Ethan Roberts - Assistant Headteacher
May 1, 2019
The end of last term saw the grand finale of our ever-inspiring year 5 Master Classes – and what a few weeks it was!
Every Wednesday for five weeks, a small group of students from each of Canvey Island’s primary schools – Northwick Park Academy, Winter Gardens Academy, St Katherine's, Leigh Beck Junior, St Joseph’s, William Read, Lubbins Park and Canvey Junior School – participated in a vast array of subject taster sessions at Cornelius Vermuyden, giving them a real taste of the challenging and exciting studies that await them at secondary school.
To say our Year 5 students impressed us is an understatement! They took to each challenge we threw at them with enthusiasm and intellectual rigour.
In our first week, students were treated to several jaw-dropping chemical explosions in the Main Hall, before being whisked off to the Science department where, amongst other activities, they analysed the physics of roller-coasters, experimented with circuits and made use of our Bunsen burners to create chemical reactions.
Next up was Performing Arts, where students were quickly on their feet and demonstrating their creative skills. Students could either opt to complete a drama workshop or head to the Music department to write a song together. The theme for both? The Mummy awakens…
In students' third week, they put their mastery of mathematics to the test, exploring a range of activities, including an investigation into the uncanny re-appearance of the number pi throughout nature, even in the geometry of our own island!
Week four saw the students hit our state-of-the-art Immersive Room to engage in some Geography, using the technology of our multimedia screens to compose and present their own official news reports on a recent earthquake in Tibet. There were certainly a few budding news anchors in the room – we’re expecting the call from the BBC any day now!
Finally, the students got to grips with public speaking in their final session focused on English. During this session, students wrote speeches to their parents on all of the amazing things they had learnt during their master class experience. It was wonderful to invite parents in at the end of the session so that a few students could recite their speeches on stage in front of a large audience of students and parents alike. Following this, it was an excellent opportunity to present each student with their Year 5 Cornelius Vermuyden Master Class certificates and, most importantly of all(!), their Easter egg for completing the course!
It was genuinely wonderful to meet so many creative and enthusiastic students, eager to learn and demonstrating huge potential for their future academic careers. We are sure they will go far, and of course hope to welcome as many of them as possible to Cornelius Vermuyden in September 2020.
I would also like to thank our chief organiser: the wonderful Miss MacGregor, our superb Year 10 helper students, and all other staff involved in each of the sessions for the huge effort they put into ensuring these master classes were a success.
We look forward to welcoming another set of Year 5 students next year!
Results from our parental survey:
100% of parents strongly agreed or agreed that their child enjoyed the master classes at Cornelius Vermuyden.
92.86% of parents strongly agreed or agreed that the communication they received from Cornelius Vermuyden was good.
Results from our student survey:
100% of students said the master classes were interesting.
Students voted the Science master class their favourite with 31.82% of the vote!
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Cornelius Vermuyden are an official member of NACE (National association of Able Children in England).
Not only does this partnership support our development of our highest achieving pupils, it supports the development of every pupil in the school. We are committed to ensuring that a high level of challenge exists in the classroom in every lesson and to help potential convert to success and happiness for our pupils. We are firm believers that "rising tides lift all ships" and that if all students have a daily diet of challenging experiences at school and beyond, then this will help support their educational and personal development as learners and as people. Yet, as our 2016 GCSE results showed, those who come to us classed as more able achieve incredible results – for example, Callum Cuthbert leaving the school with 11 A* grades is an achievement that is not just well above the national average in terms of progress and achievement, but one that should be celebrated in terms of the school's work with its high achieving pupils.
However, here at Cornelius Vermuyden, we promote the ethos that all children must be given access to a positive mindset in terms of their learning. The message is clear; all young people are capable of reaching any goal they set their mind to if they are challenged and show a positive attitude to self - improvement . Cornelius Vermuyden places challenge and the importance of a 'growth mindset' at the heart of its teaching and learning vision for our pupils and our association with NACE is supporting this commitment to all pupils at the school.