The sun was bursting through the clouds over the John Charles Centre for Sport in South Leeds, as the coaches arrived with staff and pupils for our Africa Cup of Nations Sports Day on Thursday 15 July 2010.
Upon arrival, pupils were ushered into their team seats and the stadium soon became a sea of colour– it looked like our very own Heenan Olympic Games. Each team represented an African Country and sported their own individual colours representative of their flag. There was a great feeling of team spirit and the atmosphere was electric. There were giant flags blowing in the breeze, team chants, Mexican Waves and of course, the ubiquitous vuvuzela horns sounding over the crowd.
The stadium itself was an excellent venue with a newly laid athletics track and very helpful staff– not to mention the amazing backdrop of Leeds city centre in the distance. Pupils seemed to relish taking part, and even the ones who were a little shy at first, soon became part of the fun and games. All pupils who took part in the events received points for their team so every participant made an important contribution to their team’s score. All pupils from Year 7 to Year 9 were extremely well behaved and showed just what ‘community spirit’ should be. An example should be made of Twyana Anderson who stepped in at the last minute for her team (Algeria) to run the girls 800m, and fought to finish the race through sheer personal effort and determination. Her team eagerly cheered her on as she ran the final straight and triumphed over the finish line. She was one of the many shining examples who was seen showing a true ‘sporting spirit’, and proved that it really is the taking part that counts.
Mr Flanagan, a long standing friend of the school, who retired from teaching at CHCHS a few years ago, returned to help out with the event and made a fantastic stadium announcer. He rallied the crowds and created a light-hearted atmosphere with his amusing commentary.
The scoring team were Mr Matterson & Mr Devlin, ably assisted by Shafiq Dale, Year 9. Everyone was excited to hear who the overall winning team was and waited in anticipation for the scores to be finalised. St John Ambulance volunteers were on stand-by throughout the event and we made good use of them with a range of, thankfully, only minor injuries!
The Day ended with a CHCHS staff race causing much laughter and cheering from the crowds, and finally the announcement of the winning team, Ghana, and the presentation of the trophy by well known Rugby player John Bentley. Arthur Castillo came down to receive the trophy and the whole stadium cheered with excitement. All CHCHS Staff were involved in our International Sports Day, and each one helped to make it a well- organised and smooth-running success. Thanks go to Mr Forbes and his team of helpers (Mr Hayden, Mr Gaffey, Miss Adamson and Mr Flanagan) who arrived at the venue extra early to set up the events. Special thanks also go to Mrs King and Miss Dickinson who co- ordinated this year’s International Week.
News item by Mrs K Hirst
Pictures by Mr S Anteney
Our Year 11 leavers achieved the best set of public examination results in the school's history. A massive 90% of them (159 students) gained five or more GCSE passes at grades A* to C. The results are a further leap forward from the school's performance in 2009 which was strongly commended by Ofsted inspectors earlier this year.
More than 29% of the GCSE passes achieved by our students were at the highest grades, A and A*. 13 students gained A* or A in all their subjects.
64% of students (113) achieved five or more GCSE passes at grades A*-C, including English and Mathematics.
37% of our students achieved the top grades A* or A in GCSE Religious Studies, 26% in English, 25% in Mathematics and 23% in Science, 39 students gained these top grades in Additional Science, 38 in English Literature, 32 in History, 28 in French, 22 in Spanish, 21 in Geography. The results place these departments amongst the country's highest achieving schools. All other subjects performed very strongly.
The following star pupils were amongst the school's highest achievers: Rachael Myers, Andrew Whitelaw, Harry Machin, Jamie O'Neill, Katie Hewitson and Siobhan Bourke. The numbers of starred A grades (A*) (in GCSE or equivalent qualifications) achieved by each student is given first, followed by the number of A grades in brackets: - Rachael Myers 11 (4), Andrew Whitelaw 11 (3), Harry Machin 11 (2), Jamie O'Neill 10 (4), Katie Hewitson 10 (3), and Siobhan Bourke10 (1).
Harry Machin passed no fewer than 11 traditional GCSE subjects at the top grade, A*, and one GCSE at grade A. He also gained a Distinction in the OCR National First Award in ICT, equivalent to GCSE grade A.
Andrew Whitelaw passed nine traditional GCSE subjects at grade A* and one at grade A. He also achieved the OCR National Certificate in ICT at Distinction level, the equivalent of two GCSEs at grade A* and two at grade A.
Rachael Myers never missed a day throughout her five years at Cardinal Heenan. She demonstrated why it pays to be in school every day when she achieved seven GCSEs at grade A* and two at grade A. Rachael also gained a starred Distinction* in the BTEC Certificate of Performing Arts and a Distinction in the OCR National Certificate in ICT, giving her a tally of 11 A* and four A grades. This was accomplished at the same time as training every Saturday in Birmingham with the Royal Ballet School and most week nights with Northern Ballet. Luke Kay had a 100% record of attendance for four years: he gained a tally of four A* and seven A grades. Attendance matters!
Katherine Pearson is another top grade star. She gained five GCSE passes at grade A* and five at grade A. She also achieved Distinctions in both BTEC Performing Arts and the OCR National Certificate in ICT. Katherine's tally of A* and A grades is therefore 18!
Phillip Truong and Andrew Whitelaw gained full marks (100%) in GCSE Mathematics and both also gained A* in GCSE Additional Mathematics. Six pupils gained two A* in languages: French and Spanish.
Work Based Learning
15 Cardinal Heenan Students followed the Young Apprenticeship programme, spending one day each week on a work experience placement and another following a vocational course at a local college of further education. All but one achieved 5 GCSEs at grade C and above, and five of the students have now started full apprenticeships which combine paid employment with high quality training leading to accredited qualifications.
More than 97% of our 2010 leavers have now moved on to further study, training or paid employment.
Hearty congratulations are due to our 2010 examination candidates and their teachers on these splendid achievements. Examination success depends on an effective partnership between students, staff and parents. All deserve enormous credit for the 2010 record breaking results.