In late March, a group of 8 students from Years 11 and 12 boarded the train to Durham to enjoy a day of debate on European issues with other school teams from across the regional area.
Along with smart formal wear and our newly assigned committee name of LIBE (the Committee on Civil Liberties) we set out to represent our school in the deliberation of current affairs such as environmental obligations and the proposed sugar tax. We had been preparing for the day’s debates on each Wednesday for the past month, and could not wait to participate for what we thought would merely be a one-off event.
The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
This book is based on a young girl born into slavery in Jamaica during the 18th Century. The girls mother dies during childbirth and we don’t discover who the father is until later on in the book so she grows knowing she is an orphan and the feeling of not belonging that this brings.
This book was not an easy read, it was heartbreaking. The cruelty and torture suffered by the slaves is truly horrific and brought me to tears but it is beautifully written and I couldn’t put it down. A book that with make you think about it long after you’ve finished reading.
It’s the time of year when all that matters are grades, grades and more grades.
A common mistake many students make during this crucial period is to eat poorly and unhealthily. Junk food, lots of chocolate, energy drinks and crisps are often eaten in place of normal meals to “keep energy levels up”. However, this is not only harmful to your long-term health, but can also negatively affect your exam performance.
Here are some brain food recommendations during the most stressful period of your academic year…
1. Oily fish
Salmon, sardines and mackerel are amongst the healthiest types of fish. Why? Because they contain lots of protein and omega 3, which is essential to keep a functioning brain working well. I’m sure you have heard of the saying that fish is great brain food. It’s true!
Eggs are healthy and good brain food. During exam time, who wants to hear a rumbling tummy during the late nights and early mornings spent revising? Eggs can be boiled, poached, scrambled, or made sunny-side up and they will keep those hunger pains at bay for far longer than traditional cereals.
3. Vegetables & fruit
Vegetables and fruit are low in calories, delicious and can give you an energy boost when you are working away at revising, since they contain fructose and healthy sugars your body can convert into energy. Top snacking fruits: apples, bananas, avocadoes, berries.
4. Peanut butter
Many people think peanut butter is an unhealthy food, but it actually contains healthy fats and lots of protein per serving. This means that as a brain food, just a little can keep you full for a long time.
This week, Mr Wallwork recommends ‘The Winter of Our Discontent’ by John Steinbeck.
Believe it or not I read this book knowing nothing of the author. We didn’t have many books at home when I was growing up so I was happy to read anything I was given. So it came about that through the simple act of enjoying a story, I discovered that Steinbeck was a classic writer before I knew he was a writer of classics.
It is set in late 50’s early 60’s New England America. Ethan Allen Hawley, whose family trace their roots back to the Pilgrim Fathers, works as a clerk in the grocery store he used to own and although at first he seems adjusted to this reversal of fortune he ends up planning a wild ‘escape’. Simple honesty is shown to be at heart anything but simple. Steinbeck uses this examination of culture and values by a ‘good’ man to force us to look into the same mirror.
The emotional pull of this tale makes it in my heretical eyes better than OMAM and with another fabulous quotation as a title what’s not to like?
Your child might be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
To see if you qualify please complete an application either online or through a written application. Further details can be found on the bottom of this link.
Get enough sleep
While you want heaps of energy during the day for revision, come bedtime ensure your body and mind are ready to rest. Lack of sleep will make it impossible to understand the detailed theory of Geordie Shore let alone anything else, and you’ll be much more likely to reach for a sugary fix to get you through the learning lulls.
Warm milk and herbal teas before bed have a sedative effect, while a carb-rich snack an hour or so before you head upstairs will clear the way for sleep-inducing amino acids to reach the brain. You should also avoid using a computer or phone immediately before bedtime.